NCERT - Please add a chapter about Srila Prabhupada (FOUNDER - ISKCON) in history books
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The purpose of this petition is to request Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Honourable Union Minister of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, to include a chapter based on the achievements of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada (Srila Prabhupada) in the NCERT History Textbook.
Srila Prabhupada has a very special position among all personalities from India who transmitted India’s Vedic heritage and tradition to the west. He went there only to give and not to take anything. He delivered the essence of Sanatana Dharma, devotion to God, to the west on a large scale. Today his teachings are followed all around the world. His teachings are non-sectarian, based on the universal principles of Bhakti taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who started the Bhakti movement in the 16th century. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had predicted that one day it will spread in every town and village of the world, and it is Srila Prabhupada who fulfilled this prophecy by establishing ISKCON in all continents. Thus, we think that the students should know about his priceless contributions to Sanatana dharma and the Bhakti movement. It will motivate them to respect and carry forward our cultural heritage.
Here are some Major Achievements of Srila Prabhupada's life:
1. A True modern day saint
▪️ In 1965, at seventy years of age, he ventured outside India for the first time to fulfill the order of his spiritual master. During his voyage at sea, he suffered two severe heart attacks. He reached the shores of America with the equivalent of seven dollars to his name.
▪️ He founded the International Society for Krsna Consciousness with a small group of disciples, after a year of struggling alone in New York City. This marked the only time in history that a Krsna devotee successfully trained non-Indians in the strict disciplines of Vaisnavism. Amazingly, this was achieved during the blossoming of America’s hedonistic counterculture movement.
▪️ He circled the globe fourteen times, visiting twenty-four countries, preaching, inspiring his followers and making countless public appearances before multitudes of people.
▪️ He introduced the “Sunday Love Feast” and other prasadam (sanctified food) distribution programs that provided billions of free meals to the public.
▪️ He skillfully managed his international society simply through letters and personal meetings, virtually without the use of a telephone.
▪️ He counseled his disciples on complex managerial, philosophical and personal issues in more than 6,000 archived letters.
▪️ He was the subject of more than 30,000 archival photos and more than seventy hours of documentary film footage.
2. Contribution to Hinduism
▪️ He established 108 Krsna temples on six continents, installed the deity of Krsna in each center and trained his disciples in the process of deity worship. Thirty-two new temples (almost three a month) were opened in a single year, between 1970 and 1971.
▪️ He built major temples in Bombay and Vrndavana, and founded a spiritual city at Mayapur. All became international sites of pilgrimage.
▪️ He inaugurated the Rathayatra Festival of Lord Jaganatha in major cities around the globe, in effect, bringing the temple to the people.
▪️ He formally initiated approximately five thousand disciples to Sanatan Dharma. These initiates represented a sweeping diversity of nationalities, races, ethnicities, and religious backgrounds.
▪️ He sent his followers, chanting the names of God, into the streets of cities and towns everywhere and Hare Krsna became famous in every corner of the earth.
▪️ He sent his disciples to London, where they recorded the single, “Hare Krsna Mantra”, with George Harrison, in 1969. It became the fastest selling of all the Apple Corporation’s releases, including those of the Beatles. The record reached top of the charts in Germany, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Yugoslavia, and many other countries. Thus he was instrumental in spreading the ‘Hare Krishna Mantra’ worldwide.
▪️ He commissioned his disciples to produce hundreds of fabulous paintings and artwork of all major Krishna pastimes which adorn the household of millions across the world.
▪️ He recorded more than twenty albums of Krishna’s devotional music.
▪️ He formed the Bhaktivedanta Swami Charity Trust to unearth and renovate the holy places of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes.
▪️ He spoke daily on the philosophy of Krsna consciousness, delivering thousands of formal lectures. Over 2,200 were recorded and archived.
3. Contribution to Vedic literature
▪️ He wrote approximately seventy books on Srimad Bhagwad Gita and Srimad Bhagwata Purana, sleeping only a few hours per day. Dozens of prominent scholars and educators from leading universities praised his work (see appendix). The Encyclopaedia Britannica proclaimed that his voluminous translations from the original Sanskrit and his lucid commentaries “have astounded literary and academic communities worldwide.” This feat is even more astonishing considering the translations and commentaries were in English, which was a second language to the author.
▪️ He founded the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) in 1972, to produce his books. By 1976, over 55,000,000 literatures had been published in twenty-five languages and distributed in almost every country, making the BBT the world’s largest publisher of Indian religious and philosophical texts.
▪️ More than half a billion of his books have been distributed worldwide and has created a spiritual revolution in the world.
▪️ He conducted many hundreds of informal conversations on the science of Krsna consciousness with disciples, guests and friends. Over 1,300 were recorded and archived.
4. Spread Indian culture worldwide
▪️ He had scores of interviews and philosophical discussions with news reporters, scientists, religious leaders and politicians, as well as meetings with world-renowned dignitaries like Indira Gandhi, Allen Ginsberg, Ravi Shankar, Alice Coltrane, John Lennon and George Harrison.
▪️ He set up farm communities to teach “simple living and high thinking”, emphasizing cow protection and dependence on God and nature.
▪️ He established primary schools to provide education in the principles of devotional service.
▪️ He instituted the brahmacharini ashram, something previously unheard of in Vedic culture, to give shelter to single women wishing to practice Krsna consciousness.
▪️ He founded the Bhaktivedanta Institute to advance Krsna consciousness within the scientific community, engaging serious academics in the consideration of the science of self-realization.
▪️ He directed some of his followers to learn the Indian art of “doll making” to present Vedic philosophy through dioramas. This project became the FATE Museums.
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