The 8th of April, 2017, marked the day when over 15,000 youths from across the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, got the chance to get inspired by spiritual wisdom in a grand event entitled as ‘Xpressions 2017’ in ISKCON Kanpur. Emphasizing on ‘De-addiction’ and ‘Value Empowerment’ within youth, ‘Xpressions 2017’ was an effort by a team of ISKCON devotees to bring the youth closer to their roots, re-introducing them to the rich cultural heritage they have inherited, focusing on the need for a positive approach to life, believing in themselves and working hard.
ISKCON’s Congregational Development Ministry, based in Mayapur, India, has launched a new online marriage counseling service that draws from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. With the divorce rate in many countries at over fifty per cent, the search is on for the key to stable and successful relationships. According to the two consultants at new website Bhaktimarriages.com – psychotherapist and Vedic astrologer Sri Radha Govinda Dasi and writer and astrologer Manohar Pandit Das – an important element is training before marriage.
Two ISKCON authors have won in their categories at the Independent Book Publishers Benjamin Franklin Awards this year, which received nearly 1,400 entries published during the 2016 calendar year. Over 150 librarians, booksellers, and design and editorial experts judged the books submitted. Radhanath Swami’s “The Journey Within: Exploring the Path of Bhakti, A Contemporary Guide to Yoga’s Ancient Wisdom” won the gold medal in the Body, Mind & Spirit category.
Today, many schools in the U.K. and beyond are teaching children mindfulness, a widely acclaimed therapeutic technique that focuses our feelings, thoughts and emotions, and induces calm and emotional wellbeing. Jayadev Dasa, a well-known musician and kirtan singer from England, has written a book that teaches children mindfulness in a unique way – through fun Djembe drumming lessons. Jayadev, of course, was the drummer for the ‘70s pop group The Rubettes, which had a hit with “Sugar Baby Love” and sold twenty million records worldwide.
Various leadership responsibilities, whether manager, mother or mentor, offer us the privileged opportunity in assisting people to excel. Though the most rewarding role in life, they all come with a good dose of frustration and annoyance. How many times has your sincere and informed advice been received with unresponsiveness and neglect? What to do when faced with ingratitude and irrationality?
Govardhana Academy, located at the Saranagati Farm Community in British Columbia (BC), Canada, recently participated in their third year of the BC Green Games - a province wide competition to promote sustainability in schools. One of the biggest challenges of farming at Saranagati is their short growing season. With a self-heated greenhouse, they intend to grow food year-round. Using money from a previous grant award, the materials were purchased and the students and their community teamed up to bring the design to reality.
ISKCON devotees are serving alongside Sri Vaishnavas to celebrate Ramanujacharya in the lead-up to his 1,000th appearance day (Sahasrabdi) on May 1st. A great saint in the Sri Vaishnava tradition, Ramanuja lived between 1017 and 1137. He was a revolutionary who preached that all are equal before the Lord. His teachings were referenced by many Gaudiya acharyas, including Srila Prabhupada in his Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Over the Easter Weekend from Friday April 14th to Sunday April 16th, hundreds of devotees at ISKCON Auckland celebrated the 45th anniversary of their Deities, Sri Sri Radha-Giridhari, with love and great pomp. The celebrations included a massive and stunningly colorful Harinama on Queen Street in the center of Auckland.
The devotees of ISKCON Melbourne were asked to participate in this year’s 2017, 5 days Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show at the wonderful Melbourne Exhibition Centre. A team of devotees came up with the concept of presenting Radha and Krishna in the groves of Vrindavan with their Gopi and Gopa friends. The title of their display was “SPIRITUAL VISION”. The organizers don’t usually select religious organizations as entrants but because the Hare Krishna Movement is known for their use of beautiful flower arrangement they made an exemption.
Recently, a high court in India declared the Yamuna river a living entity, bestowing on her the same legal rights as a person. Many shared the news on social media, excited about this seemingly major move towards cleaning up the heavily polluted river, once called “dead” by the United Nations. But a closer look shows that the development, while a nice gesture, won’t actually achieve much. “This status was only given by a court in the Northern state of Uttarakhand, where the Yamuna is already pristine enough to drink, and doesn't apply to other states that actually do pollute the river and poison every living being in its vicinity,” says Krisztina Danka, PhD., director of the upcoming documentary 'The Stolen River.'
Since Cyclone Debbie made landfall on March 28th, it has brought heavy downpours and flooding to many areas of Queensland, Australia. In the small town of Murwillumbah (population: 8,523), ISKCON devotees from nearby New Govardhana have done what they know best to help flood victims back on their feet: feed them prasadam.
At the recent GBC Meetings in Sridham Mayapur, the ISKCON Governing Body (GBC) College was pleased to present 32 graduates from the GBC College to the assembly of GBC members. As Rupanuga Das (President of the GBC College) called out the names of the graduates, Romapada Swami handed them their graduation certificates, Bhakti Charu Swami gave them a pavitra (in the colours of the GBC College and offered to Lord Nrsimhadev) and Gopal Bhatta DAs gave them a GBC College bag.