President of India expresses appreciation for ISKCON’s activities in Russia
By Vrajendra Nandana Das
By now you must be familiar with the recent ruling by the City court in Tomsk, Siberia, in favor of ISKCON. Some ill informed elements have escalated this matter further to the upper Court and it is imperative that the authenticity of Bhagavad Gita As It Is, be established in Russia.
HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja, HH Bhakti Vijnana Goswami Maharaja and myself, met the President of India-H.E. Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil on the 28th of February at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Srila Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja thanked Smt.Pratibha Patil for being appreciative of ISKCON’s efforts to propagate Krishna Consciousness in Russia and all over the world, and for officially releasing a message detailing this. He also reminded her of her visit to Moscow and the President of India acknowledged having met a delegation of 25 devotees and children in Russia.
He handed over Mahaprasadam of Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi along with a priceless copy of the Krishna Art Book. Maharaja utilized the opportunity to impress on her, ISKCON’s tireless efforts to preach the message of Krishna Consciousness in Russia and also handed over a copy of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is in Russian.
The President of India enquired about ISKCON’s efforts in China and Maharaja confirmed that ISKCON has already published the Bhagavad Gita As It Is in Chinese as well, with the support of the Chinese Government. She was extremely pleased with this development and appreciated ISKCON’s initiative in this direction.
It is significant to note that HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja had already prepared the ground for this Presidential meeting with a series of strategic meetings .This included, meetings with Shri S.M Krishna-the External Affairs Minister and his Joint Secretary. Maharaja also thanked him for his support on the ban of Gita in Russia and handed over copies of Gita .
The ISKCON team was reassured that the Indian Government is extremely vigilant on this issue and is monitoring the developments closely as they unfold. Shri. Pawan Bansal – Honorable Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister visited the Delhi temple, took the blessings of Their Lordships, was also thanked by Maharaja for helping ISKCON on previous occasions and detailed about the latest developments in Russia.