Appreciation of ISKCON
The Hare Krishna movement arose out of next to nothing in less than twenty years and has become known all over the West. This is an important fact in the history of the Western world … for the first time since the days of the Roman Empire, an Asian religion is being openly practiced by people of western origin in the streets of western cities.
– Dr. A.L. Basham; Eminent scholar of Hinduism, Author of A Cultural History of India
The ISKCON movement has few parallels in the world in terms of its rapid global spread, its trans-national, trans-ethnic, and trans-professional appeal, its outward simplicity, and the devotional energy of its followers. In the less than three and a half decades since its inception it has established temples in practically all parts of the world, and many of them are marvels of beauty, such as the one that is being opened in New Delhi today. The maha-mantra of Hare Krishna Hare Rama reverberates to the dancing feet of ISKCON devotees each morning and evening in temples from Stockholm to Sao Paulo and from Miami to Mäyäpur. What ISKCON has achieved is indeed globalization of the Gita appeal.
– Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Former Prime Minister of India
Guess again if you think Bollywood, or Indian writing in English, is the country’s biggest cultural export. You may not come across any of these if you visit Cochabamba in Bolivia or Gaborone in Botswana, what you will find instead is a centre of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) … It is easy to see where the Krishna movement’s global appeal lies. In the midst of today’s impersonal institutions and vast bureaucratic collectivities, it promises an intimate relationship with a personal god.
– Times of India editorial, Jan 6, 2006
Appreciation of Srila Prabhupada:
He was a genuine holy person with enormous integrity and compassion, and he had a powerful impact on those who met him. He never claimed authority and respect for himself; what he said and did was always in the name of Krishna… It (Srila Prabhupada’s life-story) is an astonishing story. If someone told you a story like this, you wouldn’t believe it. Here’s this person, he’s seventy years old, he’s going to a country where he’s never been before, he doesn’t know anybody there, he has no money, has no contacts. He has none of the things, you would say, that make for success. He’s going to recruit people not on any systematic basis, but just picking up whomever he comes across and he’s going to give them responsibility for organizing a worldwide movement. You’d say, ‘What kind of program is that?’ There are precedents perhaps. Jesus of Nazareth went around saying, ‘Come follow me. Drop your nets, or leave your tax collecting, and come with me and be my disciple.’ But in his case, he wasn’t an old man in a strange society dealing with people whose backgrounds were totally different from his own. He was dealing with his own community. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s achievement, then, must be seen as unique”
– Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins, Chairman, Department of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Appreciation of ISKCON’s global Food for Life program:
Here they [the Hare Krishnas] have a reputation like the one Mother Teresa has in Calcutta: it’s not hard finding someone to swear they are saints…
– The New York Times, “Grozny Journal”