WVA - First Newsletter

World Vaisnava Association
Newsletter 95

IN THIS ISSUE:
Report of the world meeting 1995
in the govindaji mandir vrindavan
Invitation to the World Vaishnava Mela 1996
in Srivas angam, mayapur 28 feb---5 mar
Editorial
Vrindavan dham seva: Resolution #1
Brother temples: Resolution #2
Temple adoption in Mathura
WVA chapter news


The Radha Govindaji Mandir in Vrndavan
was constructed for the deities of Srila Rupa Goswami.
The 3rd meeting of the WVA was held on
the Rama Ekadasi 1995 in this beautiful temple.



WVA Home Page



All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

WVA

The World Vaishnava Association held their annual 1995 meeting at the Sri Radha-Govindaji Temple in Vrndavan, UP on the 20 th of October, 1995. The keynote speaker was the President of the WVA, His Divine Grace Srimad Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaja -- President-Acarya of the Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math's. The harmonizing influence of His Divine Delivery was emulated in noble addresses by the inspired speakers of the assembly and subsequently expressed by all in attendance. The audience of over 500 was treated to an address given by no less than 11 speakers including Eastern and Western acaryas and devotional leaders of different Vaishnava missions world-wide. A special bhajan was offered by Sri Nimai Prabhu and others to begin the auspicious occasion. The translation work for the entire meeting was admirably and beautifully performed by Sriman Kiran Prabhu translating fluently from English to Bengali and then from Bengali to English for the satisfaction of all those in attendance. The historic importance of this meeting was also enhanced and graced by the participation of over a 100 devotees and sanyasis from the kirtan party of Bagh Bazar Gaudiya Math whose presence was a very happy sight giving great hope for a future of more intimate inter-missionary Vaishnava relationships.
The first speaker was Srimad Bhakti Vaibhav Aranya Maharaj, disciple of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the Sri Gaudiya Maths. Aranya Maharaj is the Founder-Acarya of Krishna-Balaram Mandir in Mathura. He spoke abundant praises of the sacrifice and preaching of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami and Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhardev Goswami to their world-wide congregation of devotees and followers. As well he praised the earlier work of Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj to spread the mission of Sri Chaitanyadev and the Gaudiya Mission. His generous appreciation of his Godbrothers touched the hearts of all. Despite his advanced age of 86 years, Aranya Maharaj gave a full English lecture, recomending to all to take good advantage of this human form of life by trying to become a humble Vaishnava. He fully personified the meaning of his talk by his own personal effulgence.
The second speaker was Srila Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Maharaj, the President Acarya of the Sri Krishna-Chaitanya Mission. He advised the audience, "The process of Bhakti-Yoga is scientific. We have to follow the steps which are described by Srila Rupa Goswami, and observe carefully that our process will not be disturbed by the desire for wealth, sexual pleasures or worldly name and fame.'
The third speaker was the President, Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaj, who distinguished himself in the 1930's in Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Prabhupada's mission by producing the only spiritual daily newspaper ever, The Nadia Prakash. With great humility and a soft resonant voice reflecting his 98 years on the planet, he expressed his realizations, "Our meeting here is of great historical and spiritual importance. Without the grace of the Vaishnavas we cannot concieve of having any spiritual advancement. Even though I feel myself very unqualified, I have accepted this chair only for some possible service to the Vaishnavas. The Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha meeting today under the name of the World Vaishnava Association is offering a great opportunity for all of us to come together under a unified ideal."
The Vice-President of the WVA Srila Bhaktivedanta Tripurari Maharaj extolled the fortune of his being able to associate with so many mahatmas in attendance. He further stressed that it was the divine wish of our param-guru, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Prabhupada that we should all cooperate together. Sripad Bhakti Vijnan Bharati Maharaj emphasized over and over again that without humility, this sangha could not be successful. He requested earnestly that all the members of the WVA should work very hard so that the Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha would succeed in its highest expectations as envisioned by its original founder, Srila Jiva Goswami.
Sripad Dina Bandhu Prabhu from the local ISKCON temple pointed out the historic importance of this meeting of the WVA in the Radha-Govindaji Temple of Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhupada. He concluded, "With the inauguration of this meeting today of the World Vaishnava Association, the original purpose of this Radha-Govindaji Temple is being fulfilled."
After Dina Bandhu Prabhu spoke, Sripad Bhakti Vibhudha Bodhayan Maharaj of Gopinath Gaudiya Math addressed the assembly. Speaking from experience --- his grandfather was a disciple of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Prabhupada --- he addressed the assembly, "Presently, there remain only three disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada in Vrndavan. Our great fortune is that all of them have come to grace us with their presence in this wonderful function today. They give such an important lesson to all us young devotees. Let us bury any possible conflicts of the past and come together to glorify our Guru-Varga and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu."
Sripad Turiya Mahashaya, Founder-acarya of the Chaitanya Vaishnava Sangha in Hawaii, gave recognition to the increased attendance since the foundation meeting one year ago. He also brought with him many of the disciples of
Jagad-Guru Siddha Svarup Ananda, who recently joined the WVA with his Science of Identity Foundation. Sripad Turiya Mahashaya stressed the concept of Unity in Diversity and concluded his address with a quote from Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, saying, 'Sectarianism is the greatest enemy of Truth."
The next speaker was Sripad Govindanandan Das Bramachari --- Math-in-charge of Srivas Angam in Mayapur. Since he is the host of the 5-day WVA mela in Mayapur in 1996 (please see special artical in this issue on the Gaura-purnima WVA Mela) just before Gaura-purnima, he extended his invitation for all the members to participate and to utilize the booths to exhibit all their beautiful preaching paraphernalia. Since Srivas Angam is the Gupta Rasa-lila Stali, it is very significant that the first world-wide mela of the WVA will be celebrated there and he requested all present not to miss the opportunity to participate in the mela activities there. Next spoke Sriman Raya Ramananda, Founder of the Costa Rica Gaudiya Math. he spoke in Spanish and expressed his desire that all the Vaishnavas who had not attended the present meeting, should be invited in such a way that they would not refuse to participate with the WVA. He told, "This association includes all genuine Vaishnavas and Vaishnava Missions anyway. It is our duty to convince all of them that there is only benefits for all of us to shun all the sectarian concerns and to cooperate with each other within the Chaitanya tree."
The final speaker was Panchanan Dev Goswami, the Sevaite of the Radha-Govindaji Mandir. Emotionally moved by the festivities of the day, he cried, "In the sixty years I have been pujari in this temple, I have not seen such a wonderful assembly of Vaishnavas here. I wish that every year you may hold this function in this temple --- or even better, every month."
The founding member of the WVA, Sriman Bhakti Siddhanta Das of the Prabhupad Institute of Culture, supplied the meeting with the wonderful presence of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, Srila Gaura Kishora Das Babaji Maharaj and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada in the form of Their life-sized Sri Murthis. He himself could not attend the meeting because of a previous engagment with Sonia Gandhi but he arranged that the holy assembly of Vaishnavas would have the presence of the Murthis in any case.
Others in attendance were Bhakti Vibhu Bhavan Maharaj of the Chaitanya Math in Mayapur, Srimad Bakti Kamal Janardan Maharaj of ISKCON, Vishnu Swami of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Society in Oregon, USA, Sukumar Goswami of the Govinda Mandir in Vrndavan, Bhakti Prakash Hrishikesh Maharaj of Sri Chaitanya-Mudrani Missions in Malaysia and Bulgaria, Bhakti Vedanta Damodar Maharaj of Institute of Superior Vedic Studies in Santiago, Chile, Bhakti Vedanta Hrishikesh Maharaj from Columbia, Bhakti Vedanta Paramahamsa Maharaj of Vrinda Kunja Mandir in Vrndavan, Bhakti Vedanta Vaishnava Maharaj of the Vrinda Mission in Berlin, Germany.
The meeting closed with a tumultuous kirtan in celebration of the Rama Ekadasi in front of Their Lordships to the pleasure of more than a thousand Brijabasis and excited visitors who came for the evening darshan of Their Lordships. World Vaishnava Association T-shirts, kurtas, books and banners were also bought from the registration stand by the eager participants of the mela. The President of the WVA, Sripad Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami praised the speakers, the organization and smooth running of the meeting by the master of ceremonies, Srila Bhakti Alok Paramadvaiti Maharaj, the superexcellent translation of the speaches and the conduct and gratitude of all the participants.


WORLD VAISHNAVA MELA 1996

SRIVAS ANGAM, MAYAPUR 28 FEB---5 MAR

Sriman Govindanandan Prabhu, Math-in-charge of Srivas-Angam has graciously invited the WVA for their first world-wide mela just prior to Gaura-Purnima celebrations in 1996. The mela, which will feature nightly kirtan groups and exhibition stands of different missions all over the world will also be a fitting celebration for the 100th anniversary celebration of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami who first took the Vaishnava ideals to every corner of the Earth. It is precisely his non-sectarian ideals and practices which are incorporated in the WVA and propogated by its members.
Srila Bhakti Vikash Sajjan Maharaj and other members of the Chaitanya Math are inviting everyone to this mela. The cost of the mela will be covered by the donations given by those who sell their items in the fair on a voluntary basis. All interested participants are invited to write to the organizer, Sriman Jai Krishna Prabhu at:

WVA OFFICE
GOPESHWARA ROAD 146
DISTRICT MATHURA
281121 UP, INDIA
BANKING DETAILS:
STATE BANK OF INDIA
VRNDAVAN MAIN BRANCH
ACCT. NO. C & I 18019


EDITORIAL

As we enter the centennial celebrations of three great Vaishnava Acaryas of the twentieth century--all disciples of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, it is immensely pleasurable to be able to espouse their ideals in a non-sectarian format such as the WVA. The centennial celebration of Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara Deva Goswami Founder-Acarya of Sri Chaitanya-Saraswat Maths was this year; Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami, Founder-Acarya of our ISKCON is next year 1996; and Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami, Founder-Acarya of Gopinath Gaudiya Maths is in 1997 gives us further impetus to propogate the cooperative ideals embodied in the World Vaishnava Association, the modern-day Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha of Srila Jiva Goswami.
This year's Third annual meeting was especially significant in that it was held in the Sri Sri Radha-Govindaji Temple of Vrndavan. This temple was built in honour of the sacrifices made by Vaishnavas of that era, by the Mohameddan King Akbar. In that day and time, the sectarianism of Mohamedism and Hinduism was so rampant, it all but destroyed the peaceful serenity of Vrndavan and to a greater extent, India. This issue is full of historical references to that time of critical history when finally, after years of violence and pestilence, wisdom prevailed and the non-sectarian ideals were adopted first and formost. Today we seem to be on the brink of another holocaust of sectarianism with the war in Yugoslavia, the continuation of the Sri Lankan conflict, the Russian-Chechenya conflict and many other such smaller conflicts dotting the world and causing no end of pain to the living beings. And the bottom line of all these conflicts has ceased to be our old nemesis of nationalism; now they are sectarian conflicts in actual fact. And is it any wonder? The leaders of the world's most benedicting sector, the Gaudiya Vaishnavas have not found a cooperative body in which they can all participate in a cooperative spirit since the 1930's when the conflicts began. What can the lower class philosophers and theologists do but follow suit when we are leading in such a gilt-edged manner. So, the vision of the WVA is so much necessary in this day. It is more effective than all the United Nations expenditures because this harmony and cooperative spirit is coming from the house of the highest philosophy ever given on this planet. Its success will not only breed success among the theological disciplines over the world---it will also give them strength to resolve these petty conflicts by giving them some clout among their political and diplomatic constituencies. Make no mistake, the WVA ideals are carrying a heavy benediction for all Vaishnavas the world over and all peoples as well. Jai Sri Radhe . . . .
BP Hrishikesh

VRNDAVAN DHAM
SEVA RESOLUTION #1

Proposed by: Ramesh Prabhu, WVA, Costa Rica


1. Draw a petition to declare and to give Vrndavan UP the special designated status from the United Nations as a
PATRIMONIAL CULTURAL HERITAGE LOCALITY FOR HUMANITY .

2. Approach the Indian National Government, UP state
government as well as the DM of the Mathura District to solicit their help in obtaining the above status for the birthplace of Lord Krishna, SRI VRNDAVAN DHAM.

3. With local and national government support, approach the United Nations to study the Vrndavan situation and recommend the above designated status or appropriate designation as they see fit.

3a. After recieving said status, to approach other international organizations interested in the preservation of cultural, ecological and historical traditions and places to attain sponsors to and funding for improvements to the Holy places of Vrndavan and the modernization of minicipal utilities, i.e. water, electricity, sewage and garbage disposal.

4. That all members of the WVA try to apporoach influential citizens, institutions and local governments around the world to get the privileged status for Vrndavan and to solicit sponsors for restoration work and to salvage the ecological system.

5. To create a well-controlled fund for restoration work in Vrndavan and to preserve it for the future generations. Also to begin modernization of the water and electrical systems for the entire city.


THE FACTS;

1. Vrndavan is a beautiful geographical area situated 160 km. South of Delhi on the banks of the River Yamuna. In Vrndavan and the surrounding villages (Vraja-Mandala) there is a plethora of holy places commemorating the pastimes and tirthas of Lord Shri Krishna 5000 years ago.
Lord Krishna is the Supreme Lord for over one billion
(1,000,000,000) people in the world who believe that Lord Krishna came to save the people of the world from rampant materialism.

2. Lord Krishna has been described in the famous Vedic literatures. Lord Krishna and the Bhakti-Yoga movement have been in existence now for well over 5000 years.
Krishna is actually the pioneer of the modern-day ecological movements around the world as he was a simple cowherd boy living a simple and natural village life.
SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM contains the entire life story of Lord Sri Krishna.
In MAHABHARATA, Sri Krishna appears thoughout the saga of the great Battle of Kurukshetra.
In BHAGAVAD-GITA Sri Krishna's divine teachings are unfolding before the dejected Arjuna. The entire book is spoken by Lord Krishna. There are thousands of commentaries on the Gita and there are over 300 commentaries in the English language alone.

3. The Medievil religious reformer Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sent his disciples to rediscover the holy places of Vrndavan, to Build temples and write books about Lord Krishna. Despite the represion of the Muslim rulers in that day, Kings from all over India and surrounding countries (i.e., Burma, Manipur, etc.) started to come to Vrndavan and Vraja-Mandala to erect Temples and Dharmsalas (pilgrims shelters) in a very nice style of Rajasthani architecture using the red and brown sandstones available in the natural habitat, the close-by rajasthani desert.

4. Even though the muslim rulers attacked the local traditions on numerous occasions and destroyed Hindu shrines in Vrndavan and many other parts of India, it was the Muslim ruler, Akbar who had a change of heart and helped to build the imposing Radha-Govindaji temple in the centre of Vrndavan.

5. After the independence of India and the end of the governing of local kings, Vrndavan started to lose the necessary attention given to it during the times of local rulers. Great palatial temples and residences became occupied by poor caretakers and peasants who had no means to maintain the places. The former rulers and their descendents also were depleted of funds due to losing their kingships, etc and could not rescue their valuable heritage from natural deterioration and neglect of the caretakers. This resulted in the old holy places beginning to fall apart---some actually becoming ruins in the process--- and it continues to this day.

6. Faith in Lord Krishna and His beloved associoates is a living tradition. Ashrams and spiritual teachers all over the world draw crowds of pilgrims on holy days and festivals.
Thus, several of these old temples of Vrndavan have in recent times been renovated privately by Lord Krishna's followers as far away as South America.

7. Due to the increase in population and pilgrims, the infrastructure of the medieval villages of Vrndavan, Nanda Gram, Varshana, Govardhana, Radha Kunda, etc, is extremely inadequate -- a fact that has been easily overlooked or discounted completely by the central government of India. The changing course of the River Yamuna also makes it difficult for the disposal of waste and sewage. A grand effort is needed to reverse the trend of deterioration of these holy places.

8. The modernization of public utilities in Vrndavan is long overdue and has a long history of corruption and diversion of funds to rebuild both the electrical power plants, water reservoirs and sewage disposal plants. In the meatime, the holy waters of the Yamuna River have been turned into a disaster area with unecessary and deliberate rampant pollution --- garbage dumps created right in the centre of the city on the banks of the Yamuna --- the legacy of our modern-day systems of waste disposal. With such a pictorial, Vrndavan has become a great disappointment to many pilgrims who only meet with rudness, neglect and poignant, unforgettable smells in their holy place of pilgrimmage, the place of the birth and childhood and amorous pastimes of our beloved Lord Sri Krishna, Vrndavan.

BROTHER TEMPLES RESOLUTION #2

Proposed by: Swami BA Paramadvaiti

PROPOSAL #1: To create a programme of assistance for temples in the holy dham who do not have funds to improve their ashram and to provide a means by which temples with funds can do some service for the holy dham and thereby have a "Brother Temple" in the Holy Dham.

PROPOSAL #2: To create a list of interested temples in adopting an old, dilapidated and neglected temple in need of restoration and maintenance and in managing the temple after its restoration.

COMMENT:
In the material world, cities in different countries adopt a city in another country to be a "twin" or brother city where there is a cultural exchange and joint projects undertaken when the financial burden is shared.

BENFITS FOR THE BROTHER TEMPLE IN THE HOLY DHAM:

1. Financial suport for your temple, preaching and community.
2. Opportunities to preach in other parts of the world through the participation in the "Brother temple" preaching programme.
3. New life in the community because of the international favour of the input from the {"brother temple".
4. Repair and expand your temple facilities with the help of the other devotees.
5. Get Vaishnavas with enthusiasmm to help manage a temple which has been sitting derelict for many years.




BENEFITS FOR THE ASSISTING BROTHER TEMPLE :

1. The chance to work on the restoration of a holy place of pilgrimmage (tirtha) and thus perform Dham seva.
2. Friendship and blessings of Vaishnavas in the holy dham.
3. They can construct or reconstruct guest house facilities for their own pilgrimage to Vrndavan.
4. Participate in organizing cultural and spiritual presentations to the public in their own city in connection with raising funds for their brother temple.
5. They can join forces with the devotees in their brother temple to organize and present educational and spiritual programmes for the public in the holy dham.


TECHNICAL STEPS FOR CONTACTING A BROTHER TEMPLE:

1. The WVA will receive applications from both parties--that is, The WVA will receive applications from temples who wish to be assisted and are located in the Holy Tirthas of India. The WVA will also receive applications from temples who wish to assist in restoring and renovating older Holy places.

2. The WVA will make a study of each application received and make recommendations for the meetings between the two respective temples from:
1. The list of Holy Tirthas
2. The list of temples wanting to assist a Holy Tirtha.
This recommendation will be made based on the qualifications of the Holy Tirtha and the desires of the assisting temple involved. Then the two temples involved may contact each other privately to meet and discuss their possible cooperation in this joint venture.
Alternatively, upon request and proper qualification, the WVA may release their list of Tirthas and Assisting temples to successful applicants. The WVA will have no function after the temples respective aggreements and merely requests that a copy of all such agreements be filed with the WVA office. The WVA may assist in such meetings upon request from the respective temples involved.


3. The agreements or contracts must be drawn up in such a way as to avoid conflicts in the future. The assisting temple may even be involved in the management of the Holy Tirtha but this must be stipulated in a confirmed legal document supported and signed by each party.

4. The assisting temples should stipulate in their proposals thier own hopes and expectations as to possible fundings (how much financing they could supply monthly or yearly to the assisted temple of the Dham)

5. The temples of the Holy Tirthas shall supply the fo.llowing information to qualify for the WVA list of Holy Tirthas available for contacting.
Who is the managing legal authority of the temple?
Who is the actual managing authority (if different from the lagal managing authority)?
Who are the Deities of the temple and what properties legally belong to the Deities?
What is the primary spiritual activity which inspired the construction of the temple and what type of spiritual activities are ongoing in the daily programme which have been maintained for the past ten years?
How many visitors the temple receives weekly?
How many monks reside in the Tirtha and are their other people besides monks residing in the Tirtha?
How many paid employees does the temple maintain?
What is the approximate monthly overhead of the temple?
Please submit the following:
Photographs of the Presiding Deities of the Tirtha
Photographs of constructions in need of renovation and repair.
An explanation of what you expect from an assisting brother temple and what facilities you can provide for that assisting temple.


QUALIFICIATIONS OF APPLICANTS:

1. The intentions to further the teachings of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Siddhanta

2. Member in good standing among any recognized Vaishnava Sampradaya

3. Highest regard for Lord Krishna, His Holy Dham and His paraphernalia.

4. The wish to build a Vaishnava spiritual infrastructure
for the benefit of Sadhu-Sanga and furtherment of Krishna-katha by selfless service and sacrifice.

5. Some recent historical edvidence of such sentiments.


BENEFITS AND STEPS FOR ADOPTING A TEMPLE

1. Stipulate your interests geographically
2. Give some idea of the funds you have available for restoration and managing the temple once restored.
3. What size of temple are you wishing to adopt. You may state the size in terms of (1) square meters of land or (2) in terms of resident capacity or (3) in terms of congregational attendance.
4. Any other desires or special requirements.
5. Submit detailed information to be considered for qualification of an Adopting temple in compliance with the QUALIFICATIONS OF APPLICANTS referred to previously.


TEMPLE
ADOPTION IN MATHURA

Shortly after the annual WVA Mela in Vrndavan in
October in which two resolutions were passed --- one on the establishment of Vrndavan Dham as a United Nations Patrimonial Cultural Heritage Locality for Humantiy and the second, the establishment of "Brother Temple" and "Adopt a Temple" concepts by the WVA membership, the unexpected happened (as one would expect). Immediately after the proposal had been passed, one of the WVA members, Sripad Bhakti Vikash Padmanabha, disciple of Srila Bakti Rakshaka Sridharadeva Goswami, acted upon the proposal and the first result was borne in the form of an adopted temple. His Holiness Bhakti Vaibhav Aranya Maharaj's temple in Mathura-Bhuteshwar was adopted for reconstruction. His Holiness is the direct disciple of our param-guru, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad. In the last thrity years or more Aranya Maharaj has been worshipping and serving his beloved Deities of Sri Sri Krishna-Balaram.
The mandir was established about 200 years ago by Sriman Girirajmal Mahashaya, who was the owner of the temple at that time. He had installed two beautiful Deities of Krishna-Balaram for worship and as the temple construction was going on, the laborers found a third Deity in the abandoned well nearby, a beautiful Ganesh Deity. So this Deity was also installed and still worshipped today. The Deity had been hidden in the well to protect Him from the Muslim invaders of that day.
From that time the daily worship of Sri Murthis have been passed down from family to family and carried on until they were given to Aranya Maharaj some thirty years ago. Even at that time, the temple was in a poor state -- now it is worse and there are still no funds for making restorations. Aranya Maharaj has from two years ago, taken a vow not to cut his hair until some sponsor for the temple was found to restore it to its former glory.
So when Padmanabha Maharaj stumbled on the temple while doing parikrama in Mathura, the stage was set for a member of the WVA to take an active part in assisting Aranya Maharaj to restore his temple for the pleasure of Their Lordships, Sri Sri Krishna-Balaram and Sri Ganesh.

WVA
CHAPTER NEWS

Around the world, increasingly, members of the WVA are finding the need for adopting local chapters of the WVA to assist the Sadhu-sanga of different members of Vaishnava missions in their immediate vicinity. Where this has taken place already, there has been an increase in cooperation and understanding between the local temples --- news which we felt might inspire other locales to adopt a similar lookout .


EUROPEAN MELA

In August of this year, the first EUROPEAN MELA was held in Hungary sponsored by the Hungarian Hindu Vaishnava Association attended by 150 devotees from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Holland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Romania from August 1st to the 5th. Participating devotees were from the Vrinda Mission, Sri Chaitanya-Mudrani Mission, the Hungarian Vaishnava Mission and the Dutch Vaishnava Mission.
The 5-day Sadhu-Sanga was highlighted by an ecstatic Harinam led by Bhakti Alok Paramadwaiti Maharaj, Hari Gopal Prabhu, Bhakti Kamala Tirtha Maharaj, Bhakti Vedanta Vaishnava Maharaj and Sriman Krishnananda Prabhu in the neighboring city of Bekeschaba. The Mela featured drama presentations, Hungarian folk bhajans, lectures from Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam and initiations from Paramadvaiti Maharaj, Tirtha Maharaj and Sriman Krishnananda Prabhu to their respective followers. As well, there was an extensive book and magazine exhibition by the Hungarian devotees. The participants were treated to morning and nightly bhajans from the sweet presentations of Jivanuga Prabhu. The prashadam presentation for the devotees was beautifully organized and arranged by Gopika Devi Dasi, a Bhakti Abhay Narayan Maharaj disciple from Nanda Falva.
For 1996, the devotees plan to hold the second European Vaishnava Mela in Germany sometime in the summer of 1996. Those interested in participating may contact Sripad Bhakti Vedanta Vaishnava Maharaj at:

GAURA MANDIR
LYCHENERSTR. 22
10437 BERLIN
GERMANY
or telephone to
00-49-441/728 7276.


HOLLAND MELA

In Holland's municipality of Rotter Dham on the 9th of September a grand gathering of Holy Vaishnavas was convened by the special invitation and sponsorship of WVA member Sriman Tirtha Kara Prabhu. It was the first meeting of the Holland chapter of the WVA and was attended by over 60 devotees from several different missions representing Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami and Srila Sridhara Maharaj. Addresses were given by senior Vaishnava leaders and prominant devotees in the local Vaishnava communities along with bhajans, kirtans and holy foodstuffs. The one-day affair which began quite timidly picked up momentum as the day progressed and the participants became so inspired with the cooperative spirit envisioned by the WVA between neighboring missions that they decided to hold a mela every three months.
Tirtha Kara Prabhu opened the meeting by suggesting that it was difficult to see how any of the Vaishnava missions could progress further without a basis for cooperation and amicable relationships among one another for the benefit of the individual missions and also for the benefit of the public who had become leery of sects promulgated in the Western societies from the East. Sriman Hare Krsna Prabhu spoke of his fear of working within any institution because of the narrowing of one's vision due to sectarian interests which cultivates cultism as opposed to Vaishnavism. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Vegetarian Society of Holland. Sriman Hayeshwar Prabhu, the illustrious Dutch translator of many spiritual texts by both Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami and Srila Sridhara Maharaj, spoke about the different kinds of sectarianism in the East and West contrasting the Western tendency to create cults within religious institutions and the Eastern habit of divisions within a religion giving the example of Bhuddism, noting that the latter example was more healthy for the propogation of a theology. The meeting was also attended and addressed by Jnanaraj Prabhu from Belgium and Padavida Prabhu from England.
Those interested in attending future Holland melas should contact Sriman Tirtha Kara Prabhu at
SCHUWACHT 274
2941 EL LEKKERKERK
HOLLAND
or telephone to
00-31-1805/23 330

MALAYSIAN MELA

On October 15, at the Sitiawan chapter of the Hindu Youth Organization, Swami Hrishikesh WVA member and from the Sri Chaitanya-Mudrani Mission in Malaysia and Bulgaria, delivered a bhajan and lecture programme to an audience of different Vaishnava missions in the local area. Attending were disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami, Srila Sridharadev Goswami, Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaj and Srila Jayapataka Swami. Although a small catchment area, Sitiawan has been for the past fifteen years a hub of Vaishnava activity and presently has four different Vaishnava missions in the area. Fifteen years ago, the population of the area was 10,000 but after a new naval installation in Lumut, the establishment of a new town just on the outskirts, Sri Manjong and the growth of neighboring town Kampong Koh, they are all merging to make a small megalopolis of over 100,000. This is obviously the mercy of Sri Krishna. Prior to fifteen years ago and the establishment of the Temple of Sriman Mahaprabhu there were no Vaishnava missions in the area.
Speaking to the various missions in the audience, Swami Hrishikesh naturally mentioned the beneficial effect the World Vaishnava Association was having in various parts of the world, harmonizing the various Vaishnava factions. After the programme, the President of the Hindu Youth Organization, Mr. Aramban, asked if it was not possible to establish a chapter of the WVA in Sitiawan so that the Vaishnavas could present a more unified front to the confused public and diffuse the already tense situation between the various groups. So in 1996, the first Malaysian chapter will be introduced in Sitiawan and the first Mela will be held in early 1996. Any interested participants may correspond to Swami Hrishikesh at
GOVINDE NAMA SANKIRTANAM MANDIR
PARAMA-NATHAN229 BELAKANG PASAR
KAMPONG KOH
32000 SITIAWAN, PERAK
MALAYSIA
or telephone to Mr. Aramban on
00-60-5/691 2473.
 



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