Trick or Sweetball: How Vaishnavas Celebrate Halloween
The Devotee Wears Prada
As jack-o-lanterns, comedy gravestones, and zombies crop up on our neighbor’s lawns, and every kid in town shakes with excitement about their candy haul, ISKCON devotees may be wondering whether or not to take their own children out trick-or-treating. Some devotees have expressed concerns about celebrating non-Gaudiya Vaishnava holidays. Others are Krishna-izing Halloween in creative ways.
Joy of Devotion in Montreal
Fall is the perfect time to look at one of those areas – fashion – where ISKCON is seeing a second-generation-led explosion lately. That explosion is being embraced by the ISKCON devotee congregation, as well as reaching the yoga community and beyond, into the mainstream. Should Hare Krishnas care about fashion? The success of many Kuli-led fashion companies suggests that they already do. And designers say that’s a good thing, boosting self-esteem, inspiring enthusiasm to attend temple festivals, and allowing us to visually communicate who we are.
New Book Sri Manah-Siksa Provides Steps to Awaken Love for Krishna
During this unique showcasing of India's deep spiritual culture, the over 15,000 people who attended were treated to an in-depth presentation of Srila Prabhupada's amazing contributions, richly illustrated within 20 professional displays: Sacred Literature, Bhagavad-gita, Hommage to Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON Celebrates 50 Years, Spiritual Solutions, Eco-Village, Harmony with the Earth, Higher Taste, and Ayurveda.
New Website Helps You Find and Learn About Any ISKCON Center
Now in its fiftieth year, ISKCON continues to delve deeper and deeper into the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition members devote themselves to, finding new reservoirs of inspiration and wisdom. The latest effort is a new two-volume edition of Sri Manah Siksha (Splendid Instructions to the Mind) by Raghunath dasa Goswami. Produced by Padma, Inc. and compiled by longtime ISKCON educator Urmila Dasi, it includes commentaries by Vaishnava acharya Bhaktivinode Thakur.
New Hare Krishna YouTube Channel Gets Tens of Thousands of Views
The official ISKCON 50 magazine “The Hare Krishnas: Celebrating 50 Years” cites Srila Prabhupada’s society as having 65 farms and eco-villages, and 650 centers, temples, schools and colleges worldwide. That’s a surprisingly huge and growing network – growing family – that we’re a part of. But what if you want to learn more about what’s happening at a particular center? What if you’re traveling and want to stop off at the closest ISKCON center to get some prasadam and kirtan, a spiritual boost and a comforting taste of home? How do you find it?
Mayapur Schoolchildren Put on Their Own Radhastami
The 3t Path, a new YouTube channel, started by Giridhari Das, a Brazilian devotee who in the past has been in charge of the Portuguese BBT and been the President of the ISKCON Brazil National Council, has gotten over 30 thousand views since starting just three weeks ago, with 12 thousand views just on his japa meditation video.
Sivarama Swami’s Latest Book Praises Motherly Love
“Mayapur is so huge, and so many pilgrims come for the main Radhastami celebration at the temple, that it’s not really a community celebration,” says parent and teacher Noam Hillel. “So we decided to hold our own festival the evening after the main one, with students, faculty, parents and all other community members who wanted to attend.” About fifty youth under eighteen worked hard to put on the festival, with boys and girls embarking on their own separate efforts and bringing them together on the day.
Flower and Boat Festivals Bring Unique Flavor to Dallas Radhastami
Sivarama Swami’s latest book, the fourth volume of the Krishna In Vrindavana series, is hot off the press. Shri Damodara-janani weaves a captivating tale of the glories of Mother Yashoda. No other person has ever received the unique mercy that Krishna showed His own mother, teaching devotees for all time that the binding force of love for Him is more powerful than even His own supreme will.
Vaishnav Songs App Loaded With Features to Absorb
Some ISKCON temples have been adding new experiences to their biggest festivals to sweeten and deepen devotees’ absorption in serving the Lord, including this year’s Radhastami festival.In Dallas, USA, there were two Radhastami festivals this year, each with their own unique element. On the official Radhastami day itself, Friday September 9th, devotees bathed Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji in an unbelievable 50,000 roses during a Puspa Abhisekha.
Bulgarian Retreat to Care for Devotees’ Spiritual and Physical Health
“Vaishnav Songs!”, a new app for Android smartphones, promises to bring users deeper into the meaning of prayers written by our Vaishnava Acharyas. The app was created by Jay Prakash, who completed his Bachelor of Technology at IIT Bombay, one of the most prestigious institutes in India. He also led the tech team at Housing.com, one of India’s leading startups of 2012.
Spanish Holy Name Festival Bonds Devotees
A unique type of event for ISKCON devotees, the Bhakti Yoga Health Retreat from September 11th to 18th this year in Bulgaria will care for participants’ physical health as well as their spiritual wellbeing. The retreat will be held at the Vita Rama Health Center, a clinic run by two devotee brothers – Lokaguru Das and Sudama Das – along with their father, dietician Georgi Slavov.
Gita Nagari Retreat to Explore Varnashrama Dharma
About 140 devotees from Spain, Portugal, Holland, the UK and Russia bonded in calling out to Lord Krishna during the third annual Holy Name Festival in Spain this summer. The festival ran from August 11th 14th in Srila Prabhupada’s Gardens at the New Vrajamandala farm.
“Joy of Devotion” Article Writing and Photography Contests
This year’s Gita Nagari Labor Day retreat, set to run from Friday September 2nd to Monday September 5th, will tackle an intriguing subject: Varnashrama Dharma. The topic was very important to Srila Prabhupada, who in his later days stated that fifty per cent of his work remained unfinished because he had not implemented Varnashrama.
ISKCON 50 Releases Three More ‘Inspiration Series’ Videos
To mark the magnanimous occasion of Sri Krishna Janamashtami ISKCON Punjabi Bagh temple is organizing an article-writing and a photography contest. The purpose of these contests is to share the “Joy of Devotion” by writing about or visually capturing a personal or a communal experience related to the spiritual bliss generated by bhakti.
Thousands Immersed in Krishna at Polish Woodstock
ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary Committee released three more video clips in continuation of the two that had been released earlier on 13th July, as part of the Inspiration Series. The new clips feature talks by Gopal Krishna Goswami, Bhaktivijnana Swami and Dina Sharana Devi Dasi, who discuss the importance of the 50th anniversary and encourage the worldwide community of devotees to participate enthusiastically in the celebrations around the globe.
Incorporation Week Celebrations in Chandigarh Attracts Thousands
Running from July 13th to 16th this year, Krishna’s Village is an ISKCON success story, one of the biggest outreach efforts in the world. It’s been part of Woodstock since the music festival’s inception 22 years ago in 1994, when organizer and renowned philanthropist Jurek Owsiak saw a similar vision in traveling preacher Indradyumna Swami.
Do We Care? - Australia’s First Home for Cow Protection
ISKCON's temple in the city of Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana, celebrated ISKCON's incorporation as a week-long festival from 11th July to 17th July 2016. On 17th July, many senior devotees at ISKCON Chandigarh made gratitude offerings to Srila Prabhupada. This was followed by the staging of a special play released by the 50th Anniversary Committee, called 'Swamiji at sea'.
Mayapur Institute Building New Campus on Ten Acres
In the 21st century more and more emphasis is being placed on the protection of animals, the reduction of violence towards animals, changes in the consumption of animals as food for humanity and the understanding that animals are sentient beings possessing feelings and emotions. In fact the rights of our animal brothers and sisters are being discussed and debated within society as never before. A new booklet is an offering written by Mukunda Goswami and Mandira Mani Dasi and an important contribution to this worldwide change of consciousness toward animals.
Bhakti in the Christian and Vaishnava Traditions: A 50 Anniversary Event at the UK
As it outgrows its current facilities, the Mayapur Institute is beginning to build a new campus on ten acres at ISKCON’s headquarters in Mayapur, West Bengal. Manager Anantashesh Das says that the new campus for the Institute – which trains ISKCON devotees in the systematic study of Srila Prabhupada’s books – will be located fifteen minutes from Mayapur’s main ISKCON campus, in a serene and beautiful spot.
50 Years of ISKCON – The Joy of Devotion
As a part of Incorporation Day celebrations, the Bhaktivedanta Manor hosted esteemed members of various religious organisations for a discussion about devotion (bhakti) in Vaishnavism and Christianity. On July 14th, individuals from BAPS Swaminarayan, the Interfaith Network UK, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and various churches from around the region, gathered at Srila Prabhupada theatre to hear guest speakers Rev Kumar Rajagopalan, from the London Baptist Association and Saunaka Rsi Das from the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.
Indonesia Adds Local Flavor to ISKCON 50 Festivities
Over fifty years ago in September 1965, an elderly Indian monk stepped off the piers of New York harbour wearing orange Indian robes and sporting a dignified vaishnava tilak mark on his forehead. He was carrying just seven dollars, a few sets of clothes and two trunk-loads of books. The aristocratic looking monk was A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who had been sent by his spiritual master from India to preach the message of the Bhagavad-gita to the western world.
Special Month of Activities at ISKCON-London to Celebrate 50th
During its ISKCON 50 festivities this month, Indonesia added some rich local culture to proceedings as its over 5,000 devotees focused on uniting together to serve Srila Prabhupada.Celebrations included a brahmachari sankirtan party touring with a Prabhupada murti through the thirty-two ISKCON temples, centers and Namahattas on the island nation; and a youth camp bringing together youth from across the island of Bali. The highlight, however, was the International Leadership Sanga (ILS) and the Bhakti Festival and Rathayatra from July 5th through 10th.
E-Card Offering for 50th Aims to Break World Record
On a joint initiative themed “Day of Gratitude”, ISKCON-London and the Bhaktivedanta Manor distributeed 5,000 cupcakes to commuters at key locations in central London on July 13th.The grand finale of the month-long celebration will be the Kirtan on the Thames Boat Event on 31st July. This National Signature Event will be a day of chanting, dancing and feasting on a cruise around the famous landmarks of London.
Short Film About ISKCON’s Global Contribution Reaches 100,000 People
Among their many plans for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, ISKCON Mumbai’s four temples – Juhu, Mira Road, Khargar and Chowpatty – have launched a website that allows devotees to submit their written offerings to Srila Prabhupada in the shape of e-cards. With the project they aim to collect 108,000 e-card offerings from devotees worldwide, which would shatter the previous Guiness World Record of 65,000 e-cards submitted.
The documentary short “Hare Krishna: 50 Years of Service and Joy,” showcasing the society’s many impressive contributions, released back in February for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, by now has reached over a hundred thousand people all over the world. The film had over forty thousand viewers on YouTube, and was screened in 28 countries and 51 cities during large public festivals, temple programs, VIP-, interfaith-or educational events attended by various audiences.