The 8th of April, 2017, marked the day when over 15,000 youths from across the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, got the chance to get inspired by spiritual wisdom in a grand event entitled as ‘Xpressions 2017’ in ISKCON Kanpur. Emphasizing on ‘De-addiction’ and ‘Value Empowerment’ within youth, ‘Xpressions 2017’ was an effort by a team of ISKCON devotees to bring the youth closer to their roots, re-introducing them to the rich cultural heritage they have inherited, focusing on the need for a positive approach to life, believing in themselves and working hard.
ISKCON’s Congregational Development Ministry, based in Mayapur, India, has launched a new online marriage counseling service that draws from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. With the divorce rate in many countries at over fifty per cent, the search is on for the key to stable and successful relationships. According to the two consultants at new website Bhaktimarriages.com – psychotherapist and Vedic astrologer Sri Radha Govinda Dasi and writer and astrologer Manohar Pandit Das – an important element is training before marriage.
Two ISKCON authors have won in their categories at the Independent Book Publishers Benjamin Franklin Awards this year, which received nearly 1,400 entries published during the 2016 calendar year. Over 150 librarians, booksellers, and design and editorial experts judged the books submitted. Radhanath Swami’s “The Journey Within: Exploring the Path of Bhakti, A Contemporary Guide to Yoga’s Ancient Wisdom” won the gold medal in the Body, Mind & Spirit category.
Today, many schools in the U.K. and beyond are teaching children mindfulness, a widely acclaimed therapeutic technique that focuses our feelings, thoughts and emotions, and induces calm and emotional wellbeing. Jayadev Dasa, a well-known musician and kirtan singer from England, has written a book that teaches children mindfulness in a unique way – through fun Djembe drumming lessons. Jayadev, of course, was the drummer for the ‘70s pop group The Rubettes, which had a hit with “Sugar Baby Love” and sold twenty million records worldwide.
Govardhana Academy, located at the Saranagati Farm Community in British Columbia (BC), Canada, recently participated in their third year of the BC Green Games - a province wide competition to promote sustainability in schools. One of the biggest challenges of farming at Saranagati is their short growing season. With a self-heated greenhouse, they intend to grow food year-round. Using money from a previous grant award, the materials were purchased and the students and their community teamed up to bring the design to reality.
ISKCON devotees are serving alongside Sri Vaishnavas to celebrate Ramanujacharya in the lead-up to his 1,000th appearance day (Sahasrabdi) on May 1st. A great saint in the Sri Vaishnava tradition, Ramanuja lived between 1017 and 1137. He was a revolutionary who preached that all are equal before the Lord. His teachings were referenced by many Gaudiya acharyas, including Srila Prabhupada in his Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Jai Uttal, one of today’s best-loved and most popular kirtan artists, has released his latest album Roots Rock Rama! with Mantralogy, an ISKCON devotee-run record company that has also worked with The Mayapuris, Jahnavi Harrison, Gaura Vani and more.
Over the Easter Weekend from Friday April 14th to Sunday April 16th, hundreds of devotees at ISKCON Auckland celebrated the 45th anniversary of their Deities, Sri Sri Radha-Giridhari, with love and great pomp. The celebrations included a massive and stunningly colorful Harinama on Queen Street in the center of Auckland.
Russia's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Jehovah's Witnesses were an "extremist" organization and must disband and hand over all property to the state, local media said. The religious grouping confirmed the ruling about its "liquidation" in Russia.
Various leadership responsibilities, whether manager, mother or mentor, offer us the privileged opportunity in assisting people to excel. Though the most rewarding role in life, they all come with a good dose of frustration and annoyance. How many times has your sincere and informed advice been received with unresponsiveness and neglect? What to do when faced with ingratitude and irrationality?
Many of the wrongs done to women for so many years have now been corrected and ISKCON women have recovered some of their rights. Unfortunately, they have been rehabilitated only to higher or lesser degrees according to the different leaders in different places. Much is still to be done for men to fully recognize women’s dignity.
We always wish to work with people who think like us, behave like us, speak like us, and who help us, understand us and most importantly appreciate us. However, to find such like-minded people in this material world is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Learning to live with chaos is more realistic, progressive and pragmatic. Like running water effortlessly flows around the obstructing rocks, moving steadily to its destination, so in the face of inevitable challenges and unexpected reversals, we must march on.
Atheists come in a variety of shapes and sizes: default, philosophical, atheist and covered atheists. Over 30% of UK residents are self-proclaimed atheists. I would hazard a guess, that a good few of the 70% of ‘believers’ are also atheist -- physchological atheists, those who profess belief in God, but repeatedly demonstrate their inability to practically live in His presence.