I like the phrase that came from our guru, “Even if everything seems hopeless, I still don’t give up hope.” This is how it was put by one of the presenters at the meetings in Houston. That’s inspirational.
I sat in with a committee that brainstormed on what we could possibly do to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Krishna Movement, founded by the person who did not ever give up hope, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He took the practice of bhakti, which is as old as nature itself, the science of devotional service, from the heartland of India, and transplanted it to the west. Perhaps the word ‘transplant’ is not the correct word, maybe ‘grafted’ is a more appropriate word because he added to the culture of the west an eastern branch. It was definitely a new and refreshing branch, this life of bhakti, devotion. It was nothing short of something like the giving of an olive branch (and I love olives).
A convener to the 50th anniversary group is a young bright devotee from Boston, Maha Vishnu. I offered my idea of taking a walk from Boston to New York City, the 50 year mark of when our guru landed on American soil was 1965 in September at Boston Harbor. This specific service of a trek would be a solo walk with a back up person who would drive, contact media, provide lunch and take up numerous other things. Each evening we could hold a program at some center or studio and conduct kirtan and memories of the early days. The evening program could be highlighted by a special guest who may have been an early participant and spent time with “Swamiji” in the 60’s in New York and Boston.
I believe such a program to be hopeful and so I threw the suggestion out there, hoping for support. Indeed, the devotees at the round table responded well to the idea. The planning of such an event, the 50th anniversary, warrants attention as a significant historical mark reached by a spiritual organization.