Started in the mid-2000s, MayapurTV now hosts broadcasts by over 150 ISKCON centers, sannyasis and leading devotees, with 314,000 subscribers on YouTube. The channel inspires viewers and provides free access to ISKCON programs worldwide, all in one place.
The next step for MayapurTV Manager Antardwip Das is to establish different branches of MayapurTV for different languages. With nearly 500 million native Spanish speakers in the world, one of these, naturally, had to be Mayapur TV Español, started four months ago by the former Co-Director of Mayapur Institute Radhika Nagara Das.
Originally from Spain and now resident in Mayapur, Radhika Nagara explains that the purpose of the new channel is to make Krishna Katha accessible to Spanish-speaking people in every town and village through the Brihat Mridanga or “big drum” of the Internet.
“There are 500 million people speaking Spanish around the world,” Radhika Nagara says. “But we noticed that they have no real platform to go to where they have access to Bhagavatam classes, the glories of Sri Dhama Mayapur, interviews, webinars, and other resources to nourish their Krishna consciousness in Spanish.”
Mayapur TV Español soon built a small team including social media manager Chintamani Madhavi Devi Dasi, who lives in Chile. So far, the channel delivers its content via its YouTube, Facebook and Instagram pages, with a webpage still to come.
Content now available includes a twice weekly Bhagavatam class, which has been given via Zoom by Spanish-speaking sannyasis around the world such as Yadunandana Swami, Purushatraya Swami, and Hanumatpresaka Swami. Speakers have also included Radhika Devi Dasi, a doctor who studied medicine at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico and has practiced Bhakti Yoga for over 40 years; Gita Govinda Devi Dasi, a pujari in ISKCON Chile who has also served as a book distributor; Aravinda Das, director of the BBT for Mexico and Central America; and many more devotees from countries like Brazil, Spain Peru, and Argentina.
Meanwhile there are also interviews with senior Vaishnavas from around the world, such as Bhakti Sundar Goswami, Yadunandana Swami and Hanumatpresaka Swami, in honor of the 125th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s appearance.
“In these interviews the devotees express their appreciation of Srila Prabhupada, as well as their challenges, and their realizations about the process of devotion service,” Radhika Nagara says. “The interviews and classes are given on Zoom, and we provide the Zoom ID on our WhatsApp group and on our Facebook group, so that people can join live on Zoom, or on the MayapurTV Facebook page.”
Mayapur TV Español has also run a webinar on the eight verses of Sri Sikstakam by Bhakti Gauravani Swami, who is based in Spain, with more webinars on the way.
“Part of the idea is to get to know who the devotee Spanish speakers are, to get to know the Hare Krishna movement in the Spanish-speaking world,” says Radhika Nagara.
Another purpose of Mayapur TV Español is to spread the glories of Sri Mayapur Dhama, and to make it known to the Spanish-speaking world. To realize this aim, Mangala Arati at ISKCON Mayapur is broadcast on the channel every day, as well as abhishek ceremonies for special Vaishnava holy days with Spanish subtitles. In the future there will also be documentaries about Mayapur and pre-Covid videos of Gaura Mandala Parikrama with Spanish translation.
“We also have a plan for myself or another devotee to go to different holy places in Mayapur, such as Bhaktivinode Thakur’s home, and explain the significance of each place in short videos,” Radhika Nagara says. “We want to make Mayapur famous around the world.”
Other future plans include introductory educational classes on topics such as reincarnation and the guru-disciple relationship, and cultural classes on music, dance, and Ayurveda that will be taught via video by Spanish-speaking devotees around the world.
Radhika Nagara’s vision also includes hosting videos from other sources. One example is the Spanish interviews about the importance of Srila Prabhupada’s books that are produced by the ISKCON Ministry of Education’s “Books Are the Basis” program. Another is the classes by devotees like Giriraja Swami and Mahatma Das that are presented with simultaneous English to Spanish translation by various South American ISKCON temples.
“So when you go to our channel, you’ll find a lot of Spanish language content in just one place – it’s a wonderful resource,” Radhika Nagara says. “Also, the idea is to have our social media channels and WhatsApp group be a meeting place for Spanish-speaking people who are interested in spirituality. A place where they have access to the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, the holy place of Sri Mayapur Dhama, and lots of different resources for cultivating their spiritual life.”
From the beginning, Mayapur TV Español has been supported and championed by ISKCON leaders in the Spanish-speaking world, such as Hanumatpresaka Swami, Purushatraya Swami, and Yadunandana Swami, who saw it as an important need.
Feedback from viewers in Chile, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Peru, Uruguay, India and the US has also been positive and grateful. Radhika Nagara is excited to see the channel connecting Spanish-speaking viewers, who have had fewer options for Krishna conscious online content, with Prabhupada’s teachings.
“To give you an example of the effect, my father, who is not a devotee, had never watched a Bhagavatam class online before,” he says. “But since the channel started, he must have watched at least five or six. And I hope that's been the case with other people too.”
Radhika Nagara invites Spanish speakers around the world to take advantage of the service being provided for them.
“Whether you are a follower of Krishna consciousness, or someone interested in spiritual life, please watch the classes we’re offering, subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and share with others,” he says. “Because it is wonderful content, and we want to make it accessible to as many people as possible.”
He adds: “If you are a leader in your community – whether you are in Bolivia, or Peru, or Argentina – and would like to make a video or share something about what's going on in your project, we can put it on our channel. In this way, the activities of the Krishna consciousness movement in the Spanish-speaking world will be broadcast.”
Watch and connect with Mayapur TV Español at these links:
Instagram: www.instagram.com/mayapurtvespanolmayapur ] [ video ] [ webinar ] [ website ] [ zoom ]