GVP Regional Coordinator Has High Hopes for Preaching and Book Distribution in Bengal
One of the familiar faces of Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Sri Navadvipa Dhama is its stalwart and intrepid sevaka, Madhusudana dasa Brahmacari. Although not a native Bengali, Madhusudana Prabhu has been a resident of the Matha for over five years and considers Bengal his home and the epicenter of his service to Srila Gurudeva.
Madhusudana Prabhu originally hails from Jammu-Kashmir, and it was there, at a program in 2003, that he first had darshan of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. Wonderstruck by Srila Gurudeva’s powerful harikatha, he joined the devotees in a resounding nagar-sankirtana around his hometown, not caring who saw his carefree behavior. He attended another of Srila Gurudeva’s programs in 2004 and then received formal initiation. He pledged his life to Srila Gurudeva’s service and moved into Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura.
In 2005, Srila Gurudeva ordered Madhusudana Prabhu to go to Bengal and assist with preaching. After completing the customary three-month long session of Bangla pracar (preaching in Bengal) between Sri Vraja-Mandal Parikrama and Sri Navadvipa-Dhama Parikrama, he was ready to go back to the temple in Mathura. However, Srila Gurudeva asked him to remain in Navadvipa. Madhusudana Prabhu expressed concerns about the fact that he could not speak the language of the region, but Srila Gurudeva assured him that very soon he would be able to speak in fluent Bengali. True to the Maha-Bhagavata’s word, Madhusudana Prabhu found that he easily picked up the language, both spoken and written. With Srila Gurudeva’s blessing, he was able to comprehend the complex philosophy found in Bengali texts such as Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, and even began to give classes in Bengali in the temple. Madhusudana Prabhu considers it his life’s goal to help spread Srila Gurudeva’s mission throughout Bengal, India, and the world. “Birth after birth, I just want to serve Srila Gurudeva,” he says.
Madhusudana Prabhu helps lead a group of brahmacaris who are based in Bengal in preaching throughout the North 24 Parganas area. They arrange programs in temples and peoples’ homes, perform kirtans, give lectures, distribute books, etc. The public is very receptive to the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One particular plan of his is to capitalize on the popularity of the Srimad Bhagavata Saptaha (a week-long discourse on the entire Srimad Bhagavatam) throughout India and transpose the program into a “Sri Caitanya Bhagavata Saptaha” (a week-long discourse on the Bengali text describing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s life and teachings called Sri Caitanya Bhagavata) to achieve greater interest among the people of Bengal.
Madhusudana Prabhu hopes to encourage more preachers to make Navadvipa their base and to increase preaching and book distribution throughout Bengal. He is particularly dedicated to expanding book distribution because he first learned about bhakti through books. His earliest experiences with transcendental literature came from reading the authoritative Bhagavad-Gita As It Is by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja as well as the compilation of Srila Gurudeva’s lectures called Secrets of the Undiscovered Self.
One of Madhusudana Prabhu’s most cherished services is being the Regional Coordinator for GVP. He is in charge of maintaining the inventory of books housed at Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha and supplying them to preachers in West Bengal, including Sripad Bhaktivedanta Tirtha Maharaja, Tamal Krsna dasa Brahmacari, and the party of preachers in which Madhusudana Prabhu is a member. A significant portion of the books distributed in Bengal are sponsored through the GVP Book Distribution Sponsorship Program. This allows the brahmacaris to give books to genuinely interested persons even though they may not possess sufficient funds to pay full price for a book. Also, the sales of sponsored books and posters helps brahmacaris with their maintenance costs and allows them to extend their preaching circle farther than they would otherwise be able to do.
Over the past few years, Madhusudana Prabhu’s group has distributed over 700 copies of books such as The Way of Love (known in Bengali as Premera Patha), The Butter Thief (Makhana Cora), and Secrets of the Undiscovered Self (Atmara Gopaniya Rahasya). The printing of these books was made possible by the donations of supporters of the GVP Sponsorship Program. With your generous donation, Srila Gurudeva’s books will continue to be printed in Bengali and other languages for distribution by dedicated preachers throughout the world.