University of Florida Krishna Lunch Goes National

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Sunanda das (ACBSP):

For the last 38 years devotees from the Gainesville ISKCON temple have been distributing prasadam on the campus of the University of Florida, one of the largest Universities in North America. The humble beginnings of this program are credited to Gargamuni das and later to Amarendra das who legalized the distribution of prasadam after a lengthy legal battle in 1977. Later, Hrdayananda das Goswami joined him and became Gainesville’s first temple president. Over the years that followed prasadam distribution continued unabated under the auspices of devotees such as Rtadvaja Swami, Daru Brahman das, and Savyasaci das. Life changing prasadam stories fill the pages of old copies of the Gainesville Nectar News Newsletter revealing the fact that prasadam has untold benefits, material and spiritual, and also goes a long way in simply making friends, what to speak of devotees.

Today, the program goes under the name Krishna Lunch (www.krishnalunch.com), and students are often seen to be talking to friends about “Krishna” Lunch this and “Krishna” Lunch that. The chanting of the holy names of the Lord has expanded, and so has the prasadam distribution. Thousands of plates of prasadam are distributed each week between the campus program from 11-1:30pm and the Late Lunch program at the temple from 2-4pm. The recently introduced Krishna Dinner on Saturday evenings draws an additional 50 people a week. Kalakantha das, the current temple president, can be credited with this increase in distribution over the last two years, assisted by Bhakta Hanan who has managed the Krishna Lunch program for the last six years.

Recently, abcnews.com featured an article about Krishna Lunch on their Campus Page (see link below). And now a video documentary by a student of UF has appeared on UTube:

http://abcnews.go.com/OnCampus/story?id=7210676&page=1

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1 pustakrishna

In two weeks, on May 16th, 2009, I will be visiting the Alachua ISKCON Temple on Saturday morning at 8 am. I plan to share with the wonderful community of devotees there the details of the first days of Krishna consciousness in Gainesville. I will share the details of the style of kirtan, preaching, prasadam distribution and how offerings were made by Sripad Gargamuni Prabhu and the first fledgling bhaktas. I hope that those in the area will come and hear about these wonderful and simple activities that took place from October 1970 through February 1971, when Gargamuni and myself left en route to Dacca, East Pakistan for preaching under Srila Prabhupad’s orders. Those seeds fructified and created the devotional fruits that continue to shower mercy, prasadam, in so many ways upon the fortunate inhabitants of Gainesville. Hare Krishna!

Pusta Krishna das

Comment posted by pustakrishna on April 30th, 2009

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