His Holiness Indradyumna Swami on the NYC Harinam
I would like to encourage and give acknowledgment to the wonderful service of Rama Raya Prabhu in continuing with the Harinama Sankirtan in New York City. New York City is one of the most important cities in the world where Prabhupada chose to go to begin his preaching in the western countries. To carry on his mission there is very important and significant.
The whole world looks at New York City and if we’re there, we’ll definitely stand out. Especially if we’re there in Vaishnava dress and we’re singing Hare Krishna on the streets just as Srila Prabhupada did. This is really following in the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada when we continue with his initial efforts to spread sankirtan through street sankirtan, book distribution, and prasadam distribution on the streets. It should never be given up.
There’s many innovative ways which we can spread the sankirtan movement as time goes on because Prabhupada himself was very innovative himself in spreading Krishna consciousness in the western countries. He encouraged us to think big and to think of novel ways of introducing Krishna consciousness without compromising our tradition. But it should never be at the expense of the original way to introduce Krishna consciousness to the world. And that is through chanting the maha mantra in the association of other like-minded devotees. And that was the means of Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself.
yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ
"In this Age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of saṅkīrtana-yajña."
He introduced congregational chanting of the holy names for devotees in the Temples and in the ashrams. Mahaprabhu came specifically with a mission to spread the sankirtan movement. He did it and the Acaryas who followed Him did it. And Prabhupada did it. And we should continue with it.
We should devise other means of preaching but that in itself is one of the most important instructions to keep the sankirtan movement going through street sankirtan in our devotional dress with our traditional instruments and the cheering smiling faces of the devotees and the joy that emanates from them.
My humble request is the devotees keep it going because personal contact with the people is the most effective. When you personally come in contact with the people and they see the purification, light and happiness in your eyes and in your face, that’s what attracts them to Krishna consciousness. Internet and other new ways are great but in all aspects of life, not only Krishna consciousness, but in general, personal touch is most important. So that personal touch is really there when devotees go on the street in Harinama parties and show the joy of Krishna consciousness. Nothing convinces people more than to see the genuine true happiness of devotees in their practice of Krishna consciousness.
So please, Rama Raya Prabhu, continue that. It’s not an easy thing to do. Going on the streets of Kali Yuga is never easy, but as Prabhupada wrote my Godbrother, “You are undergoing so many austerities traveling across England and sometimes it’s cold and there’s snow and you don’t get enough to eat and you don’t know where you’re going to stay, but you consider it like childsplay that austerity because you’re so much enjoying serving Lord Caitanya’s sankirtan movement. So that param drstva nivartate, that higher taste comes from chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
We experience that joy and we’re duty bound as followers of Srila Prabhupada to share our good fortune with others and what better way than take it to the streets because that’s where the people and the personal touch with them are. It will affect their lives. Even if they are just passing by, the mantra enters into their ears. They’ll remember it. They’ll think of it in their dreams and who knows - we planted the seeds in tens or hundreds of thousands of people just by one Harinama party. And those seeds will fructify in the course of time. Hare Krishna.