The Bhadra Campaign, flooding the world with spiritual wisdom in the form of full sets of Srimad-Bhagavatam, keeps going from strength to strength.
Launched in 2017, the campaign is inspired by the Srimad-Bhagavatam verse 12.13.13, which states, “If on the full moon day of the month of Bhadra one places Srimad-Bhagavatam on a golden throne and gives it as a gift, he will attain the supreme transcendental destination.”
It’s also driven by Srila Prabhupada’s instruction in a 1977 letter to disciples, “I want that every respectable person has a full set of Bhagavatam and Caitanya Caritamrta in his home.”
With GBC support and representatives in each geographical area, the Bhadra Campaign has united devotees all over the world under a common goal to achieve this vision each year.
And each year, they’ve outdone themselves. In 2018, devotees carrying out the campaign distributed 7,007 Srimad-Bhagavatam sets; in 2019, they delivered 6,543; and in 2020, they innovated in the face of COVID-19 restrictions and challenges, making a massive leap to distribute 24,195 sets.
The Bhadra Campaign has grown in leaps and bounds over the years.
This year, Global Duty Officer for Book Distribution Vaisesika Das and the rest of the team organizing the campaign are targeting a round number of 25,000 sets.
“We are hoping for our largest participation this year!” says Anukula Seva Das of the BBT Marketing, Communications and Innovations team. “Last year over 250 communities in over 55 countries participated in our Live to Give Campaign. We would like to cover the earth and come together as a One World Team. Every country, every community, every devotee!
The Bhadra Campaign this year is dubbed “Go to Goloka” after the transcendental destination one is said to attain by giving the Srimad-Bhagavatam as a gift. It launched on Gaura Purnima Day, March 28th, and will culminate on Bhadra Purnima on September 20th.
As with last year, innovative COVID-safe methods of book distribution will be utilized including Zoom calling parties, distribution on social media, contactless delivery, and inspiring online Bhagavatam presentations by children.
Follow-up will take the form of online reading groups set up by devotees around the world, as well as the popular Bhakti Community Online (https://bhakti.community/), where people can access courses and podcasts that help them learn more about the timeless texts of Bhakti Yoga and how to implement devotional practices into their daily life.
Throughout the campaign, there will be regular online meetings that will provide inspiration, training, and sharing of the best resources for devotees who would like to participate. As with last year, the Bhadra Campaign will culminate in a COVID-safe yajna – likely at Naimisaranya, where Suta Goswami recited the Srimad-Bhagavatam – honoring those who participated in the book distribution effort. During the globally live-streamed ceremony, the participants’ names will be offered into the fire and displayed onscreen.
According to Vaisesika Das, the Bhadra Campaign will be mutually beneficial for both those distributing and those receiving the Bhagavatam.
“Those who distribute the Bhagavatam will feel engaged in the mission of Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada,” he says. “And when you’re actually making contact with people, inspiring them to take transcendental literature, then you yourself become inspired. As far as the recipients are concerned, their lives will be changed forever by receiving the Bhagavatam. It will turn their lives towards the spiritual world, for the Bhagavata is Krishna personified.”
Vaisesika hopes to see devotees continue to invest their energy in the Bhadra Campaign every year as part of an annual worship service to the Bhagavatam.
“ISKCON will grow as much as we all work together towards common goals, especially unassailable common goals like book distribution,” he says. He adds, “My vision is that devotees will embrace the Bhagavatam, and read it again and again, perpetually. More reading of the Bhagavatam, more embracing the principles of Bhagavatam, and then naturally more distribution of Bhagavatam. That will please Srila Prabhupada.”
Annukula Seva Das concludes, “We encourage each and every devotee to get involved! There are many ways to participate, and there is something for everyone to do! Some ways to get involved are: 1) Get at least one set for yourself; 2) Gift at least one set; 3) Sponsor at least one set, and 4) Give referrals for at least 5 worthy recipients.”