"Madiba, you had a unique ability to rise above all political, ethnic, tribal and religious barriers to help the citizens of this country identify as one people, as South Africans."
In a deeply spiritual, almost covert way, Mandela represented a kind of incarnational presence that showed us what practical theology really looks like.
Nelson Mandela gives an historic address at Riverside Church in New York City as part of an interfaith "Service of Thanksgiving for Nelson Mandela" on July 2nd, 1990. Odyssey Networks (VISN at the time) recorded his remarks that were broadcast across major networks at the time.
Watch the Soweto Gospel Choir sing an incredible tribute to Madiba in Pretoria's Parkview store.
He might have lived thousands of miles away – but Nelson Mandela’s legacy will live on in Aldenham, UK, where he helped save a Hindu temple from closure. Bhaktivedanta Manor was on the brink of shutting down in 1995 – but the South African leader vowed to do all in his power to ensure it stayed open.
ISKCON joined South Africa in honoring the official day of prayer and reflection for former President Nelson Mandela. The Hare Krishna’s gathered outside Nelson Mandela’s home in Houghton, Johannesburg and in true South African style, indeed Madiba style chanted, danced and distributed free vegetarian food to the throngs who had come to celebrate Mr. Mandela.
Devotees might be wondering why ISKCON, particularly in South Africa is going to great lengths to acknowledge Madiba. Did he not appeal to many other people of religion besides us? Was he an ally of our cause?
On Decembexr 7th, 2013, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), hosted a magnificent festival for thousands just South of Johannesburg, South Africa in celebration of the life and legacy of South Africa’s most famous son, Nelson Mandela. Condolences, prayer and celebration in tribute to Nelson Mandela were the themes echoed throughout the daylong event.
President Nelson Mandela gave a memorable speech at a gathering of 50,000 school children on April 23rd 1997 who were invited by Hare Krishna Food for Life to a public picnic in Durban Kings Park Soccer stadium called the “Festival for the Children of the Rainbow Nation”.
The memories of Mandela’s association with ISKCON shall forever remain etched in the history of ISKCON.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness joins the world in mourning and paying tribute to the foremost human rights icon of current times, President Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela. We offer our condolences to the Mandela family and to the entire South African nation. ISKCON centers across South Africa will host special memorial services in honour of President Mandela, who was both our well-wisher and our friend.