Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Direction for the 50th

I started to write an appeal to devotees to help generate an interest in my recently published book Mahabharata: The Eternal Quest. I knew that I needed the help and blessings of all the devotees in order to create a tipping point that would spark a general interest in the book and the points it raises.

In looking at the direction I wanted to take with my book, I realized there is a broader issue for our society to look at.  As devotees, we always want to provide the answers to societies ills. But more importantly, we must first formulate the right questions for people to consider. In other words, how do we create buzz?  What type of conversations can we initiate which will be of interest and relevancy to the greater society?

Of course,  devotees around the world are making remarkable impacts every day. Now, as we approach the 50th, we need to focus on and broaden our influence in these areas, such as: kirtana, vegetarianism and prasadam distribution, yoga, the Hindu community, academia, promoting books, the media, Mayapur, festivals and cultural events which appeal to the public,  giving people an understanding of what is real leadership, what is dharma, and to appreciate Srila Prabhupada’s Herculean efforts to make Krishna Consciousness available all over the world.

By the 50th I mean both the 50th anniversary  of Srila Prabhupada’s journey to America and the founding of ISKCON.  Because, pardon my bluntness, the story and achievements of an individual always trumps that of an organization totting it’s own horn. 2015 has to be as important as 2016.  They are both part of the same story. We should take thorough advantage of both of these years.  (I’m sorry I don’t remember where, but I recently read a statement on a site that Prabhupada’s stepping off the Jaladutta onto the Boston pier was the most monumental event of the 20th century.)

I keep reading about meetings and conferences devotees have, but how are they communicating the planning and inspiring the rest of the Society? Is the planning inclusive? The main thing, since this is only a year way, is that right now for all devotees to be in the conversation about in the 50th  and to develop and promote individual and temple initiatives on the local level.

Fortunately, the dust has settled on much of the controversy that has plagued our Movement for the past 25 years. We can move forward with confidence. At this time let all lovers of the Holy Name join forces and move forward on the things we can agree upon. Let’s have a little experiment.  Let devotees put away their differences for three years and see what happens. This mood of cooperation would be very pleasing to Srila Prabhupada and would make a wonderful collective gift for him for the 50th.  We all need to be involved.  

Amaze yourself. Each day, move a little beyond what you think you can do.  Let’s use the 50th to catapult Krishna Consciousness into the 21th Century.

And by the way, please visit my site about the book   Thanks.