The Importance of Congregational Development in ISKCON - ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry

The Importance of Congregational Development in ISKCON

The Importance of Congregational Development in ISKCON 

 I recently spoke with a dear friend who left ISKCON to join an evangelical movement. When I asked him why he made such a change, his answer was eye-opening. He said, “In my heart, Krsna will always be there, but I joined the evangelicals because I felt important, taken care of, and loved in their congregation.”

 What Is Congregation and Why Do We Need Them? 

According to the dictionary, a congregation is a gathering of people, especially for religious services. However, in the context of ISKCON, congregational development Ministry does not only involve outreach, education, and expansion. Most importantly, it involves community support, mutual help, and loving relationships. After all, we are all parts and parcels of Krsna. As our Founder Acharya Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada once said, “The entire world is full of living entities, but they have forgotten their relationship with God.”

The Ultimate Goal

In essence, the primary aim of the Congregational Development Ministry (CDM) is to create a stronger, united, and harmonious Krsna-conscious congregation. To put it vividly, when I think of a devotee congregation, the image that comes to my mind is that of the Ram Setu Bridge. The Vanaras were united with a single goal and purpose. Similarly, a strong devotee congregation can be compared to every single stone upon which the mighty Ram Setu Bridge was built. 

 Our Strengths and Challenges

  Our philosophy is superb, and our movement has many features that attract even the young. Yet, we face numerous challenges. One significant challenge is to control our false identifications of wanting to dominate nature, and instead develop humility. In the words of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, “Trinad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna” — more humble than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree. It is upon this cornerstone of humility that, like the Ram Setu Bridge, a strong and united devotee congregation will rise. 

In Summary

In the end, the same devotees we may overlook or even dislike today could very well be the ones standing next to our bed; chanting Hare Krsna for us, as we prepare to give up our bodies. It is this sense of community and mutual support that enriches our spiritual journey. Let’s come together to build that strong, harmonious congregation—each one of us serving as a foundational stone in this divine endeavor.

For this very purpose, the CDM was created and it is in our hands this transcendental responsibility of further developing this incredible work. We are here to serve wholeheartedly—with our capital, our love, and even our strength. After all, one of the fundamental principles of Krsna Consciousness is to protect Sri Guru and Sri Vaishnava, even at the cost of our own lives. 

Another foundational principle is that chanting and serving go hand in hand. It is through this harmonious blend that we develop ‘ruci’ (taste) for devotional service and become detached from the fleeting pleasures of material life. In the CDM, we deeply cherish chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, and we equally relish serving the devotees. Our team takes its service very seriously and by the mercy of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga, Srila Prabhupada, and the entire parampara, and for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, we are confident that we can create an exemplary, efficient, spiritually robust, and united worldwide Hare Krsna congregation. 

This is the ultimate stop on our evolutionary journey through material consciousness, as we facilitate the path back to Godhead for all devotees. To assist in this sacred journey, the CDM offers various online tools aimed at outreach, education, and community support. These include Bhakti Home, Bhakti Kids, Bhakti Steps, and the official CDM website—all of which currently need enriching content. We humbly request the worldwide devotee community to cooperate with us by contributing articles, videos, news reports, photos, and details of your congregational activities, such as programs, meetings, celebrations, realizations, anecdotes, and personal experiences, children programs, youth programs.

 Let’s build a united worldwide congregation.  Please send your material to and we will happily feature it on our platforms. In this way, everyone will have an opportunity to serve the cause of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. 

With deep appreciation for your kind assistance, we temporarily say goodbye. Yet, we continue to keep you updated on the development of our international Hare Krsna devotee congregations through our various websites. 

Om Tat Sat. 

Your humble servants in devotional service, The CDM Serving Team.

 All glory to Srila Prabhupada, to the parampara, to Sri Sri Radha Madhava, to Guru and Gauranga.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top