Annual Ministry Report 2010
a. Education and Training
Gaura Purnima Seminars 2010
Celebration of 30 years of Sri Mayapur Nama Hatta
- Various guests attended including Bhakti Raghava Swami, Gauranga Prema Swami, Angira Muni Prabhu, and many pioneers from Sri Mayapur Nama Hattta.
- The following table shows the list of achievements over the last 30 years
|Home Programs – Sandhya arotik, Q&A, Bhajan, Japa 1 round, lecture and Prasadam||780 000|
|Mini Pandal Programs – Harinam, Sandhya arotik, class, bhajan, japa booth and Prasadam||4 500 000|
|Large Pandal Programs – Harinama, Sandhya Arotik Class, Bhajan, Japa Booth, Q&A, Drama, Cinema, Book distr., exibitions and Prasadam||9 000 000|
|Shradhavans (members chanting 1 round)||16860|
|Krsna Sevaks (members chanting 4 rounds)||10259|
|Krsna Sadhaks (members chanting 8 rounds)||6265|
|Srila Prabhupada asraya (members chanting 16 rounds)||3985|
|Sri Guru Asraya (members chanting 16 rounds)||2880|
A 4 day seminar: Happy families, Happy communities.
- Focusing on the importance of a strong, spiritually centred Grhasta ashram.
Seminars by Kaunteya das
• 20-24 hours course “Building Vibrant Vaisnava Communities” presented within the ISKCON. Leads program to more than one hundred leaders and potential leaders of Eastern India, Western India and Southern India. Presented in Pune, Tirupati and Siliguri International Community Building Convention.
• The Ministry facilitated the first international community building convention for the Gulf region, with dozens of leaders from 5 countries attending in Dubai – reception was extremely favorable, to the point that devotees plan to have it as a yearly event.
Topics covered at the convention were:
- Group Life
- The Balancing Act
- Challenges of Leadership
Seminars by Vijay Venu Gopal das and Prema Padmini devi dasi
- Tirupati, Vijayawada, Guntur, Pune, Aravade, Nagpur: (Introduction to Vaishnava Community Building through Bhakti Vriksha).
- Mumbai- Seminar on devotee care at Juhu Tample during the GBC meetings.
- Bangalore- Performance review of the Bhakti Vriksha groups and seminar on the Secrets of success of the Bhakti Vriksha program.
- Ujjain (Iskcon Leads West Zone): Caring Vaishnava Leadership, and Devotee Care – Principles, Guidelines, and Best Practices.
- London: Training for new BV Group Leaders; Birmingham : Introduction to implementation of BV.
- Moscow, East Siberian festival, West Siberian Festival, Abkhazia Festival, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl, Ivanovo, Rybinsk, Ekaterinburg, Perm: Seminars on Vaishnava Comuunity Building and BV system, Performance Review of existing BV groups.
- BV Winter Festival, (Moscow): Bhakti Vriksha Training School for leaders.
- Belarus – Minsk – Seminar on Vaishnava Comuunity Building and Implementing BV system.
- Avatari Desh, Shyama Desh, Damodar Desh, Mathuradesh- Seminars on Caring Vaishnava Leadership, Vaishnava Community Building, BV system Implementation, and Performance Review of BV groups.
- Creation of Vaishnava Communities based on devotee care.
- Living a happy and Krsna centred grhastha life.
- Overcoming obstacles in providing devotee care.
- Caring Leadership.
Progress in Russia and Middle East
The BV communities in Russia, and UK are developing very nicely. A new generation of leaders have started new groups. Multiplication by over four times has taken place in the last two years. There are about fifty groups in Moscow, another 45 in the Golden Ring region around Moscow, and five to fifteen groups in another ten or fifteen places in Russia.
Young and well-educated people are becoming devotees. Eleven marriages have taken place in the last one year among the BV group members in Moscow in the last one year.
The young BV leaders are able to organise popular weeklong festivals on their own. In the Middle East, too, steady expansion is taking place, in spite of the large number of devotees, including leaders, leaving the region due to recession.
Training for Bhakti Vriksha leaders in Bangalore
- ISKCON Sri Sri Jagannath Mandir’s Congregational devotees conducted a Bhakti Virksha Mahasabha.
- The main objective of this program which is conducted annually is an occasion for ‘Team Building’, for renewing the ‘Vision’ and in general to have ‘Fun Time’ together wherein the attendees being the entire hierarchy of BV leaders of our yatra consisting of Asst. Servant Leaders, Servant Leaders, Sector Servants, Circle Servants and the Program Director.
Note about progress in Bangalore
We thought that we should include some information about Bangalore considering the detrimental effect of Ritvik philosophy there in the last few years. There are more than 80 bhakti vriksha groups and more than 250 people took shelter and initiation in ISKCON.
Expansion of the Malaysian Damodara program
- In Kuala Lumpur, the Damodara program has been going on for the past 10 years.
- Started with only 24 homes in 2001, in 2011 there were more than 5000 home programs.
- The growth is exponential with tremendous response from public as a whole. It is a ‘feel good’ program that breaks the social barrier between the mass and ISKCON.
ISKCON Prison Ministry – from Bhakti Lata dasi
- Reestablished the Freedom Newsletter (sending 75 monthly, increasing to 120 recepients in 2011.
- Reestablished IPM website with the technical help of Pancaratna Dasa (from Alachua). This website creates a centralized place where people can have information about IPM’s activities and get help when needed. Regularly, devotees contact me when their friends or family members do time. Chaplains have contacted me many times to get material for their inmates who are interested in practicing or learning more about KC.
- Set up a phone number specifically for IPM, for the same reasons as described above for the website.
- Created IPM NEWS, to share electronically the new material and articles posted on the IPM website.
- Centralized the BTG mailing (now 150 sent from my office, increasing to 200 recipients in 2011), thus eliminating double shipping.
- Gathering IPM book scores to post on the IPM website and the Sankirtan Newsletter.
- Training new IPM pen pals (sending them a CD of files of information about KC to answer inmates’ questions) and keeping in touch with them on a regular basis.
Projects in progress
- Creating a manual for new IPM volunteers.
- Creating a support system for released inmates, the Adopt-an-Inmate Program.
- Supporting devotees starting IPM programs in UK.
- Corresponding with between 40 to 50 inmates.
- Regularly sending books to chaplains and other IPM volunteers.
- Regularly sending books to inmates on behalf of other volunteers.
- Posting articles on devotee websites (Dandavat, Chakra, Krsna.com).
- Cooperating regularly with other seasoned IPM volunteers all over the States: Srutadeva dasa, Candra dasa, Balabhadra dasa, Bhakta Kevin, Jatayu dasa, Akhilananda dasa, Bhavananda dasa, Bhakta David, Bhakta Andrew.
- Sri Godruma Kalpatavi (“The Desire-tree Grove of Godruma”) is an English translation of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s newsletter collection.
- Holy Jail by Chandramauli Swami – the prisoners, with great depth, express how they came to Krsna through the help of ISKCON Prison Ministries and how their lives have been changed for the better through the love and care showered upon them by IPM sevaks.
New website and database
We are developing a new website for the Ministry at www.iskconcongregation.com. This site will be a positive source of information and resources about Congregational development for ISKCON communities and individuals practicing Krsna Consciousness is their own homes, and the forums will be moderated to ensure that they are a safe, positive place for devotees to gain association and encouragement.
The site also hosts the Ministry database online, which now tracks all interactions with the Ministry, so that we can better serve devotees’ needs.
- Commenced correspondence with leaders and active preachers to create an awareness of our resources in an attempt to support their efforts.
- Collecting scores from temples, to ascertain trends in Congregational development in ISKCON and to acknowledge outstanding achievements.
- Requesting nominations from GBC members for devotees who have made an exceptional contribution to Congregational development.