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Bangkok – The city to invade

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 / Published in Reports / 4,646 views




By Radhikakrpa Devi Dasi

“I will never come back to Bangkok” were the words I uttered to myself way back in the year 2007 on the journey home from a preaching trip to Sydney, Australia. I was upset and annoyed as I had forgotten my copy of Caityana Caritamrta in the taxi to Bangkok airport. Frankly I detested the place for that.

But the Lord has different plans for His devotees.This summer I was linked to His Holiness Bhakti Vigna Vinasha Narsimha Maharaja by Sri Vallabha prabhu from Damodardesh (Dubai). I was recommended by him to Maharaja to preach in Bangkok which is a homeland to many punjabi’s and sikhs.And HH BVV Narsimha Maharaja was kind enough to yield my services there.He advocated the centre’s young manager HG Antranga prabhu and his dutiful wife HG Sumadhuri devi dasi to take care of me .

With the mercy of Guru and Gouranga I landed in Bangok on the first day of the month of Kartika. Devotees travel from far and wide to the holy dham of Vrndavan to celeberate this auspicious month but Krsna’s plans took me away to the city of Bangkok. I was more than happy to serve Srila Prabhupada and my spiritual master.

My caretakers being Nepalese students could manage to arrange a house programme with a punjabi devotee and two temple lectures. We were not at all discouraged and had full faith in Srila Prabhupada. Bangkok doesn’t host a big temple or a very big congregation.The punjabi devotee organised the programme in her parental palatial house that was attended by 80-100 people .Most of them were attending such a kind ISKCON discourse for the first time where in punjabi language they could explore similarities between their beliefs and Bhagvad gita and Srimad Bhagvatam. Krsna means “all attractive” so how can be talking about Him be less attractive. The melodious kirtan by Sumadhuri devi dasi and her team enchanted all.

We were very fortunate as among the crowd were the managers of the biggest Hindu Temple in Thailand popularly known as Hindu Sabha. They were highly impressed by the discourse that focused mainly on “ Vaisnava Teachings in Sikhism”. After the programme they immedeatly invited us to speak to a crowd of 800-1000 people. We grabbed this opportunity for preaching. Not only this we got several invitations not only from Punjabi’s but even from families from South of India and Bangladesh for the next 10 days. With the grace of the Lord and mercy of Srila Prabhupada I could celeberate my Kartik with full vigor and joy; joy of preaching; for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

7 comments

  1. 0
    isvaradas says:

    Thailand has a very big potential for Krishna consciousness, the Thai people being very simple-minded have a good disposition of being faithful people. All over Thailand, you can see Thai people making their pranams to all kinds of Vedic deities such as Ganesh, Brahma, Lakshmi, Vishnu and of course Lord Buddha. Even at their prestigious international airport is the big diorama of the churning the ocean of Nectar, with the devas and demons all pulling the big name; in a sense; just like the Bhagavatam painting.

    While the Thai people thus have such a great potential for taking up Krishna consciousness, our ISKCON outreach largely focus mainly on the immigrant Nepalis and the Burmese. Our real target, which is the Thai people are replaced by the easy acceptance we get from Nepalis and Burmese immigrants who are all technically Indians.

    I don’t see it as a preaching success when all we can focus or care about are the immigrants of Indian origins who are spread all over the world, rather than the locals.

  2. 0
    Puskaraksa das says:

    It is enthusing to see a Mataji with such a great preaching spirit as Radhikakripa devi dasi and I believe that such preaching opportunities should be encouraged amongst our matajis’ community, as their presentations can also have a great impact on people…

    From a trip to Thailand in 1988, I remember that there was hardly anything then, except for a Prabhupada disciple and one foreign devotee married to a Thai lady.

    But I was impressed by the fact that there were a number of local Thai vegetarian restaurants all over Thailand, as a number of local Buddhists followers are vegetarians, putting genuinely into practice the principle of ahimsa preached by Lord Buddha…

    So, despite the fact that it is great to host the community of Indian origin all over the world, as they can also pave the way for others to come to Krishna consciousness, Isvara das Prabhu is making a point by highlighting the fact that our preaching ambition should also be to reach out to the population of local origin everywhere in the world…

    When we can convince the British people in the UK, the French in France, the Thai in Thailand, etc., that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Father of Jesus and the Source of all Avatars (Avatari), then we will be able to measure our real success in spreading Krishna consciousness…

    But I guess, there are several steps that we have to go through… From the hippie time, we went to the street harinams, from the pioneering age of collecting lakshmi and distributing books by hook or by crook, we are establishing an organized and structured worldwide movement.

    Once we have been able to involve enough expertise in our movement, so as to refine our presentation and bring our hospitality standards to a “professional” level, we will be in a position to attract the local people on the basis of what we do…

    Then, they will become interested in knowing who we are, and finding out more about our Source of inspiration, which induces us to do such great things, as our genuine compassion develops…

    As Jesus did put it, one judges the tree by its fruits !

    So, let us welcome expertise from all spheres of knowledge in our management, so that we may come up to a universally acceptable and, all the more, attractive standard, so as to attract more and more souls towards the lotus feet of Sri-Sri Madan Mohan and Madan Mohan Mohini…

    All glories to the Thai yatra…

  3. 0
    radhikakrpa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I very much agree that Tahiland is a beautiful country with very simple, loving inhabitants .The country hosts beautiful idols of various Vedic demi gods and Vishnu Himself too ; exhibiting the people to be God fearing. We are very grateful to the Nepalese and Burmese who have revived their Krsna Cons. with Srila Prabhupada’s mercy. Not only they have taken to it but also are vigoursly preaching it to the Thai people too. They speak their language which simplifies our job.
    I have personally met Thai and Chinese devotees there. I have mentioned in the report that Thailand doesnt hold a big congregation ; so I would request devotees who are eager to serve Srila Prabhupada should accept these challenges and go forward in the forefront to preach. Please I humbly beg you HG Isvardas prabhu also to come forward and preach to the Thai people as he seems to have good knowledge of the country.
    In my write up I have mentioned of particularly taking the topic ‘Vaisanva teachings in Sikhism ‘ so as to clarify the doubts people hold that is an obstruction in the path to Krsna Cons. So as to target the Punjabi community (Sikhs and Hindus) ;to bring fortune to them -fortune of Krsna Prema (love of Krsna ).

    servant of the servant of the servant …of Sri Madhusudana
    Radhikakrpa devi dasi

  4. 0
    isvaradas says:

    I do applaud the efforts of Radhakrpa Mataji in her preaching while in Thailand. Such preaching efforts can be seeing all over the world that are targeted to the immigrant people of Indian origins. Such people of Indian origins have revived their dormant Krsna consciousness through the preaching efforts of ISKCON devotees coming from all over the world. However the truth of the matter is preaching to those audience does not pose any real challenge to a preacher. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta said it takes more than a pint of blood to convince someone in taking up Krishna consciousness. In reality it will take more than 10 gallons of blood to convince a non-Indian person in taking up Krishna consciousness. Any preacher can attest to that fact.

    Apart from Eastern European countries which include Russia and now China, that are seeing vibrancy in people taking up Krishna consciousness, every other places in the world has become dormant. Devotee preachers have taken their comforts in preaching to the people of Indian origins. Preaching to Indians is the easiest. All one has to do is to open his mouth, do some kirtans and say something about Krishna, then one will be surrounded by throngs of Indians. Indians are naturally pious and religious-minded people, so seeing a preacher in their adopted country provides a relief for them, for having seeing something that they left at home. Because of this easy acceptance and adulation that devotee preachers receive from the immigrant Indian population, the real preaching mandate that was given to us by Srila Prabhupada has been abandoned. I was told when devotees asked Srila Prabhupada in England if they should preach to the Indians, Srila Prabhupada replied “no”, saying that the Indians are naturally Krishna conscious, rather the effort should be directed to the local people. Unfortunately this order of Srila Prabhupada is not being followed today.

  5. 0
    kavicandra swami ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We have many “Nepalese” who were born and raised in Thailand. Their education has been in Thai language. Their presence has increased quality book distribution many times over. Now we do have many Thai people coming to programs and some getting initiated.

    If anyone would like to come here and do better they are welcome. We just had a Ratha Yatra, on the King’s birthday, in Pattaya. Many Thai devotees, out of over 500 total, were in attendance. 1700 Thai language books were distributed. Many Thousands of Thai people got prasadam and mantra cards. Thai devotees danced on the main stage on live TV.

    One Thai man, Bhakta Lek, has been chanting for 13 years. He has a house full of Krsna Deities. He preaches and distributes many books. He sends Thai people to the temples and brought many friends to the Ratha Yatra.

    Sorry to be defensive. We are open to anyone who can come and do better. If many of Nepali origin come are we to reject them? In many countries the Indians have saved the Temples with financial help. Now we have the challenge to also preach to the adi vasis.

  6. 0
    kavicandra swami ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Since HH BVV Narasimha Swami came to Thailand he has focused on distribution and publication of Thai books. Ramalaxman Prabhu, native Thai, has kept a Sunday harinam going for many years. When there was an influx of Nepalis, naturally they started attending.

    Going door to door HH BVV Narasimha Swami distributed also to Indian families who has lived their whole lives in Thailand. Some of them became serious devotees and are now very big full time preachers, in Thai language.

    The general Thai people worship but have little knowledge. Very few “buddhists” are vegetarians. One group, Santi Asoka, are strict vegetarians. They are not allowed to call themselves Buddhists due to the fact the they are vegetarians.

  7. 0
    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Kavicandra Swami,

    I appreciate your straight and direct answers and positive report on the preaching going on in Thailand. I appreciate your invitation for anyone to come and do any better. It is easy to talk but to act is a different story.

    We have to see everyone as a spirit soul. And whoever and in whatever embodiment can bring other souls to Krishna consciousness than why not seeing this as part of a global arrangement set up by Providence to allow Lord Caitanya’s mission to have a breakthrough in any particular local area? For what I perceive from your report, it seems to work out that way in Thailand.

    We should be eager to preach to local people. That is a natural sign of gratitude to fellow countrymen whom, as instructed by Srila Prabhupada, we should try to save. That goes along the instruction of Lord Caitanya: … tara ei desha (saving that land).

    Srila Prabhupada and all the devoted souls preaching directly or indirectly the message of Lord Krishna, ki jaya!

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