Event: Healthy Families, Strong Communities
Date: 29 May 2021
Time: 12:00-13:30 PDT/ 15:00-16:30 UK/ 05:00-06:30 AEDT
Venue: Facebook Live – ISKCON Vaishnavi Ministry
Contact: ISKCON Vaishnavi Ministry
Panellist: Radha dasi, ISKCON Vaisnavi Minister, Krishnarupa devi dasi (ACBSP), Vaisnavi Minister – Australia, Madhavi Vaisnavi Ministry – UK, Bhaktin Poonam, Head of the ISKCON Domestic Abuse Coalition.
In a lecture on March 8, 1966, Srila Prabhupada instructed that if we want to do something good for our families we should try to make them Krishna Conscious, then our lives will be successful. Communities are the sum of the individuals who make up those communities. If our family units are strong then the communities that we collectively represent will be strong as well.
Examining Srila Prabhupada’s Seven Purposes for ISKCON, in particular the third purpose, “To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, and thus to develop the idea, within the members, and humanity, at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna),” we can see that the concept of community-based on inclusivity and respect are of fundamental importance to building a healthy society. In order to make this vision a reality we need to see all members of society as equal parts and parcels of Krishna.
The grihastha ashram is defined as a shelter for all the members of the household, men, women and children. In room conversation, December 12, 1970 Prabhupada explains “Whenever you add this word āśrama there is spiritual significance. So all the division-brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and sannyāsa—they are known as āśrama. Anyone can understand āśrama. As soon as there is āśrama that means “Here some men, saintly persons, spiritually advanced persons, lives.” That is āśrama.
“We want to feel safe in our temples and workplaces – and safe in our homes,” said Krishnarupa devi dasi, Vaisnavi Minister for Australia. The existence of abuse of women and children erodes at the foundations of our community. In February 2020, a major milestone in building a healthy spiritual society was achieved when ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission adopted a global policy against domestic abuse.
“Domestic abuse also affects the ISKCON community as a whole,” says Radha Dasi. “Not only are children exposed to domestic abuse more likely to suffer from mental health challenges as adults, domestic abusers sometimes target friends and family of their partners. Everyone in a community benefits when we can prevent abuse.”
Join us as we discuss how building healthy families helps us build strong communities.
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Anandini Tikunov (8th-grade student)
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Sunanda Das, tovp.org