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JAI NITAI DASA Temple President Charity Chairman Member of Management Board South Regional Coordinator UK Zonal Supervisor Mentor

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

JAGA MOHINI DEVI DASI ISKCON Educational Services Ladies Ashram Leader Member of Management Board Mentor

MURLI MANOHARA DASA Head Pujari Charity Trustee Member of Management Board Member of Brahmacari Council Mentor

RAM CHARAN DASA Financial Controller Member of Management Board

THIRUPATI GAURANGA DASA Govinda’s Restaurant Manager Kitchen Manager Member of Management Board

RADHA RAMAN DASA Charity Trustee Mentor

ACUTYA CHARAN DASA Food for Life Coordinator

ANDREI JUCHNEVIC Radha’s Boutique Manager

DAYAL MORA DASA Outreach Coordinator

DEBASMITA FRANCIS London College of Vedic Studies Coordinator

DEVAKI DEVI DASI Community Development Coordinator Volunteers Coordinator

DHAVAL DATTANI Volunteers Coordinator

KAPILA MONET Radha Krishna Records Manager

KRISHNA KANTA DEVI DASI Food for Life Coordinator

LAURYNAS MIKALAUSKAS Head of IT Data Protection Lead

MAHA NRSINGHA DASA Festivals Coordinator

MAIRIS UŠACKIS Temple Commander

MUKUNDA KISHORE DASA Closet Krishna Manager


NATASHA MENON Communications Secretary

OLGA DOROVKO Russian Vedic Society Coordinator

PRITESH PANDYA Child Protection Officer

PRIYA KUNDA DASA Atma Lounge Manager


TITIKSU DASA UK Rathayatra Coordinator

VAYU DASA Men’s Ashram Leader



Table of CONTENTS 5

Temple President’s Activities




Community Development Team


Deity Department




Food For Life


Govinda’s Restaurant




London College of Vedic Studies




Radha’s Boutique






Spiritual Mentorship System




50th Anniversary

Graphic Designer: Chandra Bellamy Editorial Team: Devaki devi dasi Neha Bhatt


For any comments or queries on this publication, please email



communications INTERFAITH

ISKCON-LONDON HOSTS QUARTERLY INTERFAITH MATTERS MEETING ISKCON-London hosted faith and community leaders of Westminster at the quarterly Interfaith Matters meeting on Tuesday 29th January. Temple President, Jai Nitai dasa and Temple Secretary, Bhava Bhakti devi dasi attend these meetings, held at different venues each time, to discuss ways to work together, and topics and issues in the political environment that can affect faith communities. The agenda included: • Jai Nitai dasa reading Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 1, Verse 1 purport on the supremacy of God and what an excellent creator He is • A discussion on the faith sector’s provision of winter night shelters and services to undocumented migrants • A discussion on how preparation for Brexit was affecting religious communities. Interfaith Matters convenes a forum for clergy and faith representatives in the south of Westminster. The forum includes Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh members.

FOURTH ANNUAL INTERFAITH CONFERENCE AT ST GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY On Monday 18th February, St George’s Krishna Consciousness Society hosted their fourth annual interfaith discussion. The panel consisted of representatives from Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as Krishna Consciousness (the latter represented by Dan Cockram, a monk from ISKCONLondon). The panelists discussed why bad things happen to good people and they were able to find parallels between the faiths. The student audience found the event very insightful and are looking forward to the next interfaith event.

WESTMINSTER FAITH EXCHANGE: LONELINESS AND MENTAL HEALTH EVENT The Westminster Faith Exchange organised an event that discussed loneliness and mental health at West London Synagogue on Wednesday 27th February. The event 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. Communications Secretary, Natasha Menon, attended on behalf of ISKCON-London. She had the opportunity to have an introduction and exchange with the Chair of Westminster Faith Exchange, Councillor Ruth Bush. Councillor Ruth expressed her appreciation of the work done by the Temple and said she looks forward to more participation from ISKCON-London at future events. 7


external press and media THE TOP 19 RESTAURANTS FOR VEGAN FOOD IN LONDON – MONDAY 4TH FEBRUARY 2019 MyLondon, a website providing news from across London, listed Govinda’s Restaurant amongst their top 19 restaurants for vegan food in London. They write: Popularly known as the Hare “Krishna’s”, the restaurant is run by the Radha-Krishna Temple, so you know it’s going to be wholesome. As well as bhakti-yoga and meditation, the community practices “karma-free” cooking, which means that meals are prepared with compassion and nonviolence. And they are a registered charity, so tucking into their amazing traditional Indian cooking is a selfless act, if you really think about it.” Read the full article here:


Visit an actual temple Soho has its very own Temple, George Harrison became

The Things to Do in London website’s “27 Things to Do in Soho” featured ISKCON-London.

interested in the work of the International Society for Krishna

Read the full article here:

This Temple opened in Soho Square in 1979 and entry is free.”

Consciousness when representatives arrived in the UK in the 1960s.

THE NEW BRITISH CLASSICS – THURSDAY 14TH FEBRUARY 2019 A bold fashion statement amidst familiar faces – The New York Times Style Magazine’s first digital cover story features ISKCON-London monks chanting on the streets of London with model Maisie Dunlop in the photograph. The photograph is part of a series showcasing classic British fashion, paying homage to Savile Row. See the full feature:

For the latest press and media articles featuring ISKCON-London: 8

Community development team NEW TEAM MEMBERS The Community Development Team warmly welcomed three new team members at the start of 2019. They are: • Indu Belchandan, Krishna Club Coordinator • Neha Bhatt, Community Newsletter Coordinator • Malavika Sidhaye, Team Assistant

LAUNCH OF KRISHNA CLUB Krishna Club officially launched in January. Taking place on Sunday afternoons, the club is attended by approximately 15 to 20 children each week. The syllabus started with the “Das Avatars”, the ten incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Children start each session with learning and reciting prayers and doing some simple yoga exercises, before then being taught about one of the Das Avatars each week in an interactive way. Their remembrance of what they have learnt is then tested in following weeks via quizzes etc. During January and February, Indu Belchandan and Panchali Kar have served as teachers, and Jennal Amin has served as a Teaching Assistant.




deity department Teaching at the Mayapur Academy


owards the end of January, Murli Manohara dasa, Head Pujari, went to Mayapur, India, for his annual service as one of the facilitators of the Temple Worship unit of the 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 and appreciate 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.


festivals nityananda trayodasi Sunday 17th February




food for life C

ome rain or snow, thousands of Londoners in need are getting a nutritious meal throughout the year as a result of the Food for Life initiative. Prasadam cooked in the Govinda’s Restaurant kitchen has been feeding the homeless for over 25 years. It is run solely by the help of dedicated volunteers and a humble handy van. However, with the van coming to the end of its life, the meals-onwheels are sadly at risk. The team needs help to continue driving this humanitarian mission to help the needy. £15,000 in donations is needed for a new van for the Food for Life project and support is required to make this happen.

THREE WAYS TO DONATE: At Radha’s Boutique, by visiting in person or calling on +44 (0)207 437 3662. Every contribution, no matter how large or small, will make a difference!

govinda’s restaurant Top 19 restaurants for vegan food in London MyLondon, a website providing news from across London, listed Govinda’s Restaurant amongst their top 19 restaurants for vegan food in London. They write:

Popularly known as the Hare “Krishna’s”, the restaurant is run by the Radha-Krishna Temple, so you know it’s going to be wholesome. As well as bhakti-yoga and meditation, the community practices “karma-free” cooking, which means that meals are prepared with compassion and non-violence. And they are a registered charity, so tucking into their amazing traditional Indian cooking is a selfless act, if you really think about it.” Govinda’s Restaurant has a great atmosphere for everyone and also it is child-friendly and they serve really nice healthy food. It is worth the money and it is worth waiting in line for. Next time you’re in London, you should go and visit Govinda’s Restaurant and see for yourself” Anil Anand Brilliant place to eat healthy food. Childfriendly and fine dining” Antonio Acuña Light and full of flavour dishes” Franco Baldini de la Vega 14





london college of vedic studies In JANUARY and FEBRUARY, the following courses took place:

Saturday 5th and 12th January: Murli Manohara dasa

Saturday 12th January to 9th February: Dayal Mora

facilitated a “Pujari Training Course,” explaining what

dasa led a comprehensive five-week course, “Unlock

it involves to render personal service to the presiding

the mysteries of the Bhagavad-Gita” based on how

Deities at ISKCON-London.

to apply the key teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita in modern life.

Subscribe to the London College of Vedic Studies newsletter:





esident monk, Dayal Mora dasa, officially took on the role as coordinator of the Outreach department. Amongst other achievements, he has helped shape the new series of newcomer programmes that come under the Bhakti Yoga London brand. These weekly events have been well-attended.

Ladies Sanga As well as the usual kirtan and prasadam components of the Ladies Sanga, highlights from January and February were: • Keli Vrindavan devi dasi led a session on “The Holy Names” • Hanel Gir conducted a session on “Goal-setting in Spiritual Practice” • Narada led a session on “Trinad Api Sunicena” • A Krishna Conscious movie night • Ladies night out at the Healthy Wealthy devotee-run restaurant.

Ladies Sanga takes place every Thursday evening in the Seminar Room. All ladies welcome. 19

Secrets from the East Report by Brioni Boykew JANUARY 2019


It is particularly pleasing to welcome someone fresh off the street from sankirtan, particularly during the extra efforts made during the marathon. It is equally rewarding to welcome those from our other weekly programmes which nourishes our family relationships throughout the Temple. One service seamlessly compliments and nourishes another. This was particularly apparent during the Sunday Secrets from the East programme. The team had the opportunity to serve so many people from a diverse variety of walks of life. A full house comprising of one lady from yoga class on Friday, one from Wisdom Wednesdays, relatives of two of our resident monks, as well as new faces and more familiar regulars came together on this lovely evening – sharing tea, cake and spiritual realisations. 

How does one cultivate a relationship with and knowledge of God?

The topic we covered was the introduction to Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 1, read with great enthusiasm by main speaker, Dayal Mora dasa. Some of the questions covered were (and the corresponding discussions): How do relationships work in Krishna Consciousness? Dayal Mora dasa explained the varnasrama system and the four stages of life according to Krishna’s system, from student life to the renounced order of life. What is good & evil? (Trump/Hitler) Good and bad is relative to the individual. As far as we are concerned, according to our scriptures and teachers, we are all equal on the spiritual platform but our desire to enjoy separates us from the Lord. We are given a certain bodily form as per our desires and we enjoy life accordingly, also utilising the free will we have been given. How does astrology tie in with Krishna Consciousness? Astrology is like reading the weather forecast – some things happen as predicted and others not. 20

Time, dedication and practice. Resident monk and main speaker, Dan Cockram, made a succinct analogy – that of an athlete. An athlete cannot simply walk onto the pitch and play a top game. He must endeavour. Similarly, we must follow a system to learn who is God. Present in the group was a baker who revealed (with a little embarrassment) that she often prayed to God during cooking that her bread would come out nicely. She was pacified by the speaker at the description of our process for offering everything we make to Krishna. She was gently encouraged to take a moment to appreciate and meditate on the fact that every ingredient in her baking preparation was given by the mercy of God and that going forward, perhaps before delving in to eat, it could be offered to Him beforehand. To which she enthusiastically agreed!  Another topic of interest was the form of God. One devout Christian was enquiring how it is that we see God as a person. Answered expertly, with bonafide quotations from our Acharyas, Dan described the three stages of God realisation, namely, Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan.  This particularly pleasant spring evening, the newcomers programme concluded with the discussion that all religions of innumerable variety, at the core are trying to teach one how to understand God. Krishna Consciousness beautifully engages all aspects of life in devotion to God, including the consumption of food, the dovetailing of all talents, and emotions. As such, we follow a perfect and complete system.

radha’s boutique spring clearance sale!

For more information:

regional ISKCON Canterbury On Saturday 2nd February, more than 30 people attended ISKCON Canterbury’s weekly nama-hatta programme to hear Jayadvaita Swami speak.





spiritual mentorship system

esident monk, Dayal Mora dasa, is a member of the Brahmacari Council and the latest recruit on the Board of Mentors. Here is a brief chat between Bhava Bhakti devi dasi and Dayal Mora dasa regarding his mentorship and outreach services.

area of responsibility as Head of Outreach! What plans do you have in place with this new service? A: Mainly focusing upon building a community of western devotees and ideally local devotees here in London as per the vision of Srila Prabhupada. Q: With an unlimited budget, what would you do in

your new role as Head of Outreach?

Bhava Bhakti devi dasi (Q): Hare Krishna! Welcome

aboard our family of mentors at ISKCON-London. It can be really challenging being a mentor and I have found you really have to be grounded in your own spiritual practices first. I was thinking therefore just why did you come to ISKCON-London of all places in the world? Dayal Mora dasa (A): Well, I was previously serving in ISKCON Moscow believe it or not and when my visa ran out, it was suggested I come and take shelter here. Q: Sounds like quite an adventure! In your opinion,

what skills are needed to be a mentor? A: Patience and realisation of the importance of individual loving relationships in connection to Krishna. Q: Have you encountered any challenges in your

mentorship services? If so, can you share? A: Living entities in western bodies require a lot of care and attention to bring them to the stage of steadiness. Srila Prabhupada mentions about gallons of blood, so self-sacrifice is required. Q: Absolutely true! We as mentors must put

aside our own insecurity or envy in order to help others shine brightly in Krishna’s service. Oh yes and before I forget, congratulations on your new 23

A: Immediately purchase 7 Bury Place to: reestablish Srila Prabhupada’s rooms, to house the development of new Gaudiya-Vaishnava educational programmes, and to facilitate the much-desired growth of preaching outreach to those innumerable souls who find it difficult to walk into a Hare Krishna temple. That would be the first step. Q: How are female seekers catered for in the

newcomer programmes? A: In much the same way as the men are – whoever is sincerely searching gets the appropriate amount of attention. In fact, we have two women who came from our preaching activities currently running the Wisdom Wednesdays programme. And they are doing a very good job. Q: What tips do you have for others regarding

reaching out to newcomers/guests and preaching? A: Try to relate to the person from where they are and not where we think they should be. Be yourself and just make friends without any expectations from them. Oh, and keep them away from persons who like to preach heavily! We’re still learning but it seems that a cool head goes down well. Bhava Bhakti devi dasi: Great advice and thank

you for your time. I understand you are off to Mayapur, India soon and so safe travels and we look forward to seeing the new initiatives you have planned when you get back.

volunteering Volunteers Corner Name: Rajiv Nandha Profession: GP Pharmacist Volunteering at ISKCON-London since: 2017 What service/s do you do at ISKCON-London? I help with Food for Life and coordinate the fundraising for Food for Life. How did you get involved with it?

be the best option going forward due to the benefits mentioned above. Working in conjunction with the rest of the Food for Life team and Temple management, we decided to start fundraising for a new food van and slowly came up with fundraising initiatives which we are now in the process of implementing. What do you like about your service? Everyone is so sincere and dedicated to serve Krishna at the Temple and this really motivates you and keeps you moving forward. It inspires you to try to do something pioneering which can help the pure devotees with their service. I have learnt so much whilst serving, especially the importance of building relationships. One of my favourite quotes from Radhanath Swami that has really resonated with me is, “Srila Prabhupada was happier if everyone sold 1,000 books together rather than one person selling 1,001 books.” The quote epitomises the importance of working as a team in order to serve to please Srila Prabhupada.

I have always wanted to help serve with Food for Life as I felt it would be a very rewarding and satisfying experience. So I decided to spend my birthday volunteering instead I love the inspiration and encouragement from seniors at of the usual celebration of a cake, dinner and party the Temple and it really drives me. They mentioned how with friends and family. It Shyamasundar Prabhu talked was a Tuesday evening and “Srila Prabhupada was happier if everyone about Srila Prabhupada I enthusiastically arrived at sold 1,000 books together rather than one stating that we should aim the Temple after work. Just for the rhino, and that in person selling 1,001 books.” as I entered the downstairs itself is very inspiring – to reception, to my delight there was maha cake laid out on think that anything is achievable when done for the the reception desk! I thought this was rather amazing – purpose of pleasing Krishna. So even if that means aiming it was like Krishna had remembered my birthday on the for something that on the face of it appears substantially day I went to serve Him! Is this Krishna lila or maybe just quite unattainable and unique – to get Europe’s first ever a coincidence? Either way, I was thrilled to enjoy some electric food van – “The Eco Van” – which serves food to maha cake on my birthday! the homeless whilst causing zero harm to Mother Earth It was a typical winters evening in London – cold, wet and (Bhumi Devi) so be it, after all that was Srila Prabhupada’s dark as we sat in the back of the Food for Life van en-route mood to aim big and high for Krishna. to Lincolns Inn Field in Holborn. I just about managed to hold the tea pots, khichari and table together whilst the van made each turn. As we arrived at the location, a congregation of approximately 150 people waited patiently in the rain for their daily meal. We set up the table outside and took out the food ready to serve in spite of the rain. The cake, tea and khichari gradually started to get wet and soggy but in spite of this, none of the people complained. Everyone very humbly and gratefully received the transcendental prasadam, prepared at Govinda’s.

From that experience, I reflected that this was a most wonderful service and fulfilling to the heart. I felt that each volunteer was very passionate about serving. In order to stop the food from getting wet and improve the overall service, I thought we could really benefit from having a basic food van where prasadam could be served from inside of the van, kept warm, hygienic and dry from London’s wet and soggy evenings. After speaking to a few of the volunteers, we all concluded that the van desperately needed replacing and a food van would 24

I really enjoy the fundraising work, reaching out to people and showcasing what great humanitarian work the Temple does to serve the community. Naturally, people always ask what the source of that compassion to serve is, and of course the answer is always…Krishna! I am most excited about taking part and raising money for Walk Against Hunger in the summer. This is a 10-mile walk which symbolises Prabhupada’s mission that no-one should go hungry within a 10-mile radius of an ISKCON temple. We plan to take prasadam parcels whilst we walk too.

Three interesting facts about yourself 1. I travelled to 13 countries in 10 months last year 2. I love reading and collecting signed books by devotees for my book collection 3. I sleep with an eye mask! To support the purchase of a new eco-friendly food van that Rajiv is fundraising for, visit:


For more information: To apply: 25

50TH ANNIVERSARY Team Meeting with Sacinandana Swami On Tuesday 8th January, the 50th Anniversary External Events Team had the inspiring opportunity to meet with Sacinandana Swami to present and discuss plans for the year ahead for the summer and winter events. Sacinandana Swami has a wealth of knowledge and experience in connecting to people from all walks of life and especially in inspiring western outreach. He was very encouraging and a thought-provoking discussion was had on the importance of follow-up to events and the true spirit and practical considerations of collaboration with the wider community.

50th Launch Film On the auspicious occasion of Nityananda Trayodashi, ISKCON-London’s 50th Anniversary was launched with a promo film providing a look into what’s coming up over the year: Srila Prabhupada was a pioneer of the sankirtan movement in the western world. Nothing was impossible for him and he instilled this idea in the hearts of his disciples. Plans are underway to celebrate this milestone year in this pioneering spirit.

iskcon-london Features in Back to Godhead magazine Feature article on “50 Years of Hare Krishna’s in the UK” In 1944, on the auspicious appearance day of his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Prabhupada started the English magazine, Back to Godhead. 75 years later, and during the 50th Golden Anniversary year of the incorporation of ISKCON UK, it is a great honour that the unique story of ISKCON-London - the first ISKCON centre in the UK (opened in 1969) - will be shared with the world in this international publication - a publication that Srila Prabhupada later referred to as the beginning of his spiritual life. As the feature article (spanning 17 pages) in the March/April 2019 edition, we tell the exciting story of: • The establishment of Krishna Consciousness in the UK by six pioneers on the instruction of Srila Prabhupada • The appearance and installation of the first large marble Deities of Radha Krishna in ISKCON, Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara, personally installed by Srila Prabhupada • The past 50 years of ISKCON-London - a unique blend of Deity worship and city preaching located in the heart of London - and aspirations for the future. This special edition is available to purchase at Radha’s Boutique. If you would like to purchase in bulk (for sanga groups, etc.), please email Pick up your copy as a momento of our 50th Anniversary whilst stocks last. It is a lovely gift to others also. To volunteer for 50th Anniversary services, email: 26

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.



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 PROGRAMME (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.


ISKCON-LONDON Radha-Krishna Temple 10 Soho Street London W1D 3DL


CONTACT: T: +44 (0)20 7437 3662 E : W:

/iskconlondon /iskconlondon @iskconlondon

International Society for Krishna Consciousness Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

Profile for ISKCON-London

January to February 2019 ISKCON-London Community Newsletter  

January to February 2019 ISKCON-London Community Newsletter