Saturday, June 7, 2014
The First 50th
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Prabhupada’s arrival in the West. This is the time for devotees to develop projects as an offering for Srila Prabhupada in 2015. Think about some project that you would like to offer to honor Srila Prabhupada for his selfless and untiring efforts to help humankind. There should be hundreds and even thousands of events and projects manifested in 2015.
IMHO, as ISKCON makes plans for 2016, equal attention should be paid to 2015 commemorating Prabhupada’s historic journey to the West. For 2015 I am planning to develop a power point presentation to take to colleges, churches and various events to share Prabhupada’s story so that people may know of his remarkable contribution to humankind.
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 his struggle against great odds. (Look at how the world 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.
We have to understand the potency of STORY as way of winning the hearts of people. 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 that 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.
For 2015, we can each make some special offering. Imagine the impact of thousands, or tens of thousands of devotees all over the world, sharing Prabhupada’s story with the general public. 2015
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