The worldwide activities of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
A California court is considering ISKCON's appeal of the Robin George "brainwashing" case. Following guidelines from the U.S. Supreme Court, the California court is expected to hand down its judgment in December.
Texans are enjoying more than 20 varieties of sweets from Kalacandji's Bakery and Sweet Shop, newly opened at ISKCON's temple in Dallas.
"Krishna Productions" reels off a new book on tape every few months. The latest release: the Krsna books for children. For further information, see page xx.
New cookery videos are cooking at ISKCON Television. Soon to be released, they feature Kurma Dasa, from Australia, in his second series of televised cooking classes.
A group of five Hare Krsna devotees from Bangladesh toured America this summer, singing traditional devotional songs at Hare Krsna festivals. Two of the devotees Krsna Kirtana Dasa and Nityananda Prana Dasa had previously toured the U.S., Germany, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria.
Instructors at Yale and Louisiana State University have recommended The Lives of the Vaisnava Saints, a new book by Hare Krsna devotee Steven Rosen (Satyaraja Dasa), to students studying religion this fall.
ISKCON in England has abandoned the idea of finding a new site on which to build a temple to replace Bhaktivedanta Manor for public worship. Instead, ISKCON is challenging a decision banning visitors from the Manor, the Society's seventeen-acre estate outside London.
The local Hertsmere Council gave notice of the ban, but the Department of the Environment is holding it off for up to two years, to give ISKCON time to find a new site.
The idea of finding a new site originally came from the Council itself, which promised to help the Society find one. But now, ISKCON leaders say, the Council has reneged on its promises. This left ISKCON vainly searching for a proper site in an area already congested, where prices are sky-high and planning obstacles nearly impossible to overcome.
"The only real hope for continuing public worship seems to rest on access to the Manor," says ISKCON spokesman Akhandadhi Dasa, "and the campaign to achieve that is far from over."
ISKCON has now taken that campaign to the High Court. The Court's decision is expected a few days after this issue goes to press.
The first Festival of the Chariots in Milan rolled down Corso Europa for four hours to Duomo Square, where two thousand people feasted on prasadam from Govinda's restaurant.
The government of Czechoslovakia has recognizedISKCON as an organization in which conscientious objectors may serve as an alternative to the military. Devotees may thus apply for exemption from military service.
A new farm serves as home for a community of eighty devotees and twenty cows, ninety-four miles from North Sydney, Australia. The first chores: building an irrigation dam and a school.
The Festival of the Chariots comes again to Surfers Paradise, in Queensland, Australia, on December 29.
Fiji's fifth Gopal's restaurant opened in Lautoka. It features the popular homemade ice cream that helped the four other Gopal's succeed in Lautoka, Labasa, and Suva.
People in Papua New Guinea can now read about Krsna through a newly published book, Krsna Consciousness: The Matchless Gift. Seven thousand copies printed.
Vallabha Caitanya Devi Dasi, a Soviet devotee, passed away in Vrndavana, India. In 1979 in Leningrad she received spiritual initiation over the telephone because her spiritual master could not enter the Soviet Union. In 1990 she became one of the first Soviet devotees to visit India. Her body afflicted by cancer, this year she came to Vrndavana to spend her final days.
Here's news from the two places most sacred to Hare Krsna devotees: Mayapur (90 miles north of Calcutta) and Vrndavana (90 miles south of Delhi).
ISKCON's annual Mayapur-Vrndavana festival, which draws devotees from all over the world, begins on March 5. More details in the next issue of BTG.
A festive month
From October 24 through November 21, devotees celebrate the autumnal month known as Karttika or Damodara. According to thePadma Purana, this month a time of many festivals is especially fine for performing devotional service to Lord Krsna in Vrndavana.
On November 7, Vrndavana celebrates Lord Krsna's lifting of Govardhana Hill. Mountains of food are offered to Lord Krsna in His temples, and then the food is given out to the public.
On November 8, brothers and sisters bathe in the river Yamuna at Visrama Ghata in Mathura. Here the goddess Yamuna once offered lunch to her brother Yamaraja (the punisher of sinful souls). After bathing in the river and enjoying a sumptuous lunch, Yamaraja declared that after a brother bathes here on this day and is fed by his sister, neither of them need fear him.
November 10 is the disappearance anniversary of ISKCON's Founder-Acarya, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Devotees at ISKCON's Krishna-Balaram temple observe special ceremonies to honor Srila Prabhupada, who passed away here in 1977.
November 14 marks the day when young Krsna was first given charge of pasturing the cows. Residents of Vrndavana gather at the temple of Nanda Maharaja, Lord Krsna's father, atop a hill in Nandagram. After a senior man of the village sings traditional songs and the devotees perform the noon arati, the villagers descend the hill with their fully decorated cows and feed the cows puffed rice with sugar and tender grass.
On November 15, devotees circumambulate Vrndavana in memory of the day when Akrura took Lord Krsna away in his chariot to Mathura. Devotees circumambulate in the mood of following the Lord.
On November 19, ISKCON holds a feast for the sadhus (saintly people) at Vrnda Kunda.
Our thanks to Mahanidhi Swami for telling us about these festivals.
Padayatra is now in Gujarat, traveling from Surat to Dvaraka, the holy city of Lord Krsna on India's northwest coast. There, at the end of November, it will celebrate the opening of the "ISKCON Padayatra Gate," a monument commemorating the Padayatra's first encirclement of India.
From Dvaraka the Padayatra will head east for Jaipur, in the state of Rajasthan. The party hopes to reach Jaipur by Gaura Purnima, the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in mid-March.