We hope this update finds you and your family overflowing with enthusiasm after an inspirational Kartik season and a joyful celebration of His Holiness Hridayananda das Goswami’s Vyasa Puja.
At this opportune time, it is befitting to publish our annual report with regards to Hridayananda das Goswami’s numerous projects, programs, and activities. In addition, we will recognize the invaluable service rendered by our godfamily throughout 2014.
Undoubtedly, the biggest news of 2014 was the grand opening of our Krishna West pilot center in Chapel Hill, NC. Having moved to North Carolina this April, Hridayananda das Goswami worked closely with a team of devotees eager to manifest his vision for establishing Krishna West. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Emily Penney and Nanda-nandana dd, years of brainstorming developed into physical plans.
After several months of researching different real estate options, Ananda Lila dd and Jagannatha das signed a lease on an old sorority house adjacent to the historic University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. Although the house was in complete disrepair, Jagannatha put his carpentry skills to work and immediately began renovating the house. Having ripped up carpets, sanded hardwood floors, repaired stairway banisters, scrubbed toilets and bathtubs, repaired tiles, power-washed siding, and repainted walls, a small crew of devotees completely renovated the house in less than two months. The final refurbishing efforts were largely headed by our senior godsister, Tulsi dd, so excited about the project that she moved into the house on the day the lease was signed despite its horrendous conditions!
On Saturday, August 23, 2014, as Hridayananda das Goswami welcomed guests and spoke about the relationship between science and spirituality, Krishna West Chapel Hill officially opened its doors to the public. Of course, this is just the beginning for Krishna West Chapel Hill. Thankfully, there is a strong team of local devotees, whose efforts are praiseworthy, committed to long-term development of the project. Our special thanks to Ananda Lila dd, Hari das, Jagad-guru das, Jagannatha das, Jaya Gauranga das, Krishna Sneha dd, Krishni, Jonathan, Lilananda dd, Maha-mantra das, Palaka das, Tulsi dd, Vishnu Priya das, and many others for carrying out Hridayananda das Goswami’s instructions and dedicating their lives to Srila Prabhupada in this extraordinary way.
In addition to Chapel Hill, Hridayananda das Goswami has inspired devotees around the world to begin Krishna West programs. Thus, our godsister, Jaya Sita dd, recently opened a preaching center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The center is already receiving heavy traffic from university students, attracted by their popular lunch program. Yonka Yancheva has also begun to organize Krishna West programs in London. In addition to opening centers, other devotees are offering Krishna West programs out of their home, namely Krishna Varna dd and Ishana das in Orlando, FL.
While some devotees are establishing programs on the ground, others are concentrating on developing Krishna West’s online media. Thus, Krishnawest.com was launched in April 2014. Having drawn over 25,000 visitors in less than a year, Krishnawest.com is organizing a massive effort to increase its outreach for 2015 with a dedicated staff of talented writers and graphic artists. Thanks to the efforts of Greg Krier, Jeannette Franks, and Ananda Lila dd, Krishna West Chapel Hill also launched a website in August 2014. In addition to various Facebook pages and social media sites, Krishna West’s online media continues to expand and garner interest in Krishna bhakti and Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.
While encouraging and advising the devotees who are pioneering Krishna West programs and online media as well as offering weekly classes in Chapel Hill and online, Hridayananda das Goswami continues to concentrate on his various writing projects. Now in the final stages of layout, Hridayananda das Goswami’s lonq-awaited Bhagavad-gita will soon be available in print! Although he had hoped the book would be published earlier this year, what began as a literal translation and short introduction, grew into a thoroughly breathtaking overview and detailed analysis. The forthcoming title of Hridayananda das Goswami’s new book, due to hit bookshelves this February, is as follows: A Comprehensive Guide to Bhagavad-gita with Literal Translation. Stay tuned for regular printing updates.
In addition to his Bhagavad-gita manuscript, Hridayananda das Goswami completed two additional book manuscripts this year. The first is a literal translation and introduction to the First Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam. The second is a rendering of the Fourth Canto’s Puranjana story into a contemporary, short story. Hridayananda das Goswami’s Religions of India project is also well underway, with an estimated completion date towards the end of next year. In addition to Portuguese and Spanish translations of his Comprehensive Guide to Bhagavad-gita, we aim to publish five books in 2015!
Earlier this year, an extremely crucial effort to digitize Hridayananda das Goswami’s tape ministry from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, was begun by Gargamuni das. Having recently graduated with a degree in digital media, Gargamuni enthusiastically took charge of the project and has digitized over 75 lectures. Every year Hridayananda das Goswami is repeatedly requested to make these old lectures available. Thus, we hope to complete the project by next summer and celebrate the occasion with an online release party.
We would now like to recognize the various individuals who have literally volunteered hundreds if not thousands of hours of service this year with regards to maintaining Hridayananda das Goswami’s online media and correspondence platforms. First, thank you to Jaya Sita dd for her invaluable service as Hridayananda das Goswami’s email secretary. Special recognition to Giridhari das, who continues to manage Hridayananda das Goswami’s “Istagosthi” listserv (please join here), as well as his personal Facebook page. We are also grateful to Danesha das, who manages Hridayananda das Goswami’s Facebook group for friends and disciples in English, and to Dhananjaya das, who manages our Facebook group for friends and disciples in Portuguese. Moreover, we are indebted to Hridayananda das Goswami’s dedicated translators: Kadamba dd (Portuguese), Madhaviya dd (Portuguese), Pralambaha das (Polish), Yamuna-pavani dd (Spanish), etc.
Last but not least, a sincere thank you to Jaya Govinda das, who is now permanently serving as Hridayananda das Goswami’s personal assistant in Davidson, NC. It is with great relief to know that Hridayananda das Goswami has such a competent and humble assistant.
Altogether, we hope to have adequately conveyed the highlights of Hridayananda das Goswami’s tremendously productive and prolific year. Aided and assisted by loving disciples and well-wishers, Hridayananda das Goswami is extremely grateful for everyone’s service. Please pray that under his shelter, we may continue to deepen our sadhana, improve our service, expand our outreach, and experience the profound joy of Krishna consciousness more and more every year.
That being said, if anyone is interested in various service opportunities (from the convenience of your own home!), we are currently looking to form a new transcription team consisting of 4-5 devotees, including a transcription project manager. We are also looking for 1-2 devotees that have experience editing audio and/or video, and another 1-2 devotees with blogging experience. In addition, we need 2-3 devotees, who can volunteer for various media and organizational services, both requiring basic typing skills. For further inquiry, please contact Ali Krishna dd here.
Hare Krishna! Jaya Srila Acharyadeva! And thank you everyone!