Followers of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, more popularly known the Hare Krishna Movement, will celebrate 1996 as the 100th anniversary year of their founder's birth.
Thirty years ago, at age 69, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada left India on a steamship with a few dollars and a trunkful of scriptures. He landed in New York in September, 1965.
Here he began to chant Hare Krishna in public places. Gradually a following developed, and by 1973 he had opened temples in over a hundred cities worldwide.
Today the movement spans six continents, claims over a million adherents worldwide and lists 400 temples in its bimonthly magazine, "Back to Godhead." Krishna volunteers also say they operate the largest vegetarian food relief program in the world,"Hare Krishna Food for Life." The project, they say, feeds a meal to one undernourished or hungry person every two seconds.
Members of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, practice bhakti-yoga (devotional service to God) and mantra meditation. They have distributed over 500 million books compiled by Srila Prabhupada, containing the spiritual texts of ancient India such as Bhagavad-gita. A central slogan of the "Prabhupada Centennial" is "spiritual solutions to material problems."
The most impressive events will take place in November 1996 when four major temples will open in India, followed by "Feed the World Day" on 23 November, 1996, sponsored by the Food for Life program. On September 6, 1996, ISKCON centers around the world will bathe a deity of Srila Prabhupada with waters Krishna devotees gathered from 1008 holy places throughout India.(Kalash Bathing)
Local celebrations in hundreds of cities will occur throughout the year(1996 Centennial Events), including the centennial inaugural functions, "Hare Krishna World Convention", "World Holy Name Day," commemoration of ISKCON's original incorporation in New York in July 1966, and the India temple openings(1996 Centennial Events in India)
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