‘Building Bridges’ Conference Heralds Bold Take on Outreach


Source: News.Iskcon.com

Washington, DC – For the more than fifty ISKCON devotees who gathered here to attend the “Building Bridges” conference last month, there was good news and bad news. The bad news was that – judging by comments made by almost all of the conference’s esteemed presenters – the “good old days” of ISKCON’s in-your-face preaching have been officially declared dead. The good news, of course, was that the “good old days” of ISKCON’s in-your-face preaching have been officially declared dead.

ISKCON Founder-Acharya Srila Prabhupada. The Building Bridges conference explored how best to serve his mission of sharing Krishna with an increasingly post-modern world. (The deity pictured here is at the home of Anuttama Prabhu and Rukmini Devi, who helped to organize the event.)

“I wonder if we might not just retire the word preach altogether,” suggested participant Rukmini Devi Dasi, an ISKCON devotee since 1968. “It has such a negative connotation these days, and seems so condescending. I think we should just stop using it.”

How did a conference dedicated to outreach end up offering the funeral eulogy for “preaching” as-we-know-it? By challenging participants to re-vision what it means to share Krishna with others in the 21st Century.

“We [in ISKCON] are doing too much navel-gazing these days,” keynote presenter Devamrita Swami playfully complained to the packed temple-room audience during his talk on Sustainability Outreach. “We need to learn how to get back in touch with people in a way that is relevant to where they are at.” Continue reading

H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What is H1N1 (swine flu)?
H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. Other countries, including Mexico and Canada, have reported people sick with this new virus. This virus is spreading from person-to-person, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread.

Why is this new H1N1 virus sometimes called “swine flu”?
This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and avian genes and human genes. Scientists call this a “quadruple reassortant” virus. Continue reading

Holy Name invades Singapore


It was not an accident when Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke the following words.(Siksastaka Verse 2)

O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by chanting Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them. Continue reading

Best Ever Janmasthami


It wasn’t just the numbers that made it the best ever, although 50,000 was way more than we expected. It wasn’t just the fact that the line of traffic stretched for 3 miles in each direction. It wasn’t just that the festival pilgrims had to line up for over two hours to have a short darshan – just like Tirupati – yet still came away inspired. And it wasn’t just that the sunshine held out after it poured with rain in the morning.

More than this was the fact that our 800 volunteers had all worked so hard – past midnight every night for weeks before the festival – to make it all so well organised. More than this was the fact that they were all so happy and enthusiastic on the day, attracting pilgrims to the many tents and displays on offer. More than this was the sight of 50,000 people with tilak.

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Tulasi tips from ISKCON Vancover

Worshipping and Caring for Srimati Tulasi devi.

“Tips to Keep Tulsi Healthy While Growing Indoors”, and “Collecting Leaves and Manjaris” from the Vancouver Tulasi project.

The Vancouver Tulasi houses are an outstanding example of Tulasi worship, brought to perfection. The Tulasi greenhouses are completely filled with over 30 Tulasis, all in perfect shape and perfect color. Krsna kirtans and Srila Prabhupada’s audio tapes are constantly piped into the greenhouses. Once a week, a group of children come to spend time working with Tulasi, after which they enjoy a picnic together.

All in all, the circumstances surrounding the manifestation of Tulasi at ISKCON Vancouver is an amazing thing. The devotional service offered by the devotees is a perfect example of the mood of Krsna Consciousness that we should all endeavor to strive for in our service.

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