By Madhava Smullen
On Earth Day (April 22nd, 2021), ISKCON’s North American Council passed a resolution endorsing the work of the ISKCON Environmental Initiative (IEI), and encouraging “adoption of the environmentally sustainable practices promoted by the IEI by all ISKCON temples and communities.”
The IEI, which has developed guidelines for these practices over the past year, is an international team of devotees specializing in environmental concerns, including Anuttama Das, GBC and Global Minister of Communications; Dr. Christopher Fici, Ph.D (Krishna Kishore Dasa), who holds a doctorate in Religious Studies; Dr Ramesh Goel, Ph.D (Ras Vilas Das), Professor of Environmental Engineering, University of Utah; Dr Sreenivasulu Chadalavada, PhD (Shyamananda Krishna Das), Professor of Environmental Engineering, University of Newcastle; Sanjay Gupta, former trustee of Bhaktivedanta Manor in the UK; and Allegra Lovejoy, current Masters student in Environmental Management at Yale University.
The North American Council is encouraging the leaders of ISKCON North America to apply the practices set out in two guides IEI has released for ISKCON: “Three Tiers of Environmental Practices” and “The Ecotheology of our Tradition.” These are inspired by Srila Prabhupada’s Sixth Purpose for ISKCON, which includes the aim to teach a “simpler, more natural way of life.” Links to both documents are available at the bottom of this article.
The Ecotheology of our Tradition, a 10-page treatise by Krishna Kishore Das on the importance of theologically-based environmentalism, illustrates “that care of creation is an essential and indispensable part of the Caitanya Vaishnava tradition and therefore needs to be an integral part of the culture of ISKCON.”
Quoting Srila Prabhupada, scriptures such as the Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, and various ISKCON scholars, the paper explains that “Because material creation emerges from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we have a duty to live in harmony with material creation.” Krishna Kishore quotes the Sri Isopanisad’s instructions on such harmony: “Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.”
Read more: https://iskconnews.org/iskcon-environmental-initiative-guides-temples-in-implementing-environmental-practices,7784/