Nandini Kishori Dasi, Director of the Motel Gita project, presented Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with a full Srimad-Bhagavatam set during the first ever official Diwali event at the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee on November 6th.
DeSantis is a Yale and Harvard graduate, and has served in the US Navy. “Despite being the youngest current governor of a U.S. state at 41, and one of the most popular governors in the country, he is humble and has kept his many promises,” Nandini Kishori says. “Including hosting the first-ever official Diwali event at the Governor’s Mansion.”
The Governor personally helped carry the 50lb box of Srimad-Bhagavatams to be placed in his Mansion. His wife, First Lady of Florida Casey DeSantis, appreciated the gift of a garland offered to Srila Prabhupada on his Vyasa Puja Ceremony at the ISKCON Alachua temple.
Nandini Kishori Dasi presents Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with a full Srimad-Bhagavatam set.
“She is very interested in Vedic culture,” says Nandini Kishori.
The couple, who are expecting their third child soon, also received a copy of Kosarupa Dasi’s award-winning book The Jaguar’s Story, and have placed it in their children’s nursery library along with Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Governor DeSantis’ Diwali celebration drew nearly 250 Indian Americans from all over the Sunshine State, including community leaders, hoteliers, physicians and entrepreneurs.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at Diwali, alongside his wife Casey wearing Srila Prabhupada’s maha garland
DeSantis said he and his wife were “proud to be here at the Mansion for the first time ever in the state of Florida to celebrate Diwali,” and pledged to to make it an annual tradition.
He also thanked hotel owner Digvijay ‘Danny’ Gaekwad for organizing the event.
“Mr Gaekwad convinced the Governor of the importance of placing the Srimad-Bhagavatam set,” Nandini Kishori explains. “Gaekwad came to appreciate devotees via the Motel Gita (http://motelgita.org) project, which has placed over 450,000 Gitas in US hotel and motel rooms.”
In presenting the Bhagavatam to the Governor, devotees are following a direct order by Srila Prabhupada, who wrote in a January 24th 1977 letter: “I want that every respectable person has a full set of Bhagavatam and Caitanya Caritamrita in his home.”
Nandini Kishori Dasi presents Kosharupa Dasi’s children’s book The Jaguar’s Story to First Lady of Florida Casey DeSantis
“Pleasing Srila Prabhupada is a devotee’s life and soul,” says Nandini Kishori. “Prabhupada said, ‘Tax your brains to distribute more books.’ This year, Alachua devotees tried many innovative ways to distribute Srimad Bhagavatam sets, including distributing sets to friends and family, as well as to Hindu temples so that visitors and future generations would have easy access to Vedic knowledge.”
“Srila Prabhupada is the most distinguished author, scholar, and humanitarian,” Nandini Kishori concludes. “Only his books can spread real peace, harmony, and love of God in this age. Srila Prabhupada has done all the work, and our smallest desire to spread his mercy via his books always gets fulfilled!”
Jan 23, 2022
Anandini Tikunov (8th-grade student)
Jan 22, 2022
Sunanda Das, tovp.org