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As an initiative to support the healthy development of our communities and individuals, the Congregational Development Ministry (CDM) of ISKCON is promoting Bhakti Marriages; a practical pre-marital course ​based on Srila Prabhupada’s instructions.​


​We ​believe that the only way to have ​stable and​ successful marriages is to learn and apply the Vaisnava principles as given to us by Srila Prabhupada. For this purpose, this much-needed course is now offered to all the devotees wanting to have a conducive, Krishna-conscious and satisfying marriage.


The c​ourse consists of over 30 lessons which systematically takes you through the different necessary aspects ​of the Grihastha Asrama.


Srila Prabhupada said: “Both the girls and the boys should be trained up. Then they'll be responsible husband and wife and live peacefully.” (Room Conversation- Nouvelle Mayapur, France, 3 August 1976)


Register Now @


Learn more about the course:


Ys Manjulali M.S. dd

Communications Office

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This year, we at the ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry celebrated 20 years of Bhakti-vriksha in Mayapur, during the Gaura Purnima Festival.  We hosted a CDM night in the Samadhi auditorium which included:




H.H. Jayapataka Swami (Co Minister) Address

Preachers’ realizations- China, US, Russia and India

Snack Prasadam

It was a very sweet program and was well attended by many devotees.  

A big thank you to everyone who came and showed their support to the speakers, award winners and CDM Team.

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Thanks to all the donations and contributions from many devotees who have so graciously assisted us in our service, "Free to Preach" is finally off the printing press and ready to be delivered to your homes.

This book, by Prema Padmini devi dasi, is a touching and personal account of a grihastha couple spreading Krishna consciousness in a Muslim country in the Middle East. It is destined to both fascinate minds and touch the hearts of hundreds.

“If all can lend their might to fulll Lord Caitanya's desires, the world will rapidly change and countless souls will get His causeless mercy. That everyone has the potential to become a preacher is such a dynamic idea that it dees my ability to glorify it enough. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura stated, prana ache yara sei hetu pracara, "Whoever has spiritual life and enthusiasm preaches." How actively devotees preach the message of Lord Caitanya constitutes the practical index of their enthusiasm and life. May Free to Preach serve as an inspiration and practical guide for existing and potential preachers everywhere.”
H.H. Jayapataka Swami (Foreword, Free to Preach)

To purchase this book, please visit our website at

For more information, please write to us at

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By: Madhumayi Radha d.d.

A few days ago I was on my way to the temple contemplating how we can encourage other devotees to support my Guru Maharaja’s congregational programs. At ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry (CDM), we are promoting monthly subscriptions to collect funds for printing more books, hire more devotees and develop new training courses. It is my service to write the promotion articles for Nrsingha Caturdasi so I was worried and nervous as to how to go about it. Knowing that the CDM is very important to my spiritual master my “small” writing-service became bigger and bigger in my head.

I stood in front of Lord Nrsinghadev and whispered a quick prayer, “Nrsinghadev please help me”. I didn’t give any explanation or reason. Walking up to H.G. Pankajanghri Prabhu’s office I was thinking maybe I should have prayed some more. Maybe I should have explained that I am asking help in assisting His Devotee and should have given some more details. I thought, that maybe that would make the Lord more inclined to help me. I rang the doorbell and his secretary, Murari Gupta Das, hands me the Nrsinghadev book. I thanked him and walked away, eager to start reading the pastimes of our Mayapur Ugra-Nrsingha. I opened the book to a random page. “Lord Nrsinghadev Reciprocates Instantly” was printed across the top in bold letters.

In this story Pankajanghri Prabhu mentions one mataji that he asked to distribute the caranamrita from Lord Nrsinghadev after which she said, “I was just praying this morning that I might be able to offer some direct service to Him, and now you have given me this service.” Pankajanghri Prabhu then replied that the desires are fulfilled very quickly in the Dham and thus that very same day she received His personal service. “No, not the same day-the same moment! The very instant I expressed that desire to serve Him, you called me over!” the mataji added.

Another fascinating pastime was of one devotee who was suffering from intense pain and standing in front Nrsinghadev’s altar he prayed to Him to take away the pain so he could serve Him better. At that very moment he felt the pain flowing up and out of his body. While the devotee was relating this story to Pankajanghri Prabhu, he had noticed another devotee standing nearby taking darsan and said “Mataji! Lord Nrsinghadev is giving instant benedictions. Why don’t you ask Him to remove your problem?” The next morning she arrived at the temple, problem non-existant and thanking Pankajanghri Prabhu for his advice. In this way, I could understand how Nrisimhadev reciprocates instantly with His devotees according to the circumstances and His supreme will.

After reading several pastimes of Lord Nrsinghadev’s reciprocation I realized that He had also reciprocated instantly with me. The fact that His help –in the form of this wonderful story book, where so many intimate pastimes can be shared with all of you-, delivered immediately and literally right into my hands shows how quickly the Lord is ready to reciprocate with us.

So here is my promotion: Many of you don’t live in Mayapur and may not be able visit so often, but by supporting the congregational preaching, you will be assisting H.H. Jayapataka Swami to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s desire to develop our congregations world-wide. As a token of gratitude for your subscription to a monthly donation we will offer a fruit plate to Lord Nrsinghadev in your name every month.

I thought that in many ways we, all of us, are the fruits of the Lord’s reciprocation with Srila Prabhupada. He wanted to fulfill his spiritual master’s desire to give Krsna Consciousness to the whole world and that all of his disciples and grand disciples will also take up this preaching mission. The Lord is certainly making arrangements for that to happen…

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Dear Disciples and Well-Wishers, 

Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

In order to fulfill Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's prediction that Krishna's Holy Name will spread all over the world, around 150 years ago Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura revived the preaching mission of the Sankirtan movement and started to develop the congregational preaching in an organized way.

Following this line, Srila Prabhupada pioneered the preaching of Krishna Consciousness in every continent. His massive success resulted in the distribution of millions of books, thousands of devotees joining his mission, and hundreds of temples being established. Nowadays, his achievements keep expanding; ISKCON congregations are continuously growing and thus, there is an impending need that we support this growth in our preaching.

I had the good fortune to hear personally Srila Prabhupada's divine instructions regarding how the preaching will expand in the future. He said that our temples should be the examples of how people will practice at home. Since 1992 I have been serving as the Minister of ISKCON's Congregational Development Ministry (CDM) and with the help of many other devotees and preachers there has been significant achievements in this area. Today His Divine Grace's vision is becoming more and more a tangible reality; innumerable devotees are practicing Krishna Consciousness at home and supporting ISKCON temples and projects.

It is for the purpose of satisfying Srila Prabhupada and the previous Acharyas' desire for spreading Krishna Consciousness, that that I request you to consider actively participating in supporting the initiatives of the Congregational Development Ministry. Amongst many other activities, we are printing and translating books, organizing preaching programs, delivering training and education seminars, partnering with other outreach programs (prison preaching, grihasthas, youth, etc.), supporting a network of congregational preachers, producing world-wide reports and social media promotion. Your valuable assistance will be of great help to continue spreading the congregational preaching far and wide.

Your well- wisher always
Jayapataka Swami

Please visit this link:

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On the 3rd of March 2015, the ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry gave awards to devotees from all around the globe, who have done an outstanding service in the area of congregational preaching.

In the award ceremony, there were three types of awards given: Award, Merit and Recognition.

The award winners are as follows:

  1. Aravinda Krsna and Yamuneswari (UK)
    - for the tremendous Congregation Development work they have done all over the UK and their outstanding book distribution
  2. Surananda Gaura and Geetha (Bangalore)
     - for their inspiration of so many devotees in difficult circumstances
  3. Anantha Vallabha Das and Vaishnavi
     - for their inspiringly innovative and wide reaching approach to preaching
  4. Hari Mohan das and Krishna Mayi dd (Phoenix/Mauritius)
     - for their wonderful service in preparing the Sunday feasts.
  5. Madan Mohan Govinda (UK)
     - for the tremendous Congregation Development work they have done all over the UK and their outstanding book distribution
  6. Jalangi dd (Czech)
     - for her outstanding and highly valued contributions to many citizens of the Czech Republic
  7. Gaur Gopal das bramhacari (Chowpatty)
     - for his amazingly wide range of contributions and phenomenal service to Congregational Development
  8. Subandha das (Krasnoyarsk/Russia)
     - for his tireless support of education and preaching programs
  9. Krsna Kesava das and Ananga Lata (Vladivostok/Russia)
     - for their immeasurable service in building the most beautiful temple in Russia
  10. Shatrughna das and Bhava Bhakti dd (Phoenix/Mauritius)
     - for their continuing dedication in running Nama Hatta programs over a prolonged period
  11. Prahlada das and Visakha dd (Phoenix/Mauritius)
     - for their unstinting preaching activities over several years
  12. Nitya Kisori (Phoenix/Mauritius)
     - for her many years of inspired and successful preaching
  13. Rasika Sindu (Phoenix/Mauritius)
     - for his contributions to Harinam and congregational preaching
  14. Manorama and Jaya Sri Radhe (USA)
     - for their inspiration in establishing The Youth Ministry



We had over thirty-five devotees receiving Merits and over twenty devotees receiving Recognitions for their outstanding achievements in different areas of service all around the world.

In addition, we had a grand total of 31 scores sent in from different temples worldwide, for Cumulative congregational results for 528 Gaurabda (2015).
The top five scores in the world are as follows:

  • 1st - Mayapur, India
  • 2nd – Chowpatty, Mumbai
  • 3rd – Bangalore, India
  • 4th - Mathuradesh, Middle East
  • 5th - Bangkok, Thailand


If you would also like to submit the scores for your area for this year, please be sure to let us know at . We encourage all temples to send in their scores for their area, as it will encourage and inspire everyone to do the same, and allow us to witness the growth of Mahaprabhu’s mission. 

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This year, the 3rd of March, the ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry will award those devotees around the world who have done an outstanding service in the area of congregational preaching. This is an annual occurrence during the Gaura Purnima festival in Mayapur, where several of ISKCON leaders and preachers are gathered at the moment. 

During the 2015 Annual Award Ceremony, the congregational ministry will recognize devotees in a variety of areas. From pioneers and supporters of the preaching mission to those who have had long term achievements with their congregations, or in the area of production of preaching material and even those devotees who may have given substantial financial contributions for the preaching will receive due recognition for their endeavours. Another important award is for those devotees who travel far and wide trying to encourage and train congregational devotees in their spiritual life. Other significant areas are prison preaching, festivals and youth.

The congregational minister, H.H. Jayapataka Swami may grace the event and request ISKCON leaders to bless and support further the congregational expansion of our movement.

*Invites for preachers at Chakra Building #127 (Seva Svarupa das)


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By Iksvaku das (Outreach Coordinator)

On the auspicious day of Radhastami, His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, co-minister of the Congregational Development in ISKCON, congratulated the Namahatta devotees from Sridhama Mayapur for having reached out to a record number of 15 million people in their last 35 years of preaching Krishna Consciousness. This is the result of continuous preaching initiatives aimed at encouraging congregations in their spiritual advancement. From innumerable home programs to large pandals, these preachers have successfully been able to attract this large number of souls to the process of Bhakti by following the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: “talk about Krishna, worship Krishna and teach others about Krishna.”

The Namahatta devotees started this program in 1979. Despite the limited facilities and initial hardships, in just a few years, they were able to organize over a thousand Namahatta groups throughout the region. Since then, by conducting local programs in the towns and villages of West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar they have been able to outreach to millions of people. These numbers include all those who have attended programs on a regular basis throughout the years. However, their records also show that several thousands of these attendees have taken up to Krishna Consciousness seriously, by means of initiation and commitment to the process of chanting and serving within ISKCON.

For more information on the development of ISKCON congregations and related programs, please contact the Congregational Development Ministry at www. and on facebook.

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Devotee Care

"Krishna takes a special appreciation for His devotees who are engaged in risking for His preaching work and He will give you special care and guidance at all times because you are sincerely trying to serve Him in this way" - A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 

This book "Taking care of Krishna's Devotees" is a wonderful offering by H.H Niranjana Maharaja where he writes about the implementation of the Counselor System as introduced by H.H Radhanath Maharaja at Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir in Chowpatti, Mumbai. It is available in CDM office in Mayapur and also can be purchased on

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By Iksvaku Das

It is nearly 100 years since the last time the great Congregational preacher; Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was present on this planet. With the intention of acknowledging his legacy, ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry is suggesting different ways to celebrate this memorable event:

1. Support the creation of a local working-team responsible for the celebration of the anniversary.

2. Help to set up an event (or a series of them) to raise awareness of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

3. Read his biography (The 7th Goswami) and some of his books (e.g.“Harinama Cintamani”, “Godruma Kalpatavi”, etc.).

4. Organize Bhajan groups to sing and study the purport of his Vaisnava songs.

5. Dedicate some lectures (Sunday feast or others) to present Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s life and achievements.

6. Distribute promotional material and display a poster (or a plaque) referring to the celebration of the 100th year Disappearance Anniversary.

7. Celebrate with a special event the Disappearance Day on Friday 27th of June 2014 (confirm the date with your local Vaisnava calendar).

8. Request senior preachers (local or visiting) to deliver seminars on Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

Kaunteya Prabhu unveiled the logo during a plenary at the ILS (ISKCON Leadership Sanga), 2014.

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ISKCON Leadership Sanga

The 2014 ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) was inaugurated on Sunday, February 16, 2014 in Sridham Mayapur and the 8 days which followed were filled with seminars, parikramas, cultural programs and prasadam. 

Out of the 88 seminars and workshops which were presented, 25 were hosted by the Ministry. Some of the topics presented were:

Super Sunday: The Art of the Sunday Program

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura: His Outreach Vision

From Seeker to Practitioner: How to Integrate New People

Two Great Outreach Initiatives: The Damodara and Gita Programs

Going to Jail for Krishna: Prison Preaching

Small Group Explosion

Magic of Bhakti-vriksha

And more…

These were presented by H.H. Jayapataka Swami, H.H. Candramauli Swami, H.G. Kaunteya prabhu and his wife H.G. Sri Radha Govinda mataji, H.G. Vijaya Venugopala prabhu and his wife H.G. Prema Padmini mataji, Iksvaku prabhu, Manohara Shyama prabhu and his wife Premavati Chitra mataji, Seva Swarupa prabhu, Vijaya Gopikesh prabhu and many others. They will soon be available on our Youtube channel.

This year in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s disappearance, we designed a logo in hopes of encouraging everyone to honor the great acharya. The unveiling of the logo took place during a plenary at the ILS.

We also had a book stall open and it was visited by leaders from all over the world. Many expressed their appreciation of the booth and the seminars.

Now, we look forward to greeting the thousands of people who are arriving in Mayapur for the Kirtan Mela, Navadwipa Mandala Parikrama and Gaura Purnima Festival.






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Dear Friends and Well-wishers,

Below you will find a flyer with information about the three seminars that will be presented in Mayapur next month, February 2014, by a very experienced and professional team from the North American Grihastha Vision Team (three of them are Srila Prabhupada's disciples). 

Please take a look at the flyer.

Kindly share this information with whoever - in your temples - deal with marriage counseling and related matters. It might be well worth the trip to Mayapur for them to take these courses and bring back the techniques to your temples and communities. 

But please consider that the seats are limited. Register or encourage your devotees to register as soon as possible; they can do it online, at:

There is no fixed fee for the seminars but the presenters will accept donations.

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Preaching Activities in Paris

By H.G Narottama Dasa

In Paris we have three Nama-hattas which have different characteristics. The biggest Nama-hatta in Paris is Bhakti-Loka ( which receives from 25 to 30 devotees weekly. Our orientation in this Nama-hatta is the systematic studying of the Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Holy Scriptures. Our programs take place three times a week (Friday 7 pm, Saturday 7 am, Sunday 10 am). For the last 5 years, this Nama-hatta took form of a school (special attention is given to the educational side of our philosophical life under the guidance of His Grace Aksayananda Prabhu who is responsible for preaching in Paris). Yesterday, we received Her Grace Kishori Mataji, Srila Prabhupada’s disciple who spent a lot of time with her spiritual master, and rendered a lot of personal service to her. 

Two other Nama-hattas take place in different parts of Paris on Saturdays (2 pm) and young devotees learn to give classes on the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. 

Besides that, we hold programs and interviews with senior devotees, including Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. From time to time, we invite spiritual masters and organize public programs in Paris. 

We hold preaching tours in different places, such as Ukraine, London, Stockholm, and we just came back from Germany where we had spent 10 days in Koln, Neuss, Heidelberg and other places.


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Good Quality Association

By His Holiness A.C. Bhaktivaibhava Swami

Congregational members naturally need more encouragement because of the material duties they have to perform. Most of them have to maintain families and go to work. They need so much more association and encouragement from other devotees. For spiritual life, it is in one sense easier to live in the temple complex in the tight association of the devotees. It is easier to practice Krishna consciousness. But if we think only in these terms, we will not have many devotees. How many can live in the temple anyway? As soon as they have family, they more or less belong to the congregation, and they require a lot of good quality association. I feel that this has sometimes been underestimated. I think that the most advanced devotees should visit the congregation to give them quality association. Even from a short amount of such association, householders can carry on for days and weeks from the inspiration derived from senior association.

The idea is very inspiring that Krishna consciousness will unlimitedly spread throughout the world through congregational preaching. At the same time, it is essential to have a very strong temple, a common place for public worship. The deities are the center of everyone’s devotion and devotional service. There must be a very strong and powerful temple with ashram devotees and beautiful temple worship. From the temple, the preachers and advanced devotees should as much as possible associate with the congregational members.


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Preaching Network

By His Grace Vignanashna Govinda Dasa

Our yatra is purely a congregational preaching center. We have the opportunity to be a part of it and directly engage in the preaching activities. It really gives us immense pleasure and satisfaction to be a part of the team. It is really amazing to see the neophytes transforming wonderfully into nice devotees of the Lord, making their house a nice temple of the Lord and practicing Krishna consciousness. They also take responsibilities to preach by making their house a nice training center.

Later even if they have to move to some other place, they keep continuing their preaching activities there by bringing more souls to Krishna. So the network is spread very nicely by the mercy of Sri Guru and Lord Gauranga and many get the opportunity to become Krishna conscious in a more loving, caring and systematic way. This is how we are getting trained and we in turn train others. In this way, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s prediction that every town and village will be inundated with holy name and love for Krishna will come true very soon through congregational preaching.

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By His Grace Aniruddha Dasa

In 2004, we had half a dozen book distributors participate in a marathon. Then, in 2005, we had 40 book distributors participate and 35 were householders. Of course they are not doing huge book distribution, but it all adds up. They are going out on weekends. One of the devotees came to me before I left for India and told me about his method for distributing books. Every morning he gets on the tram and sits down beside someone and tries to give them a book. He does the same thing at night. He may distribute 1 or 2 books per day but over the period of the year, he may distribute several hundred books. In one sense congregational preaching is madhukari, you take a little bit from a lot of people. And that little bit added together, multiplied many times, actually becomes a lot.

I think it is important that the leaders of our society put effort into training and educating the congregation because we have discovered how effective it is, especially if the leaders themselves are the teachers. There is this concern that if we train up all these people and they have home programs they won’t come to the temple. But what we have actually found is that if you put the time in to training, educating and making friends with these people, then naturally they will respect you and they will be happy to support the temple.

There is nothing like the prasada you get in the temple. So if we put our effort into having a strong temple program and plentiful and opulent prasada distribution, then people will keep coming back. As they come back you can train them and cultivate them nicely. The congregation, as I see it, is like a sleeping giant. If you wake him up, you have unlimited potential to do a huge amount of preaching.

Congregational preaching should not be underestimated or ignored. If you ignore the congregation, and don’t bring them to their full potential, you will have real trouble. They are just like everybody. “Hey Prabhu, I want to do devotional service. Please engage me in devotional service.” When they have ideas to go and preach, let them go and preach! They might make some mistakes, but that is how we learn. Then they become mature and grow and become an army of devotees. On Janmastami we have 6,000-7,000 people coming in one day, which is quite a lot of people for a temple outside of India. We have about 300 volunteers who are all coordinated by the congregational devotees. I don’t have to worry anymore about what is going to happen on Janmastami. Krishna is providing all the resources. We just have to recognize and make good use of them.

Preaching to the congregation requires a shift in mentality. His Holiness Devamrita Swami Maharaja mentioned that we must preach as if the person we are talking to is a better devotee than me. In other words, preach to the person in terms of the devotee that they can be. So many people have so many talents and if they can use all those talents in Krishna’s service, then they will get purified. Many of the people coming to our temple have a Masters degree or a Bachelors degree. They’re not stupid people, so we should preach to them in an appropriate way.

Developing the congregation may take time. You have to plant the seed, water it, protect it and as you cultivate and nurture it, it will grow into a healthy plant and produce fruits. Even the fruits take some time to mature. You have to see people in light of their potential and not what they are at the moment. This is actually how Srila Prabhupada preached to people.

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Interview with H.H. Jayapataka Swami


Interviewer: How did the Nama-hatta start in ISKCON Mayapur?

 H.H. Jayapataka Swami: In 1977, there was a change in government and the new government was the Left Front government. Somehow or other our temple was attacked. That is another story but that was the cause for us to organize a response. So we organized about 3000 persons in a procession to all the main roads of West Bengal, a shanti procession- that they shouldn’t attack devotees, we want peace. There were 168 kirtan groups and Radha Dyuti Prabhu came and said to me that this is amazing that every group is doing the same kirtan, but each one is singing in a different tune, a different melody. It is so ecstatic. So I thought we could organize all these kirtan groups and we will have a kirtan type organization. So my first idea was ISO- ISKCON Sankirtan Organization. 
I went to Srila Prabhupada and took his blessings. He said this is very good. But you should sometime bring them to the ISKCON temple, have them stay for about 3 days, see how we do the worship and they should do the same thing in their villages. So we encouraged and they started to organize like this. Bhakti Charu Maharaj gave me a book called Gaudiya Patrika and Srila Prabhupada was the President of that issue. In that issue there was a reprint of 5 articles of Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s articles on Nama-hatta. That was called the Godruma Kalpatavi, special desire tree in the gardens of Godruma. Then I said why should we call it a different name like ISKCON Sankirtan Organization when our previous acaryas have already given the name Nama-hatta. So instead of calling ISKCON Sankirtan Organization, we called it the Nama-hatta - the Hare Krishna Nama-hatta. So like that we have Raghava Pandit who was active in organizing the Nama-hatta.  That time I went to Orissa and with the help of Goura Govinda Maharaj, I brought a book called rules, aims, methods, administration of Nama-hatta. So we thought that it was important to put down rules so that we had some organization otherwise there would be a lot of speculation on how things should be done. This was not fully implemented but to a large degree it was followed. We took the inspiration from Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s description of Nama-hatta. Also where some details were missing, we saw how other organizations ran and we took some lines from Rotary Club rules and regulations to fill in the details. So we started to enroll Nama-hatta groups. First we had about 45 groups, then 150, then 250, 350, eventually we had 2,000 groups. In West Bengal, Orissa, Assam but some of these groups were not very active so then we had to boil it down, I think we now have between 500-1000 groups now. I don’t know the exact number now. That’s how it started in Mayapur. So we had the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, Bhaktivinoda Thakura and the previous acaryas, the gurus and GBCs of ISKCON.
Interviewer: Is ISKCON implementing Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s vision of Nama-hatta? What is that vision? How far have we implemented that vision? 
H.H. Jayapataka Swami: We can’t say about all the different temples of the world. But by and large, Mayapur Nama-hatta is following Bhaktivinoda Thakura. We added some details. We only had 5 issues of Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Godruma Kalpatavi so Bhaktivinoda Thakura had circle leaders, district leaders. We added up chakras, maha chakras, then district. We only put circle leaders from Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s. We thought a circle was very big so we put up chakras sena pati, one third of a chakra, then 3 chakras is a maha chakra. Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s was a circle so we followed that. 
I found 2 prapannam ashram Nama-hatta temples which were founded by Bhaktivinoda Thakura in early 1900s. One of the prapannam ashram was in Mindipore and it was actually a temple. It was written Nama-hatta prapannam ashram established in so and so year. We have Nama-hatta temple, Nama-hatta Chandra (?),Nama-hatta sanga. When they established a temple it’s a Nama-hatta temple. ISKCON is generally following Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s system. He was very dynamic. Like he said ladies could be preachers. Before, ladies were not encouraged to go out to preach. Now we have men leaders and lady leaders both. Bhaktivinoda Thakura said any music can be used but the lyrics should be Krishna conscious. So we also use this in ISKCON. I think we finished Godruma Kalpatavi, I think 1 or 2 pages are left to be finished, so we will try to publish that so that everyone can see how Bhaktivinoda Thakura had made the Nama-hatta. 
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By His Grace Aniruddha Dasa

Four core activities are found in every ISKCON community: book distribution, prasada distribution, harinama and deity worship. These programs are our outreach. So as long as we are doing these activities, we will attract people to Krishna consciousness.

Not everybody is going to live in the temple because the temples are not big enough, for a start, and also because the householders have to have jobs to maintain themselves. If they are sincere devotees, then they will always have an interest in Krishna consciousness. A natural consequence of our preaching will be that we will attract people to participate in our communities. So we cannot ignore the fact that we have congregations. It would be like ignoring your right or left arm—you cannot do it. My realization is that this group of people is actually our most valuable source of inspiration, of participation and of involvement. Congregation members are active in preaching, book distribution, chanting Hare Krishna, and prasada distribution. The devotees we attract to Krishna consciousness—whether they live in the temple or whether they live outside the temple—will naturally want to engage in the activities that Srila Prabhupada encouraged us all to perform.

To not take advantage of the resources or to neglect cultivating the congregation is foolish. It’s a natural development of preaching, and of course it has to be managed properly so things develop in the right way. We expect a service attitude from those who live in the temple. We should see the same service attitude manifest in anybody else who is a sincere devotee. That has to be cultivated.

We have to learn to respect everybody. It is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s instruction that we should respect everybody, what to speak of our members. But we as leaders of communities have to learn how to educate and train these people just as we do with the people who live in the ashram and who work in the temple environment. When you treat people with respect and you put the time into training and educating them, the end result is that you get solid strong preachers who will contribute. Contribute means more than just giving donations. People will want to give time to do service. Also, there will be congregational devotees who will participate at a higher level of devotion. They will chant 16 rounds, follow the four regulative principles and become quite strong and active preachers.

One of the most important elements of congregational development is training and developing the people Krishna sends to us. I have noticed in the Melbourne temple over the past couple of years that since we’ve started holding Bhakti-sastri and Bhakti-vaibhava courses, that the devotees develop more faith and knowledge of Krishna consciousness. Next they become more enthusiastic to follow the process of sadhana bhakti. They become very enthusiastic to preach. In our situation, for example, we have probably 1,500 members who at least give one contribution a year, but many times they give more often. Our Sunday Feast program is managed by the congregation. The temple devotees don’t have to worry about preparing the bhoga or distributing it. Even the cleaning is done by the congregation members. The Sunday Feast is cooked by the temple devotees and the householders, and the prasada is served out by the house holders. I don’t have to worry about anything.

In terms of following-up on new contacts, we collect names and addresses. We have our Bhakti-vriksha leaders take 30 of the names and addresses of people who live near them, and they ring them up and invite them to Bhakti-vriksha programs. We find out if people have changed addresses and clear our database regularly. We have 4000 people on our mailing list. Out of thirty people, you might find five families keen to come to a Bhakti-vriksha program. They do a study of Bhagavad-gita, Science of Self-Realization, or one of the smaller books. These new people are being gradually cultivated in their homes by senior preachers. At the moment our goal for this year is to double our number of Bhakti-vriksha groups.

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Bhakti-vriksha program in 2013

2013 was another successful year for Bhakti-vriksha around the world. The latest reports from the top places applying this program are the following:

* Former Soviet Union Countries: 550 groups (7150 devotees)

*Kolkata, India: 120 groups (1560 devotees)

*Bangalore, India: 100 groups (1200 devotees)

As you can see, when this program is applied correctly, the results are very powerful. Bhakti-vriksha groups divide and so the number of devotees automatically increases. 

In order to help you to start this program, we offer different materials such as the Bhakti-vriksha Manual, Bhakti-vriksha Training Modules, and Handbooks for Bhakti-vriksha Members and more. 

Also, we have a group of hardworking devotees coaching and guiding devotees in this program around the world.

Bhakti-vriksha coaches:

Vijay Venugopal Prabhu and Prema Padmini Mataji

Advaitachandra Prabhu and Kalasuddha Mataji

Manohara Shyama Prabhu and Premavati Chitra Mataji

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