Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Governor of Kerala Visits ISKCON Pune
By Saccidananda Syama Das   |  May 28, 2022

Report – Dr. Arif Mohammad Khan (Governor of Kerala) visits ISKCON Pune, India.

May 4th, 2022 was a very special day at Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari Mandir, ISKCON Pune Camp temple as Dr. Arif Mohammed Khan, Hon’ble Governor of Kerala, visited the temple and participated in ISKCON Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupad’s 125th Birth anniversary commemoration program. Along with him were also present Dr. Anant Bhagwat (President, GSPFP) and Shri Amitabh Gupta (Commissioner of police, Pune).

Amidst tight security arrangements, the chief guests were warmly welcomed by the devotee community and the children by chanting “Hare Krishna”. Dr. Arif Mohammad Khan place a garland on Srila Prabhupada and as he entered the temple hall. The guests then took darshan of Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, and offered arati to Their Lordships.

After being introduced by Ravindra Chaitanya Das, Dr. Khan took to the stage. The Governor joined some 200 already present guests & dignitaries in the main pandal. The program began with the singing of the National Anthem followed by lighting the lamp in front of Srila Prabhupad and offering flowers to him. Present at the program were different Spiritual Organization leaders, business leaders, and a cross-section of the devotee community. The Governor, Dr. Bhagwat & Amitabh Gupta were presented with shawls, a 125th-anniversary commemorative silver coin, Srila Prabhupad’s Album, and a bouquet of flowers.

A special book called “The Captain”, which notes various pastimes of Srila Prabhupada written by Toshan Nimai Das was launched by the Hon’ble Governor. A copy of the same was also gifted to all the special guests.

Initially, Shwetadip Das spoke about the 4 foundational principles given by Srila Prabhupada for ISKCON devotees in his speech. Later, the Governor spoke elaborately for 30 mins about Srila Prabhupada’s journey to the west, his sacrifice in spreading the Krishna consciousness movement throughout the world and bringing about the actual peace and harmony among the people of variegated cultures. His wisdom and experience over the last seven decades were very visible in his talk as he kept on glorifying the saintly culture of the land of India. He glorified Srila Prabhupada by quoting ananyas cinta yanto maam…sloka from the Bhagavad-Gita, depicting Srila Prabhupada as a true representative of Lord Krishna. The most astonishing thing is that he quoted various slokas from Upanishads, Ramayana, and Mahabharat, to establish what true dharma & religion is about. The talk ended with how India can become a superpower by subscribing to this wisdom coming down from ages. Encouraged by this wisdom, the TMC members of ISKCON Pune Camp also presented the Governor with an English Shrimad Bhagavatam set, which he gladly accepted. Thanks were given by Rasavigrah Das and we were also fortunate to hear a few words of appreciation for ISKCON activities from Shri Amitabh Gupta. The program ended with a chorus singing the National Anthem.

The Governor had a friendly disposition toward all the guests and devotees. He was visibly pleased to be a part of this commemoration program. All the guests honored the special mahaprasad meal arranged for them and concluded their visit by once again taking darshan of Their Lordships and offering prayers unto Them. Dr. Khan spent a good amount of time clicking photos with the devotees, guests, and police staff. He was very happy and comfortable during his presence at the temple. He also said that he would like to again visit the temple on his own whenever there is an opportunity. Our devotees, TMC, and all well-wishers were extremely happy with the way the event was organized and they all felt very fortunate to be a part of this great gathering. Devotees encouraged the TMCs and particularly thanked Ravindra Chaitanya Das, Lalit Madhav Das, Shwetadip Das, and the ISKCON PR team consisting of Nilesh Yadav P, Ishvar Gaurang Das, Dinesh Das and requested us to organize more such programs in future.

In this way, the program ended leaving everyone with good impressions and relationships within the devotee community and also the ISKCON Family Worldwide.