Submitted by Madhumangala Dasa
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to our most dearly beloved Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga. All glories to the sankirtan devotees of the Lord!
By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Sri Gaur Nitai , I arrived in the city of Nairobi on the 30th January – it was here that the birth of Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON movement in Africa began.I am fortunate, by your mercy Guru and Gauranga, to have the opportunity to come here and preach the glories of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s holy name, and to attend the 3rd annual BBT Africa conference which took place on the 4th of February.
From that time until last week Sunday (19th Feb 2012), I had been in the nice association of Bhakta Kevin who is from Canada, who works there as a tour bus driver. He comes to Nairobi each year for about six months, during the time of the harsh Canadian winter to do nice service here in East Africa and to assist Srila Prabhupada’s book distribution mission.
I am begging for your blessings, – without the blessings and mercy Guru and Gauranga, our preaching cannot be successful.
Before I left for Nairobi, I visited Cape Town for a week – indeed I was most fortunate to have the nice association of the glorious devotees there and to inspire the devotees in the temple to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books and to preach the glories of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan mission. There are not many devotees in the ashram, as Vraja Krsna was in Australia and Gaurasundra Prabhu, is in Mayapur doing the Bhakti Vaibav course. However there is one very nice young devotee, Bhakta Rory, an Afrikaans boy from Stellenbosch University. He has joined the temple full time and is indeed most enthusiastic in his service to Srila Prabhupada and the devotees. Cape Town is a very nice place to distribute books. One of my favourite sankirtan spots, is the Waterfront, where many tourists and visitors go. Somehow or other by the mercy of Guru and Gauranga, I always encounter some special spirit soul who will take a book from me. I was in the Pick n’ Pay supermarket – I saw a young man and his girl friend with a full trolley of groceries. I said to the young man: “Looks like you were born to shop,” He laughed and I introduced myself to him, told him that I was a travelling monk. I gave him a selection of books to peruse. He took a Science of Self Realization and gave me a contribution. I asked him if he had ever read the books before like the one he took from me – “yes I have”, he said. I asked him what the title of the book was; he told me it was Chant and Be Happy. I asked where he had got it from; he said he got it from a travelling monk like me in Saint George’s Mall. So many special souls are out there who have read Srila Prabhupada’s books, and by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, we meet them again and they take another book. Srila Prabhupada ki jay!
I returned back to Johannesburg to take my flight to Nairobi, where I had the nice association of Arjuna Prabhu, a disciple of His Holiness Partha Sarathi Swami Maharaja, who took very nice care of me, the day before I left to fly to Nairobi. One evening, it had just finished raining, as me and Arjuna Prabhu sat on the porch and began to share how nice it is to be in Srila Prabhupada’s family, and how many wonderful things we are daily discovering about Krsna and His devotees. Being in the association of Arjuna Prabhu and his family, there was a very nice and pleasing atmosphere to chant Hare Krsna and to witness their nice service to Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada and the devotees of the Lord.
From the 6th February, myself and Bhakta Kevin, were blissfully engaged in distributing books at the University of Nairobi – a very nice place for distributing books. We had a very nice spot under some shady trees, along a main thoroughfare where students are constanly coming and going. Many students and professors eagerly took books (we even distributed a book to the university handyman). From time to time, I would go to Sarit shopping center and the Westgate Mall, just a short ride from the temple by mini bus taxi – called: matato in Kenya. At the Sarit shopping center, I approached a young local man, introduced my self to him and gave him a book. I began to tell him about the temporary material body and the soul. Afterwards, he told me, that in the five years that he had been in university, he was never told about the soul and the body! It’s all there in Srila Prabhupada’s books! Everyone is looking for Krsna, and everyone here in Nairobi is looking for Krsna! Srila Prabhupada ki jay!
By the mercy of Guru and Gauranga, on this past Saturday, I travelled to the town of Arusha in Tanzania, about two hours from the Kenyan border. I have been invited to come and distribute books and to preach there and to celebrate Gaur Purnima there. The devotees are starting a new preaching project, which they will inaugurate on that most auspicious day of the appearance of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, for the pleasure of dearest Srila Prabhupada. I am very much looking forward to book distribution and preaching there. Arusha, also known as “A” Town by the locals, is situated at the foot of Mount Meru, Africa’s 5th highest mountain. The altitude gives the city a pleasant climate and lush green environment. Arusha is not a particularly attractive city in itself and is regarded by many visitors as little more than a necessary stopover before their safari starts in earnest. However, the natural charm of the Tanzanians and the buzz of a fast-growing city mean that Arusha has plenty to offer for those who are prepared to see beyond their air-conditioned safari trucks and satellite-TV hotel rooms – however by us giving them Srila Prabhupada’s books, they will begin to understand that there is more beyond the temporary nature of material existnce! So the town of Arusha is a nice place to distribute books to the many tourists who go on safari and to the local African people there. I visited Arusha in 2009 and have very fond memories of meeting some very special souls there. I am here now in the city of Dar es Salaam, where I will stay and preach and distribute books, until I leave to go back to Arusha for Gaurpurnima and return back here to Dar es Salaam on about the 12th March – on the 14th March. This distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books to the people of Africa is most urgent, as they are receiving the perfect peace process in the form of Srila Prabhupada’s books, by the perfect person Lord Sri Krsna as given by him to his dear disciple Arjuna in Bhagavad gita.
Yours in the service of Lord Sri Krsna and His devotees,