Austria - Wienna ISKCON temple
The history of ISKCON Austria, Vienna in this, supposedly the third richest country in the world, is a never ending story of failures, blackouts and flops. ISKCON completely closed down its only center in Vienna between 1996 and 2002. Now Prithu Prabhu has been named GBC and has opened a Govinda incense-store and rented a substandard apartment to serve as a temple. Prithu is a very nice devotee and has made tons of devotees, but when his record as a manager, judging by the long list of places from which he has been removed, is terrible.
We have to ask why Krishna consciousness has not been able to take root in Austria after thirty years of trying. Austria has heavy laws against selling books in public; it is also difficult to get official recognition as religion. Prithu Prabhu came here with a number of very young disciples from other countries. The temple president is only about 20.
I have known Prithu Prabhu since 1972. When he invited me to his temple, I told him repeatedly that he should give up the "quick-money" strategy in Austria and strive instead to first give Krishna consciousness and his disciples legal status, which would create future prospects to open a farm, a school, etc.
I served in ISKCON for fifteen years, mainly as book distributor. I came to Viennain 1982 and so I know a little about the history of Krishna consciousness here. Video gallery >>