November 25, 2022, marks the UN’s International Day to End Violence Against Women. This year, ISKCON’s Vaishnavi Ministry will join the UN’s global 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
As Vaishnavas, we are mandated by our scriptures and tradition to protect the vulnerable and those placed in our love and care, including “the brāhmaṇas, the cows, the women, the children, and the old men” [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.5 Purport]. Abuse in any form is a severe violation of the essential practices of Krishna consciousness and Vaishnava culture. Vaishnava culture requires cultivating qualities such as mercy, self-discipline, and compassion. Abuse undermines and destroys these qualities.
According to Srila Prabhupada, one of the purposes of ISKCON is to bring devotees closer to “each other and nearer to Krsna”, and to establish that each soul is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Inherent in this purpose, are the values of community, inclusivity, belonging, acceptance, and the cultivation of loving relationships. The existence of gender-based violence within our communities limits our ability to achieve Srila Prabhupada’s vision.
Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime and ISKCON communities also suffer from domestic abuse. In times of crisis, these numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts, and climate disasters. While the pandemic of violence against women is not new, it’s not inevitable, unless we stay silent. Therefore, in cooperation with the UN, the ISKCON Vaishnavi Ministry aims to raise awareness about the issue of gender-based violence from the perspective of our teachings as presented by the Srila Prabhupada and our Gaudiya Vaishnava Acaryas.
Join us from 25 November to 10 December where we will discuss gender-based violence and domestic abuse, ISKCON’s official policies to combat such abuse, and Srila Prabhupada’s teachings on how devotees should treat each other. You can follow the campaign on ISKCON Vaishnavi Ministry’s Facebook (@iskconvaishnaviministry) and YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/@vaishnaviministry7915/featured).
In this video, you will hear about how Raghunath das celebrated the Panihati festival by the order of Lord Nityananda. Did you know that a very special guest appeared on this festive occasion? Watch the video to find out!
If you’ve never seen it, now’s the time. It’s the 20th anniversary of Burnt Ladhu, a production by Vaisnava youth creatively and courageously sharing their experiences growing up in ISKCON. On behalf of thousands of devotees, the cast explores coming to terms with life after gurukula; how devotees can behave in harmful ways; attitudes toward youth; family relationships; and navigating adult life with the foundation they were given.
Saturday, March 19, 2022. The Parade begins at 10:30 AM at the Plaza and returns there by 12 PM. At 1 PM there will be a two-hour procession down St. George Street without the Chariot. Then at 3 PM, the cultural dance & music program begins. The free food will be served out all day from 11 AM onwards. The festival continues until 5 PM
Over the past week, more than a million Ukrainian refugees crossed the borders to the neighboring countries, fleeing war. Most of them are women and children, like their husbands, fathers, and sons, —all men between the ages of 18-60 — had to stay back to defend their country, not knowing if they would ever see their loved ones again.
Bhakti Kids Sanga had started out with having devotional activities for families, resources for parents, and even yoga classes for children, but they heard a need in their community. There has seemed to be an influx of Hare Krishna podcasts popping up, but nothing geared towards children and family. "I’ve even noticed parents on Facebook groups for homeschooling say they wish there was a podcast" Abhidheya devi dasi shared with us.