6 Year Anniversary Sankirtan Address
His Grace Rama Raya Prabhu
Dear Devotees and friends,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
March 25, 2018 marked the completion of six full years of daily New York City Harinam. There is a great satisfaction in increasing the number of hours, days, weeks, months, and years of public chanting of the Holy Names of Krsna. Lord Caitanya has said in verse one of His Sikshastakam prayers "chandrika vitaranam." This public chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord is non-different from the Lord and as such bestows all benediction upon everyone, spreading the rays of the soothing cooling benediction moon.
In this material world there is danger at every step due to our forgetfulness of our lost eternal loving relationship with the supreme reservoir of pleasure, Krsna. The pure chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord is completely empowered to deliver everyone to their safe eternal position and shelter by awakening the dormant love of Krsna that is in everyone's heart. By thus reawakening the flow of the waves of Love of Godhead, everyone is blessed to advance spiritually and the whole world is made favorable for real and lasting peace.
Lord Caitanya Himself initiated and began this Sankirtan movement some 500 years ago. He has foretold that this chanting would spread to every town and village of the world and that this Sankirtan movement would become the leading and predominant transcendental spiritual movement for 10,000 years to come!
So taking part in this great movement is the most important mission or activity in the opinion of the Supreme Lord Krsna and is considered by the Lord to be the best way to reawaken one's original loving relationship with the Lord because one becomes the dear-most lovable servant in the eyes of the Lord. The Lord says in the Bhagavad Gita that "one who preaches my message is the most dear servant and there will never be one more dear."
So on the occasion of our six year anniversary, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the many devoteees and friends who have helped to keep this incredible vow to make the public chanting happen every day for six hours without fail. I pray for the unreserved blessings of the Lord and His eternal dear-most devotees to shower upon you all! Through brutal cold, paralyzing blizzards, extreme heat waves, and superstorm Sandy in 2012, the incredible team work of all of you has made the impossible happen. What to speak of bravely bearing the often times rude or even violent reactions from the most conditioned souls!
Tolerating the above mentioned difficulties becomes the greatest pleasure in light of the amazing miracles and tremendous benefit the Sankirtan party of chanters witness first hand every day! Tens of thousands of people hear the chanting every single day; many are very favorably affected, participating in the chanting and expressing their sincere appreciation. Many transcendental books are easily taken and donated for with great happiness. As a result of meeting us, many many people take up the process of sadhana bhakti, pure devotional service.
Knowing that you were able to assist the Lord and His pure devotees to change so many souls lives for the supreme good is a source of immense happiness and the highest satisfaction. This is the reason that we go out every day for as many hours as possible, experiencing the topmost happiness; paramananda, to the extent that we cannot live without contacting that happiness, which is the supreme nectar for which we are always anxious.
The public chanting is not a performance to gain personal popularity or adoration like a musical performer but is a selfless act of the highest love to share with all souls truly from heart to heart. It is the highest expression of compassion delivered with the utmost respect, tolerance, mercy and forgiveness. The public chanting facilitates those who serve it (with their utmost sincerity) the greatest golden opportunity to come to the highest stages of saintliness and pure loving unalloyed devotion.
So as we begin our 7th year, I would like to encourage one and all to become more and more involved in this great mission of spreading the Lord's Sankirtan movement in New York City. As the weather warms and we station ourselves in Union Square Park and we have the opportunity to do walking harinam in Times Square, we encourage everyone to come out and participate.
And of course we offer our respects and gratitude to our monthly and regular donors. Maintaining a proper ashram facility in New York City for our team is very important service and we are in great need to expand that facility now. Helping us by donating is counted by the Lord as the greatest use of one's wealth, intelligence and reputation. As said in the Caitanya Charitamrita Adi Lila chapter 3 verse 78:
"Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the father and inaugurator of the sankirtan movement. One who worships Him by sacrificing his life, money, intelligence and words for the sankirtan movement is recognized by the Lord and endowed with His blessings."
Once again, thank you all very much.
Yours respectfully in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya's glorious Sankirtan movement,
Rama Raya dasa