His Holiness Satsvarupa Dasa Gosvami on the NYC Harinam
I think Rama Raya’s sankirtan party in New York City is the best Harinama party in the world. Most Temples go out on Harinama once a week, but his party goes out every day of the week and chants for 6 hours - rain or shine. Their main place is Union Square but if the weather is unfavorable, they go to various subways of New York City. It is not an easy thing to chant for New York City audiences for 6 hours in a row. The other day a drunken man threw beer on the party, but they were undaunted.
Rama Raya used to be a part of the 24 hour sankirtan party in Krishna Balarama Mandir in Vrindavana. He was very close to Aindra Prabhu, who was the leader of that party. When Aindra Prabhu passed away, Rama Raya Prabhu was grief-stricken. But he was inspired to leave Vrindavana and come to America and do Harinama in New York City, the first city where Prabhupada presented Krishna consciousness in the west. It is maybe the greatest city in the world and to chant there is most effective.
Srila Prabhupada and Aindra Prabhu also have both stated in their books that the congregational chanting of Hare Krishna is the first service in Krishna consciousness. Unfortunately, it is neglected in ISKCON and not considered a priority. But it is a priority for the party in Union Square. Every day they meet people who hear the holy name and thus according to scriptures they have planted in these people’s hearts the seeds of bhakti. These seeds will eventually fructify and they will become devotees of the Lord. Such is the power of the maha mantra.
Rama Raya has been going out steadily in Union Square for 5 years day in and day out. People should support his program, and they should join the Harinama party and make donations. This is really the first line of preaching in Krishna consciousness and everyone should appreciate it. Hare Krishna.