His Divine Grace, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada (1896-1977) is widely regarded as the worlds pre-eminent exponent of the teachings and practices of Bhakti-yoga to the Western world.

Born on 1 September 1896, the day after Janmastami, one of the most important Vaishnava holidays, in a humble house in the Tollygunge suburb of Calcutta, he was named Abhay Charan, “one who is fearless, having taken shelter at Lord Krishna’s feet.” Since he was born on the day of Nandotsava (“the celebration of Nanda,” Krishna’s father, a traditional festival in honour of Krishna’s birth) he was also called Nandulal. His parents, Sriman Gour Mohan De and Srimati Rajani De, were devout Vaishnavas (devotees of Vishnu). In accordance with Bengali tradition, his mother had gone to the home of her parents for the delivery, and only a few days later Abhay returned with parents to his home at 151 Harrison Road in Calcutta, where he was brought up and educated.

He received a European led education in the Scottish Church College. This school was well reputed among Bengalis; many Vaishnava families sent their sons there. As a youth, he became involved with Mahatma Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement. The college was located in north Calcutta, not far from Harrison Road where Abhay’s family lived. During his years in the college, Abhay Charan De was a member of the English Society as well as that of the Sanskrit Society. He graduated in 1920 with majors in English, philosophy and economics. However, he rejected his diploma in response to Gandhi’s independence movement.

It was, however, a meeting with a prominent scholar and spiritual leader, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, which proved most influential on young Abhay’s future calling. Upon their first meeting Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, who represented an ancient tradition of Bhakti (devotional yoga), asked Abhay to bring the teachings of Krishna to the English-speaking world. From birth, Abhay had been raised in a family devoted to Krishna – the name meaning the all-attractive, all-loving Lord. Deeply moved by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s devotion and wisdom, Abhay became his disciple and dedicated himself to carrying out his mentor’s request. But it wasn’t until 1965, at the age of seventy that he would set off on his mission to the West.

Having since been awarded the honorary title of Bhaktivedanta in recognition of his learning and devotion, and having taken the vows of sannyasa (renunciation), Abhay Charan, now known as Bhaktivedanta Swami, begged free passage and boarded a cargo ship to New York. The journey proved to be treacherous, and the elderly spiritual teacher suffered two heart attacks aboard ship. After 35 days at sea, he finally arrived at a lonely Brooklyn pier with just seven dollars in Indian rupees and a crate of his translations of sacred Sanskrit texts.

In New York, he faced great hardships without money or a place to live. He began his mission humbly, by giving classes on the Bhagavad-Gita in lofts on the Bowery, New York’s infamous skid row, and leading kirtan (traditional devotional chants) in Tompkins Square Park. His message of peace and goodwill resonated with many young people, some of whom came forward to become serious students of the Krishna-bhakti tradition. With the help of these students, Bhaktivedanta Swami rented a small storefront on New York’s Lower East Side to use as a temple.

After months of hardship and struggle, in July of 1966, Bhaktivedanta Swami established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. When it was suggested to him at the time of founding the ISKCON in 1966 that a broader term “God Consciousness” would be preferable to “Krishna Consciousness” in the title, he rejected this recommendation, suggesting that the name Krishna includes all other forms and concepts of God. He taught that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of God and that one could find true happiness through living a simpler, more natural way of life and dedicating one’s energy in the service of God and all living beings.

After a group of devotees and a temple had been established in New York another centre was started in San Francisco in 1967. From there he travelled throughout America with his disciples, popularizing the movement through street chanting (sankirtana), book distribution and public speeches. In the following months many more came forward to assist him. Desiring to address him with the respect due to a revered spiritual teacher, his disciples began to call him Srila Prabhupada, meaning “one at whose feet the masters sit”.

Once ISKCON was more established in the USA a small number of devotees from the San Francisco temple were sent to London, England. After a short time in London, they came into contact with The Beatles, of whom George Harrison took the greatest interest, spending a significant time speaking with Bhaktivedanta Swami and producing a record with members of the later London Radha Krsna Temple. In the eleven years that followed, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times, bringing the teachings of Bhakti to thousands of people on six continents setting up temples, rural communities, educational institutions, and what would become the world’s largest vegetarian food relief program. By the time of his death in Vrindavan in 1977, ISKCON had become an internationally known expression of Vaishnavism.

Perhaps Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contribution is his books. He authored over seventy volumes on Bhakti-yoga, which are highly respected for their authority, depth, clarity, and fidelity to tradition. His writings have been translated into seventy-six languages. His most prominent works include: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the thirty-volume Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the seventeen-volume Sri Caitanya-Charitamrita.

For millennia the teachings of Bhakti-yoga had been concealed within Sanskrit and Indian vernacular languages, and the rich culture of Bhakti had been hidden behind the borders of India. Today, millions around the globe express their gratitude to Srila Prabhupada for revealing the timeless wisdom of Bhakti to a world immersed in a materialistic and self-destructive ethos.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada passed away on November 14, 1977, in the holy town of Vrindavan, surrounded by his loving disciples who carry on his mission today.


Hare Krishna Movie.mp4


The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), also more famously known as the "Hare Krishna movement" is a global spiritual society founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in July of 1966 in New York. 

ISKCON belongs to the Brahma-Madhava-Gaudiya-Vaishnava lineage, an authentic monotheistic lineage within the Vedic culture. Today ISKCON comprises of more than 800 temples, rural communities, educational institutions and vegetarian restaurants worldwide. The Society is also at the forefront in humanitarian efforts internationally, particularly through its charitable food distribution operation known as “Food for Life”, which is the largest plant-based food relief program in the world.

The aim of ISKCON is to acquaint people from all walks of life with the universal principles of self-realization and God consciousness so that they may derive the highest benefit of spiritual understanding, unity and peace. The Vedic literature recommends that in the present age known as Kali-yuga, the most effective means of achieving spiritual success is to always hear about, glorify, and remember the all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Therefore, it recommends the chanting of the Holy Names of God, particularly through the maha or great mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. This sublime chanting puts the chanter directly in touch with the Supreme Lord through the transcendental sound vibration of His Holy Name.

ISKCON follows the essential teachings of the Vedas and Vedic scriptures, including the Bhagavad-gita as well as the cream of Vedanta philosophy, the Srimad Bhagavatam, which teaches pure, unalloyed devotion to God in His Supreme Personal aspect of Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

These teachings are received through the preceptorial line known as the Brahma-Madhav-Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya. ISKCON is part of the disciplic succession which started with Lord Krishna Himself and continued with Brahma, Srila Vyasadeva, Srila Madhavacharya, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and in the present day His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his followers.

ISKCON’s teachings are non-sectarian, following the principle of sanatana dharma or eternal religion, which denotes the eternal activity of all living beings – loving devotional service (bhakti-yoga) to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a worldwide organisation dedicated to preserving and sharing India’s authentic and traditional spiritual culture. Colloquially known in Australia as the “Hare Krishnas”, the Society has been well established in Sydney for more than fifty years and has become renowned for its community outreach and charitable causes.

ISKCON Sydney has the grand legacy of being the first Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre to be established in Australia (at Potts Point in May 1970). In North Sydney, the Temple has always been an important, active, and all-inclusive community hub since beginning operations in the area in 1984. Being the only established Hindu Temple on the North Shore, a great majority of ISKCON Sydney’s congregation comes from local areas.

For forty years, ISKCON Sydney has been serving the North Sydney and neighbouring communities through its wide range of initiatives such as:

• Daily free food distribution charity

• Educating students through organised visits by local schools and universities

• Seminars and yoga workshops focusing on physical health and mental wellbeing

• Scriptural classes, youth groups, Sunday School, and choir assemblies 

• Running a range of public festivals to promote culture and harmony

• Performance of traditional Hindu rituals and Deity Worship practices which attracts people from all backgrounds

Historically, ISKCON Sydney began in North Sydney with a handful of dedicated monks and resident volunteers but over the last four decades it has expanded to include a sizable, culturally diverse and vibrant congregational base. 


Bhakti Yoga and Deity Worship

In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna establishes Bhakti Yoga as the pre-eminent yoga system to be able to understand Him (BG As It Is 18.55). Bhakti is the natural expression of the soul in its eternal relationship with God - this is expressed through loving devotional service to the Supreme Person. 

As we are persons, similarly God is the original Person and when we engage all our facilities in the service and pleasure of Krishna, we reach the pinnacle of all spiritual endeavours. 

Currently we spirit souls are embodied within matter and so Krishna agrees to manifest Himself in a form made of the material elements, this most merciful form of Krishna is known as the "archa-vigraha" or the deity form. Although the deity appears to be made of matter, He is in fact completely spiritual in nature. Just as the energetic Sun and its energy the sunshine are inseparable, similarly, the Supreme Energetic Person Sri Krishna can agree to manifest Himself within His material energy as the archa-vigraha avatar. In this way the devotee in Bhakti Yoga re-establishes his or her relationship with the Personal form of God through the loving worship of the Deity. This is done in a variety of ways such as bathing and dressing the Deity, cooking and offering food to the Deity, performing Arati for the Deity, bringing gifts and donations for the Deity and much more.


The most beautiful and merciful Deities of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath were installed by Srila Prabhupada himself in the ISKCON Sydney Temple (then in Paddington) on 10 May 1971. The name "Gopinath" refers to Lord Krishna who is the enchanter and master of His most beloved devotees, the cowherd girls of Vrindavan.

Sri Sri Radha Gopinath were personally carried by Srila Prabhupada and his disciple Vegavan Das in their hands from a flight from Mumbai to Sydney via Malaysia in early May 1971. Prior to coming to Australia, They were the cynosure at an ISKCON Pandal Program in Mumbai where more than 10,000 people would daily take darshan of Them. 

Between 1971 to the present day, under varying circumstances, our beautiful Radha Gopinath have presided over a total of 11 ISKCON Sydney temples until finally settling themselves at Their present location in North Sydney on 18 March 1992, the day of Gaura Purnima. Over the decades They have been cared for and served by hundreds of thousands of devotees through a multitude of services. For over fifty years, They have been offered a total of six aratis and food offerings every day beginning at 4:30 AM until 9:00 PM. Their auspicious presence in Sydney has allowed so many sincere souls to take to the path of Bhakti and perfect their lives in Krishna Consciousness. We pray to the All-Merciful Sri Sri Radha Gopinath to kindly shower Their blessings upon all who come to see Them and serve Them with love. All glories to Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha!