The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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ISKCON 50: Meditations

by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
  • Agnideva Offers Heartfelt New Album for ISKCON 50

    Legendary kirtaniya Agnideva Dasa’s first new album in many years, to be released in January 2017, will be entitled “Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Lord Krishna.” It will sound like “an intimate kirtan with friends,” producers say. Named after one of its tracks – a bhajan Srila Prabhupada wrote aboard the Jaladuta on his way to America – it will be a heartfelt offering to the ISKCON Founder at the end of ISKCON’s 50th anniversary year.

  • Bhakti Yoga and Science Conference Takes Bhaktivedanta Institute into the 21st Century

    Eight years after celebrated ISKCON scientist Richard L. Thompson’s (Sadaputa Dasa’s) passing, his former colleagues and some rising young Vaishnava scientists are relaunching the Bhaktivedanta Institute of Gainesville. Their inaugural seminar, held at the Alachua Learning Academy in North Central Florida on November 13th, was dubbed “Bhakti Yoga & Science in the 21st Century.”

  • 90 Students Graduate from Nairobi’s Hare Krishna Training Center

    Despite the chilling cold and rainy weather of Nairobi, a large group of more than 250 devotees assembled at the Sri Sri Radha Banke Bihari Mandir to commemorate the ISKCON’s golden jubilee. Amongst them were Bhakti Narasimha Swami (South Africa), Akhandadhi Das (UK), ISKCON Nairobi Vice President Rukuma Das, Manasi Ganga Dasi, and 90 jubilant students who celebrated attaining a Certificate of Ethics and Morality after a year-long course on Vaishnava philosophy. The program is run by the Hare Krishna Training Center, part of ISKCON Nairobi. 

  • Historic Ratha Yatra in the Heart of Santiago, Chile

    In an unprecedented event, Santiago's main street, Avenida Libertador Bernado O'Higgins, was used exclusively by the majestic chariot that carried the Lord of the Universe and the people who pulled its ropes, filling the streets of Santiago with joy and colors like never before. 

  • Diwali at the European Parliament

    In attendance were Members of the European Parliament; MEP Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP Neena Gill, MEP Jo Leinen, MEP Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen, MEP Dennis De Jong, Vice President of the European Parliament; Antonio Tajani, Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU; H.E. Manjeev Singh Puri, Ambassador of Mauritius; H.E. H. Dillum, General Secretary of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the European Community; Br Olivier Poquillon OP, representatives from the Vatican, and the Hindu diaspora from the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and many more. 

  • ISKCON Connection Hopes to Bring International Family Together

    New website iskconconnection.org hopes to get an accurate count of all ISKCON members for the first time ever, and to help them feel part of an international family by connecting them to all the inspirational activities in ISKCON around the world. The website is the face of ISKCON Connection, ISKCON’s global membership program, developed by the GBC and based at ISKCON’s headquarters in Mayapur, West Bengal.

  • Diverse Newcomers Delve into Prabhupada’s Books at Baltimore Bhakti Lounge

    Tivon and Cheyenne are an African American couple in their mid-twenties. She works in a steakhouse, and he’s in marketing. Cybil, in her fifties, is a real estate agent. Jorge is a student. Lauren is a professor of music at Towson University. Maria is retired from her government agency job. Ravi is doing his postdoc in medicine at John Hopkins. Kate is a nurse and a Buddhist. And Henna works on a horse farm. They’re as diverse a group as possible, but they all have one thing in common: they’re all regular attendees at the recently re-opened Bhakti Lounge in Baltimore. 

  • Lord Damodar With His Wooden Mortar Enters Bollywood

    On the evening of the 27th of Oct 2016, Bollywood fashion designer Rohit Verma invited Jayapataka Swami to have a Damodar program at his fashion studio in Mumbai. It was a short and well-organized program for which Rohit Verma had invited about fifty of his close friends including Poonam Dhillon Bollywood actress, Aditi Govitrikar, Bollywood actress, Vindu Darasingh Bollywood actor, Nisha Rawal Bollywood actress, Ashish Bollywood actor, and Kanwaljit veteran designer.  

  • US Ambassador Visits Delhi Temple; Distributes Prasada to Children

    On November 7th, US Ambassador to India, Mr. Richard Verma, visited Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi temple in Delhi. After offering pushpanjali to Srila Prabhupada and an arati to Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Partha-sarati, he was taken on a guided tour of the museum by Gopal Krishna Goswami. The Ambassador was very keen on knowing the full story of Srila Prabhupada and how he established ISKCON.

  • Gopastami Celebrations at ISKCON Kanpur

    On the most auspicious occasion of Gopastami, ISKCON Kanpur held ca large event with many awareness programs about cow protection, also launching Sri Surabhi campaign and seminars for farmers. The event was graced by the presence of two of the cities prominent officers District Magistrate Mr. Kaushal Raj Sharma and Kanpur Development Authority Vice Chairman Mrs. Jaishree Boj.

  • Vaishnava Marriage Counselors Give First Seminars in Russia

    Vaishnava marriage counselors Partha Das and Uttama Dasi were recently invited, under the recommendation of GBC Bhakti Vijnana Swami, to offer marital and premarital education to devotees in Moscow, Russia, for the first time. The effort was an important service to the vast and fast-growing ISKCON Moscow community, who were grateful to learn practical advice and new paradigms.

  • Devotees to Hold First Kirtan in Antarctica

    Two intrepid devotee explorers are set to travel to the last frontier, and bring kirtan and Srila Prabhupada’s books to Antarctica – the southernmost and coldest continent in the world. The continent is largely uninhabited and 98 per cent of it is covered by ice, but it does have a tourist season and many international research stations to reach out to. One thing’s for sure – venturing there is a unique offering to Prabhupada for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary.

  • ISKCON Youth Bus Tour to Mexico

    ISKCON Youth Ministry's Mexico bus tour between December 9, 2016  and January 3, 2017, will be an extraordinary adventure presenting Krishna culture festivals in towns, auditoriums and yoga studios, and visiting pyramids, jungle waterfalls and tropical beaches. "It's a life changing experience," says Manorama dasa, one of the organizers. "The young people who travel with us get a taste for the pioneering spirit of adventure, spreading Krishna consciousness, and will make devotee friends for life."

  • ISKCON Moscow Lights Up Devotees’ Hearts at Diwali

    One thousand Russian devotees gathered to celebrate Diwali in spectacular style in Moscow on Saturday October 29th. The afternoon was a cultural event to commemorate welcoming Lord Rama and his wife Sita Devi back to their capital Ayodhya. Hanuman, played by Jagat-Pati Das, was a particular crowd favorite. In an incredibly realistic costume, he jumped into the crowd, involving the audience. He also invited all the children onto the stage to participate in fun games with him.

  • ISKCON 50th Celebrated at House of Lords with Bhakti Charu Swami

    On the sacred day of Govardhan Puja, Bhaktivedanta Manor hosted a gathering at London’s House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of ISKCON. The House of Lords is the upper house of the UK Parliament and was built to advise the Crown Imperial since 1295. With the kind permission of the Lord Speaker, the event was hosted in the Principal State Room.

  • Appointment of Global Duty Officers by the GBC

    The average GBC member is now in his or her 60s, and some are in their 70s. ISKCON is an obvious need for younger generations of devotees to gradually take over the reins of the movement, and the Global Duty Officer service is one which will facilitate competent devotees to become trained and gain experience which will allow them to take up GBC service in due course. 

  • Govardhana Puja Around the World in Photos

    Govardhana Puja – the sweetest day of the year – celebrates the day when Lord Krishna as a young boy lifted Govardhana Hill with just His little finger, to protect the residents of Vrindavana village from Lord Indra’s furious thunderstorm. Devotees around the world pour their hearts into their own offerings for the late October festival, engaging their creativity in Krishna’s service to often astonishing effect.

  • Avatar Art: A Book Review

    Avatar Art: Neo-Vedic Paintings Celebrating Life by Steven J. Rosen (Satyaraja Dasa) and co-author Kaisori Bellachoffers a beautiful artistic smorgasbord of the most popular figures in India's array of avatars, gods, sages, and demons. The alluring paintings of which this volume is comprised, portrayed by contemporary artists, mostly ISKCON devotees, focus on stories from the Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana), the Mahabharata, and the Caitanya-caritamrta. The text illuminates the art.

  • Vrindavan Film ‘Reconnection’ Wins 15 Awards

    Reconnection, a 40-minute film written and directed by Siberian devotee couple Shyam Gopal Das and his wife Vijaya Radhika Dasi, has been making a real splash in the film festival world. A cinema verite piece, it tells the story of tech professional Sean Fletcher, a typical victim of our Internet-addicted age. Emotionally and spiritually cut-off, Sean stops in Vrindavan, India on the way to Nepal, and finds that the sacred village breaks him down to his core and helps him reconnect with his own heart and inner values.

  • Dedicated Dad and Pujari Celebrates 14th Consecutive Home Kartik Festival

    Dedicated father and pujari Ragunath Das Zaldivar is currently celebrating an incredible 14 consecutive years of Kartik festivals at his and his wife Yamuna Devi’s home in Alachua, Florida. “People like it because of the personal, family-like environment,” Ragu says. “It’s especially nice for the kids, who can get really involved. Not everyone has home Deities, but they want to see their kids engaged in service to the Lord." 

  • ISKCON Devotees Attend Diwali at Number 10 Downing Street

    Srutidharma das was invited to the Diwali function at Number 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British Prime Minister, Theresa May MP. Along with the Prime Minister and other dignitaries such as the Indian High Commissioner Mr Dinesh Patnail, Srutidharma das lit the ceremonial lamp before being invited to say a few words and lead the Diwali prayers.

  • Forbes Magazine Covers ISKCON50 Gala in Washington DC

    The renowned International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding by revered spiritual leader A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada with an elaborate black-tie gala in Washington DC late last month. The event brought together scores of religious, academic and political leaders from across the country to celebrate the life of Swami Prabhupada and the influential, global organization his work inspired.

  • ECO-Vrindaban Offers Opportunity for New Maintenance Person

    ECO-Vrindaban (ECO-V) – which strives to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s mandates for simple living and cow-protection at New Vrindaban in West Virginia, USA – is on the lookout for a new construction and maintenance person for its ongoing operations. A non-profit entity launched in 1998, ECO-V works closely with ISKCON New Vrindaban in the areas of cow protection and gardening activities. The organization looks after a total of around 800 acres.

  • Italian Parliament Celebrates ISKCON 50th

    On October 4th, in Rome, Italy, an extraordinary event took place at the House of Representatives of the Italian Parliament. The opportunity for ISKCON to acquire national visibility in such an important setting is a huge step towards to finally officially recieve the status of a "religious movement" from the Italian government along with the rights to maintain chaplancies in hospitals and schools, to be exempt from some taxes, and to receive tax donations. 

  • Trick or Sweetball: How Vaishnavas Celebrate Halloween

    As jack-o-lanterns, comedy gravestones, and zombies crop up on our neighbor’s lawns, and every kid in town shakes with excitement about their candy haul, ISKCON devotees may be wondering whether or not to take their own children out trick-or-treating. Some devotees have expressed concerns about celebrating non-Gaudiya Vaishnava holidays. Others are Krishna-izing Halloween in creative ways.