This past Saturday, November 28th, the sixth Monthly Sankirtan Festival (MSF) took place and was a resounding success!
Over the last six months, bhakti-yoga practitioners have headed out, once a month, to share spiritual books, kirtan (musical chanting) and prasadam (blessed snacks). This time around, the monthly sankirtan festival coincided with Gita Jayanti, the auspicious day when the Bhagavad-gita was spoken by Lord Krishna over 5,000 years ago! It also marked the start of the "Prabhupada Marathon", where devotees all over the world try to distribute increased amounts of spiritual literature during the month of December. As a result, this MSF was certainly charged with even more energy and enthusiasm!
The MSF began with an inspiring class by Krsnadas Kaviraja das, who emphasized the importance of sharing our good fortune with others through book distribution and also remembering that devotional service is a rare privilege. After breakfast, a short session based on the training by Vaisesika das was facilitated and, soon after, the teams headed out to various locations.
Amazingly, a total of 15 teams distributed more than 200 books including 86 Bhagavad-gitas all over the Greater Toronto Area, which included teams at ISKCON Scarborough and Brampton. Over 800 pieces of prasadam were also distributed!
As teams gathered back home to offer their results to Lord Krishna inspired faces, beaming with enthusiasm, lit up the temple. Realizations and experiences were shared over a late lunch and the desire to serve just increased exponentially. Many who had never tried sankirtan before were so inspired and excited for the next opportunity and many who had done this long ago were rejuvenated. Others were just simply eagre for more "nectar".
In fact, at one of the locations, the devotees did not even want to stop and went way over time only to be back in time for the evening celebrations at the temple. Another highlight was the experience of a devotee couple who were headed out to distribute books by themselves in downtown Toronto. In a rush to reach their destination, they exceeded the speed limit and received a ticket of $120. The police officer on sight then "preached" the laws to them for five minutes. In return, the devotees "preached" to him and, at the end of the conversation, the officer not only happily purchased a Bhagavad-gita and a "Chant & Be Happy" (smaller book), but also reduced their ticket to $15 and gave his email address to stay in touch!
This is only a few of the many exciting experience devotees had on the street, that highlighted the magic of sharing Krsna Consciousness with others! To learn more about the sankirtan initiatives, or to join us on our next adventure, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to participate in the distribution of this transcedental knowledge but are unable to come out with us, you could sponsor books (shastra dana) and the GTA Sankirtan Team would be more than happy to distribute those books on your behalf!