ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry at ILS 2023 - Biggest booth in the biggest temple  - ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry

ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry at ILS 2023 – Biggest booth in the biggest temple 

This year, we, the Congregational Development Ministry, had the biggest booth at the biggest gathering of Iskcon leaders in the biggest Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in the world. This gathering of leaders is known as Iskcon Leadership Sanga 2023. It was a 5 days festival from February 12-16th of 2023 of Iskcon leaders, where many present and future leaders around the globe had come together to follow Srila Prabhupada’s instruction that the leaders of his society should gather once a year at the holy headquarters of Sri Dham Mayapur to discuss unity in diversity.

There were so many booths from different parts of the world providing a variety of services in Srila Prabhupada’s movement. Our biggest booth was divided into 3 different sections to help a variety of devotees. The first section was about Bhakti Vriksha books to help devotees to start the Bhakti Vriksha program or to develop the existing Bhakti Vriksha program in their area. Many devotees took advantage of this section by enquiring and buying books. The second section was about Bhaki Kids. This section was to help teachers, parents, or any other devotees to start preaching to the kids or to teach spiritual knowledge in a systematic method. This was the center most attractive and colorful section of our booth because it was covered with many colorful materials such as an activity book, board book, lesson plans, Srimad Bhagavatam study for kids, etc. Many people visited, enquired, and purchased the books. The last section was about books related to preaching. It had a few books by Chandra Mauli Maharaj which included many beautiful pastimes and realizations of prisoners who became devotees in prison houses. Such preaching pastimes inspire devotees to preach in any condition. In these three sections, we sold a total of 323 books along with a few pen drives. We sold 38 books on the first day, 73 books on the second day,  38 books on the third day, 81 books on the fourth day, and the fifth day, we sold 73 books plus 20 Godrum Kalpatavi in the Russian language. We are glad that we are contributing to Srila Prabhupada’s movement by providing our services through our books and seminars to help many devotees from all over the world.

It was very inspiring to see and take guidance, and association with many maharajas, senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and other senior devotees. Every single day of the ILS, H.H. Jaypataka Swami Maharaj visited our booth and instructed us on the idea of selling books, videos, and other content through the pen drive and also helped us by arranging pen drives on time. By following his instruction we made 4 categories of pen drives.

The first one contains 43 books +96 CDM videos for rs.1,500/-.

The second one includes a total of 13 Bhakti Kids books and materials except the Becoming Your Devotee book.+96 CDM videos for rs. 700/-.

The third one has 20 books of Bhakti Vriksa +96 CDM Videos for rs. 900/-.

The fourth one includes 20 CDM preaching books +96 CDM Videos for rs. 900/-. H.H. Jaypataka Swami Maharaj also wanted to attend the Bhakti Kids seminar by “Gourangi Gandharvika Mataji” but could not do it due to his eye operation. Candramauli Swami Maharaj also visited our booth and instructed us to make the addition of one more book “Daily Drops of Nectar” to our stall. HH Niranjan Swami Maharaj instructed to introduce the Russian version of “Becoming your Devotee” soon. Our booth was interviewed by many other devotees to have details regarding our services.

Every single day we had a seminar and sometimes we had two seminars so at a time there were more than 3 volunteers to take care of the booth along with the seminar. For three different sections in the booth, our 3 different leaders gave seminars. In the absence of General Manager, H.G. Seva Svarupa Das, H.G.Rameshvar Giridhari Prabhu gave 3 seminars on the topic of “Empowering our families in outreach”. Nityanand Ashray Prabhu gave 3 seminars on the topic of “Raising robust communities through Bhakti Vrikshas”. Gourangi Gandharvika Mataji gave 3 seminars on the topic of “Bhakti kids”. During the seminars, we had arranged one small book stall outside of the seminar hall for devotees to immediately and easily enquire, see and buy the books. Another purpose was to get the contact details of the devotees. 

Just like in the spiritual world, all residents have only one goal which is to serve Krsna, we also had one goal of pleasing Krsna and His most dear devotee Srila Prabhupada. It was like 5 days trip to the spiritual world of Sri Mayapur Dham with Srila Prabhupada’s family to have spiritual fun where many devotees could meet, greet, eat together, and spend time by discussing spiritual topics. Every day we had a total of 40 seminars by different senior devotees on different topics but one could attend 4 seminars in a day because 10 seminars by different leaders were happening at the same time. So, devotees were scattered everywhere. Some were at the seminar, some at their booth, and some were busy seeing other booths, during the evening some devotees were in kirtan. First 3 days we had blissful Kirtan by 3 Maharajas H.H. Lokanath Maharaj, H.H. Niranjan Maharaj, and H.H. Shivram Swami Maharaj in the Tovp temple hall. On the fourth day,  Bhakti Marg Swami Maharaj arranged a beautiful drama on the topic “Witness Gopal”.

Many devotees were in the ILS from morning 8 to night 9 serving in different areas. Devotees from Mumbai Chowpatty temple under the guidance of Gauranga Prabhu took the special initiative of providing a tasty and healthy prasadam three times a day for 5 days. Some devotees were taking care of the management of pandal, some were handling the registration desk, some were scheduling seminars, and many other services which is needed to make ILS successful. The goal of ILS is to help us become acutely aware of the need for this kind of synergy and interdependence. Our individual strength lies ultimately in the quality of our sanga, and the quality of our collective sanga relies on each of us offering our individual strengths in a mood of service.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All Glories to ISKCON Leaders!

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