Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Chant for Peace Global Initiative
By ISKCON Ministry for Communications and ISKCON Kirtan Ministry   |  Mar 08, 2022
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Chant for Peace, Mayapur, India

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), a worldwide religious community and confederation of over 800 temples and cultural centers, conducted Chant for Peace events during the weekend of Saturday, March 5th, 2022 around the globe to pray for all people affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and surrounding areas. ISKCON devotees all over the world promoted the uplifting process of chanting the Holy Names of God as well as the understanding of universal brotherhood and sisterhood of all people and living beings as children of that One God. Chant for Peace events are planned to continue around the globe until 18 March 2022, the sacred appearance day of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Golden Avatar of Lord Sri Krishna who appeared in West Bengal approximately 500 years ago.

Chant for Peace, Lagos, Nigeria

In order to increase awareness of alternatives to violence, create a more peaceful atmosphere, and offer the opportunity of chanting the holy name of God to more people, the Chant for Peace initiative was born on February 24, 2022. ISKCON’s Ministry of Communications collaborated with the ISKCON Kirtan Ministry. The Italian branch of ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry also got involved. An International core group was formed representing countries including India, UK, South Africa, Ukraine, Italy and Russia. Artwork was created by Sriji Radha Devi Dasi from Mumbai. Initiatives included the innovative Fortunate People Campaign, which has a goal of uploading 1,250,000 videos of people chanting Hare Krishna to their website https://fortunate-people.com/

A package was shared by Yudhistir Govind Das that was put together by the ISKCON Ministry for Communications including:

1. Guidelines and instructions for temples to plan Chant for Peace events.
2. Link for posters
3. Official Statement
4. Press Release

All materials were hosted on www.ISKCONKirtanMinistry.com and sent out on ISKCON’s Leadership Conference to all GBC members as well as leaders on every continent.

An Istagoshti (discussion) was held with the ISKCON India Continental Committee (ICC). Leaders from over 80 ISKCON communities in India participated. More than 17 prominent speakers addressed the ICC over a 75-minute presentation on Zoom. Speakers included senior leaders of ISKCON India as well as representatives of ISKCON Ministry for Communications, and ISKCON Kirtan Ministry. The speakers included such luminaries as:

HG Sahadev Das (ICC Chair)
HH Jayapataka Swami
HH Gopal Krishna Goswami
HH Lokanath Swami
HH Janananda Goswami
HG Bhima Das
HG Mahaman Das
HH Sukadev Swami
HG Devakinandan Das
HG Revati Raman Das
HG Surdas Das
HG Vrajendranandan Das
HG Sumitra Krishna Das
HG Yudhistir Govind Das
HG Jagannatha Kirtanananda
HG Svarupanand Das
HH Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami

During the ICC Meeting Sumitra Krishna Das, Temple President of ISKCON Chennai shared a quotation from Srila Prabhupada to encourage everyone to keep their spiritual life as a priority in these times of harsh realities:

“The whole universe is finally subject to certain annihilation by the will of Krsna, but devotional service is eternal and is the only certain way one can save himself from devastation. We can preach all over the world that the only way to be saved from collective and individual devastation is to take to the chanting of Hare Krsna. In short, this material world is a very precarious place therefore we should always chant Hare Krsna and seek Krsna’s protection.”

Chant for Peace, Florence, Italy

The ICC Whatsapp group was an excellent forum for the distribution of information regarding how to conduct the event. For many devotees, this was the first public Harinam Sankirtan since the COVID pandemic. Leaders around India shared photos, videos, and reports of their Chant for Peace activities. This encouraged everyone to increase their efforts. Newspaper clippings were plentiful. So far, we have received photos, videos, and reports from the following centers in India:

ISKCON Siliguri
ISKCON Dharmanagar
ISKCON Thuraiyur
ISKCON Noida
ISKCON Jalgaon
ISKCON Nellore
ISKCON Juhu
ISKCON Chowpatty
ISKCON Mira Road
ISCKON Chowpatty
ISKCON Jhansi
ISKCON Panihati
ISKCON Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama (Mayapur)
ISKCON Varanasi
ISKCON Chennai
ISKCON Ranchi
ISKCON Ahmedabad
ISKCON Rajkot
ISKCON Kolhapur
ISKCON Pandharpur
ISKCON Padayatra India

Devotees from Florence, Italy, Helsinki Finland, Lagos, Nigeria, New York City, USA, and other places around the world also responded.

Chant for Peace, Helsinki, Finland

One of the highlights has been a ‘Mega Harinam Sankirtan” with 400 devotees from the four different ISKCON temples in Mumbai coming together and chanting for peace along a walk from Gateway of India to Cross Maidan.

Chant for Peace, Navadwip Mandala Parikrama, Mayapur, India

Parallel to the public Harinam Sankirtan, there was also an online community with thousands of devotees supporting each other and receiving the personal association of such great souls as His Holiness Bhakti Chaitanya Swami, His Grace Chaitanya Chandra Charan Das, Her Grace Mondakini Devi Dasi, and His Holiness Bhakti Rasayana Sagara Swami.

His Grace Anuttama Das, ISKCON Minister for Communications was one of the main proponents of the event. He expressed what motivated him to take up this major international project:

“This opportunity to come together around the world and chant for peace is an essential part of the mission of the Krishna Consciousness movement. There’s so much conflict in the world between nations, between family members, between racial and religious communities…”

“Chanting will help us to clean our hearts from envy, greed, and anger. Then we will actually become happy from within. Then we can truly begin to see and care about the welfare of others indiscriminately. We need to care for everyone, by seeing that we’re all connected to Krishna.”

Chant for Peace, Brooklyn Bridge, New York, New York, USA

Dinanukampa Devi Dasi, one of the main global organizers of Chant for Peace, shared the impetus that inspired her to get into action. “Think and Act Globally was the motivation to get the world to participate in chanting and praying for peace in which organizers from different parts of the world came together – a truly International Society.”

“By pervading the atmosphere with the power of the sound vibrations – the holy names can awaken consciousness and strengthen ideals for peace and also spread compassion, kindness and hope without prejudice in the face of conflicts and calamities. In this way a powerful connection can be re-established to the Supreme Lord.”

Chant for Peace, Buenos Aires, Argentina

His Holiness Janananada Goswami, a senior member of the ISKCON Kirtan Ministry currently based in France, emphasized that the current increase in violence and upheaval in society is best counteracted by the most recommended spiritual practice for the age we live in – congregational chanting of the holy names of God. Janananda Goswami shared a relevant quotation from ISKCON’s Founder-acarya A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in this regard: “The age we live in is called Kali-yuga, the age of forgetting God. It is an age of misunderstanding and quarrel, and people’s hearts are filled with dirty things. But God is so powerful that if we chant His holy name we become purified, just as my disciples have become purified of their bad habits. Our movement is based on this principle of chanting the holy name of God. We give everyone the opportunity, without any distinction.” (Srila Prabhupada to Police Lieutenant Brian Mozee, in July 1975, Science of Self Realization)

www.ISKCONKirtanMinistry.com
Contact@iskconkirtanministry.com

 

 

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