A look at the worldwide activities of the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
Soviet Vice-Consul Inaugurates Calcutta Ratha-yatra
Calcutta, India. The Soviet vice-consul to India. Mr. Alexander Vaulin, and the wife of the Soviet consul general, Mrs. Irina Passentchouk, inaugurated ISKCON's seventeenth annual Ratha-yatra festival here, which took place on the same day as the ancient festival in Jagannatha Puri, Orissa. An estimated three million people crowded the streets to witness the parade, beginning seven days of festivities in honor of Lord Jagannatha. The festival was dedicated to ISKCON devotees in the USSR. where the government has recently recognized ISKCON as a bona fide religion.
Before the parade began, Vice-Consul Vaulin addressed a crowd of thousands, stating his belief that the acceptance of ISKCON in the Soviet Union would lead to greater friendship and understanding between India and the Soviet Union. He said that ISKCON's message of love and fellowship would foster international brotherhood.
Mr. Vaulin offered arati to Lord Jagannatha and happily received a Russian translation of Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is. As the parade began, Mr. Vaulin, accompanied by Mrs. Passentchouk, swept the road in front of Lord Jagannatha's chariot with a golden broom.
Govinda's Restaurant on Soho Street in London received a full-page review in What's On, London's leading weekly entertainment guide. In the article, entitled "Vegetarian Excellence in Soho." Michael Darvel, assistant editor for What's On, writes, "I think the food offered is the most attractive vegetarian cuisine I have seen." He says that even though Govinda's was around well before the current trend toward vegetarianism, "it is still one of the best places for vegetarian food in London." He explains that Govinda's is connected with the Hare Krsna temple upstairs, and that all the food is offered to Krsna before being served to customers.
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Although the Tokyo ISKCON temple was destroyed by fire in May, the devotees are still preaching, using an apartment as a temple for the time being and even holding Sunday Feasts there. The women devotees wear saris to distribute the new Japanese Bhagavad-gita As It Is. The devotees perform harinama-sankirtana [congregational chanting of Hare Krsna] and distribute Srila Prabhupada's books six days a week.
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ISKCON's pada-yatra. a walking tour of holy India, is scheduled to continue for at least eight more years, until the one-hundredth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's birth. In July the pada-yatra joined the Dindi Pada-yatra in Maharastra. During this 700-year-old festival as many as 200.000 people walk and chant from Poona to Pandharpur. In October ISKCON's pada-yatra will tour the Vrndavana area and then head for Allahabad for the Kumbha-mela in January.
Plain living, high thinking. Get out of the city away from the noise, pollution, anxiety, and madness of city life. Come back to a simpler, more natural way of life. Live close to the earth, close to God. The Hare Krsna movement has thirty-four farm communities throughout the world. These are sacred places where your spirit can unfold. And at the same time, they're realistic, practical places, where you can build a sane, stable life for yourself and, if you're married, for your family.
To find out more, get in touch with the ISKCON farm community nearest you.