Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Namahatta

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In  Caitanya-bhagavata, Lord  Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the yuga-avatara for kali-yuga,  gave the following orders to His pioneering preachers Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Haridasa Thakura:

suno suno nityananda, suno haridasa

sarvatra amara ajna koroha prakasa

prati ghare ghare giya koro ei bhiksa
bolo krsna, bhaja krsna, koro krsna siksa

O hear Me, hear Me, Nityananda! Hear Me, Haridasa! Simply disseminate My order everywhere. Go from house to house and beg [the residents as follows]: “Speak about Krsna, worship Krsna and teach [others] about Krsna.”

Inspired by these words of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu , Iskcon Vrndavana’s nama-hatta program tries to preach as far and wide as possible, with village preaching, congregational preaching and so forth. The nama-hatta department also organises many festivals as well as kirtanas in nearby towns and villages.

Not only Indians but people from all over the world are enrolling themselves in the following preaching activities in Vrindavan.

Nama-hatta team. Everyday, in the  afternoon, the Nama-hatta team leaves for various village, wherethey do nagara-kirtana. The people then gather and devotees from the team give a discourse on Bhagavad-gita. All those who are interested then chant one round of japa. Often, delicious  prasada like handmade bajra- roti, mathaa, and milk are offered and relished by those in attendance.

• Congregation Development. The main focus is to help, through various interactive methods, those who are interested in bringing spirituality into their lives in such a way as to balance the material and spiritual.

• House Programmes are conducted in the homes of interested individuals where the focus of discussions is on how to lead a peaceful and balanced life, by which the spiritual aim of life can be achieved.

• Harinama Sankirtana is performed regularly throughout the sacred streets of Vrndavana, Mathura and other areas of Braja, which adds to the already surcharged, spiritual atmosphere of the land of Krsna.

• Prison Preaching.Special attention is given to giving spiritual education to inmates of local jails so they can be inspired to become an ideal citizen

• Funeral Services. This important service is especially provided to ISKCON devotees whose final rites are performed on the banks of the sacred Yamuna River.

• Rathayatra. This popular annual festival through the ancient streets of the sacred places of Mathura and Vrndavana attracts tens of thousands of participants. Also,  in cities within a 100 kilometre radius, many Rathayatras are held each year.

• ISKCON Disciple Course. This course is conducted every month in Hindi and English. It is essential for those who would like to take initiation from a Vaisnava within ISKCON. 

• Village Preaching. There are over 1,500 villages in the land of Braja and in some of them, regular cultural programmes are held.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s method of preaching is simple and yet the most sublime. Love is the weapon He used to conquer everyone. If every devotee experiences  that love is the highest principle, then his or her mind will gradually  become fixed in the path of bhakti and not deviated by the mental wrangling, philosophical speculation, dry renunciation or the desire for fruitive results.

In the world today, there is a great need to reach out to the common man through our congregational programs.. Everyone is suffering, whether they are in the city ,town or village. The fruit of all the devotional activities is a growing inspiration to serve and love Lord Krsna. Srila Prabhupada  and our acaryas have stated that this will only be possible by serving the preaching mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and taking the importance of that into our hearts. He is empowering all those devoted to Him to flood this world with the aspiration to attain selfless love. Transcendental love can only be fully experienced when it is unconditional, and we are given an opportunity to develop that by trying to please Him,  preaching everywhere without hesitation and without partiality.

In the future, congregational preaching is certainly going to expand in a massive way, the world over. Many devotees are assisting others in their locality to learn and practice Krsna consciousness. With this personal way of sharing the magnanimous and relishable bhakti in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, people will feel spiritual nourishment. Then, even within that ever-expanding congregation, there will be a supremely relishable mood of harmony and cooperation that will affect the entire community of devotees.