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ISV Celebrates Gaura Purnima 2012 with a Sankirtana Festival of Abundant Bhajans

Sunday, 11 March 2012 / Published in Book distribution, Reports / 2,535 views

By Raxit Jariwalla

Dear Devotees,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

The Monthly Sankirtana Festival (MSF) of Abundant Bhajans, which was conducted over the last 2 weekends to honor Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, was concluded yesterday (March 7th) on Gaura Purnima, and the final MSF results were offered on this auspicious occasion to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Prabhupada and their Lordships at the ISKCON of Silicon Valley (ISV) temple in San Jose.

“As stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the incarnation in the age of Kali is Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who spread the worship of Krsna by the sankirtana movement (congregational chanting of the holy names) and spread Krsna consciousness throughout India. He predicted that this culture of sankirtana would be broadcast all over the world, from town to town and village to village” (Bhagavad-Gita 4.8 Purport).

His formula:
Harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
Kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha

“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way”.

Our Sankirtana festivals owe a lot to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who started this movement with his associates, the Panca Tattva, going from town-to- town and door-to-door to distribute the Holy name.

To continue following in the footsteps of Mahaprabhu, Team ISV organized a Sankirtana yagna of ‘Abundant Bhajans’ to spread the Holy name and Krishna Consciousness throughout the Bay Area.

The goals of this MSF were:
To distribute at least 4001 transcendental books (including at least 26 Caitanya Caritamrta sets) and
To collect at least $6000 in Laxmi points (in support of sankirtana)

To realize these goals, ISV devotees held two Hari-Nama Sankirtana performances in Palo Alto, chanting the holy names and spreading the sound vibration, and they conducted massive book distribution over two weekends, going out door to door to distribute Caitanya Caritamrta sets and Srila Prabhupada’s books. CC sets were also installed at some homes as also Gaur-Nitai deities, a new addition to our MSF.

Both adults from various teams (Team ISV, College preaching, MotelGita and other ISV departments) as well as kids from Sunday school participated in door-to-door book distribution. The Sunday-School kids had pledged to do 15% of the books goal (i.e. 600 books) and succeeded in distributing more than 717 books, 4 CC sets, and 1 set of Gaur-Nitai deities, raising more than $600 total Laxmi. In addition, books were also distributed by the Smart-box team through smart boxes placed in various establishments in the Bay Area. This MSF also saw the distribution of a good number of Bhagavad Gita E-books.

In other efforts, MotelGita associates at Laguna Beach communicated that they had dispatched several hundred Gitas to motels and another associate in Ohio ensured with their congressional delegates that copies of Bhagavad Gitas were distributed to the entire White House staff.

As we made this offering of the MSF results, we were pleased to report that the Books and Laxmi goals had been met and surpassed.

Summary of Scores
Here are the book distribution results.

In all:

More than 76 devotees participated in book distribution
They distributed 6144 books, including 44 CC sets
They raised $7,793 total Laxmi (including donations)

We thank all participating devotees, donors and Sankirtana leaders who contributed to this MSF, and last but not least we owe our gratitude to HG Vaisesika Prabhu for inspiring everyone to go out on Sankirtana!

Gaura Purnima MSF of Abundant Bhajans ki Jaya!

Yours in service,

Raxit Jariwalla
ISV, San Jose


  1. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: -11 ) says:

    I think one of the remarkable items that should not be overlooked is that 44 Caitanya Caritamrta sets were distributed. I understand the devotees are going door to door and finding that many people (especially those already from Hindu families) are buying full sets, sometimes even spontaneously commencing worship of Gaura-Nitai deities.

    I have not yet gone out with them and seen how it is done, but I am eager to do so. Vaisesika Prabhu told me that many times someone will not purchase the Caitanya Caritamrta set, finding it too expensive, but will give $25 or so and take Bhagavad-gita and/or some other books.

    I went once to a Bengali fair in the San Jose area (I think in Santa Clara) and thought it would be easy to sell Caitanya Caritamrta to Bengali-Americans, but I was not able to sell even one set. :-( Most were telling me they were not religious, or were using Vivekananda’s slogan, “Service to man is service to God” as a way of explaining why they had no interest in Lord Caitanya’s biography or message of Krishna bhakti.

    I went away very disappointed (and also doubtful about how much “service to man” those materialistic and atheistic people were really doing, because they did seem mostly interested in economic development and sense enjoyment). I thought, “If they are really interested in serving Madhava by serving man, shouldn’t they still be eager to know more about Madhava, His qualities, personality, and activities, and what it is about service to man that pleases Him, how He expresses that pleasure, what kind of “service to man” He most enjoys, and why?”

    I think it is due to the sincerity of the ISV weekend warriors that they have discovered this untapped resource among the residents of apartments in the Bay Area. I hope their success can be duplicated elsewhere.

  2. 0
    hariharanriyer says:

    I was out on couple of occassions and found that its not very easy to distribute the CC sets since many don’t know who is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and moreover its a Bengali text. So it requires some amount of preaching and its great that the team distributed these over 2 weekends.
    But one positive is I think we can easily distribute Srimad Bhagavatam sets since people are atleast familiar with it and might be favorable to receive them.

  3. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: -11 ) says:

    Yes, Harisankirtan Prabhu, Srimad Bhagavatam is foundational. Sri Caitanya Caritamrta is a postgraduate study of Bhagavatam. It shows how we can practically live a Bhagavatam life in the (relatively) modern world, and how Lord Krishna (with His associates) came playing the role of a devotee and connoisseur of Srimad Bhagavatam, showing the example of the best devotee. It is a highly esoteric book, even more so than the already esoteric Srimad Bhagavatam, and as you say it is less well-known and currently has less clout or authority in the minds of many people (though we hope to change that).

    The practical challenge for book distributors is, while we can distribute a small CC set for a little over a hundred dollars, the Srimad Bhagavatam sets we have are a lot more expensive, and may be beyond the price points of many of the people we meet on door-to-door, especially if they are living in mid-income apartments (where we can meet more of them in less time). But then, we thought that about the CC, too.

    Of course, we have to do more than just sell the sets, we have to induce people to attend study sessions with faithful devotees (we even have started some conference call study groups).

    It would be great to get everyone reading Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam if we can. I have been happy to see the small new “Canto One, Volume One” published by the N.A. BBT (with the first 7 chapters and Srila Prabhupada’s Preface and Introduction). I have to talk to Raxit about whether we can order cases of those, because they are great for distribution just like Gitas and Krishna Book (I also want to mail some to celebrities and scholars).

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