A look at the worldwide activities of the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
Krsna Celebrations Draw Thousands
Recently, Western and Indian devotees came together at ISKCON centers worldwide to celebrate the day, some fifty centuries ago, when Lord Krsna made His appearance on earth.
Washington, D.C. At Bhaktivedanta Gardens, ISKCON's fifteen-acre estate near Potomac, Maryland, five thousand guests, including India's noted photo-journalist Dhiraj Chawdra, attended celebrations of the day Krsna appeared. Shri D.S.Shastri (President of the Indian Cultural Coordination Committee of Greater Washington and Baltimore) remarked, "By this festival you have captivated the hearts of the Indian community."
Earlier, ISKCON members joined with the Indian Cultural Coordination Committee to welcome Prime Minister Morarji Desai at a reception at the University of Maryland. The next day Rupanuga dasa, a member of ISKCON's central governing board, visited the Prime Minister at Blair Mansion, near the White House. Mr. Desai spoke to Rupanuga dasa about India's traditional world role of spiritual leadership, based on Lord Krsna's teachings in Bhagavad-gita. Mr. Desai added that he appreciated ISKCON's programs.
Bombay At ISKCON's new cultural center, Dr. Premila Tople, Maharashtra State Minister for Health and Family Welfare, said this: "One day the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita and this Krsna consciousness movement will spread to every corner of the world. There may be many countries which are more advanced materially, but India can show the proper spiritual way of life to the whole world. The Krsna consciousness movement is an exact manifestation of our ancient culture, and I am confident it will progress more and more."
Bhubaneswara In the capital of the eastern state of Orissa, Sri Satyapariya Mohanty, the speaker of the legislative assembly, said this to guests: "Once I held the opinion that ISKCON was an organization of opulent persons who get some mental enjoyment out of it, but during my recent tour of America I saw I was mistaken. The people in general are joining this genuine spiritual movement."
UPI and Gallup Poll Mark Growth of Krsna Movement
A recent UPI report says that Bhagavad-gita As It Is, with translation and commentary by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, is part of the personal library of California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. The Gita contains Lord Krsna's instructions on self-realization, God consciousness, and social, political, and economic organization.
Also, the latest Gallup Youth Survey shows that half a million American teenagers now identify themselves with the Krsna consciousness movement. The movement, which began in 1966 in a New York storefront, now has more than one hundred asramas, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities worldwide.