The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

Categories: The Modern Hindu Movement and Spiritual Leaders

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) or the Hare Krishna Movement as it is commonly called was founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (called Srila Prabhupada by his followers) in 1966.  The Hare Krishna movement is a strand of Gaudiya (Bengali) Vaishnavism belonging to the Madhva Sampradaya one of the main Vaishnava traditions. It is based on teachings of a great Vaishnava saint Chaitanya (1486-1534), considered an incarnation of Radha and Krishna. He opposed the rigid caste system by widely popularizing the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and by creating brahmanas from those born of lower varnas (castes). Chaitanya and his followers presented a unique Vaishnava doctrine called Acintya Bheda Abheda Tattva, which means that the Supreme Being is inconceivably and simultaneously one and different from His Creation and the Individual Soul, which was meant to bring to a closure the philosophical differences between the Advaita and Dvaita traditions.