By Simheswara Dasa
In Malaysia during the Damodara month devotees at all ISKCON centers serve extraordinarily to meet the public and introduce the Damodara ghee lamp offerings. In this way thousands are given the opportunity to offer ghee lamps to Lord Damodara.
For the past few years we have also introduced the Anna Dana and Sastra Dana program at schools and colleges. Through this program we gain entrance into these institutions and engage thousands of students in devotional activities such as hearing scriptural discourses, chanting the Maha Mantra, offering ghee lamps to Lord Damodara and not forgetting the most important of all, that each student is handed one of Srila Prabhupada’s books, the Bhagavad Gita and other literatures according to age categories.
Since the Deepavali festival of lights also falls in this month it becomes easier to introduce the Damodara programme to our fellow Malaysians not only the Hindus. It is only with the help of kind and generous prasadam meal and book sponsors are we able to defray the expenses incurred for these student programs. And it is only due to dedicated and good working team of resident and congregation members are we able to successfully carry out these programs at affordable costs. We were also gifted with a new food for life truck from the Berjaya Group of Companies in this Damodara month.
For this year in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur alone we have targeted 10,000 school children by holding programs in about 15 National Type Tamil schools and a few colleges. The Bhaktivedanta Books Malaysia and the ISKCON Malaysia Food for Life Society are jointly carrying out this supreme benevolent program of offering 1 free book and 1 free Krishna prasadam meal each to 10,000 students this year. Similar programs are also held in the other parts of the country such as in the state of Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and in Penang. With just a week into the Damodara month we have already distributed more than 4000 books and served close to 10,000 Krishna prasadam meals.