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Our teachers


A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977), is widely regarded as the worlds pre-eminent exponent of the teachings and practices of Bhakti-yoga to the Western world. He is the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

Born Abhay Charan De on September 1, 1896, in Calcutta, as a youth he became involved with Mahatma Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement. It was, however, a meeting with a prominent scholar and spiritual leader, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, which proved most influential on young Abhay’s future calling. Upon their first meeting Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, who represented an ancient tradition of Bhakti (devotional yoga), asked Abhay to bring the teachings of Krishna to the English-speaking world. From birth, Abhay had been raised in a family devoted to Krishna – the name meaning the all-attactive, all-loving Lord. Deeply moved by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s devotion and wisdom, Abhay became his disciple and dedicated himself to carrying out his mentor’s request. But it wasn’t until 1965, at the age of seventy, that he would set off on his mission to the West.

Bill W. founder and co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. 1895-1971

The 12 steps are mutual aid organisations for the purpose of recovery from substance addictions, behavioural addictions and compulsions. Developed in the 1930s, the first twelve-step program, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), aided its membership to overcome alcoholism. Since that time dozens of other organisations have been derived from AA's approach to address problems as varied as drug addiction, compulsive gambling and overeating. All twelve-step programs utilize a version of AA's suggested twelve steps first published in the 1939 book Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism.

As summarised by the American Psychological Association (APA), the process involves the following:

  • admitting that one cannot control one's alcoholism, addiction or compulsion;

  • coming to believe in a Higher Power that can give strength;

  • examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experienced member);

  • making amends for these errors;

  • learning to live a new life with a new code of behaviour;

  • helping others who suffer from the same alcoholism, addictions or compulsions.

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