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

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Hundreds Gathered in Helsinki to Celebrate ISKCON Finland’s 40th Anniversary
By ISKCON News   |  Jun 17, 2024

Devotees listening to a lecture by Dhirasanta Dasa Goswami.

On June 16th, 2024, ISKCON Finland celebrated its 40th anniversary as an officially registered religious society in the country. The Education Ministry of Finland registered Krishna-liike ISKCON Suomessa (ISKCON Finland) on May 9th, 1984. The Finnish yatra joyfully celebrated its 40+ years in Finland with their special guest, Dhirasanta Dasa Goswami. He is one of the founding fathers of ISKCON Finland, along with Smita Krishna Swami.

“We are very thankful to all the devotees who have served and are serving in the ISKCON Finland since the 1980s. The landmark of 40 years shows the sacrifice, lifelong service, and dedication of all the devotees who have taken part in this movement,” said Tapo Divyam Dasa, Temple President of ISKCON Helsinki and Regional Secretary of ISKCON Finland, “It has been such an honor to lead the Finnish Yatra for more than a decade with the blessings of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Srila Prabhupada and Vaishnava devotees. This is just the beginning; there is more to come to make Finland Krishna conscious.” 

The festival began with a joyous arati, followed by an inspirational lecture by Dhirasanta Dasa Goswami, who shared memories from the early days. The program continued with cultural programs such as a children’s Krishna dance performance and a panel discussion of the Finnish yatra’s history and future, followed by more kirtan performances. In the end, a tasty multi-preparation prasadam feast was served. The celebration was attended by hundreds of devotees and guests.  

ISKCON Finland has a close relationship with the local Helsinki Police Department. Finnish Yatra’s friends from the Field Operations and Preventive Unit, Mr. Harri Soininen and Mr. Antti Kopra, greeted the devotees and guests, followed by very nice spiritual conversations with the community members. The officers wished the devotees a safe and secure future and told them the police were always ready to serve the community with their expertise. They enjoyed the prasadam and received the Sri Isopanisad and Bhagavad-gita As It Is as gifts. 

Friends from the interfaith network also joined the celebration. The festival was attended by the Chairman of the National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland and Christian Orthodox priest, Father Heikki Huttunen. Father Huttunen began by thanking ISKCON and the Hindu Forum Finland for their association and shared the blessings of God with those present. 

Ms. Tiina Hyytiäinen from the Finnish Buddhist Union also shared her lovely experiences with Hare Krishna prasadam and vegetarian food in general. Ms. Hyytiäinen, who works in the field of education, gifted ISKCON Finland with the organization’s newest publication on Buddhism in Finland and encouraged ISKCON to create a similar publication on Krishna Consciousness and Hinduism in Finland.

“The festival atmosphere was super inspirational and sweet. It was so nice to see senior devotees all the way since the beginning taking part in the festival and sharing their association with their peers and junior ones. All glories to the devotees who made this festival happen and to the devotees who gave us the opportunity to celebrate this auspicious landmark,” said Guruttama Dasa, Festival and Communication Manager of ISKCON Finland.

Readers are invited to follow ISKCON Finland’s journey by visiting their website and following them on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Readers can view more pictures from the festivals on their social media.  A special thanks to Krisangi-lila Devi Dasi and Guruttama Dasa for the event photos.

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