Construction Begins on New Las Vegas Temple
London Celebrates ISKCON 50
On June 15th, on the auspicious day of Ekadasi, construction began on a new temple complex in the city that probably needs it most: Las Vegas. It may come as a surprise to some that ISKCON has already had a strong presence in Sin City, Nevada for quite some time already, thanks to Polish devotee couple Surapala Das and Krishna Mayi Dasi, who started a center there from their home back in 2002.
Bhakti in the Christian and Vaishnava Traditions: A 50 Anniversary Event at the UK
ISKCON of Soho St, London and Bhaktivedanta Manor have been setting the standard and celebrating ISKCON 50 in style this July – the month when in 1966 Srila Prabhupada incorporated his society. On Saturday July 2nd, performing arts group “Something Spiritual” put on “Departing for the West,” a spectacular production depicting the life and struggles of Srila Prabhupada with a cast and crew of sixty-five young people at Harrow Arts Centre.
Mainstream Media Across Four Continents Cover Incorporation Day Stories in a Big Way
As a part of Incorporation Day celebrations, the Bhaktivedanta Manor hosted esteemed members of various religious organisations for a discussion about devotion (bhakti) in Vaishnavism and Christianity. On July 14th, individuals from BAPS Swaminarayan, the Interfaith Network UK, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and various churches from around the region, gathered at Srila Prabhupada theatre to hear guest speakers Rev Kumar Rajagopalan, from the London Baptist Association and Saunaka Rsi Das from the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.
50 Years of ISKCON – The Joy of Devotion
Major newspapers and TV channels across four continents covered the 50th anniversary of ISKCON’s incorporation on 13th July with positive stories that reached out to millions of people around the world. The BBC UK, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Chicago Tribune, the Times of India and India’s government-owned DD National TV gave extensive coverage to the history of ISKCON, the achievements of Srila Prabhupada and local events happening in their area.
Indonesia Adds Local Flavor to ISKCON 50 Festivities
Over fifty years ago in September 1965, an elderly Indian monk stepped off the piers of New York harbour wearing orange Indian robes and sporting a dignified vaishnava tilak mark on his forehead. He was carrying just seven dollars, a few sets of clothes and two trunk-loads of books. The aristocratic looking monk was A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who had been sent by his spiritual master from India to preach the message of the Bhagavad-gita to the western world.
Special Month of Activities at ISKCON-London to Celebrate 50th
During its ISKCON 50 festivities this month, Indonesia added some rich local culture to proceedings as its over 5,000 devotees focused on uniting together to serve Srila Prabhupada.Celebrations included a brahmachari sankirtan party touring with a Prabhupada murti through the thirty-two ISKCON temples, centers and Namahattas on the island nation; and a youth camp bringing together youth from across the island of Bali. The highlight, however, was the International Leadership Sanga (ILS) and the Bhakti Festival and Rathayatra from July 5th through 10th.
E-Card Offering for 50th Aims to Break World Record
On a joint initiative themed “Day of Gratitude”, ISKCON-London and the Bhaktivedanta Manor distributeed 5,000 cupcakes to commuters at key locations in central London on July 13th.The grand finale of the month-long celebration will be the Kirtan on the Thames Boat Event on 31st July. This National Signature Event will be a day of chanting, dancing and feasting on a cruise around the famous landmarks of London.
ISKCON 50 Inspiration Series Videos Launched on Incorporation Day
Among their many plans for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, ISKCON Mumbai’s four temples – Juhu, Mira Road, Khargar and Chowpatty – have launched a website that allows devotees to submit their written offerings to Srila Prabhupada in the shape of e-cards. With the project they aim to collect 108,000 e-card offerings from devotees worldwide, which would shatter the previous Guiness World Record of 65,000 e-cards submitted.
Short Film About ISKCON’s Global Contribution Reaches 100,000 People
The ISKCON 50 Global office launched the Inspiration Series videos on July 13th, the exact day that ISKCON was incorporated as a legal entity fifty years ago in 1966. The Inspiration Series is a set of over 16 short videos that feature ISKCON leaders explaining the importance of the 50th anniversary of ISKCON and encouraging devotees to participate enthusiastically all over the world.
Srila Prabhupada Drama by "Something Spiritual"
The documentary short “Hare Krishna: 50 Years of Service and Joy,” showcasing the society’s many impressive contributions, released back in February for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, by now has reached over a hundred thousand people all over the world. The film had over forty thousand viewers on YouTube, and was screened in 28 countries and 51 cities during large public festivals, temple programs, VIP-, interfaith-or educational events attended by various audiences.
UK to Herald Incorporation Day with Packed Week of Events
On the eve of Saturday 2nd July in the outskirts of London, a cast and crew of 65 young people who are part of an upcoming performing arts group known as "Something Spiritual", came together to put on a spectacular production depicting the life and struggles of Srila Prabhupada. It was a night that captured hearts, moved people to tears and transformed the lives of many.
Devotees Attend Environmental Leadership Training
Bhaktivedanta Manor has planned a packed week of events from 13th to 17th July to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ISKCON’s incorporation. The events start on the actual day of incorporation on 13th July with a ‘Day of Gratitude’ that will see 5000 cupcakes being distributed to commuters at key locations in central London to say 'thank you'. This will be followed by a special ceremony of offerings to Srila Prabhupada in the form of poems and prayers, and an exquisite lunch for disciples of Srila Prabhupada.
Couples’ Retreat to Strengthen ISKCON Marriages
Three ISKCON devotees participated in a week of faith-based climate change leadership training in New Orleans last month. Gopal-Lila Das from England, Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies’ Bhumi Project, was a facilitator at the training. Joining him as attendees were Sarita Telhan, who works on green initiatives at ISKCON of Washington D.C.; and Archana Prasad, who serves at ISKCON of Towaco, New Jersey and is taking her Masters in environmental/sustainability science.
Bangladesh ISKCON Devotee Attacked by ISIS
The Grihasta Vision Team (GVT) has done many things: provided counseling services; written a book, Heart and Soul Connection; offered seminars at many ISKCON festivals; and established a website, vaisnavafamilyresources.org, that offers many helpful articles. All these support their motto: “Healthy Marriages. Happy Families. Strong ISKCON.” One of their most exciting efforts is their annual Couples’ Retreat, held at the Gita Nagari farm in Pennsylvania.
Radhanath Swami's New Book is on the New York Times' Top List
During the Bangladesh ISIS attack on a café frequently visited by foreigners, which is in the headlines of the world media, an ISKCON devotee was attacked in the district of Satkhira, 300 km from Dhaka, on the border of India. A devotee Bhavasindhu Dasa Adhikari had just finished his bath at the local center and was preparing for the Mangal Aarti at 4:15 am when the temple was stormed by three individuals bearing sharp weapons like machetes
Walking Monk Retraces ISKCON’s Journey for 50th
Radhanatha Swami's new book "The Journey Within" has been listed as a New York Times best seller on the "Religion, Spirituality and Faith" list.
ISKCON 50 Mantra Fest in Argentina Draws Newcomers
From September 20th to November 10th in 2015, Bhaktimarga Swami walked from Boston’s Commonwealth Pier, where ISKCON Founder Srila Prabhupada first reached the U.S. in 1965, to Butler Pennsylvania, where he stayed with sponsors the Agarwal family, to New York City, where he registered ISKCON in 1966. In New York, Bhaktimarga concluded his 907-mile walk by chanting under the famous “Hare Krishna tree” in Tompkins Square Park, where Prabhupada led some of the first public kirtans in the Western World.
Kulimela Blends Service, Fun, Family and Community
On June 18th, nearly one hundred and sixty yoga teachers attended a Mantra Festival in Buenos Aires in honor of ISKCON’s 50th anniversary. The free cultural event was held at the Valle Tierra yoga center in Palermo, a hip alternative neighborhood of Buenos Aires that is particularly receptive to vegetarianism, yoga and kirtan. The venue was decorated with an ISKCON 50 banner featuring Srila Prabhupada.
Burglars Steal Tools from Dallas ISKCON Temple
The first Kulimela, held in New Vrindaban, West Virginia in 2006, was an effort by ISKCON’s second generation to move away from party-style gurukuli reunions and explore their identity and what they could accomplish both materially and spiritually. The 10th anniversary of that Mela, which also took place in New Vrindaban from June 15th to 19th this year, took those themes further and showed new levels of maturity and stability amongst the Kuli community, while still being full of joy and celebration.
Four-Continent Conference to Launch Support Network for ISKCON Farms
Dallas police are looking for two men who broke into a Hare Krishna temple the night of June 13 and stole thousands of dollars in property. The burglars picked a lock or rattled a gate in the parking lot of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness temple in Old East Dallas, property manager Mike Meyer said. The temple also houses Kalachandji's, a vegetarian restaurant that was founded a few years after the temple in the 1970s.
Service Opportunity: North American Child Protection Office Director
This summer and fall, for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, the GBC Ministry for Cow Protection and Agriculture will run conferences on simple living in four continents. It hopes that the conferences will also launch a support network for ISKCON farms around the world. The Ministry was first established in 1998 by Balabhadra Das of the International Society for Cow Protection (ISCOWP), who emphasized working with oxen and encouraged devotees to take up cow protection as a key part of their mission.
Sadhu Sanga ISKCON 50 Special Reaches New Heights
The North American Executive Committee (NAEC) of the North American GBC and Temple Presidents Association is looking for a new Director of the Child Protection Office. This Office has been active for over five years, and is now expanding its staff and programs.
"ISKCON's 50th Anniversary Celebration Ki Jaya!"
This year saw the Sadhu Sanga Retreat, the biggest ISKCON kirtan event in North America, continue its remarkable growth while offering up something special for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary. It immerses participants in the Holy Name from morning till night, with an ever-expanding list of senior Vaishnavas guiding them in developing a deeper taste. From an attendance of just 400 when it launched in 2011, this year’s event drew an incredible 1,800.
ISKCON Gears Up For Incorporation Day
In celebration of ISKCON's 50th Anniversary, the Executive Commitee of ISKCON's Governing Commission reccommends all ISKCON centers all over the world to include 'ISKCON's 50th Anniversary Celebration ki jaya!' in their daily prayers.
After years of planning for its 50th anniversary, and nearly six months of celebrations this year so far, ISKCON is now gearing up for its Golden Jubilee Incorporation Day on July 13th, 1966. And temples, centers, and individual devotees all over the world are getting ready to do something big for founder Srila Prabhupada, whom many feel they owe their lives to.