International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

This profile was last updated in 2003

History

In 1974 Atlanta the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) began to rent out an old house in a then disintegrating neighborhood near the Little Five Points community. This old house (a former fraternity house) has since been renovated. The temple worship space occupies the bottom floor while small apartments for male devotees living on the property are located upstairs. In the late 1970s the community was able to purchase the original house as well as two neighboring houses on either side. One of these houses is occupied by female devotees as well as houseguests or visitors. This home also contains a shrine to ISKCON founder Swami Prabhupada, who visited the community in 1975. During his visit to Atlanta he stayed in the master bedroom of this home, and out of respect the devotees chose to transform this room into a shrine. To this day the room remains in the same condition in which he left it. Currently there are about 12-15 devotees living on the property. In the 1980s a small kitchen and restaurant were attached to the building, which are currently used by devotees.

Activities and Schedule

Daily Worship: 4:30 a.m., 5 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.; Classes and Weekly Worship: Sunday love feast: 5-6:30 p.m. (free vegetarian meal served at 6:30); Bhagavad Gita class: Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, 7-7:45 p.m.; Srimad Bhagavatam Class: Monday-Sunday, 7:30-8:15 a.m.; Fellowship Dinner: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ($5 donation).; Bhajan (Devotional music and song) classes: Thursday, 7-7:45 p.m.; Srila Prabhupada Super Saturday: First Saturday of every month, 6:30 p.m. (free vegetarian feast follows). For the complete current schedule, visit their website (see above). In addition a number of Hindu holidays are celebrated, including the annual Ratha Yatra festival (Festival of Chariots). In Atlanta this day is celebrated in June and is commemorated by a local parade lead by the Krishna devotees.

Demographics

The Atlanta ISKCON community is truly multicultural. While many members are of South Asian descent, many others are of African, Western European, or South American descent. The current president is African-American. In addition, a number of devotees affiliated with other international Hare Krishna temples can be found in Atlanta, including devotees from India, Peru, and Nigeria. Research conducted by Celia Arch