Every Town and Village


Astottara-sata Dasa (Alexander Petroff), son of BTG author Hare Krishna Devi Dasi has been named a 2009 Tedglobal fellow for his Working Villages International Varnasrama project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He’ll be presenting at a conference with the other TED fellows on July 21-24 in Oxford, England. The 2009 Tedglobal Fellows comprise an eclectic group of individuals; all are committed to the spread of great ideas. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers.

For more details see http://www.workingvillages.org/main.html and http://www.ted.com/fellows

Solapur Ratha-yatra

Every Town and Village

27 March: Ratha-yatra festival was held in Solapur, Maharashtra with over 4,000 devotees from Maharashtra and other parts of the world attending.

A Prayer for the Mayor

April 8: Nityananda Candra of the Dallas, USA Hare Krishna temple was given the honor of presenting an invocation prayer before the Dallas City Council.  This is done before every Council Meeting.

Hare Krishna Program on Television

UK: A team of devotees from Bhaktivedanta Manor headed by Ramanuja Dasa have set up a TV program called Hare Krishna Culture. This program has lectures and kirtanas by ISKCON devotees around the world. It can be viewed in UK and Europe on a free Sky channel called MATV, channel 793 at 10.00 am every Sunday and is repeated on Wednesday at 4.30 am (UK time). In India, Middle East, and Far East, the program will be broadcast on Sanskar TV at 10.00 pm (India time) every Saturday.

Musical Yoga with Kirtana

Every Town and Village

An increasing number of Americans are connecting with the yoga of kirtana. At the Omega Center in Rhinebeck, N.Y., attendance to its Ecstatic Chant festival has doubled over the last five years. Jo Sgammato, 57, the center’s general manager, said the Friday-night kirtana would have about 25 participants 10 years ago; now the center will sometimes host 400 in a single weekend. At the Jivamukti Yoga School in Manhattan, 700 people came last September to see Krishna Dasa setting a record for kirtana at the center.

As with meditation, the intent of chanting is to calm and focus the mind, relieving it from its usual chatter grocery lists, money worries, petty arguments. “Chanting works well because it engages the mind and because it’s musical,” said Mitra Somerville, 49, who leads Integral’s community kirtana. “The melody and the vibration of the words are very soothing and uplifting, so people can really connect
with it.”

ISKCON Helps Clean Vrindavana’s Sacred Lakes

As part of an ongoing effort to maintain Vraja, the ancient sacred lakes, Radha-kunda and Syama kunda, are being cleaned for the first time since 1987. Full cleaning will take about a month and a half to complete. Besides pumping the lake, the Indian government is rebuilding the steps leading down to both lakes.

Delhi Chief Minister Felicitates ISKCON

Every Town and Village

Delhi: The Government of Delhi recently organized a Sankalp Utsav 2009 in Pragati Maidan, Delhi. The Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, invited ISKCON to present ISKCON’S Food For Life program achievements. ISKCON was also given the honor of lighting the inauguration lamp on this occasion. The event was covered by all major electronic and news media.

Balabhadra Dasa and Mr. Piyoosh Goyal of ISKCON received the appreciation award from the Chief Minister for ISKCON’s program for feeding the poor in seven different areas of Delhi, daily. The program is entitled Aap Ki Rasoi (“your kitchen”).

South Africa Experiences 21 Years of Jagannatha’s Festival

Durban, South Africa: For the past 21 years, ISKCON Durban has held its annual Ratha-yatra festival over the course of Easter weekend. The four day festival, which took place from April 10–13, is widely considered to be the largest Ratha-yatra outside of India, attracting an estimated quarter million people over the four days.

Krishna Lunches Become a University Tradition

Every Town and Village

For more than 38 years, ISKCON devotees in Gainesville, Florida, have been distributing prasada in the University of Florida campus. Students can enjoy a healthy vegetarian meal for a donation of $4.

Croatia welcome New Deities

Karlovac, Croatia:  Sri Sri Nitai-Gauracandra were installed in the Karlovac ISKCON temple, in Croatia. Candramauli Swami, who had inspired the Karlovac devotees in their endeavors over the years, led the whole event.


Amar Ujala, a daily Indian newspaper, has selected ISKCON’s Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School in Vrindavana (BGIS) as the top school in the Mathura district and the second best school in the State of Uttar Pradesh. The selection was released in the Newspapers’ Education and Career section on May 6.

Reports by Vrajendra Nandan Dasa, Ekalavya Dasa, Rupa Jagernauth, and Madhava Smullen.