As we approach the Śrī Kṛṣṇa Janmāṣṭamī festival (Aug 25) and the Śrī Vyāsa Pūjā 2016 (Appearance day of Śrīla Prabhupāda, Aug 26), we have one more amazing reason to celebrate. An exciting new frontier has opened up in the matter of preaching the original Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement under the shelter of Śrīla Prabhupāda and Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

 

 

Upon the invitation of Jayapradā Mātājī, and also other Prabhupādānugas in Russia, a team of four of us — Sundar Gopāl Prabhu, Raghupati Prabhu, Subala Prabhu and our humble self — started for a long, one-stop, 17-hour flight from Singapore to Moscow on the 31st of July, 2016 and met a team of wonderful Prabhupādanuga devotees in Russia. We conducted Kṛṣṇa consciousness programs for the devotees in two areas — Moscow Region and Kursk. We also made a visit to the famous Kremlin Square in Moscow which has been made more holy by the dust of the lotus feet of Śrīla Prabhupāda as he walked there in the year 1971.

We have been there till the 10th of August and it is difficult to truly describe the infectious enthusiasm that has resulted in the Russian Prabhupadanugas and us alike, following the visit. The highlights of the trip are mentioned below.

 

 

A back-to-the-basics formula of strong sadhana as per Śrīla Prabhupāda’s regulations has been set up in order to regroup the fragmented Prabhupādānugas. Śrīla Prabhupāda always quoted the old adage, “United we stand, divided we fall.” As long as there is no strong Kṛṣṇa conscious practice, there will undoubtedly be differences and the movement cannot progress. Śrīla Prabhupāda always instructed us that purity is the force with which to push the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement forward with a united front.

Sundar Gopāl Prabhu presented with extensive scriptural evidence that without a strong program of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all devotees would be easily influenced by the base modes of passion and ignorance. That will, in turn, result in disparity. He also showed by personal example how to folllow a strict morning program without fail. Everyone was inspired by this two-fold presentation of perfect precept and practice, which is what Śrīla Prabhupāda asked his senior disciples to do.

I really feel like making a note here about the lectures given by Sundar Gopāl Prabhu. Especially after the physical departure of Śrīla Prabhupāda, there have been many deviations and speculations in our movement. These discrepancies have resulted in widespread mistrust in the words of devotees. Sundar Gopāl Prabhu’s unique way of presentation of philosophy, solely relying on śāstric verses and Śrīla Prabhupāda’s quotes in context, has been a welcome change and very much appreciated by all devotees present.

They expressed their heartful thanks for instilling in them the assurance that whatever they were hearing was authorized by Śrīla Prabhupāda beyond the slightest doubt. As it is said in Bhagavad-gita (4.40), “For the doubting soul, there is neither peace, nor perfection, not the supreme destination.”

Jayapradā Mātājī also arranged a unique mini nagara saṅkīrtana program atop two horse-pulled carts in the town of Kursk.

Significant credit should be given also to Raghupati Prabhu for preparing nice prasādam for all the devotees. The hospitality of Jayapradā Mātājī, Bhaktin Dariya, Yajna Mātājī, Kāñcīpura Prabhu, Bhakta Alexander of Moscow, Bhakta Alexander of Kursk, Bhakta Alexander of Anapa and Līlā Nandinī Mātājī is highly commendable and deeply appreciated. We also appreciate the excellent translation service done by Bhakta Alexandar, Bhaktin Anna and Bhaktin Dariya.

 

 

 

A temple, which has already been set up by Jayapradā Mātājī in Kursk, will serve as the first Prabhupādanuga temple in Russia. She is also going to start off a Food For Life program in Kursk. We are expecting to have more temples in Russia in the months to come.

After all, our visit was only going to be there for 10 days. Our intention was not to do a hit-and-run program. The enthusiasm has to be sustained for good. For this, we have also introduced apt measures. With the consultation of the Russian devotees, we have scheduled weekly online classes for them wherein Sundar Gopāl Prabhu will give classes over the internet and they will be translated live into Russian language by Bhakta Alexander of Kursk.
Bhakta Alexander of Kursk, who is proficient in both English and Russian languages, is going to translate the IA77 position paper into Russian language so that many devotees all over Russia can have access to the true instructions of Śrīla Prabhupāda regarding initiations after 1977. We are sure that a lot of devotees are going to be inspired by this work.

We also squeezed into our tight schedule, a visit to the Red Square, a historic place in Moscow where the Orthodox Church of Russia has its headquarters. It is of even more significance to us because our beloved Śrīla Prabhupāda walked there in 1971 during his historic 5-day visit to Russia in the Communist times.

That one small trip of Śrīa Prabhupāda to Russia has now resulted in thousands of devotees there. Sadly, they are being misled by the so-called ISKCON’s unauthorized gurus. They need to be saved by introducing the original Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement as per Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions regarding initiations.

We are deeply satisfied to see the Russian Prabhupādānugas in high spirits after the 10-day meeting. We are sure that our combined efforts will definitely please Śrīla Prabhupāda and enthuse all sincere Vaiṣṇavas. We are looking forward to deeper, long-lasting cooperation with the wonderful Prabhupādanuga devotees in Russia.
Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda!