Back to Godhead March/April 2008

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March/April 2008

The bulk of this issue focuses on the history and current status of the Hare Krishna movement in the former Soviet Union. In 1971, Srila Prabhupada spent only a few days in Moscow. But there he met a young Russian who would become his disciple and spearhead the rapid underground growth of Krishna consciousness in the U.S.S.R.

Despite persecution, the "Soviet Hare Krishnas" pressed on, and since the fall of Communist rule, the Hare Krishna movement in the Commonwealth of Independent States has grown exponentially. In "Checkmate: ISKCON's Victory in Russia," Satyaraja Dasa traces the history of ISKCON from Prabhupada's visit up to the present-day breakthrough in Moscow, where Hare Krishna devotees have finally received land and permission to build a magnificent temple.

Two of the main driving forces behind the Moscow temple project are Bhakti Vijnana Goswami and Brahmananda Puri Dasa. Urmila Devi Dasi's "Two Seeds that Grew in Iron" tells how each came to Krishna and flourished spiritually despite the oppressive atmosphere.

The book excerpt "A Taste of Salted Bread" reveals the courage and determination of Krishna devotees who risked everything to bring Krishna's message to a land under atheistic rule.

Hare Krishna.—Nagaraja Dasa, Editor

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During ISKCON's early days in the U.S.S.R., devotees risked imprisonment and even death to print books underground and distribute them to eagerly awaiting readers.

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Despite the oppressive environment created by the Soviet regime, many Krishna devotees flourished, including these two leaders of the Moscow temple project.

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After a series of setbacks, the Hare Krishna movement now has land—and magnificent plans—for a temple in Moscow. A look back at ISKCON's struggles and successes in the former Soviet Union.