The book has been available in translation for many years in Hungary, but could only be obtained through book distributing devotees. However, 2019 has been announced to be the year of Bhagavad Gita in Hungary, therefore the organizers thought it was timely to make the Gita available through bookshops.
“There are so many families in Hungary who are on the edge of homelessness,” says ISKCON Hungary spokesperson Gandharvika Prema Dasi. “They are in debt, have no jobs, and without external help they struggle to maintain their lives and may lose their homes.”
The main topic and the title of the conference was “The Role of Multi-religious Cooperation in Social Cohesion and Human Security.” As part of the program, on May 7th the European religous leaders visited the Hare Krishna Temple in Budapest.
Although the program runs all year long, due to the cold weather and the holidays, the month of December means increased service and dedication for the volunteers of Food for Life Hungary. During the December holiday season, they distributed 10,000 plates of hot meal and 6,000 packages of dry food all across the country.
Every year, prominent people take part in ISKCON Hungary’s annual Divali dinner. This year, as usual, government officials, public personalities, sponsors, decision-makers, artists, representatives of other religions, university professors, scientists and others from the fields of politics and media all enjoyed the Hungarian devotees’ hospitality. The main theme of the event was the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of ISKCON.
As part of the ISKCON50 program series, Vaishnavas in Hungary organized a two-day national book distribution event, taking place at different locations of the country. Devotees who had never distributed books before, or had not taken part in sankirtana for a long time were also involved. During the two days, 36 participants from the farm sold 619 books, while the 195 devotees on the streets of Budapest distributed 2,650 books.
It is an age-old custom in Europe that people say goodbye to the cold and dark winter and welcome spring in a celebratory way, singing, dancing, and dressed up in colorful costumes. The students of Krishna-valley and the Budapest Gurukula’s nursery schools did not want to miss out on the fun, so they also put up their own show, -- while at the same time kicking off ISKCON's 50th Anniversary year.
When I lay down in my comfortable apartment in Budapest, all I could see are images of little children lying on the dirty floor of Budapest’s railway stations waiting for their transfer to a new, safer and better life.
Sivarama Swami talks about his personal experience as a refugee fleeing Hungary in 1956, about his recent encounters with Syrian refugees in Budapest, and about the ancient Indian scriptures' teachings of how to treat people who are "different" from us. A video created by Janos Kapcsos, Laszlo Tas Balogh, Gandharvika Prema and Krisztina Danka, Ph.D.
With the European public completely divided over how to treat refugees poring in from war-torn countries, whether Europeans should welcome them or be afraid of them, likewise, being at the epicenter of the crisis, Hungarian devotees have also expressed their concerns about the issue. Sivarama Swami addresses some of these concerns.
We are not Muslims, Hindus, Jews or Christians. We are not Afghans, Syrians, Germans or Hungarians. We are all migrants on our journeys, seeking love, peace and happiness. -- A short film about the power of an act of humanity.
Created by: Janos Kapcsos, Laszlo Tas Balogh, Gandharvika Prema, Krisztina Danka.
UN data show that more than 300,000 refugees have tried to reach Europe so far this year. Of those, almost 200,000 landed in Greece and 110,000 in Italy. At the same time, some 2,500 migrants or refugees are estimated to have died or gone missing this year, trying to reach Europe. Civil organizations have stepped up to help refugees with medical aid, water or food.
On the occasion of the World Dance Day, a flash mob performance was organized by ISKCON devotees in downtown Budapest, Hungary on April 29th, 2015. They suprised the passer-byes with a beautiful Odissi dance piece praising Lord Jagannatha.
During the month of December, ‘Food For Life Hungary’ ISKCON Hungary’s charity program has been distributing 30 tons of dry food (rice, flour, oil, pasta, canned vegetables) as well as 30,000 plates of hot meal to the needy all across the country. The ‘Christmas packages’ that the volunteers have been giving out in 12 locations and cities represent the only source of food for many families during the cold winter and the holiday season.
On September 18th a special art exhibition opened at the Cultural Center of the Indian Embassy in Budapest, Hungary. The “Blossoming of Vedic Life in Rural Hungary” exhibition displays over 40 original drawings from ISKCON-guru and author Sivarama Swami’s new book the Nava Vraja Mahima, a monumental work in glorification of New Vraja Dhama (or Krishna-valley), a rural Vaishnava community in Hungary.
The interior is like a combination of modern museum and Indian palace. It is spotlessly clean, airy and full of sunlight from the skylights in the ceiling. And it’s filled with chandeliers, glass, shining reflective Italian marble floors, hand-painted furniture from Gujarat, and a stunning marble altar for Sri Sri Dayal Nitai Vijay Gauranga.
6,000 plates of hot meal and 32 tons of food packages, warm cloths and toys were distributed by Hungarian Krishna devotees over the Christmas holidays. Many political leaders, well-known public figures, sportsmen and artists joined them as volunteers in helping their efforts to care for underprivileged families.