How Do You See ISKCON In The Next 50 Years?


( – How Do You See ISKCON In The Next 50 Years??

Jayapataka Swami: Interesting question! Since I have been in ISKCON over 50 years, when I came to Mayapur there was a grass hut, now there are 7,500 devotees. What will happen in 50 more years? Śrīla Prabhupāda said we should have 50,000 devotees here! When I joined ISKCON I had visited every temple in ISKCON – all three!! San Francisco, New York and Montreal. But now I don’t think it is possible, there are 600 or 800. I don’t know if they count all the outposts and namahattas. In India, I know there are 5,000 namahattas. Because we have over 5000 namahattas in Eastern India and now we want to expand that to the rest of India.

We have bhakti vrksa groups – in Chennai I think they have more than 115. Similarly, in Kolkata about 200. In Delhi they have namahattas for the cities. They are called asraya group, to have an asraya group you need to have a hall which would hold at least 100 people. Anyway they are not counting the namahattas, bhakti vrksas or the asraya groups. And in Russian speaking countries they have 535 bhakti vrksa groups, that was the last time that I heard. Russians are very good for bhakti vrksa groups. I don’t know why but if you have two or three Russians, your bhakti vrksa group will be very successful! So, I don’t know, it is a purely speculative answer.

But Lord Caitanya, He wanted that in every town and village the holy name would be sung. In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, Lord Krsna told the holy rivers that after 5000 years in Kali-yuga, there would be a 10,000-year golden age and that people would generally be Krsna conscious. So, with all these predictions in the Puranas and by Lord Caitanya, so we are looking at a very positive period. But I am too busy to speculate on the future, being in the situation that I am confined to. But, we hope that in the next 50 years, we fulfill all these predictions of Śrīla Prabhupāda and Lord Caitanya.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had predicted during the British Raj that the Westerners, they would go on Navadvipa parikrama and they will see their brothers from India and they would be chanting Jaya Sacinandana together and embrace each other, not thinking about any caste, creed, nationality. Can you imagine in the British Raj he was saying such a thing! I personally saw it come true. I saw we had a Bengali and Indian party and an International party. They came together and they were chanting together Jaya Sacinandana! Jaya Sacinandana! Gauuuuuranga!

So what happens in the next 50 years is in your hands! What you are going to do to make happen! I am already at the end of my life, you are at the beginning, so you have all the future. You will see the next 50 years, I won’t see it. Not in this body anyway. So that is why we want you to take this up very seriously. We have like 800 temples, thousands of bhakti vrksas, thousands of namahattas. How did this happen? It happened one after another after another. So, Lord Caitanya said that Bharata bhumi te manusya janma hoilo jara, janma sartaka kori koro upakara. Those who are born in India they have got a special facility to perfect their lives and to help others. So, now we find that many of our Indian brothers and sisters have gone to the West for IT. And we are trying to encourage them to distribute Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books, to be active in their spiritual life.

We don’t know what Krsna’s plan is but we have some windows to the future. But if you work hard then there is no reason why we cannot achieve those goals. People are seeking for some spiritual purpose of life and they are not getting it, except in Krsna consciousness. So, Śrīla Prabhupāda went to the West, he said that people in the West are dying, burning in the modes of passion and ignorance and he wanted to save them. He made a 108 temples, I think we should have a special status for these 108 temples. Just like in Sri sampradaya they have a 108 temples called Divya Desas. They say that if you can visit all the Divya Desas, you can go back to Godhead. Now if you can visit all the 108 temples that Śrīla Prabhupāda established, that will be a wonderful thing.
The airline companies will like us! Because you will have to go to Fiji, Australia, South America, Europe, America, Japan, all over. Śrīla Prabhupāda established 108 temples, amazing! He left in 1977 and since then now we have like 600 or 800 temples and thousands of namahattas and bhakti vrksas. What will happen in the next 50 years? Some of you can calculate. I am busy in making it happen!

17th July 2023
Address to Pune Youths
Sri Dham Mayapur India

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