Sri Krsna Sankirtan!

Sri Krsna Sankirtan!

By: SurvarnamanjariI Dasi
May 27, 2011 — NEW ZEALAND (SUN) — 

In the response to “Invisible Hare Krishnas” and “Publicly Representing ISKCON”, I’d like to comment. It is true, that Harinam has taken a back seat, we see it all around different ISKCON communities, but the wonderful thing is that we have the ability to go out there and do harinam. There is nothing stopping us but our minds.

(Note: both above mentioned articles follow this one.)

There may be politics, controllers, sentimentalist, fanatics, “fringies”, innocent, enthusiastic or confused members among us in this Sankirtan Movement…and that includes all of us to some degree, but the amazing thing is…we can pick up the mrdangas and karatalas and sing the names of God in the streets, just like Lord Caitanya wants us to. We just have to want to do it.

My husband and I and a dear devotee friend of ours, we go out on harinam in a small town in New Zealand. The response is lovely. People smile, do a little dance, we do a few books, have a laugh and feel joyful afterwards. We are going to start a small chanting group soon… if we can do it, anyone can!

Yes, it is sad about how things are not like the old days, but we don’t live in the old days anymore… we live in 2011 and we need to get proactive to save ourselves and to spread the love to others.

Yes, there is politics in some temples…so what! Take Prabhupada’s books, take your instruments and chant! Why must politics stop our ability to chant and spread the Holy names around? The Holy Names are not owned by anyone…just chant! :)
A lot of people around here, they don’t even know what a Hare Krsna is and the other day a man came up to us and said, “Hey! where have you guys been? I saw you guys in the 80’s last! Glad you are still around!”

A man came running towards us one day and said, “Do you guys have that…that…um….as it…um as it is book?”

Yep, he wanted a Bhagavad Gita As it is!

Yet another man came towards us one day and he was a big guy with tattoos and had a kind of angry expression on his face. By the time he got to us, he smiled and said, “Hey! I met our head honcho guy…you know…your main man.” Since my husband got initiated in the 80’s he assumed this guy met one of the then ISKCON Zonal gurus, but the man said “No, the Indian man, very humble man. He was very humble.”

We showed him a picture of Srila Prabhupada and he exclaimed, “Yes! That’s Him!”

So, there are special people out there, people Lord Caitanya and Prabhupada need to touch through the Holy Names, through the books.

There may be so many things about our society that we can’t understand. Why who did what and why things are the way they are. We may never learn the answers. But the International Society of Krsna Consciousness is Lord Caitanya’s MOVEMENT… we have got to MOVE along with it. It will move with or without us.

If a certain group of people think they own it…well, guess what, they don’t! If you can’t fit into the mainstream devotee circles, start a circle you can fit into and chant chant chant. :)
None but ourselves can free our mind.

All glories to the Sri Krsna Sankirtan, which cleanses the heart!

Just pick up your Mrdangas and Karatalas and chant, oh descendants of Prabhupada! 

All glories to all the devotees of the Lord!

Publicly Representing ISKCON

By: Mahavidya Dasa
May 26, 2011 — UK (SUN) — 

I have just read Govinda prabhu’s recent Sun article, “Invisible Hare Krishnas”. 
If I may comment… Govinda prabhu is quite correct . 
When will we give Sri Harinama the importance it deserves? 
Yes… I remember being one of those souls who would dance in the streets for many hours. 
I also used to be enthusiastic about distributing Srila Prabhupada’s BTGs . 
I also used to be enthusiastic about festivals… distributing prasadam… making Life Members… cooking… cleaning… fixing the toilets… milking cows… you name it. 
I used to equate all of these activities with Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON sankirtan movement.
At one point I used to consider asking people to come to ISKCON… the “positive alternative”.
“Come to our Sunday Feast… listen to the philosophy as presented by Srila Prabhupada, 
why not join in ?”
Sadly, although I do still have faith in Srila Prabhupada, 
chanting, taking prasadam, etc…
I have become like many others who want to be devotees of Krsna
but… 
struggle with being associated with ISKCON. 
I for one do not feel comfortable directing those I meet to my nearest ISKCON temple. 
Consequently…
I have been obliged to separate the process of Krsna consciousness from ISKCON. 
(Just as one would separate Lord Jesus Christ from modern day Christianity.) 
I have given Srila Prabhupada’s books to several of my neighbours only for them to ask…
“So… when can I go to the temple… when will you take me?” 
I am then obliged to explain why I cannot. 
One of my neighbours then replied, 
“Well… in that case… why should I go?” 
So, Govinda das prabhu, 
when Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON institution is being used for blatant personal gain… 
our ISKCON leadership is openly corrupt…
our holy men pay each other secret salaries…
the rank and file lesser souls have no rights whatsoever…
one can be excluded from Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON without even a hearing, at the whim of the management…
Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON is openly advertised as being a mundane sectarian religion…
etc…etc…etc…etc. 
Perhaps… 
this is one reason some of us hesitate to become enthusiastic about publicly representing ISKCON.

Invisible Hare Krishnas

By: Govinda Dasa
May 25, 2011 — UK (SUN) —

 Book distribution and public harinam sankirtana are the two most important activities of ISKCON. Since the departure of Srila Prabhupada we have seen a drastic decline in street chanting. Thankfully book distribution has not declined to the same extent. However, it is not enough to just rely on book distribution for spreading Krishna consciousness. Prabhupada wrote to Brahmananda, “This Sankirtana Party and our Book Department are very, very important; they are our right and left hands…”

In the early days of ISKCON it was normal for devotees to blissfully chant and dance on the street eight hours a day. The Hare Krishna Movement was well known in the seventies. Now we are practically invisible. Quite often members of the public will make comments like, “Where have you guys been? I remember you from the seventies.”

Seminars, home programs, retreats etc. are currently very popular amongst devotees, but they don’t put us in the public eye. We need to get our priorities right. The essence of Lord Caitanya’s movement is to freely give Krishna consciousness to everyone, not just keep it to ourselves.

When are we going to give public chanting the importance that it deserves?

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