“What is ISKCON?”
International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
An organization dedicated to spreading the spiritual teachings of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam world-wide.
“What is Krishna Consciousness?”
Krishna consciousness, or bhakti-yoga, means how to act in harmony with ultimate reality–the Supreme Person. Bhakti, “devotional service” is how the bhakta, “devotee” and Bhagavan,“God, the possessor of all opulences” relate.
Krishna consciousness is both a practice and the goal of the practice. The goal is to be Krishna conscious. The practice is to always stay conscious of Krishna.
“When was ISKCON established?”
“How can I become a member of ISKCON?”
Contact your local branch. Click here.
“What is the Hare Krishna movement?”
The popular name for ISKCON. See ‘What is ISKCON’ above.
“Who is Srila Prabhupada?”
The Founder-Acharya of ISKCON. To know more about Srila Prabhupada, click here.
“What is the GBC?”
The GBC is the Governing Body Commission, the controlling body in charge of the ISKCON. It comprises of 36 members, each in charge of a particular area in the world.
“Do members serve for life?”
Yes, as long as they remain qualified.
“Do GBC members have to be in the renounced order of life?”
“Do GBC members take any special vows?”
Apart from being required to follow the sadhana or regulated principles of bhakti yoga such as chanting 16 rounds of japa, avoiding meat-eating, gambling, illicit sex and intoxication, GBC members also take an oath of allegiance to ISKCON.
Click here to read the oath
“How can I get information about the decisions taken in the GBC?”
Resolutions are published after each Annual General Meeting.
Click here to read the the GBC resolutions
“Under which circumstances can I make requests to the GBC?”
Anyone can contact their local GBC for advice on any topic about Krishna consciousness.
“Are all GBC members direct disciples of Srila Prabhupada?”
No. However, all GBC members must be in direct disciplic succession from Srila Prabhupada.
“How does the GBC acquire funds to facilitate their activities?”
The GBC has a central fund to facilitate the execution of its functions. These funds are acquired from individual GBC members as well as ISKCON members. Also each ISKCON centre worldwide pays a yearly contribution to the GBC.
“Are GBC members paid?”
They offer their services voluntarily.
“What is a GBC deputy?”
Leading members of ISKCON who directly assist GBC members locally and globally in the proposal review process which lead to the GBC decision-making process.
“How are decisions made by the GBC?”
There is a process by which proposals are submitted each year by a certain date. These are vetted and voted on by GBC Deputies and committees; the final proposals are submitted to the GBC body for majority voting.
“Is there mandatory retirement for GBC?”
“Have some retired, or honorably resigned?”
Yes, a GBC may retire at their own request. This may be due to age or due to health issues.
“How are GBC members selected?”
By other GBC members recommending them. If accepted they go through a process of evaluation over several years by becoming assistant GBCs, acting GBCs and then full GBCs.
“How many GBC zones are there in the world?”
As ISKCON has grown at a rapid rate around the world, some areas were made zones under the direction of a particular GBC member even though they may not have been geographically contingent. Hence it was resolved at the 2012 GBC meetings that a framework be provided to identify zones or fourteen broad territories of the world which will be identified as Areas.