WELCOME When, in 1971, Srila Prabhupada arrived in Gainesville, Florida, just down the road from the Back to Godhead offices in Alachua, he said he was “very much obliged to you that in this remote place, which is thousands and thousands of miles away from Lord Chaitanya’s birthplace, Navadvip, you are carrying out, to fulfill His desire, the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra.” I was reminded of this when His Holiness B.V.V. Narasimha Swami sent us the article on ISKCON Vladivostok that appears in this issue. From my perspective, Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East, is about as far away from anywhere as one can get. It turns out, though, that it’s quite a bit closer to Lord Chaitanya’s birthplace than I am, and by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and his followers, a community of Hare Krishna devotees is flourishing there.
Meanwhile, the Yamuna River, in the heart of India – known as Punya Bhumi, or “the pious land” – is not flourishing. Dams in Haryana state divert her sacred water, and none of it makes it out of Delhi – or into Vrindavan, Lord Krishna’s eternal home. Shatakshi Goyal writes about the Yamuna River and her role in a documentary on the river’s plight.
With Chaitanya Charana’s article “Meditating on the Damodarashtaka,” we honor the sacred month of Karttika, which coincides with this issue.
Hare Krishna. – Nagaraja Dasa, Editor