The Formulation of ISKM
The International Sri Krishna Mandir (ISKM) has its roots in Singapore. Sri Krishna Mandir (SKM) is the original name by which the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement has been operating in Singapore since 1997.
In 2006, we spread to Malaysia in a small way when we purchased a 4-acre land for a farm near a town called Kota Tinggi in the state of Johor. But it was only from 2011 that the expansion started to happen rapidly and the footprint of ISKM has expanded to more than 12 countries. On the 27th of June, 2016, the day after the grand and popular Ratha Yātrā celebration in Singapore, all the SKM leaders from our different countries assembled and we had our first international meeting.
In that meeting, we decided that we would rename ourselves as International Sri Krishna Mandir as we have become truly international. The legal names of our societies in all our countries of operation were not going to change (at least not immediately) but we added the word International to celebrate our international presence in the service of Śrīla Prabhupāda. The formulation of this website iskm.international was also one of the points of discussion. This website would showcase news and philosophical articles from all our different temples across our ever-increasing spectrum of countries.
Our Two-Fold Mission
International Sri Krishna Mandir (ISKM) conglomerate of temples represents the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement as presented by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda to the modern world following the instructions of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the great and sacred book called the Bhagavad-gītā.
Our mission at ISKM is two-fold:
- To propagate the science and practice of pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this world for the ultimate benefit of the entire humanity at all levels of consciousness namely physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual.
- To offer a viable alternative to ISKCON (International Society of Krishna Consciousness), the original movement started by Śrīla Prabhupāda but which is now infested with scandals and malpractices of pseudo-followers owing to their disobedience and non-allegiance to Śrīla Prabhupāda, its Founder-Acarya, and his sacred instructions. The ultimate aim is to reform and revive ISKCON to its original glory.
Our Mission, Part 1 — Propagation of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the original eternal consciousness of every living entity. But due to being embroiled in material existence since time immemorial, we have forgotten our real identity and have been struggling in different bodies one after another.
We may point out countless problems in this material world but actually they are only symptoms of the real problem — the material body. All the welfare activities of this world aim to alleviate the bodily pains but they do not address the problem at its root. The soul needs to be liberated from material existence altogether and reinstated back home, back in the kingdom of Godhead to live a life of eternity, knowledge and complete bliss in His company. Then all problems will automatically cease for good.
Moreover, a significant positive side effect of the development of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is that one can attain peace in all spheres of interaction viz. individual, familial, communal, racial, national and international. This is made possible by understanding that God or Kṛṣṇa is the centre or root of all existence and by reviving our eternal loving relationship with Him. If we relate to each other through the via medium of Kṛṣṇa, real peace can easily be achieved.
We offer to share this sublime culture of Kṛṣṇa consciousness to one and all through many facets —
- Congregational chanting of the holy names of Kṛṣṇa (saṅkīrtana);
- Distribution of transcendental literatures to humanity through a variety of outreach programs in order to spread the spiritual science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness;
- To disseminate the most sublime Kṛṣṇa conscious philosophy as revealed in the sacred scriptures such as Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad Bhāgavatam through the available technological means.
- Distributing sumptuous Kṛṣṇa prasādam, pure vegetarian that is food offered to Lord Kṛṣṇa to one and all; (Honestly, most people get attracted to this first)
- Conducting festivals to commemorate the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa and thus giving chance to thousands of people to engage in devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa;
- Introducing the sublime process of Deity worship which is a perfect form of meditation on the Supreme Lord.
We offer all the above-mentioned and many other services mainly through our lively temple programs and, lately, the Internet. You can get in touch with the branch of ISKM that is nearest to you and thus make positive steps towards solving all problems of life in one stroke.
Our Mission, Part 2 — Offering a Viable Alternative to ISKCON
ISKCON stands for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. It is the great society that was started and nurtured by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda from 1966 to 1977 during his manifest presence in this world. Its institution marked a historic moment in the entire history of Vaiṣṇavism in kali-yuga. For the first time, the treasure house of Kṛṣṇa consciousness crossed the borders of India and was made available to all the people of the entire planet. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, being a confidential associate of Lord Caitanya, made it possible. After his disappearance on the 14th of November, 1977, the sanctity of the movement depended very much on the integrity of his disciples and their adherence to his sacred instructions.
Unfortunately, soon after Śrīla Prabhupāda’s departure, his disciples disobeyed him and tried to usurp his position by becoming so-called spiritual masters being neither qualified nor authorized by him to do so. We have covered this topic of initiations after 1977 extensively on a dedicated page on this website.
What followed was a dark history that continues to this day. Devotees are not being allowed to become disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda as was ordered by him but are being made to surrender to conditioned souls of questionable character. Reforms have been attempted over the last two decades by discussing it with the upper echelons of ISKCON management but they are hell bent upon disobeying the orders of Śrīla Prabhupāda. So we realized that there was no use in persuading them to change anymore.
But there are so many devotees out there who see the deviation in ISKCON and who are compromising their viewpoint in order not to lose their devotional service in the temple or are staying away either owing to being ostracized by ISKCON or by just being unable to live with them owing to a difference of opinion.
Then there are others, who are already operating their own preaching centres or are willing to operate either alone or with a small group of devotees. As of now, there is not much of a coordinated effort amongst most of these preaching groups as they all are in nascent stages of growth and scattered all over the planet. There are numerous societies scattered in many parts of the world that are preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness in their own scales. But sometimes, it can be really discouraging if we are fighting it all alone. An association of like-minded devotees is always a source of great spiritual strength and inspiration.
We, at International Sri Krishna Mandir (ISKM) aim to conduct organized preaching of Kṛṣṇa consciousness as per Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions. Although currently miniscule in comparison to the scale of ISKCON, we have full-fledged temples in various countries running cooperatively under one umbrella, just as Śrīla Prabhupāda wanted. Our aim is to facilitate cooperation between the followers of Śrīla Prabhupāda (Prabhupādānugas).
In other words, our humble attempt is to provide a viable alternative to present-day deviated ISKCON for devotees who have the greatest respect and a feeling of deep gratitude for Śrīla Prabhupāda. In this way, devotees can peacefully continue with devotional service in the association of like-minded devotees and also be initiated duly by Śrīla Prabhupāda through his rtvik representative.
Having said that, we have been observing another class of so-called Prabhupādānugas who just want to run away from any sort of authority and stay alone in the pretext of not associating with deviants but at the same time do not adhere entirely to the instructions laid down by Śrīla Prabhupāda or even desire to associate with devotees doing so. They do not attempt to actively engage in propagating Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Their character is often questionable and they are often found to be very vicious towards real Prabhupādānugas who are doing the fieldwork of preaching. They may sometimes come even in the shape of “senior devotees.” At ISKM, we pray that Lord Kṛṣṇa give them good intelligence and we steer clear from them.
To conclude, it is our greatest desire to join back with ISKCON if they become honest and are willing to follow Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instruction on the system of initiations he set up but until then we will operate in a parallel fashion having no other recourse.