The worldwide activities of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
Devotees in New York City held their first annual Srila Prabhupada Family Reunion on July 10, twenty-eight years from Srila Prabhupada's founding of ISKCON. The reunion took place at 26 Second Avenue, in the storefront where ISKCON started.
The Bhaktivedanta Archives has published a new set of books, titled Collected Teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The seven-volume set contains all of Srila Prabhupada's lectures not found in two previously published sets: Collected Lectures on Srimad-Bhagavatam (eleven volumes) and Collected Lectures on Bhagavad-gita (seven volumes). To order, see page 54.
Devotees have consecrated the ground for a temple they will build this year in Alachua, Florida. The temple is meant to meet the needs of the Alachua devotee community, which in the last few years has grown from less than two dozen devotees to more than 250. Alachua is also home for the offices of BTG.
Children from ISKCON's school in Dallas performed a Krsna conscious play for 150 religious leaders at a recent Dallas interfaith gathering.
Devotees in Zagreb, Croatia, now worship Deities of Gaura-Nitai (Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu). About a hundred guests attended the installation ceremony in May.
Devotees in Armenia report being subjected to ongoing religious repression and harassment. The reports attribute the problems to the Armenian government and the Armenian Church. Scriptural books meant for distribution have been seized, the reports say, and religious organizations outside the official Armenian Church have been subjected to repressive bureaucratic restrictions.
The Union Minister for Urban Development has presented the Great Master's Award to Mr. A. P. Kanvinde, the main architect for the ISKCON-Hinduja Glory of India project. Mr. Kanvinde received the award for his distinguished contributions to Indian architecture.
Devotees in Secunderabad recently organized a three-day youth seminar on "Vedic Science and Its Benefits to Modern Students." Eighty students and several faculty members attended from local colleges.
A noted South African artist who had become a devotee of Krsna passed away in Vrndavana during the spring. Three years earlier, Arca Vigraha Devi Dasi, a disciple of Giriraja Swami, had traveled to Vrndavana after becoming terminally ill. While there she inspired visiting devotees to begin the work of setting up a clinic to treat terminally ill devotees in Vrndavana. During her last months, she was fully absorbed in hearing Srila Prabhupada's books and the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.
More than six thousand people enjoyed prasadam and celebrations at the annual Festival of the Chariots. The focal point of the festival: the Jagannatha deities discovered in a dingy temple on the northern end of the island ten years ago.
Businessmen in South Africa sponsored the distribution of about 100,000 copies of Bhagavad-gita As It Is for Gita Week, the week of August 21. This ISKCON-organized "Gitathon" made books available to high school and university students unable to afford them, especially students in black areas. The devotees in South Africa plan to make the Gitathon an annual event.
More than sixty-thousand people attended a three-day festival at ISKCON Durban for Janmastami (Lord Krsna's appearance day) and the appearance day of Srila Prabhupada.
Durban will celebrate the Festival of the Chariots December 15-19.
Devotees in West Africa try to grow whatever they eat and make whatever they use. They grow food for themselves and for prasadam distribution. Their cottage industries make many things devotees usually have to get from India drums, hand cymbals, shawls, bead bags, and Deities.
News From Vrndavana
The main gate to ISKCON's Krsna-Balarama temple is now open again, for the first time since 1979. The gate was closed for the construction of Srila Prabhupada's samadhi, the monument that marks the place where his body is buried. The samadhi construction, inside and out, has been completed. But work on the museum, opposite the samadhi, has halted due to a shortage of funds. Still needed to get the job done: about $30,000. Anyone interested in helping should get in touch with Kadamba Kanana Dasa, the president of ISKCON Vrndavana.
ISKCON Vrndavana has acquired an acre of land adjacent to the Gurukula and the temple. The land has a house on it, and several rooms on a boundary wall. Temple offices and residences for celibate men will shift from the Gurukula to the new land, freeing for the Gurukula 35% more space than it now has.
The temple has also purchased three acres of land on Bhaktivedanta Swami Road, across from the Sharaf Hospital. The land will be used for temple guesthouses.
Also acquired: an old Rajasthani summer palace in the area known as Dan Gati, at the foot of Govardhana Hill. It will serve as an asrama for visiting ISKCON devotees.
The Mayapur-Vrindavan Trust has completed the first group of apartments on its land, near the ISKCON temple. The apartments are being leased to devotees who wish to reside in Vrndavana. More apartments are still available. For information, contact Kirtiraja Dasa, P.O. Box 1445, Alachua, Florida, 32615.
ISKCON is planning to build a large hall for cultural programs and distribution of prasadam. The site: ISKCON's land next to the Gurukula on Bhaktivedanta Swami Road. The work at hand: raising funds for the project. The goal: to finish the building in 1996.
The Vrndavana Institute for Higher Education will hold its next round of courses in January.