A look at the worldwide activities of the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
A Summer of Festivals
In Baltimore, Mayor William Schaefer lauded ISKCON’s cultural exhibition at the city’s recent East/West Indies Festival. Seated from left to right are His Holiness Bhakti-tirtha Swami, director of ISKCON’s Urban Spiritual Development project and regional secretary for east and west Africa; Mahakrama dasa, director of ISKCON’s Baltimore center; His Holiness Lokanatha Swami, director of ISKCON’s New Delhi center; and Mr. Gurbaksh Singh, Educational Advisor to the Indian Embassy.
Devotees of Lord Krsna organized public gatherings in several major cities this summer to celebrate traditional Krsna conscious festivals.
In Natal, South Africa, home of the largest Hindu community outside India, a crowd of twenty thousand turned out to follow three fifty-foot-high chariots down the city’s main streets in a three-mile procession celebrating Ratha-yatra, the “Festival of the Chariots.” Organized by the more than five thousand Krsna devotees of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in South Africa, the festival appeared on local television and ended with a lecture by Srila Jayatirtha Goswami, the Society’s coordinator for South Africa and the U.K.
In Vancouver, Canada, Mayor Jack Volrich was guest speaker at the Chariot Festival organized by the Hare Krsna temple and local Hindu organizations. Mayor Volrich said, “I hope this Festival of the Chariots, one of the greatest historic festivals in the world, will become an annual event in Vancouver … so we will be able to share some of the very important, sincere, and deep principles of morality that you espouse. … I think it is very appropriate that the city proclaim one day of the year as Ratha-yatra Day.”
Ratha-yatra, a festival for the pleasure of Lord Krsna, has been celebrated in Pune, India, for the last two thousand years. It annually attracts some twenty million to thirty million pilgrims. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness sponsored Ratha-yatra festivals this year in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Calcutta, and other major cities.
French Govt Endorses Hare Krsna Schools
Mr. M. Conte of the French Ministry of Education examines a student’s workbook at the Krsna conscious elementary school in Indre.
Lucay-le-Male, France—The Regional Inspector for the French Minister of Education recently awarded glowing appreciations and a certificate of authorization to the primary and secondary schools of the Hare Krsna movement in France.
The schools occupy five buildings and two of the 180 acres of the movement’s farm in the fertile Indre region of central France. M. Conte, Regional Academic Inspector for the Education Ministry, commented after his visit, “I find here hard work and seriousness of purpose. This has been a very encouraging visit for me.
The primary school, covering instruction for children up to eleven years old, offers classes in reading, writing, mathematics, English, French, and Krsna conscious devotional subjects. The older children attend additional classes in science, history, geography, and Sanskrit. Mahabhagavata dasa, headmaster, directs a staff of seven in balancing academic training with spiritual instruction. He received his M.A. in mathematics and taught three years of public school before joining the movement