A look at the worldwide activities of the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
Italy's All Krsna Radio Broadcasts Nationwide
Florence, Italy Radio Krishna Centrale has been steadily gaining popularity since the station began in 1984. RKC, a nine station network reaching nearly all parts of the country, is now on the air twentyfour hours a day and features almost thirty programs. Some of the programs include classes on Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, The Nectar of Devotion, and Krsna book. The first show of the day, Apertura e Mantra ("Opening, and Chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra"), invites listeners to chant japa (soft chanting with prayer beads) for half an hour along with a tape of Srila Prabhupada chanting. Radio Cucina ("Radio Kitchen") teaches people how to cook vegetarian meals, and Offerta del Cibo teaches them how to offer their food to Krsna and why it is important. Listeners are encouraged to place their meals before the radio while Sanskrit mantras are chanted; thus the food becomes prasadam (sanctified food offered to Krsna). Finestra Aperta ("Open Window") is a call-in show that takes about ten calls during the hour program, answering questions about RKC's programs and the philosophy and lifestyle of the Krsna consciousness movement.
American-born Mirabhai-devi dasi, who has been broadcasting with Radio Krishna Centrale since its inception, explains, "I like to give the listeners an idea of what Krsna consciousness can be it's life, joy, it's culture, it's dance, its music." And Italians like their introduction to Krsna consciousness through RKC. Once when RKC temporarily went off the air, the station received many calls from concerned listeners. Mirabhai says, "People would call us up practically crying and say. 'When will you be back on? What can I do'?' One man called and said, 'The one good thing that there is, and then they take it away from you!' "
Mirabhai explains her rewarding experience of working with RKC: "Sometimes I meet people who have heard me on the air, and they tell me something they've learned or how their life has changed by listening to RKC. … I have learned that through the radio we can actually reach out and touch the hearts of people in a very profound way."
New Zealand's Leader Attends
Auckland Temple Ground-breaking
Auckland, New Zealand Devotees here recently celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony fair the first Vedic-style temple in Australasia. In attendance was Mr. David Lange, New Zealand's prime minister, along with seven hundred other guests and dignitaries. In his address the prime minister spoke of the devotees' dedication and commended their efforts at the New Varsana farm in Huapai. Later, while visiting ISKCON's gurukula (school) during a tour of the farm, Mr. Lange told reporters that he had never seen such intelligent, happy children; he called them "ISKCON's success story."
During the ground-breaking ceremony, leading members of the Indian Association of New Zealand also addressed the crowds and thanked the devotees for providing such a culturally rich temple as a place of worship. Devotees performed a fire sacrifice and, following Vedic custom, placed a golden Deity of Ananta Sesa in the ground to support the temple. The festivities included bhajanas (devotional music), traditional Indian dance, and a sumptuous vegetarian feast.
The temple will consist of a large octagonal main hall, a reception area, office space, kitchens, dining rooms, and child care facilities, most of which should be completed by March 1988.