Movement of Hare Krishna
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, abbreviated as ISKCON, known colloquially as the Movement of Hare Krishna, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu religious organization. It was founded on 13 July 1966 in New York City by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Its main headquarters is located today
in West Bengal, India.
Its unique form of monotheistic core beliefs is based on Hindu scriptures, particularly their own published translations of the Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavata Purana. ISKCON is "the largest and, arguably, most important branch" of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which has had adherents in India since the early 16th century and its American and European devotees since the early 1900s. It has around 10 million followers worldwide.
The religious organization practices vegetarianism and was initially formed to spread the practice of Bhakti yoga. Its followers, called bhaktas, dedicate both their thoughts and actions towards pleasing Krishna, whom they consider the Supreme Lord Godhead. They regard the rest of Hindu deities as secondary "demigods". Its most rapid expansion in registered membership has been within India and (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) in Russia and other formerly Soviet-aligned states of Eastern Europe.