ISKCON Czech Republic
Govinda restaurant, Na Hrazi, Prague I Govinda restaurant, Soukenicka, Prague I Balarama restaurant, Prague I Gopal restaurant, Prague I Haribol restaurant, Brno I Govinda restaurant, Olomouc I ISKCON Benesov – Krishna’s Court Farm I ISKCON Brno I ISKCON Praha - Luzce I ISKCON Prostejov - Lutotin
Beginning of Hare Krishna Movement in Czechoslovakia.
Everything starts during the communism regime period due to endeavors and visits by several determined preachers from abroad. Devotees such as Harikesha Swami, Avinascandra Prabhu, now Bhaktivaibhava Swami, Indradyumna Swami, Bhakti Bringa Govinda Swami and Prabhavishnu Swami spread Krishna consciousness and laid down foundation for future expansion of ISKCON. Their preaching with few local enthusiastic devotees was going on under the supervision of the State Security; therefore it wasn’t as effective and not so many people were approached. However, everything really began in 1982 when Turiya das from Sweden start smuggle books to Czechoslovakia. His very danger sankirtan and preaching was very effective and many persons start reading Prabhupada books and looking for association with devotees.
Hare Krishna movement start expanding in 1986 when Karel Barton introduced Vedic philosophy to Radha Raman das. With others, for example Tattva-darsi das, Karel (now Krishna Caitanya das) , Angara-purna dasi, Boris, Jana, Igor, Peter, Svatka, Vlastik, Roman (now Rukmini-ramana das), Lubos (now Nila Madhava das), Asvahari das tried to practice and preach Krishnaconsciousness in former Czechoslovakia.
After police pressure and interrogations some devotees left the country (as Tattva-darsi, who went to Sweden to translate books) and some had withdrawn themselves. Around 1987, Radha Raman das together with the most enthusiastic devotees bought an old big house in Lansperk (Eastern Bohemia) where the first Hare Krishna center was founded. Radha Raman das was one of the organizers and cooperated also with Turiya das who tried to preach and help devotees from Sweden.
Smuggling books and half-public programs were the practices of those times. After 1989 when the communist regime collapsed the devotees moved to Prague and Radha Raman das was the organizer of the first Prague's Govinda's club. At those times it was the only Hare Krishna center. From those humble facilities devotees prepared preaching in media, harinams, sold paraphernalia, prepared festivals and books distribution. Later Prague's Govinda's is turned into restaurant under the care of Bh. Karel (Krishna Caitanya das).
Later on was open second big Govinda restaurant in center of Prague, than after Balaram and Gopal than after other Govinda in Olomouc, Haribol in Brno and Burfi in Ostrava.
Other important time was when Turiya das and Alarka devi dasi from Almviks Gard (Sweden) return to Czechoslovakia and start ecological farm (Krishna's Court Farm) in country site near Benesov. This wonderful site attracts many peaple not only agriculture but also for, relaxation, meditation practice and spiritual life. The motto of our farm is simple living, deep thinking, which means living by the principles of Vedic culture.
Same devotees start temple in Zlicin (Prague) which later expand to two houses and in 2010 devotees finely move to bigger temple in small village behind Prague– Luzce.
ISKCON in Czech Republic is expanding with establishing many preaching centres, perform many festivals and distribute many books.