Seminar on Universal Brotherhood
Mumbai: The Mumbai branch of the Gaudiya Mission, the organization founded by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, organized a two day international seminar on the theme of "Universal Brotherhood as propagated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu" on December 1-2, 2012, in Mumbai. The seminar brought together speakers from different faiths and religious practices including members of the Ramakrishna Mission, the Chinmaya Mission as well as practitioners of Sufism and also professors of philosophy from leading universities in India. ISKCON's Radhanatha Swami and Bhakti Rasamrta Swami were invited by the Gaudiya Mission to participate in the seminar. Radhanatha Swami inaugurated the seminar by lighting the lamp in the presence of senior Vaishnavas and dignitaries including Bhaktisuhrd Parivrajaka Swami, President and acharya of the Gaudiya Mission, and B.S. Sannyasi Swami, Secretary of the Gaudiya Mission.
Samadhi Built in Vrindavana for Yamuna Devi Vrindavana, UP: A samadhi (mausoleum) is being constructed in the sacred land of Vrindavana for Srila Prabhupada's famous early disciple Yamuna Devi.
Yamuna is well-known for singing the Govindam song played at ISKCON temples around the world every morning, for writing the award-winning cookbook Lord Krishna's Cuisine, and for being an ISKCON pioneer in the UK. She passed away on December 20, 2011, at the age of 69 due to heart.
Vinod Agarwal visits ISKCON Bahadurgarh, Haryana: India's kirtana maestro Vinod Agarwal accompanied by Baldev Krishan visited ISKCON Bahadurgarh for a bhajana sandhya. The program started with the kirtana of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, enchanting all the devotees present. More than 5000 people including many dignitaries attended the program.
Caitanya Rupa Dasa, the temple president, presented them with copies of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Mapusa, Goa: More than 1000 people attended the annual Jagannath Ratha-yatra festival here. Ludhiana, Punjab: On December 17, ISKCON Ludhiana celebrated one of the grandest Rathayatra festivals. Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, addressed a huge gathering and exhorted the youth to stay away from drugs.
Malaysian Dream to Fructify Penang, Malaysia:
"I want a temple like this," Srila Prabhupada had said back in 1971. Over forty years later, his Malaysian dream is finally becoming a reality. There are already thirty preaching centers throughout the country. But the new project rising in Penang State, on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, will be the first custom-built temple.
Bhagavad-gitas in 16,000 US Motel Rooms
Over this holiday season, ISKCON temples participating in the Motel Gita project placed 16,000 copies of Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is in motel and hotel rooms across the US.
It raised the total tally of motel rooms carrying the Bhagavad-gita alongside the Gideon's Holy Bible to 135,000. This brings the Motel Gita project, which began in 2006, another step closer to its ambitious goal of 1 million Gitas.
Vaishnavism in New York's Prestigious Universities
Columbia. Princeton. New York University (NYU) – all prestigious universities in the New York and New Jersey areas, and all engaging ISKCON devotees as their Hindu chaplains. It all began with Gadadhara Pandita Dasa becoming Columbia University's first Hindu chaplain in 2004. There, he holds weekly classes on mantra meditation and Bhagavad-gita, as well as a vegetarian cooking class that draws nearly 100 people every week. Since 2008, Venkata Bhatta Dasa has been the Co-ordinator for Hindu Life at Princeton, where he holds Bhajan devotional music groups, Sunday worship ceremonies, and Wednesday Bhagavad-gita study groups. He also organizes major events such as interfaith conversations and the University's annual Diwali festival, which draws over 500 people. Then there's Ghanasyama Dasa, a celibate monk at Manhattan's Bhakti Center, who since 2008 has been fulfilling a similar position at NYU.
New Bhaktivedanta Archives Vault Cements Prabhupada's Legacy Prabhupada Village, North Carolina, USA:
A brand new security vault is being constructed at the Bhaktivedanta Archives headquarters in Prabhupada Village, North Carolina, to preserve ISKCON Founder-acharya Srila Prabhupada's legacy for generations to come.
The Archives were started by Paramarupa Dasa at the Los Angeles Bhaktivedanta Book Trust in 1977 upon Prabhupada's passing, as a way of protecting his original books, letters, audio and photos.