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ISKCON 50th Anniversary Special Edition


TEMPLE PRESIDENT’S Welcome message

TABLE of CONTENTS

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Department Head Contacts

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ISKCON50 in London

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Communications

11 Community Development Team this, I want to extend huge gratitude

Our focus for 2017 will be to really

strength to strength in our community

do well and how we can improve our

and appreciation. She has grown from

over the last 5 years and is a true example of how members of our community

can get involved, utilise their abilities

in service and do something wonderful for Their Lordships. She is not alone Dear devotees, friends and well-wishers, Please accept my deepest respects. All glories to our Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

What a magnif icent 2016, packed full of events, development and fun.

In fact, as I start to reflect back, it seems

like 10 years have passed. I can’t believe so many things happened in just one

- there are so many amazing souls

in our community who are sold out to making this wonderful Central

London project a substantial success. Thank you all so much!

So this Annual Review will focus

mostly on the events that took place in

conjunction with ISKCON50 and tries to share a hint of the excitement.

year! What was the inspiration? Srila

We are just at the start of 2017, and

Anniversary. Seems like we just need a

progress is already reflecting positively

time. This source of inspiration was

completed our “Biggest Marathon on

devi dasi who tirelessly served in order

December than ever before. It feels like

Prabhupada and ISKCON’s 50th

the mood and energy of excitement for

good reason to party and have a good

amongst the devotees. We have just

driven for almost two years by Devaki

Record” distributing more books in

to ensure such an amazing success. For

the possibilities are endless!

look at what we do in London, what we

13 Deity Department

primary function of outreach, bringing

13 Festivals

souls closer to Krishna. The ISKCON-

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London community has been growing

for many years and although it is a very transient community, we want to do

all we can to ensure that this becomes a place for generations of devotees by

establishing an atmosphere of “Love and

16 Food for Life 16 Govinda’s Restaurant 17 Harinama

Trust” that inspires everyone to stay and

20 Inter faith

of “the” or at least one of “the” most

21 ISKCON Educational Ser vices

be part of the growth and sustenance

important centres in the ISKCON world. We thank you for all that you did in 2016 to make it such a wonderful success and we look forward to spreading our wings

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21 London College of Vedic Studies 22 Outreach

with you a bit more in 2017.

24 Radha’s Boutique

Your servant,

24 Radha Krishna Records

Jai Nitai dasa Temple President Chairman of Trustees

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GBC College Jai Nitai dasa started a year-long leadership training with the GBC College in 2016. The training specifically focused on service as a Zonal Supervisor. There were two two-week residential training sessions in Govardhan Eco Village in Mumbai and 11 months of online courses in the following areas: Bhakti Habitats, Book Distribution, Child Protection, Community Development, Farm Communities, Finance & Accounting, Fundraising, Project Management, Religious Movements, Temple Admin, Vaisnava Sadachar, and Unity in Diversity. This was the second batch of participants, with students from across the globe. Jai Nitai dasa is also part of the College faculty, teaching the Principles of Temple Administration online course. He will be graduating in February 2017.

26 Rathayatra in London 28 Regional: Brighton and Closet Krishna 29 Russian Vedic Society 30 Sankirtan 33 Spiritual Mentorship System

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34 Temple Refurbishment 36 2016 Financial Summar y

The online version of this Annual Review can be found on: www.iskcon.london/annualreview/2016


DEPARTMENT HEADS

KRISHNA KANTA DEVI DASI Food for Life Coordinator

PRITESH PANDYA Child Protection Officer Community Care Officer (Ombudsman)

JAI NITAI DASA

ACUTYA CHARAN DASA

MAHA NRSINGHA DASA Festivals Coordinator Mentor

Head of Communications

BHAVA BHAKTI DEVI DASI

DEVAKI DEVI DASI

MUKUNDA KISHORE DASA

SANJAYA MADHAVA DASA

MURLI MANOHARA DASA

DHAVAL DATTANI

NAAM SANKIRTAN DASA

SYAMANANDA DASA

RAM CHARAN DASA

GURPAAL DEOL

NANDINI RASIKA DEVI DASI

TITIKSU DASA

THIRU DHAYALAN

JAGA MOHINI DEVI DASI

OLGA DOROVKO

VAYU DASA

Temple President Charity Chairman Member of Management Board South Regional Coordinator Mentor

Temple Administrator Charity Secretary / Trustee Member of Management Board South Regional Secretary Mentorship System Coordinator Mentor

Head Pujari Charity Trustee Member of Management Board Chair of New Temple Committee Member of Brahmacari Council Mentor

Financial Controller Member of Management Board

Member of Management Board Govinda’s Restaurant Manager Kitchen Manager

RADHA RAMAN DASA Charity Trustee Mentor

Food for Life Coordinator

ISKCON50 Coordinator (London) Head of Community Development Team Volunteers Coordinator

Volunteers Coordinator

Radha’s Boutique Manager

ISKCON Educational Services Ladies Ashram Leader

Closet Krishna Assistant Manager

Sankirtana Leader

Closet Krishna Manager

Head of Russian Vedic Society

KAPILA MONET

Radha Krishna Records Manager

Closet Krishna

RAKESH SHAH

London College of Vedic Studies Coordinator

General Manager Govinda’s Restaurant Manager

UK Rathayatra Coordinator

Men’s Ashram Leader


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ISKCON50 IN LONDON by the ISKCON50 International Executive Committee. I am pleased to say that we achieved our target, in fact we exceeded it! We also received significantly more media attention than ever before, due to the hard work of our Communications Team.

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elcome to the special ISKCON 50th Anniversary edition of the Annual Review! What a wonderful and inspiring year and a half long celebration it has been for ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary, both in London and the world! I took on the role of ISKCON50 Coordinator for London in early 2015 and what an incredible journey it has been. Back then, a proposal was made to have 50 different events in honour of the 50th Anniversary, as well as a range of other projects on top of that. These events were to be designed to meet the mission statement of ISKCON50 provided

I hope that you all had a lovely celebration, were able to participate in various ways, have many memories to treasure, and above all, have a greater appreciation of the immense contributions that Srila Prabhupada has made to the world. Thank you to the many of you who served in some way during the celebrations. Thank you to those of you who took responsibility to coordinate a particular event or activity. And thank you to our Temple President, Jai Nitai dasa, for all his empowerment and support. In this Annual Review, we provide highlights of the 50th Anniversary events and activities that took place

in London which all epitomise “The Joy of Devotion” - the theme of ISKCON50. We could have a page for each event and it has been very difficult to summarise all the great things that have happened in a few pages, but this is our humble attempt. Other sections in this publication will also have details of some of our Temple Departments’ own offerings for the 50th. The full list of our ISKCON50 events can be accessed here: www.iskcon.london/iskcon50/events

Bhakti devi dasi, participated in the Vitality London 10K Marathon. It was a unique fundraising initiative to raise money for ISKCON-London’s Temple refurbishment as well as raise awareness of ISKCON in its 50th

Anniversary Year. They said, “it was an adventure and fun

and quite a few people around the world got involved and made donations. In the end, we collected over £10k for the 10K.”

Kirtaneers from across the UK community came together to make a special offering to Srila Prabhupada of 50 musical melodies for the 50th Anniversary. Kirtaneers included Ananda Monet, Deva Deva dasa, Jahnavi Harrison, Jayadev dasa, Hari Haris, Radha Londonisvara dasa, ISKCON-London youth and many more. Over 500 chanters chanted the Holy names from 10.00am until 10.00pm each day.

The celebrations were not just limited to happening in the Temple. ISKCON-London and Bhaktivedanta Manor collaborated on a “Day of Gratitude” special outreach initiative. As an act of gratitude to the City of London for their acceptance of the Hare Krishna’s in London, 5,000 cupcakes were distributed in key locations in central London during morning rush hour to say, “Thank You London!”. “The distribution of cupcakes put so many smiles to the busy people of London. It was so nice to see how a simple act of kindness can do so much. I’m sure many who took a cupcake will have noticed that it was in celebration of such a historic date for ISKCON. It was a pleasure to be a small part of something big on this memorable day, as an act of gratitude to Srila Prabhupada.” Volunteer

All in all it has been a successful year and now moving on to the 51st year of ISKCON, we hope to build on our successes and keep growing. Your servant, Devaki devi dasi ISKCON50 Coordinator (London)

• To inspire public appreciation for values and contributions of Krishna Consciousness • • To unite our society to celebrate the successes of our Founder-Acharya and the ISKCON family • • To offer Srila Prabhupada a garland of achievements individually, collectively, locally and globally •

On Monday 30th May, Jai Nitai dasa and his wife, Bhava

ISKCON-London kicked off a month of events in July the month in which ISKCON was incorporated 50 years ago - with an inaugural London Mellows kirtan weekend on 9th and 10th July.

Prabhupada while on board the Jaladuta.

Thank you all once again!

ISKCON50 Mission Statement

VITALITY L O N D ON 10K RUN FOR BEAUTIFYING KRISHNA’S TEMPLE REFURBISHMENT PROJECT

LONDON MELLOWS

Gopibhava devi dasi, one of the organisers of the event, said, “it

was beautiful to offer continuous kirtan to Radha-Londonisvara and Srila Prabhupada for twelve hours a day. We plan to do it every year from now on.”

INCORPORATION ANNIVERSARY It was on 13th July 1966 that ISKCON was incorporated. Exactly 50 years later, on Wednesday 13th July, ISKCONLondon celebrated this historic day in the most glorious way. An all-day festival was held at the Temple. As the curtains opened for Deity Greeting, devotees witnessed Their Lordships adorned in illuminous new golden outfits, designed by Bhakta Krishen, offered to Them in honour of the occasion. Srila Prabhupada’s vyasasana was decorated with flower arrangements and artwork depicting the seven purposes of ISKCON. The festival included classes on ISKCON’s achievements over the last 50 years, the Seven Purposes of ISKCON, and ISKCON in the next 50 years. Devotees also went on maha harinama, distributing delicious mango burfis along the way to the public. In the evening, bhajans were held including Markine Bhagavata-Dharma written by Srila

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was also presented with a box of cupcakes and copies of the 50th magazine. The capital’s biggest news channel, BBC London, covered the day’s activities. The coverage was broadcasted to over a million people on air and millions more online, allowing them to watch the arati ceremony too. Recording of the broadcast: https://youtu.be/wgaM7_Vmbgw

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SIX-HOUR “KIRTAN ON THE THAMES” NATIONAL SIGNATURE EVENT

ANNUAL VOLUNTEERS DINNER

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n Saturday 24th September, we held our Annual Volunteers Dinner in Conway Hall. The event was themed “The Joy of Devotion”. Volunteers were treated to a new drama, “ISKCON through the Ages”, directed by Syamananda dasa, which was also performed at ISKCON-London’s 47th Anniversary Event.

“The Dixie Queen had become the Jaladuta taking us all to the spiritual realm with melodious kirtan and the Thames had become the Yamuna” Srutidharma dasa,

SRI SRI RADHA-LONDONISVARA’S 47TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT

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Highlights: https://youtu.be/oQzyPEK0BFQ

“Overall the event was great and Prabhupada would have been happy to hear that his devotees hired a big boat and did kirtan down the most-famous river in the world! Keep doing it, bigger and better” Agnidev dasa

GITA JAYANTI

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n Saturday 10th December, ISKCON-London organised its first external Gita Jayanti programme, which took place in Tooting. The programme included kirtan, a talk on “The Essence of Bhagavad Gita”, fire yajna with recital of Bhagavad Gita slokas conducted by Jai Nitai dasa, Murli Manohara dasa and Rupa Goswami dasa, and prasadam. It was well-attended with many newcomers.

he external event celebrating the 47th Anniversary of the installation of Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara took place on Sunday 27th November and was held at a big theatre-style venue in central London.

n Sunday 31st July, ISKCON-London hosted the UK’s grandest 50th Anniversary kirtan event yet. In true London style, this event was held on a magnificent boat cruising along the River Thames. Befitting the grandeur of the event, one of the largest boats with a capacity of 500 was hired.

Temple Presidents, congregational leaders and devotees from across the UK yatras attended this spiritual cruise making it a truly national event.

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“It was a lovely event. Well-thought schedule, decor, prasadam and gift. I wanted to appreciate your efforts and thank you for organising” Volunteer

Temple President, Bhaktivedanta Manor

This National Signature Event was a day of chanting, dancing, and feasting whilst passing the famous landmarks of London. The special line-up of kirtaneers included BB Govinda Swami, Kadamba Kanana Swami, Agnidev dasa, Deena Bandhu dasa, Mahatma dasa, and local kirtaneers Radha Londonisvara dasa and Jahnavi Harrison.

ISKCON50 in London

“In 1966, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada brought the Hare Krishna Movement from East to West. London’s Krishnas celebrated the 50th Anniversary in the western world in grand style on London’s largest river by singing the now world-famous Hare Krishna chant to bring muchneeded “Peace” in the world of today. I was one of the international guests invited to sing at the event, and I must say that it was great fun to be there at such a historical time in such a historical place and participate in voicing the message of peace as a spiritual leader in a worldwide religious organisation” Kadamba Kanana Swami

The event included a unique presentation of devotion via dance by the internationally acclaimed Samadhi Dance Company, a Netherlands based contemporary dance group. They performed the premiere of Pavan which was dedicated to Srila Prabhupada, and Atma which was a stunning portrayal of the Mahabharata based on the album Inevitable Time by Ananda Monet. This was followed by a musical presentation of Yadi Prabhupada Naha Hoite by the youth. The event also included speeches by the Temple Presidents of ISKCON-London and Bhaktivedanta Manor on the next 50 years of ISKCON, the drama ISKCON through the Ages which was directed by Syamananda dasa, and a heart-warming Guru Puja and kirtan finale by three generations of kirtaneers in ISKCON.

“The event was thoroughly entertaining and one to remember for years to come to celebrate Srila Prabhupada’s achievements and the legacy that he leaves behind. It was particularly inspiring to hear about the future plans and see the spirit of togetherness” Attendee

OTHER EVENTS

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e had many other events throughout the 50th Anniversary celebrations including Srila Prabhupada Katha Series, which were a series of talks and presentations by senior Srila Prabhupada disciples to help attendees reflect on Srila Prabhupada’s contributions, mood and pastimes. In 2016, guest speakers included Indradyumna Swami, Deena Bandhu dasa, Jananivas dasa, Mahatma dasa, Rupa Vilasa dasa, and Yogesvara dasa. We also had kirtan evenings with renowned kirtaneers including Agnideva dasa.


COMMUNICATIONS 8

The Communications Team continued to expand in its services and support to the community in 2016. The year offered a special opportunity to promote ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary and connect with the media, dignitaries and other important persons. The many wonderful ISKCON50 events celebrated through the year inspired many devotees and informed larger audiences about the relevance and important contributions of Srila Prabhupada and his ISKCON society. Below are the specific 50th Anniversary offerings that came from the Communications Department based on the mission statement of ISKCON50.

1. TO INSPIRE PUBLIC APPRECIATION FOR THE VALUES AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS

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ajor events and festivals were covered by the Weekly Tribune, a local newspaper read by corporate businesses and South Asian communities in the UK. On ISKCON’s Incorporation Anniversary, celebrations were covered on the capital’s biggest news channel, BBC London, which was broadcasted to over a million people on air and millions more online. Recording: https://youtu.be/wgaM7_ Vmbgw You can also read the story here: http://bbc.in/2lvbsDm A meeting with the Mayor of London was also organised on this day. Jai Nitai dasa and Bhava Bhakti devi dasi presented the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, with a box of cupcakes and copies of the 50th magazine. ISKCON-London was

also represented at the annual Diwali reception hosted by the UK Prime Minister, the first time that ISKCON-London attended this event. Jai Nitai dasa personally gifted the Prime Minister, Theresa May, with a Bhagavad-gita and some of Sri Sri RadhaLondonisvara’s maha sweets. A special Diwali event was also organised at the Home Office by the Hindu Connection, a forum of the Home Office’s Indian staff members. Syamananda dasa was invited to give a 20 minute speech on “Diwali as a time of self-

improvement” to around 50 attendees. The Communications Team also helped raise awareness of the Padayatra that took place from Hastings to Brighton amongst the local media. Hastings Observer: http://bit.ly/2m3FdhC Hastings Online: http://bit.ly/2lv9IKn

2. TO UNITE OUR SOCIETY TO CELEBRATE THE SUCCESSES OF OUR FOUNDER-ACHARYA AND THE ISKCON FAMILY

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egular stories were sent to Dandavats, ISKCON News and the ISKCON50 website.

Members of the team attended the ISKCON Europe Communications Conference, an annual conference held in 2016 in Villa Vrindavan, Italy. The conference had a special focus on ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary. ISKCONLondon presented their plans and helped inspire and support other temples through their presentations. The conference also included seminars, centre reports, and team-building exercises for better communications. ISKCON-London and Bhaktivedanta Manor Communications helped organise the ISKCON Europe 50th Event - Europe’s main official event celebrating ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary. The event was attended by around 200 people at the prestigious Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels on 27th September. Attendees

included the Indian Ambassador to Belgium and the EU, Mauritian and Fijian Ambassador and Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Italy. Also in attendance were professors of religion, human and religious rights advocates, interfaith representatives, and the curator of the Asian Department at MAS, the largest museum in Antwerp. From ISKCON, there were many regional secretaries and Temple Presidents from all over Europe, as well as GBC members - Prahladananda Swami, Hridaya Chaitanya dasa and Praghosa dasa. As a collaborative event, ISKCON-London and Bhaktivedanta Manor Communications helped organise, raise awareness, and generate press and media interest for the special “5,000 Cupcakes” distribution outreach initiative on 13th July on ISKCON’s Incorporation Anniversary. They also worked together to organise the UK premiere of “The Joy of Devotion” film taking place in January 2017.

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Communications

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3. TO OFFER SRILA PRABHUPADA A GARLAND OF ACHIEVEMENTS INDIVIDUALLY, COLLECTIVELY, LOCALLY AND GLOBALLY

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e had a dedicated “ISKCON50 in London” microsite (www.iskcon.london/iskcon50), ISKCON50 branded community e-newsletters, and regular ISKCON50 e-newsletters specially designed with information relating to ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TEAM

celebrations in London, including upcoming events and ways in which everyone can get involved.

The Community Development Team (CDT) had a good year in 2016, continuing to make progress in taking care of various sections of the community, including donors, guests, and volunteers.

We offered consultancy and support services to other UK and European centres as well as the global ISKCON 50th office.

The team also takes responsibility for areas including three annual signature events for the community, the Annual Community Survey, postal mailouts, and producing gift items. We now have team leaders for each of these service areas. 2017 will be a year of developing and implementing a strategy for each of those areas. We welcome anyone who would like to be part of the above service areas to get in touch.

Below are some highlights from 2016: ANNUAL COMMUNITY SURVEY

EVENTS

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he team organises three major events each year, taking place at an external venue: Patrons Appreciation Event, Annual Volunteers Dinner, and Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara’s Anniversary Event. For ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, these events were 50th-themed. Normally a boat is hired as a venue for the Patrons Appreciation Event and in 2016, we hired the biggest boat on the Thames for a six-hour “Kirtan on the Thames” National Signature Event, opening up the event to centres across the UK (more details of all three events are in the ISKCON50 section).

e conducted another community survey in 2016, and the results have been analysed and presented, with steps being taken to identify and follow-up with various action points in order to improve the service that the Temple provides to our community. It has been an exciting year filled with many opportunities to connect with the external community. In 2017, the focus will be to build and maintain relationships with press, media and local dignitaries. theweeklytribune

1st - 7th August 2016 Follow us on Facebook

www.facebook.com/theweeklytribune

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FAITH & SPIRITUALITY

Hare Krishna centre in London celebrates 50th Anniversary of the movement’s Incorporation with pomp and grandeur

Founder, Srila Prabhupada’s altar

2016 marks fifty years of the establishment of the Hare Krishna movement in the western world. Founded by A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was incorporated in New York, USA in 1966. Swami Prabhupada sought to disseminate the ancient teachings enshrined in the Indian holy scriptures to the West. Today his prodigious efforts and his path-breaking work have inspired numerous international programmes dedicated to the distribution millions of plates of vegetarian food and widespread access to books on philosophy. In the sixties the world was undergoing cataclysmic cultural and social upheavals. The young were disillusioned and the old cynical. The demands of individual freedom and the inflexibility of moral norms were each competing for supremacy. Never before - and possibly not since - was there an era in which societies stood so much in need of spiritual guidance and direction – a credo, an ideology rooted in high values of divinity.

A splendid all-day festival was held at the Temple. As the curtains opened for the morning service, devotees witnessed the Deities draped in brilliant new golden outfits in honour of the occasion. The altar was festooned with white and gold flower garlands and multi-coloured adornments. Srila Prabhupada’s altar was also decorated with flower arrangements and artwork depicting the seven purposes of the movement. The main aims of the movement are to propagate spiritual knowledge and inculcate

theweeklytribune

8th - 14th August 2016 Follow us on Facebook

www.facebook.com/theweeklytribune

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FAITH & SPIRITUALITY

Hare Krishnas hold sixhour peace marathon

Deities in Their new golden outfits

spiritual practices to aid and assist a society plagued by value imbalances and the tragic loss of peace and unity. Special themed talks were held throughout the day to focus on ancient solutions to modern problems. As part of the morning celebrations, the London and Watford centres came together in a special initiative. In an act of gratitude to the City of London, 5,000 cupcakes were distributed in key locations in central London during morning rush hour to say, “Thank You

The west was ready for ISKCON!

ISKCON’s philosophic teachings captivated the disaffected youth and the movement gained ready and eager following, catching even the attention of famous figures such as the poet Allen Ginsberg and popular music groups such as the Beatles. Swami Prabhupada’s remarkable achievements included setting up 108 temples across the world and writing over forty books in twelve years until his death. Globally now there are over 500 ISKCON temples, and Swami Prabhupada’s teachings and texts have been translated into 85 languages and are studied in universities and schools worldwide. On Wednesday 13th July 2016 (which is 50 years to the day since the setting up ISKCON in the USA) the London Temple, based off Oxford Street, celebrated this historic incorporation day with grandeur and glory.

Have a story? Email us: info@weeklytribunenews.com

London!”. Temple President, Jai Nitai dasa and Temple Secretary Bhava Bhakti devi dasi also had an opportunity to present the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, with a box of cupcakes and copies of a special edition 50th magazine. The Mayor congratulated ISKCON on turning 50 and also tweeted this kind gesture to his followers. Here is what some of the volunteers had to say about their experience: “The distribution of cupcakes put so many smiles to the busy people of London. It was so nice to see how a simple act of kindness can do so much. I’m sure many who took a cupcake will have noticed that it was in celebration of such an historic date for ISKCON. It was a pleasure to be a small part of something big, on this memorable day, as an act of gratitude to Srila Prabhupada,” - said Krishna Dattani “Wonderful to see those commuters on a hectic schedule stop and smile at the sight of a free treat. Even better to witness them take some time to ask questions! I can only conclude it was all due to Prabhupada’s mercy!” – said Meelan Panth. Meanwhile the festivities continued at the Temple with a talk followed by a sumptuous vegetarian feast which included a special 50th birthday cake. Devotees then set out on London’s bustling Oxford Street for street chanting and dancing along the way distributing delicious mango flavoured condensed milk sweets (known as barfi). In the evening, the special themed talks continued. The evening prayer ceremony was followed by soulful chanting which continued late into the night. The capital’s biggest news channel, BBC London also covered the day’s activities. The broadcast was viewed by over a million people on air and millions more online, allowing them to also witness the prayer ceremony. Watch the video broadcast on YouTube: 50th Anniversary of ISKCON’s Incorporation - BBC Broadcast 13.07.2016 Stay updated on the upcoming activities at: www.iskcon.london. Get the latest updates on the Facebook page ‘ISKCON-London Radha-Krishna Temple’ and Twitter handle ISKCONLondon.

By ISKCON-London Communications

A six-hour marathon for peace was hosted in London on Sunday 31st July 2016 by the Hare Krishna movement, in response to the recent senseless killings and mindless atrocities of innocent people across the world. Five hundred people participated in the Chant for Peace event aboard a boat on the

River Thames. The event featured six hours of melodious chanting of the famous Hare Krishna mantra (Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare). Guest singers including the Grammy nominated kirtan artist Jahnavi Harrison led the soulful chant. The chanting of a mantra is a form of meditation and can help to heal both the heart and mind, providing solace in difficult times. The Hare Krishna mantra itself is a

calling to God and a prayer for peace. Temple President of the ISKCON centre in London, Jai Nitai dasa, shares his views: “The news of the recent atrocities happening across the globe have shaken our world. The Chant for Peace was a way for us all to come together and show that we stand united against hate, and offer prayers for those who have lost their lives.” This year marks 50 years of the Hare Krishna movement in the West launched as International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), although its founding philosophy

is traced back to ancient Indian scriptures written some 5,000 years ago. The founder of the movement, Swami Prabhupada made the journey from India to the USA to share the ancient teachings of the Vedas. The movement quickly gained immense popularity in the 60s, attracting the inspired attention of famous figures such as George Harrison of the Beatle fame and the poet Allen Ginsberg. Globally there are now over five hundred

Have a story? Email us: info@weeklytribunenews.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bhakta Rakesh, Head of Communications: rakesh.shah@iskcon-london.org Bhaktin Natasha, Communications Secretary: natasha.menon@iskcon.london Kumari Kunti devi dasi, External Communications Officer: kumari.kunti@iskcon.london

In 2017, the aim is to have shorter surveys, targeted to specific audiences and with a specific purpose in mind.

ISKCON temples. Swami Prabhupada’s teachings and texts have been translated into 85 languages and are studied in schools and universities worldwide. Stay updated on the upcoming activities at: www.iskcon. london. Get the latest updates on the Facebook page ‘ISKCON-London Radha-Krishna Temple’ and Twitter handle ISKCONLondon.

ISKCON50 BRANDED MERCHANDISE

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ift and sale items in 2015 and 2016 were 50th-ised to raise awareness of ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary. Items produced included acaman cups, bead bags, hoodies, incense-stick holders, keyrings, and T-shirts.

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GUEST CARE

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he Guest Care Team served in various ISKCON50 events, such as London Mellows, Open Days, and Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara’s 47th Anniversary event. We have also had new members joining the team, and training sessions and sangas organised for the team to meet and share their service experiences. A highlight was a sanga in September, which included an inspiring talk by Jai Nitai dasa, team members awarded with certificates in recognition of the completion of their training, and prasadam!

VOLUNTEERING

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he Volunteers Team would like to thank all those who engaged in devotional service for the Temple in 2016, including for the 50th Anniversary celebrations. We send regular updates of new service opportunities and if you would like to sign-up to these updates or to register as a new volunteer, please email: volunteers@iskcon-london.org

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“It is a very vibrant and visible community, where everyone is actively taking part in festivals and the dayto-day running of the Temple” Community member

“I am glad that Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara, Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra Maharani have a wonderful group of servants” Community member

DEITY DEPARTMENT 13

T

he main highlight of the Deity department in 2016 was a major refurbishment of the pujari areas in the first half of the year (more details in the Temple Refurbishment section). The Department now has a wonderful, new facility in order to serve Their Lordships to a first-class standard. Also in honour of ISKCON’s 50th Golden Jubilee, we offered Their Lordships new, beautiful golden outfits on 13th July 2016, the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON’s incorporation. The outfits were expertly designed by Bhakta Krishen. Another highlight from the year was a visit by Nrsimha Kavaca dasa, ISKCON’s Deity Worship Minister. To facilitate and improve deity worship standards in both the Temple and in devotee homes, he taught two weeklong courses, Home Deity Worship Course and Pujari Training Course. We would like to thank all the volunteers who serve in the Department in various ways on a regular basis, and who facilitate opulent deity worship during the festivals.

FESTIVALS The Festivals Team would like to thank all Temple community members for their continued encouragement, support and tolerance whilst organising and facilitating the year’s festivals for the pleasure of Their Lordships and the devotees.

“A diverse and dynamic community to be part of, with many opportunities to render service to Srila Prabhupada and Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara with devotees” Community member

A

t the beginning of 2016, due to the Temple renovations, there were

some disruptions in festival celebrations nevertheless the festivities continued.

We celebrated a joint Gaura Purnima

festival with Bhaktivedanta Manor, hosted at Bhaktivedanta Manor. A coach was arranged for devotees from ISKCON-London to

attend the festival. The programme involved

abhishek of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai and kirtan by devotees from both Temples.

We still had festivities in the morning

More Devotees, Happier Devotees

at ISKCON-London, including abhishek,

and the Temple remained open throughout the day for darshan of Their Lordships.


Festivals

14

15

N

rsimha Caturdashi was the first gave discourses on the Appearance major festival after the Temple of Lord Krishna and led bhajans. renovations and it was very well-attended. There was also a wonderful play, “Kamsa’s Last Night Alive”, directed Snanayatra is always a special by Syamananda dasa. and intimate event, where devotees get a once-in-a-year opportunity Most of the festivals in 2016 were to bathe Lord Jagannath, Lord blessed with VIP speakers including Baladeva and Subhadra Maharani, Atmanivedana Swami, Bhakti Brhat and also take special Hathivesa Bhagavata Swami, Chandramauli Darshan. Atmanivedana Swami spoke Swami, Prahladananda Swami, elaborately on the significance of both Subhag Swami and Kripamoya dasa. Snanayatra and Hathivesa darshan. Celebrations for the 47th The major festivals including Installation Anniversary of Sri Balarama Jayanti, Janmastami and Sri Radha-Londonisvara at the Srila Prabhupada Vyasa Puja were Temple were wonderful. The main in August, and were celebrated celebrations were in the evening with beautiful darshans, kirtans and - where “Gems of Sri Sri Radhasumptous prasadam. On Janmastami, Londonisvara” (including Their pujaris the Temple Room was beautifully and intimate servants) shared their decorated with the theme based on realisations whilst serving Their Kusum Sarovara (a holy pastime place Lordships during the past 20 to 30 in Vrindavana where the gopis picked years. Archana devi dasi, Gomati flowers for Krishna). Kripamoya dasa devi dasi, Sarva Mangala devi dasi

NITYANANDA TRAYODASI

GAURA PURNIMA

RAMA NAVAMI

NRSIMHA CATURDASI

SNANAYATRA

RATHAYATRA

JHULAN YATRA

BALARAMA JAYANTI

JANMASTAMI

VYASA PUJA

RADHASTAMI

GOVARDHANA PUJA

SHARAD PURNIMA

KARTIK

47TH ANNIVERSARY

and Vishvadevi devi dasi shared how the Deities were served during their time, and they sweetly emphasised the importance of quality of our

service and having attention to even the most minute details in Their Lordships service.

Following this, there was Pushpa

Abhishek, where the Deities were

profusely bathed with tonnes of flower petals by the pujaris amidst ecstatic

kirtans. After the abhishek, the petals were blissfully thrown by devotees to each other in a loving “flower-fight” across the Temple Room.

We would like to thank Gaura

Kishore dasa for his services towards the festivals for the past 10 years,

and wish him well as he moves to

Sri Mayapur Dhama with his wife, Saumya-radhika devi dasi.


FOOD FOR LIFE 16

HARINAMA

Food for Life has been successfully continuing its ongoing prasadam distribution programme to homeless people in central London and in 2016, the team increased their operations from four days a week (Monday to Thursday) to an additional day (Friday).

On average, around 750 plates of prasadam a week are distributed. Most of the volunteers are young professionals who donate their time for this service. Due to the philanthropic nature of the service, it is a popular Temple department for volunteers to serve in, and has also generated a lot of interest from university societies who approach the Food for Life team wishing to volunteer for the programme.

It is inspiring for the team when people are visibly satisfied by having prasadam. One such person said that, “when you guys go back to Krishna, there will be a place waiting for you so you can sit next to Him!”.

As well as the daily and festival harinamas that took place throughout the year, in this special year of ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary, Dayal Mora dasa, Men’s Ashram

Leader, was inspired to organise a padayatra, named “A Pilgrimage for Peace”, from Hastings to Brighton. The

40-mile walk was covered over a period of five days from Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June.

A core team of 10 devotees participated in the walk and were joined by many others for part of the route. They

walked with a bullock cart including a pair of bullocks from the cow protection farm project in Watford. Sponsored books are kept in the Food for Life van for individuals that we meet who are interested in the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness.

Dayal Mora dasa stated, “Padayatra is an excellent way

to reach the public and show that the Hare Krishna’s really practice what they teach. As a mobile temple, Padayatra simultaneously preaches harinama sankirtana, book

distribution, cow protection, deity worship, prasadam

distribution, self-sufficiency and the lifestyle of simple living

and high thinking in harmony with nature and the supreme

GOVINDA’S RESTAURANT

will of Krishna.”

As an unusual event, the padayatra received a lot of local media coverage, which further helped raise awareness of the Hare Krishna’s.

The major highlight in 2016 was the refurbishment of Govinda’s Restaurant and kitchen (more details in the Temple Refurbishment section). The restaurant now has a new look-and-feel which has received very good feedback. Other highlights included some famous celebrities visiting Govinda’s Restaurant, including Shekhar Kapur (a BAFTA and Double Academy award-winning film director, actor and producer), Shruti Haasan (Bollywood actress), and Bappy Lahiri (music composer and singer). Govinda’s also continued to cater for special events, including Vivienne Westwood’s backstage area in London Fashion Week. Govinda’s kitchen has multiple uses. As well as catering for the restaurant, it is used to cook for the daily lunch programme for newcomers, Food for Life, Sunday Feast, etc. Govinda’s Management would like to thank all the staff and large number of volunteers who serve in the kitchen throughout the year.

17


ISKCON EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

INTERFAITH 20

Amazing Grace Event – World Faiths united for Universal Peace

O

n Sunday 8th May, there was

a unique multi-faith

concert, “Amazing Grace”, organised by the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission

Dharampur UK (SRMD

UK), at the historic Union Chapel in Islington.

A 600-strong audience

comprised of faith leaders

and members of nine of the

world’s great faiths - Baha’I, Buddhism, Christianity,

Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism and

Representatives of the nine major world faiths stood side-by-side in unity for a beautiful candle-lighting Unity Ceremony, spelling out the words “Love” and

Zoroastrianism - all

“Peace”. Jai Nitai dasa

in diversity.

representative at the event.

convened to celebrate unity

was the key Hindu faith

Westminster Faith Exchange

J

ai Nitai dasa and Bhava Bhakti devi dasi, members of the Westminster Faith Exchange - a group of faith leaders based in Westminster - hosted two meetings in July and November at the Temple. On 5th July, members of the Exchange met to discuss racist abuse. On 10th November, the following was discussed: • Community Cohesion Commission • Under-reporting hate crime • The Home Office publication: Action Against Hate: The UK Government’s plan for tackling hate crime • Education: Multi-faith visits and presentations in neighbourhood schools Everyone was served tea, fresh juices and sweet treats.

2016 was another steady year for ISKCON Educational Services (IES) with 26 visits either by schools to the Temple and our own visits to schools. Four of these visits to the Temple were by new schools, with the other 22 schools coming regularly every year.

B

haktin Michelle has taken up the much-needed service of putting all schools from our database onto a Sage package. This is very exciting as we can now invoice and market ourselves to encourage new schools to book visits. The schools have now started to introduce what they call “wellness” into daily school life, which includes meditation. This is very encouraging

as it means we can introduce kirtan into the schools. We have built wonderful relationships with school teachers and a few have come to visit the Temple outside of work. We have a flow of Srila Prabhupada’s books going into schools, plus the Heart of Hinduism pack that was put together by Rasamandala dasa which is a

wonderful tool for the teachers. Jaga Mohini devi dasi, who coordinates IES, is on the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) in Westminster. SACRE gives a wonderful insight to other faiths including how we can help schools and teachers to teach children about other faiths.

This was followed by

LONDON COLLEGE OF VEDIC STUDIES

performances and spiritually

The London College of Vedic Studies (LCVS) continued with the good progress made in previous years. The College’s identity has been revamped through a new and distinctive logo and more devotees working on the team. The team now includes Sanjaya Madhava dasa, Bhakta Matt and Bhakta Samy.

a glorious display of

uplifting music from over 60

artists from across these faiths. Kirtan London were the

Hindu-faith performers at the event, treating the audience

to the beautiful sound of the Hare Krishna mahamantra.

LCVS provided many courses in 2016 tailored for those curious in spirituality, newcomers embracing the world of Krishna Consciousness, and for established devotees. Over 125 participants attended various courses run by the College including Bhakti Life, Gita Explore, Home Worship, ISKCON Disciples Course, Mridanga & Kartal Lessons, Pujari Seminar, and Tulasi Workshop. In addition, we also had long-running and systematic courses including the Bhakti Sastri degree course which seven students successfully completed and the long-running Bhakti Vaibhava degree course which has 10 students.

The College’s activities is expected to further grow organically in 2017 in alignment with the ISKCONwide educational system. For example, the LCVS team are actively reviewing the structure of the Bhakti Sastri degree course to make it more accessible and promote wider participation.

21


22

Fortunate People

OUTREACH Alternative Sunday Feast

T

he Temple continued to have alternative Sunday Feast programmes targeted towards newcomers. These run at the same time as the regular Sunday Feast programmes. The aim of the programmes are to give people an introduction to bhakti yoga and provide a relaxed environment where they can learn more about the philosophy, ask questions and be around other like-minded people.

Fortunate People is a UK-based project that was conceived at ISKCON-London by Shaktyavesha Avatar dasa. It allows distributors of Srila Prabhupada’s books to keep in touch with people they’ve met on the street.

A

s an offering to Srila Prabhupada for the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON, an innovative sankirtan outreach project, called the 50K Chants Campaign, invited people to post videos of themselves chanting the Hare Krishna mantra to the website fortunate-people.com, with an aim to gather 50,000 chants for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary.

Kirtan London

K

irtan London continued to spread the holy name around the capital in 2016 with 24 Mantra Lounge events, four 6 Hour Kirtans, including a summer Barefoot in the Park edition in Hyde Park, and two weekend retreats.

TYPICAL MONTHLY FORMAT:

Kirtan London also receives requests to present kirtan sessions and workshops at many different venues. We participated in two interfaith concerts, at the British Museum and Union Chapel, Islington and regularly collaborated with yoga studios and teachers across London.

I

A new addition to our offerings in 2016 were monthly Bhakti Sanga sessions, offering an opportunity to connect and go deeper with bhakti philosophy and build a community for our regular guests.

The Kirtan London project is now in its 5th year and will be celebrated with some special events.

n 2017, there will be Kirtan London weekly yoga classes, featuring chanting and bhakti wisdom, and an upcoming Mantra Lounge Volume 2 album in conjunction with Radha Krishna Records. Kirtan London will also appear in British Vogue magazine.

Kirtan London events were also featured in the Sunday Times Style Magazine in 2016, where Jahnavi Harrison was interviewed about the rise of kirtan.

First week: Dedicated to reading and discussion of a Bhagavad Gita verse. Second week: Reserved for guest speakers such as Srila Prabhupada disciples or other senior Vaishnavis who share their experience in Krishna Consciousness.

Other activities include dramas, dramatic readings, days out, etc. The team is headed by Jaga Mohini devi dasi with the assistance of Bhaktin Narada. Bhaktin Ksenia and Bhakti Myriam, Temple brahmacarinis, joined the group in the second half of 2016 and support and inject the gatherings with a fresh dose of energy. Bhaktin Aartee helps with all announcements via the WhatsApp group. Ladies Sanga welcomes all ladies every Thursday from 6.00pm in the Seminar Room.

Third week: Hands-on practical session e.g. how to offer food, how to wear a sari and tilak, etc. Fourth week: Dedicated to chanting. Attendees are given an opportunity to gain tips, and have a taste of group japa and kirtan. Sometimes during the year, a longer three hour “Kirtan Mela” session is organised for ladies to go deeper into the mellows of kirtan.

Open Days

W

e had monthly Open Days from May to September to welcome new and inquisitive souls

to the Temple. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary

mantra meditation, vegetarianism and yoga - many of these being new concepts for the attendees.

They attended sessions based on the philosophy of

of ISKCON, and to increase the public’s awareness

the Bhagavad Gita, mantra meditation and a Questions

Open Days was “50 Years of Contribution to the Global

they liked and ask questions to a resident senior monk.

and appreciation of the movement, the theme for the Highlights from Bhakti Weekend Retreat: https://youtu.be/5IVW1GcQw3c Jahnavi Harrison at Mantra Lounge’s 5th Anniversary: https://youtu.be/Lc4X6NvtFL8

“Bringing the Holy Name to Every Town and Village has never been so easy... We explain to people that it’s to spread love and peace all over the world,” says Shaktyavesha Avatar dasa, book distributor and project manager of Fortunate People.

Ladies Sanga Ladies Sanga has had a positive transformation in 2016 and the frequency of meetings was increased from fortnightly to weekly. The gathering offers a variety of activities to inspire ladies seeking to become steady in devotional service, or nourish those already deeply committed to their spiritual path.

At the Mind Body Spirit festival at London Olympia, we had a record number of guests at our Pop-Up Temple, taking mantra meditation workshops and joining the kirtan.

The campaign was presented at the International Leadership Sanga in Mayapur, where it was enthusiastically received by an audience of some 600 devotees. It was then officially promoted by the ISKCON50 International Executive Committee.

Community”. Attendees started a journey of self-

discovery and gained insight into topics including the science of the soul, attaining inner and world peace,

& Answers Hub where they could stay for as long as

Attendees also had the opportunity to join the 6 Hour

Kirtan in the Temple Room to put into application the power of chanting the Holy names.

23


RADHA’S BOUTIQUE 24

The new management at Radha’s Boutique had a desire to go back to the roots of how a temple shop should be like - to serve devotees and newcomers alike. By listening to what customers wanted, in 2016, the shop established itself into a one-stop destination for all devotional items.

Refurbishments

Vision for 2017

As part of the refurbishments at ISKCON-London, Radha’s Boutique underwent a new classy, simple look. There is now a more streamlined layout that is not cluttered or distracting. It has been successful, with sales on an upward trend and great feedback from customers.

The management at Radha’s Boutique want to increase exposure for the shop, through advertising and launching a new online shop. There will be a focus on exclusive and unique items.

Order a customised painting Radha’s Boutique have a new service where you can order an oil-painting of any Krishna Conscious picture to a size you require. Paintings are done in Sri Mayapur Dhama.

DON’T SEE THE ITEM YOU’RE AFTER? If a devotional item is not in the shop, get in touch. Radha’s Boutique can source it for you.

Customer feedback:

«Beautiful shop! Best wishes from my heart. Hare Krishna» «Love all the different jewellery! Amazing prices! Love it. Just ace!» «Amazing quality, low prices, interesting books, and lots more. Just beautiful. Hare Krishna» «Fantastic service from the devotees. Prices are fair. The whole shop is fresh and bright» «Absolutely amazing, the turnaround to the shop. Well done to the manager. He takes your money with a smile»

RADHA KRISHNA RECORDS Over 400 Radha Krishna Records CDs were sold in 2016. The “Harinama Ruci” album was launched and is now on sale. It is a joyful and uplifting album of devotees performing harinamas on the streets of London.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Web: www.radhakrishnarecords.com Email: iskconlondonrkr@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/Radha.Krishna.Records/

Radha Krishna Records have also been working on the ISKCON50 “Kirtan on the Thames” album and “Mantra Lounge Volume 2” album which will be released in 2017. 2017 will also see another exciting “Radha Krishna Records presents…” event, following on from the successful “A Contemporary Krishna Culture Showcase” event in 2015.


LONDON RATHAYATRA On Sunday 17th July, London

an exhibition storyboard tracing

in the heart of Central London. Their

appearance of Lord Krishna and

witnessed its 48th Rathayatra festival Lordships, Lord Jagannath, Lord

Baladeva and Lady Subhadra were

carried in three beautifully decorated wooden chariots in a procession

from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. In celebration of ISKCON’s 50th

Anniversary, the chariots also carried the ISKCON50 logo.

Trafalgar Square was bustling with

activity as it greeted the magnificent chariots of Their Lordships.

Chanting and music filled the air

with a festive atmosphere. Stalls for

the history of ISKCON from the Srimati Radharani some 5,000 years ago, the arrival of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago and the advent of the Hare Krishna

movement in the West 50 years

ago. Of particular interest to the devotees and onlookers alike was

the information panel showcasing

ISKCON’s achievements in the last

50 years, including bookmarks, 50th

magazines and activities intended to

raise awareness and stimulate interest

in the movement amongst the public.

yoga, mantra meditation, spiritual

Devotees from all parts of the

set up as part of the festivities.

biggest Rathayatra festival. They

literature, and face painting were

Visitors also enjoyed a free delicious vegetarian feast. Over 20,000 plates were distributed.

The festival was a tribute to Srila

Prabhupada who brought Rathayatra - his favourite festival - to the West. There was a special 50th stall with

UK came to celebrate the UK’s were joined by many sannyasis

including Atmanivedana Swami,

Bhakti Rasamrita Swami, Janananda

Goswami, Kadamba Kanana Swami, Mahavishnu Swami, Prabhodananda Sarasvati Swami, and scores of senior Srila Prabhupada’s disciples from across Europe.


REGIONAL UPDATE 28

Brighton Yatra

T

he Brighton Nama Hatta meetings on Friday evenings continued with enthusiasm and vigour with the usual format of lively kirtan with dancing, class and prasadam. The yatra continued to have a steady flow of newcomers and spiritual seekers, including students coming out of personal curiosity or as part of their studies. On average we had 25 new persons coming, which growed to at least 50 on festival days. Special guests have included Janananda Goswami, Maha Vishnu Swami, Kripamoya dasa, Tribhagananda dasa, Vaisaki dasa, and a special drama evening with Parividha dasa. Harinamas and book tables continued to be a regular feature on Saturdays, and a house programme at local devotees’ homes on Sundays in which Bhagavad Gita and Nectar of Instruction are systematically studied. Brighton Yatra’s biggest offering in 2016 was Brighton Rathayatra, in which over 3,000 plates of vegetarian food, hundreds of books and many flyers advertising the Friday

programme were distributed. A special feature this year was that permission was granted to be able to change the procession starting point and be right in the middle of the promenade where the majority of the public were. The beach was flooded with the Holy name under Brighton’s latest tourist attraction (the i360) with many onlookers taking photos and joining in the festival.

RUSSIAN VEDIC SOCIETY The Russian Vedic Society gather every Sunday afternoon in the Seminar Room for seminars, talks and workshops for Russian-speaking members of the Temple community and newcomers.

A

few times during the year, seminars

were organised on a larger scale with

Russian-speaking preachers, including Vatsala dasa (Oleg Suncov) and Vrajendra Kumar dasa (Vasiliy Tushkin).

The Russian Vedic Society celebrated its 5th Anniversary on 7th February with special

guest Bhakti Vijnana Goswami. The event was held in English, so that friends and

well-wishers in London could also attend. Throughout the summer, the group actively participated in many events and services at ISKCON-London, including cooking the Sunday Feast, volunteering at the Temple

CLOSET KRISHNA

C

loset Krishna has continued to become more and more a part of the community in Rochester and the Medway Towns. It is seen not just as a shop, but also a place for alternative therapy and an oasis for those in need of some spiritual nourishment and association. With the help of more devotees who are now regularly volunteering their time, the activities and programmes at Closet Krishna have increased. There is a regular programme every Friday evening, and also a Sunday programme once a month, which will increase to twice a month in 2017 due to its popularity. Ayurvedic Stress and Anxiety workshops, Hatha Yoga, Henna, Reiki, and a new Light Therapy and Sensory room, are bringing new people to the shop, and thereby they are getting a gentle introduction to bhakti yoga. There have been house programmes held in the community, and the Second Tier Mentorship is meeting regularly. Plans are underway for a trip to Mayapur

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Brighton: www.harekrishnabrighton.com Closet Krishna: www.closetkrishna.com

Open Days, attending Ratha Yatras, and more. In October, a retreat was organised with

Dhama in February 2017 for the local devotees, and there have been requests for trips to Bhaktivedanta Manor by people who are coming to the Sunday programmes. Regular book distribution continues at Closet Krishna, and during the year’s Marathons, many books were distributed, thanks to the hard work and commitment of the devotees in Kent. Closet Krishna hopes to continue to find innovative ways to attract more souls to participate in activities in 2017.

senior devotees, Angira Muni dasa and Kaveri devi dasi, from Russia. They visit every year to nourish the spiritual lives of the Russian devotees in the UK and to help expand the Russian devotee community in London. Bhakti Vriksha programmes, including

philosophy, with discussion and application,

mantra meditation and prasadam, take place three times a week in East London, North West London and South London, in both

the Russian and English languages. They are attended by up to 10 to 15 people in each

group, and there are opportunities to join one of the groups. FOR MORE INFORMATION: Web: www.vedicsociety.london Email: info@vedicsociety.london Facebook: www.facebook.com/RussianVedicSociety/

29


Srila Prabhupada December Marathon 2016 Over 120 devotees took part in the biggest book marathon of the year. It was the biggest marathon in our recorded history (since 2001).

30

In joint first place, were Naam Sankirtan dasa and Rsi Raya Gauranga dasa.

For the first time this year, we also introduced 13 new awards:

SANKIRTAN

It was a very successful year of book distribution for ISKCON-London, with a special 50th Anniversary book distribution initiative (the ISKCON 50/50 Campaign), numerous sankirtan sprints and marathons, wonderful displays in the Temple Room, and even a new sankirtan travelling van! ISKCON 50/50 Campaign To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON, the Temple participated in the ISKCON 50/50 Campaign throughout the year. In this worldwide initiative, devotees had to distribute 50 books in the 50th Anniversary year. We had approximately 210 devotees actively participating. A devotional tree was created on Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasasana with names of each devotee who pledged to participate in the campaign. Sankirtan Van In the beginning of the summer, ISKCON-

London purchased a travelling sankirtan vehicle. Since then, the Nitai Pada Kamala Travelling Sankirtan Party (NPKTSP) has visited over 25 towns in Essex, Hampshire, Kent and Sussex, supporting the local centres and preaching programmes in Brighton, Canterbury, Folkestone and Rochester.

New website: sankirtan.net To inspire the sankirtan devotees, a website was launched during the Srila Prabupada December Marathon - www. sankirtan.net - where one can find inspirational podcasts and videos from many senior sankirtan devotees.

Among all temples in Europe

· 36,238 books distributed · £81,855 collected

Sankirtan Sprints and Marathons As has become tradition in recent years, in 2016 we had 3 Marathons, 8 Sankirtan Sprints, 2 Monthly Sankirtan Festivals and 1 World Enlightenment weekend.

#4

Among all medium temples in the world

BEST CHILD

BESt daddy

Jai Nitai dasa’s Mentee Group

Bhakta Abhay

Vamsi Dhari dasa

BEST COUPLE

BEST effort

BEST family

Jai Nitai dasa & Bhava Bhakti devi dasi

Vayu dasa

Vamsi Dhari dasa & Bhaktin Alisha’s Mentee Group

BEST girls group

BEST mentee group

BEST over 60s

Bhava Bhakti devi dasi’s Mentee Group

Bhava Bhakti devi dasi’s Mentee Group

Satyanarayana dasa & Madhvi devi dasi’s Mentee Group

BEST mummy

BEST temple department

most entertaining

most innovative

Bhaktin Alisha

Closet Krishna

Bhava Bhakti devi dasi’s Mentee Group

Bhakta Samy & Fortunate People Party

Highlights from the Srila Prabhupada December Marathon 2016: https://youtu.be/sUOdt7Nc--A

As per the latest edition of the World Sankirtan Newsletter, ISKCON-London was:

#1

Total for the marathon

BEST BOYS GROUP

Europe rankings in November 2016 of two of our book distributors:

#17

for

Among all temples in the world

World Sankirtan Newsletter: http://www.wsnl.net/hist/wsneu.htm

Total 2016

Rsi Raya Gauranga dasa Naam Sankirtan dasa

· · · · · · ·

Over 284 devotees took part 23,600 small books distributed 38,809 medium books distributed 2,567 big books distributed 25,870 maha big books distributed 83 sets distributed £170,876 collected

This was a 3.5% increase from the previous year.

31


Sankirtan

SPIRITUAL MENTORSHIP SYSTEM 33

W

e had a successful retreat to

Radhadesh in August. Our special

We saw two Mentors step down from their services in 2016 Gaura Kishore dasa and Saumya-radhika devi dasi. They have moved to Sri Mayapur Dhama to carry out services in the Holy dhama.

guest for the retreat was Bhakti Rasamrta Swami who spoke daily on the topic of

“Our Founder Acarya” – a theme to honour the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON.

Syamananda dasa provided entertaining group workshop sessions based on

teamwork and cooperation, and cooked for the retreat attendees too.

Everyone was enlivened by having the

opportunity of staying at the Radhadesh temple and being able to experience the

morning programme and taking darshan of the presiding Deities, Sri Sri Radha Gopinath.

W

e also had two Maha Sangas this year which were also both on the theme of ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary. The Summer Maha Sanga was organised by Bhava Bhakti devi dasi’s Mentee Group and had Kripamoya dasa as the keynote speaker.

Their group has split into two with Hari Kirtan dasa taking care of some of the male members of the group and Krishna Kirtan dasa and Kasturi Manjari devi dasi taking care of the ladies and some men from the group too.

The Winter Maha Sanga was organised by Jai Nitai dasa and Bhava Bhakti devi dasi’s Grhasta Mentee Group and saw all the mentee groups make presentations on “What does 50 years of ISKCON mean to you?”

We also welcomed a new Mentor, Radha Raman dasa, who will be looking after single men in the community.


TEMPLE REFURBISHMENT 34

In 2016, the Temple undertook one of its biggest refurbishments in many years.

A

fter the completion of the building next door, which caused quite some damage to the Temple, an entire overhaul of many areas of the building was undertaken. Starting on 13th January and going up till the beginning of May, the Temple was a permanent construction site. It started in the Men’s Ashram with a major upgrade of the bathroom and wall cracks. The front windows were also replaced making a

huge improvement to noise prevention from the street. After much planning, the area that was completely overhauled from top to bottom was the pujari area. A temporary kitchen was set up in the Seminar Room and the entire pujari team were very tolerant of the many new austerities involved in doing their service. But everyone agreed it was worth it to now have such a beautifully finished pujari area, including a second kitchen space. Next in line for refurbishment was the public areas and for that we had to close the entire Temple for the first time since it opened. This included the stairways and the Temple Room. Major cracks were found in the Temple Room floor joists

that are now replaced from years of devotees jumping in kirtan! Professional devotee painters were brought in to repaint the Temple Room in a way that has never been so beautiful before. Underfloor heating was installed in both the Temple Room and hallway and very beautiful marble was used to finish the floors and hallway walls. Meanwhile, Govinda’s Restaurant was also

undergoing a complete refurbishment to repair damaged floors and layout the counter to maximise the limited space we have. As can be expected in such massive construction projects, things take longer than expected and we had to keep the Temple closed for three weeks more than hoped but the devotees were very understanding and eagerly anticipated the new look. Also, in December, our security camera system got a major upgrade. The existing system had become very troublesome and was always giving problems. So now we have a fully digitalised system with 12 cameras to assist keeping our Temple safe.

35


THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO WAS PART OF OUR ISKCON-LONDON COMMUNITY IN 2016, ISKCON’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY! 36

HERE’S WHAT SOME OF OUR FRIENDS AND WELL-WISHERS HAD TO SAY: “I am very grateful that ISKCON-London exists and provides all the services that it does” “Everytime I visit the London centre, I feel so inspired with the devotee community, cooperating together to serve Srila Prabhupada’s mission” “I came to ISKCON-London Temple in 1989. I have since witnessed an ever-changing community. At present, it appears the community attached to the Temple is at its brightest and strongest” “A place of refuge, nurturing and generosity. A spiritual sanctuary” “The ISKCON-London community are welcoming, engaging, supportive and nurturing. The community have helped me cultivate Krishna Consciousness, engaged me in devotional service, and given me the confidence to speak of Krishna Consciousness in my personal and work life” “Having the ISKCON-London community is an incredible blessing. This spiritual oasis in the city is incredible and beautiful for all its activities and the atmosphere is always conducive of bhakti yoga” “The association is wonderful, the whole atmosphere is my happiness, the devotees serve so nicely, and the Krishna Consciousness of the devotees is an inspiration. The classes always teach me something. Without RadhaLondonisvara and the Temple’s community I would be lost. Thank you, Hare Krishna”

2016 FINANCIAL SUMMARY AREA ISKCON-LONDON GOVINDA’S RESTAURANT

INCOME

EXPENDITURE

SURPLUS (DEFICIT)

£1,570,000

£1,322,000

£248,000

£768,619

£698,000

£70,000

CREDITS Editor: Devaki devi dasi Designer: Chandra Bellamy Proofreader: Syamananda dasa Official Photographers: Aashish Sharma, David Crick, Harsh Sharma, Paramesvara dasa, Prema Narasimha dasa, Ravi Goel, Rishi Lal, and Tadas Jasaitis We would also like to thank everyone who contributed towards content for the Annual Review.


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 greeting Dhoopa arati Raj Bhoga arati Dhoopa arati Sundara arati Sayana arati

These are times when items are offered for the pleasure of the Deities.

DARSHAN TIMES

CLASS TIMES

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 *

These are times when the curtains are open and the Deities can be seen.

* Excluding Sundays

LUNCH PROGRAMM E - MONDAY TO SATURDAY 13:00 to 14:00 Introductory talk and lunch. SUNDAY FEAST PROGRAMME 15:30 to 19:30 Includes arati, introductory talk and feast.

HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE

International Society for Krishna Consciousness Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada ISKCON-LONDON Radha-Krishna Temple 10 Soho Street London W1D 3DL

CONTACT: T: +44 (0)20 7437 3662 E : info@iskcon-london.org W: www.iskcon.london

@iskconlondon /iskconlondon

ISKCON-London Annual Review 2016  
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