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December 2013 Dedicated to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Food for Life helps thousands in the Philippines Over 2,000 meals are being cooked and distributed daily to the victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines that took place in November, by those volunteering for the charity Food for Life.

Srila Prabhupada:

Religion means understanding God and our relationship with God. That is religion. You may call it "Hindu religion" or "Muslim religion" or "Christian religion," but in any case, real religion is that which teaches how to love God…If by following some religious system you come to the platform of loving God, then your religious system is perfect. Civilisation and Transcendence: How to love God

Run by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, the charity’s relief efforts began on Monday 18 November, when more than 2,000 meals were served in Tacloban city, Palo and Tanauan Leyte. Volunteers also provided over 1,500 meals in the townships of Mayorga, Dulag and Tolosa. Victims of the typhoon, which the UN estimated to be more than 11 million people in total, are arriving daily at the Villamor airbase, which is now a shelter for those who have lost everything and trying to find their relatives in Manila. Typhoon Haiyan has caused widespread destruction in the Philippines, with some 673,000 people having been displaced. Whilst there are other relief agencies in the area, Food for Life’s unique contribution remains their freshly cooked vegan meals, which provide immediate nourishment for thousands every day.

A Meeting of Faiths

ISKCON pays Tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela (read on the back page)

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby invited leaders from the main faith communities to a reception at Lambeth Palace. The purpose was to celebrate the history of respect for religious diversity in Britain. Amongst the other leaders, the Archbishop was pleased to meet Srutidharma das who was introduced as the person who spoke on behalf of the entire Hindu community at the official launch of the Hindu Christian Forum, set up by the former Archbishop Dr Rowan Williams.

Balaram das, the emergency relief coordinator for the Food for Life ISKCON programme in the Philippines, said: “We are working almost 24hrs a day. It takes a lot of time to prepare meals under these tough conditions. We start cooking as early as 1am and then we leave around 8am for the distribution, before returning as late as 12 midday, only to get ready to do it all again for the ...continued on page 2 afternoon shift.”

Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter

December 2013

Worcestershire folk embrace the devotees Nearly 2500 people from across Worcestershire visited Croome Court over a single weekend last September, during the Hare Krishna Festival. “Guests especially appreciated the association of the devotees that weekend,” explained organiser Tribhangananda das. “A great feature was the Bhagavad gita sloka trail around the property, which prompted many people to purchase copies from our stalls. “The National Trust would like to promote several Hare Krishna festivals at Croome throughout the summer next year. They have also expressed interested in installing permanent ISKCON displays at Croome.”







Making a Difference

A devotee from Borehamwood who rescues unwanted food from landfill and transforms it into wholesome meals for those in need of a hot dinner has been recognised for her efforts. Shantasya dasi won the “Make a Difference” category in Affinity Sutton’s Shine Awards for her social initiative Gratitude. Shantasya dasi spends her days collecting fruit and vegetables from greengrocers and supermarkets across the town before cooking the food in her own kitchen, inviting people to share it or delivering it to people in need of a warm meal.

The awards celebrate the achievements of residents of the social housing provider who have made a positive contribution to their communities. Shantasya said: “Hopefully this award will mean more people will find out about Gratitude and I can save more unwanted food from landfill and feed more people.” Shantasya also visits the Multi Purpose Day Centre in Aycliffe Road twice a week to show people with learning difficulties how to cook. If you are able to donate food, contact Shantasya dasi on

Food for Life helps thousands in the Philippines

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The Lotus Trust, the charity wing of Bhaktivedanta Manor, is raising the much needed funds to ensure the Food for Life operations can keep providing the much need support for victims. You can donate today to help The Lotus Trust to continue its work, and follow regular updates on the food relief effort: Guru Daksina das, a past resident of Bhakitvedanta Manor, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 53. He rendered invaluable service to ISKCON UK during the 1980-1990s, especially in the national ISKCON office as financial/ legal officer. Guru Daksina was very much respected by all Vaishnavas for his genuine humility and steadfast Krishna Consciousness, and was describes by many as the quintessential English gentleman. Page 2

Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter

December 2013

Celebrating with Harrow Council Working with Harrow Council, Pushkaraksa das was one of the key organisers of the Diwali and Bhandi Chhor Divas celebrations in Stanmore. To start proceedings, Nila Madhava das performed an arati ceremony, accompanied by kirtaneers from the Manor’s brahmacari ashram. He explained the importance of the items used in the ceremony and explained the spiritual dimension of Diwali. The event was attended by over 350 people including heads of local organisations.


Home Office Function The Hindu Connection held a Diwali celebration at Eaton House in Hounslow, so as to give opportunity to Home Office staff to learn about Hinduism.

The occasion included a speech by Srutidharma das, who put into perspective a deeper meaning of Diwali by explaining how practitioners can apply the timeless values of Vedic culture in the modern world.

ISKCON London’s 44th Anniversary

Over 500 guests assembled for a packed programme at the Camden Centre to celebrate the 44th Anniversary of ISKCON in London. It included a presentation from Srutidharma das on the 40 years of success at the Manor. The event also marked the launch of a New Temple initiative which will

Petition the local government to provide the necessary consent for a purpose built Temple near Regent’s Park to accommodate the growing needs of the community. This will take the form of an online petition where signatures are being collected. Page 3

Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter

December 2013

Children Celebrate Faith Children of the Manor School made their debut at the Hertsmere Celebration of Faith in Borehamwood’s Allum Hall, as part of the National Interfaith Week. Whilst Manor School staff focused on providing face painting and henna, the children performed on stage and mixed with children from Jewish and Christian faith schools. It was attended by the Deputy Mayor of Hertsmere Cllr Carey Keates.

Catholic Archbishop visit The Archbishop Emeritus of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark Mr Kevin Mcdonald praised Bhaktivedanta Manor for its 'wonderful welcome and hospitality' during his official visit. After an extended tour and some enlivening and interesting discussions, he and his staff members were treated to a first-class lunch.

Justice Service at St Alban’s Cathedral Srutidharma das and the Very Reverend Jeffrey John were pleased to meet each other at Hertfordshire’s High Sheriff’s Justice Service at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban. The Service included a procession of faith leaders, High Court Judges and High Sheriffs from 8 different counties.

Prabhupada’s Book Marathon

Monks and congregation took to the streets during December’s Winter Marathon, distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books amidst the hype and chaos of Christmas shopping, giving some relief to anguished consumers. “It’s fun, easy and something anyone can get involved in”, explained Head of Book Distribution Sutapa das. Devotees got involved in other ways too: Page 4

Weekend Warriors – going to town centres on Saturdays with a team of devotees and running book tables. Door-to-Door – visiting homes weekday evenings. Gita Jayanti – Sponsoring books which will be placed in Universities, Hospitals, and Prisons. Book Packs - purchasing and distributing Special Book Packs.

Faith Awareness with local professionals

Radha Mohan das spoke about how the world can benefit from the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita at the Verulam School in St Albans, in front of faith representatives, Counsellors and local professionals. The occasion marked the launch of the new interfaith group Faith and Cultural Enterprise.

Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter

December 2013

40th Anniversary Thank You Night

Meditation Retreat

In November, Bhaktivedanta Manor hosted a meditation retreat for new people interested in spiritual life. Around 20 people attended, and participated in various exercises that included hatha yoga and pranayama, learnt about the benefits of meditation, and were guided through a japa meditation session followed by kirtan. Everyone walked away with special meditation kits consisting of japa beads, booklet, and a music CD. The retreat was hosted by the Krishna Wisdom team, which is part of the Congregational Development Foundation, and is run by Radha Londonisvara das and hatha yoga teacher Ananga Mohini dasi.

This year’s Volunteers Thank You Evening warmly concluded the Manor’s year of 40th Anniversary celebrations. During the evening former President Akhandadhi das praised the efforts of everyone’s contribution over the years

and encouraged them to continue their efforts. Later Ajay Kumar summarised all the activities throughout 2013, adding “ I have been fortunate to serve alongside many of you so nicely”.

Pandava Sena in Italy

Pandava Sena went to sunny Florence in Italy for a spiritual retreat called the 'Kirtan Experience.' 120 youth spent nine days living in Villa Vrindavan Temple surrounded by beautiful scenery. His Holiness BB Govinda Swami led kirtans almost every evening, with Gauragopal das delivering thoughtprovoking seminars. Jahnavi Harrison was also present, and added a welcome musical dimension to the experience. Everyone got the chance to do some service around the temple grounds. Every day included services and workshops which gave all a chance to learn something new , for example, painting, cooking, video making and playing instruments. Harinam was conducted in the city of Florence, which was covered by local television and newspapers.

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Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter

December 2013

27th Padayatra in the Holy Dham On the first day of Kartik, the Padayatra team left the Krishna Balaram Mandir in Vrindavan for an adventure that would take the devotees through the 12 forests of Vraj. The team included 3 devotees from the UK and the schedule included distributing books and prasad, constant chanting and holding evening programs in the villages. “Many thanks to Bhima prabhu from the BBT”, said Parasuram das, “he printed

45,000 books for us to distribute. Part of the evening programs included showing a new movie which presented that although the is West materially quite advanced, it has no substance without Bhakti, devotion to Krishna.” If you would like to take part in future Padayatras, and are physically fit, contact Parasuram das:

Cambridge Festival The UK Festival Team held their latest event in Cambridge’s West Court Concert Hall. "We were very pleased with the public attendance and kind support from Bhaktivedanta Manor and Soho St Temples,” said team leader Giridhari das. “Those who attended that evening had a lot of genuine interest,” added Adi Guru das. “There were about 150 altogether, including the Deputy Mayor

of Cambridge Cllr George Pippas. “I met a theology student who had just visited the. Manor as part of her work on Hinduism and brought her mother to learn more,” continued Adi Guru. “And there was a sixth form tutor who had visited Vrindavan and had a good experience with the ISKCON temple there and also had taken her students to the Manor. Overall it was a great evening and we cannot underestimate the public who attend these events”.

University of the Third Age

A group from the University of the Third Age (U3A) Hemel Hempstead branch visited Bhaktivedanta Manor, hosted by Caitanya Jivan das. The group presented insightful questions and the organiser explained they were all much more aware of how the devotees extend themselves to the local community. The Third Age Trust is an unique organisation which provides lifeenhancing opportunities for retired people.

Radhananth Swami receives a Standing Ovation from HSBC

His Holiness Radhanath Swami delivered another keynote speech at the HSBC Headquarters in Canary Wharf, London. Hosted by the CEO of the UK, 500 bankers and industrialists from overseas assembled to hear how ‘wealth can be considered sacred’. The lecture received a prolonged standing ovation by everyone present, offering His Holiness the highest honour. Event organiser, Sri Radharamana dasa commented: “This just does not happen for anyone; especially for someone who has not held a bank account since 1969!”

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Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter

December 2013


KC SOC RETREAT 2013 Pandava Sena’s first KCSoc retreat of the year was a great successful with over 150 students who visited Bhaktivedanta Manor. All the KCSocieties from all over the UK joined together to experience a fulfilling day full of workshops, seminars, service and mantra meditation.

Kirtan and tasty prashad! Every week, all KC Societies preach to young people all over the UK, hoping to bring students a new insight of spirituality into their lives, and to continue to serve Srila Prabhupada’s mission and spread Krsna Consciousness to everyone.

Vinay Ran

Age: 20 t: Student a ry Uni. a M n e e u Q Studying: Dentistry

How did you find out about Psena? I found out about PS through my sister. I thought it was a bit weird but here I am eight years on one of the members!

What did you like about the events?

Pandava Sena’s most popular Janmastami show from this year, ‘The End Begins’ was watched by all the University students. They also took part in milking the cows and a planned treasure hunt on the Manor grounds. HG Bhuta Bhavana Prabhu gave and enlightening talk, introducing new people to Krsna Consciousness. The retreat ended in a unique way with a bonfire!

Pandava Sena literally taught me so much about life. I’ve gained so many personal development skills that I’m using today and combining them with how to be spiritual in the modern material world!

What do you do in Psena? I’m part of the university scene where I am helping out at Queen Mary University KCSoc. I also help organise the sena tent for Janmastimi with acting, writing and lots of creativity during festivals. I try to present timeless spiritual tools for a modern audience in my blog “Levitate.” I love writing and doing creative things!

Many students went away with an exciting experience of Krsna Consciousness full of philosophy, Page 7

Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter

December 2013

ISKCON pays Tribute to Nelson Mandela Hare Krishna Culture on B4U Music Channel

ISKCON joined the world in paying tribute to the foremost human rights icon of current times: Nelson Mandela.

languages, cultures and spiritual beliefs that prevailed throughout what became known as a “rainbow nation.”

Mr Mandela visited the ISKCON temple in Chatsworth, South Africa, in 1992 and discussed the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita over a meal at their Govinda’s restaurant.

In 1997, ISKCON’s Food For Life project planned and hosted the “Festival for the Children of the Rainbow Nation” with President Mandela as its Guest of Honour. The event saw 50,000 school children with their teachers gather at Kings Park Soccer stadium. The national media reported that he stated this was “the happiest day” of his life.

After becoming the country’s first democratically elected President, Mandela made a return visit to the Temple. It was from this venue that he addressed the 10,000 strong community, as well as the nation. President Mandela gave particular attention to respecting the multitude of different

A few days after his passing, ISKCON South Africa held their Ratha Yatra festival in Lenasia near Johannesburg, in honour of Nelson Mandela.

Mitzvah Day at Aldenham Parish Church The Jewish tradition of Mitzvah Day was on Sunday 17th November this year. It’s a day of giving back to the community and the inspiration for National Seva Day. In observance of this, Manor devotees went to Aldenham Parish Church to help Christian and Jewish locals clean up the adjacent courtyard and field.

“We all got stuck into the most strenuous wild bramble bush clearing and we were all thoroughly exhausted by the end, but it was well worth it.” explained Caitanya Jivan das. “It really is the most practical and rewarding way of getting to know each other and about each other’s faith traditions.”

The B4U Music TV Channel has started broadcasting the Hare Krishna Culture TV show on its channel every day from 6am till 7am GMT all over the UK, Europe, Africa, Malaysia and Singapore. B4U Music is a famous mainstream Indian Bollywood Music TV Channel and is available on Virgin Media , Sky Channel 781 and Free Set, and also on mobile devices including Iphone, Ipad, Blackberry and Android, as well as online through Yamgo TV. MATV Sky Channel 793 (UK) and all the other channels, such as Disha, Sanatan and MH1 Shraddha (India, USA and Canada), will continue to broadcast the show as usual. “We are heartily grateful to all the viewers, supporters and well wishers for their kind support and help”, explained Producer and Director of Hare Krishna Culture TV, “without whom it would not have been possible to broadcast the message of ISKCON and Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu to millions of people”. For further enquiries kindly contact Ramanuja das. January Sat 11th Putrada Ekadasi Tues 14th Makara Sankranti Mon 27th Sat-tila Ekadasi


Bhaktivedanta Manor Dharam Marg · Hilfield Lane Aldenham · Herts (for sat-nav only, please use postcode WD25 8DT) 01923 851000 Please send your news, photos and comments to: Radha Mohan das Page 8

Tues 4th Vasant Pancami, Wed 5th App of Sri Advaita Acarya (fast till noon) Mon 10th Bhaimi Ekadasi (fast till noon for Varahadeva) Tues 11th App of Lord Varahadeva Wed 12th App of Sri Nityananda Prabhu (fast till noon)

© 2013, All articles & photographs copyright of Bhaktivedanta Manor

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