Outreach activities in Malaysia

By Simheswara Dasa - 13.2 2018

Krishna Chandra dasa who leads the outreach preaching at Kuala Lump…

Hare Krishna. ISKCON is a preaching movement. Srila Prabhupada wanted the respiritualization of the entire human society. In the preface for Canto 1 of the Srimad Bhagavatam Srila Prabhupada wrote “Human society, at the present moment, is not in the darkness of oblivion. It has made rapid progress in the fields of material comforts, education and economic development throughout the entire world. But there is a pinprick somewhere in the social body at large, and therefore there are large-scale quarrels, even over less important issues. There is need of a clue as to how humanity can become one in peace, friendship and prosperity with a common cause. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam will fill this need, for it is a cultural presentation for the respiritualization of the entire human society.” It is indeed a big order. But it can certainly be done in small and big installments by the combined preaching efforts of all preachers.

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Weekly distribution of pure vegetarian prasadam meals at Jalan Band…

We have many ISKCON preaching centres in Malaysia and they also are temples. But it is not that many will walk into our temples especially that we are mostly operating in the nontraditional temple design structures. And even if we do as in the case of the magnificent one of its kind temple, the Sri Sri Radha Krishna temple in Seberang Jaya, it is not that thousands or even hundreds throng in daily. To get thousands to come and get the mercy of Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Krishna Kanhaiya, participate in Kirtana, to associate with devotees, to hear the holy scriptures and to take prasadam it requires lots of creative and innovative thinking. Our festivals have to be well organized to attract the crowd. All these are done for the purpose of the spiritual upliftment of all who attend.

ISKCON Botanical Gardens Pure Vegetarian outlet at Penang Tanimalai Temple Thaipusam festival

We do however see that what actually brings in new people to our centers are our outreach preaching activities. Tagged with that is the care and concern for those whom we reach out to. Such outreach preaching programs are knocking on doors, harinam chanting in public, public festivals, sastra dana anna dana at schools and colleges, free meals distribution, counselling and surely organizing innovative gatherings. All these are avenues for us to reach out the masses. The ISKCON Malaysia co-governing body commissioner and minister for Congregational Preaching Srila Jayapataka Swami Maharaja invested lots of time, energy, thoughts and held many national and regional seminars for all preachers so that oureach programs followed with devotee care through the Bhakti Vrksa Cell groups be carried out at all ISKCON centres. His Holiness even prays for the welfare of all preachers and devotees so that they all be well situated in Krishna consciousness and be sheltered by Guru and Krishna. Our sincere thanks to Srila Jayapataka Swami Maharaja for his continuous guidance and instructions for the ISKCON Malaysia Yatra.

Sri Hari Parayana prabhu on his weekly Bhakti Vrksa cell preaching …

I think this year has indeed started so well for ISKCON Malaysia. There are many activities which are being performed on schedule such as weekly free prasadam distribution at the Kuala Lumpur city centre, Taman Sentosa, Klang, Penang, Ipoh, etc we also have weekly book distribution parties, weekly Gita Upadesham knocking on doors in villages and towns, schools and college preaching, etc. In the big outreach programs, we served thousands of pilgrims by talking to them, selling our literatures, offering free prasadam meals and similar other programs.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng visits Gelugor free prasadam stall

At the Thaipusam festival, around the country we distributed a total of about 40,000 free prasadam meal plates and thousands of Bhagavad-gita and other literatures. We got in contact with many thousands of pilgrims, had nice experiences hearing them, sharing  the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna and our personal realizations. It is at these festivals that we actually get lots of opportunities to rekindle bhakti in the hearts of many. As a result of hearing from the devotees many of them do turn up at our centers for the weekly programs, become closer friends and also take up to Krishna consciousness. As Srila Prabhupada mentioned preaching is the essence and this is what keeps devotees alive and which actually attracts the mercy of Sri Guru and Lord Krishna.

 

Not to forget the outreach preaching at ISKCON farms

ISKCON Malaysia is very thankful to the leaders in the ISKCON centres around the country and devotees who though have their personal commitments to family, work, society at large, etc but who still allocate their time to carry out the order of their spiritual masters and Lord Krishna to serve the organization as whole. This is indeed a BIG SACRIFICE!!! Appended is very nice excerpt from a Srimad Bhagavatam lecture by Srila Prabhupada given in New Vrindavan on May 24, 1969.

  1st January – free books, school shoes and free prasadam for needy …

Therefore, Kṛṣṇa says, “These field workers who are engaged in preaching this Bhagavad-gītā as it is, they are very, very dear to Me. Very, very dear to Me.” Na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ (BG 18.69). “There is nobody dearer to Me than that person who preaches this confidential truth to the people.”