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Weaving Inclusivity into the Fabric of ISKCON South Africa

ISKCON News

(iskconnews.org) – ISKCON News | Weaving Inclusivity into the Fabric of ISKCON South Africa

Mukundanghri Das and his wife Kalpa-latika Devi Dasi.

“The dream is that diversity and unity should coexist harmoniously,” proclaims Mukundanghri, a devotee of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). He has emerged as a visionary catalyst for change within the South African ISKCON community. His profound spiritual journey and unwavering commitment to the cause of inclusivity resonate deeply with the recent statement released by the South African Governing Body Commission (GBC) of ISKCON in 2020, following the “Wake up South Africa (WuSA)” dialogues earlier that year, addressing racial imbalances within the organization.

Mukundanghri’s path to spiritual enlightenment began with a heartfelt recommendation from his mother, who encouraged him to read the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya, before her passing. This sage advice ignited a spiritual fire within him, fostering a deep connection with the wisdom contained in Prabhupada’s books.

Mukundanghri Das at Bhakti Lounge.

The loss of his mother solidified Mukundanghri’s commitment to Krishna Consciousness, driving him to explore the depths of the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam, which became not only sources of knowledge but also the foundation of his devotion.

Within ISKCON South Africa, Mukundanghri’s journey has been marked by various roles and capacities, underscoring his unwavering dedication to the organization. His diverse contributions span from serving as a Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Africa (BBTA) trustee to participating in the SANC Advisory Board on Transformation.

Mukundanghri’s vision for inclusivity within ISKCON South Africa aligns with the core principles of unity and equality, as emphasized in the GBC’s 2020 statement. The GBC acknowledged South Africa’s painful history of discrimination and marginalization, pledging to deepen their collective understanding of past and present pain. The principles of human dignity, equality, and non-discrimination enshrined in South Africa’s constitution are mirrored in ISKCON’s South African National Council (SANC) constitution, a testament to the organization’s commitment to these values.

In our interview, Mukundanghri emphasized the importance of embracing inclusivity and understanding the unique challenges faced by African-bodied devotees in post-apartheid South Africa. He stated, “We need to be able to take care of ourselves and each other if we’re going to be exuding the same energy of love, and compassion to others outside of our community.” Mukhundangri’s perspective underscores the need for open dialogue and genuine compassion within ISKCON South Africa.

South Africa’s history of apartheid has left a lasting impact, particularly in the majority African host communities, where the scars of oppression are still evident in living conditions and quality of life. To overcome this legacy, it is crucial to empower African devotees to share Krishna Consciousness in their communities with the support and compassion of others.

Mukundanghri’s dedication to this cause extends to his involvement with Bhakti Lounge, an initiative to create a space for young people within ISKCON to learn about Krishna Consciousness, strengthen their sadhana, and construct meaningful lives. He acknowledges the importance of inward transformation before attempting outreach.

Mukundanghri’s aptitude for storytelling and theater enriches his ability to explore the Bhagavatam. He understands the power of storytelling to convey profound spiritual knowledge and has found joy in sharing the stories in the Bhagavatam with others.

Additionally, Mukundanghri’s podcast, “Mukunda’s Meditations with Friends,” allows listeners to delve deeper into Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and insights. Mukhundangri continues to be a beacon of inspiration within ISKCON South Africa, embodying the principles of inclusivity, compassion, and devotion.

To learn more and support Mukundanghri’s efforts, follow Bhakti Lounge on Facebook or listen to his podcast on Apple, SoundCloud, or other platforms. 

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