About Us

About Us

The Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir, situated in the Raman Reti area of Vrindavan, holds a special significance for the devotees of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This grand temple represents the fulfilled dream of Srila Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of ISKCON, who wished to construct a temple of unparalleled beauty for the worship of the transcendental brothers Krishna and Balaram in the same village where They played more than five thousand years ago. Srila Prabhupada directly oversaw all the aspects of design and construction and personally called the Lord to come and accept the worship of His devotees from around the world. He said, “Lord Balaram is the source of spiritual strength, and I have built this temple just to give strength to the devotees”.

Today, the Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir is a booming spiritual center. Every day of the week pilgrims flood in the gate in great numbers from all over the world. In fact, the large green government signs posted over the highway turn off to Vrindavan only give directions to two temples: Banke Bihari and ISKCON.

Visitors to the temple first pass under the brilliant white marble archway of Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi, an architectural wonder of winding peacock stairways and intricately carved walls and domes. They then enter through the gigantic wooden temple doors and find themselves transported to the spiritual world upon seeing the palace of Krishna Balaram with its sunken black and white checkered marble courtyard, beautified by a living tamal tree. The music of the kartals, mrdanga and sweet harmonium of the 24 hour kirtaniyas enters the heart, and everyone, young and old, spontaneously raise their arms and dance in ecstasy.

Ascending the courtyard steps, visitors approach the effulgent gorgeous forms of the source of all beauty, the presiding Lords Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Krishna Balaram and Radha Shyamasundar. Standing transfixed with open eyes and folded hands, pilgrims drink in the dazzling vision of the Lord, lovingly decorated with no consideration of expense or effort, truly a festival for the eyes.

This entire temple complex is a busy preaching powerhouse comprised of thirty departments including a guesthouse, welcome center, Samadhi museum, ten book stalls, bakery, restaurant, broadcast studio, residential Brahmacari ashram and a Deity department with one of the highest standards of worship in the world, engaging more than one hundred devotees directly in the seva everyday.

The History

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was founded in New York City in 1966 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who went to the western world with the mission of spreading the transcendental message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appearing as a devotee in this age of Kali. Being a part of the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya, one of the four vaishnava sampradayas, ISKCON comes in an authorized disciplic succession of great spiritual preceptors who have taught the science of self realization based on the teachings of the Bhagawat Gita and Srimad Bhagwatam.

The precepts and practices of ISKCON were taught and codified by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1532) along with His brother Nityananda Prabhu and six of His principle associates, the Goswamis of Vrindavana (Sanatana, Rupa, Jiva, Gopal Bhatta, Raghunatha Dasa and Raghunatha Bhatta).

The Bhagavad-gita, the principal scripture of The Hare Krishna Movement, is an eternal teaching, having Its’ written origins more than 5000-years ago, and before that time it was an oral tradition handed down from teacher to student from time immemorial.

Sri Chaitanya gave a powerful impetus for a massive bhakti (devotional) movement throughout India. Under His direction hundreds of volumes on the philosophy of Krishna consciousness were compiled. Many devotees followed in the preceptorial line of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu including in the 19th century an outstanding Vaishnava theologian, Bhaktivinoda Thakura (1838-1914) who brought Krishna consciousness to a modern audience by first sending a book on the Teachings of Lord Caitanya to McGill University in Canada in 1896. Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s son, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami (1874- 1937), became the guru of Srila Prabhupada (1896-1977) and instructed him to spread Krishna consciousness to the English speaking people of the West. On this order, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada took a perilous journey across the Atlantic Ocean to USA in 1965, and consequently started the most auspicious spiritual movement, The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, for the fulfillment of his guru’s desire. ISKCON quickly spread to the major cities of the whole world in a mere 11 years.