A look at the worldwide activities of the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
ISKCON a Popular Part of Whole Life Expo
Some thirty thousand people gathered at the Penta Hotel in Manhattan in November for the annual Whole Life Expo. Many saw an exhibit by ISKCON or tasted food offered to Krsna (prasadam). ISKCON devotees had two booths, one for distributing prasadam and the other for showing Krsna conscious videos and distributing Krsna conscious literature.
ISKCON Opens Temple In South Africa
Chatsworth, South Africa Thousands attended Diwali celebrations here recently at the nearly-completed Sri Sri Radha-Radhanatha temple. The temple, covering more than four hilltop acres, is the joint effort of ISKCON devotees and South Africa's Indian community.
A color picture of the new temple appeared on the front page of a Durban Daily News supplement, and the Durban Sunday Tribune featured a full-page photo. The Daily News also stated that the temple is destined to become a popular landmark in South Africa.
Singer Annie Lennox Advocates Krsna
Conscious Diet in Vegetarian Times
The Bahamas In a cover-story interview here on diet and society for the December issue of Vegetarian Times, Annie Lennox, the lead singer of the Eurythmics, expressed her understanding of the philosophy of Krsna consciousness.
Ms. Lennox quoted Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON's founder and spiritual master, to explain the impact of meat-eating on society in terms of the law ofkarma the moral law of action and reaction. She said that someone once asked Srila Prabhupada "that if God was compassionate and kind, why was He allowing all those young men to go to Vietnam and become slaughtered? And he answered that when men stopped slaughtering animals, then we would stop having to send our sons to war."
"In the Krsna consciousness movement," Ms. Lennox also said, "one discovers that the cow was revered because it provides so many wonderful kinds of foodstuffs milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt. . . . From a Krsna consciousness point of view, devotees offer their food [to Krsna], and in this way they stop the karmic reaction of killing, because obviously, when you're pulling the vegetables out of the ground you're killing them."
Asked about her involvement with Krsna consciousness, Ms. Lennox replied, "It's a very positive and new involvement. The philosophy makes a great deal of sense to me in many ways. … It started to interest me when I saw that I could integrate it with my activities. At the moment it's an exploratory stage for me. I'm trying to follow principles, which are not so hard, actually. They make a great deal of sense."
Devotees Dine Author Umberto Eco
Brooklyn, New York Umberto Eco, the author of the international best seller Name of the Rose, met Srila Ramesvara Swami. one of ISKCON's present spiritual masters, at the Hare Krsna center here in November. During this visit Professor and Mrs. Eco saw Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, the presiding Deities, and enjoyed a luncheon with Srila Ramesvara Swami, BACK TO GODHEAD writer Ravindra-svarupa dasa, his wife Saudamani-devi dasi, temple president Laksmi-Nrsimha dasa, and public affairs director Nayanabhirama dasa, who arranged the meeting.
Mr. Eco enjoyed being entertained during lunch by boys from ISKCON's school in Lake Huntington, who chanted verses from the Bhagavad-gita.
Mr. Eco, professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, was a visiting professor at Columbia University last autumn. He lives in Milan and looks forward to visiting the Hare Krsna restaurant there when he returns. When he comes back to America this summer, he hopes to visit the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center in Detroit.