“It is due to Srila Prabhupada that the bhakti siddhanta advocated by Sri Madhavacharya reached an international level. The word Mahasadhaka clearly applies to Srila Prabhupada,” said His Holiness Sri Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji of Paryaya Sri Pejavara Adhokshaja Matha, Udupi on the occasion of a Seminar and Kavya Goshthi held at Rajangana, Krishna Matha, Udupi on July 3, 2016.
This event entitled ISKCON Sahitya Sambhrama was organized by ISKCON Bangalore in association with Paryaya Sri Pejavara Adhokshaja Matha, Udupi. The seminar was on the book Mahasadhaka, a Kannada biography on Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, written by Dr. Babu Krishnamurthy.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Swamiji said, “Srila Prabhupada holds the credit for spreading the philosophy of devotion to Sri Krishna along with a revolution in moral living all over the world.” Drawing a comparison between the Sri Krishna Matha and ISKCON to two branches of the same tree, he expressed his wishes for their unceasing growth.
Justice Sri N. Kumar, Retd. Judge of the Karnataka High Court said, “Srila Prabhupada is a great personality who created awareness among lakhs of people in the Western countries about the power of devotion to Lord Krishna. At present there is a need to reach his thoughts to Indians more than the Westerners. This task has to be taken up by ISKCON. The teachings of Srila Prabhupada are relevant even today considering the increasing terrorism and frivolous arguments in the world.”
Delivering his chief address, Dr. Bannanje Govindacharya, an eminent Scholar and Padma Shri awardee said, “Prabhupada had the wonderful power of logical sense combined with Krishna bhakti. It was to his credit that he eliminated the hippie culture from the world.”
Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, President of ISKCON Bangalore who presided over the ceremony mentioned in his talk that Srila Prabhupada visited Udupi in 1961 and took the blessings of Udupi Krishna, a few years before leaving to America to preach.
“Today the simple fact that thousands of devotees as well as non-devotees all over the world, who are reading his books, are being influenced and are transforming their lives, proves that he is still living in his books,” he said.
“The Western scholarly world lacked the authentic presentation of the complete Vedantic truth of personal God or the personal aspect of the Absolute Truth, Para Brahman. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada has not only transplanted the Vedantic philosophy in its completeness to the Western world, he also transplanted the culture and lifestyle of India through which they can practice the philosophy of real life.”
The ceremony was graced by His Holiness Sri Sri Vishwa Prasanna Tirtha Swamiji, Junior Pontiff of Paryaya Sri Adhokshaja Matha. Sri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Senior Vice President of ISKCON Bangalore was the Chief Guest. Dr. Babu Krishnamurthy, the author of Mahasadhaka, Prof. Mallepuram G. Venkatesh, Former Vice Chancellor, Karnataka Sanskrit University, Sri B. Gopalachar, Director, Sri Vadiraja Samshodhana Pratishthana, Udupi and Sri Stoka Krishna Dasa, Vice President, ISKCON Bangalore were among other dignitaries present in the ceremony.
The seminar began with a review of Mahasadhaka. Dr. Raghavendra Patil, Dharwad, presided over this session. Dr. C. Nanjundaiah, Adichunchanagiri, Smt. Mala Manjunath, Bengaluru, Dr. Rohinaksha Shirlalu, Puttur, Dr. B. Shivarama Shetty, Mangaluru, Dr. Rajashekhara Halemane, Ujire were among the scholars who presented their views on the biography.
In the second session of the seminar, Prof. Sidduyapalaparavi, Gadag, Dr. M. A. Hegade, Sirsi, Dr. Bairamangala Ramegowda, Bengaluru, Sri Tirumala Rao, Bengaluru and Dr. S. K. Sureshacharya, Udupi participated in a conversation with Dr. Babu Krishna Murthy and expressed their opinions about the book.
The seminar was followed by a Kavya Goshthi (reciting of poetries on Sri Krishna, composed by renowned Kannada poets) in the presence of His Holiness Sri Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji and Sri Sri Vishwa Prasanna Tirtha Swamiji. Nine renowned poets from the state recited poetries at this program.
The valedictory ceremony was presided over by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa. Dr. S. R. Leela, Sanskrit scholar and former MLC, Bengaluru delivered the valedictory address. Sri Lakshmisha Tolpadi, a well-known thinker and Sri D. P. Ananthacharya, Trustee, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, Tirupati were the Chief Guests.
The event was attended by many eminent scholars and celebrities from different parts of Karnataka.