Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus? 1 Powerful secret behind this mission.

What is ISKCON

Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus? : ISKCON is a global spiritual organization dedicated to spreading the teachings of Lord Krishna. Founded in 1966 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, ISKCON has grown into a worldwide movement. The organization focuses on promoting bhakti yoga, the path of love and devotion to Krishna. ISKCON temples are known for their beautiful architecture and vibrant spiritual atmosphere. The Bhagavad Gita and other Vedic scriptures are studied and taught in ISKCON centers. ISKCON is also actively involved in various charitable and social welfare activities. Kirtan, the devotional chanting of Krishna’s holy names, is an integral part of ISKCON’s spiritual practices.

Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?

  • Young individuals leaving their careers and homes to become sadhus in ISKCON, prompted by a mix of memorizing spiritual texts and disillusionment with modern life.
  • Questions arise about whether ISKCON is influencing these decisions significantly or if these individuals are choosing the sadhu lifestyle independently without proper counseling or family involvement.
  • Concerns about lack of communication and counseling with parents or guardians and the abrupt decision-making process among these young followers.
Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?
Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus? , Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?

Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?

The founder of ISKCON

  • ISKCON, initiated by a chemistry graduate turned spiritual leader in the 1920s, aimed to spread Krishna’s teachings globally.
  • Within three decades, ISKCON established over 2-25 centers across 60 countries, intensifying its mission seriously.
  • Devotees adopted Indian clothing, chanting Krishna’s names in public spaces, exemplifying their commitment to the movement.
  • ISKCON is engaging young individuals in a unique education model blending Hindu religious teachings with modern education.
  • Their specialized curriculum, exemplified by schools like Skand School, intertwines Hindu religion with contemporary subjects.


  • Despite criticisms about ISKCON’s approach being similar to a business model, their fusion of modern education with Hinduism is gaining popularity rapidly.
  • ISKCON schools offer a mix of regular education and religious teachings.
  • Parents can choose between Sunday schools, online programs, or traditional schooling.
  • Students can pursue two paths within ISKCON as Brahmacharis or householders.
  • Some individuals living within temple premises adhere strictly to temple rules, including shaving their heads and wearing specific attire.
Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?
Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus? , Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus? , Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?

Society of ISKCON

  • ISKCON has a residential society allowing followers freedom, including marriage, and conducts non-residency programs for non-devotees to engage in Krishna consciousness until 800 AM.
  • These programs offer a chance for non-devotees to participate in Krishna consciousness within their normal schedules, attending lectures and more.
  • Teaching sessions from 400 PM to 800 PM, allowing individuals to continue their regular duties afterward.
  • Introduces the concept of “God life balance,” enabling people to connect with spirituality without drastically altering their daily routines.
  • The popularity of the Krishna Consciousness model stems from its ability to facilitate spiritual connections without major lifestyle changes.

Incorporation of devine consciousness

  • ISKCON is incorporating Krishna consciousness into normal life, operating as a religious institution generating employment and offering salaries to its devotees based on market standards.
  • It stands out as a religious setup that provides a high degree of flexibility to its devotees, allowing them to engage without rigid constraints.
  • An example cited is of a Mexican doctor who became an ISKCON follower after reading a book, showcasing the organization’s wide appeal and impact beyond cultural boundaries
  • ISKCON introduces young people to Bhakti Krishna devotion through the Bhagavad Gita, involving devotees who provide clear instructions to sell books and spread their message at various public places.
  • These interactions aim to create a positive impression on people, often happening in locations like railway stations, parks, and other public spaces, enabling devotees to convey Krishna Consciousness to a wider audience.
Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?
Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus? , Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?

The main purpose

  • The purpose is to reach Krishna-conscious individuals through specific interactions, utilizing these moments as opportunities to disseminate their message effectively.
  • ISKCON engages in a form of outreach known as “devotee interaction,” aimed at sharing messages without pushing for conversions.
  • The organization’s success in positive publicity is evident from its growth into a significant brand, even being recognized by institutions like Parul University and Cambridge University.
  • They’ve been invited to organize events, with individuals like Fin Yoang Sir and Non-Religious Guru being tracked as part of their outreach efforts, showcasing their influence.
  • ISKCON employs convenient worship methods, like Kirtan, involving singing and dancing in public spaces, to engage young individuals.
  • This approach fosters a sense of community and devotion, enabling the youth to establish a connection with Hare Krishna during routine activities.
  • Such practices have contributed to positive publicity and attracted the attention of young people, making ISKCON a prominent choice among youngsters.

How they attract young people

  • ISKCON attracts young people by offering unique religious practices that emphasize worship and fasting, unlike other religious practices that don’t require specific worship times or methods.
  • Participation in prayer becomes an active activity in itself within ISKCON, and fasting and devotion are seen as interesting and engaging.
  • Through its Life Initiation program, ISKCON engages volunteers, with around 1 million people visiting ISKCON temples daily for food under the Food for Life initiative.
  • ISKCON initiated a program after its founder saw children fighting over food with street dogs in 1978.
  • They aimed to ensure no child within the radius of their temples goes hungry, reaching 830,000 children daily through this initiative.
Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?
Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus? , Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?

What is ISKCON ?

  • This initiative has transformed ISKCON not only into a religious congregation but also into a recognized social service provider, attracting individuals to join ISKCON for its social service.
  • Devotees of ISKCON are motivated to become sadhus, citing examples of individuals like God Gopal Das, who left their professional lives to dedicate themselves to spiritual pursuits.
  • Leela Prabhu, inspired during 12th grade, abruptly left home to seek God, briefly joining ISKCON before returning to their previous life and pursuing a BE degree.
  • The allure of spiritual independence and unique personal reasons lead individuals to briefly explore the path of becoming sadhus within ISKCON before returning to their previous lives.
  • Young individuals disillusioned with conventional life paths sought fulfillment in spiritual pursuits within ISKCON.
  • They found a search for balance between material and spiritual life, abandoning former lifestyles.
  • ISKCON offers an environment for personal development and self-discovery beyond materialistic gains.

Answer seekers

  • Majority turn to their religion seeking answers to life’s questions, believing it’s the right place to find them.
  • Some believe they’ve found direct answers from Lord Chaitanya, now represented by ISKCON leaders.
  • Not finding answers in music is considered a matter of personal opinion; connecting with a religion to find answers creates a stronger bond.
  • SKCON, like followers of Chaitanya Prabhu, is seen by young people as a connecting bridge to a spiritual life, but upon becoming temple members, strict adherence to specific lifestyle choices becomes necessary.
Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?
Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus? , Why is ISKCON Making Young People Sadhus?

Joining the temple

  • Joining the temple requires adhering strictly to basic rules, including abstaining from certain activities like meat/fish consumption, avoiding intoxicants like tea and coffee, refraining from gambling, and limiting sexual activities only to procreation within marriage.
  • The attraction towards ISKCON lies in its representation as a spiritual guide but involves strict adherence to a prescribed lifestyle upon membership, which some find challenging.
  • ISKCON is engaging young people in a strict daily routine, involving prayer, temple-related activities, and Bhagavad Gita classes.
  • The schedule begins at 400 AM with a special prayer session until 830 AM, followed by breakfast and tasks related to the temple.
  • Afternoon includes lunch and attending Bhagavad Gita classes, while evenings involve recreational activities post a 700 PM Gita class.

Outcome of this

  • Young professionals leaving careers to become monks in ISKCON.
    – Potential indoctrination without counseling or family interaction.
    – Rapid global expansion of ISKCON centers within a few decades.
    – Schools integrating Hindu religion with modern education attract parents.
    – Affiliated schools and occasional religious teachings by ISKCON in education.
    – Options for remote learning through Sunday schools and online programs.
    – Two primary residential options within ISKCON for followers: temple living and colony-based living with marriage freedom.

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