A look at the worldwide activities of the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
ISKCON Zurich Hosts Indian Ambassador
Zurich, Switzerland His Excellency Ashoke Sen Chib, Indian ambassador to Switzerland, was the honored guest at the ISKCON temple here recently. He enjoyed an evening of religious ceremonies, chanting, Bharata-natyam .dance, and drama.
The ambassador expressed his appreciation for the devotees' work in bringing the message of Krsna to Zurich. In an address to the four hundred guests present, he said, "Krsna's message is not confined to India. It is universal. Therefore, we are happy to see that in this city of wealth, Zurich, there is also a wealth of spiritual experience. The Krsna consciousness movement is a movement that does not conflict with any religion. It is a philosophy and a way of life that prevails all over the world, that makes for the victory of good over evil, duty toward man, development of one's inner being, and elevation to new heights… .This message [of Krsna consciousness] is given in the Bhagavad-gita, and this book is part of the cultural tradition not only of India, but of the whole world."
Delhi Cultural Center Ground-breaking
Delhi, India On Janmastami day (August 27) ISKCON devotees here held a ground-breaking ceremony at their newly acquired property in South Delhi. The three-acre plot is near the ancient Kalkaji temple, as well as the new marble lotus-shaped Bahai temple. It is also very near Nehru Place, Delhi's second most important commercial center. "You could not get a better place," remarked Surabhi Swami, ISKCON's minister of architecture. "It's top land in Delhi." ISKCON's founder and spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, several times expressed his desire for a center here in wealthy South Delhi. The land cost about one hundred thousand dollars.
The new ISKCON project will be called the "Glory of India Cultural Center," and will include a temple, guesthouse, restaurant, park, and multimedia museum. Planning will go on till the summer of 1987, and construction may take another five to ten years. Portions of the project may open separately as they are completed.
The mayor of Delhi, the Honorable Sri M. S. Saathi, told the Delhi devotees, "You are adding not only to the beauty but also to the holiness of this city."
Radha-Krsna Deities Installed in Houston
Houston-Devotees here celebrated Janmastami with a grand three-day festival attended by six thousand guests and highlighted by the installation of ISKCON's second largest Radha-Krsna Deities. Srila Tamala Krsna Goswami presided over the installation, which was conducted by Gaura Kesava dasa according to traditional Vedic procedures.
On the first day of the festival, the six-foot-tall marble Deities were installed on an exquisite simhasana (throne) of teak-wood inlaid with brass. The simhasana, weighing seven tons, was carved by thirty artisans in Bombay and took six months to complete. The Deities' chamber, constructed of Italian marble and illuminated by Australian crystal chandeliers, is decorated with hundreds of ornamental bas-reliefs.
During the festival, some two hundred congregational members who had funded the temple construction and the installation ceremony participated in the abhiseka (bathing) of the Deities. The auspiciousness of the event was marked by the appearance of the constellation Rohini, which appeared over Texas at the time of the installation, just as it had appeared over Vrndavana at the time of Lord Krsna's advent fifty centuries ago.