The worldwide activities of the International Society for Krishna consciousness (ISKCON)
The Bhaktivedanta Archives released its upgraded version of the Bhaktivedanta VedaBase in August, on Janmastami, Lord Krsna's appearance day. The new version, available for Windows 95/98/NT only, has many new features, including a section containing biographical works on Srila Prabhupada by disciples and many other books. For more information, see The Hare Krsna Catalog on page 63.
India's television series "Abhay Charan" is currently filming in New York City. The first twenty-six episodes, covering Srila Prabhupada's life in India before he traveled to America, have aired on the Doordarshan national television network. The series, now off the air, will resume when a year's worth of shows have been produced. Originally shot in Hindi, the series is being dubbed in English, Dutch, French, Tamil, German, Spanish, and Italian for sale on video-cassettes.
ISKCON Detroit held its annual Rathayatra ("Chariot Festival") in August on Belle Isle, an island park in the Detroit River. Michigan gubernatorial candidate Geoffrey Fieger campaigned at the festival and accepted a packet of Krsna-prasadam. The day before the festival, the Detroit Free Press ran a front-page article, with three color photos, announcing the festival and discussing the Hare Krsna movement.
The 1998 National Geographic Garden Book highlighted New Vrindavan's Palace Rose Garden, at Prabhupada's Palace of Gold. For the seventh straight year, the garden won an All-American Rose Selections Award for outstanding rose gardens.
The first in-depth documentary on the Hare Krsna movement in nearly twenty years is now available from ISKCON Television (ITV). Three years in the making, "The New Hare Krishna World" comes on two 60-minute video-cassettes. (Available from the Hare Krsna Catalog, page 63.)
Janmastami marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's installation of Sri Sri Radha-Gokulananda, the Radha-Krsna Deities at Bhaktivedanta Manor, ISKCON's center outside London.
Rain and mud failed to keep devotees from distributing or festival-goers from trudging to receive ten thousand plates of prasadam last June at the annual Glastonbury, England, music festival. Devotees also braved sometimes knee-deep mud to chant Hare Krsna throughout the festival grounds.
Eleven thousand young people attended a Hare Krsna concert at the ISKCON site during Poland's annual "Woodstock" festival, held in August. The Hare Krsna site included twenty-seven tents the main one the size of a football field. Ten thousand people a day received plates of Krsna-prasadam.
The North European branch of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) reports the following English-language books now in production: Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta (complete in two volumes),Srimad-Bhagavatam (complete in three volumes), Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (complete in two volumes), and Brhad-Bhagavatamrta (translation in progress, including commentaries by Vaisnavaacaryas).
The North European BBT publishes books in forty-five languages.
Commonwealth of Independent States
The chief minister of New Delhi visited ISKCON's temple in Moscow last July. The chief minister, Sri Sahib Singh Verma, delivered a short speech, during which he stressed the importance of spreading the message of the Bhagavad-gita in Russia. He encouraged devotees to build a Vedic temple in Moscow and have millions of Moscovites chanting Hare Krsna.
Twenty-five hundred devotees from the CIS gathered at ISKCON's temple in Sukharevo, outside Moscow, in July for a week of lectures, seminars, kirtanas, and fellowship.
Summer Rathayatras: Moscow and Novosibirsk, Russia, in June; Odessa, Ukraine, in July.
Back to Godhead associate editor Drutakarma Dasa (Michael A. Cremo) will present a paper at the Fourth World Archeological Congress, to be held in January at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. His paper is titled "Forbidden Archeology of the Early and Middle Pleistocene: Evidence for Physiologically and Culturally Advanced Humans." Drutakarma Dasa co-authored, with Sadaputa Dasa (Richard L. Thompson), Forbidden Archeology, which challenges modern evolutionary theory by citing suppressed or ignored archeological evidence of the antiquity of modern man.
Devotees are halfway through a 1,700-mile Padayatra ("walking festival") from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Sao Paulo, Brazil. They started early this year and are walking with an ox-powered Deity cart that serves as a bookstall, lecture stage, and conveyance for items used to put on Hare Krsna festivals at the many stops along the way.