By Madhava Smullen
Yoga Magazine in the UK has published a ten-page feature article in its June issue, written by ISKCON devotees, on the life and spiritual legacy of ISKCON Founder-Acharya Srila Prabhupada.
Yoga Magazine says it is “the number one yoga, health and fitness brand in the UK and USA.” The publication is aimed at upscale cosmopolitan women aged between 25 and 45, who desire to improve their health and wellbeing.
Devotees made a connection when editor Dr. Malik received some of Srila Prabhupada’s books from colleagues who had met book distributors on the street. After reading the books, she was inspired, and approached ISKCON-London to ask if she could run a story.
Since this year is the 50thanniversary of ISKCON in the UK, devotees were happy for the opportunity to tell their story in a way that’s accessible to the yoga community.
Dr. Malik asked devotees to write the feature themselves, as they would want people to hear it. She and her staff were excited to publish it, and scheduled it for their June issue at the height of summer for maximum readership.
ISKCON-London Communications Secretary Natasha Menon, her husband Anantacharya Das and Jigna Chauhan compiled the article.
To do so they referred to the Abhay Charan film series, and the books Chasing Rhinos Volume 1 by Shyamasundara Das, Swami in a Strange Land by Joshua Greene (Yogesvara Das), When the Sun Shines by Ranchor Prime, and Your Ever Well-Wisher by Satsvarupa Das Goswami.
The article presents “Bhaktivedanta Swami, Founder of the Hare Krishna movement” as “A well-wisher of the world.” It explains: “He was a profound spiritual master whose passionate goal to spread and teach bhakti yoga in the west was realised with great success. His meeting and collaboration with The Beatles also left a lasting legacy in the UK.”
The feature tells the entire story of Srila Prabhupada’s journey from his early childhood days and following Gandhi and the Indian Nationalist Movement, to meeting his guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, to establishing ISKCON in New York. It also follows pioneer devotees as they go to the UK where they meet the Beatles, have a hit record and set up the Radha Krishna Temple.
Finally, the article describes how Srila Prabhupada set up so many temples, centers, farms and restaurants during his lifetime; and gives a snapshot of what ISKCON is doing today. It concludes with ISKCON UK’s plans for its fiftieth anniversary, and discusses how devotees are making an effort to put on events and programs that make Krishna cconscious philosophy more relatable and accessible to the public.
“When we sent the article to the editor, she wrote back saying, ‘I’ve read it so many times, and the story of Prabhupada is so inspiring to me and all the staff,’” says Natasha. “She had read books byhim, but not abouthim – and I think the personal account of his journey really helped her relate to him.”
Natasha points out that back in the ‘60s, pioneers like Shyamasundara Das connected with the trendsetters of the time, such as the Beatles and the hippie community. Today, it’s yoga that is peaking everywhere around the world.
“Sometimes we don’t reach out enough, we’re just happy in our little bubble,” she says. “But I think every few generations, we need to reintroduce ourselves in a way that’s relevant to the current trends now. Of course, Bhakti Yoga is timeless wisdom. But we also have to make some effort to make it accessible to people – just like Srila Prabhupada did for us.”
To read the feature article, purchase a digital copy here: