It’s a mobile “studio” with the words “Ananta Mobile Wellness Solutions” inscribed on the side, next to a logo combining the heart and the brain. Inside is a surprising oasis of peace: bamboo floors and benches, green paint on the walls, plants, soft lighting and comfortable rugs.
By the time Srila Prabhupada passed away, there were more than 100 branches of his ISKCON all over the world.
The GBC’s Strategic Planning Network (SPN) recently concluded its five-day bi-annual meeting in Mayapur. Facilitated by the GBC’s Strategic Planning Team, the numerous SPN committees, made up of GBC members and ISKCON leaders and thinkers from across the globe, continued to explore new ideas and initiatives with the view to providing documents that will form a comprehensive plan for the future of ISKCON.
Today saw the start of the much-anticipated Sanga of Sannyasis, Gurus and GBCs, (SGGS). Over eighty of ISKCON’s most senior leaders and preachers from across the globe gathered in Sri Dhama Mayapur for three days of association, contemplation, and in-depth discussion in response to Srila Prabhupada’s directive to find unity in diversity.
It’s almost noon. The organisers Rasika Siromani Devi Dasi, Rama Vijaya Das and Govinda Charan Das are discussing last minute festival details over breakfast at the registration tables. Just across the street, surrounded by picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, there are around 1400 devotees immersed in chanting the Holy Names.
New youth organization The Sanga Initiative just launched in October of last year, but it’s already inspiring North American youth to pursue big ideals – building relationships, offering service to ISKCON, and setting the foundation to become future leaders in their communities. The Sanga Initiative hopes to hit the ground running because it already has a sizeable base of members.
Around 1,300 devotees from 41 US states will attend this year’s Sadhu Sanga Retreat from May 23rd to 26th over the Memorial Day Weekend. A unique festival, it creates an immersive space for devotees to experience rejuvenating kirtan from morning till night in the company of many senior Vaishnavas who have a deep taste for the Holy Name.
The final plenary was scheduled for two hours, but went on for three, with devotees longing for more. As a perfect ending, the very last plenary for the ISKCON Leadership Sanga 2014 ended as the first one started – with a very sweet and loving Guru puja for the founder acarya, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Throughout the entire ILS, Srila Prabhupada and his teachings were at the center.
Devamrita Swami took to the stage to deliver a powerfully relevant class on Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur and the topic of innovation. Maharaja spoke as to the numerous ways by which Saraswati Thakur utilized the technology and resources of his time to spread Krishna-consciousness.
The ILS serves as a forum for devotes to not only learn about the work being done to push forward the ISKCON’s Governing Commission’s (GBC) strategic plan, but provides leaders with the tools to help implement it in their own communities.
Day 3 of the ISKCON Leadership Sanga in Mayapur, India, was dedicated as Devotee Care Day.The day was filled with presentations where devotees had the opportunity to attend five seminar slots and choose between forty-eight presentations! As the day was devoted to Devotee Care the majority of presentations focused on this important topic.
Devotees had the opportunity to attend talks such as Unity in Diversity, Being Trusting and Trustworthy, Harmonizing Lines of Authority, Srila Prabhupada: The Living Bhagavatam, The Avanti Schools Model or a Theatre Arts Workshop (VANDE) which were among the twenty two seminars offered in the morning.
The 2014 ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) was inaugurated on February 16 in Sridham Mayapur. Day 1 consisted of three sessions during which at least ten seminars would run in parallel per session. Seminars such as Effective Outreach, How to Implement the 5 Steps of Succession and Identify Future Leaders, Devotee Care Through Cow Care, Invest in the Future, and To Love is to Cooperate were just a handful of the numerous seminars devotees had the opportunity to attend.