Foreword by ISKCON UK Governing Body Commissioner What a year 2019 was! It was of course our 50th Anniversary year in the UK and, as everything related to ISKCON in UK began in London, London was a key focus of our collective celebrations with everything culminating in the marvellous Krishna Spectacular at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith in late November, followed by nine days of festivities at the Radha-Krishna Temple. I am sure many of you were there for the celebrations and, as with all of these types of events, we will all have personal favourites but, overall, I don’t think any of us will disagree with the adjective “spectacular”! London is, has been, and will almost certainly remain one of the most important cities on the planet for our lifetime and beyond. This is something that was endorsed many, many times by Srila Prabhupada: “So now we have got very great responsibility to spread this message all over the world, and in London you have got now a good chance to preach in the most important city of the world.” 3rd July 1969 “London is a great city, perhaps the most important metropolis in the world, many people visit every year. So, combined together, Englishman and Indian should erect such a nice institution there that people from all
parts of the world may take advantage of this.” 10th January 1970 “…so why not join together in this Krishna Consciousness movement and construct a unique and imposing Krishna temple in London, the most important city of the world.” 17th April 1970 “London is the most important city in the world and I want that our centre there be a grand success.” 13th April 1971 “I have heard from Dayananda that he has requested you to return to London to help him in getting that huge church in the most important quarter of the most important city in the world.” 28th December 1971 What an absolutely glorious privilege it is for all of us to be able to serve in this most extraordinary mission descending from Lord Krishna, revived by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and then given turbo boosters by Srila Prabhupada. We can also safely conclude from the words of Srila Prabhupada himself, that it is an even greater privilege to be serving this mission in the most prominent, crucial, and critical city on this planet – London. Wishing one and all a most wonderfully auspicious 2020 and beyond serving this most extraordinary mission in olde London town! Your servant, Praghosa dasa UK Governing Body Commissioner
Foreword by ISKCON-London Temple President The Golden Anniversary Year – WOW!!! What a year! I think I am still trying to recover! ISKCON-London 50 years on – and more vibrant than ever. Our little oasis in Central London is a hive of activity, a diverse community, and a cutting-edge centre that blends the authenticity of our heritage whilst being innovative and always striving to attract newcomers. All this is the mood and spirit of our Founder Acharya, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. How blessed we are. I take this opportunity to thank all of you in the community who selflessly gave your time and lakshmi to help make 2019 truly spectacular. I pray that you have some very fond memories and feel the mercy. More important than all the events, which were certainly groundbreaking and breathtaking, was the relationships that developed around the service of Their Lordships. I watched so many new teams develop, so much cooperation, new friendships, and rejuvenation of past relationships, which certainly is pleasing to the Lord. I remain so very grateful to the wonderful community here. I am honoured and privileged to be part of such an
outstanding assembly of exalted Vaishnavas. Thank you for always being so eager to serve and expressing your love in so many wonderful ways. You are all truly an example to the world. I am sure you will relish this Annual Review and may it become a keepsake to always remind that you were part of a truly historical and extraordinary year. May Their Most Beautiful Lordships, Sri Sri RadhaLondonisvara, bless you all with boundless pure love. Your servant, Jai Nitai dasa Temple President and Charity Chairman
TABLE OF CONTENTS 4
22 CHILD PROTECTION OFFICE 22 COMMUNICATIONS
24 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 27 DEITY DEPARTMENT 29 FESTIVALS 32 FOOD FOR LIFE 34 GOVINDA’S RESTAURANT 36 HARINAMA 38 ISKCON EDUCATIONAL SERVICES 38 KIRTAN LONDON 40 LONDON COLLEGE OF VEDIC STUDIES
42 LONDON RATHAYATRA 44 OUTREACH 46 RADHA’S BOUTIQUE 46 RADHA KRISHNA RECORDS 47 REGIONAL 49 RUSSIAN VEDIC SOCIETY
50 SANKIRTAN 52 SPIRITUAL MENTORSHIP SYSTEM 53 VOLUNTEERING 54 GIVING
Editor: Devaki devi dasi Designer: Chandra Bellamy Proofreader: Padmanabha Nityananda dasa Official photographers: David Crick, Harsh Sharma, Jagannath Sharan dasa, Paramesvara dasa and Ravi Goel Thank you to everyone who contributed content.
View the online version: www.iskcon.london/annualreview/2019
Offerings of love Since 2018, devotees were involved in planning a variety of initiatives and events in honour of the Golden Anniversary year. Below are some projects that took place: Feature article in Back to Godhead magazine The March to April 2019 Back to Godhead magazine, distributed internationally, has a 17-page feature article, written by Devaki devi dasi, on the story behind establishing ISKCON in the UK and the opening of the Radha-Krishna Temple in London 50 years ago, and the development of ISKCON-London over the last 50 years. Read article: http://bit.ly/btg-0319 Available at Radha’s Boutique whilst stock lasts Commemorative photo book A photo book, titled A Legacy Begins, was launched at London Rathayatra. It honours and celebrates the endeavour of the pioneers who came to London in September 1968 to fulfil the instructions of Srila Prabhupada. It features rare, original photos from when the pioneers first arrived in London, iconic photos of the devotees meeting The Beatles, Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in London, the installation of Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara, and the first Rathayatras that took place in the city. The book was developed by Anantacarya dasa and Mina Sharma. Available at Radha’s Boutique whilst stock lasts Poems and Prayers book for Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara Over 135 offerings from the community, in the form of poems and prose, were published in a limited edition book. Readings from the book took place each day during the Golden Anniversary Week celebrations. The team involved with the production of the book were Anantacarya dasa, Anuradha Sakhi devi dasi, Devaki devi dasi, Jai Gaurangi devi dasi, and Krishna Lila dasa. 6
Recreation of Abbey Road album cover
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Available Available at Radha’s at Radha’s Boutique Boutique whilst whilst stock stock lastslasts 50th50th Anniversary Anniversary merchandise merchandise Various Various50th 50th Anniversary branded branded merchandise merchandise were arranged by Devaki arranged by Devaki devi devi dasi anddasi Doyal and Doyal Caitanya Caitanya dasa, including dasa, including hoodies, hoodies, T-shirts, T-shirts, caps, woolie hats, caps, woolie hats, badges, badges, bags, and key bead bags, bead key rings, rings, and travelling altars. travelling altars. Available at Radha’s Boutique whilst stock Available at Radha’s Boutique whilst stock lastslasts
Sunday 14th July OmFest, a unique outreach event organised by ISKCON-London, took place at Shoreditch Gardens. It was a family-friendly day out for attendees to embark on a fascinating journey for the mind, body and soul. Attendees could try out vegan food, take part in yoga and meditation workshops, dive into a mantra music experience, hear from life coaches, psychologists, Ayurveda specialists, environmentalists, spiritual mentors and meditation guides, and join in a wisdom discussion with an urban monk. There was also a kids’ zone where children could get involved in interactive yoga activities, arts and crafts, bouncy castle, face painting, magic show, and storytelling. Watch highlights: http://bit.ly/omfest-highlights
I feel like I’ve got a new set of wings after going to OmFest London – a celebration of yoga, conscious food, mantra, music and timeless wisdom, “designed to uplift and recharge your body, mind and soul.” The event did exactly what it said on the tin!” Attendee
…this was a day of complete rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul through yoga, wisdom, kirtan and food. Everywhere you looked, there were people of all ages and all backgrounds, smiling and laughing throughout this wonderful day. And the reason being not only to uplift ourselves but how we can uplift others.” Attendee
Krishna Spectacular Sunday 24th November
The 50th Anniversary was celebrated in grandeur at the famous Eventim Apollo (formerly called Hammersmith Apollo). The show, named Krishna Spectacular, brought together performing arts from East and West, dramatic scenes, live music and sacred song, award-winning dance, an immersive mantra choir experience, theatrical acrobatics, and incredible 3D visuals. The event gathered over 3,000 people to celebrate and chant together, including three of the original pioneers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Gurudas dasa, Shyamasundar dasa and Malati devi dasi, and Srila Prabhupada disciples and devotees from all over the UK. The event also attracted many newcomers who wanted to learn about Vaishnava culture.
Read articles: http://bit.ly/iskconnews-091119 http://bit.ly/iskconnews-251119 8
Watch highlights: http://bit.ly/krishnaspectacular-highlights Watch the full show: http://bit.ly/krishnaspectacular
Many thanks for so kindly allowing my attendance at todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spectacular show!...The dancing, singing, music, explanatory historical tableaux and more really filled-out my knowledge of ISKCON and Swami Bhaktivedanta, which I am grateful for. The general spirit in the Apollo was better than the last rock concert I attended there, which was hugely impressive!... I feel like I was privileged to be at such a joyous and delightfully celebratory event.â&#x20AC;? David Gleeson, Co-Chair, The Soho Society 9
Golden Anniversary Special Darshans During the 50th Golden Anniversary Week, from Sunday 24th November to Monday 2nd December, the Deity Department arranged nine days of breathtaking darshans, each day relating to a particular aspect of ISKCON-Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history. As a major highlight of the festival, the darshans captured devoteesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hearts, making them feel more connected to Their Most-Beautiful Lordships.
Krishna Spectacular at the Apollo Sunday 24th November On the day of Krishna Spectacular, the altar was decorated in a special theatrical theme to mark the occasion, which included theatre curtains and red carpet. Their Lordships even had Their own golden, handmade Krishna Spectacular tickets!
A Labour of Love: How it all began Monday 25th November A dedication to the labour of love by Srila Prabhupada and his ardent desire to establish Krishna consciousness in London and open a temple to fulfil the desire of the previous acharyas, the pioneers who made it happen, and the devotees who have grown the Krishna consciousness movement in the UK over the last 50 years. Their Lordships were offered a gorgeous new outfit, which is a painted flower outfit, painted by an artist in New Vraja Dhama, Hungary. Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara were beautifully bordered within a heart frame made entirely with baby roses. Other floral hearts also decorated the altar.
London’s first Rathayatra and Lord Jagannatha’s glories Tuesday 26th November A celebration of the appearance of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva and Subhadra Devi in London, London’s first Rathayatra in July 1969, Srila Prabhupada’s attendance in the 1973 Rathayatra which he described as a “gorgeous Rathayatra festival in London” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya-Lila 13.19), and a day dedicated to Lord Jagannatha’s glories and pastimes. Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva and Subhadra Devi’s altar was decorated as a colourful Rath cart, and the rest of the altar was decorated with traditional Rath decorations and hangings, sourced from Pipili, a town in the Puri district in the Indian state of Odisha, famous for designing handicrafts.
Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in London Wednesday 27th November This festival was dedicated to Srila Prabhupada’s pastimes and arrival in London on 11th September 1969 – how his disciples met him at the airport, his time at Tittenhurst, meeting with The Beatles, the public lectures he gave, the media attention he received, and the efforts he and his disciples made in getting the building in Bury Place ready for the opening of the Radha-Krishna Temple. The altar set the mood of the festival, decorated with special photographs of Srila Prabhupada in London. There was also an offering of over 50 cakes on the altar in honour of the 50th Anniversary.
Opening of the Radha-Krishna Temple and the Installation of Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara Thursday 28th November The appearance of Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara has a very sweet story behind it. They are unique in that They seemingly appeared by Their own will less than two weeks before the temple opening, manifested by Srila Prabhupadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strong desire for Radha-Krishna Deities in London. An elegant new outfit was offered to Their Lordships in honour of the opening of the Radha-Krishna Temple and Their installation. Devotees were captivated by seeing Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara on Their royal throne with cushions even embroidered with Their names. A beautiful darshan reminding us that They are indeed the real Lord and Lady of London!
London is Vrindavana Friday 29th November By Srila Prabhupadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mercy, he turned London into a spiritual abode by installing Their Most Beautiful Lordships, Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara, who he said are Radha and Krishna Themselves who have appeared in London. The meditation of the day was that if our minds are simply focused on Them and Their service, then we are in Vrindavana, wherever we may be physically situated. In line with the Vrindavana theme, Their Lordships were offered a lovely flower outfit and flower ornaments, with the altar expertly transformed into Vrindavana forest.
The Glorious Sankirtan Mission Saturday 30th November This day was the start of the 2019 Srila Prabhupada Christmas Marathon which took place from Saturday 30th November to Tuesday 24th December. The darshan certainly inspired the devotees going out to distribute Srila Prabhupadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s books. Many books were carefully handmade and magnificently flying around the altar. Parts of the altar were also elegantly designed as a bookcase. Nice elements were seen throughout the altar such as Srila Prabhupadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s typewriter with flying excerpts from his books. In the evening, a new night outfit was offered.
Krishnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Holy Names: The Greatest Treasure Sunday 1st December As well as Their Lordships wearing Their famous holy name outfit, the altar was decorated with hand-painted holy name ribbons, musical instruments and wooden mantra boards, providing a perfect darshan for a day filled with chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra.
The Golden Anniversary: Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara, the Lords of London Monday 2nd December The finale of the Golden Anniversary Week! Celebrated on Odana Sashti, as per the Gaudiya Vaishnava calendar, on this day 50 years ago Srila Prabhupada installed Their Most Beautiful Lordships Sri Sri RadhaLondonisvara. Their Lordships wore three beautiful new outfits on this 50th Anniversary day. The Mangal arati darshan saw Their Lordships wearing a new night outfit offered the night before. This was followed by a royal day outfit. Two new backdrops – a London backdrop behind Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara and a London Rathayatra backdrop behind Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva and Subhadra Devi – handpainted by an artist in Budapest, mesmerised devotees across the world. The altar was also a beautifully decorated “extension” of the scene in the backdrops with flower beds, fountains, pillars, street lights and trees decorated with flower arrangements. In the evening, a glorious Pushpa Abhishek of Their Lordships and an offering of a new night outfit during Shayan arati was a beautiful sight for the eyes.
Festivities from Golden Anniversary Week
Read article: http://bit.ly/iskconnews-030120 Watch recordings:Â http://bit.ly/goldenanniversaryweek-playlist 20
Watch a special film, produced by Bhaktavatara dasa, celebrating 50 years of the Hare Krishnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in London, which was shown as part of the celebrations: http://bit.ly/50yearsofservice
Expression of gratitude The Golden Anniversary Week organising team would like to express deep appreciation to Gurudasa dasa, Shyamasundar dasa, and Malati devi dasi (three of ISKCON UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pioneers), Srila Prabhupada disciples, and senior devotees present during the Golden Anniversary Week. It was a magnificent nine days of festivities, greatly enhanced by your presence. Thank you to ISKCON UK pioneers Mukunda Goswami, Janaki devi dasi, and Sarasvati (the daughter of Shyamasundar dasa and Malati devi dasi), who although sadly could not be present, sent their well wishes. And thank you to ISKCON UK pioneer, the late Yamuna devi dasi, who is fondly remembered for her contributions and as Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvaraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Pujari. GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY VOLUNTEERS Thank you to everyone who engaged in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara on the occasion of Their Golden Anniversary. Below, we list the core organising team for the major events that took place. They were supported by a number of other devotees. Golden Anniversary Week Devaki devi dasi Doyal Caitanya dasa Champakalata Priya devi dasi Dayal Mora dasa Deity Department Gopibhava devi dasi Jaga Mohini devi dasi Jai Nitai dasa Kancana-beli devi dasi Natasha Menon Paramesvara dasa Prema Nrsimha dasa Syamananda dasa
OmFest and Krishna Spectacular Ashika Patel Ananda Monet Anantacarya dasa Devaki devi dasi Jai Nitai dasa Jenny Yue Kajal Patel Kapila Monet Krishna Kirtan dasa Madhvi Mulji Natasha Menon Pallika Raniga Prateek Saxena Prema Nrsimha dasa Radhika Rawat Sharmila Radhika devi dasi
ISKCON-London’s Child Protection Office is available for guidance in responding to any child abuse concerns connected with the Temple. Their mission is to protect the children of Srila Prabhupada’s movement from child abuse and neglect. By doing so, the future of the movement – the children – is strengthened whilst providing an example to the world of a spiritual society that practices compassionate caring and protection. For further details, visit the ISKCON Global Child Protection Office website: www.iskconchildprotection.org To write to our Child Protection Office: email@example.com You will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.
ISKCON-London’s interfaith representatives engaged in a number of interfaith activities during the year. This included: Attending the quarterly Westminster Interfaith Matters meetings with faith and community leaders of Westminster. Participating as a panellist in the fourth Annual Interfaith Conference at St George’s University in February. Attending the Westminster Faith Exchange: Loneliness and Mental Health event at West London Synagogue in February. It was an opportunity to hear from Westminster City Council of the services they provide to tackle loneliness. Faith leaders also shared their projects to alleviate isolation. Hosting a group of 25 young leaders from Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland who visited the Temple as part of their interfaith trip to the UK in March. An interactive talk was given on the topic of spirituality and leadership. 22
Attending the Oxford Foundation’s United for Peace: London’s Communities United Against Extremism event in the majestic Hall at Clothworkers’ Company in April. Attending the Annual Community Iftar Dinner by The Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in May. In a community spirit of promoting interfaith and intercultural understanding in the local area, ISKCON-London was invited to share the Vaishnava understanding of unity. Hosting Lady Mohini Noon who had organised an interfaith walk of peace and unity in June.
Press coverage in 2019 included:
External Events ISKCON-London attended a number of external events to build relations in the wider London community: Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies celebrated its 20th Anniversary at the House of Lords On Thursday 28th March, a gathering of dignitaries and leaders from the Hindu community, temples and organisations from across the country came together to celebrate 20 years of Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies at the House of Lords. Natasha Menon attended on behalf of ISKCONLondon. The event highlighted the value of the Centre, its academic studies with scholars and research capabilities. Westminster Abbey welcomed new Lord Mayor of Westminster A Civic Service was held to welcome the newly appointed Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Ruth Bush, at Westminster Abbey on Sunday 7th July. Representatives from across the religious spectrum came together to celebrate this annual service. The theme was social justice. As part of the service, Vamsidhari dasa offered intercessory prayers on behalf of the Vaishnava faith.
Lord Mayor of Westminster’s reception in honour of the Dean of Westminster After 13 years as the Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr. John Hall stood down from this role. In recognition of his service to the community and to thank him for his enduring commitment to Westminster, a reception was held on Thursday 3rd October at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour. Guests attending included senior representatives from the council, local faith communities, charities and education. Natasha Menon attended the event on behalf of ISKCON-London. City of London Diwali Reception On Wednesday 30th October, Natasha Menon was invited to attend a Diwali reception hosted by The City of London Corporation, in association with the Hindu Council UK. The event included prayers, speeches, lighting of lamps, followed by a dance performance based on the Ramayana by the award-winning Arunima Kumar Dance Company. A Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving on Remembrance Sunday at Westminster Abbey The Lord Mayor of Westminster paid tribute to the fallen men and women who served in the country’s armed forces on Remembrance Sunday (Sunday 10th November). The ceremony was attended by Councillors, representatives of the air force, army, navy, and police. Interfaith representatives, Vamsidhari dasa and Natasha Menon, were invited to attend to pay respect on behalf of the City of Westminster’s faith communities for those who have died in the service of the country.
MyLondon website listed Govinda’s Restaurant amongst their top 19 restaurants for vegan food in London: http://
ISKCON-London featured in “27 Things To Do In Soho”: http://bit.
New York Times Style Magazine’s first digital cover story featured ISKCONLondon monks chanting on the streets of London with model, Maisie Dunlop: http://bit.ly/
ISKCON News looked at the story behind the New York Times Style Magazine feature:
http://bit.ly/iskconnews-150319 ISKCON News featured multi award-winning Govinda’s Restaurant celebrating its 40th Anniversary: http://bit.ly/
Yoga Magazine featured a tenpage feature article on the life of Srila Prabhupada: http://bit.
ISKCON News looked at the story behind the Yoga Magazine feature on Srila Prabhupada:
On Sunday 25th August, Jai Nitai dasa appeared on BBC1’s Sunday Morning Live to discuss food and faith. People from a range of different religions took part in the episode sharing items of baked goods that are associated with their religion. On Sunday 15th September, Ragini Radhika devi dasi appeared on BBC1’s Sunday Morning Live to discuss traditional and emerging fashion trends within the Hare Krishna culture. She joined members of various faiths to discuss the topic of “Faith and Fashion.” The panel discussion was followed by a mini fashion show. See press and media related to the 50th Anniversary in the 50th Anniversary section. The latest press and media articles featuring ISKCONLondon: www.iskcon.london/ medias/press-and-media
Highlights from the Community Development Team KRISHNA CLUB Krishna Club officially launched in January with the aim of providing spiritual education to children in the community. Taking place on Sunday afternoons, the club is attended by approximately 15 to 20 children each week. In a typical class, children start with meditation in the form of japa and kirtan, followed by learning and reciting prayers. They are then taught a topic or pastime from the scriptures in an interactive way, followed by an activity based on the topic. Where possible, the children are given opportunities to participate in Temple events. They had their first kirtan performance at London Mellows on Sunday 21st July. They were given a half-hour slot where they sung the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, Jaya Radha Madhava, and Nrsimhadeva Prayers. They also joined the kirtan on stage at the Golden Anniversary Volunteers Dinner.
Krishna Club celebrated the completion of its first year with a â&#x20AC;&#x153;graduationâ&#x20AC;? ceremony on Sunday 15th December.
To enquire about your child attending Krishna Club:
hank you to the devotees
ISKCON-LONDON INDIA RETREAT Friday 8th March to Tuesday 19th March
who served as teachers and teaching assistants during the year: Devaki devi dasi, Gayathri, Kate, Indu, Jennal, Panchali, and Vrinda Sundari devi dasi. Thank you also to the Child Protection Office for support and guidance.
Music lessons The first ever ISKCON-London Community Retreat in India was organised by Champakalata Priya devi dasi who led 12 devotees on a beautiful journey to India to places including Govardhan Ecovillage (award-winning farm community and retreat centre just outside Mumbai) and Vrindavana.
As an additional offering to help the children gain more taste for kirtan, and to fulfil the request of parents who have expressed desire for their children to learn instruments, in conjunction with London College of Vedic Studies, a 10-week Kartals and Mrdanga course, taught by Krishna Chaitanya Parmar, was set up. 25
Community Development LONDON MELLOWS ANNUAL KIRTAN WEEKEND Saturday 20th July to Sunday 21st July
There was a strong gathering of kirtan enthusiasts for ISKCON-Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth London Mellows Annual Kirtan Weekend.
ISKCON-LONDON GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY VOLUNTEERS DINNER Saturday 28th September In honour of the 50th Anniversary, a special ISKCON-London Golden Anniversary Volunteers Dinner was organised which was attended by Srila Prabhupada disciples from the UK, devotees serving Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara over the last 50 years, and current volunteers. Long-serving devotees, Festivals Coordinator, Maha Nrsingha dasa and Head Pujari, Murli Manohara dasa, were appreciated for their years of dedicated service. The event aptly took place at Conway Hall, where Srila Prabhupada had given a series of lectures 50 years ago, in 1969.
Deity Worship Education and Training I decided to attend the Pujari Training Seminar to see what happens behind those divine curtains and I found that all the pujari community is very fond of this service. Through their personal relationship in taking care of the Deities, they put into practice their love and devotion.” Angela, Student
Head Pujari, Murli Manohara dasa, facilitated a Pujari Training Seminar to introduce devotees to the Deity Department and what it involves to render personal service to Their Lordships.
ISKCON Deity Worship Minister, Nrsimha Kavaca dasa, also facilitated a Deity Worship at Home and Temple Seminar which imparted knowledge on the philosophy and practices of Deity worship and brahminical services in ISKCON. One of Murli Manohara dasa’s services is supporting the ISKCON Deity Worship Ministry with education and training of devotees serving in Deity departments across the world. Towards the end of January, he went to Mayapur, India, as one of the facilitators in the three-week Temple Worship unit which is part of the 16-week Mayapur Academy Diploma in Arcana. This unit aims to give devotees an introduction to the knowledge, skills and values of Deity worship that will help them to understand it as an integral part of the philosophy and practices of devotional service, and to assist them in carrying out the basic items of daily temple worship. From 29th May to 6th June, he also facilitated the nine-day Temple Worship course taught at ISKCON New Vrindaban, West Virginia in North America. The training is an intensive version of the three-week Temple Worship unit at Mayapur Academy.
European Head Pujari Sanga In July, Murli Manohara dasa attended a two-day ISKCON Deity Worship Ministry European Head Pujari Sanga in New Vrajamandala in Spain. The Sanga provides an opportunity to build relationships with and learn from other Head Pujaris and representatives of the ISKCON Deity Worship Ministry, discuss relevant topics associated with the service, and how Pujaris can be more inspired and more effective in their service.
Krishna’s Cows 2019 saw the start of ISKCON-London’s Krishna’s Cows project, led by Tarun Krishna dasa. In collaboration with Ahimsa Dairy Foundation in Rutland, the aim is to provide Their Lordships with milk from protected cows. An opportunity has arisen to purchase 120 acres of land to expand the Ahimsa Dairy, so that they can get more cows and produce more slaughter-free milk. The land would be purchased by ISKCON-London and rented to Ahimsa Dairy Foundation to be able to provide milk for the worship of Their Lordships. The project is aiming to raise £1,000,000 to buy the land by July 2020. During the year, awareness was raised about the project and fundraising took place, including a tree-planting event in December at Bhaktivedanta Manor where 100 people attended and 1,000 trees were planted.
Golden Anniversary Adivasa Ceremony The Deity Department organised an Adivasa ceremony on Saturday 23rd November which was performed to invoke auspiciousness for the upcoming Golden Anniversary festivities.
Golden Anniversary Darshans Golden Anniversary Darshans During the Golden Anniversary Week, from Sunday 24th November to Monday 2nd December, the Deity Department organised nine days of special darshans, each relating to a particular theme. Months of preparation took place in the lead-up. See the beautiful darshans in the 50th Anniversary section.
“Observe many festivals, that will keep both public and devotees alive. Temple means festivals and Festival means chanting and distribution of prasadam.” Srila Prabhupada
Maha Nrsingha dasa decided it was time to resign as Festivals Coordinator after 15 years of dedicated service in the Festivals Team. ISKCON-London would like to thank him for his wonderful service over the years. Doyal Caitanya dasa, who has been diligently serving in the Festival Team for several years, has been appointed as the new Festivals Coordinator. 31
The Food for Life team made an epic achievement in 2019 by successfully raising over £60,000 for a new, carbon-neutral, electric food distribution van to continue their humanitarian endeavours to feed the homeless. Food for Life’s mission is close to many hearts and the fundraising initiative for the new van gained unprecedented support, including from senior devotees in the movement - and even an England footballer!
Walk Against Hunger Saturday 29th June
One major fundraising initiative was the Walk Against Hunger, a 10-mile walk around central London which symbolised Srila Prabhupada’s mission to ensure no-one goes hungry within a 10-mile radius of any ISKCON temple. In the lead-up to the walk, the team were given slots on BBC Radio London 94.9 FM and Leading Britain’s Conversation digital radio station to talk about the walk. This helped to not only promote the walk but also raised the profile of Food for Life. Around 250 people from across the UK across all age groups gathered on Saturday 29th June on the hottest day of the year, with temperatures peaking at 34 degrees celsius, to participate in the walk. Starting and ending at the Temple, the walk passed places associated with the early days of ISKCON in the UK as well as some of the traditional London landmarks such as Hyde Park, the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, and the Tower of London. Special guests included Pankajanghri dasa and Bhakti Rasamrita Swami. The walk was split into three groups, starting between 10.00am and 11.30am, two groups of which did harinama along the way. The ecstatic harinama groups got so enthralled in the harinama that the walk took over six hours to complete. People danced in ecstasy as they sang the holy names of the Lord in the heat in their Walk Against Hunger T-shirts. The sight was mesmerising and nicely displayed their enthusiasm for both the holy name and the Food for Life cause. Many media reporters came to take photos, conduct interviews, and video parts of the event. On completion of the walk, made more intense by the heat, the walkers were welcomed back to cheers and a sumptuous vegetarian meal.
A team built for success The fundraising team, co-headed by Rajiv Nandha and Tina Savani, started quite small but grew to over 30 volunteers, with volunteers inspired and excited by the prospect of supporting such an important and pioneering mission. They spent a lot of their free time to make the electric van vision into a reality. A thank you goes to all who were involved in various ways including cooking, finance, graphic design, logistics, marketing, media and PR, merchandise, photography and videography, social media, ushering, and much more.
The target of ÂŁ60,000 was successfully reached and 2020 will see a new 100% carbonfree, electric food van to help serve the homeless. Food for Life currently go out every Monday to Saturday to Lincolnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Inn Fields in Holborn and distribute approximately 1,200 plates of prasadam each week. With the new van, the distribution level can now be increased and more prasadam can be served from different locations all across London at different times. The service can also be carried out in a more efficient and effective way, ensuring high levels of standards and training are maintained throughout.
Govinda’s Restaurant, London’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2019. The restaurant, which stands next to the Radha-Krishna Temple, was first launched on Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Appearance Day in February 1979. Since then, it has gained multiple awards, celebrity endorsements, and serves high-quality prasadam to millions of people – Londoners and tourists alike. Today, staff headed by manager, Thirupati Gauranga dasa, serve an average of 400 people daily, seven days a week. Read ISKCON News article on Govinda’s Restaurant’s 40th Anniversary: http://bit.ly/iskconnews-100619
Govinda’s Restaurant on the road As well as the day-to-day running of the restaurant, Govinda’s Restaurant is always fond of opportunities to take its succulent prasadam on the road, expanding prasadam distribution and helping to reach people who may not otherwise have heard of the restaurant. In June and July, Govinda’s Restaurant organised highly successful food stalls at two events: Soho Village Fete, St Anne’s Gardens Sunday 30th June
OmFest, Shoreditch Gardens Sunday 14th July
Awards Govinda’s Restaurant scooped up the following awards in 2019: MyLondon’s top 19 restaurants for vegan food in London 2019 Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor First place in the Curry King/ Queen category at the London Curry Awards 2019 Thirupati Gauranga dasa was awarded second place in the Food Entrepreneur of the Year category at the London Asian Business Awards 2019.
Absolutely delicious. I can’t believe I only just found this place. I’ve blindly
Last year we hit record sales, and this year, we are breaking last year’s record again! So by the mercy of Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara, we are giving everyone in London a Higher Taste!” Thirupati Gauranga dasa
walked past it loads of times to and from other places. It’s definitely on my list now.” Steve, Customer This is probably the best restaurant in the world. It’s my special place to escape the hustle and bustle of the world when I’m in London. 100% vegetarian, 100% tasty, 100% affordable and a super-friendly staff!” Timothy, Customer firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/govindaslondon For catering enquiries: email@example.com www.facebook.com/govindaslondon
Harinamas in central London were as lively as ever in 2019, with Temple residents, community members, and passers-by all blissfully taking part in chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra and dancing. Taking place every day, with special Maha Harinamas on Saturday evenings and festival days, it is always a colourful sight for the eyes and grants soothing transcendental sound vibrations for the soul. In April, members of the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ashram even ventured out and attended the Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day Maha Harinama in Amsterdam.
Visits in 2019 21 VISITS by educational institutions
515 CHILDREN AND 115 TEACHERS experienced the interactive workshops
Feedback has been positive from both teachers and students. The students particularly enjoyed the arati, singing and dancing. The teachers also happily joined in. Since the introduction of an online booking page, more bookings are being received through this medium.
The ISKCON Educational Services team for 2019 consisted of Jaga Mohini devi dasi, Jhulan Lila devi dasi and Brioni Boykew who all taught, and Michelle Tchoukov who took the bookings and assisted with followups and invoicing.
Kirtan London is a collaborative outreach project sharing kirtan and bhakti yoga practices with Londoners, supported by ISKCON-London and Bhaktivedanta Manor. Kirtan London’s teams host both regular and special events around London throughout the year as well as collaborating with other events, yoga studios, and influencers.
Six Hour Kirtan
Mantra Lounge is a weekly kirtan event in Covent Garden, attracting 30 to 40 guests every Friday. Highlights from 2019 included:
Six Hour Kirtan is a special event, looked forward to by many of the regular guests and the wider community. In 2019, the event relocated to a new venue, TripSpace, in Shoreditch, where it was held three times, attended by 80 to 120 people. The range of beautiful kirtans throughout the six hours from gentle, soft and meditative kirtans to upbeat and lively kirtans got everyone on their feet!
- A Mantra Lounge Janmastami Special with Jahnavi Harrison. Approximately 300 guests celebrated and chanted together. - A Mantra Lounge Christmas Special with kirtans by Radhika Ranjana dasa, Caitanya Cintamani devi dasi, and Abishek Singh. Over 50 people attended and a festive meal was served. - A community Open Mic event for guests to come and share their chanting with each other. 38
Some of the highlights this year included speaking to and getting to know first-time attendees and hearing their experiences and realisations after being immersed
“I go to Mantra Lounge whenever I can on a Friday night. It’s such a nice, cosy environment and I know I will get there and feel completely held by all the friendly people and the loving vibrations. It’s like medicine. The Six Hour Kirtans are amazing!!! You go so deep into the experience of the mantras you completely lose track of time and it goes so fast!! I feel high for the next few days after experiencing such a blissful state of being.” Annabelle Dent, Yoga and Meditation Teacher “I’m so happy to have found a spiritual community that is so inclusive. All Kirtan London events I’ve been to were a lot of fun and educational too. I am so glad to have met so many like-minded friends.” Sylva Tran, Investment Analyst
in chanting for six hours, and the addition of upbeat yoga sessions by Charlie Kelly accompanied by live kirtans at the start of each event.
Day Retreats Every year, the team aims to host at least four Day Retreats at Bhaktivedanta Manor to give guests an opportunity to visit the temple and be immersed in the world of bhakti for the day. The Winter Day Retreat sold out two weeks before the event and got lots of exciting feedback. Over 40 guests enjoyed the day filled with kirtan, wisdom and japa workshops from Sacinandana Swami, yoga, and prasadam. One attendee said that she had never had such an uplifting feeling before as she had experienced during Sacinandana Swami’s kirtan, even though she has attended many kirtan events in the past!
OmFest Kirtan London was proud to partner with ISKCON-London in bringing the very-first OmFest to London’s conscious seekers during the summer, as one of ISKCON-London’s 50th Anniversary offerings. The bhakti-infused yoga sessions accompanied with live kirtans were a big hit at the festival. The Kirtan Party got everyone chanting and dancing and the Pop-Up Kirtan tent added to the festive atmosphere throughout the day.
Bhakti Sanga This is a monthly reading group for regular guests, hosted at its members’ homes. The group aims to facilitate gaining a deeper understanding of the bhakti philosophy, developing friendships and serving one another.
Social media Most of the guests attending events such as Mantra Lounge and Six Hour Kirtan hear about them from social media. In 2019, Kirtan London’s following increased considerably to over 3,000 followers on Instagram and to over 9,500 followers on Facebook, with the help of themed days such as Mantra Monday, Wisdom Wednesday, and kirtan stories.
Kirtan London held their seventh Pop-Up Temple at the London Wellbeing Festival at Olympia London, in collaboration with Adi Guru dasa. Over 800 people visited the tent and participated in kirtans, japa workshops, and Bhagavad-Gita talks. 800 books, 600 sweets, and 300+ japa beads were distributed during the four days of the festival.
MANTRA LOUNGE www.facebook.com/mantraloungelondon www.instagram.com/mantraloungeuk KIRTAN LONDON www.facebook.com/groups/kirtanlondon www.instagram.com/kirtanlondon www.kirtanlondon.com firstname.lastname@example.org 39
The London College of Vedic Studies (LCVS) organised a large variety of courses, seminars and interactive workshops, which were facilitated by a range of devotees, including visiting guest speakers. These included: Ayurveda Seminar
Overview of Srimad Bhagavatam
Bhakti Yoga for Beginners
Pujari Training Seminar
Create Green Karma for a Blue Planet
Sri Brihad Bhagavatamrita
Deity Worship at Home and Temple
Sri Siksastakam Prayers: The Sacred Necklace
False Ego: Our Constant Companion and Troublemaker
Srila Prabhupada’s Aphorisms of Logic
Flower Arranging Workshop
Success Secrets from the Bhagavad-Gita
Teamwork Lessons from the Ramayana
Henna Tattooing Workshop
The Yoga of Kirtan
Holistic Yoga (weekly yoga asanas, wisdom and meditation classes)
Tulasi Care and Worship
ISKCON Disciples Course Kartals and Mridanga Lessons Life Without Conflicts Nectar of Devotion
Unlock the Mysteries of the Bhagavad-Gita Vedic Parenting Vedic Psychology The year-long Bhakti Sastri course for the 2018 to 2019 students was also completed.
I have been teaching the Nectar of Devotion for the last few years and also sometimes sections of the BhagavadGita. Often devotees struggle to find the inspiration and time to study Srila Prabhupada’s books on their own. Studying together in a group opens up a whole new dimension where devotees can share their realisations and ask questions. It is always very enlivening and would encourage anyone to take part.” Murli Manohara dasa, Teacher
New YouTube channel In March, LCVS launched their new YouTube Channel which includes: Episodes from weekly spiritual entertainment shows on Facebook, “Monk meets Punk” and “Sweet Cheese” Interviews from guest speakers on interesting spiritual topics Feedback from course attendees. 40
Debasmita Francis resigned as LCVS Coordinator at the end of 2019. ISKCON-London would like to thank her for her service growing the LCVS course portfolio and developing the LCVS brand. Padmanabha Nityananda dasa has been appointed as the new LCVS Coordinator.
www.iskcon.london/lcvs/signup www.instagram.com/londoncvs email@example.com
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2019 was a year of intense outreach activities. There was involvement in a large variety of programmes, from book distribution, corporate and university preaching, harinamas, open days and weekly gatherings, to more innovative forms of preaching such as dramas, Facebook Live shows and one-day retreats. This way, throughout the year, those involved with outreach had the opportunity to explore new approaches and methodologies.
The weekly Wisdom Wednesdays proved stable and very suitable to introduce newcomers to the whole range of activities available within ISKCONLondon. A number of the regular Wisdom Wednesdays attendees took different directions in their spiritual lives; while some joined Food for Life, some got more involved in the Temple ashram life, some got more involved with Kirtan London and some others, moving abroad, even started their own Wisdom Wednesdays replicas at their local ISKCON temple, for example a Wisdom Thursdays has started in Zurich. Simultaneously, Wisdom Wednesdays proved an ideal platform for senior 44
devotees keen to connect with a western audience of young people. Special guests included Jayadvaita Swami, Kadamba Kanana Swami, Adi Karta dasa, Mahatma dasa, Bhuta Bhavana dasa, Jai Nitai dasa, Jayadev dasa, Sri Prahlad dasa, Devaki devi dasi, and Urmila devi dasi.
Whilst successfully consolidating Wisdom Wednesdays as the main introductory programme, after various attempts, the outreach team managed to craft a whole schedule of interconnected programmes which are meant to properly accommodate people according to their specific interests and take them through different levels of spiritual growth. The present schedule is composed of five programmes a week: Prema Lounge, Wisdom Wednesdays, Ladies Sanga, Fortunate Fridays, and Secrets from the East. TO STAY UPDATED ON ALL NEWCOMER EVENTS, FOLLOW THE FACEBOOK PAGE, BHAKTI YOGA LONDON:
Monday 12th to Tuesday 20th August The Outreach department organised one of the biggest events of the year in terms of preaching – the UK Padayatra, also known as “Walk for Peace.” Over nine days, 50 devotees travelled 50 miles for the 50th Anniversary!
IN 2019, RADHA’S BOUTIQUE’S MOST POPULAR ITEMS WERE: Maha prasadam sweets (3,090 were sold)
Chanting beads (501 were sold)
Books (2,491 were sold)
T-shirts (260 were sold).
Incense items (2,262 were sold)
New items in stock in 2020 include dresses and jewellery for home Deities.
The boutique saw many visitors from different parts of the world popping in. Often, new people would come for the first time in the boutique after having their meal at Govinda’s Restaurant. Senior Srila Prabhupada disciples who visited the boutique included Sacinandana Swami, Sivarama Swami, Shyamasundar dasa, Malati devi dasi, and Visakha devi dasi. Most of them are the authors of the books that are on sale in the boutique. Andrej Juchnevic resigned as Radha’s Boutique Manager in September after deciding to go back to Lithuania with his family. ISKCON-London would like to thank him for his dedicated service at the boutique and in other service areas. Adi Gopi devi dasi has returned back as the manager.
Mantra Lounge Volume 3 includes recordings from Ananda Monet, Asta Bria, Caitanya Cintamani devi dasi, Gopibhava devi dasi, Jahnavi Harrison, Kishori Jani, Narada, Radha Londonisvara dasa, and Radhika Ranjana dasa. Many of the artists performed at a launch ceremony at ISKCON-London in June. Original artwork cover by talented artist, Radhe Gendron
In 2019, Radha Krishna Records released the highly appreciated Mantra Lounge Volume 3 album in honour of Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara’s 50th Anniversary year. The album reached number one in the iTunes UK New Age chart as well as a strong position in a number of other markets globally such as Brazil and India.
Video of Jahnavi Harrison’s track “My Everything: Mama Deva Deva” from the album can be watched here: http://bit.ly/2Hv3kiK
Radha Krishna Records continue to take pleasure in supporting devotee artists in professional offerings that please the devotees and bring spiritual sound vibrations to the whole world. As well as the UK, their streaming music is popular across the world including India, Mexico, Russia, and the USA. Over 300,000 unique listeners were reached on various streaming sources including Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube. Mantra Lounge Volume 4 with tracks from Ananda Monet, Kal Key and Radhika Ranjana dasa is already in progress. Radha Krishna Records was also happy to participate in releasing a second track, Jaya Radhe Shyam, by Jake Emlyn and Sam La Vie.
Music videos: www.radhakrishnarecords.com/music-videos CD albums: www.radhakrishnarecords.com/shop and Radha’s Boutique 46
Digital tracks and albums: iTunes, Spotify
Updates from the South regions Atma Lounge Atma Lounge Yoga and Meditation Centre, based in Folkestone, celebrated its third year. Weekly outreach programmes take place at the centre four days a week. Kesava Bharati Dasa Goswami stayed for extended periods in 2019, providing inspiration via his personal consultations and his live daily readings of Srila Prabhupada’s books on Facebook Live. One of the first active members of Atma Lounge, Mark Algar, was initiated in October at Bhaktivedanta Manor by Kripamoya dasa and received the spiritual name, Mukunda dasa. He has regularly been doing service at Atma Lounge and has also given Sunday Feast classes.
A day retreat for elderly members of the community to Bhaktivedanta Manor in June A Holy Name Weekend with senior Srila Prabhupada disciples, Bada Hari dasa and Kripamoya dasa. Taking place in August, it was well-attended by over 200 enthusiastic chanters from all over the UK The annual Crawley Rathayatra festival in September Alongside the weekly Sunday congregational programme and fortnightly Pandava Sena youth group meetings, Bhakti Yoga Centre introduced four new scriptural study groups, weekly yoga sessions, and a quarterly book distribution event.
The adjacent Secrets of India Gift Shop sells items including ethically-sourced clothing, jewellery, incense, oils, and Srila Prabhupada’s books. Atma Lounge has a double guest room available to rent for anyone looking for a break by the sea.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.facebook.com/byc2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.atmalounge.com email@example.com
Bhakti Yoga Centre
Brighton “Hare Krishna Fridays” events at the Phoenix Community Centre remained busy with 30 to 40 regulars each week.
The Bhakti Yoga Centre in Crawley had a number of activities in 2019 which included:
Prasadam distribution also takes place on Friday afternoons, which is highly valued by Brighton’s ever-increasing homeless population.
Seventh annual coach trip to Radhadesh Mellows, a five-day kirtan retreat in Belgium in January, with 50 devotees attending the retreat from Crawley
On Saturday afternoons, the holy names are heard in the famous North Laine with the weekly harinama party. 47
Regional On Sundays, there is a well-attended home study group where serious practitioners can delve deeper into the bhakti scriptures. The annual Brighton Rathayatra festival was a success, with a large crowd taking part in this colourful and joyous beach festival and the distribution of hundreds of plates of prasadam, courtesy of Parasuram dasa’s team. Other highlights in 2019 have been summer “Kirtans in the Park” and the initiation of community member Chrissie, now known as Lalita Madhavi devi dasi.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Margate Mantra Lounge was started in 2018 by Mantra Caitanya dasa and his wife, Hema Mukhi devi dasi. It is a weekly programme taking place on Sunday afternoons at the 101 Social Club. A weekly prasadam distribution programme has also been set up in Margate every Sunday before Mantra Lounge, in conjunction with Food For All UK. A weekly Bhakti Vriksha programme in Margate, run by grhastha couple, Ashim Sethi and Radha Gokulananda devi dasi, takes place every Saturday from 4.00pm to 7.00pm and includes Bhagavad-Gita reading with discussion, kirtan and prasadam. There is currently 14 regular members. A children’s club runs simultaneously. FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Saturday Namahatta is continuing at the Canterbury Umbrella Centre with harinama and/or book distribution beforehand. It has been consistently popular and has seen visits from senior devotees.
North Kent Sanga, formerly Closet Krishna, has a regular Friday programme held at the Quaker Meeting House in Northgate, Rochester.
The University of Kent weekly programme on campus, running in its third year, has 25+ students each week joining the kirtan, discussion and prasadam. Three festivals were organised in Canterbury city centre and at the University of Kent, which attracted 400 people in attendance overall (one festival was in collaboration with the UK Hare Krishna Festivals Team). Outreach in nearby town, Margate, has now taken on a successful life of its own.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
www.harekrishnacanterbury.com firstname.lastname@example.org 48
In July, the North Kent Sanga held their annual Rathayatra in Cobham in Kent. This is an annual event that has been going on for over 13 years. FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Wimbledon A team of devotees continued a monthly mantra meditation and Vedic philosophy programme in the heart of Wimbledon on the last Saturday of each month. The programme is open to everyone – those who are completely new to the practice of mantra meditation as well as those who are practicing regularly. The sessions have been fun and interactive, exploring mindfulness through the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita, engaging in kirtan and honouring vegan snacks. FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Russian Vedic Society (RVS) held a number of events throughout the year, including: In February, there was a three-day Bhakti Retreat in Croydon with senior devotees from France, Akshayananda dasa and Rasa Lila devi dasi.
an annual summer picnic in Regent’s Park which was an opportunity to come together for discussion of scriptures, kirtan and prasadam in the outdoors.
In March, a namahatta was organised to celebrate Lord Caitanya’s appearance with readings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s lilas, and singing of bhajans and kirtans. In April, Bhakti Vijnana Goswami visited London and had a few inspiring meetings with RVS.
In May, the eighth anniversary of Russian Vedic Society in London was celebrated with special guests Bhakti Rasayana Sagar Swami, Jai Nitai dasa, and Narahari dasa. In June, a Japa Marathon was held during one of RVS’s Sunday programmes. In July, two programmes were held with Mukunda Murari dasa from Russia. There was also
In October, Yogeshvari Radha devi dasi visited from Latvia and led several programmes – two outreach workshops with psychological techniques and a namahatta on the subject of healthy relationship hierarchies. In November, Valmiki dasa from Russia, a wellknown preacher and harinama tour leader, was invited to London. He gave an outreach seminar on “How to balance material and spiritual life while living in a big city.” He was also part of a weekend retreat in Brighton, also attended by Mondakini devi dasi, where the topic of balance in life was explored more deeply. Regular programmes run every Sunday at 2.00pm in the Seminar Room at ISKCON-London. During these meetings, Vedic scriptures are discussed. The group also cook the Sunday Feast regularly throughout the year.
2019 SUMMARY From January to December 2019, ISKCON-London: Distributed 82,181 books Collected £182,170 Achieved 72585.25 book points Had over 270 participants Organised 8 Sankirtan Sprints, 3 Marathons and 5 Open Days Held Weekend Warriors book distribution events on Saturdays Organised sankirtan seminars and training sessions with Visvambhara dasa and Temple book distributors.
World Sankirtan Newsletter In the 2019 rankings, ISKCON-London was: • Number 1 in the Europe Congregational Preaching and Weekend Warriors rankings • Number 3 amongst all temples in Europe • Number 6 amongst all medium temples in the world • Number 26 amongst all temples in the world Four devotees from ISKCON-London were amongst the top 10 book distributors in Europe: • Number 3: Nama Sankirtan dasa • Number 4: Rsi Raya Gauranga dasa • Number 7: Sarada devi dasi • Number 9: Kiran Patel Source: World Sankirtan Newsletter, 2019 (based on recorded results)
SRILA PRABHUPADA CHRISTMAS MARATHON The Srila Prabhupada Christmas Marathon took place from Saturday 30th November to Tuesday 24th December. It was themed “A Change of Heart.” Top Five Book Distributors in ISKCON-London Sastra Dhana Nama Sankirtan dasa and Rsi Raya Gauranga dasa (joint second place) Fortunate People Party Sarada devi dasi Vasudeva dasa National Post-Marathon Festival The following individuals and teams from ISKCON-London were high in the rankings. Individuals (Street Sankirtan): Number 1: Nama Sankirtan dasa and Rsi Raya Gauranga dasa (joint first place) Number 8: Sarada devi dasi Teams (Street Sankirtan): Number 3: Fortunate People Party Individuals (Contact Sankirtan): Number 1: Kiran Patel Groups (Contact Sankirtan): Number 1: Sastra Dhana During the marathon, ISKCON-London came second nationally and third in Europe. ISKCON-London also came second overall nationally in 2019.
AWARDS AT THE ISKCON-LONDON POST-MARATHON FESTIVAL Golden Anniversary Book Distributor (best overall in 2019): Fortunate People Party Best Book Table: Fortunate People Party Best Couple: Adhibhuta dasa and Visodhani devi dasi Best Daddy: Vamsidhari dasa Best Family: Vamsidhari dasa, Alisha Singh and Kaya Singh Best Girls Group: Srila Prabhupada’s Mission Ladies Party Best Men’s Group: Fortunate People Party Best Mentee Group: Bhava Bhakti devi dasi’s Mentee Group Best Newcomer: Rebeca Z-B Smith Best Over 60: Nalini devi dasi Best South Regional Centre: Atma Lounge Best Srila Prabhupada Disciple: Tribhangananda dasa Best Student: Vrishnee Ramkhelawon Best Temple Department: Russian Vedic Society Biggest Sponsor: Kiran Patel Most Entertaining: Bhava Bhakti devi dasi’s Mentee Group Most Innovative: Rupesvara Nimai dasa
If you would like to invite the sankirtan team to your own town for book distribution, harinama and a house 50 programme, please email email@example.com Daily podcasts during the marathon: www.sankirtan.net
The Spiritual Mentorship System celebrated its tenth anniversary The following devotees from the Spiritual Mentorship System received first initiation in 2019:
Shyam Govinda dasa (Sam Rizzoli) received first initiation from Radhanath Swami in March. He is Dayal Mora dasa’s Mentee.
Bhaktavatara dasa (Barnaby Booth) received first initiation from Sivarama Swami in May. He is Jai Nitai dasa’s Mentee.
Manjari Gopika devi dasi (Olga Dorovko) received first initiation from Indradyumna Swami in June. She is Jaga Mohini devi dasi’s Mentee.
Manmohini Gopi dasi (Mina Patel) received first initiation from Bhakti Charu Swami in July. She is Chandravali devi dasi’s Mentee.
Doyal Caitanya dasa (Dhaval Dattani) received first initiation from Radhanath Swami in November. He is Jai Nitai dasa’s Mentee.
Prema Vilasani devi dasi (Puspa Rajani) received first initiation from Radhanath Swami in November. She is Madhvi devi dasi’s Mentee.
The Spiritual Mentorship System, officially launched in March 2009, has been providing support to devotees for over ten years. Jai Nitai dasa liked the concept of the Counsellor System in ISKCON Chowpatty, Mumbai and so initiated the idea of starting the same system in London. The Temple residents were already being looked after in a similar way as that in ISKCON Chowpatty but the Temple community did not have any such spiritual mentorship system to take shelter and guidance from. So Jai Nitai dasa felt it was imperative we create such a system for them.” Bhava Bhakti devi dasi, Spiritual Mentorship System Coordinator
The following devotees received second initiation:
Chandra Caitanya dasa received second initiation from Radhanath Swami. He is Satya Narayan dasa’s Mentee. 52
Prana Sakhi devi dasi received second initiation from Radhanath Swami. She is Bhava Bhakti devi dasi’s Mentee.
Radha Govinda dasa received second initiation from Radhanath Swami. He is Jai Nitai dasa’s Mentee.
Vamsivata dasa received second initiation from Bhakti Caitanya Swami. He is Murli Manohara dasa’s Mentee.
In August, visiting speaker, Chaitanya Charan dasa, facilitated two fascinating seminars, “The Price of Pride: Analysing Govardhana Lila” and “From Test to Taste: Lessons from Brahma Vimohana Lila” for Temple volunteers.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED? firstname.lastname@example.org /
In September, visiting speaker, Devaki devi dasi, facilitated a japa seminar, “Deepening our relationship with the holy names.” They were well-attended and the team hope to organise more sangas for volunteers in 2020.
Volunteering vacancies: www.iskcon.london/volunteer 53
B E C O M E A N N I V E R S A Golden Anniversary Campaign The Golden Anniversary campaign was coordinated by Paramesvara dasa and Devaki devi dasi to raise sponsorships for the 50th Anniversary celebrations.
Take Sri Sri Radha Large 24 x 30 inch canvas print of Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara
Thank you to all of our Golden Anniversary sponsors. Your generosity supported the financing of the celebrations in this monumental 50th Anniversary year which touched so many hearts. Your donation reached many areas including Deity worship, decorations, marketing, prasadam distribution, the care of senior devotees and VIPs, venue hire and expenses, etc.
Donors who gave £251 and above were gifted a set of maha padukas (shoes) of Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara and donors who gave £501 and above were gifted an exclusive large canvas print of Their Lordships along with a set of maha padukas. Embossed golden padukas (shoes) with the lotus feet markings of Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara
Membership and sponsorship opportunities
TO SPON WWW.IS GOLDEN
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS FOUND
Would you like to become a regular donor at ISKCON-London and support our various activities and the worship of the Temple Deities? There are a number of different membership options, starting from only £5 a month!
MAHA BENEFACTOR: £901 per month BENEFACTOR: £451 per month MAHA PATRON: £251 per month PATRON: £108 per month
HALF-PATRON: £51 per month SUBSCRIPTION MEMBER: £25 per month SUPPORTING MEMBER: £11 per month MEMBER: £5 per month
You can either sign up online (www.iskcon.london/donate/membership), via My Temple Connect app, or email email@example.com. You can also sponsor specific campaigns, sponsor the worship of Their Lordships, or sponsor a feast on a notable day in your life (birthdays, anniversaries etc.). Please visit www.iskcon.london/donate or My Temple Connect app for a full list of options. Ram Charan dasa resigned as Financial Controller in October after 20 years of service. ISKCON-London would like to thank him for his years of service in this important area which supports all the Temple departments. Michelle Tchoukov was welcomed into the role.
DAILY SCHEDULE ARATI TIMES 04:30 05:00 07:00 08:00 12:30 16:15 19:00 21:00
Mangal Arati Tulasi Arati Deity Greetings Dhoopa Arati Raj Bhoga Arati Dhoopa Arati Sundara Arati Sayana Arati
These are times when items are offered for the pleasure of Their Lordships.
ISKCON-London Radha-Krishna Temple 10 Soho Street London W1D 3DL
04:30 to 05:00 07:00 to 07:30 08:00 to 11:45 12:30 to 13:00 16:15 to 18:30 19:00 to 19:30 21:00 to 21:30
07:30 Srimad-Bhagavatam / Caitanya-Caritamrta 13:00 Introductory Talk * 18:00 Bhagavad-Gita * * Excluding Sundayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
LUNCH PROGRAMME (Monday to Saturday) 13:00 to 14:00 Introductory talk and lunch.
These are times when the curtains are open and Their Lordships can be seen.
+44 (0)20 7437 3662
SUNDAY FEAST PROGRAMME 15:30 to 19:30 Includes arati, introductory talk and feast.
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Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare 56
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS FOUNDER-ACHARYA: HIS DIVINE GRACE A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI SRILA PRABHUPADA