300. Hare Krishna Google Doodle?

My 300th article !!! I feel so accomplished ! Anyway back to some writing…..

Why don’t we have some of our numerous and wonderful artists work on the submission of Krishna Consciousness art for the Google Doodle project? I am sure we would be featured too. For those who are not aware of this concept – this is where an art piece is featured surrounding the “Google” search homepage. See examples below :

google doodle 2 Capture

As you know Google has around 100 billion searches per month ! What a great way for your spiritual art to be seen all over the world in 30 days !
Here are some ideas we could look at : It could be a street harinaam party or one to commemorate Prabhupada’s birthday or perhaps one for Sri Krishna Janmasthami or the pancha-tattva ! Let’s do it I say. Once you have created your set, would you please post a link under comments so that we can all have a look?

290. Tearables

Check out what I saw on the office kitchen cupboard :

The sheet featured a collection of the funniest puns I have ever come across! Everyone loved it.

I am thinking – we can have a “These are Tearable Spiritual Quotes” that we could put up at different places that we frequent too! People can tear away the quote they like the best. Not that difficult…we can get  the quotes from Bhagavad Gita or Prabhupad instructions etc. What you say?

289. Office japa

This is how my new office japa altar setup looks like :

20130501-134550.jpg

Basically it’s an letterpad holder. The altar pictures come from Krishna – Balaram Mandir temple store. Easy and light weight. Carry with you anywhere!

After lunch, I spend about 30 minutes doing japa in front of this altar at work. It’s a great break and something I enjoy doing everyday. Wish I could light a lamp, an incense and offer some flowers too.

An idea just popped in my head – can we have office japa sessions in all cities where we have devotees working? Or better if few devotees are in the same neighbourhood offices, they can come together in a park for a 30 min japa session ! Woah ! Any takers?

288. Internet Radio

Do you think it would be a good idea if we had our own internet radio station?

Here are facts about Internet Radio from Wikipedia – “Internet radio (also web radio, net radio, streaming radio, e-radio webcasting) is an audio service transmitted via the Internet. Internet radio involves streaming media, presenting listeners with a continuous stream of audio that cannot be paused or replayed, much like traditional broadcast media. Internet radio services are usually accessible from anywhere in the world—for example, one could listen to an Australian station from Europe or America. Internet radio services offer news, sports, talk, and various genres of music—every format that is available on traditional radio stations.  There were “some 57 million weekly listeners of Internet radio programs. More people listen to online radio than to satellite radio, high-definition radio, podcasts, or cell-phone-based radio combined.”

I am thinking that with thousands of hours of bhajans, kirtans and lectures available along with devotee interviews, ISKCON News and even reading of our spiritual texts (Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam etc), we could have a 24-hour service available on any of the available digital radio devices out there!


Devotees can buy one of these radios and listen to them at home or office, offering them with a wide variety of programs they would have normally missed. They could be running in our temples and centres too. And with many cars coming with internet radios installed, the drivers and their passengers can tune-in. And perhaps, we may find even non-devotees wanting to connect and listen to our songs and insights.

283. Reach and Engagement

I was just thinking about Mahaprabhu’s prediction on how His holy name would be sung in every town and village one day. What a goal ! Besides our current activities of festivals, prasadam distribution (restaurants and thru events), books, street harinaams etc, how else can the mission spread?

1. Strong digital presence
Online ads (featuring festivals, restaurants, retreats), Official ISKCON social media pages & social ads targeting & engaging with the non-devotee public, Official webpage (a single one) explaining our lifestyle, tradition and goals in a language easily understandable by the public, frequent podcasts & popularizing devotee blogs are some of the methods we can start with.We must also have an active online TV & Radio programs featuring interviews, music and short lectures.

We all know the extent of reach that internet has in everyone’s life. Every village to major urban centres are now inter-connected. They have them at homes, offices, schools, universities – everywhere ! The first place people will search for God will be Google. Are we on top of the organic and paid search listings? Nope.

2. Varna reach
Having special teams who would approach senior & junior executives in the political & legal circles, farmers and business families, university staff and scientists groups would be a very important step in implementing Prabhupad’s Varnashram system. Educating people at this level – directly & one-to-one would be a great way to forge deeper relationships with people who in many ways are disconnected from us.

Starting our own farms is a very big task (land, people, money and ensuring long-term sustenance) but an easier and a quicker way would be to convert existing farmers (of the karmi world) to our style of farming. This is speaking their language. Asking a farmer to distribute books or host festivals may not be as appealing to them as making them aware how responsible farming through Krishna Consciousness can help them in their own consciousness, their productivity and general well-being of their customers. For one to enter farming life requires a long family tradition as well or if you are starting one now, you need a good knowledge of farming which can be carried out for successive generations. There are many farming families around and we need to reach them now (starting with vegetable/fruit produce based) because they are one of the most important people in society who can make a change at the moment- not even the politicians.

The best type of devotees to reach out to politicians, legal bodies and academic staff would be the Sanyasis & older renunciates. The best group to reach out to farmers would be the married/grihasta household. The best one’s to reach out to students & junior employees would be the bramacharis & brahmacharinis.

3. Events
I am surprised at the number of conferences and seminars conducted by numerous other traditions around the world. We are not there actively hosting our own information seminars and national conferences. We have so many things to talk about related to science, spirituality, health, astrology, animal protection, volunteerism etc. Every year we must hold at least 2 mega conferences in a country on 2 important topics that would attract people from all walks of life. It’s important that people know our insights and solutions to world problems.

We must also actively participate in events/conferences/seminars of other groups. For example, many cities conduct wedding expos every year showcasing jewellery, wedding planners, venues, hotels, caterers etc. Why not take up a stall featuring the Hare Krishna wedding offerings? We can have brochures, visiting cards and video displayed at our stall for people to understand how they can have a spiritual wedding in their city. Why not conduct a mock Hare Krishna wedding on a stage at the venue? At our own temple, we have had so many weddings from non-devotee couples for the thrill of doing something different. And by doing so they have accumulated so much spiritual credits – stepping into our temples, seeing the Deities, honoring prasadam and inviting huge groups of their friends and families to do the same!

4. Schools, Hospitals, Restaurants, Yoga centres
It’s time we seriously planned the setting up of atleast 1 school and a hospital in every country we operate in. This would not only help our growing devotee groups but the general public also. Through such centres, we will continue to exhibit our friendly nature, our caring attitude, our goals and lifestyle.

As yoga is gaining immense popularity, we must probably look at opening yoga studios across major cities with a “Hard Rock Cafe” styled branding, meaning that all centres would have the same name. This helps in building familiarity and prestige quickly.  Should we be looking into having yoga teachers training (including ayurveda) within our centres? Do we need to match up to the world’s needs for a more holistic and organic living through our own expert teachers in these fields?

What do you think?

Of course, there are countless other means to propagate the Holy Name but these were the ones constantly playing in my head. They look like humongous tasks but we are talking about changing the world right? There are no unrealistic goals but only unrealistic time frames. With 300 odd centres and couple of hundred thousand members, I am sure if we work cooperatively and with a mind for innovation, we might just be able to do it a got part in our lifetime! Besides even if we achieve only 1 % of the result, imagine the excitement & maturity that would be generated amongst all levels of our congregation with such high goals. WoW!

274 : Goverdhana Puja – 7 days & 7 nights?

I am just wondering – instead of one day, why can’t we hold the Goverdhan Puja Festival for 7 days and 7 nights, the duration Lord Krishna held the Holy Goverdhan Hill for?

We can all do it together.

We can all do it together.

It can be done because Jhulan-yatra goes for more than 1 day. We could have pastime narrations, ceremonies, feasts, theatre etc for a good week. A group of grihastas and/or employed singles can sponsor each night’s program. We could actually make a small replica of Goverdhana Hill with Lord Krishna and His group underneath it. The setup would be lifted on Day 1 and we bring it down on Night 7, amidst our loud cheering and ecstasy.

What do you all think?

271. Hare Krishna National anthem

I was just thinking….Why not have our own anthem? As we approach our 50th Anniversary & TOVP opening, why not produce a hair-raising music production along with a music video? This can be played all over the world on major TV music channels & radio stations.

The music will feature English lyrics (translated into other languages too), traditional music instruments, classic European Orchestra & hundreds of chorus singers. The song would be inspiring in it’s lyrics, have a very “Olympian” feeling, maybe an “Enya” style – a grand symphony of sorts.The chorus would feature a heavy rendition of the Mahamantra. There can be children singing too with their tiny voices.

Perhaps, all the devotees from each our ISKCON temples and communities can send in their group singing from a studio and this can be brought in to the original album as the main chorus. They would all sing a particular tune as decided by the music director. A big ask and this one might be difficult. But would be great if all of us were involved in some way.

Maybe, we can think of utilizing the services of a world famous music director and world-renowned music video director too?

The video will be launched on the opening day of the Vedic Planetarium. The music album will consist of select deity shots, temple complex, devotees in action (in temple and streets) from around the world. It will also feature early Hare Krishna videos, Srila Prabhupad etc.

Sounds like an exciting idea?