Around sixty devotees from across Europe and the US have gathered in New Vrajamandala in Spain, to participate in the European Communications Conference running from 27th - 30th May.
Day one of the conference has focused upon ISKCON and the Environment, where there have been exciting presentations from a number of devotees.
Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Director Shaunaka Rsi Dasa spoke about the Vedic Perspective on the Environment, where he discussed the Vedic concepts of Rta (cosmic order) and Rtu (cycles) and how these are innate in nature - we as material entities form a small part of the system, but our contribution is service not stewardship. He also described the importance of Mother Bhumi, Lord Visnu's wife, who when she approached Brahma for help, all came to her aid. Shaunaka Rsi said: "We are not separate from nature - we cannot harm nature without harming ourselves."
Utah Statue University Religious Studies Director Radhika Raman Dasa spoke about Gaudiya Vaishnavism and the Environment, and discussed how the concept of caring for the environment is ingrained within the Vedic texts, for example Krishna destroying Kaliya the snake because he had poisoned the river and the worship of Gorvadhan Hill. We then had an enlivening presentation by Krishna Kshetra Swamiabout the importance of cow protection.
Gopal Lila Dasa produced a thought-provoking video about The Bhumi Project, an environmental organization he directs. This lead to a discussion about how different Temples across Europe and the US have switched to sustainable practices, and examples of good and poor practices were shared.
The day concluded with a practical and dynamic workshop led by award-winning filmmaker Krishna Lila Dasi about producing impactful videos for communications.
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