1,800 Pieces of Candy Prasad Distributed
1,681 Books Distributed
by 2 Main Distributors
150 Plates of Khichri Prasad Distributed
Harinama Attracts Everyone
The New York City Harinama Party attracts men, women, whites, blacks, adults, children, Jewish, Hindus, Muslim, Christians, and many others to play instruments and dance in glorification of the One Supreme Lord with unlimited names.
For the pleasure of Sri Guru, Srila Prabhupada, and Gauranga Mahaprabhu, the Yuga Dharma Ashram has led 31 six-hour Harinama parties this October at Union Square Park and in various subway stations. We distributed 1,681 of Srila Prabhupada's books (along with thousands of fliers), about 1,800 pieces of Candy Prasad, and 150 plates of Khichri Prasad.
Auspicious Month of Kartik
In this auspicious month of Kartik, we sang the Damodarastakam each evening and gave interested passersby the opportunity to offer a candle and a prayer to a picture of Mother Yasoda and Damodar. About 600 fortunate souls took advantage of this.
We ask others to offer a lamp for peace, happiness, or auspiciousness and to make a prayer. By Srila Prabhupada's mercy, many stop and offer a lamp and take a Prasad Sweet.
One passerby told us:
"I'm sorry I belong to another faith, I can't take your book but I want to give a donation. Last time [last year] I saw you, you made me offer a lamp and gave me a sweet which melted in my mouth, like nothing I had ever experienced, and since then life has never been the same."
"Even if there are no mantras, no pious deeds, and no purity, everything becomes perfect when a person offers a lamp during the month of Kartika."
—Skanda Purana, 103
"No sin exists anywhere in the three worlds that will not be purified by offering a lamp to Lord Kesava during Kartika."
—Skanda Purana, 113
Bhagavatam Installation Ceremonies
Because of the inspiration and determination of Mahotsaha das and Bhakta Cesar, we began a new program and distributed 5 Srimad-Bhagavatam sets and 2 Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta sets in October 2016. We started a Bhagavatam Installation Ceremony where we first speak and hear the glories of the Bhagavatam, then install the sacred book set with an arati, and conclude with Kirtan and Prasad. The devotees installing some of these books sets also promised to chant at least 4 rounds every day.
These devotees were very grateful, thanking Mahotsaha and Cesar for helping sanctify their house. One family expressed:
"I wanted to do something good on the death ceremony of my father-in-law. Thank you for bringing the Bhagavat into our home."
Please let us know if you are interested in having a set installed in your home.
"This Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Srila Vyasadeva, the incarnation of God. It is meant for the ultimate good of all people, and it is all-successful, all-blissful and all-perfect."
- Suta Gosvami, Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.40
"Srimad-Bhagavatam carries with it all the transcendental blessings of Lord Sri Krishna that we can expect from His personal contact."
- Srila Prabhupada, Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.40, purport
Feedback from the Public
I was walking to Radha Govinda Mandir, and someone I had met earlier saw me and called out excitedly “Hey Brotha! You remember me? You gave me this book in Union Square, its really good and I’m gonna get some more.”
This man was from Persia and I went way out of my way to stop him. One of my favorite ways of connecting with other men is to compliment their beard and because I saw that he was Muslim I said, “salaam” and by Lord Nityananda’s mercy whatever else I said convinced him to take the book.
She was staring at the Harinam. I said, “Salaam alaikum.” She replied, and I began to speak to her about love of God. She asked about the goal of life and how to obtain it. I answered that we need to learn about the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Allah, and develop love for him and that this Krishna book was about the pastimes of Allah since he was a boy until he wrapped up his pastimes. By reading this, I told her, you can develop attachment for Allah and obtain His eternal abode and associate with Him. She was interested and satisfied and took both the books by Radharani’s mercy. Later she sent an email expressing her appreciation of the Hare Krishna chanting and teachings.
Feedback from the Public
While on our daily harinama at Union Square Park, I stopped a lady who was walking by with her son in a stroller. I waved, smiled, and said, "Hello."
She smiled back and said, "No English," so we spoke in Spanish.
I asked her if she liked the chanting. She replied that she came because her son really liked to see us and loved to play the shakers. I tried saying hello to him, but she told me that he couldn't hear me because he was deaf. She used sign language to communicate to him about how he liked seeing us at harinama. She then turned to me and said,
"Even though he can't hear you guys, I know that he feels it (the harinama's spiritual energy) in his soul."
This made me realize how the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is available for everyone.
Harinama Sankirtana Yajna ki, Jaya!
I approached him and asked where he was from. He said he was from Egypt so I got him an Arabic book. He said he didn't want it, but I told him it was only one dollar so he changed his mind.
ComicCon - An Ocean of Mercy
By Mahotsaha das
By Sri Guru and Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, Bhakta Cesar and I distributed 667 books over a long weekend at the annual comic book convention.
The comic convention is where over 100,000 people come to the Javits Center by Penn Station in NYC and buy paraphernalia related to their favorite comic book characters. So of course we made sure they also received some of Srila Prabhupada’s books, the original comic books.
We encountered many costumed characters. I encountered one of the most peculiar people at this event while meditating on the third verse of the prayers to the guru we chant every day:
“He who has given the gift of transcendental vision is our lord, birth after birth. By his mercy divine knowledge is revealed within our hearts, bestowing pure love for Kṛṣṇa and destroying ignorance. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.”
He was a young boy with blood splattered on his clothes and lips and face painted white.
To grab his attention, I asked him how he did his make-up and he took a few minutes to explain the process. The attendees spent so much time and money on their costumes that they were happy to showcase their efforts.
I then glorified the Bhagavatam offering him a copy.
"This book is 5,000 years old and will help you distinguish reality from illusion."
Convinced, he took the book and while looking for his wallet told me some of the terrible things he had experienced.
"I have had it rough all my life. I'm seventeen years old and no one in the world loves me. My father was the only one that ever loved me and he passed away recently. My mother pretends to love me but only when other people are around. She physically abuses me when we are along, because she never wanted me. I am also constantly beaten up and harassed in school by bullies."
“I was recently in the psych ward, they put me there because I showed my councilor the book I wrote where I mentioned a 100 ways I planned on killing the bullies.” And with a crazed look in his eyes he admitted, "I was even going to do it, but then they tied me up in the psych ward with chains and all I could do was bang my head into the walls. After some treatment they let me out. To be honest, I feel like I have been transforming into the character I’ve dressed up as.”
His costume was "Jeff the killer,” from an Internet horror meme. By taking that Easy Journey to Other Planets book he will have the opportunity to change the course of his life from an easy journey to the darkest regions of ignorance to the realms of eternal bliss and full knowledge.
So many we met were just like this boy, pretending to be a particular character in this miserable world. Dressed in their costume (their body) they walk around convinced that they belong to this temporary ocean of misery. By Prabhupada’s mercy “Jeff the Killer” and hundreds of others received the gift that by reading or even touching can destroy the ignorance that has kept them suffering in the ocean of samsara. We pray that we can continue to serve as instruments of this divine mission.
Jaya Srila Prabhupada!