ISKCON Laguna Beach Holds “Gita Champions” Competition
Diplomats and Academics Show Support for ISKCON at European 50th Anniversary Event
On Saturday 16th July 2016, ISKCON Laguna Beach held its first ever Gita Champions League event. It was organized as part of ISKCON’s 50 year anniversary. The program was announced in April with local core ISKCON 50 team. It was advertised using social media, stores and door to door to reach out to a wider audience.
ISKCON Suriname Holds First Ratha-yatra
Around 200 people attended the European event at the prestigious Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels on September 27th. The evening was entitled “Fostering Peace and Cultural Diversity in Europe through Service, Community and Spiritual Knowledge: The Hare Krishna Movement Turns 50!” Attendees included the Indian Ambassador to Belgium and the EU, Manjeev Singh Puri; Mauritian Ambassador Mr H. Dillum; Fijian Ambassador Mr Deo Saran; and Ugo Papi, the Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Italy.
New Website Helps You Find and Learn About Any ISKCON Center
Last Saturday, on September 24, history was created when ISKCON of Suriname held its first Ratha-yatra festival in the capital City of Paramaribo, with the Lord Jagannath cart parading through one of the busiest streets in the city. The festival was organized as part of ISKCON Suriname’s main 50th anniversary initiative. The procession began at 5:00 pm sharp with the ribbon cutting done by the Raghoebier family, who, over a decade ago, had kindly provided the facility in Paramaribo that ISKCON utilizes.
Devotees Called Upon to Attend Historic ‘Chant 4 Change’
The official ISKCON 50 magazine “The Hare Krishnas: Celebrating 50 Years” cites Srila Prabhupada’s society as having 65 farms and eco-villages, and 650 centers, temples, schools and colleges worldwide. That’s a surprisingly huge and growing network – growing family – that we’re a part of. But what if you want to learn more about what’s happening at a particular center? What if you’re traveling and want to stop off at the closest ISKCON center to get some prasadam and kirtan, a spiritual boost and a comforting taste of home? How do you find it?
H.H. The Dalai Lama's Message for the "Chant for Change" Event
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.
ISKCON50 Book Distribution Days in Hungary
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.
New Hare Krishna YouTube Channel Gets Tens of Thousands of Views
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.
Ramayana Musical Premiers at West Liberty University
The 3t Path, a new YouTube channel, started by Giridhari Das, a Brazilian devotee who in the past has been in charge of the Portuguese BBT and been the President of the ISKCON Brazil National Council, has gotten over 30 thousand views since starting just three weeks ago, with 12 thousand views just on his japa meditation video.
Mayapur Schoolchildren Put on Their Own Radhastami
A two-and-a-half hour musical production of India’s ancient epic the Ramayana entitled “Ramayana: Past in Present” premiered from August 25th to 28th in the Kelley Theater at West Liberty University, West Virginia, USA. Opening on Janmastami night with an auspicious 108 people in the audience, the musical carried students and faculty into a whole new world of culture, adventure and philosophy.
"Shadows of the Sun Dynasty" - A New Ramayana Book
“Mayapur is so huge, and so many pilgrims come for the main Radhastami celebration at the temple, that it’s not really a community celebration,” says parent and teacher Noam Hillel. “So we decided to hold our own festival the evening after the main one, with students, faculty, parents and all other community members who wanted to attend.” About fifty youth under eighteen worked hard to put on the festival, with boys and girls embarking on their own separate efforts and bringing them together on the day.
ISKCON Brahmapur’s Permanent Book Store at Railway Station for ISKCON 50
On August 27th, a new book, the first one in an illustrated series based on the Ramayana, entitled as Shadows of the Sun Dynasty, has been launched in front of hundreds of people in the audience at the Cofrin Theater in Gainesville, Florida, USA, with the participation of the author Vrinda Sheth, a well-known classical Indian dancer and a writer, and the illustrator, her mother, Anna Johansson, a Swedish watercolor artist. The book launching was a spectacular cultural event on its own.
Sivarama Swami’s Latest Book Praises Motherly Love
“The sign above the book store says: one book will change your life,” commented Pancharatna Das. “All of us know that Srila Prabhupada’s books have transformed the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world. We hope that our humble offering to Srila Prabhupada in the 50th anniversary year of ISKCON will please His Divine Grace by increasing book distribution and generating more publicity for ISKCON.”
Flower and Boat Festivals Bring Unique Flavor to Dallas Radhastami
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.
Religious and Political Leaders Appreciate Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON at 50th Anniversary Gala in Washington D.C.
Some ISKCON temples have been adding new experiences to their biggest festivals to sweeten and deepen devotees’ absorption in serving the Lord, including this year’s Radhastami festival.In Dallas, USA, there were two Radhastami festivals this year, each with their own unique element. On the official Radhastami day itself, Friday September 9th, devotees bathed Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji in an unbelievable 50,000 roses during a Puspa Abhisekha.
Indian Ambassador Visits ISKCON Temple in Sweden
Over 300 people attended the Gala event, seventy-five of them special VIP invitees including religious leaders, media, government representatives and political leaders.
Vaishnav Songs App Loaded With Features to Absorb
On August 25th, 2016, ISKCON Korsnäs Gård in Stockholm, Sweden, not only celebrated a wonderful Janmastami festival and the 50th anniversary of ISKCON, but also presented the results of an European Union Erasmus+ project named 'Simple Living - High Thinking'. Present were ISKCON members, guests and several VIPs including the Ambassador of India and two politicians from the local municipality.
ISKCON Holds Farm Conferences in Brazil and USA
“Vaishnav Songs!”, a new app for Android smartphones, promises to bring users deeper into the meaning of prayers written by our Vaishnava Acharyas. The app was created by Jay Prakash, who completed his Bachelor of Technology at IIT Bombay, one of the most prestigious institutes in India. He also led the tech team at Housing.com, one of India’s leading startups of 2012.
Washington to Host Two Major ISKCON 50 Events
In the hopes of launching a support network for ISKCON farms around the world, the GBC Ministry for Cow Protection and Agriculture is holding conferences on simple living in four continents this year. The first two, in South America and North America, were held last month with encouraging results. The South American conference took place at the Goura-Vrindavan farm in Paraty, Brazil. The second continental farm conference held this year was the North American one in Gita Nagari, Pennsylvania.
ISKCON 50 Gala Dinner in Durban, South Africa
The capital city of the United States will host two major events over the next month celebrating in style and en masse the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON and the power of chanting God’s names to change the world. On September 13, in the Presidential Ballroom of the Capital Hilton Hotel three hundred people will gather for a formal ISKCON 50 Gala Evening. Picking up right where the Gala ends—with kirtan—on Saturday October 8th, the celebration will move just a mile away to the foot of Washington’s famed Lincoln Memorial.
Radha Damodar Das, One of the First Soviet Devotees Passes Away
The guest list comprised of close to five hundred of Durban’s elite - professionals, businessmen, academics, government members, media and artists– all especially invited to the evening to join Bhakti Charu Swami in reliving and celebrating the journey of Srila Prabhupada and his ISKCON over the last five decades.
Matchless Gift: A Collective Art Exhibition in New York
Radha Damodar Das, One of the First Devotees in the Soviet Union passed away on September 3rd evening succumbing to lung cancer. ISKCON Communications Director Anuttama Dasa remembers: "Radha Damodara prabhu was a true, humble and dedicated servant of his guru maharaja and Srila Prabhupada. Despite the dangers and troubles of being a Krishna devotee in the early years in Russia, Radha Damodara was fully committed to Lord Caitanya's mission."
Prabhupada’s Palace Launches Campaign to Support Restoration
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the birth of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness – New York 1966-2016 – Bhagavat Atheneum / Bibliothè Contemporary Art in collaboration with Association Culture del Mondo present "Matchless Gifts: A group exhibition of work by artists related to the Krishna Consciousness Movement from its earliest days to the present" at The Bhakti Center in New York.
Radha Damodar Das, One of the First Devotees in the Soviet Union, Is Gravely Ill
Devotees at ISKCON New Vrindaban, West Virginia are in the midst of major renovations on Srila Prabhupada’s Palace. And they’re launching a campaign to help them continue restoring the renowned Smriti Samadhi, or memorial shrine to ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya, to its full glory. The effort is a labor of love, just as it was when devotees first started building the Palace in 1973, intending it as a residence for their guru, who expressed a strong desire to retire there and translate his books.
50th Celebrations at the Sydney Opera House Attract Devotees from Around the World
In May 1983, Radha Damodara was arrested and imprisoned for his faith. While in prison, he had to work in dangerous conditions, which included using a poisonous glue. He also suffered from malnutrition. Nevertheless, Radha Damodar continued to follow the principles of Krishna Consciousness and to preach. His health suffered, especially his lungs. Today, it is the lungs that have been affected by a dangerous disease.
ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary was commemorated in style in Sydney, Australia from August 19 to 21 with a weekend of celebrations. The weekend’s events started on Friday night with Bhakti Film Fest and a patron’s dinner. The highlight of the weekend was a theatrical, musical, and multimedia performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House with 800people attending two performances.