[rev. 2014 mar 31]
This is an extract from the Nectar of Instruction of fundamental declarations by Srila Prabhupada about ISKCON, the society of which he is the Founder and living Acharya.
How does Srila Prabhupada define ISKCON? Does he mention formal administrative forms?
[ ] A task-to-do (ttd) is to order the following extracts into one potent declaration.
Originally our -
raver dīpam ivādṛtāḥ
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.11.4-5
One young Brijavasi, he respectfully entered the ISKCON temple in Vrndavana. He was curious, but he was also a little intimidated. There was so much opulence. After wandering around for some time with the other Yatris he came to the Samadhi-mandir of the ISKCON Guru, Srila Prabhupada. He saw a sign which translated as, "Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness". He wondered what that exactly meant but he walked as near as he could to the beautiful, enormous, brass Murti of Swami Prabhupada, and with folded hands attempted to look at his feet wanting then offer his Pranams.
However, he was baffled in his determination, and looked with a little amazement, because what was blocking his view of Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet, was a very beautiful volume of the Srimad Bhagavata. It was sitting in a book stand in front of Guruji. He was amazed because he suddenly had the very strong impression that this was the way to Swami Prabhupada's feet, not through Darshana with the eyes, but rather, Darshana with the ears.
"Hmmmph," he and a few Rupees would have to part. He walked back over to the Mataji whom he had seen selling books. She convinced him that Srila Rupa’s Upadesamrta with all commentaries by Swami Prabhupada was the book for him.
Sitting under a tree he began to look through it. Again, before he could even open the cover, again were the words, "Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness".
"So, this is Guruji's position," then he began to thumb through the little book asking himself, "How does Swamiji describe his Society”.
i. When we mix with a few friends, we immediately begin unnecessary talking, sounding just like croaking toads. If we must talk, we should talk about the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
ii. Association with those engaged in a similar line of business is very conducive to advancement in that business...Similarly, we have established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to give people an opportunity to associate with those who have not forgotten Kṛṣṇa. This spiritual association offered by our ISKCON movement is increasing day by day. Many people from different parts of the world are joining this Society to awaken their dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
iii. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement offers a spiritual community that can bring about a peaceful condition in the world. Every intelligent man should purify his consciousness and rid himself of the above-mentioned six hindrances to devotional service by taking wholehearted shelter of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
iv. These activities must be executed with patience. One should not be impatient in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Indeed, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was started single-handedly, and in the beginning there was no response, but because we continued to execute our devotional activities with patience, people gradually began to understand the importance of this movement, and now they are eagerly participating.
v. If one lives in the association of devotees, there is little chance of associating with non-devotees. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is opening many centers just to invite people to live in the company of devotees and practice the regulative principles of spiritual life.
vi. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been established to facilitate these six kinds of loving exchanges between devotees. This Society was started single-handedly, but because people are coming forward and dealing with the give-and-take policy, the Society is now expanding all over the world. We are glad that people are donating very liberally to the development of the Society's activities, and people are also eagerly accepting whatever humble contribution we are giving them in the shape of books and magazines dealing strictly with the subject matter of Kṛṣṇa consciousness....In this way our Society is successfully spreading all over the world, and the intelligentsia of all countries is gradually appreciating our Kṛṣṇa conscious activities. The life of the Kṛṣṇa conscious society is nourished by these six types of loving exchange among the members; therefore people must be given the chance to associate with the devotees of ISKCON because simply by reciprocating in the six ways mentioned above an ordinary man can fully revive his dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
vii. The members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness invite the Society's members and supporters to dine with them when they hold love feasts in all their branches every Sunday. Many interested people come to honor prasāda, and whenever possible they invite members of the Society to their homes and feed them sumptuously with prasāda. In this way both the members of the Society and the general public are benefited. People should give up the company of so-called yogīs, jnānīs, karmīs and philanthropists because their association can benefit no one. If one really wants to attain the goal of human life, he should associate with devotees of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement because it is the only movement that teaches one how to develop love of God.
viii. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is especially meant for creating an atmosphere in which people can take to the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra... One must begin with faith, and when this faith is increased by chanting, a person can become a member of the Society.
“Fundamentally, it sounds very nice, very social, very practical. I should talk more with these devotees”.