When Cyclone Phailin hit the Eastern Indian states everyone feared the worst. Fifteen years ago, a storm of similar power, killed 10,000 people. But this time, the government took serious precautionary measures by evacuating 900,000 people to shelters. Still, the situation is serious. To provide aid, ISKCON Food Relief Foundation joined forces with ISKCON Juhu and Chowpatty in Mumbai.
Two weeks after Cyclone Phailin struck Odisha (formerly Orissa) and Andhra Pradesh at 140 mph, the Eastern Indian states are still reeling. Doing its part to help, ISKCON Food Relief Foundation -- which delivers healthy vegetarian meals to 1.2 million underprivileged school children around India every day -- flew members into Odisha on October 15th.
In the biggest congregation of Odissi dancers, 555 dancers from across India and abroad matched steps to perform the complete five-phase repertoire of classical Odissi for 28 minutes for the feat on December 24. The dancers started with "Mangalacharan," followed by "Batu," "Pallavi," "Abhinay" and "Mokshya." The colourful show held at the Kalinga Stadium to flag off the week-long International Odissi Festival was organised by the Department of Culture in collaboration with a cultural associations.
Aerial view of Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, India. Enhanced, ultra-wideangle video.
This year's Jagannath Puri parikrama will be from the 27th to the 30th November. The parikrama usually consists of a majority of Hindi and Bengali speaking devotees, so this year the organizers have decided to have an even bigger international group specifically for English speaking devotees.
After years of struggles of various types, including having to overcome a number of legal hurdles, ISKCON has inaugurated the beginning of a grand project at Jagannath Puri by performing the bhumi puja and installation of Ananta Shesha on the 18 acre ISKCON project land in a grand ceremony.
“The sign above the book store says: one book will change your life,” commented Pancharatna Das. “All of us know that Srila Prabhupada’s books have transformed the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world. We hope that our humble offering to Srila Prabhupada in the 50th anniversary year of ISKCON will please His Divine Grace by increasing book distribution and generating more publicity for ISKCON.”
The Indian Supreme Court has asked the Puri Jagannath temple to consider permitting entry to every visitor, irrespective of religious faith. Temple servitors, however, will object to the ruling.
The sacred city of Jagannath Puri was one of the worst hit, with 25 deaths. According to ISKCON devotee Madhavananda Das, who runs Gopal Jiu Publications from Puri, no ISKCON devotees were killed or seriously injured.