Major newspapers and TV channels across four continents covered the 50th anniversary of ISKCON’s incorporation on 13th July with positive stories that reached out to millions of people around the world. The BBC UK, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Chicago Tribune, the Times of India and India’s government-owned DD National TV gave extensive coverage to the history of ISKCON, the achievements of Srila Prabhupada and local events happening in their area.
The documentary short “Hare Krishna: 50 Years of Service and Joy,” showcasing the society’s many impressive contributions, released back in February for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, by now has reached over a hundred thousand people all over the world. The film had over forty thousand viewers on YouTube, and was screened in 28 countries and 51 cities during large public festivals, temple programs, VIP-, interfaith-or educational events attended by various audiences.
On the eve of Saturday 2nd July in the outskirts of London, a cast and crew of 65 young people who are part of an upcoming performing arts group known as "Something Spiritual", came together to put on a spectacular production depicting the life and struggles of Srila Prabhupada. It was a night that captured hearts, moved people to tears and transformed the lives of many.
The book is an account of painful experiences of the first attempt to spread Krishna consciousness in the USSR, which was Srila Prabhupada’s desire; stories of devotees’ trials in jails and psychiatric hospitals, their encounters with the KGB, but the author Sarvabhavana Das doesn’t lack in humor when he recalls, as he puts it, “his painful but blissful past”.
In the winter of 2015, when Indian agencies were busy tracking down alQaida modules, two Jaish-eMuhammed terrorists had quietly sneaked into the capital. Intelligence sources said the duo rented a room in Lajpat Nagar, assembled six improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and recced at least four places for a strike, including the Taj Mahal and two city spots -Iskcon temple and the Select Citywalk mall in Saket.
The words “Kuli Mela” literally mean “celebrate community!” in Sanskrit. And the tenth anniversary of the very first Kuli Mela – coming back to New Vrindaban from June 15th to 19th --will do exactly that.
Around fifteen ISKCON devotees brought the sound of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and the taste of sanctified vegetarian food to a huge anti-nuclear march in London on February 27th. Thousands of campaigners gathered from all over the world to protest the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons program. The money, they said, should be spent on education and the National Health Service instead.
Russian devotees began their 2016 with the second annual “Our Prabhupada” festival. The first, in December 2014, saw Suresvara Das speaking about Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya. At this year’s festival from January 15th to 20th hundreds of devotees learned about Srila Prabhupada as a person from Hari Sauri Das, who personally served him for sixteen months.
At the annual European Leaders’ Meetings from October 5th to 6th this autumn, ISKCON leaders from all over Europe had a fascinating discussion on a very current and often controversial topic: whether or not to drink milk.