Report from ISKCON Blantyre

Submitted by Murari Das

Respected GBCs, Maharajas, Prabhus and all attendees of the BBT Africa Conference 2012,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Due to some commitments I was unable to attend this year’s conference, something which I hope to not repeat in the future. I would thus like to give a summary of our activities as well as future plans, if Krishna wills.

Preaching activities are continuing under the guidance and blessings of our GBC; H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami.

In the month of March last year we took part in the annual Malawi Trade Fair Exhibition where we got a lot of exposure and also sold many books to persons of all walks of life, though especially to students of the nearby Polytechnic College of the University of Malawi. The stall and books ordered for it were sponsored by a generous well wisher.

H.H. Jayadvaita Maharaja visited us in the month of April and we were able to organise programs as follows

o   College of Medicine

o   Catholic University of Malawi

o   House program.

o   Local Hindu temple

During the year book distribution continued steadily in the form of street sankirtan. There are also weekly sessions continuing in an old disused Christian preaching centre where persons who I have distributed books to attend.

In the month of December, Sastra Dana from South Africa donated 4 medium sets of Books, sponsored by well-wishers of the South African Yatra, which were placed in:

o   The National Library of Malawi, Blantyre branch

o   The Polytechnic, University of Malawi (UNIMA)

o   Malawi College of Accountancy  (UNIMA)

o   Malawi College of  Health Sciences (UNIMA)

This year, if Krishna wills and empowers us we have imported at least more than 500 copies of Nectar of Devotion, Bhagavad-gita and Krishna Book with the aim of going house to house and shop to shop. This was done before but with small books.

There is also a plan to develop the weekly program.

We also hope to try and reapply for permissions for Harinam, which was rejected earlier, and thus begin Harinam.

Some points of Interest:

  • I have been meeting persons who got books and who attended programs from visiting preachers up to 20 years ago from Kenya, South Africa and West Africa.
  • A student of the Polytechnic College contacted me and has become very favourable after reading Bhagavad-gita in the college library (Sastra Dana ki Jaya !). He will attend the Saturday program for the first time this Saturday.
  • After programs done by H. H. Jayadvaita Maharaja in the colleges mentioned above, I meet students who readily take books, recognizing me as a Hare Krishna follower from the college program.
  • A congregation member of ISKCON Durban (Phoenix) visited Malawi due to some work related issues. As he was wearing tilak at work, a person recognised him as a Hare Krishna, as he had bought a book on a bus from Joburg bound for Blantyre, Malawi (sold by a person of ISKCON Blantyre, by Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy). The person said that he was sold the book from a person who had the same ‘paint’ on his forehead (tilak) and so that’s how he could tell! The congregation member from South Africa was thus able to preach to him.
  • I  met two Malawians who are familiar with ISKCON from their time in Cape Town – South Africa, where they bought many books from devotees there (incl. SSR, higher taste among other titles…).

Your servant,

Murari Das

ISKCON Blantyre

P.O. Box 1899,

Blantyre, Malawi.

+265 991 582 465

+265 1 667 451

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