Utpala das: ISKCON Nigeria made a leap forward on the 2nd/3rd of May 2009 as the yatra sets up a new council (The ISKCON Nigeria National Council- INNC). For over a decades or so now, the yatra has been in a state of near-comatose with conspicuous decline in preaching activities, general book distribution, manpower etc. (although some say it is a global phenomenon not peculiar to ISKCON Nigeria alone, this is not desirable) All glories to Guru and Sri Krishna as there seem to be a light at end of the tunnel as stake holders decided to take the bull by the horn by near-revolutionarily constituting a national council following a two days marathon meeting in ISKCON Temple, Benin City, Nigeria. Present in the meeting were co GBC, His Holiness, Bhakti Damodara Swami, His Holiness Bhakti Vasudev Swami, the Regional secretary, Canakya pandit, all the temple presents in Nigeria in exception of Hiranmaya das and Bhakta Boniface (who were unable to attend due health reasons), preaching centers’ managers and project directors as well as other members of the movement from across the country. On inauguration, the council swung into action and elected officers into various positions as follows:-
1. GANGA DAS - ———-CHAIRMAN.
2. ABHIRAM DAS ——- VICE CHAIRMAN.
3. UTPALA DAS - ——SECRETARY.
4. BHADRA SENA DAS –VICE SECRETARY.
5. ACARYA PRABHU —–TREASURER.
6. BHIBATSU DAS ———-FINANCIAL SECRETARY. AND
7. BALI DAS ——————-PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR. The council shall have the duty of piloting the (affairs of) the yatra under the guidance of the GBCs for the zone out of the doldrums of stagnation into a new era by charting a new course that will propel the yatra to a result oriented, fruitful and dynamic Krishna consciousness preaching activities/programs that will culminate in achieving the 7 points goals or purposes of ISKCON as enumerated by our Founder Acarya, H. D. G. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Vis:-
1. To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all people in the technique of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values and achieve real unity and peace in the world.
2. To propagate the consciousness of Krishna as it is revealed in the Bhagavad Gita and the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
3. To bring members of the society together with each other and nearer to Krishna the prime entity, and thus develop the idea within the members and humanity at large that each soul is part and parcel of the God Head (Krishna),
4, To teach and encourage the sankirtan movement of congregational chanting of the holy name of God as revealed in the teaching of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
5. To erect for the members and the society at large a holy place of transcendental pas times dedicated to the personality of Krishna.
6. To bring members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life, and 7. With view to achieving the afore mentioned purposes, to publish, and distribute periodicals, books, and other writings “in Nigeria in particular and West African sub region in general” The council is to meet quarterly to brainstorm on how to push the mission of Sri Caitanya Maha Prabhu forward in this part of the world and in the end fulfill the dreams of our beloved guru maharaj His Holiness Bhakti Tirha Swami for the Hare Krishna movement in West Africa as well as justify the efforts of our present GBC, His Holiness Kavicandra Swami.
Your servant, Utpala Das