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ISKCON Devotees greeted by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano during National Prayer

Friday, 09 May 2008 / Published in Announcements / 10,478 views

By Prayag Narayan Misra

Phoenix, Arizona

The National Prayer Breakfast was inaugurated in 1950 by members of the Executive Branch, the United States Senate and the House of Representatives Breakfast Groups to specifically seek the Lord’s guidance and strength as well as to reaffirm our faith and renew the dedication of our Nation and ourselves to God and His purposes.

To encourage men and women throughout Arizona, this year’s Breakfast in Phoenix, Arizona was inaugurated by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano in presence of 250 leaders from all walks of life.

P h o t o:

From left: Governor Janet Napolitano, Bhava dasa, President, ISKCON Phoenix, Sri Surinder Sharma, member of the Board & Finance Committee; Dr Prayag Narayan Misra, Director- Communication, and Rev Eve Nunez, Alma Vision Hispanic Network & HELP 4 KIDZ ( far right)

Hare Krishna devotees have participated in the first ever such Breakfast held in Capitol in 2003, and have continued attending the event to show our support to the Community as a whole.This year, Bhava dasa, President, ISKCON of Phoenix, accompanied by Sri Surinder Sharma, Board Member of the Executive Committee ; and Dr Prayag Narayan Misra, Director of Communications -met the Governor, inviting her to attend forthcoming Sri Krishna Janmashtami Festival on August 23.

Another noteworthy VIP attending was Mayor George Nerhan of Huachuca, born and raised in Patiala standing in the middle [ see photo below]:-

For other photos at the event, please click here.

For the record, the Governor has issued two Proclamations for Lord Krishna’s Appearance Day in 2006 and 2007, thus becoming the first ever government official in the world to declare so. Also, two years ago she attended Hari Naam- Glorification of the Lord’s Names – in down town Phoenix while passing by, and greeted devotees as well as posed for photos.

Visit this website for photos, which has more than 8,000 hits:-

http://www.dandavats.com/?p=4127

Visit ISKCON Phoenix websites:

http://www.iskconphoenix.com
http://www.iskconphx.org

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One Response to “ISKCON Devotees greeted by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano during National Prayer”

  1. Akruranatha says :

    It is encouraging to see Hare Krishna devotees meeting in such settings with influential people (like the U.S. Senators and Congressmen, or the Pope).

    I mean, we have been doing things like this for a long time, but I really can sense that the public mood has begun gradually to change and we are seen less as a dangerous or strange “cult” and more like an authoritative religious tradition.

    It has been a long time coming, seeing as how it is more than 40 years since Prabhupada started ISKCON in New York, and it is a gradual process that may never be 100% complete, but it does really seem that Hare Krishna is becoming more accepted as respectable and solid, not just a fad or “mind-control” sect that preys on youth.

    It certainly helps that we have cleaned up our own acts a bit (sometimes we were immature, overzealous, made mistakes), and we cannot underestimate the importance of the influence of having many Indian immigrants among our members (which to the outside observers reassures them that this is something traditional and authentic).

    The interaction between devotees and academic scholars must have also helped quite a bit. I recently saw a BBC documentary about Hinduism featuring a Ramanuja scholar flanked by Prabhupada’s books.

    It used to seem that whenever literature warned against “cults” there was a picture of a Hare Krishna with a shaved head in saffron robes on the cover, as if the startling image was sufficient to prove that anyone who was dressed that way was a brainwashed zombie who might do crazy, antisocial things at any moment.

    I remember how hard Mukunda Maharaja and others worked to prevent the mainstream media from lumping us in with Charles Manson, Moses David’s group, the Unification Church, the “Christ Family”, Jim Jones’s People’s Temple, and many other diverse cults.

    Lately I have seen a lot of negative press about cults, including millenial Christian groups, a polygamous Mormon offshoot group, the Raelians who claimed to have cloned humans, and others. I was happy to note that Hare Krishna was no longer apparently being lumped in.

    This better treatment in the press may have started as early as 15 or 20 years ago, but it has been steadily building and seems to really be an unstoppable trend at this point.

    I am glad devotees are taking the time to go to these congressional prayer breakfasts, interfaith conferences, academic engagements and so on. It is important work that is already bearing fruit

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