ISKCON Incorporated in New York City, 1966

Srila Prabhupada in New York (early days)

Incorporation of ISKCON

Today marks the auspicious 50th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s incorporation of ISKCON New York, in 1966. To honor this special day we have re-posted a very nice article which appeared yesterday on the Sampradaya Sun entitled “Incorporation of ISKCON”, we have posted the “Certificate on Incorporation”, as well as a very timely verse and purport from the Srimad Bhagavatam. Some of the purport follows…

…A devotee is equipoised. He sees everyone on the same transcendental platform. A devotee knows that although a conditioned soul has a particular type of body according to his past fruitive activities, factually everyone is part of the Supreme Lord. A devotee sees all living entities with spiritual vision and does not discriminate on the platform of the bodily concept of life. Such qualities develop only in the association of devotees. Without the association of devotees, one cannot advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore, we have established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Factually, whoever lives in this society automatically develops Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Devotees are dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is only dear to devotees. On this platform only can one make progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Persons in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or devotees of the Lord, can please everyone, as is evident in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. (from purport SB 4.12.37)

 

ISKCON 50th anniversary

Incorporation of ISKCON

Jul 26, 2016 — CANADA (SUN) — July 27th is the observance day of the auspicious anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s incorporation of ISKCON New York, in 1966.

In 1966, Srila Prabhupada began chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra under a tree in New York’s Tompkins Square Park, thereby inaugurating the western advance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s glorious Sankirtana movement. On July 13th, 1966 Srila Prabhupada incorporated ISKCON New York, and in Autumn of 1966 he established the ISKCON Press, which clearly demonstrated his emphasis on the importance of publishing and distributing his authorized books. Since that time, many millions of his books have been distributed throughout the world, translated into many different languages.

“We shall call our society I.S.K.C.O.N.”, Srila Prabhupada said with great pleasure when he first coined the acronym for the International Society of Krishna Consciousness. ‘Krishna Consciousness’ was Srila Prabhupada’s rendering of a phrase from Srila Rupa Goswami’s Padyavali:

krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita
“To be absorbed in the mellow taste
of executing devotional service to Krsna’.”

“He had initiated the legal work of incorporation that spring, while still living on the Bowery, but even before its legal beginning, he had been talking about his “International Society for Krishna Consciousness”, and so it had appeared in letters to India and in “The Village Voice” (newspaper). A friend had suggested a title that would sound more familiar to Westerners “International society for God Consciousness”. But ‘God’ was a vague term, whereas ‘Krishna’ was exact and scientific; ‘God Consciousness’ was spiritually weaker, less personal. And if Westerners didn’t know or understand that Krishna was God, then the ‘International Society for Krishna Consciousness’ would tell them, by spreading His glories ‘in every town and village’.

“Your Ever Well-wisher”, page 45-47

Within ISKCON’s Articles of Incorporation, Srila Prabhupada included seven points quite similar to those presented in his prospectus for The League of Devotees, which he founded in Jhansi, India in 1954.

Seven Purposes of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
(a) To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all peoples in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of the values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.

(b) To propagate a consciousness of Krishna, as it is revealed in the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.

(c) To bring the members of the society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus to develop the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the Quality of Godhead (Sri Krishna).

(d) To teach and encourage the ‘sankirtan’ movement, congregational chanting of the Holy Names of God as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

(e) To erect for the members and for society at large, a Holy place of transcendental pastimes, dedicated to the personality of Krishna.

(f) To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life.

(g) With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.

More than ten years after the date of his ISKCON New York Incorporation, Srila Prabhupada was still emphasizing the meaning and intention behind his society’s name. During an evening darshan in Tehran, Srila Prabhupada said:

“If you want to know Krsna, then you have to know from the persons who are dealing with Krsna. That’s all. They have no other business. Our Krsna consciousness movement means we are dealing with Krsna. That’s all. We’re writing books, so many books for Krsna. We are preaching and going country to country. We simple deal with Krsna. Therefore the movement is known as “Krsna consciousness.” Somebody suggested “Why don’t you write ‘God consciousness’?” No, if I say “God consciousness,” they’ll bring so many gods. It is very simple. If we take it seriously, then benefit is there. But if we hesitate, it is our misfortune.”

Text pasted from Sampradaya Sun

iskcon

CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION
OF
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, INC.

(Pursuant to the Religious Corporation Law of the State of New York)
We, the undersigned, for the purpose of forming a corporation pursuant to the Religious Corporation Law of the State of New York, do hereby make, subscribe and acknowledge this certificate as follows:
FIRST: The name of the corporation shall be INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, INC.
SECOND: The purposes for which the corporation is organized are:
(a) To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all peoples in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.
(b) To propagate a consciousness of Krishna as it is revealed in the Bhagawat Gita and Srimad Bhagawatam.
(c) To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, and thus to develop the idea, within the members, and humanity, at largo, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).
(d), To teach and encourage the Samkirtan movement congregational chanting of the holy name of God as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
To erect for the members, and for society at large, a holy place of transcendental pastimes, dedicated to the personality of Krishna.
(f) To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life.
(g) With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.
THIRD: The corporation shall have the power, either directly or indirectly, either alone or in conjunction or cooperation with others, to do any and all lawful acts and things and to engage in any and all lawful activities which may be necessary, useful, suitable, desirable, or proper for the furtherance, accomplishment, fostering, or attainment of any or all of the purposes for which the corporation is organized, and to aid or assist other organizations whose activities are such as to further, accomplish, foster, or attain any of such purposes. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the corporation shall exercise only such powers as are in furtherance of the exempt purposes of organizations set forth in Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and its Regulations as the same now exist or as they may be hereafter amended from time to time.
FOURTH: The corporation is not organized for profit, and no part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. In the event of the liquidation or dissolution of the corporation, whether voluntary or involuntary, no member shall be entitled to any distribution or division of its remaining property or its proceeds, and the balance of all money and other property received by the corporation from any source, after the payment of all debts and obligations of the corporation, shall be used or distributed, subject to the order of the Supreme Court of the State of New York as provided by law, exclusively for purposes within those set forth in Article SECOND of this certificate and within the intendment of Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and its Regulations as the same now exist or as they may be hereafter amended from time to time.
FIFTH: The operations of the corporation are to be conducted principally within the State of New York.
SIXTH: The principal place of worship of this Society is intended to be located at No. 26 Second Avenue in the City, County and State of New York.
SEVENTH: The number of trustees of the Society shall be nine.
EIGHTH: The names and addresses of the trustees until the first annual meeting of the corporation are as follows:
NAME ADDRESS
MICHAEL GRANT 110 Bowery, New York, N. Y.
JAN OSLUND 110 Bowery, New York,.N. Y.
JAMES S. GREENE 324 East 6th Street, New York, N. Y.
The names and addresses of the trustees until the second annual meeting of the corporation are as follows:
NAME ADDRESS
PAUL GARDINER 38 East 76th Street, New York, N. Y.
DONALD W. CHAPDELAINE 26 Second Avenue, New York, N. Y.
RAYMOND MARAIS 26 Second Avenue, New York, N. Y.
The names and addresses of the trustees until the third annual meeting of the corporation are as follows:
NAME ADDRESS
KARL YEARGENS 218 Centre Street, New York, N. Y.
RAPHAEL BALSAM 26 Second Avenue, New York, N. Y.
ROBERT LEFKOWITZ 1847 49th Street, Brooklyn, N. Y.
NINTH: The first annual meeting for the annual election of trustees shall be held on July 6, 1967, at 7:00 P.M. at No. 26 Second Avenue, in the City, County and State of New York.
TENTH: The matters set forth in paragraphs FIRST through EIGHTH of this certificate were determined at a meeting held for that purpose pursuant to Section 192 of the Religious Corporation Law on July 6, 1966 at No. 26 Second Avenue in the City, County and State of New York. Said meeting was held pursuant to due written notice as provided in Section 191 of the Religious Corporation Law.
ELEVENTH: All of the subscribers to this certificate are of full age and all are members in good and regular standing of the church seeking incorporation through the filing of this certificate by admission with full membership therein in accordance with the rules and regulations thereof.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF we have made, subscribed, and acknowledged this certificate of incorporation this 13th day of July, 1966.
[signed:] A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Carol Bekar, Raymond Marais
STATE OF NEW ‘YORK) SS:
COUNTY OF NEW YORK)
On the 13th day of July, 1966 before me personally came A. C. BHAKTIVEDANTA, SWAMI, RAYMOND MARAIS and CAROL BEKAR to me known and known to me to be the individuals described in and who executed the foregoing certificate of incorporation and they severally acknowledged to me that they severally executed the same.
STEVEN J. GOLDSMITH
NOTARY PUBLIC, STATE OF NEW YORK
NO. 81-1489875
Qualified in New York County
Commission Expires March 30, 1967
STATE OF NEW YORK )
SS:
COUNTY OF NEW YORK )
STEVEN J. GOLDSMITH, being duly sworn, deposes and says: That he maintains an office for the practice of law at Two Park Avenue, Borough of Manhattan, City and State of New York; that he is the attorney for the subscribers to the annexed certificate of incorporation of INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, INC.; that he has made diligent search of the records of the Clerk of the County of New York, and as revealed by such search, that no prior corporation with the same or similar name as INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, INC. has filed a certificate of incorporation in New York County. [handwritten:] The undersigned affirms this made under penalty of perjury.
[signed:] Steven J. Goldsmith

Text pasted from; Prabhupada Books

Tomskins Square Park

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Four, Chapter 12, Text 37

śāntāḥ sama-dṛśaḥ śuddhāḥ
sarva-bhūtānurañjanāḥ
yānty añjasācyuta-padam
acyuta-priya-bāndhavāḥ

śāntāḥ—peaceful; sama-dṛśaḥ—equipoised; śuddhāḥ—cleansed, purified; sarva—all; bhūta—living entities; anurañjanāḥ—pleasing; yānti—go; añjasā—easily; acyuta—of the Lord; padam—to the abode; acyuta-priya—with devotees of the Lord; bāndhavāḥ—friends.
TRANSLATION

Persons who are peaceful, equipoised, cleansed and purified, and who know the art of pleasing all other living entities, keep friendship only with devotees of the Lord; they alone can very easily achieve the perfection of going back home, back to Godhead.

PURPORT

The description of this verse fully indicates that only devotees are eligible to enter into the kingdom of Godhead. The first point stated is that devotees are peaceful, for they have no demands for their personal sense gratification. They are simply dedicated to the service of the Lord. Karmīs cannot be peaceful because they have immense demands for sense gratification. As for jñānīs, they cannot be peaceful because they are too busy trying to attain liberation or merge into the existence of the Supreme. Similarly, yogīs are also restless to get mystic power. But a devotee is peaceful because he is fully surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thinks of himself as completely helpless; just as a child feels complete peace in depending on the parent, so a devotee is completely peaceful, for he depends on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

A devotee is equipoised. He sees everyone on the same transcendental platform. A devotee knows that although a conditioned soul has a particular type of body according to his past fruitive activities, factually everyone is part of the Supreme Lord. A devotee sees all living entities with spiritual vision and does not discriminate on the platform of the bodily concept of life. Such qualities develop only in the association of devotees. Without the association of devotees, one cannot advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore, we have established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Factually, whoever lives in this society automatically develops Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Devotees are dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is only dear to devotees. On this platform only can one make progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Persons in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or devotees of the Lord, can please everyone, as is evident in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We invite everyone, without discrimination; we request everyone to sit down and chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and take as much prasāda as we can supply, and thus everyone is pleased with us. This is the qualification. Sarva-bhūtānurañjanāḥ. As for purification, no one can be more pure than devotees. Anyone who once utters the name of Viṣṇu immediately becomes purified, inside and outside (yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam). Since a devotee constantly chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, no contamination of the material world can touch him. He is, therefore, actually purified. Muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. It is said that even a cobbler or person born in the family of a cobbler can be elevated to the position of a brāhmaṇa (śuci) if he takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Any person who is purely Kṛṣṇa conscious and who engages in chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is the purest in the whole universe.

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