Our Mission

The mission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is to propagate the science of self-realization and love of God. This scientific practice has been handed down to us through  disciplic succession and the Vedic scripture. It is the perfect, time honored practice of the great perfected sages and yogis who follow the principles of spiritual teachings as enunciated by Krishna Himself in the classic scriptures, Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and Srimad-Bhagavatam.

  The celebration of the Festival of the Chariots is a sample of this ancient science in practice; chanting Hare Krishna, dancing, sharing the books of Krishna’s philosophy and feasting on pure vegetarian foodstuffs offered to Krishna.  

What We Believe

The purpose of human life is to develop love of God. Love of God lies dormant in the heart of every living being. Specific spiritual practices are recommended in the Vedic literatures in order to awaken it. The most simple recommended process for this age is to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, the great chant for our deliverance, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

    By singing and chanting about Krishna we revive our original, blissful nature as pure spiritual beings. We can awaken our God consciousness, or Krishna consciousness, and return back home, back to Krishna in the spiritual world. We are not our bodies, or the designations we attribute to them, such as race, nationality, age or gender. We are the pure spirit soul who has temporarily become conditioned by material existence. The temporary, illusory struggle for material existence can only be stopped by revival of our identity as servants of the Lord.

Srila Prabhupada

Embarking on an unlikely journey, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada traveled on a cargo steamship from India to New York in 1965. He arrived with eight dollars worth of rupees and a trunk of sacred texts. He inspired the awakening of a powerful spiritual movement in America. He transformed the lives of tens of thousands of his followers by teaching the practice of Vaisnavism, Krishna Consciousness. 2016 is the Fiftieth Anniversary of his establishing The International Society for Krishna Consciousness in the western world.

  Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times, opened one hundred and eight temples, established schools, farms, publishing houses and, the world’s first chain of vegetarian restaurants, called Govinda’s. Prabhupada translated and published over ninety volumes of ancient Sanskrit texts, including Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, which have received acclaim from scholars worldwide. He is the founder of The Festival of the Chariots, first in San Francisco and then on New York’s Fifth Avenue, and now celebrated in major cities of the world.

ISKCON Los Angeles

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Los Angeles, is one of five hundred international centers for the worship and service of Krishna. Services are held throughout the day, everyday, at the temple located in the West Los Angeles Palms neighborhood. A multi-ethnic congregation of tens of thousands of Krishna devotees from all over Southern California like to visit the temple, established in 1969 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

    It is also the “launch pad” for the Festival of the Chariots. Some preparations go on all year, such as getting city permits, painting exhibits and decor, or making new chariots. Then eight weeks before the day, devotees who man the operations dedicate themselves to a marathon. Tents, exhibits, publications, entertainment stages, cooking equipment, gift store merchandise and electric/sound equipment must all be made ready to travel to the festival site. During the last week drama and dance performances are still in the rehearsal stage, while a feast for twenty thousand is in the makings in the kitchen, and marigolds and carnations are sewn into long, fragrant garlands to decorate the floats.  

  ISKCON Los Angeles is home to Govinda’s Buffet and Govinda’s Imports, each with a five-star rating on Yelp. Govinda’s proceeds support the monastic life of devotees living at the temple and the maintenance and costs of the Festival of the Chariots and many additional festivals throughout the year.    

WHAT IS FESTIVAL OF CHARIOTS?

The Festival of the Chariots, also known as Ratha-yatra, or “cart-festival”, originates from an ancient tradition in India. It commemorates a joyous celebration of life and glorification of God.  The ancient annual Ratha-yatra parade in Jagannatha Puri, India, attracts one million people every year. The tradition was brought to the West in 1967 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.  Today it is celebrated in most major cities of the world, including London, Moscow, Toronto, Johannesburg, Delhi and New York.       

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The Krishna Consciousness movement was created by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada with in intention of benefiting society by spreading knowledge and love of God.

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Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare