Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The First 50th

IMHO, as ISKCON makes plans for 2016, equal attention should be paid to the 50th anniversary of Prabhupada’s momentous journey to the West in 2015. In the public eye, the story of individual effort always trumps the story of an organization.  People can certainly make a more visceral connection with Srila Prabhupada since they would be natural inspired by a his struggle against great odds.  (Look at how the world has responded to the story of Nelson Mandela) And now especially as baby boomers head into their senior years (myself included), Prabhupada’s accomplishments will seem even greater. His is an important story to honor and to share.

To win the hearts of people in general one has to understand the potency of STORY. STORY is a valuable tool.  This has been my personal experience as a professional storyteller and workshop leader for over 25 years.

And Prabhupada’s is a remarkable story.  He came with practically nothing save for the three volumes of first canto of Srimad Bhagavatam he had prepared for the West.  He hitched a ride on a freighter, braved a month long voyage and struggled through a New York winter to present an ancient and venerable teaching to the West. And sociologically speaking, he came at a remarkable time when young people in the West were dissatisfied with materialistic culture and rejected the unprecedented wealth and education available to them.

This is the time for devotees to develop  projects as an offering for Srila Prabhupada in 2015.   I know Yadubara is doing a film and you may want to support that if you don’t have time to develop a project of your own.  But there should in fact be hundreds and even thousands of events and projects manifested in 2015 as a way to individually and collectively honor Srila Prabhupada for his selfless and untiring efforts to help humankind.

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