Pampore Encounter: Day Later, Terrorists Hold Out In Government Building

A pledge with a social affair of fear mongers who are stowing without end inside an alliance relationship in Pampore, 15 km from Srinagar, has connected for well over a day. Effects and discharges are being heard once in a while from inside and around the building, used to offer fit expecting to vivacious Kashmiris.

An outfitted urge warrior was harmed in the vital satisfaction yesterday. The data being shared here is put off so as not to hazard the security powers doing engaging the mental oppressors.

Powers said the experience has related on in light of the way that the building offers an “opening like” security to the fear mongers. Clearly especially stacked in ammo and supplies, they have shown an imperativeness to hold out and draw out the operation.

There are no prisoners, sources said, in light of the way that classes have been suspended for over three months in view of the anguish in the express that started with the killing of 22-year-old mental oppressor Burhan Wani.

Source:- NDTV

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Ajit Singh Has Lost Forever,’ Says Uma Bharti Amid Buzz On UP Alliance

Smart City programme: Ambassadors of 150 countries invited to Investment Summit

In a major international outreach to garner investments in the flagship Smart City programme, the Narendra Modi government has invited ambassadors of all 150 missions in India to a grand investment summit on May 19.

The government would pitch projects worth Rs 50,560 crore across 20 cities, chosen through a competitive process conducted all over India, to be developed as smart cities in the first phase.

According to sources, most countries have confirmed their participation in the summit, which is being held at Taj Mansingh hotel. Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu would inaugurate the summit and invite countries for investment opportunities.

 

Source:ET

Himachal’s Dharamsala again gets Smart City tag

Dharamsala, the hill station in Himachal Pradesh that has lured hundreds of thousands of Westerners since Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama settled here, was on Tuesday again included in the central government’s list of Smart Cities.

Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu announced in New Delhi the 13 winners of the Fast Track Smart Cities competition.

They are Lucknow, Warangal, Dharamsala, Chandigarh, Raipur, New Town Kolkata, Bhagalpur, Panaji, Port Blair, Imphal, Ranchi, Agartala and Faridabad.

 

Source: ET

ISKCON Stockholm Campaigns to Save Center

Devotees in Stockholm, Sweden, are campaigning to save their Hare Krishna Center, which has served the public for 34 years and is the oldest Hindu temple in the city.

Every three years so far, the Center has renewed its lease with its landlord, Familjebostader (Family Residences), a property company that is owned by the Municipality of Stockholm and builds properties for public benefit.

But in December 2014, the company cancelled ISKCON’s rental contract, effective September 2015, with plans to use the building for another purpose.

While this is a legal practice, the law also requires the the company to provide compensation for its renters, so that they can smoothly set up elsewhere. However so far it has agreed to provide only the absolute minimum compensation.

“That would mean we would not be able to relocate and would be forced to close down our activities,” says Tapas Das, who has been temple president since 1999.

The Hare Krishna Center’s first response was to bring the case to the public negotiations office. Because Family Residence’s contractor failed to start work on the set date, the office was able to make them postpone the eviction until September 30th this year.

In the meantime, devotees attempted to come to a settlement with Family Residences for more appropriate compensation, following the company’s own requirements.

University students  chant and dance during a visit to learn about Krishna consciousness

“We put together a very comprehensive document including our history, details on what services we offer to society, and testimonies, and presented it to them in December 2015,” says Tapas. “But so far, their lawyer hasn’t responded. Biding time is their tactic.”

The document shows how the Hare Krishna Center is a cultural treasure for the city of Stockholm, bringing diversity and benefit to the public. It is reasonable to claim, devotees say, that a municipal property company has a special responsibility to take this public service into consideration.

Established in 1982, the Hare Krishna Center is located in Fridhemsplan, a busy and very accessible central area of Stockholm. It actually includes two separate buildings: the Center – with a holistic spiritual gift shop – and Govinda’s, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the city.

ISKCON 50 Meditations: April 26, 2016

How difficult it was becoming to preach in America among these crazy people!  He had written prophetically in his poem the day he had arrived in Boston Harbor, “My dear Lord, I do not know why You have brought me here.  Now You can do with me whatever You like.  But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?”  What about his scheduled classes?  What about David – should he go back and try to talk with the boy?  This had been David’s first fit of violence, but there had been other tense moments.  David had a habit of leaving the soap on the floor of the shower stall and Prabhupada had asked him not to because it was a hazard.  But David wouldn’t listen.  Prabhupada had continued to remind him, and one day David had gotten angry and shouted at him.  But there was no real enmity.  Even today’s incident had not been a matter of personal differences – the boy was a victim.

Prabhupada walked quickly.  He had free passage on the Scindia Line.  He could go home to Vrindavana.  But his spiritual master had ordered him to come here.  “By the strong desire of Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura,” he had written while crossing the Atlantic, “the holy name of Lord Gauranga will spread throughout the countries of the Western world.”  Before nightfall he would have to find some place to stay, a way to keep up the momentum of his preaching.  This is what it meant to be working without government sponsorship, without the support of any religious organization, without a patron.  It meant being vulnerable and insecure.  Prabhupada faced the crisis as a test from Krishna.  The instruction of  Bhagavad-gita was to depend on Krishna for protection: “In all activities just depend upon Me and work always under My protection.  In such devotional service be fully conscious of Me … You will pass over all the obstacles of conditional life by My grace.”

He decided to phone Carl Yeargens and ask him to help.  Hearing the Swami’s voice on the phone – it was an emergency! – Carl at once agreed that Prabhupada could move in with him and his wife, Eva.  Their place was close by, on Centre Street, five blocks west of Bowery near Chinatown.  Carl would be right over.

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ISKCON 50 Meditations: April 24, 2016

If Krishna consciousness was ever to take hold in America, it would have to be without assistance from the Indian government or Indian financiers.  Not even a lone Indianbrahmacari would join him.  Krishna was revealing His plan to Prabhupada in a different way.  With the Singhania-sanction schemes finished and behind him, Prabhupada would turn all his energy toward the young men and women coming to him in his Bowery loft.  He wrote to Sumati Morarji:

I am now trying to incorporate one corporation of the local friends and admirers under the name International Society for Krishna Conscious.

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ISKCON 50 Meditations: April 13, 2016

New people began coming to see Prabhupada on the Bowery.  Carl Yeargens, a thirty-three year-old, black, bearded man from the Bronx had attended Cornell University and was now independently studying Indian religion and Zen Buddhism.  He had experimented with drugs as “psychedelic tools” and he had an interest in the music and poetry of India.  He was influential among his friends and tried to interest them in meditation.  He had even been dabbling in Sanskrit.

Carl:  I had just finished reading a book called The Wonder That Was India.  I had gotten the definition of a sannyasi and a brahmacari and so forth.  There was a vivid description in that particular book of how you could see a sannyasicoming down the road with his saffron robe.  It must have made more than a superficial impression on me, because it came to me on this one chilly evening.  I was going to visit Michael Grant – probably going to smoke some marijuana and sit around, maybe play some music – and I was coming down Hester Street.  If you make a left on the Bowery, you can go up to Mike’s place on Grand Street.  But it’s a funny thing that I chose to go that way, because the shorter way would have been to go down Grand Street.  But if I had gone that way, I probably would have missed Swamiji. 

So I decided to go down Hester and make a left.  All of a sudden I saw in this dingy alcove, a brilliant saffron robe.  As I passed, I saw it was Swamiji knocking on the door, trying to gain entrance.  There were two bums hunched up against the door.  It was like a two-part door – one of them was sealed and the other was locked.  The two bums were lying on either side of Swamiji.  One of these men had actually expired – which often happened and you had to call the police or health department to get them. 

I don’t think I saw the men lying in the doorway until I walked up to Swamiji and asked him, “Are you a sannyasi?”  And he answered, “Yes.”  We started this conversation about how he was starting a temple, and he mentioned Lord Caitanya and the whole thing.  He just came out with this flow of strange things to me, right there in the street.  But I knew what he was talking about somehow.  I had the familiarity of having just read this book and delved into Indian religion.  So I knew that this was a momentous occasion for me and I wanted to help him.  We banged on the door and eventually we got into the loft.  He invited me to come to a kirtana, and I came back later that night for my first kirtana.  From that point on, it was a fairly regular thing – three times a week.  At one point Swamiji asked me to stay with him, and I stayed for about two weeks.

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ISKCON 50th Anniversary Festival at 26 Second Avenue

Most devotees know that 26 Second Avenue was the first Hare Krishna temple outside India, the place from 1966-68 where Srila Prabhupada performed the first initiations, the place where ISKCON’s first generation of leaders were trained, the place where Bhagavad Gita As It is was written. At the end of 1968, so many people were coming to Krishna consciousness that a bigger location was needed. Over the years, the New York temple has relocated to bigger and bigger spaces. But there is only one 26 Second Avenue, and it remains—a half-century later—one of the most sacred pilgrimages places in the Western World.

Thanks to devotees at the Brooklyn temple, in 1991 ISKCON was able to reclaim 26 2nd Avenue and we’ve been renting the space ever since. The 15-year lease that was signed in 2001 was up for renewal this year. Much has happened over those 15 years. The East Village has transformed from a derelict neighborhood to one of New York’s luxury locations. Real estate in the area has sky rocketed; likewise the terms of ISKCON’s new lease, renewed this time for a modest three years, reflect the financial changes to the neighborhood.

It won’t take much to secure this sacred space—provided devotees all come together. Here’s how people can help, both devotionally and financially.

Between now and July 1, devotees around the world have a chance to safeguard the Mecca of Krishna Consciousness in the West. They can make a donation now of $108 and be one of the worldwide team who are stepping forward to secure Srila Prabhupada’s first temple—26 Second Avenue—with a three-year lease.

20,000 Students at Largest Youth Festival in the History of ISKCON

Over 20000 students attended a mega youth festival organized by ISKCON Pune on 20th March to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ISKCON. The event, which was attended by principles of various colleges, political leaders from the youth community, the education commissioner of Pune and several other VIPs, was widely covered by several newspapers and broadcast on Indian’s national TV channel, Doordarshan. The theme of the event was ‘Drishti – Bharat leads the world’ and showcased India’s real spiritual wealth by means of which the country has the capacity to lead the entire world.

The Pune temple formed a steering committee of 12 youth preachers headed by Antardvipa Das who heads the city’s VOICE preaching centres for young people.

“Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON 50 years ago to fulfil the prediction of Lord Chaitanya that the holy names of Lord Krishna will be chanted all over the world,” explained Radheshyam Das, President of ISKCON Pune.

He explained that ISKCON had flourished and grown rapidly all over the world in just a few years because Srila Prabhupada was supported by many young people who had flocked to hear him in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“Srila Prabhupada was an expert in harnessing the power of youth,” he continued. “Therefore, we decided that the best offering to Prabhupada in the 50th year of ISKCON was to bring together a large number of young people and harness their enthusiasm and energy to provide real direction and spiritual values to make their life successful.”

“Many of our working youth contributed salaries of a month or two to organize this event,” said Antardvipa Das. “We collected over 2 million Rupees from our youth congregation to organize this remarkable event, which is probably the largest gathering of young people in one city in the 50-year history of ISKCON.”

When devotees started publicizing the event, they handed out more than 135,000 passes to over 70 colleges in Pune in the very first week.

“When we approached Principals and heads of educational institutions with VIP invitations, they welcomed us wholeheartedly,” recollected Radheshyam Das. “It was almost as if they had rolled out a red-carpet for us, and gave us full access to their students. Many of them urged us to hold such events and programmes within the precincts of their campuses.”

India’s premiere ticket booking websites such as bookmyshow.com and townscript.com had facilities by which students could book their passes online. Students registered their attendance through a ‘missed call service’ by ringing a number mentioned on the free pass.

“We received almost 27,000 unique missed calls,” explained Antardvipa Das. “Our publicity also included social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. We sent several videos and pictures out on several Whatsapp groups through which we reached out to thousands of young people. The result was that even before we opened the gates to the venue, we found 4000 students already waiting outside to be let in. With 20,000 students in attendance, this must be a record of sorts within ISKCON.”

Students were treated to a special cultural programme on a 40×60 feet stage which included a drama by Bhaktimarga Swami’s “Vande Arts”, a shadow drama on the Bhagavad-gita by students of IIT Kharagpur, short Videos on ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada, kirtans by the Vrajvadhus band from Vrindavan, and a dance-drama called “Mauli” which depicted a dialogue between the mediaeval saint Tukaram and the great Maratha warrior-king, Shivaji Maharaj.

ISKCON leaders including Gopal Krishna Goswami, Lokanatha Swami, Gauranga Das from IIT Mumbai and Gaura Gopala Das who is a Whatsapp celebrity spoke at the event. Other ISKCON leaders who attended the event included Hanumant Preshaka Swami and Bhaktivinoda Das.

“One of the highlights of the event was the number of free gifts that were given to students,” said Antardvipa Das. “Vodaphone sponsored free simcards with talktime and a data pack. Another company sponsored free fruit jellies, while others sponsored discount coupons for rental cars. We also distributed a small book by Srila Prabhupada to each participant.”

Revatipati Prabhu, Vice President of ISKCON Pune NVCC felt attracting a record number of young people to ISKCON through a single event was a significant achievement by the team of devotees that worked together so efficiently. “With our outreach programme that was a part of this event, more than 500,000 people learnt about the fiftieth anniversary of ISKCON. We certainly achieved our target,” he said.

“The hard work in areas such as fund-collection, planning, publicity, sound, lighting, stage set-up, celebrity attendance, and the hours of meetings with the core-committee was an incredible learning experience for me,” described Sonar Gauranga Das, a member of the organizing team. “I am sure that the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna will bless the entire team for their efforts to glorify Prabhupada in such an amazing manner.”

Feedback received from students who attended the event was positive and appreciative.

“I liked all the parts of the event,” said Vikrant Wadekar, a student from Pune. “But what I liked best was the fusion music performance in the end. It was electrifying.”

Mayank Jalan, a student participant who had attended an ISKCON event for the first time said, “It was simply an amazing event from start to finish. I enjoyed every single moment of this incredible conference.”

Summarising the outcomes of the conference, Toshan Nimai Das said that they had distributed one book of Srila Prabhupada to every student who attended, besides handing out thousands of Back to Godhead magazines.

“Over 1000 thousand students registered for ‘Gita Youth Society for Transformation’ an ISKCON Pune initiative for wider outreach to the student community,” he described. “More than 200 students bought copies of Bhagavad-gita as it is. We sent text messages to many of these people. Almost 500 students replied back and told us they wanted to attend future programmes. One of the best outcomes of the event was that the heads of many colleges and educational institutions became very favourably inclined to ISKCON. They have sent us invitations to host our lectures and other events in their premises.”

“I wish to thank the Conference team for their hard work, dedicated planning and powerful execution,” concluded Radhe Shayam Das. “We received many calls from ISKCON leaders in India appreciating this program and admiring its grand success.”