A new interactive webinar by Global Duty Officer for Book Distribution Vaisesika Dasa, entitled “Be A Sage Page by Page,” will teach participants how to upgrade their lives by reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. Set to take place at 7:00am PDT on August 22nd on Zoom, it will also be broadcast on Facebook and Youtube. (Register here: https://beasage.carrd.co/)
The webinar will ramp up enthusiasm for Shravanam Week, an initiative by the ISKCON Ministry of Education to facilitate and encourage devotees to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s words during this difficult time of social seclusion. Shravanam Week will run from September 3rd to 9th, and will offer online classes and seminars, reading groups, study circles and sangas as well as resources to continue these into the future.
The project comes after a resolution by ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission earlier this year to “enhance the culture of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books globally.”
But first on August 22nd, Vaisesika’s Be A Sage Page by Page webinar – a joint production by the ISKCON Ministry of Education and the BBT Marketing, Communications and Innovations Department – will teach devotees practical ways to manage their time, avoid distractions and nourish their lives through Srila Prabhupada’s books.
Upgrade the Topic, Upgrade Your Life
It will do this using Three Keys. The first, “Upgrade the Topic, Upgrade Your Life,” will explore why we should read Prabhupada’s books. In this section, Vaisesika will talk about how what we subject ourselves to in the form of hearing or reading creates most of the change in our life. He’ll discuss the power of sound; mundane vs spiritual sound; and how upgrading the sound vibration we take in by hearing Srila Prabhupada’s books daily will upgrade our life.
“Books are the basis of sound, because they contain idea seeds,” he says. “And by taking in the sounds of the transcendental literatures, we develop a natural appreciation for Krishna and revive our relationship with Him.”
Be A Sage Page by Page
With the second key, “Be A Sage Page by Page,” Vaisesika will give guidance on how to read Prabhupada’s books, by setting goals using the titular system.
Vaisesika originally created the Be A Sage Page by Page system to help himself tackle the overwhelming task of reading all of Srila Prabhupada’s works, by dividing each one up into bite-size pieces. The system has now been turned into a simple free app available on iOS and Android – users can select a scripture from a picker wheel, and the app will show them how many pages to read a day in order to finish the book or multi-volume series within a particular duration. Breaking each work down into a few pages a day, Vaisesika says, helped him feel inspired and victorious after each day. In the first eleven months of using “Be A Sage…”, he read the entire Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the system has since changed his and many other devotees’ lives.
In this section of the webinar, Vaisesika will also discuss the power of making a decision about which areas of your life you want to improve, and then making Voluntary Life Changes (VLCs).
“We’ll talk about the power of just showing up – as Srila Prabhupada once said, God helps those who help themselves,” Vaisesika says. “We’ll also talk about how to starve distractions and feed your focus; how what gets measured gets improved; and why we should assimilate all of Prabhupada’s books and let them be the basis before collecting other kinds of books.”
Grow by Giving
The third and final key is “Grow by Giving.” In this section of the webinar, Vaisesika will talk about the synergistic effect of both reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and distributing them.
“In Yamuna Devi’s cookbook Lord Krishna’s Cuisine, she says that rice is a worldwide staple, and dahl is also an excellent healthy food,” he explains. “But when you combine the two, you get forty-two per cent more nutrition, and it becomes a superfood. So in the same way, reading Prabhupada’s books and distributing them are both staples of our movement. But when you put them together, you get super sadhana!”
In this section, Vaisesika will also discuss how to learn by teaching; how distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books is high sadhana; and how sampradaya literally means gift giving. Finally he’ll give practical tips on joining a Monthly Sankirtan Festival in your area (virtually during COVID-19); holding your own Bhagavad-gita classes; and participating in Bhadra Purnima, which this year will see the successful global distribution of 10,000 Srimad-Bhagavatam sets by September 2nd.
Start Reading Prabhupada’s Books, Get Immediate Results
Around one thousand people from around the world are expected to attend the one-and-a-half-hour “Be A Sage Page by Page” webinar. Participants will be able to ask live questions via audio and text chat on Zoom; while those watching on Facebook and Youtube who write comments will also get the chance to have their questions included in the discussion.
Adding an extra dimension to the webinar will be an element of original art and music specially designed for the event, depicting the transformational power of Srila Prabhupada’s books.
The event will be recorded and replayed in parts and as a whole during Shravanam Week. If successful, it may be presented live again in the future.
Asked what he hopes devotees will take away from the “Be A Sage Page by Page” webinar, Vaisesika says, “I think that they will have an epiphany that the one thing they can do to make their lives tangibly better right away is to start reading a quota of Prabhupada’s books every day. They’ll get immediate results, which will encourage them to make it a lifelong practice. By reading they will get the insight that Prabhupada’s books are a panacea for this life, and a transcendental vibration that will take them to the spiritual world.”
Register for Be A Sage Page by Page and get the Zoom link and other details here: https://beasage.carrd.co/