The Last Darshan by Manidhara Dasa ( ACBSP )

When I arrived Saturday night with my sankirtan van at the temple, I wondered where the others were. The parking lot was empty, and I thought nobody could distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books that long. By that time, our meditation on Srila Prabhupada intensified in the form of endless book distribution marathons, as we had heard about His Divine Grace laying down in Vrndavana and fasting for a month. Yes! One time, a few crumbs of prasadam arrived in the mail, the maha maha of the only kachori He ate. And these precious remnants were carefully distributed in microscopic size from one devotee to another.

Srila Prabhupada repeatedly said that the only thing keeping Him alive is the distribution of His books. Nobody could imagine Srila Prabhupada leaving us behind at this stage. And His statement “whenever I read the sankirtan results I feel like a young boy” drove us to higher and higher book distribution results. Whenever we presented Srila Prabhupada the new results, He commented. “Double it!” Some devotee even printed buttons to be carried on our chest with one single slogan: “Double it!” And so we doubled it again. One marathon followed the other in a desperate attempt to keep Srila Prabhupada with us. The German yatra was at this time on the top of the world.

While looking for somebody and parking my car, finally, I saw someone. The last remaining devotee ran out of the temple door and told me the news: “Srila Prabhupada is in London!” I couldn’t believe it. How did He get there, rising from His bed, fasting? read more

I Remember Bombay

I spent some of the best years of my life at Juhu as a servant of Shrila Prabhupada’s Mission. For it is the greatest joy to render service unto Lord Shri Krishna’s pure devotee. For that service is liberating, enlightening, enlivening, and always filled with divine bliss.

And there at Hare Krishna Land, you have the Divine Purveyors of the highest level of bliss, Their Lordships Shri Shri Radha and Rasa Bihari.

I remember first coming to Juhu, to the Hare Krishna Land beach jungle in 1973. And how quickly Shrila Prabhupada arranged for the construction of the spiritual center His Divine Grace would call “his office.” How quickly arose this great gift to the mega-polis Bombay. Up to that time, Bombay was enjoying every imaginable facility for sense gratification. But in this modern city of an ancient land, one thing was missing–and that was Krishna consciousness. read more

Do I Have Cancer?

And naturally, the second time around it is all not so frightening any more, and the diagnose of cancer is not as shattering. Indeed, it feels good to get a little reminder every ten years that time is gradually running out.

PREACHING IN USSR 1980-81

In 1980-81 I was living in Calcutta, which at that time was ruled by Jyoti Basu’s communist government. Even our next-door neighbor was the Polish embassy and down the street was the Soviet embassy (the temple was in the diplomatic section of town). Though Calcutta temple was far from Moscow we were part of a team that was using every possible means that we could think of to infiltrate the USSR with Krsna Consciousness.

How? Devotees like Kirtiraja Prabhu, would smuggle phone directories of major cities out of the USSR and send them to Calcutta (not sure if other temples were involved). Then under Adridharana Prabhu’s leadership we would take addresses from the phone directories and put them on envelopes containing a Russian translation of Prabhupada’s introduction to the Bhagavad-gita. Then we would take these many thousands of  “time bombs” and mail them to the USSR from many different Indian cities so that the KGB and their Indian collaborators could not figure out the source. Because India and the USSR were close allies, letters from India would not be scrutinized so closely if at all, but if thousands of letters had suddenly come from a Western country suspicions would be aroused.

Admittedly we were using a scatter-gun approach and had no idea who we were sending them to. The letter could end up at the home of pious person or the head of the KGB, we just didn’t know. Nor did we know if our endeavor was having any effect. read more

Sinhalese Preaching Breakthrough in Sri Lanka

Revolutionary pubic program was organized in Sinhalese area in a town near Kandy in Central Province of Sri Lanka. Just a few years ago, when the civil war between Sinhalese (Buddhist) and Tamils was raging, nobody would imagine that a Hare Krishna program would be held in the heart of Buddhist culture in Kandy.

At the beginning we were little skeptical but later on when more than 500 hundred people joined our nagara-sanirtana all anxiety went away. Finally around 2500 people including devotees from Australia, India, Kuwait, Slovenia, England, Switzerland, and different parts of Sri Lanka participated in the program. The nature’s scenery there was already very beautiful and the chanting of the holy name made it fully perfect.

H.H Bhakti Vikasa Swami was the chief guest. He lectured about the suffering in this material world and the universal path of Krishna consciousness. Maharaja expertly spoke in a manner that every sincere Buddhist could accept his arguments. The lecture was translated into both Tamil and Sinhalese languages. Later Maharaja called on the stage, his “white elephant” disciple Vasudeva Datta das, who addressed the public in Tamil language and captured the hearts of the audience. The program was broadcasted by Shakthi TV- the most prominent satellite channel of Sri Lanka. read more

A new faith is born in Malawi

Please find below an interview in “The Nation” newspaper of Malawi, Central Africa.  It was published on 5 January 2014.  The questions were answered by Radhakanth Prabhu – Congregational Development Officer of ISKCON Blantyre, but the reporter mistook him to be Murari Prabhu – The Chairman of ISKCON Blantyre. 

The untold story of Nelson Mandela & the Bhagavad Gita

Hare Krishna. I thought you might like to know a little bit of the untold side of Nelson Mandela. He came several times to ISKCON’s Ratha Yatra in South Africa while he was president of the nation. The first time Bhakti Tirtha Swami met him, in the course of their conversation, Maharaja quoted a Gita verse. Half-way thru the verse, Mandela quoted the rest of it. BT Swami was surprised. He asked “You know the Gita?” Mandela said “Try me.”

Every Gita verse Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja knew, Nelson knew as well. Naturally, BT Swami asked “How is this?” Nelson Mandela explained that he was imprisoned on Robbins Island along with some of his fellow leaders of their political party, the ANC. One of them was an Indian-bodied lawyer. The South African government tried to break them by giving them mindless labor and routine.

Realizing that they needed to keep their minds actively engaged, the Indian lawyer taught Nelson Mandela Gita verses which they quoted and discussed back and forth to transcend their daily drudgery. Nelson Mandela told Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja that learning the Gita helped keep him sane and did much to infuse his view of the world and his strategies for bringing independence and a better future for the South African people. read more

Srila Prabhupada’s mercy on Mad Mick

This is a story which proves that the mercy of Srila Prabhupada flows like the river Ganga, reaching those souls others cannot.

A few years ago, in a small village in County Roscommon, one of the most rural parts of Ireland, there lived a man by the name of Michael Henmore. He never married and at an early life became a hermit.

 He had few possessions except a cow, a horse and cart, and a small house that time had forgot. He lived without running water or electricity. Every few days he would journey to the nearest village to draw water from the well there. He spoke to no one, not even relations. He had an unkempt beard and wore old-style clothes. read more