krishna-varnam tvishakrishnam sangopangastra-parshadam
yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah
In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the holy name of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.
Hare Krishna. Pleased to post a little bit about the preaching activities over the last ten days around the country.
Gaura Purnima, the appearance day festival of the golden avatar Lord Caitanya is celebrated grandly at all 30 ISKCON centres in Malaysia. Lord Caitanya is the most munificent incarnation of Lord Krishna who appeared 532 years ago in Mayapur and personally together with His associates spread the chanting of the Holy Names of Krishna in every town and village. This is the most sublime and easy process for us to achieve perfection in this Kali Yuga and to go back to Godhead at the end of our lives.
In the cowshed hearing pastimes of Lord Krishna and about cow protection
On Thursday 1st March New Godruma Dhama farm hosted a busload of about 45 children and adults from the Indian Knowledge Systems Academy. They especially came to participate in Go Puja (worship of mother cow) and to also brush, bathe, cuddle the cows and feed them. Cuddling of cows has caught up as a health phenomenon in the west, only to say that it was an Indian therapy since the time of Lord Krishna. Children, cows and calves make a perfect match of friendship. The group members heard a class on the importance of caring for cows.
Sri Sri Radha Krishna Kanhaiya
On Gaura Purnima, 2ndMarch morning I joined the morning Mangala Arati at Sri Jagannatha Mandir. In the evening I was in the Temple of Devotion & Understanding reaching for the evening arati. I was blessed to witness for some minutes the worship of the most merciful Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga Rai & Sri Sri Radha Krishna Kanhaiya. I then visited Bukit Mertajam, ISKCON Bhakti Mandir for the evening program of Abhiseka, Kirtan, worship, class and prasadam. A nice play was enacted by the temple’s kids and very ecstatic kirtan by the youths. It was really assuring to see the sons and daughters of congregation members following in the devotional footsteps of their parents.
It was really nice to be with devotees from different parts of Malaysia from morning to evening taking their association and conversing about Lord Caitanya.
The next morning after Mangala Arati prayers and Japa, I joined the Bhakti Mandir temple president HG Dvija Gauranga Prabhu a retired director of the Anti-Drug Department of Selangor for Srila Prabhupada Guru Puja followed with Bhagavatam discussions. In the early 80’s Dvija Gauranga prabhu served as commandant of the Bukit Mertajam Drug Rehabilitation centre and later promoted to the bigger Karangan Centre. During these times he organized many preaching programs for the inmates and many did stop their drug habits and some becoming vegetarians. Notably his children are all practicing devotees. It is nice to see similarly many youths following the devotional examples of their parents.
Dvija Gauranga prabhu was happy to show me around the Bhakti Mandir Gardens of around 1 acre belonging to river reserve land which is being cultivated with vegetables, fruits and flowers for Lord Jagannatha. In Jagannatha Puri Lord Jagannatha is ONLY offered cooked items from vegetables grown in His own garden. Bhakti Mandir is making an attempt.
At around 10AM I left to the Temple of Devotion & Understanding to join the Jagannatha Misra feast. HG Isvara Prabhu from Nigeria but who is stationed in Calcutte and who is the founder of Touchstone Publications was giving the talk using a power point presentation of Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura’s songs glorifying Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
There again I saw another example of a leader whose sons are all practicing devotees. HG Kalesa prabhu the co-temple president of the Temple of Devotion & Understanding has 4 sons who are all practicing devotees. There are many such examples of parents and children practicing in all these temples. It is very encouraging. Thanks to all these youths for following in the devotional footprints of their parents.
In the evening I visited the Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir, ISKCON Kulim for their weekly program. HG Satyananda prabhu a devotee from his childhood times in Sitiawan following in his parents’ examples is leading the Kulim branch.
On 4th March I left for Nibong Tebal where we have a simple centre but a sizeable land for a future temple project and community living. HG Sevaya Hari the temple treasurer was offering the noon arati to Sri Sri Radha Syamasundar at the time I arrived. I then gave a class to about 20 people mostly children and youths. ISKCON Nibong Tebal has a good future seeing the gradual progress of Krishna conscious development. They are known for their free prasadam distribution in thousands during the Penang Thaipusam festivals.
After a nice lunch at Nibong Tebal I drove south to Ipoh for the evening program. ISKCON ipoh inaugurated their new temple in December 2015. It has a big temple hall with the most beautiful Sri Sri Parama Karuna Nitai Gauranga Deities. At the class I met some very old ISKCON Members Mr & Mrs Radhakrishnan and senior devotees including the temple president HG Para Brahma prabhu. Para Brahma prabhu is not only the temple president of ISKCON Ipoh but he is also very active around the country carrying out ISKCON’s spiritual, social & welfare work. He was a devotee since he was 17 years old. His services include performing vedic samskaras, the many purificatory rites from birth to death.
After the night class at Ipoh I headed to Kuala Lumpur and was happy after having spent three full days with devotees.
For the Gaura Purnima festival and to discuss the pastimes of Lord Caitanya, ISKCON Malaysia was very fortunate with the visit of many itinerant preachers. ISKCON GBC member His Holiness Bhakti Caitanya Swami Maharaja travelled the central, north and south Malaysia from 2nd to 9th March. HG Isvara prabhu, founder of Touchstone Publications visited the central and northern centres from 1st March to 11 March. ISKCON Malaysia Vice President HH Bhakti Mukunda Swami Maharaja has been making his preaching rounds around the country while HH Bhakti Prananatha Govinda Maharaja from Bhubaneshwara touched Malaysia on 8th and will continue visiting centres till the 17th of this month. It is not always we get such a bonus of itinerant preachers at the same time.
While chatting about preaching activities in Malaysia, H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami mentioned that during this visit he was very impressed with ISKCON Gelugor Temple President HG Kavi Nimai prabhu for his dynamism and energy engaging the congregation in outreach programs. Maharaja also said that ISKCON Taiping is very nicely located and also has a dynamic Temple President.
satam prasangam mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
satam—of pure devotees; prasangat—through the association; mama—My; virya—wonderful activities; samvidau—by discussion of; bhavanti—become; hrt—to the heart; karna—to the ear; rasa-ayanah—pleasing; kathah—the stories; tat—of that; josanat—by cultivation; asu—quickly; apavarga—of liberation; vartmani—on the path; sraddha—firm faith; ratih—attraction; bhaktih—devotion; anukramisyati—will follow in order.
In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.