Ramayana Musical Premiers at West Liberty University
Mayapur Schoolchildren Put on Their Own Radhastami
A two-and-a-half hour musical production of India’s ancient epic the Ramayana entitled “Ramayana: Past in Present” premiered from August 25th to 28th in the Kelley Theater at West Liberty University, West Virginia, USA. Opening on Janmastami night with an auspicious 108 people in the audience, the musical carried students and faculty into a whole new world of culture, adventure and philosophy.
"Shadows of the Sun Dynasty" - A New Ramayana Book
“Mayapur is so huge, and so many pilgrims come for the main Radhastami celebration at the temple, that it’s not really a community celebration,” says parent and teacher Noam Hillel. “So we decided to hold our own festival the evening after the main one, with students, faculty, parents and all other community members who wanted to attend.” About fifty youth under eighteen worked hard to put on the festival, with boys and girls embarking on their own separate efforts and bringing them together on the day.
ISKCON Brahmapur’s Permanent Book Store at Railway Station for ISKCON 50
On August 27th, a new book, the first one in an illustrated series based on the Ramayana, entitled as Shadows of the Sun Dynasty, has been launched in front of hundreds of people in the audience at the Cofrin Theater in Gainesville, Florida, USA, with the participation of the author Vrinda Sheth, a well-known classical Indian dancer and a writer, and the illustrator, her mother, Anna Johansson, a Swedish watercolor artist. The book launching was a spectacular cultural event on its own.
Sivarama Swami’s Latest Book Praises Motherly Love
“The sign above the book store says: one book will change your life,” commented Pancharatna Das. “All of us know that Srila Prabhupada’s books have transformed the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world. We hope that our humble offering to Srila Prabhupada in the 50th anniversary year of ISKCON will please His Divine Grace by increasing book distribution and generating more publicity for ISKCON.”
Flower and Boat Festivals Bring Unique Flavor to Dallas Radhastami
Sivarama Swami’s latest book, the fourth volume of the Krishna In Vrindavana series, is hot off the press. Shri Damodara-janani weaves a captivating tale of the glories of Mother Yashoda. No other person has ever received the unique mercy that Krishna showed His own mother, teaching devotees for all time that the binding force of love for Him is more powerful than even His own supreme will.
Religious and Political Leaders Appreciate Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON at 50th Anniversary Gala in Washington D.C.
Some ISKCON temples have been adding new experiences to their biggest festivals to sweeten and deepen devotees’ absorption in serving the Lord, including this year’s Radhastami festival.In Dallas, USA, there were two Radhastami festivals this year, each with their own unique element. On the official Radhastami day itself, Friday September 9th, devotees bathed Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji in an unbelievable 50,000 roses during a Puspa Abhisekha.
Indian Ambassador Visits ISKCON Temple in Sweden
Over 300 people attended the Gala event, seventy-five of them special VIP invitees including religious leaders, media, government representatives and political leaders.
Vaishnav Songs App Loaded With Features to Absorb
On August 25th, 2016, ISKCON Korsnäs Gård in Stockholm, Sweden, not only celebrated a wonderful Janmastami festival and the 50th anniversary of ISKCON, but also presented the results of an European Union Erasmus+ project named 'Simple Living - High Thinking'. Present were ISKCON members, guests and several VIPs including the Ambassador of India and two politicians from the local municipality.
ISKCON Holds Farm Conferences in Brazil and USA
“Vaishnav Songs!”, a new app for Android smartphones, promises to bring users deeper into the meaning of prayers written by our Vaishnava Acharyas. The app was created by Jay Prakash, who completed his Bachelor of Technology at IIT Bombay, one of the most prestigious institutes in India. He also led the tech team at Housing.com, one of India’s leading startups of 2012.
Washington to Host Two Major ISKCON 50 Events
In the hopes of launching a support network for ISKCON farms around the world, the GBC Ministry for Cow Protection and Agriculture is holding conferences on simple living in four continents this year. The first two, in South America and North America, were held last month with encouraging results. The South American conference took place at the Goura-Vrindavan farm in Paraty, Brazil. The second continental farm conference held this year was the North American one in Gita Nagari, Pennsylvania.
ISKCON 50 Gala Dinner in Durban, South Africa
The capital city of the United States will host two major events over the next month celebrating in style and en masse the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON and the power of chanting God’s names to change the world. On September 13, in the Presidential Ballroom of the Capital Hilton Hotel three hundred people will gather for a formal ISKCON 50 Gala Evening. Picking up right where the Gala ends—with kirtan—on Saturday October 8th, the celebration will move just a mile away to the foot of Washington’s famed Lincoln Memorial.
Radha Damodar Das, One of the First Soviet Devotees Passes Away
The guest list comprised of close to five hundred of Durban’s elite - professionals, businessmen, academics, government members, media and artists– all especially invited to the evening to join Bhakti Charu Swami in reliving and celebrating the journey of Srila Prabhupada and his ISKCON over the last five decades.
Matchless Gift: A Collective Art Exhibition in New York
Radha Damodar Das, One of the First Devotees in the Soviet Union passed away on September 3rd evening succumbing to lung cancer. ISKCON Communications Director Anuttama Dasa remembers: "Radha Damodara prabhu was a true, humble and dedicated servant of his guru maharaja and Srila Prabhupada. Despite the dangers and troubles of being a Krishna devotee in the early years in Russia, Radha Damodara was fully committed to Lord Caitanya's mission."
Prabhupada’s Palace Launches Campaign to Support Restoration
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the birth of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness – New York 1966-2016 – Bhagavat Atheneum / Bibliothè Contemporary Art in collaboration with Association Culture del Mondo present "Matchless Gifts: A group exhibition of work by artists related to the Krishna Consciousness Movement from its earliest days to the present" at The Bhakti Center in New York.
Radha Damodar Das, One of the First Devotees in the Soviet Union, Is Gravely Ill
Devotees at ISKCON New Vrindaban, West Virginia are in the midst of major renovations on Srila Prabhupada’s Palace. And they’re launching a campaign to help them continue restoring the renowned Smriti Samadhi, or memorial shrine to ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya, to its full glory. The effort is a labor of love, just as it was when devotees first started building the Palace in 1973, intending it as a residence for their guru, who expressed a strong desire to retire there and translate his books.
50th Celebrations at the Sydney Opera House Attract Devotees from Around the World
In May 1983, Radha Damodara was arrested and imprisoned for his faith. While in prison, he had to work in dangerous conditions, which included using a poisonous glue. He also suffered from malnutrition. Nevertheless, Radha Damodar continued to follow the principles of Krishna Consciousness and to preach. His health suffered, especially his lungs. Today, it is the lungs that have been affected by a dangerous disease.
A Historic Event – The First Ratha-Yatra In Zagreb, Croatia
ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary was commemorated in style in Sydney, Australia from August 19 to 21 with a weekend of celebrations. The weekend’s events started on Friday night with Bhakti Film Fest and a patron’s dinner. The highlight of the weekend was a theatrical, musical, and multimedia performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House with 800people attending two performances.
ISKCON Cape Town Hosts a Banquet in Honour of ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary
On the 6th of August, the capital of Croatia – Zagreb – welcomed Lord Jagannatha with the Ratha-yatra festival for the first time. A big, colorful procession of around 350 people with the wonderful Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra deities joyfully resting on a chariot beautifully decorated with flowers and cookies began its way at the Europski square, proceeding through the main square and finally reaching Zagreb’s biggest city park, Zrinjevac, where kirtan and book and prasadam distribution went on.
Los Angeles Celebrates 40th Rathayatra and 50th of ISKCON
Celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON are here and ISKCON Cape Town hosted a formal banquet in honour of ISKCON’s 50th anniversary with around 120 attendees. This included VIPs, influential friends of ISKCON in Cape Town and religious leaders. The evening was a wonderful combination of information sharing about Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON as well as entertainment, over a sumptuous dinner of Krishna prasadam.
Multifaith Gathering to Chant for Change at Lincoln Memorial
It was a truly uplifting and festive time for ISKCON of Los Angeles from August 4th to 7th recently, with celebrations for both the 40th anniversary of the city’s Rathayatra festival, and the 50th anniversary of ISKCON in full swing. There was a kirtan mela with international kirtaniyas, a series of seminars and video presentations, a tour of places where Prabhupada frequented in LA, and the biggest Rathayatra festival yet.
Bulgarian Retreat to Care for Devotees’ Spiritual and Physical Health
As many as 10,000 people from multiple faiths and backgrounds are set to sing God’s names together in what could be the biggest chant gathering in American history on October 8th, exactly one month before the U.S. presidential election. Organized by second generation ISKCON devotees, the free event “Chant 4 Change” will take place in Washington D.C. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke his famous “I have a dream” speech.
Spanish Holy Name Festival Bonds Devotees
A unique type of event for ISKCON devotees, the Bhakti Yoga Health Retreat from September 11th to 18th this year in Bulgaria will care for participants’ physical health as well as their spiritual wellbeing. The retreat will be held at the Vita Rama Health Center, a clinic run by two devotee brothers – Lokaguru Das and Sudama Das – along with their father, dietician Georgi Slavov.
Indian Prime Minister Commends ISKCON on its 50th Anniversary
About 140 devotees from Spain, Portugal, Holland, the UK and Russia bonded in calling out to Lord Krishna during the third annual Holy Name Festival in Spain this summer. The festival ran from August 11th 14th in Srila Prabhupada’s Gardens at the New Vrajamandala farm.
Toronto Rathayatra Inspires Second Gen Leadership
Indian Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi has congratulated ISKCON on its 50th anniversary, praising its accomplishments in a way that shows a strong understanding of ISKCON's core message and efforts. We hope its Founder-Acarya Srila Prabhupada, who always tried to reach the leaders of society, is pleased.
Growing every year in size and popularity under a second generation team, Toronto Rathayatra has inspired younger devotees to take on more and more leadership in their community, and senior devotees to hand more and more to them. Today, the festival is put on by thirty-two younger devotees from high school kids to thirty-somethings, heading up twenty different departments.