The worldwide activities of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
Temples across the U.S. and Canada will hold dinners this spring to bring together their congregations, celebrate the successes of ISKCON's first twenty-five years, and kick off Srila Prabhupada's Centennial Celebration in America. The well-knownbhajana artist Minu Purushottam will sing at the programs.
The chariots will roll in cities across North America this summer. The Jagannatha Rathayatra The Festival of the Chariots will be celebrated in New York, Boston, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and other major cities.
The Bhaktivedanta Archives is working to publish a collection of Srila Prabhupada's letters, papers, manuscripts, and other personal documents. The collection will span the years from his householder life until shortly after he started ISKCON, in 1966. Do you have anything suitable to include? Contact Brahmananda Dasa at The Bhaktivedanta Archives, 9701 Venice Blvd. #5, Los Angeles, CA 90034, USA; phone: 310-280-0609; fax: 310-559-0935.
A new series of videotapes presents lectures by Srila Prabhupada, subtitled and blended with photographic portraits. A new video will come out each month. For information on ordering, see page 60.
Mental-health clients in Portland learn how to make their own prasadam meals, with the help of ISKCON devotee Dhira Devi Dasi. Every week, Dhira Dasi comes to a city-run home, called Bridgeview, to teach these people. The government sponsors the program. Dhira Dasi believes that people have a better chance of recovering from drug addiction, abuse, and other problems when Krsna conscious methods are used with other treatment. For more information, contact Dhira Dasi, 2368 N.W. Thurman St., Portland, OR 97210, USA; phone: 503-223-7618.
The City of Detroit recommends that tourists visit the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center, home of Detroit's Hare Krsna community. A glossy new brochure from the Visitors and Convention Bureau shows the center as one of the area's eight best attractions. The center was once the home of auto baron Lawrence Fisher. Devotees, notes the brochure, "have restored it to its original beauty."
Bhaktivedanta Manor observes its twentieth anniversary this year. The Manor is the Hare Krsna center in the London countryside. George Harrison donated the Manor, and Srila Prabhupada installed the Radha-Krsna Deities, in 1973. ISKCON is still fighting a ban from the local council that would close the Manor to the public from March 1994.
London will celebrate its twenty-fifth annual Jagannatha Chariot Festival this summer. The chariot festival will also be held in several other European cities.
A Hare Krsna restaurant in Manchester has opened its doors in the city center. The restaurant, Govinda's, is run by Keith Jacobs, a member of the local ISKCON congregation. Devotees do the cooking.
Devotees in Paris have established a Hare Krsna cultural center in the middle of the university area. The center is a ten-minute walk from the Sorbonne.
The Athens Hare Krsna center has moved to a new location, near the center of the city.
Devotees in Copenhagen have started a Hare Krsna restaurant. It already attracts about a hundred customers a day.
The Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka inaugurated ISKCON's eighth annual Chariot Festival in January at Bangalore, the capital of the state. The Deputy Chief Minister, Sri S.M. Krishna, praised ISKCON for its contributions to the culture and welfare of Karnataka. During these political times in India, he said, it was reassuring that ISKCON was having a chariot festival that had no political undertones and was truly to glorify the Lord and uplift the people. He then swept the road before the chariot, broke the ceremonial coconut, and offered worship to the Deities. Devotees from four continents attended the festival. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets to witness the five-kilometer procession.
Angry Moslems came to attack ISKCON's temple in Dacca during the communal violence in December. But Moslems from the neighborhood came to the devotees' defense. "These people aren't like the others," the local Moslems told the mob. "They give out free food. We respect them, and they respect us. Leave them alone." The mob left to vent their anger elsewhere.
ISKCON Ecuador has acquired a new ten-acre rural parcel about fifty miles from Cuenca. Four families live on the property, where they grow much of their own food and aim for eventual self-sufficiency.
Devotees from Lima bring nutritious prasadam to Juaicam, a poverty-stricken region on the outskirts of the city. Four days a week, about two hundred residents pour out of their makeshift dwellings when they see the devotees' truck arrive. Most of these residents come to the city from villages, seeking work. Some are refugees from countryside areas haunted by terrorists. Devotees have been giving out prasadam in Peru for twelve years.
Padayatra Northern California plans to start another tour in the spring. For more information, contact ISKCON Berkeley.
Padayatra in England will begin again on May 1 and travel for one month around London. In Sweden, Padayatra begins in May, with two bulls from ISKCON's Swedish farm. A Padayatra will take place in the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic in August. One of the world's smallest countries is not to be left out. Luxembourg will host Padayatra for a week in September.
Starting on Srila Prabhupada's disappearance day, October 29, ISKCON's temple in Bhubaneswar held an eighteen-day Padayatra to promote Srila Prabhupada's Centennial the one-hundredth anniversary of his appearance. The Director General of Police for Orissa, Sri Shyam Sundar Padhi, inaugurated the festival. He spoke of how ISKCON is spreading the holy names of Lord Krsna all over the world. The walking festival was the first of a series aimed at promoting and celebrating the Centennial. In February, hundreds of devotees again took part in ISKCON's annual walking pilgrimage encircling Navadvipa, the birthplace of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Padayatra Japan begins this April, most likely on the island of Shikoku, off the coast. Plans call for the walk to begin along an ancient Buddhist path through eighty-eight pilgrimage sites and temples. Then devotees will walk on a roadway in May through June.
For more information about Padayatra, write to:
62, Sant Nagar (near Nehru Place), New Delhi 110 065 India. Phone: +91 (11) 642-1736. Fax: +91 (11) 647-0742
1111 Grand Avenue, San Diego, CA 92109. Phone: (619) 273-7262
Ekanatha Dasa, c/o Villa Vrndavana, Via Communale degli, Scopeti 108, S. Andrea in Percussina, San Casciano, Val di Pesa (Fl) 5002, Italy