Mahāprabhu Dāsa

It is with great joy, humility, and excitement that I again present the ISKCON Communications Journal (icj). The last issue was pub- lished sixteen years ago, in 2005. The icj was and hopefully will be

again an important voice for iskcon and the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava tra- dition, which the Hare Krishna movement represents and embraces. For a little more than a decade, the icj covered topics and

issues that were crucial in iskcon.
Bi-annual issues appeared from 1993–99, and five issues

between 2000–05. All nineteen back issues can be found online at & Shaunaka Rishi Das and Lāl Kṛṣṇa Dāsa were instrumental in the first run of the journal. Thanks to their vision and perseverance, scholars from within and outside iskcon addressed dozens of important issues and challenges, along with some crises that iskcon faced. I am grateful and indebted to both of them for dedicating many years to the icj and to Shaunaka for his continuous support and encour- agement to revive the icj.

These twenty articles are some of the past highlights:

“Religion and Modern Rationalism” by Richard Thompson
Vol. 1, No. 2, 1994

“Leadership: The Supreme Management Skill” by Sefton Davies
Vol. 3, No. 1, 1995

“Congregational Development in ISKCON” by Kṛpāmoya Dāsa
Vol. 3, No. 1, 1995

“Reflections on Spiritual Leadership: The Legacy of Śrīla Prabhupāda”

by Larry D. Shinn Vol. 4, No. 2, 1996

“Has ISKCON Anything to Offer Christianity Theologically?”
by Kenneth Rose
Vol. 4, No. 2, 1996

“The Perils of Succession: Heresies of Authority and Continuity in ISKCON”
by Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Goswami
Vol. 5, No. 1, 1997

“Insider and Outsider Perceptions of Prabhupāda” by Kim Knott
Vol. 5, No. 1, 1997

“Towards Principles and Values: An Analysis of Education Philosophy and Practice within ISKCON” by Rāsamaṇḍala Dāsa
Vol. 5, No. 2, 1997

“Religious Liberty in Western Europe” by Massimo Introvigne
Vol. 5, No. 2, 1997

“Family Formation, Culture, and Change in the Hare Krishna Movement”
by E. Burke Rochford
Vol. 5, No. 2, 1997

“Child Abuse in the ISKCON: 1971–86”
by E. Burke Rochford and Jennifer Heinlein Vol. 6, No. 1, 1998

“ISKCON’s Response to Child Abuse: 1990–98”
by Bhārata-śreṣṭha Dāsa
Vol. 6, No. 1, 1998

“Why Should ISKCON Study its Own History?”
by Thomas J. Hopkins
Vol. 6, No. 2, 1998 and addendum in Vol. 7, No. 1, 1999

“Fundamental Human Rights in ISKCON” by Rādhā-devī Dāsī
Vol. 6, No. 2, 1998

“ISKCON in Relation to People of Faith in God” by Shaunaka Rishi Das
Vol. 7, No. 1, 1999

“For Whom Does Hinduism Speak?” by Hṛdayānanda dāsa Goswami Vol. 7, No. 1, 1999

“Pillars of Success: The Principles and Practices of Reform in ISKCON”
by Ravīndra Svarūpa Dāsa
Vol. 7, No. 2, 1999

“A Personal Reflection on Virtue and Values in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Movement”
by Śeṣa Dāsa
Vol. 10, 2002

“Dealing with Difference: A Catholic Point of View” by Felix A. Machado
Vol. 11, 2005

“Editing the Unchangeable Truth: An Overview of the Editorial History of the Books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda”
by Jayādvaita Swami
Vol. 11, 2005


The icj is returning to continue this sort of work, begun almost thirty years ago. While the icj was discontinued, ISKCON Commu- nications in Europe has never stopped working on behalf of iskcon. It put energy into organizing annual conferences at iskcon’s Euro- pean temples and celebrated iskcon’s fiftieth anniversary in 2016.

This first issue of the revived, revamped icj addresses timely, important topics: interfaith dialogue, the empirical study of con- sciousness, environmental priorities, the welfare of cows, the ben- efits of ethics and moral philosophy, and relations between iskcon and the Gaudiya Maths.

In forthcoming issues, we will publish articles on various forms of interfaith dialogue, iskcon’s stance on obstacles to reli- gious freedom, and iskcon’s positions on contemporary ethical matters, such as environmental challenges. ICJ would also like to continue to address various forms of abuse (domestic, pastoral, etc.), the diverse approaches to sexuality among iskcon followers, and ways to reconcile controversial statements in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s writings. ICJ remains committed to presenting articles on a range of scientific topics and Vaiṣṇava philosophical thought. In this way, we hope that icj will serve both the iskcon community and the larger society with whom we share interests and concerns. Our audience includes academics, the media, Hindu organizations and other faith communities, and political leaders and decision makers and more. ICJ will appear every year.

We recently formed a highly qualified advisory board to guide icj’s course into the future: Kṛṣṇa Kṣetra Swami, Rāsamaṇḍala Dāsa, Shaunaka Rishi Das, Rādhika Ramaṇa Dāsa, and Gopīnāthācārya Dāsa.

I would like to thank Anuttama Dāsa, the Global Minister of ISKCON Communications, for his encouragement to revive the icj, an important voice in iskcon; the worldwide team of ten regional directors of ISKCON Communications, who meet weekly in cyber- space and discuss topics that need to be addressed at conferences and in our journal; the expert and patient editors, Tattvavit Dāsa and Rūpa Sanātana Dāsa (who also does the layout); the profes- xv sional Māyāpriya Devī Dāsī for the new cover; Viṣṇu Mūrti Dāsa and Lakṣmīpriyā Devī Dāsī for agreeing to distribute the icj; and, of course, the contributing writers for this issue: Anuttama Dāsa,

Gerald T. Carney, Akhaṇḍadi Dāsa, Ravi M. Gupta, Kenneth R. Valpey, Rāsamaṇḍala Dāsa, Ferdinando Sardella, and Tattvavit Dāsa. We dedicate this first issue of the revived icj to Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda on the occasion of the 125th anni- versary of his birth. We now practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness world-wide, thanks to his wisdom, vision, compassion, and dedication. He transplanted a profound spiritual tradition — Gauḍīya or Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism — by publishing a vast number of books and starting an international society of devotees of Kṛṣṇa.


Mahāprabhu Dāsa
Executive Editor & Director of ISKCON Communications Europe