Festival of Encouragement
By Raxit Jariwalla
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
The Monthly Sankirtana Festival of Encouragement, held last weekend to honor the Divine Appearance of Lord Sri Ramacandra, was concluded on Rama-navami (Tuesday, April 12th), on which day the final results were offered to Srila Prabhupada, Sri Rama and their Lordships at the ISKCON of Silicon Valley (ISV) temple in San Jose, CA.
From hearing about the pastimes of Lord Rama, we learn about the qualities of a great leader. He was a righteous King who practiced Dharma throughout his life, displaying great courage during periods of happiness or distress. He was humble to everyone around him, encouraging them in teamwork and treating them with affection and respect. He accepted His father’s order in such a humble manner that the 14 years he spent in the forest set an example for many in the art of tolerant living. He showed how one can remain equipoised and calm even in the most trying circumstances.
The major goals of this MSF of Encouragement were to:
* Recite the entire Ramayana by Lord Rama’s appearance day and
* Create a separate 501 C3 account by Rama-navami day
We are pleased to report that these main MSF goals have been successfully met.
First, devotees participated in the reading and recitation of Sri Ramayana (by Bhakti Vikasa Swami) led by HG Vaisesika Prabhu over several conference calls, culminating in a grand finale reading of the last section of the Ramayana at the ISV temple on the auspicious day of Rama-navami. Second, the documents for the 501 C3 non-religious arm of ISV called ‘Pacific Learning Alliance’ were filed last Friday. This would allow ISV to accept funding from organizations who give to non-profits that are not explicitly religious.
In addition to glorifying Lord Ramacandra, as part of this MSF, ISV devotees participated in a Hari Nama Sankirtana performance last Friday in Palo Alto, and on the same weekend (April 9th and 10th), they went out on door-to-door book distribution in the Bay Area. In addition, more than 60 Ramayana books (delivered by Damodar Vamsidhari Prabhu) were distributed to ISV devotees during temple programs, some during Sankirtana, and several hundred Bhagavad Gitas were dispatched to different motels in the US by ISV MotelGita devotees in collaboration with devotees from Houston, Boston and other states.
Summary of Scores
Here is a summary of the book distribution scores:
* More than 25 devotees participated in book distribution
* 1350 books were distributed (including Gitas to Motels)
* $3125 in Laxmi points were collected (including donations)
Following the offering of these MSF results, several devotees who attended the program pledged a donation of $51 each for a Ramayana book plus a placard in response to a call by HG Vaisesika Prabhu. The final tally of scores at the conclusion of the Rama-navami festival was:
· 1358 books distributed
· $3593 Laxmi raised
On behalf of Team ISV, we thank all MSF participants, service providers and donors.
MSF of Encouragement ki Jai!
Yours in service,
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