By Madhavendu (das) SSM (Vrindavan - IN)
(It was written on March 06, 2005)
The international society for Krishna Consciousness commenced its propagation in Bangladesh in an effective manner in 1980. In the millennium year ISKCON was awarded land of 1.5 acres as charity in the Swamibag area of Dhaka metropolitan city, Bangladesh. A prominent local monk by the designation of Trailanga Swami who almost presided over in this world for 250 years had a disciple named Tripuralinga Swami, who in turn also lived for 150 years or so. Hence the name of the area is kept after these personalities. In the above mentioned tract of land, there were temples of small sizes dedicated to different demigods like Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali. Gradually, local slum inhabitants occupied the same. At last Sri Yasodanandan Acharya, who was acting as the last priest of the main temple, allotted it to ISKCON. The ISKCON management is endeavoring very scrutinizingly to exile unauthorized denizens of the place, now since in official hold of the premises. In the year 2000, Lord Jagganath’s chariot festivals were coordinated by members of ISKCON and by their various hard labor were able to install the deities of Lord Jagganath, Lady Subhadra and Lord Baladeva, occupied with daily execution of service to Their Transcendental Lordship.
Since, congregation of 50,000 accumulates annually to celebrate the nine days festivity of Ratha Yatra. Moreover, approximately 10,000 youngsters gather up in ISKCON Swamibag every Friday and hold various programs. Some specials programs are also scheduled by ISKCON devotees and volunteers during Sri Krishna Janmastami which attract more than the Ratha Yatra. Additionally, places pertaining to divine exploits of the entourage of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are present in Bangladesh namely: Srila Madhavendra puri - Sylhet, Isvara Puri - Sylhet, Advaita Acharya - Sylhet, Srivas Pandit - Sylhet, Birth Place Of Jagannath Mishra & Saci Devi
- Sylhet, Murari Gupta - Sylhet, Sivananda Sen - Sylhet, Basudev Ghosh - Sylhet Madhava Ghosh - Sylhet, Govinda Ghosh - Sylhet, Pundarik Vidyanidhi - Chittagong, Gadadhar Pandit - Chittagong, Vasudev & Mukunda Dutta - Chittagong. Rupa & Sanatan Goswami - Barisal, Haridas Thakur - Buron gram, Sathkhira. Rup-Sanatan Sri pat - Jessore, Thakur Haridas Sri pat - Jessore, Bhugarbha Goswami - Jessore. Lokanath Goswami - Magura, Ganga mata Goswamini - Nator, Rajshahi, Tapan Mishra - Faridpur, Narottama Das Thakur - Khatori, Rajshahi, Srila jagannath das Babaji -Tangail, Mymensingh, Bamsi Das babaji - Kishorgonj, Mymensingh, Srila Gaura Kishor Dar babaji - faridpur.
At present about 100 Brahmacaris are living in Swamibag. They have two separate preaching teams along with drama parties preaching Krishna Consciousness gospel. Many foreign devotees from various countries have joined them to fulfill Sankirtan Yajna and visit palaces related to Gaudiya Sampradaya. By the Mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the devotees in Swamibag are expecting the construction of elegant ISKCON Swamibag Temple, they invite all the devotees around the world to visit the Temple and join together for full success. Here I found few quotes where Srila Prabhupada is giving instruction regarding preaching in Bangladesh. I am sure this will be inspiring for those who are preaching in Bangladesh and who may begin in the future.
“What are your plans for Bangladesh? That is great opportunity, and when Americans will speak about this philosophy, the Muslims in Bangladesh will agree to hear and it will be very convincing. Try to convince upon them the high philosophy we follow. This is the only means to unify the whole world. Letter to: Tamal Krishna—Honolulu 11 May, 1972
I have already advised Tamala Krishna Goswami to go to Bangladesh and if you also sometimes join with him and preach this Krishna Consciousness movement amongst the Mohammedans in Bangladesh, it will be a great service. So far the practical side is concerned, as it was possible to attract so many Christians and Jews to this movement in your country, similarly, it is possible to attract the Muslims in Bangladesh by administering the right medicine. So try your best and Krishna will help you. Letter to: Acyutananda—-Honolulu, 16 May, 1972.
When you go there, on cooperation with him you can establish a center in Bangladesh by mutual arrangement, and that will be very suitable for your preaching. If the Americans can take up this movement seriously, why not the Bangladesh people? Try to meet with this educated public, and if you can convince them, it will be a great service. Letter to: Tamal Krishna— Honolulu, 16 May, 1972.”