Between 21st and 25летний of December, 2019, ISKCON Ahmedabad, India, hosted the national ISKCON Communications Conference. The event was organized by ISKCON India’s National Director of Communications Yudhistir Govinda Das. Over 25 participants assembled to introspect, reflect, analyze, strategize and prepare an effective plan of action for ISKCON Communications India representatives.
Pancharatna Das touched upon strategies for a better outreach for an effective communication bridge between ISKCON and the rest of the world. He emphasized on the need for environmental conservation and preservation of nature. The remark that resonated was, ‘The proper application of science and technology is not to Lord over nature, but to live in it harmoniously.’ It was further elaborated by Yudisthir Govinda Das, when he described how ISKCON has tied up with the United Nations on Environmental Protection (17 point agenda) and the Indian Government for preservation of water.
Anuttama Das (Governing Body Commissioner, Minister of ISKCON Communications) commenced his speech with selective and effective communication via print and electronic media. Often a message could be juxtaposed, misinterpreted or contorted, thus losing its true value. Hence one should be precise, vigilant and careful while expressing oneself in order to have an appropriate impact on the audience or readers or listeners. He emphatically stressed on the importance of interfaith relations in order to establish peace and God consciousness throughout the world. On one hand, ‘we can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves and our existence’ while on the other hand, ‘peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding (Albert Einstein)’ and Dalai Lama XIV had once said that ‘peace could only be established with compassion and not violence’. It was a powerful and intuitive presentation.
The conference was attended by several local media crew as well. The principal correspondent of NAV Gujarat Samay newspaper, Dr. Dave shed light on the functionalities of media, wherein the actual content, which could improve people, is being manhandled and mis-represented. He gave an insightful perspective about how a national communications secretariat within organizations like ISKCON can actually enable proper permeability of good content.
Another eminent Communications consultant, Sri Jay Tharur, who is a consultant of the Chief Minister of Gujarat, India, Mr. Vijay Rupani, highlighted his life’s metamorphosis or transformation. When in life he had hit rock bottom, lost everything, he came across the founder Acharya of ISKCON, A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami’s life story, wherein he learnt how at the age of 69, Swami had redefined his life by revolutionizing the approach towards spirituality and religion in the West. He was extremely inspired and that’s what motivated him to fight his way and turn the tables of his life in his favor. His presentation was filled with motivation and apprehensive intuitions.
Several participants gave enlightening presentations on their success stories. ISKCON Chowpatty temple of Mumbai, India, has taken a great initiative in collaboration with Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), hence becoming the first ISKCON temple to go completely green. Yudhistir Govinda who recently completed his International Fellowship with KAICIID spoke on his activities with various governmental and inter-governmental agencies.
The best was kept for the last, the conference ended at a very high note when all the participants were taken to ‘Dakor’, a holy site of pilgrimage near Ahmedabad and they also witnessed Live News broadcasts in Zee News and Gujarat Samaya Broadcast Stations respectively.
Overall, the Conference was able to inspire and inject the urgency of action in order to grow towards a God conscious and peaceful civilization.
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