By Rasika Murari dasa
Please accept my respectful obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga
Recently, the Congregation Development Ministry (CDMC) of ISKCON Malaysia organized a Leaders’ Convention which was held from September 30th through October 2nd at Port Dickson, Malaysia.
We were fortunate that the occasion was graced by HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami, who is a Zonal Secretary of Kerala and western Tamilnadu and Deputy GBC of the ISKCON s world body.
HH Bhakti Vinoda Maharaj discussed on many aspects of spiritual leaderships as envisioned and inspired by Srila Prabhupada. The sessions were kept interested throughout with pertinent quotes and significant anecdotes of Srila Prabhupada. The participants were perceptively involved in video learning, humorous role play and full-fledged multimedia presentation.
The convention was one that was an eye-opener and brought many realizations and new inspirations to all our leaders. It was an all-in-all joyous occasion- we had a brief presence of HH Bhakti Vranjendrananda Swami, ISKCON Malaysia President, HH Bhakti Vinoda Maharaj all throughout, wonderful Kirtans and discourses, blissful association of devotees from all over the country, and last but not least ‚Äď the most amazing Prasadam in local delights. It was truly an enthralling experience.
Appended below are some of the main points from Maharaj’s leadership sessions:
√ė A leader is one who knows where he is going and gets other people to follow
√ė Qualities of a leader as established by the GBC:
i. Has vision
ii. Loyal to Srila Prabhupada
iii. Loyal to ISKCON
iv. Carries-out Brahminical leadership
v. Practices cooperation and unity
vi. Has a strong spiritual strength
vii. Has knowledge of Srila Prabhupada
viii. Has a balanced lifestyle ‚Äď able to execute service
ix. Compassionate and shows concern towards all
x. Is accountable and responsible
xi. Seeks and gives association and support
xii. Empowers followers
√ė Why give up your devotional service to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna simply because someone said something offensive to you? It is your eternal right! It has come to you after millions of janmas! And you want to just lose it? Do not care what others think, but always care about what Krishna thinks. Even if the worst thing happens, do not leave your service and Krishna consciousness.
√ė A preacher need not be a scholar, good speaker, or entertainer. He/she just needs to speak Krishna conscious philosophy that will transform others. Language is NOT a barrier in preaching; as such we, as devotees, should not give excuses that we cannot preach because we are not well-versed in a certain language. Instead, we should speak with whatever little we know and feel a great urgency to teach Krishna consciousness and save others.
√ė We need transformational leaders, NOT transactional leaders. Srila Prabhupada was a transformational leader.
√ė Transactional leader: One who is able to give fortune, good economy, etc. but no ‚Äúfeel good‚ÄĚ empowerment
√ė Transformational leader: Able to positively transform characters for the better and empower people to feel good and foster positive characteristics.
√ė ‚ÄúManagement is a SPIRITUAL activity. We have to manage our spiritual activities.‚ÄĚ - Srila Prabhupada.
√ė Krishna consciousness is for everyone. It is for the MASS, not just those with CLASS! Leaders MUST remember this and reach out accordingly.
√ė The whole Parampara ‚Äď Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, Srila Rupa Goswami, are looking upon us, the Malaysian leaders to spread this mission. We are responsible for all people in Malaysia to join ISKCON.
√ė Devotees should have good self-esteem. Be proud to be a devotee of Krishna!
And, finally, our personal favorite, adapted from a famous caption:
ISKCON, with all thy faults, I still love thee!
Let us all pray unto the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada so that we will be able to properly serve this movement which he indicated to be like his very own body.
Kindly click on You tube link to view part of the convention.
HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami speaks on Leadership.
‚ÄúI restrained from leadership service in ISKCON some years ago due to some problems. Now, after attending this convention, I pledge that I will return to leadership in ISCKON Malaysia.‚ÄĚ
HG Surabala Prabhu, Kulim Yatra, Kedah
‚ÄúIt was a real spiritual motivation & eye-opener for me. HH Bhaktivinod Swami Maharaj’s classes were superb and he also freely mingled with the participants‚Ä¶my sincere thanks and appreciation to HG Radha Madhavam Pr, HG Rasika Murari Pr, and their team for the efforts rendered.‚ÄĚ
HG Sundara Sridhara Prabhu, Chairman of Bedong Yatra, Kedah
The topics presented by HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami Maharaj were excellent. The sessions gave us a lot of realizations on having the correct attitude and mood in serving Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs movement. Having more similar sessions in the future will definitely help enhance our leadership qualities. The Srimad Bhagavatam class by HG Jagat Saksi Prabhu was full of nectar. Not forgetting the mouthwatering Prasadam. For those who did not attend, you really missed it‚Ä¶!
HG Krishna Daya Prabhu, Chairman of Sungai Siput Yatra, Perak
Thank you to CDMC for the wonderful seminar. Keep it up. The seminars by HH Maharaj were excellent and strengthened our desire to serve Srila Prabhupad’s movement even more. Hope we would have more of HH Maharaj’s association in the future.
Three Haribols to HG Punya Sloka Prabhu’s prasadam! Just out of the world. Thank you again to CDMC for giving us this wonderful opportunity. For those who missed…it’s really a lost opportunity.
HG Yaduraj Prabhu, Chairman of Taiping Yatra, Perak
I want to record my thanks and appreciations to the CDMC and the members who had painstakingly, arranged the very successful seminar mentioned above. A very big HARI BOL to all of you. The seminars were simply inspiring, motivating and so relevant to not only the leaders,
but to every member of genuine concern for ISKCON. HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami Maharaj, by his charismatic presentation of the subject matter, made a waking-call, not just to my arrogant mind, but also my consciousness. Wish more leaders were present. Not only leaders, but every congregational member of ISKCON should have access to this kind of subject matter, the understanding that ” Srila Prabhupada underwent much more inconveniences, and difficulties than any one of us. That Srila Prabhupada faced adversities beyond our imagination- but he tolerated. ……….. And so could we!”
HG Muni Stuta Prabhu, Vice Chairman of Teluk Intan Yatra, Perak
108 Haribols to the CDMC for a memorable and a wonderful convention. All of us participants returned home with sweet memories , rejuvenated with blistering kirtan, enlightening classes, unforgettable Prabhupada lila and most of all floating in the magic touch of Srila Gurudev‚Äôs Sannyasi disciple HH Bhaktivinod Maharaja and the Charming HG Jagath Saci Prabhu whose opening class had everyone spellbound and hankering for more krsna katha and Prabhupad lila. We need more of such blissful days forever !!!! Long live CDMC
HG Paramananda Krishna Prabhu, Chairman of Bahau Yatra, Negri Sembilan
Like all those who were fortunate to experience the nectar of the association of especially HH Bhakti Vinod Maharaj also HG Jagat Saci Prabhu and the local devotees it was a unique experience where interaction was transparent and the learning experience was in a happy, transcendental mood without anxiety. Haribol, very good sessions and an eye opener. Unfortunate many of the leaders who would have benefited were not able to attend this time , Please consider a second session with Maharaj for those who missed out,
HG Dvija Gauranga Prabhu, Chairman of Bukit Mertajam, Penang
Rasika Murari dasa
CDMC, ISKCON Malaysia