The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Articles tagged as Culture

  • Spiritual Immersion Week at ISKCON of Houston

    ISKCON of Houston has planned something for everyone during spiritual and cultural extravaganza this upcoming Labor Day weekend, as well as a special cultural event on Friday, September 7th, 2018.

  • 'Discover India' - USA Tour 2017

    A video by Indradyumna Swami Official. 

  • Why Religion Seems Dispensable

    Nowadays, the question of ultimate meaning doesn’t occupy the minds of most people. And when religion is divorced from such questions, it degenerates into a set of rituals that are followed out of deference to culture or tradition.

  • Dhotis, Fur Hats, Burkas and Other Items of Cultural Baggage

    One of the consequences of modern globalization is that we are all being forced to reconsider the external elements of our respective faith traditions.

  • 4,000 Year Old Vishnu Statue Discovered in Vietnam

    A recent news report from Vietnam features an exquisite and very ancient sculpture of Lord Vishnu. The significance of this discovery cannot be overestimated.

  • ISKCON Youth Travel and Serve in Europe

    This summer, the Krishna Culture Youth Bus Tour toured Europe for the first time ever.

  • VANDE Supports Vaishnava Arts and Culture in ISKCON

    VANDE, an initiative developed by the GBC outreach subcommittee at the GBC meetings in Mayapur, aims to support Vaishnava arts and culture within ISKCON through a variety of different efforts.

  • ISKCON Included in Nashville’s “Celebration of Cultures”

    ISKCON devotees from Nashville, Tennessee participated in Nashville’s annual Celebration of Cultures for the first time this October 3rd. The popular multi-cultural festival was established in 1995 by Scarritt-Bennett, a center committed to empowerment through cross-cultural understanding, education, creativity and spiritual renewal.

  • Delhi's "Vaikuntha Players" Take Vedic Message to the Masses

    If acting is meant to deliver a message, then that’s what the New Delhi based acting team Vaikunta Players do. The troupe performs plays that bring out the essence of literatures such as the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. The group has performed at several major ISKCON events, but Vaikunta Players are also seen as contributing to inter-religious dialogue. The band was invited to perform at the ‘Church of Transfiguration’, a popular church in New Delhi.

  • Muslim Farmer Sings Hindu Bhakti Songs

    LUCKNOW: Overcoming opposition from his family and community, a Muslim man left his ancestral profession of singing qawwalis to sing Hindu hymns in the temples of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Today he is much sought after by devotees there. For Rojan Ali, 55, a farmer living in Chaubeypur town of Varanasi district, some 250 km from here, singing was his way of reaching out to god.

  • Oriya Vaishnava Dance Troupe Holds India Spellbound
    BHUBANESWAR: The all-conquering members of the Oriya dance troupe 'Prince' -- comprising daily wage earners -- may now justly expect a reception fit for kings. Since the moment Bollywood star Rani Mukherjee announced that the dancers from far-flung Ganjam district in Orissa were the winners of the TV reality show, "India's Got Talent", everybody and his brother in the state is doing a jig.
  • ISKCON Manipur Dance Promotes Culture of Love and Devotion
    This July 12, ISKCON Manipur drew an enthusiastic audience from far and wide for their staging of Gaura Lila in Imphal, the country’s capital city. A traditional performing art of Manipur, the dance/drama is based on events that took place in the life of Shri Chaitanya, the 15th century founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavaism who promoted worship of God through singing His praises.
  • George Harrison's Spiritual Music & Yusuf Islam
    A blogpost which referred to the recent music of popular Muslim musician Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, got me thinking about how music is viewed within India's religious traditions - especially my own - the Hare Krishna faith. If you've ever seen Hare Krishnas chanting in public, you can probably surmise our general attitude toward music! In particular, George Harrison's story reveals why modern music with instruments like guitars, pianos or sitars, is not considered strictly taboo in our tradition.
  • Karnataka: Iskcon Heritage Fest Engages Schools in Tradition

    HUBLI: Around 8,000 students from different schools in Hubli-Dharwad cities will exhibit their talent during the 11-day Iskcon Heritage Fest that will commence on Friday. A total of 29 contests based on Indian heritage comprising drama, dance, rangoli, vocal music, vedic quiz, painting, fancy dress, flower decoration, cookery and others will be held.

  • A Voice in the Public Debate
    Something old or something new, this question lies at the center of a friendly rivalry between me and my friends from England. Americans loves firsts. The first automobile, the first airplane flight, the first man on the moon, America is a nation built on firsts. England on the other hand is a country that revels in maintaining the old. St. Michael’s Tower in Oxford dates from 1040.
  • Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits Break Through With New Release
    It’s not very often that an ISKCON-produced album of kirtan, India’s ancient practice of call and response chanting, makes a real impact on the general public. ISKCON founder Srila Prabhupada’s original 1966 LP did it, getting airplay on the hippy beat radio stations and drawing many to Krishna consciousness.
  • Ancient Henna Wooing Hollywood Celebrities

    Henna, which has been playing a vital role in Hindu weddings since ancient times, is becoming popular with Hollywood and other celebrities. Also known as mehndi, it is turning into an in-thing with celebrities as a trendy alternative to traditional tattoos. Although the final result is similar to tattoo, but the mehndi experience is delightful and painless, and the images are temporary, according to acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed.

  • The Notion of ‘Free Speech’ in ISKCON
    Does anyone remember the Telex machine? I guess even the question reveals my age. It’s like asking does anyone remember slide rulers or carbon paper. They are devices of the past. Like Linotype machines, spirit duplicators and pink negative correction fluid, they have all been washed away by the digital tidal wave.
  • Vedic Museum Opens in Andhra Pradesh, India
    Have you ever thought it would be impossible to visit all of the prominent temples in India? Think again. ‘Kunda Satyanarayana Kala Dhamam’ a Vedic museum on a sprawling 18 acres of land was inaugurated by the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, India a fortnight ago.
  • Lives Tangled in Growing Net
    Most people, if they bother to think about it at all, probably view the internet as an agent of profound change. In the 15 years since Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, the life of almost everyone in the industrialised world has been touched by it. But just as many of us are coming to grips with its second stage, the mobile internet, very few are prepared - perhaps even aware - of the third and most revolutionary phase: the internet of things.
  • Dowries Banned by Nepal

    Nepal's Maoist Prime Minister, Prachanda, has banned the dowry system and criminalised caste-based discrimination to win public support for his faltering government. In a 30-minute national televised address, Mr Prachanda expressed dissatisfaction over his Government's performance and called on all parties to forge a new political understanding.

  • The Swastika: A Symbol of Goodness or Hate?
    When Hitler began using the swastika as the symbol for his Nazi party in the 1920s, he brought about the death not only of millions of innocent people, but also of an innocent symbol. His use of the beloved Hindu religious sign instilled so much hate for it in the Western world that I wonder if its true meaning will ever be reclaimed.
  • India: Rebel Brides And Ex-Wives

    Not long ago, 19-year-old Sreeja Konidela returned home to Hyderabad from Delhi to attend a family funeral—but didn't get the welcome she expected. Konidela, whose father, Chiranjeevi, is a megastar in the Telugu-language film industry, had been disowned for eloping with Shirish Bharadwaj, 23, who was from a different caste. The two had married on live television last October in a bid to keep Sreeja's father from interfering—they were afraid he'd accuse Bharadwaj of kidnapping her, a common tactic in such cases.

  • Lord Shiva and the Hope Diamond
    Somewhere between one billion and five hundred million years ago, the famous Hope Diamond made its long and perilous journey from darkness under the ground to light. The Hope Diamond is reported to have first surfaced in the Deccan area, later called the Kingdom of Golconda, near the mighty Krishna River, which empties into the Bay of Bengal on the east coast. Most of India's largest diamonds, and all its colored ones, have been found in this region.
  • Society: Sex Laws Are 'Unfair to Teachers'

    Teachers should not be prosecuted for having affairs with their sixth formers, a union chief has said.

    NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said it was an “anomaly” that a teacher who had sex with a pupil aged over 16 could go on the sex offenders register.

  • Poll: Children Losing Touch with Natural World
    Children have lost touch with the natural world and are unable to identify common animals and plants, according to a survey. Half of youngsters aged nine to 11 were unable to identify a daddy-long-legs, oak tree, blue tit or bluebell, in the poll by BBC Wildlife Magazine.
  • Sarah Palin: A Pit-bull Wearing Lipstick?

    A reader of Pentacostal blogger Ken Gurley questioned his 8/06/08 article, “Palin's Pentecostal Roots Under Attack,”which discussed media scrutiny into U.S. Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s non-mainstream Pentacostal religious background. Gurley’s blog included a YouTube video of Palin speaking in her church in Alaska. Among Palin’s points were that the members of her congregation should pray for the success of an oil or gas pipeline in Alaska that she favored politically, and she opined that God was in favor of the U.S. attack on Iraq.

  • Radharani—The Feminine Side of God
    My sister Carol has become a radical feminist in recent years. I watched this develop. As she devoured book after book on the failures of patriarchy and male-made societies, she came to see me—her brother, who worships a “male” God—as a victim of sexist philosophers, duped by men with little regard for women. In other words, she knew that I worshiped Krishna, who is clearly male, and this was enough to put me in league with those who belittled women. It confused her, though, to see that I was not full of macho double-talk, that despite my worship of a male God, I was fair and even-minded—I didn’t speak down to women. She decided I was bright enough to confront directly.
  • Indian Flavour in Belarus

    MINSK (BELARUS): As many of the residents of this Belarusian capital head for their dachas on weekends, a group of girls — young and not so young — prefer to stay back home and head in the evenings for a special class that would help them achieve their dreams — to learn the classical Indian dances. The teacher is not Indian but a Belarusian.

  • Inking With the Supreme: Are Tattoos Taboo?

    Tattoos have been inked permanently into modern culture. Walk down any busy city street and you'll spot a vast number of tattooees, ranging all the way from the young female professional with a butterfly on her shoulder blade to the wild punk rocker with hardly any space left for his white skin to shine. For some reason, having an unremovable image of a two-headed dragon eating its own face sprawled across their chest until their dying breath is an idea that appeals to a lot of people. National Geographic News reported in April 2000 that fifteen per cent of Americans were tattooed. That's around forty million people.

    Now, surely a Hare Krsna devotee would be the last person you'd expect to see among those forty million, right?

  • How do You Become an ISKCON Sannyasi?
    Vaisnava culture emphasises renunciation therefore ISKCON has many people who have accepted a role as a sannyasa, or traveling monk. However, in the past many aspirants have had difficulty maintaining their vows which created controversy and scandal. ISKCON responded to the issue by developing a system by which we can better ensure the maturity and qualification of candidates. ISKCON News approached Prahladananda Swami, GBC minister of sannyasa, to help clarify the system by which an ISKCON member can take sannyasa.
  • Hugging: A Touchy Subject
    I don't really like hugging, but there are some people--male and female--that I feel so much affection for, that I force myself to show it in that fashion. Other times, the hug is just a social formality, or even a kind of preaching.
  • Creation-ism: A Search for the Divine in Tucson's Religious Art
    Hop on Interstate 19, drive for about 15 minutes and you'll end up at one of the biggest cultural monoliths this side of the U.S. The San Xavier del Bac Mission, a solitary white monument starkly contrasting the surrounding desert of the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, is one of the finest representations of classic Spanish Catholic art outside of Mexico. It combines Byzantine, Moorish and late Mexican renaissance art to make worship not just a beautiful act of spirituality, but a beautiful act of creation as well.