Monday, August 15, 2016

Amid row over quality, Kuppam seeks Iskcon’s midday meal

Students say a prayer before taking their midday
meal at a school near Tirupati.
The Hindu: Despite the queries raised over the quality of the midday meal served by the International Society for Krsna Consciousness (Iskcon) to the government schools in and around Tirupati, the demand for it seems to be growing, as the VVIP constituency of Kuppam has requested it to extend its scheme to the segment.
Iskcon has been serving meals to 50,000 students in 10 mandals of Chittoor district ever since the government handed over the task to it in 2004.
This includes students of seven schools run by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD). Under the banner of Iskcon Food Relief Foundation (IFRF), the mammoth kitchens in Tirupati and Chinnagottigallu prepare meals for 35,000 and 15,000 children respectively.
In tune with its rigorous norms and food practices, Iskcon does not use onion, garlic and egg in the food. The rural palate that salivates for spicy food apparently did not like the idea and complaints of ‘unpalatable food’ arose from rural schools.
“The use of onion and garlic in food triggers passionate feelings like anger, lust and greed. Hence we consciously avoid them,” says Madhugopal Haridas, who heads the Iskcon’s midday meal and catering section.
Though buttermilk is not mandated, it is served every alternate day, until it became a burden recently due to the piling up of bills receivable from the state government.
Caught in dilemma
“The education officials want us to stick to the menu, but the students like the variety we serve. We are caught in between. Instead of eggs, we serve bananas and chikky, which are equally rich in calories. The complaints are made by some vested interests trying to defame us,” clarifies Leela Parayana Das, Iskcon’s public relations officer in Tirupati.
Meanwhile, Kuppam Area Development Authority (KADA) Special Officer Syam Sundar recently requested Iskcon to launch the midday meal scheme in Kuppam and even allotted a building at Thummisi village. The Iskcon management is undecided yet, keeping in view the ‘unpalatable’ approach taken by the officials towards them.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Srila Prabhupada is a Mahasadhaka in the true sense: Pejavara Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji

ISKCON Bangalore: “It is due to Srila Prabhupada that the bhakti siddhanta advocated by Sri Madhavacharya reached an international level. The word Mahasadhaka clearly applies to Srila Prabhupada,” said His Holiness Sri Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji of Paryaya Sri Pejavara Adhokshaja Matha, Udupi on the occasion of a Seminar and Kavya Goshthi held at Rajangana, Krishna Matha, Udupi on July 3, 2016.
This event entitled ISKCON Sahitya Sambhrama was organized by ISKCON Bangalore in association with Paryaya Sri Pejavara Adhokshaja Matha, Udupi. The seminar was on the book Mahasadhaka, a Kannada biography on Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, written by Dr. Babu Krishnamurthy.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Swamiji said, “Srila Prabhupada holds the credit for spreading the philosophy of devotion to Sri Krishna along with a revolution in moral living all over the world.” Drawing a comparison between the Sri Krishna Matha and ISKCON to two branches of the same tree, he expressed his wishes for their unceasing growth.
Justice Sri N. Kumar, Retd. Judge of the Karnataka High Court said, “Srila Prabhupada is a great personality who created awareness among lakhs of people in the Western countries about the power of devotion to Lord Krishna. At present there is a need to reach his thoughts to Indians more than the Westerners. This task has to be taken up by ISKCON. The teachings of Srila Prabhupada are relevant even today considering the increasing terrorism and frivolous arguments in the world.”
Delivering his chief address, Dr. Bannanje Govindacharya, an eminent Scholar and Padma Shri awardee said, “Prabhupada had the wonderful power of logical sense combined with Krishna bhakti. It was to his credit that he eliminated the hippie culture from the world.”
Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, President of ISKCON Bangalore who presided over the ceremony mentioned in his talk that Srila Prabhupada visited Udupi in 1961 and took the blessings of Udupi Krishna, a few years before leaving to America to preach.
“Today the simple fact that thousands of devotees as well as non-devotees all over the world, who are reading his books, are being influenced and are transforming their lives, proves that he is still living in his books,” he said.
“The Western scholarly world lacked the authentic presentation of the complete Vedantic truth of personal God or the personal aspect of the Absolute Truth, Para Brahman. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada has not only transplanted the Vedantic philosophy in its completeness to the Western world, he also transplanted the culture and lifestyle of India through which they can practice the philosophy of real life.”
The ceremony was graced by His Holiness Sri Sri Vishwa Prasanna Tirtha Swamiji, Junior Pontiff of Paryaya Sri Adhokshaja Matha. Sri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Senior Vice President of ISKCON Bangalore was the Chief Guest. Dr. Babu Krishnamurthy, the author of Mahasadhaka, Prof. Mallepuram G. Venkatesh, Former Vice Chancellor, Karnataka Sanskrit University, Sri B. Gopalachar, Director, Sri Vadiraja Samshodhana Pratishthana, Udupi and Sri Stoka Krishna Dasa, Vice President, ISKCON Bangalore were among other dignitaries present in the ceremony.
The seminar began with a review of Mahasadhaka. Dr. Raghavendra Patil, Dharwad, presided over this session. Dr. C. Nanjundaiah, Adichunchanagiri, Smt. Mala Manjunath, Bengaluru, Dr. Rohinaksha Shirlalu, Puttur, Dr. B. Shivarama Shetty, Mangaluru, Dr. Rajashekhara Halemane, Ujire were among the scholars who presented their views on the biography.
In the second session of the seminar, Prof. Sidduyapalaparavi, Gadag, Dr. M. A. Hegade, Sirsi, Dr. Bairamangala Ramegowda, Bengaluru, Sri Tirumala Rao, Bengaluru and Dr. S. K. Sureshacharya, Udupi participated in a conversation with Dr. Babu Krishna Murthy and expressed their opinions about the book.
The seminar was followed by a Kavya Goshthi (reciting of poetries on Sri Krishna, composed by renowned Kannada poets) in the presence of His Holiness Sri Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji and Sri Sri Vishwa Prasanna Tirtha Swamiji. Nine renowned poets from the state recited poetries at this program.
The valedictory ceremony was presided over by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa. Dr. S. R. Leela, Sanskrit scholar and former MLC, Bengaluru delivered the valedictory address. Sri Lakshmisha Tolpadi, a well-known thinker and Sri D. P. Ananthacharya, Trustee, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, Tirupati were the Chief Guests.
The event was attended by many eminent scholars and celebrities from different parts of Karnataka.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Iskcon organises Iftar Samabesh

TIMES OF INDIA: KOLKATA: Nabadwip, boasts of a heritage of brotherhood among varied communities for more than 500 years. Back in the 16th century, it began when Sri Chaitanya MahaPrabhu sowed the seeds of an eternal relationship with the then magistrate, Chand Kazi by means of congregational chanting. In fact, the acquaintance blossomed into an uncle-nephew relationship. Soon after this incident Chand Kazi approved MahaPrabhu to perform Harinama Sankirtan without any government interruptions.

Goa government waives off ISKCON's registration fee

TIMES OF INDIA: PANAJI: Goa cabinet on Friday exempted International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) from payment of registration fee of Rs 23.82 lakhs. The ISKCON had written to chief minister's office in January 2015 to waive off its registration fees towards registration of deed of gift of land admeasuring 23,824 sq meters under survey no 70/1 at Chorao in North Goa.

35,000 school kids in Telangana to receive mid-day meals from Akshaya Patra foundation

INDIA TODAY: The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which has recently received the Nikkei Asia Prize on May 29, will soon be providing mid-day meals to around 35,000 children of the Ranga Reddy district near Hyderabad, Telangana. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Bengaluru, India.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which recently received the Nikkei Asia Prize on May 29, will soon be providing mid-day meals to around 35,000 children of the Ranga Reddy district near Hyderabad, Telangana. The Bengaluru-based foundation was awarded this prize for its contributions towards development in Asia under the economic and business innovation category.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Akshaya Patra Foundation, Chinese scientist, Mongolian actor honored

From left: Nikkei Asia Prize recipients Dogmid Sosorbaram, Madhu Pandit Dasa from the Akshaya Patra Foundation and Jiang Lei at the awards ceremony in Tokyo on May 29
Nikkei Asia Review: TOKYO - A foundation that provides free lunches to school children in India, a Chinese scientist who specializes in biomimetics, and a Mongolian performing artist who helped usher his country toward democracy were awarded this year's Nikkei Asia Prizes at a ceremony in Tokyo on Sunday.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

50 Year Full Circle for ISKCON's Acarya

ISKCON IRM: Back To Prabhupada, Issue 50, Winter 2015/16

The last 50 years have seen the position of the "Acarya" in ISKCON undergo various changes. Here we undertake a review of these changes to reveal how dramatically, on the 50th anniversary of ISKCON, these changes have actually come full circle!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

ISKCON temple row: Odisha officials conduct on-spot survey

Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) Central Division A B Ota today conducted an on-spot survey of the land in Sipasarubali mouza of Baliapanda area in Odisha’s holy town Puri wherein International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has proposed to construct the controversial second Jagannath temple.

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