A look at the worldwide activities of the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
Hawaiians Get a Look at Vedic Culture
Honolulu, Hawaii Over the past six months, ISKCON has brought India's cultural heritage to thousands of high school students here and throughout the island of Oahu. Under the direction of His Holiness Jagat Guru Swami, the Vedic Cultural Association has displayed its museum of Vedic culture in twenty-five high schools, in conjunction with the National Festival of India, which is cosponsored by the American and Indian governments. The ISKCON exhibit, with its exquisite brass Deities of Lord Krsna, photographs of ancient temples, weapons of the famed Rajputs of Rajastan, and many fascinating and beautiful artifacts of a bygone age, introduces the modern high school student to India's rich past.
India's greatest treasure the timeless wisdom of her Vedic literature is also on exhibit. At the weapons display students find the Bhagavad-gita, famous for having been spoken on a battlefield just prior to the great Kuruksetra War; at the temples exhibit they find Sri Isopanisad, which extols worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; under the pictures of the great saints and acaryas of India they find Srila Prabhupada's Science of Self-Realization; and at the vegetarianism display they find a Hare Krsna cookbook, The Higher Taste.
The vegetarianism exhibit, showing the importance of a vegetarian diet in both the traditional Vedic culture and the modern world, is one of the most popular exhibits.
Students and faculty alike have enthusiastically received the program, which has been approved by the state board of education. The head librarian of Waialua High School thanked the devotees for providing a valuable cultural experience to enhance students' understanding of India. He described the exhibits as "attractive, well-planned, and informative."
On weekends the museum goes into the shopping malls, where thousands of islanders and tourists view the exhibits and receive a copy of one of Srila Prabhupada's books. In the Alamoana Mall, thirteen thousand books were distributed in six days.
Jagat Guru Swami plans to take the museum to many universities and government buildings on the island.
He also plans to establish a permanent Vedic Cultural Center in the foothills of Hawaii's majestic mountains that will include a fully developed Vedic museum.
Book by ISKCON Scientist Reviewed
Granville C. Henry, professor of mathematics and philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California, has published a review of Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science: An Investigation into the Nature of Consciousness and Form, by Dr. Richard L. Thompson (Sadaputa dasa), in Zygon, a journal of science and religion.
Professor Henry writes: "The attractive quality of this book is that Thompson writes as a scientist about science with a clarity, accuracy, and objectivity that should engender respect both from scientists and from those whose religious persuasions are other than his own. He presents the philosophical instabilities of contemporary scientific theory in a clear scientific language without recourse to ad hoc religious explanations."
Sadaputa dasa, who received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University in 1974, explains in his book that current mechanistic theories cannot explain the existence of consciousness and form.
Professor Henry accepts Sadaputa dasa's conclusion that we need a non-mechanistic approach to human existence. He adds: "I think this book is a very valuable addition to the current literature in science and religion. Thompson's choice of examples from science that seem to upset contemporary scientific paradigms is superb. They are all relevant. They are carefully explained, and in one book."
New ISKCON Publications in Europe
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) recently released over forty new publications in Southern Europe and England. The Southern European BBT has printed the following new books: Italian translations of Srimad-Bhagavatam (Cantos 8-10), The Hare Krsna Cookbook, and Prabhupada (the biography of the founder-acarya of the Hare Krsna movement); French translations of Srimad-Bhagavatam (Cantos 7-10), The Hare Krsna Cookbook, Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila, Vol. 1), andPrabhupada; and Hebrew translations of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila, Vols. 1-3), Srimad-Bhagavatam (Canto 1), and Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In England, the BBT announced the release of The Nectar of Devotion, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Srimad-Bhagavatam (Canto 1), and Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila, Vols. 1-3).