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

ISKCON Leader Appointed to National Commission in Finland
By Kulavati Krishnapriya Devi Dasi, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Mar 13, 2024

Recently, Guruttama Dasa (Gurmann Saini) of ISKCON Finland and a member of the National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland (USKOT), was named by the Finnish Government to represent religious communities on the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development 2024-2027.

The USKOT forum, an organization dedicated to fostering religious cooperation, champions the cause of social tranquility and religious literacy through the conduit of interreligious dialogue. Spearheaded by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, the Finnish Sustainable Development Commission, boasts a cadre of influential figures drawn from various parts of society, thereby underlining its significance in shaping the nation’s sustainable development agenda.

This Commission serves as a nexus of societal influencers, rallying formidable stakeholders towards the noble pursuit of sustainable development objectives. Its mandate extends to the integration of sustainable development imperatives into national policy frameworks, administrative practices, and communal norms.

“It is indeed a great opportunity for ISKCON and all religious societies in Finland to have to have a representative of religious societies in a national wide commission led by the Prime Minister of Finland,” said Guruttama Dasa, “The commission has representatives from different parts of the Finnish society: ministries, parliament, business sector, NGOs, media and cultural fields. We are grateful and honored to be part of the commission for a very important topic of sustainability.”

Currently serving ISKCON Finland nationally and ISKCON Helsinki temple specifically with various managerial and temple services, Guruttama Dasa was introduced to Krishna Consciousness in his early childhood while visiting the local ISKCON Helsinki temple. 

Beginning from the third grade of primary school and continuing through high school, he engaged in Krishna classes organized by ISKCON instructors as an integral component of Finland’s national curriculum. Since then, his family has been deeply involved in ISKCON, with both parents and his sister actively participating and serving within ISKCON Finland. In January 2021, he received his first initiation, followed by a second initiation in August 2022, from Srila Danavir Goswami.

Further explaining his role in the commission, Guruttama explained, “My contribution is to share the valuable insights from the religious societies on sustainability. The best use of the representation in a high position is to share the message from a large aspect of people. Overall the message is, we cannot take nature or the environment granted. One of the most important things is to understand the spiritual aspects along with the material reality in the development work.”

Deeply inspired by Srila Prabhupada, Guruttama Dasa expressed, “Doing selfless service (seva) is something that keeps me happy, thankful and helps me deepen my practice of Krishna Consciousness. My biggest inspiration is from Srila Prabhupada, his disciples and all the dedicated Vaishnavas, who selflessly try to spread the mission of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.”

He concluded, “ISKCON devotees around the world have so much experience in many topics and there are experts in different fields. I encourage all to share their experience for the best of ISKCON, their local yatra and also the general society. The more devotees take responsibility in the general society, the bigger impact will be in the hearts of the general society.”

To follow the ongoing service of devotees in Finland you can visit their Facebook page.  To learn more information about USKOT, visit their Facebook page. To discover more about the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, visit their website.