(Note: Rupanuga Prabhu recaps the progress made in following the 7 Purposes of ISKCON Incorporated or ISKCON, Inc. Some excerpts of Srila Prabhupada’s lecture below after his recap.)
Rūpānuga: In July 1966, Śrīla Prabhupāda in New York City formed the International Society for Krishna Consciousness Incorporated. Śrīla Prabhupāda mentioned this morning he was asked to call it the “International Society for God Consciousness,” but he did not take that advice. He stuck to the principles of his Guru Mahārāja and called our Society an International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
At that time His Divine Grace outlined the purposes for the Society. We want to read them tonight to show that actually they have all come true. And on this tenth anniversary, all the purposes of our Society actually are being fulfilled or already have been.
[Note: These 7 Purposes are to be found in the Original Incorporation Document. This document was gotten from the County Clerk Office of Manhattan County, where it was filed on July 19th, 1966. Srila Prabhupada signed as the 1st incorporator in Blue Ink ball point in his self-same wonderful signature. Rupanauga Prabhu then goes on to lists the activities of the Krishna Consciousness Movement all over the world under the direction of Srila Prabhupada to be fulfilling all the purposes of this Society ISKCON, Inc. registered in NY in 1966]
The first one was to systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large, to educate all people in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of (indistinct) to achieve real unity and peace in the world.
Second, to propagate a consciousness of Kṛṣṇa as He is revealed in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Third, to bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Kṛṣṇa, and thus to develop the idea within the members and humanity at large that each soul is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.
Fourth, to teach and encourage the saṅkīrtana movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God, and to reveal the teachings of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Fifth, to erect for the members and the Society at large a holy place of transcendental pastimes dedicated to the Personality of Godhead.
Sixth, to bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life. With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books, and other (indistinct).
So we can see that actually Śrīla Prabhupāda has in almost a hundred centers and āśramas throughout the world, this has been established in less than ten years. One gentleman recently was saying, one respectable gentleman was saying, “I do not see how this society has spread all over the world (indistinct).” And I explained to him what we have done already has been in ten years. Just imagine twenty, thirty, forty years, like that. He was so surprised to see that actually in ten years alone all this has been accomplished. And revealing Kṛṣṇa’s (indistinct) Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books are now printed in almost fifteen languages around the world and distributed in millions every year. The United States and Europe, South America and Africa, the Mediterranean, every country in the world is now benedicted by Śrīla Prabhupāda’s translations. So that purpose he has kept.
“To bring the members of the Society closer together in (indistinct) …society based on love and trust.” (indistinct) …past bad activities and bad habits we have actually become more and more trusting between ourselves because we have banded together to help Śrīla Prabhupāda push this movement. We have to base our relationships with each other on love and trust; otherwise this would never happen. I’ve seen personally so many people gathered together under one roof who would never speak to each other in the material world, who would never even see each other, who would never (indistinct). But in Kṛṣṇa consciousness all these things are forgotten because there’s a common denominator, Kṛṣṇa, and everyone’s (indistinct) together in love and trust.
“To teach and encourage saṅkīrtana.” There’s hardly a person who travels anywhere who hasn’t seen saṅkīrtana in every major city in the Western world. And now they’re in India, now in Africa. People see us everywhere. One time a boy said to me… I asked him, “How many devotees do you think, full-time devotees, do you think we have?” (indistinct) “All right. Two million?” (indistinct) …barely a thousand at that time, but because of their energy, because Śrīla Prabhupāda’s energy is (indistinct) all his disciples, it appears that there are millions. Because people see us all over the world. Actually we are simply distributing Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books. (rest of Rūpānuga’s speech is indistinct, followed by another speech, also indistinct.)
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī gurave namaḥ
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.]
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
[When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?]
This movement is śrī-caitanya-mano-‘bhīṣṭam. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He appeared on this earth five thousand years ago in Bengal, Navadvīpa, to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, although this movement is not new. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was started by Kṛṣṇa Himself. Apparently the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was started by Kṛṣṇa Himself in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra five thousand years ago, and He said that “This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement I spoke to the sun-god long, long years ago.” Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. This is avyaya. Avyaya means which is never diminished or destroyed. Vyaya means which is destroyed, and Kṛṣṇa says this yoga system…
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to present to the human society the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So we started this movement in 1966, Our Rūpānuga Prabhu has already explained. So take this movement very seriously. The same, Kṛṣṇa, started within the historical, five thousand years ago. And He started this movement with Arjuna as His disciple. Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu, five hundred years ago, He revived again the same movement. He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. And that is going on. Don’t think that this is a manufactured movement. No. It is the authorized movement and confirmed by the authorities. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. There are mahājanas mentioned in the śāstra. So be fixed up in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and try to understand Kṛṣṇa. We have got so many literatures, authorized literatures. And make your life success.
Thank you very much. (end)”