Purposes of the Back to Godhead

  1. To help all people discern reality from illusion, spirit from matter, the eternal from the temporary.
  2. To expose the faults of materialism.
  3. To offer guidance in the Vedic techniques of spiritual life.
  4. To preserve and spread the Vedic culture.
  5. To celebrate the chanting of the holy names of God as taught by Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
  6. To help every living being remember and serve Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


History of the Magazine !

On February 14, 1944, a group of devotees gathered to celebrate the appearance day of their spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura (1874-1937). He had ordered Abhay Charan (Srila Prabhupada), almost a decade ago, to spread Krishna consciousness in English. Srila Prabhupada, then started an English magazine he would later refer to as the beginning of his spiritual life.

"From his front room at 6 Sita Kanta Banerjee, Abhay conceived, wrote, edited, and typed the manuscript for a magazine. He designed a logo, a long rectangle across the top of the page. In the upper left-hand corner was a figure of Lord Chaitanya, effulgent with rays of light like rays from the sun. In the lower right were silhouettes of a crowd of people, in darkness but groping to receive light from Lord Chaitanya. And between Lord Chaitanya and the people, the title unfurled like a banner—BACK TO GODHEAD. In the lower right corner was a picture of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati seated at his writing, looking up thoughtfully as he composed. Above the logo ran the motto 'Godhead is Light, Nescience is darkness. Where there is Godhead there is no Nescience.'" - Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta, a six-volume biography by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami


Initial logo was hand drawn by Srila Prabhupada in 1944

Srila Prabhupada's purity and scholarship are now well known, and he is known for his books, his disciples, and his lifetime of devotion. But when he began Back to Godhead, few knew of his spiritual gifts, and fewer still came forward to help him.

In fact, between 1944 and 1960 Srila Prabhupada published most of the issues almost single-handedly. The magazine then was a tabloid—one sheet folded in half, making four pages of type. Srila Prabhupada wrote nearly all the articles, oversaw the printing, and sold or gave out every copy (one thousand per issue), mostly by approaching people on the street. Producing Back to Godhead was a struggle. In the very beginning, after Prabhupada had selected a printer and a distributor, he was denied paper. Because of World War II, India had a paper shortage. Srila Prabhupada persisted, however, and finally received permission to print his first issue—forty-four pages.In 1965 Srila Prabhupada traveled to the United States and opened the first center of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), in New York City. Soon after, in October of 1966, he relaunched Back to Godhead. Srila Prabhupada gave the job of writing and publishing Back to Godhead to his first American disciples. The early issues were printed on a mimeograph machine Prabhupada bought secondhand from a country club in Queens. Setting a lofty goal, Srila Prabhupada told his disciples they should work hard and make BTG as popular as Time, Life, or Reader's Digest.

14 Feb 2019 marks the Platinum Anniversary of the Back To Godhead magazine !

Back to Godhead, color magazine, covers all aspects of the philosophy and practice of Krishna consciousness as taught by Sri Krishna and later introduced to the western world by Srila Prabhupada. Some recurring features include lectures by Srila Prabhupada, tours of Indian holy places, interviews with Hare Krishna devotees. Krishna conscious perspectives on issues of the day, excerpts from Vedic scriptures, and tips on practicing spiritual life in the modern age.