Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hyderabad becomes home to Telangana’s first golden temple

On the main ‘Kumbhaprokshana’ day on Sunday, rituals such as ‘Poornahuti’, ‘Prana Prathistha’ and ‘Samporkshana’, among others, were performed in the presence of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamy.
Telangana Today: Hyderabad: Telangana’s first golden temple at Hare Krishna Movement (HKM) — Swayambhu Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamykshetram — at Banjara Hills Road 12 was inaugurated by Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday.

The once old and small temple has been changed into a golden structure by HKM, Hyderabad. The 40-ft main ‘gopuram’ (gatehouse tower) of the temple has been plated with gold, besides gopurams of other temples, including Sri Panchajanyeshwara Swamy, Sri Garuda, Sri Radha Govinda and Sri Anjaneya Swamy, in the complex. A total of 4.5 kg gold was used for this.

After offering ‘Pattu Vastralu’ and ‘Thalambaralu’ for the first kalyanam of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, Naidu said temples have been the centres of India’s cultural ethos from time immemorial. They have been centres of music, dance and spiritual upliftment of the masses, he said.

Naidu said he was impressed by the gamut of services being rendered by HKM, and lauded initiatives were taken up by it such as food distribution programmes of Akshaya Patra, Bhojanamritha , Saddhi Moota (feeding farmers and ‘hamalis’ in market yards) and Akshaya Alpaharam.
Madhu Pandit Dasa, chairman of Akshaya Patra Foundation and HKM, president of ISKCON Bangalore, thanked all the donors who contributed generously to the cause.

On the main ‘Kumbhaprokshana’ day on Sunday, rituals such as ‘Poornahuti’, ‘Prana Prathistha’ and ‘Samporkshana’, among others, were performed in the presence of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamy.

Chanchalapathi Dasa, vice-chairman of Akshaya Patra Foundation and HKM, vice-president, ISKCON, Bangalore, Endowment Minister A Indrakaran Reddy, Mayor Bonthu Rammohan, MP K Keshava Rao, former Union Minister and MP Bandaru Dattatreya, MLA G Kishan Reddy and devotees participated in the event.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Iskcon will soon provide free education to 25,000 children


TIMES OF INDIA: Iskcon Bangalore president Madhu Pandit Dasa, on Saturday, said after the success of Akshay Patra Foundation, Iskcon will soon venture into the education sector by providing free education to at least 25,000 underprivileged children on one single campus.

Madhu Pandit Dasa, also the chairman of Akshaya Patra Foundation, said 32 kitchens are being built across the country under Akshaya Patra programme. “We are already running 36 kitchens,” he said.

He was awarded Padma Shri for his mid-day meal service at schools rendered under Akshaya Patra initiative. He said the foundation aims to feed five million children by 2020.

Madhu Pandit Dasa is the brainchild behind Telangana’s first golden temple dedicated to Swayambhu Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. The temple is located on road no. 12, Banjara Hills. When asked about the gold plating, he said it was done to attract people of all classes. “We have to make it glittery. If I sit under a tree, no one will come to me,” he said.

The IIT graduate was attracted towards the spiritual path after reading books of Srila Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of Iskcon, during his college days. Akshaya Patra Foundation is based on spiritual leader Swami Prabhupada’s principle of no child going hungry. It has taken upon itself the responsibility of providing food to children in schools across different regions of the country.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

London’s poor get a taste of Akshaya Patra

Times Of India: Akshaya Patra’s first kitchen in London serves 2,000 vegetarian meals to poor students and the homeless.
At Kentish Town in northwest London, around 40 poor men queue up for a paper plate of steaming vegetable stew and rice. “It’s a life-saver in this freezing cold,” explains Andrew Moran, 53, one of the group. “A lot of people would starve otherwise.”
No one is aware an Indian charity is funding their meal.
For the past two years, Akshaya Patra Foundation UK/Europe focus has been on fundraising to help pay for 1.6 million midday meals for schoolchildren in India. But the Indian charity has now turned its attention to the poor in Britain.
It has opened its first kitchen in London and started serving 2,000 nutritious vegetarian meals per day for free to students and the homeless. Next, it will expand to schoolchildren, the elderly and hospital patients. Half a million children go to school hungry in the UK, 70,000 of whom live in London.
A 2,000-sqft makeshift kitchen has been carved out of the basement of a building in Holborn where members of the UK charity Food for All make vegetable stew, pasta, and superfood porridge. Akshaya Patra has teamed up with the charity to cook and distribute the food in vans and by rickshaws to three feeding points in London for homeless people, and to SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) and LSE (London School of Economics) for poor students.
“Food for All had the manufacturing licences and experience. We will scale it up and make it more organised,” says CEO Bhawani Singh Shekhawat. The philosophy is the same as that used to create mid-day meals but recipes are suited to the local palate. “We don’t offer sambar but it is still ayurvedic, protein-balanced food with no additives and we don’t re-heat,” he adds.
Last summer, as a pilot the charity offered meals to 100 schoolchildren at a holiday club at Newham Catholic College. In the UK three million children go hungry during the holidays. “There are families of six living on a food budget of £80 a month who cannot afford to feed their children. Many working parents send their children to these holiday clubs with a bag of crisps. The last meal they had was at 6pm the night before. It is the responsibility of the state but there is a lack of funding,” says Shekhawat.
At the kitchen, Parasuram Das, who founded Food For All and is the head of manufacturing at the Akshaya Patra UK project, is delighted. He had emailed Goldman Sachs the day before, introducing himself as a new bank next door to theirs — except his was a “food bank.” “The next morning they were down here seeing how they could help,” he says. As we speak someone from a building company working on the construction of Goldman Sachs’ new London offices arrives and offers to pay for all the paper plates worth £250 a week and a £35 sack of dal a day.
Das goes around supermarkets each evening collecting wonky vegetables, short-dated products and supermarket surplus which he uses to make dishes. He also receives donations from wholesalers who supply Indian supermarkets in the UK. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

ISKCON Bangalore Devotees At Sri Chaitanya Sambramostsava, Udupi

Udupi, March 07, 2018: ISKCON Bangalore in association with Sri Krishna Matha, Udupi celebrated Sri Chaitanya Sambhramotsava at Rajangana Hall in the Matha’s premises on March 4, 2018, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It began with kirtans by ISKCON devotees.

The event was held to commemorate the divine advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the spiritual revolutionary who stressed the performance of bhakti-yoga unto Lord Krishna and spread the Harinama sankirtana across India, over 500 years ago.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu belongs to the Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya which originated from Sri Madhvacharya. Sri Madhvacharya established a temple of Lord Krishna in Udupi in the 13th century and since then it has been one of the major centres of pilgrimage in India.

The inaugural ceremony was held in the gracious presence of His Holiness Sri Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swamiji of Paryaya Sri Palimaru Matha and His Holiness Sri Vishvesha Tirtha Swamiji of Sri Pejavara Matha. Sri Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami, scholar and religious leader, Sri Radharamana Temple, Vrindavan and Sri A Haridasa Bhatta, renowned Madhwa scholar were the Chief Guests. His Grace Madhu Pandit Dasa, President, ISKCON Bangalore presided over the ceremony. Prof. Mallepuram G. Venkatesh, Former Vice Chancellor, Karnataka Sanskrit University; His Grace Chanchalapathi Dasa, Senior Vice President, ISKCON Bangalore; His Grace Stoka Krishna Dasa, Vice President, ISKCON Bangalore; His Grace Vasudev Keshav Dasa, Vice President, ISKCON Bangalore and His Grace Rajiv Lochan Dasa, President, ISKCON Hubballi were among the other dignitaries who graced the event.

Speaking on the occasion, His Holiness Vishvesha Tirtha Swamiji said, “Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spread the message of kirtana, “kirtaniyah sada harih” to the common man.  If Hindu dharma is still surviving in Bengal and Odisha today, it is due to the influence of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.”

He also released the book “Sri Chaitanya Sambhrama” which presents the teachings of Sri Chaitanya in Kannada as explained by scholars for the common man.

His Holiness Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swamiji said, “Our body which is created by God is meant for contemplating and discussing His topics. Sri Chaitanya has shown us that this body has to be dedicated to God by lifting both His hands.”

•••••••••••••••••
Sri Shrivatsa Goswami said, “Sri Chaitanya made a bold statement that if this world has to survive, it can survive only on the basis of bhakti. He went beyond the four kinds of purusharthas and revealed that prema-bhakti is the fifth and the ultimate purushartha.” Speaking about the profound influence of Sri Madhvacharya’s teachings on Sri Chaitanya, he said, “Udupi and Sri Madhvacharya go a long way in shaping the final viewpoint of the bhakti system of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.”

Sri Haridasa Bhatta, quoting a verse from the Bhagavata said that even if one follows the religious duties perfectly, if his eyes are not filled with tears upon remembering Krishna or chanting His names, then all his performances are just useless labour. He mentioned three symptoms of bhakti as stated by Sri Madhvacharya – chitta drava (melting of the stone-like heart), sthairya (unflinching dedication to the Lord) and prasada (cheerful countenance). He went on to say that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is a great soul who, through the philosophy of achintya-bhedabheda-tattva, united all common people irrespective of the disagreement in their philosophical viewpoints and brought about a great revolution by spreading the message of bhakti.

His Grace Madhu Pandit Dasa said, “Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is known for sankirtana yajna. He stresses this in His Shikshastaka, in which all the eight verses are connected to Nama sankirtana.” Speaking about the philosophical truths brought out by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he said, “Sri Chaitanya revealed that every jiva is an eternal servant of Krishna. This is the constitutional relationship between jiva and Krishna. Another important revelation by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the relationship between jiva and jiva which is – I am the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna. Hence I have to relate with all souls by respecting that they are also eternal servants of Krishna.”

After the inaugural ceremony, Matajis from ISKCON Bangalore sang Bengali Vaishnava bhajans.

The next part of the event was Vichara and Kavya Gosthi – deliberations on the various pastimes of Sri Chaitanya’s life by eminent scholars and poets that included Nadoja B. V. Satyanarayana, Sri Gouripura Chandru, Sri S. Seetharamu, Dr. Durgapraveena, Dr. Kabbinale Vasantha Bharadwaj, Dr. Belavadi Manjunatha, Dr. T. G. Prabhashankara Premi and Dr. Rohinaksha Shirlalu. The themes of their narration and poetry were – Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, Haridasa Thakura, Sanatana Gosvami and Sri Chaitanya’s South India Tour.

The special invitees who attended the event included Prof. Sripathi Tantri, Udupi; Sri Ambathanaya Mudradi, Udupi; Dr. Heranje Krishna Bhatta, Puttur; Prof. M. L. Samaga, Udupi; Dr. Prabhakara Joshi, Mangaluru; Prof. Padekallu Vishnu Bhatta, Athradi; Dr. Satheesh Kumar Kemmannu, Nitte; Dr. Vasanthakumara Perla, Mangaluru and Dr. Shridhara Bhatta, Ujire.  

The final part of the event was an enthusiastic maha sankirtana by all devotees following which sumptuous lunch prasadam was served to all.

The devotees also participated in the grand Ratha Yatra held within the temple precincts in the evening. While the Ratha carrying Lord Krishna traversed around the temple, devotees performed sankirtana and danced with bliss.   

Over 700 devotees from ISKCON Bangalore group of temples from different parts of the country participated in this event.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Bengaluru: Millets in mid-day meals, Akshaya Patra starts pilot

Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda and Akshaya Patra Foundation Vice Chairman, Chanchalapathi Dasa at the launch of millets in the mid-day meal scheme by the Foundation in Bengaluru on Friday
Bengaluru: The Akshaya Patra Foundation on Friday launched a pilot programme in partnership with the state government to introduce millets in the mid-day meal scheme. The event was held at a government higher primary school in Kumaraswamy Layout.

The Agriculture and Education Departments too will be partners in the programme. The project will cover 1,622 children across 10 government and government-aided schools in Bengaluru and later will extend to all the 4,86,172 beneficiaries served by Akshaya Patra in the state.

Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda said, “The country has taken strides in achieving food security. The mid-day meals programme in Karnataka has ensured food security for children. To further this agenda, we need to focus on nutrition security, particularly among children. Introducing millets in mid-day meals is a great beginning. Millets are not only rich in nutrients, but also good for our health. At the same time, smallholding farmers and environment too will benefit.”

Ms. Joanna Kane-Potaka, the Leader, Smart Food Initiative for International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), said, “Making millets popular to the masses again will be a major breakthrough in overcoming malnutrition and rural poverty while being more sustainable for the environment. It can also drive new markets and business opportunities. It is also predicted to be the next superfood globally.”

Other organizations which will contribute to this initiative are the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), M.S. Swaminathan Foundation (MSSRF), National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), and other government and industry groups.

Millets mela from Jan. 19

The state government is organizing “The Organics and Millets 2018”, an international trade fair from January 19 to 21 at Bengaluru Palace. The trade fair is meant to create awareness among the public about the benefits of organic and millets foods. Also, millet beer is becoming popular and it comes in a variety of combinations with ragi, jaggery, and barley and other varieties of millets are used in a combination with fruits, spices, and vegetables. A millets beer festival, in association with the International Trade Fair in Organics and Millets, will also be held simultaneously. Pubs in the city will serve millet beers from Jan 19 for two weeks.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Ms Maneka Gandhi, launches The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s Coffee Table Book ‘Be Happy’

The Hans India: Mumbai: The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a not-for-profit working towards fighting classroom hunger launched its first coffee table book – ‘Be Happy’, in the presence of MsManeka Gandhi, Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development. Published by Harper Collins, and photographed by Senthil Kumar and PremJayanth, this book captures the lives of beneficiaries at The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which feeds more than 1.6 million children across the country, through the Government’s Mid-Day Meal Programme. 

Senthil Kumar, the photographer behind the beautiful images, was inspired by the smiles the children adorned, their character and their relationship to the world surrounding them, despite the hardships they faced. Senthil Kumar has won several Cannes Lions, Best Photographer Award by Asian Photography magazine, and the title of Most Influential People in Photography award multiple times.
 
This coffee table book is an ode to the beloved children - beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra. It offers a glimpse of their simple, innocent, fun-filled lives. The pictures in this book tell stories of their homes, parents, and their lives in and outside the school. It is a dual celebration, of lives of the children, and Akshaya Patra's aim of transforming ‘food’ into an enabler of ‘education’. Within the pages, one will find portraits of children that will not only inspire thoughtful conversation but will also lead to action.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

ISKCON Vijayawada President Ram Murari Dasa Attacks A Female Devotee

This is an exclusive report received by ISKCON Truth Team today. This report was not only disturbing but something which was not ready to publish but we are Narasimha's devotees and that is what motivated us to release this news. 

On Prabhupada's disappearance day Oct 23rd, 2017 Jaya Lakshmi Dasi as usually went to the temple to do seva with her family. She had been requested by new pujari or priest to clean Puja Samaghri (utensils). She went to the room to clean them at the same time Ram Murari (temple president) also present there. They questioned her why she came inside. A request was put in front of her; if she wants to continue seva in the temple, she must ask for forgiveness by touch Ram Murari feet. She opposed that and he created a tensed environment with vulgar words and beat her on chest using a hard iron material lock. She tried to defend herself by shouting out loud at her family members who are also present in the temple. They were also beaten by Rama Murari and his other relative with sticks.

It has been recorded that at least 100+ ISKCON Vijayawada devotees have requested the higher iskcon authorities to remove him from the temple president post but by the support of his relatives or temple presidents of Tirupati, AP (Revathi Raman) and Rajahmundry, AP (Sathya Gopinath) none of his heinous acts were exposed to GBC. Revathi Raman now elected as a full-time GBC member, therefore, Ram Murari Dasa will easily escape. 

Below is the message sent to JPS office
Message sent to Mahavaraha Prabhu


Hare krishna prji, please accept my humble obeisances. Prabhuji Ram murari prji beat our god sister when she declined to stop her service,  which pujari prji has told her to do.The only reason was he is forcing us to ask forgiveness and touch his feet as we questioned his misdeeds, even though we brought to notice of H.H.jpsm but none of the action has been taken, it has .been further increased his goondaism of manhandling jaya lakshmi mathaji. If at all they are so much powerful in Iskcon and protecting Ram murari pr  shankha d ari prji had clearly observed nearly 100 devotees have been opposing him and only he had 10devotees support ,but still he didn't give proper  as it is reported to higher authorities, I cant understand how a senior devotee cant really present facts, why he is covering Ram murari misdeeds, what did they understand from B.g .Ram murari prji intention is no one can do any justice to us and he can do whatever he like, that is the only reason he went to this extent of manhandling mathaji and her 15yrs son and husband was unable to protect as he Ram murari another brother in law caught hold of him when that mathaji was being beaten by Ram Murari prabhuji I don't know why no one is interested to stop his atrocities, might be ur all not receiving proper report or whatever mail we r sending might not be taken to H.H.jpsm
These all things have puffed up his ego and he went to such an extent, now we r going to fast and do protest until justice has been done to us.
prabhuji ,if at all anything can be done  pl try to do to protect Iskcon  we love ISKCON so much as it Srila Prabhupada heart   When my mother passed away just before my marriage from that time I got clarity of srila prabhupads books and temparary material world even though my mom loves me so much nothing she was able to do for me , so I diverted my love towards krishna and srila prabhupad ,and have been succesful at each and every step with mercy of srila Prabhupada, if at all srila prabhupad books were not there I wdnt have felt such a protection from the lord every step in my life . My in-laws objected and even blackmailed to give divorce but I was so stubborn and followers iskcon and krishna had me successful at every step of my life , now how can I restrain my self when iskcon  name has been damaged with Ram murari pr activities , should I see who is powerful in materialistic view  r fight for for dharma. Similarly, jaya lakshmi mathaji had come at a het16th year she had her success history, why should we not fight for dharma, our temple sunday programme has been attended only br 30people prevously 300-400 people used to attend when murali mohan prabhuji is president. 
ISKCON is not properly represented until this Ram murari pr is called back we r going to fast. Even now justice cant be done we r ready sacrifice our lives .
This has been forwarded to mahavaraha pr to bring to notice of H,H jpsm

Please atleast now take these issues to notice of HH Jps, as we heard about ur sincerity, the only spiritual master had the right to correct his disciple.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Changing the Regulative Principles - 1

Back To Prabhupada, Issue 54, Winter 2016/17

One of the most basic and preliminary teachings Srila Prabhupada gives is that one should follow the regulative principles, which includes avoiding illicit sex:
"Those interested in Krsna consciousness should [...] strictly follow the regulative principles by avoiding illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication."
(The Nectar of Instruction, Verse 2)
"Out of these four items, illicit sex is very sinful."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 7.128)
Srila Prabhupada mentions these principles many hundreds of times and clearly explains how to follow them. However, in the shaded panels below, we quote from a lecture entitled "What is Illicit Sex", given by GBC-elected diksa guru HG Mahatma Dasa ("MAD"), which was uploaded to social media. All emphases added.
Changing the definition
"Prabhupada has sometimes given the definition that no illicit sex means no sex outside of marriage. [...] My understanding of what he means is that even if you don't plan -- if your sexual activity is not planning to have children but you don't take birth control [...] So sometimes Prabhupada says illicit sex means no sex out of marriage -- that's what he means. He doesn't mean you're using contraceptives or having sex every few days -- that's illicit sex. [...] We're not talking about a couple trying to be celibate but really struggling and sometimes they just can't do it and one of the partners or both of them needs to be satisfied periodically"
MAD states that:
a) Illicit sex is sometimes defined by Srila Prabhupada as "no sex outside of marriage";
b) Which means that sex within marriage is authorised even if it is not for procreation, as long as one does not use birth control and it is only engaged in "periodically" rather than regularly.
However, the facts are that:
1) Srila Prabhupada always defines illicit sex as no sex outside of marriage.
2) Many times he will also elaborate that this means that sex within marriage can only be for the purpose of procreation, e.g.:
"Therefore the sastras enjoin that one may have sexual intercourse only if married and only for procreation. Otherwise, it is illicit. In our Krsna consciousness society, we prohibit illicit sex, but not legal sex."
(Beyond Illusion and Doubt)
The fact that sometimes Srila Prabhupada simply states "no sex outside of marriage" without further elaboration does not mean he is giving another definition for what constitutes "illicit sex".
Illicit sex is service
"Prabhupada has never discussed this publicly. [...] He's never talked about satisfying one's partner. [...] many marriage counsellors say this [...] they feel that keeping the marriage together is more important than strictly adhering to the most, the highest definition of illicit sex. [...] you're doing it as a service and so obviously it requires a lot of detachment to do this as a service. [...] many spiritual masters, [...] will tell their disciples that you should satisfy the sexual needs of your spouse if he's unable to control them -- if it's at the point in which it's going to disturb the marriage"
MAD states that breaking the regulative principles by having illicit sex can be a service if it is necessary to do this in order to save the marriage. However, he admits that this is not something Srila Prabhupada ever preached, and therefore it is his own concoction. MAD also speaks of the "highest definition of illicit sex". But as we just saw, there is only one definition of illicit sex, and MAD claiming otherwise is also another concoction from him.
Illicit sex helps bonding
"maybe I'm stupid for saying it [...] it should be used to create a closer bonding between them. [...] And I expressed this to one senior Godsister because she was also interested in this discussion about what is illicit sex and when she heard that she said that is wonderful, she was so happy to hear that, because as men who have sexual desire, they have to learn if they want to express it, to express it in a way which helps the relationship, which creates what you could call a better bonding or a closer relationship or a better relationship with the wife"
MAD claims that illicit sex can be used to create a better bonding between the husband and wife. However, Srila Prabhupada has never preached this possible "benefit" of illicit sex. Instead, Srila Prabhupada states that all sex life leads to material bondage, rather than any beneficial bonding:
"That means sex life is condemned throughout because that is the cause of material bondage."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 21/1/68)
MAD himself realises the contrary nature of his statement, as he accepts he may be "stupid" for stating it.
"Better" illicit sex
Another GBC-elected diksa guru, HG Matsya Avatar Dasa ("MAT"), has additionally claimed on a GBC-funded website that:
"Illicit sex in family life is like giving methadone to a heroin-addict. Methadone is better than heroin (extramarital conjugal sex) but better than methadone is to rise above the problem. Methadone also creates addiction, but not as strong and devastating as the addiction created by heroin."
("Dandavats", 24/12/16)
MAT claims that just as methadone is better than heroin, so illicit sex within marriage is better than illicit sex outside of marriage since it creates less addiction. But Srila Prabhupada has never stated that one type of illicit sex is "better". Nor has he stated that sex attraction within marriage is less:
"Sex serves as the natural attraction between man and woman, and when they are married, their relationship becomes more involved. [...] The attachment to the family is the strongest illusion."
(SB, 5.5.8)
Conclusion
When speaking of the GBC, who are supposed to lead the Society, Srila Prabhupada stated that they should be "teaching what I am teaching" (Letter to GBC member, 4/8/75). However, as documented above, ISKCON's leaders are not teaching exactly what Srila Prabhupada has taught even in relation to the most basic of his teachings. Rather, due to their tendency to try to surpass Srila Prabhupada being so strong, they will give their own teachings instead of just simply repeating Srila Prabhupada's teachings. Thus, we see here another example of the Prabhupada-Free Paradigm (PFP) in action. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Temple With A Touch Of Glass

Construction on the ISKCON temple in Bengaluru was completed in 1997
Bangalore Mirror: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Bengaluru, is a newer icon when compared to the 1,000-year-old temples in the city. With a blend of tradition and modern architecture, the ISKCON temple is illuminated and devotees from all over the world come to visit here. ISKCON is an example of an architectural landmark in the city.

ISKCON Bangalore was started as a charitable society in 1978. In 1987, the society was operating from a rented house in Bengaluru. In 1987, the leaders of the society applied to Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for allotment of land to construct a grand temple and cultural complex.

The land was allotted on August 3, 1988 - a seven-acre hillock, which was nothing but a huge piece of monolithic rock that could not be converted into sites. The BDA described it as "Waste Land". A temporary shed was constructed to set up a make-shift temple and the deities of Sri Krishna Balarama moved to this shed on the appearance day of Lord Balarama (September 1988).


Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, the President of the ISKCON Bangalore Society, is a qualified civil engineer from IIT (Mumbai) and applied his knowledge to conceive a wonderful temple for Krishna with the help of Sri Jagat Chandra Dasa (a devotee who was also an architect and product engineer from IIT-Mumbai). The unique combination of glass and gopuram represents a fusion between majestic traditional styles and bold new aesthetics.

The original simple temple design started in 1990 estimated to cost Rs 10 crore gave way to a more stunning, unique architectural model that cost Rs 32 crore. The construction started in 1990. Around 600 skilled craftsmen spent more than 10 million man-hours to construct this architectural wonder. About 32,000 cubics mt of stone, 131,250 tons of cement and 1,900 tons of steel were used in the construction. Subsequently, the temple construction was completed in 1997. The temple and cultural complex were inaugurated by then President of India Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma on May 31, 1997.

ISKCON gained popularity for its architecture and the serenity as it was built on a hill. The temple celebrates many festivals and Krishna Janmashtami is something that should not be missed. The flavour, the pomp and shlokas and the grandeur which is given here to Lord Krishna are not given anywhere in the city. Devotees of Lord Vishnu observe Ekadashi Vrata and remember the god by chanting his holy names. Ekadashi is the 11th day of the fortnight of the waxing moon. However, ISKCON Bangalore has been caught in a slew of court cases for a long time now.

Friday, July 28, 2017

ISKCON Akshaya Patra Foundation May End Mid Day Meal Contract


The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) reportedly decided to terminate the mid-meal contract as the state government gave instructions to supply eggs to students as part of the menu.

It may be stated here that the ISKCON has been providing mid-day meal to students of government schools with a service motive for the last few years. According to official information, the ISKCON is supplying mid-day meal for 46,725 students of 464 schools in 11 mandals. 

They are Tirupati (Urban), Tirupati (Rural), Renigunta, Vadamalapet, Ramachandrapuram, Puttur, Piler, Kalikiri, Chinnagottigallu, Yerravanipalem, and Yerpedu. The religious institution believes that egg is a non-vegetarian food. Even though, it is mandatory for the ISKCON to supply eggs to the students in the midday meal as per the prescribed menu. But, it has been offering fruits in place of eggs.

 The ISKCON had made it clear that it won’t provide eggs in the midday meal due to their religious belief. But, the state government instructed the ISKCON to provide eggs to the students as per the recommendation of the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). As a result, the ISKCON reportedly decided to terminate mid-day meal contract.

 It may be recalled that voluntary organisations, student unions and the Left parties were demanding that the government should cancel the contract with the ISKCON as the religious body failed to provide eggs to the students. Two days ago, the NIN said that egg is mandatory in the mid-day meal and alternative food should not be supplemented.

 District Collector P S Pradyumna has instructed the DEO to follow the instructions of the NIN and hand over mid-day meal contract to another agency. 

Speaking to The Hans India here on Wednesday, DEO Samuel said that egg must be provided in midday meal for students. “We are exploring possibilities of providing three eggs per week as part of midday meal scheme through other agency,” he added. The DEO stated that the implementation of the scheme will be entrusted to DWCRA groups if the ISKCON decides to quit the contract.

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