The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), otherwise known as the Hare Krishna Movement, includes over five hundred major centres, temples and rural communities worldwide, as well as nearly one hundred affiliated vegetarian restaurants, thousands of home meeting groups, a wide variety of community outreach and charity projects, and millions of international congregation members. Although founded only fifty years ago, ISKCON has expanded widely since its founding by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda in New York City in 1966.
ISKCON belongs to the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradāya, a monotheistic tradition within Vedic culture, originating in the Indian subcontinent over five thousand years ago. The Hare Krishna philosophy is based on authoritative Sanskrit texts known as Bhagavad-geeta and the Bhagavata Purana, or Srimad Bhagavatam. These historic texts outline the devotional path of serving and loving God, known as Bhakti yoga.