ISKCON

ISKCON Sigatoka is a part of the global Krishna consciousness movement that was initiated by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at the beginning of Kaliyuga and later formalized and established in the western world as International Society for Krishna Consciousness by its founding acarya His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the early 1970’s a time when people had lost faith in God and were taking to drugs, illicit sex and meat eating and going down into degraded form of human life.  Srila Prabhupada, out of his compassion shared the sacred knowledge of the Vedas to the western world without compromising on the teachings and the philosophy by translating the ancient Sanskrit literature into English, holding public lectures, cooking and feeding his guests and establishing temples and centers throughout the world.  

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Srila Prabhupada first placed his lotus feet on Fiji soil in 1974 as he was passing through on his way to Hawaii. Srila Prabhupada was in transit at Nadi Airport and Vasudev Prabhu, then known as Deoji Punja, had arranged to meet with him in the transit lounge at the airport. Vasudev Prabhu, during one of his visits to Sydney, had seen ISKCON Australian devotees chanting and dancing in the streets and being very impressed with them wanted to find out who was this great personality who had brought about such positive radical changes in the lives of these Australians. Having established that this great soul was known by his disciples as Srila Prabhupada, Vasudev Prabhu had this intense desire to meet him. Vasudev Prabhu on his return to Fiji found out that Srila Prabhupada was scheduled to pass through Fiji and will spend some time in the transit lounge at the Nadi Airport. Accompanied by his good wife, he met Srila Prabhupada for a short while at the airport transit lounge. Srila Prabhupada asked if there was a Radha Krishna temple in Fiji and when told there was none, he requested him to build and his own words Vasudev Prabhu had once disclosed to me that when Srila Prabhupada placed his hands on Vasudev Prabhu’s head to bless him, he shivered and felt that all sins had been washed away. The rest is history. Vasudev Prabhu worked tirelessly to build this temple and Sri Sri Krishna Kaliya temple in Lautoka was established and officially opened in 1977. Vasudev Prabhu was residing in Lautoka at that time. p2Thereafter the preaching activities escalated in Fiji, and Vasudev Prabhu arranged with Srila Prabhupada to send one of his front liners, Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj to come to Fiji to preach on a regular basis. By the strong and effective preaching of Goswami Maharaj, many souls joined and took up Krishna Consciousness seriously but the society was making inroads mainly in Lautoka as a result of the temple. It was then that Goswami Maharaj suggested to Vasudev Prabhu that he should move to capital city Suva and expand the society in Suva with the objective on building an even larger temple to cater for the bigger population. He took Goswami Maharaj’s request to heart and moved to Suva with his family in 1979 leaving behind the comforts of one of the nicest homes in Lautoka. Living very humbly, he got down to the task of spreading Krishna Consciousness in Suva. The fire of Krishna Consciousness started to spread in Suva but to develop funds were required. Being a successful businessman before taking up Krishna Consciousness on a full time basis, he decided to do business on behalf of the Society to accumulate funds to further the objectives of the Society in Suva. He began with a small takeaway outlet that sold sanctified vegetarian food. The trend got on as the food was tasty and soon a full-fledged vegetarian restaurant was established. Hare Krishna natural ice creams followed and became extremely popular and the rest is history.

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