During its ISKCON 50 festivities this month, Indonesia added some rich local culture to proceedings as its over 5,000 devotees focused on uniting together to serve Srila Prabhupada.Celebrations included a brahmachari sankirtan party touring with a Prabhupada murti through the thirty-two ISKCON temples, centers and Namahattas on the island nation; and a youth camp bringing together youth from across the island of Bali. The highlight, however, was the International Leadership Sanga (ILS) and the Bhakti Festival and Rathayatra from July 5th through 10th.
On a joint initiative themed “Day of Gratitude”, ISKCON-London and the Bhaktivedanta Manor distributeed 5,000 cupcakes to commuters at key locations in central London on July 13th.The grand finale of the month-long celebration will be the Kirtan on the Thames Boat Event on 31st July. This National Signature Event will be a day of chanting, dancing and feasting on a cruise around the famous landmarks of London.
Among their many plans for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, ISKCON Mumbai’s four temples – Juhu, Mira Road, Khargar and Chowpatty – have launched a website that allows devotees to submit their written offerings to Srila Prabhupada in the shape of e-cards. With the project they aim to collect 108,000 e-card offerings from devotees worldwide, which would shatter the previous Guiness World Record of 65,000 e-cards submitted.
The concluding day of the ILS started with a presentation on the position of Srila Prabhupada by Akrura Das. Bhaktivaibhava Swami encouraged temples to ensure that Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa puja celebrations were celebrated with the importance they deserved. Gauranga Das from ISKCON Chowpathy and Govardhan Eco Village described several training courses designed to ‘lead ISKCON with tradition and intelligence’.
I was invited to travel to Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria, very far from the Kenyan coast on the Indian Ocean. Kisumu was from all the accounts I had heard a pretty disagreeable place. In the early years, I had read in advance of my journey, that apart from the endemic sleeping sickness, bilharzia, malaria and the nasty malarial complication known as "blackwater fever", the climate was sweltering and municipal hygiene primitive.
The 2008 Mayapur GBC annual meeting ratified as official ISKCON policy the presence of multiple ISKCON centres in the same city. Conceived in New Vrindavan, June 2007, at the special GBC meeting for strategic planning, the “urban proliferation proposal” earned unanimous support from the brainstorming GBCs, hungry for greater ISKCON effectiveness.
We all want our freedoms, but it seems they are not so free. Recent figures reveal that the cost of freeing Iraq and hopefully the rest of us from tyrants and terrorists is well over one trillion dollars and rising. Then there is the grisly cost of casualties, over ninety thousand dead and innumerable others injured.
Shiva is among the most widely worshiped deities in India. With names such as Mahadeva ("the great god") and Nataraja ("the king of dancers"), he is venerated in ancient holy cities like Benares, where Saivites (as his worshipers are called) devote their lives to him, viewing him as the Supreme Lord.