Child Protection Office to Investigate Drowning Death of Student in Vrindavana
VIHE Holds International Vaishnavi Retreat at Govardhan
ISKCON’s International Office of Child Protection (CPO) announced today that it has launched a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Kartik Sharma, who drowned while swimming in the pool of the Bhaktivedanta Gurukula International School (BGIS) in Vrindavana, India, on April 24.
After 40 Years, ISKCON Baltimore Expands to 12,000 Sq Ft Temple
The 7thannual VIHE International Vaishnavi Retreat at Govardhana (India) concluded on March 26. The 6-day program, dedicated to celebrating Srila Prabhupada’s mercy upon womankind, had as its special theme “Windows to the Spiritual World”. The Bal Krsna Bhawan hall in the village of Jatipura, home of the original Gopala Temple of Srila Madhavendra Puri, was duly transformed to host an exhibition of over 60 reproductions of paintings and drawings by various vaishnavi artists from the world over, ranging from well-known BBT artists to young devotees from the St. Petersburg Art University.
ISKCON To Participate in Historic Washington D.C. Climate March
Last week’s Sunday Feast kirtan was an emotional experience for ISKCON Baltimore devotees, who shed tears even as they danced and chanted ecstatically together. The rip-roaring session was their last Sunday kirtan in their old temple, a 2,500 square-foot house where the main worship room can only hold around 35 people. The 110-year-old building at 200 Bloomsbury Avene in Catonsville was becoming dilapidated, and the congregation – now nearly 300 devotees – couldn’t even fit in for morning programs.
Bhakti Without Borders Track In Yoga Journal’s Top 10 of the Year
ISKCON of Washington D.C. and ISKCON Communications are supporting the massive People’s Climate March in the U.S. capital this Saturday April 29th, and will be sending devotees to attend. The march will be held on the 100th day of the new Trump administration in protest of the parts of his agenda which organizers say are disastrous to the environment. Devotees attending, of course, are not supporting one political party or another but are there to support Mother Earth.
15,000 Youth Get Euphoric at Xpressions 2017
Shri Radhe, the opening track of charity kirtan album “Bhakti Without Borders,” has been listed by Yoga Journal as one of the “10 Best Yoga Tunes of the Year.” The uplifting track, by second gen devotees Madi Das and Chaytanya, appears in the major magazine’s Spotify Playlist along with Tina Malia, Simrit, Deva Premal and others.
New Online Program Offers Premarital Counseling Based on Prabhupada’s Teachings
The 8th of April, 2017, marked the day when over 15,000 youths from across the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, got the chance to get inspired by spiritual wisdom in a grand event entitled as ‘Xpressions 2017’ in ISKCON Kanpur. Emphasizing on ‘De-addiction’ and ‘Value Empowerment’ within youth, ‘Xpressions 2017’ was an effort by a team of ISKCON devotees to bring the youth closer to their roots, re-introducing them to the rich cultural heritage they have inherited, focusing on the need for a positive approach to life, believing in themselves and working hard.
Books by Radhanath Swami and Vrinda Sheth Win Independent Publishing Awards
ISKCON’s Congregational Development Ministry has launched a new online marriage counseling service that draws from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. With the divorce rate in many countries at over fifty per cent, the search is on for the key to stable and successful relationships. According to the consultants at new website Bhaktimarriages.com, an important element is training before marriage.
New Book Teaches Mindfulness Through Drumming
Two ISKCON authors have won in their categories at the Independent Book Publishers Benjamin Franklin Awards this year, which received nearly 1,400 entries published during the 2016 calendar year. Over 150 librarians, booksellers, and design and editorial experts judged the books submitted. Radhanath Swami’s “The Journey Within: Exploring the Path of Bhakti, A Contemporary Guide to Yoga’s Ancient Wisdom” won the gold medal in the Body, Mind & Spirit category.
Govardana Academy Students Win Prize in Sustainability Contest
Today, many schools in the U.K. and beyond are teaching children mindfulness, a widely acclaimed therapeutic technique that focuses our feelings, thoughts and emotions, and induces calm and emotional wellbeing. Jayadev Dasa, a well-known musician and kirtan singer from England, has written a book that teaches children mindfulness in a unique way – through fun Djembe drumming lessons. Jayadev, of course, was the drummer for the ‘70s pop group The Rubettes, which had a hit with “Sugar Baby Love” and sold twenty million records worldwide.
ISKCON Serves Alongside Sri Vaishnavas to Celebrate Ramanujacharya’s 1,000th Appearance Day
Govardhana Academy, located at the Saranagati Farm Community in British Columbia (BC), Canada, recently participated in their third year of the BC Green Games - a province wide competition to promote sustainability in schools. One of the biggest challenges of farming at Saranagati is their short growing season. With a self-heated greenhouse, they intend to grow food year-round. Using money from a previous grant award, the materials were purchased and the students and their community teamed up to bring the design to reality.
Grammy-Nominated Jai Uttal Collaborates With ISKCON Devotees on New Album
ISKCON devotees are serving alongside Sri Vaishnavas to celebrate Ramanujacharya in the lead-up to his 1,000th appearance day (Sahasrabdi) on May 1st. A great saint in the Sri Vaishnava tradition, Ramanuja lived between 1017 and 1137. He was a revolutionary who preached that all are equal before the Lord. His teachings were referenced by many Gaudiya acharyas, including Srila Prabhupada in his Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Auckland Devotees Celebrate Radha Giridhari's 45th Anniversary With Huge Harinama in City Center
Jai Uttal, one of today’s best-loved and most popular kirtan artists, has released his latest album Roots Rock Rama! with Mantralogy, an ISKCON devotee-run record company that has also worked with The Mayapuris, Jahnavi Harrison, Gaura Vani and more.
ISKCON Melbourne Represented at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
Over the Easter Weekend from Friday April 14th to Sunday April 16th, hundreds of devotees at ISKCON Auckland celebrated the 45th anniversary of their Deities, Sri Sri Radha-Giridhari, with love and great pomp. The celebrations included a massive and stunningly colorful Harinama on Queen Street in the center of Auckland.
Giving Human Rights to the Yamuna Is Not Enough, New Documentary Reveals
The devotees of ISKCON Melbourne were asked to participate in this year’s 2017, 5 days Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show at the wonderful Melbourne Exhibition Centre. A team of devotees came up with the concept of presenting Radha and Krishna in the groves of Vrindavan with their Gopi and Gopa friends. The title of their display was “SPIRITUAL VISION”. The organizers don’t usually select religious organizations as entrants but because the Hare Krishna Movement is known for their use of beautiful flower arrangement they made an exemption.
New Govardhana Devotees Feed Murwillumbah Flood Victims
Recently, a high court in India declared the Yamuna river a living entity, bestowing on her the same legal rights as a person. Many shared the news on social media, excited about this seemingly major move towards cleaning up the heavily polluted river, once called “dead” by the United Nations. But a closer look shows that the development, while a nice gesture, won’t actually achieve much.
GBC College – Graduation Ceremony
Since Cyclone Debbie made landfall on March 28th, it has brought heavy downpours and flooding to many areas of Queensland, Australia. In the small town of Murwillumbah (population: 8,523), ISKCON devotees from nearby New Govardhana have done what they know best to help flood victims back on their feet: feed them prasadam.
Devotee Wins His Category in BBC Young Dancer Competition
At the recent GBC Meetings in Sridham Mayapur, the ISKCON Governing Body (GBC) College was pleased to present 32 graduates from the GBC College to the assembly of GBC members. As Rupanuga Das (President of the GBC College) called out the names of the graduates, Romapada Swami handed them their graduation certificates, Bhakti Charu Swami gave them a pavitra (in the colours of the GBC College and offered to Lord Nrsimhadev) and Gopal Bhatta DAs gave them a GBC College bag.
BBT Attends American College and Library Conference
Nineteen-year-old Kathak dancer Shyam Dattani, a devotee who attends Bhaktivedanta Manor, has won the South Asian category in the BBC Younger Dancer competition on BBC Four. Born and bred in London but of Gujarati origin, Shyam started learning Kathak at the astonishingly young age of two when he followed his older sister into class. “I’ve never stopped since,” he says. “I literally grew up with the art form, and use it as a language to express myself.”
Get Ready for Australia’s Biggest Kirtan Retreat
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust was present at the American College and Research Library Conference in Baltimore, Maryland from March 22nd to 25th this year, with its own booth. Representing the BBT was Jaya Chaitanya Das, 30, a former hip-hop artist who has been ISKCON’s number one book distributor in the U.S. for the past two years, and is always working hard on inventive new strategies.
Historic Sydney ISKCON 50 Show Released on Youtube, DVD
Just as Europe has Radhadesh Mellows in Belgium, Asia has the Mayapur Kirtan Mela in India, and North America has the Sadhu Sanga Retreat in North Carolina, organizers hope to make Sacred Sound the major kirtan festival for Australia and New Zealand, where devotees can dive deep into the nectar of the Holy Name and recharge their spiritual batteries. Around six to eight hundred devotees from New Zealand, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and along the east coast of Australia are expected over the four-day weekend for this year’s festival.
Bhaktivedanta Manor Hosts Dignitaries at Ramanavami Festival
“Transcendental Journey: Hare Krishna Celebrates 50 Years,” an historic variety stage production put on by Australian devotees for ISKCON 50, is now available on Youtube and for pre-order on DVD. The film is a nearly two-hour presentation that cuts together the best bits from the show’s matinee and evening performances at the famous Sydney Opera House on August 20th, 2016. Professionally shot with ten cameras and edited by technical director Deva Gaura Hari Das, the film seamlessly blends live acts and narrative slideshow segments.
5,000 People Gather to Honor Ramanjua Acharya
It was fitting that on the hottest day of the year so far Bhaktivedanta Manor celebrated Ramanavami, the birthday of Lord Ram, who was born in the sun dynasty, several millennia ago. This year, the auspicious festival was celebrated on Sunday 9th April and the Manor played host to a number of dignitaries, including first citizen, Counsellor Peter Rutledge, the Mayor of Hertsmere. Most of the luminaries had visited the temple on numerous occasions beforehand as Counsellor Victor Eni of Harrow said, “I love coming here and seeing how much the community has progressed since I was last here.”
Audiences Call The Joy of Devotion Film “Truly Inspirational”
The ancient city of Madurai visited by pilgrims year-round witnessed a rather unique event on the 26th of March, 2017. More than 5,000 people from different walks of life gathered together in one of Madurai’s biggest outdoor auditoriums, Gandhi Mandapam, eager to celebrate the 1,000th Anniversary of a Stalwart Saint, Acharya and Guru, Srimad Ramanuja Acharya. ISKCON Madurai, under the inspiration of Jayapataka Swami and leadership of Balaram Govinda Das and Shanka Dari Das Temple President of ISKCON Madurai, organized the grand event.
Update on the Prabhupada Biopic
Feedback is now flooding in from audiences around the world who have watched the first comprehensive documentary film made about ISKCON in 30 years – “The Joy of Devotion,” released on December 10th for Gita Jayanti. In the 86-minute feature, the people of the Hare Krishna Movement share how Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON and devotion to Lord Krishna changed their lives, and how in turn they’re trying to make a difference in the world. Viewing it has made a deep impression on many. So far it has been screened in twelve countries.
The film HARE KRISHNA! — formerly titled ACHARYA—the 90 minute feature length documentary on the life of Srila Prabhupada is nearly finished. Post-production in Los Angeles is winding down and the film should be finished by the end of this month, thus coming to a close 3 years of production work. The film’s official world theatrical has been locked in for mid June 2017 in New York City.