The World Sankirtana Party—SP

November 11, 2021 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Jan 22 1968 letter Hamsadutta
 
Another proposal is I want to form a sankirtana party in which two members will play mrdanga, eight will play the cymbals, two will play on tampura, and one harmonium, besides that there will be the leader of the party. This party will be so trained that exhibitions of our chanting and dancing along with distribution of prasadam will be performed on a stage and for this performance we will sell tickets to the public. It will be known as a spiritual movement. Suppose if we begin it from New York and there is good response from the public, then our attempt will be successful prior to our traveling all over the world. We will earn money by stage exhibitions and attract attention of the elite public and move from one station to another. A shorter type of this exhibition was held during our television show and the performance was very much appreciated. So I want to train such a party immediately. I do not know where such training will take place, but I want to do it immediately in my presence. So consult with Brahmananda and others about this proposal. Give me your return suggestions about this proposal.
 
July 29 1968 letter Gurudas
Regarding London-yatra: Fifteen means including you and your wife. The calculation is 3 pairs from San Francisco, and 2 pairs from here. These 5 pairs is 10 heads. Myself is 1, so it is 11. And 2 or 3, utmost 4, Brahmacaris. So your name was never excluded; if you do not find your name mentioned, it is a mistake. So there is no reason for you to feel disturbed. I am very happy that you are putting the London plans into “full gear” now, and please do it, and as nicely as possible.
 
Feb 26 1968 letter Brahmananda
Please accept my blessings.I am very much ambitious for leading a Kirtana party, especially all over your state, and Europe. Hamsaduta is trying to organize this party. If you can move with this Kirtana party, say a batch of 12 to 15 heads, all over the States, as well as Europe, I am sure we will be more popular than the so-called yogi Maharishi Mahesa. I have received another letter from Acyutananda in which it appears that he is not fixed up in staying in India. He is very seriously thinking of coming back, and this is very disappointing. If he comes back then our dream of opening a center in India is not very encouraging, because Kirtanananda came back, Ramanuja has joined with the Buddhist camp, and Acyutananda at the beginning showed very encouraging hopes, but that is gradually vanishing, and he is eager to come back.
 
March 13 1969 letter Yamuna
She and her Gujarati devotees have invited me to go to Africa so I told her that if I go to London then I may go to Africa from there. I have in my mind to form a very strong Sankirtana Party in London. Namely, the members who are already there, joined by the L.A. party and some others—some from Montreal, some from New York, to make a strong party of not less than 25 boys and girls. We wish to make a world tour with this Sankirtana Party—that is my ambition. I do not know what is Krishna’s desire, but if it is successful, I am sure to push our movement very nicely this will be the way.
 
June 26 1969 letter Hamsadutta
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated June 22, 1969, and I have noted the contents. As you know that in the beginning of the Sankirtana Party, first I suggested to you, and you formed a small party in New York and began to perform Sankirtana in the parks. To some extent this was successful. Then gradually this idea was taken by others, and I am getting good reports from everywhere. So Sankirtana is our life and soul, and you have got a natural tendency for these Sankirtana performances. I have seen this personally, and you can do it very nicely. So for you the best thing will be to form a Sankirtana Party for yourself and travel all over the country. The talks which you had with Subala for a touring program, I do not know what happened to it. Subala also is not here; he has gone to Philadelphia with a view to open a center there, but I have not heard from him yet. The most successful Sankirtana affairs are going on here in Los Angeles. It is actually wonderful in comparison to others. They are also thinking of opening a branch in Laguna Beach, and I have encouraged this idea. Personally, I also still maintain the idea of a world Sankirtana Party, but such things at the present moment are a dream only. But one day maybe it may come out successful. So as you ask my permission to come here, I have no objection. I think if you come here and stay for a few days to study how they are doing things nicely, it will be a great benefit. Besides that, in San Francisco they are arranging for a nice Rathayatra Festival. So after getting all these ideas, if you make a program for touring all over the country with Sankirtana Party, that is cent per cent supported by me.
 

Aug 3 1969 letter to Robert Hendry
So your program, seemingly like military men, marching with the Hare Krishna Mantra slogan is very very encouraging to me. I am always dreaming of a world sankirtana” Party, but your idea of marching 300 soldiers all over the world with the Hare Krishna Mantra is almost in fulfillment of my dream. So if you can believe in this adventure, certainly you will be doing a great deal of service to the humanity and therefore satisfying Krishna also.
 
Feb 4 1970 letter Hamsadutta
I have received letters from London that they are organizing World sankirtana” Sankirtana Party very seriously; therefore, it would be better if you go first to London and see how things are going on, then you may go to Germany if it is needed. They have asked me to send Visnujan, but I think if Visnujan goes from L.A. there is no second man to organize the street sankirtana“Sankirtana here. Practically, in his absence, his place cannot be immediately replaced. But if you go to London and join the sankirtana” , I think the vacancy there will be filled up. So I shall be glad to hear from you what you decide to do.
 
Feb 8 1970 letter Mukunda
Regarding Temple management, I may inform you that Tamala Krishna may help you how to organize, but if you make him stay in one place and he cannot move to other places then the idea on which he was left in London—that he should see the development of the centers in France and Germany—will be jeopardized. As our branches are increasing it is necessary that somebody shall move from one place to another for improving the particular center’s activities. Besides that, you have also requested to send Visnujana to London, but you know that whatever improvement has been made in Los Angeles is due to the Sankirtana Party going outside the Temple. Madhudvisa and Jayananda have gone to San Francisco, and Tamala has gone to London. So out of the four leading boys of the Sankirtana Party, three are already out. So the remaining one’s, Visnujana’s, presence is needed here. Gargamuni and Stoka Krishna are engaged otherwise, so Visnujana is taking care of the new devotees as well as Kirtana Party. If, therefore, he also goes away, I think that the management here will suffer.
Tamala has certainly got valuable talent in dealing with outsiders, particularly with regards to arranging engagements, but I think that some of you also pick up his talents and then he will be free to move to other places so that they also may utilize his service. There are pending many important businesses in France and Germany, but if Tamala cannot go there on account of London’s business, then their business will suffer. I think, therefore, that Tamala’s services and talents should be learned by you and he may be allowed to go at least for a month to Germany and Paris and then come back to London.
The whole idea is that he may stay one month in London and then go out for one month to Paris and Germany and then come back again to London. In this way, when things are going on smoothly everywhere, then he can devote more time in London for other important things.
I have advised Hamsaduta to go to London and then to go to Germany for organizing Sankirtana. I could not follow the meaning of the last line of your letter, “We look forward to the day when You grace us with Your Holy Instructions for Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtana.” If you mean by this line about the World Sankirtana Party, then I may inform you that for this purpose you will have to wait for some time more. The purpose of World Sankirtana Party will be to establish a center in each and every city and village of the world. This idea is taking practical shape in various centers. Just like you started for London Yatra and now after one year it has taken a shape, similarly in Germany also it has taken a shape, but in Paris it has not taken as yet. Therefore World Sankirtana Party means to establish a center everywhere we go.
I do not mean a concert party or musical party that may go to a city, have some performances and collect some money without any permanent effect. For this purpose the World sankirtana” Sankirtana Party should consist of members who can impress spiritual ecstasy in the hearts of the people so that some of them may come forward and agree to establish a center where the sankirtana party may go on continually.
From Krishna das’ letter it appears that in Germany there is good prospect for opening many centers. When you last went to Germany it was very effective. Why not first of all start a center in Paris and a few other centers in Germany and then think of the World Sankirtana Party on the basis of starting a center wherever you go. Both Tamala and yourself, Gurudasa and Syamasundara. think over this idea, and in the meantime, as you are yourself a musical instructor, you can teach the newcomers in the Kirtana performances for future program.
 
NoteTKG was good at material management but not so good with devotees personally. This same trait was noted by Prabhupada in his Godbrother Tirtha maharaj whomBhaktisiddhanta maharaj even paid some salary to.
April 1 1970- letter Hamsadutta
So far Sankirtana is concerned, I am so much pleased to learn that you are taking Sankirtana as your life and soul. There is no doubt about Krsna’s being pleased very much upon those who are engaged in such Sankirtana Movement, that is admitted by Lord Krsna in the Bhagavad-gita and Caitanya Caritamrta. Some of the best students like you, Tamala, Mukunda, Syamasundara., and Jaya Govinda, are all now in Europe. Now you form a strong party for opening centers as well as organizing the World Sankirtana Party.
This Sankirtana Party, backed by literatures and books, will certainly bring in a great change in the modern civilization. Godless civilization can never be happy. Therefore as soon as they become Krsna conscious, they will feel practical happiness without any doubt.
 
April 27 1970 letter Rupanuga
The moving Sankirtana Party was programmed long, long ago, even when I was in India. When there was talk about preaching amongst our God-brothers, I used to say to my God-brothers that when I would begin preaching I shall take two trucks, one for Sankirtana Party and one for carrying requisites, and I would go from village to village throughout the whole world preaching Lord Caitanya’s message. So the time has come as per my dream, by the grace of Krsna you are carrying on this program. Please therefore organize this moving Sankirtana Party as you are already doing from one school or college to another. If we can rightly impress the Krsna Consciousness idea in some intelligent student’s heart, it will be of great service. Perhaps sometime after, I will request you and Kirtanananda to go to India and execute this program in the student community there.
I am negotiating with a gentleman in India to get the management of a very old Radha Krsna Temple, and if this negotiation is successful, we will organize a very nice preaching center in the center of India. From this part, any side extreme boundary is not more than 1000 miles. I think that will be a very nice preaching center. So try to recruit more members for our Society because we have to open many centers, and from each center we shall organize this moving Sankirtana Party. That will be nice program for executing the will of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
 
May 1 1970 letter tamal
In conclusion I may inform you that Acyutananda has given publicity in an important newspaper that next year I am going to India with forty students, so for the next year we have got sufficient margin of time—eight months—so what do you think? Shall we be able to have our World Sankirtana by that time? That will be very nice. All our selected students like yourself, Hamsaduta, Mukunda, Syamasundara., Umapati, etc. along with their wives, and some of the students from here may join, then we can go to India via Africa, and then after a few days in India, we can come back via Japan, So you have to consult over this matter also because it is already advertised in India.
 
May 27 1970 letter to Tamala
You have described Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Krsna at London Temple as wonderful. Yes, that is the test of standard service. If we see the Deities in very pleasing mood, that will certify our service unto the Lord. So everywhere we shall see the Deities in such pleasing mood. As soon as we see the Deities in a different mood we must immediately understand our discrepancies.
Regarding your proposed agreed upon program to send each householder couple to a different European city to open a center there, and then having the center firmly established, join the World Sankirtana Party is very good. This program is approved that first we establish some more centers. My missionary activities are especially meant for the Western countries. To go to India is a secondary question, the primary thing is that we establish our institution firmly in the Western countries. So when we are sound in our preaching work in the Western countries, that news automatically goes to India as it is already publicized.
So if Krsna desires, we may go to India next year with our party, but I will prefer if George takes the responsibility of this touring party. If he is serious about it, I can give my suggestions about how it will be done.
As you have listed the prospected cities with the respective couples of householders to go there, these programs are very encouraging. In England there are some very important cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, etc. so these may be gradually incorporated in your program.
Regarding the members comprising the World sankirtana” Sankirtana Party, on the whole I wish that 40 members will go, one half from Europe and one half from America or as it may be suitable, there is no definite restriction.
 
July 19 1970 letter Tamala
We should concentrate our energy in constructive work. The constructive work is preaching. So this Rathayatra festival is one of the items of our preaching work, and therefore it was introduced in both San Francisco and London and the initiative was taken by Syamasundara.. In 1967 I gave this idea to Syamasundara. when I was in San Francisco. So it was promptly executed. Similarly last year in London also he promptly executed. So his proposal for preaching from village to village in our own bus is very much appreciated by me.* I have already instructed him to do this immediately and you also encourage him.
World Sankirtana Party does not mean that we have to cover immediately the whole world. The program is that everywhere the Sankirtana Movement should be introduced.
Mayapur temple is not settled up still because the boy in charge, Acyutananda, has not yet purchased that land although I have advised him to do so at all risk. Another boy, Jayapataka, has gone there, but he is also silent. I do not know what is happening there.
 
April 16 1976 letter Punjabi Premananda
Concerning your offering of doing padayatra, travelling village to village; what is the use of getting the land in the hands of politicians who cannot properly utilize the land according to the instructions of Krishna. That’s a fact, but if Indian young men join me I am immediately ready for this travelling touring from village to village, town to town. However, my foreign disciples have the language defect, they can’t speak the village language, otherwise I would have started this program long ago. If some young men like you would join me then along with some foreign disciples I can immediately take up this program. If you are very eager, please get hold of at least half a dozen young men like you then with another half dozen foreign disciples, I can immediately take up this program and tour village to village and town to town. It will be very, very effective, I know that.
To think of Krishna 24 hours a day, if you are serious this can be done. It is not very difficult. Your associates are harassing you for your interest in spiritual culture, yes, that is due to India’s great misfortune. They’re impressed with so-called politicians and scholars of the modern age. The example is given in this connection that when a man is ghostly haunted, he speaks all nonsense. At the present moment they’re all ghostly haunted and in this delirious condition the only cure is chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
March 16 1977 letter Nityananda
Here in India our Lokanatha Maharaja has successfully organized such a program and it is a great success. He has traveled all over India and everywhere they distribute books, prasadam and perform kirtana, village to village. Each night they stop at a different village. We can introduce many millions of such carts all over the world.
If you are getting enough milk from the cows simply by pasturing them, then that is all right. But if you require more then you may have to feed them special grains. We want to do whatever is easy and save time for Krishna consciousness.
As far as you are able to adjust to a natural way of life, do it immediately. Our principle is that we are against nothing and for nothing. Only for Krishna. We want whatever is favorable for Krishna.
I am returning one Deity photo to you. This dressing style is not authorized. But the other photos are very nice. Please go on very enthusiastically developing your farming community. I hope this meets you in the best of health.
Some Conclusions—The above letters were written to many devotees who had “personal problems” either then or later in their KC activities. But what they did positively to please Srila Prabhupada should not be discounted nor forgotten. Afterall, if we were all perfect, then we need not come to this material world, would we???
Also and most important this world sankirtan party is what will resurrect the hare Krsna Movement from the dregs it is now in…. Devotees need to hit the streets with drum and kartals and books.
Hare Krsna’
damaghosa das
ps—next series of letters are cow protection, farms, self sufficiency and economic development-stay tuned. On principle devotees should be very interested in these letters because they show the hardship the original devotees faced to start the Hare Krsna Movement worldwide, but more importantly it is what Prabhupada STILL wants us to do today!