“Preaching can be a difficult, thankless task, but a preacher must follow the orders of the Supreme Lord and be unafraid of materialistic persons.”
– Srimad Bhagavatam 6.5.39, purport
His Grace Sudama Das (ACBSP) recalled when Srila Prabhupada was leaving Tokyo to go to India. “He (Srila Prabhupada) said, ‘I have opened the West. Now I will take my dancing white elephants to India.’” Srila Prabhupada wanted to show the people how these ‘dancing elephants’ gave up their “perfect” western life to adopt their own culture, therefore seeing Westerners adopt the principles of Krishna consciousness would naturally increase the faith of the local Indians in their own culture.”
The Mayapur International Preaching group is a group of enthusiastic and dedicated devotees from all parts of the world, travelling and inspiring thousands as they go, all following the same goal of bringing whoever they can to the Lotus feet of Krishna.
The Mayapur Internal Preaching team very much encourages the younger generations to perform the yuga dharma – harinama-sankirtana – and preaching the glories of Sridham Mayapur. The younger generations are given the wonderful experience of travelling to many parts of India and preaching and serving together, along with honing their leadership qualities, channeled specifically for preaching.
The core team consists of twelve devotees who currently live in Mayapur, and others who join when they visit Sri Mayapur Dham. The group sometimes expands up to 35 devotees. There are devotees from the United States of America, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Ghana, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Georgia, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Ukraine, Israel, Russia, Japan, China, Thailand and Australia who participate in these various preaching initiatives.
The Mayapur International Preaching group engages in various preaching activities and programs, widening the scope of preaching opportunities. They participate in Ratha Yatra, Nagar Sankirtan, stage programs, house programs, school preaching, tribal preaching, press conferences and so on. The group also participated in major festivals like the historic ISKCON 50th Anniversary Jaladuta Yatra festival.
The preaching group also appeared on famous radio programs and television network Zee Bangla, where they starred on SA RE GA MA PA and DD Number One. The devotees do various dance and kirtan performances, and speak from their own personal experiences how they came into Krishna consciousness and how the Vaisanva philosophy is the highest of all, and not the western culture which is so often wrongly idealized.
With over 25 songs with various instrument accompaniment and many dance routines and their skills in kirtan, the Mayapur International Preaching group is fully equipped to inspire through their own example how to live a Krishna conscious life. These devotees inspire thousands upon thousands of people, because to the people, seeing these devotees giving up their material comforts and desires to take up their own Vaisnava culture puts things into perspective for them.
“To bring about this change in India, the revival of Krishna consciousness, Prabhupada’s plan was to bring his dancing white elephants, he told us that, ‘when I bring my Western disciples to India, they will all come to see my dancing white elephants,’ he said. So we were actually very fond of being Prabhupada’s dancing white elephants. We took that as the special mercy of Prabhupada on us, that we could be his dancing white elephants and help him in any way we could to preach Krishna consciousness in India.”
– His Grace Bhavananda Prabhu, Srila Prabhupada-lilamrita, volume 4