On October 16th the United Nations and the world celebrates World Food Day. ISKCON Hungary organized a major free food distribution event to the needy in Budapest. Volunteers of different faith groups worked together and distributed 1,600 plates of hot lunch, and gave out tons of dry food, including pasta, flour, vegetable oil, rice and other items from which families can cook from for weeks.
Political pundits last weekend were calling the second presidential debate “the darkest and nastiest in modern history,” full of scandals, personal attacks and insults. And the ongoing drama may be what’s taking over the news lately. But not everyone, even in Washington, is being dragged down by it. On Saturday October 8th, thousands of people from different faiths and backgrounds gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for a “Chant 4 Change,” trying to bring some light into the darkness.
Already ISKCON communities in Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Alachua, Maine and New York are mobilizing large contingents of devotees to attend what promises to be an historic event this October 8th – Chant 4 Change.Kirtan chanter and organizer Gaura Vani is imploring all devotees from throughout the U.S. and beyond to come en masse and make a powerful statement on a public stage. That statement is that there’s only one way to heal the racism, sexism and terrorism that is currently plaguing the globe – and that is chanting God’s names.
On Saturday October 8th, at Washington’s famed Lincoln Memorial, at the site of one of America’s most famous landmarks, an event never seen before on this scale in Washington will take place. Chant4Change will focus on the performances of dozens of musicians, from a variety of religious and spiritual traditions, who will join together for a day and evening of music calling out to the Divine in chant, prayer, and song. To celebrate the event, H.H. the Dalai Lama also sent a message.
As part of the ISKCON50 program series, Vaishnavas in Hungary organized a two-day national book distribution event, taking place at different locations of the country. Devotees who had never distributed books before, or had not taken part in sankirtana for a long time were also involved. During the two days, 36 participants from the farm sold 619 books, while the 195 devotees on the streets of Budapest distributed 2,650 books.
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.
Over 300 people attended the Gala event, seventy-five of them special VIP invitees including religious leaders, media, government representatives and political leaders.
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.
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.