India, May 15, 2023: ISKCON Bangalore organised the second edition of its promotional tour of the bestselling book Sing, Dance and Pray in the United Kingdom after a successful series of events in India. This is a biography of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of the worldwide Hare Krishna Movement, authored by Wilbur Award winner and historian Dr. Hindol Sengupta. It provides a unique insight into the glorious life of Srila Prabhupada to the contemporary audience.
The book promotion programmes in the UK were held at various places of historical, academic and cultural significance. The launch commenced on May 4 2023, at the Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of The High Commission of India in the UK. The book release was followed by a panel discussion at the prestigious Oxford University. A special programme was organised at the House of Commons in honour of Srila Prabhupada. The launch was also held at important spiritual institutions like Shree Geeta Bhawan Mandir, Shree Prajapati Association and Shree Swaminarayan Temple. The tour concluded successfully on May 13 2023, with an event at Cambridge University. The events were presided by Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa, President ISKCON Bangalore and Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Senior Vice President ISKCON Bangalore and Vice Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation and the author.
These events were attended by distinguished guests, professors, philosophers, influencers, students, book enthusiasts and others. The attendees appreciated the book and enthusiastically participated in the invigorating discussions on Srila Prabhupada and the incredible spiritual revolution he brought about.
Some of the eminent speakers were:
• Hon. Virendra Sharma, Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
• Mr. Anil Agarwal, Founder and Chairman of Vedanta Resources Limited
• Mr. Gopichand Hinduja, Co-chairman of the Hinduja Group
• Mr. Amish Tripathi, Director of the Nehru Centre
• Dr. Gautam Sen, taught at London School of Economics and Political Science
• Shaunaka Rishi Das, Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies
• Dr. Rembert Lutjeharms, Librarian and fellow, OCHS
• Prof Gavin Flood, Academic Director, OCHS
• Mr. Diwakar Acharya, Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics, Oxford University
• Mr. Vishal Sharma, Postdoctoral Researcher in Sanskrit Literary and Cultural History, Oxford University
• Dr. Jonathan Katz, Quondam Fellow, Lecturer in Classics, Brasenose College
• Dr. Andrew Davies, Department of Theology and Religion
• Prof. Sriya Iyer, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge
The dignitaries paid rich tributes to Srila Prabhupada and appreciated the incredible spiritual and cultural revolution he brought about in a short period. Below are some notable excerpts:
Shri Anil Agarwal said, “When I came to know of the life and work of Srila Prabhupada, how he started a worldwide movement of Krishna Bhakti starting at the ripe old age of 69, I am greatly inspired! I consider him to be the greatest entrepreneur of all time. His contributions to the world were not just building a worldwide organisation but also leaving a great legacy for the society of 108 cultural centres. Sing, Dance and Pray is not a religious book but an inspirational book, which deserves to be read by every person seeking an inspiration in their lives.”
Shri Amish Tripathi said, “Srila Prabhupada’s vision that no one should go hungry has led to a worldwide institution – Akshaya Patra, which began in India and does noble work even in the UK. Akshaya Patra is carrying his message that the world is one family. Although you may be born at different places, it’s our duty to help as many as we can, if we’ve been lucky to be blessed with some wealth, then our duty is to pass on that blessing.”
Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa expressed his happiness on the occasion and said, “I am happy to be part of the UK tour. I thank all the heads of institutions and other dignitaries for their support and cooperation in making the book launch of Sing, Dance and Pray a grand success. I am glad that we could offer this humble tribute to Srila Prabhupada in London, which he considered to be one of the most important cities in the world. I request everyone to read the biography of Srila Prabhupada and help us propagate his exemplary life, message and spiritual vision to the world.”
Dr. Hindol Sengupta said, “Srila Prabhupada found initial success in building his Krishna consciousness movement in America, but it is in England where some of biggest outreach of ISKCON was possible after the association of Prabhupada with the Beatles and when George Harrison became his disciple. England was where Prabhupada converted the maha-mantra into a best-selling record. England thus was special to Prabhupada, who considered it the greatest city in the world, and therefore, it is a great honour for me to be doing this exciting book tour across the UK, going to multiple cities apart from London, including Oxford and Cambridge. It has been a dream come true.”
ISKCON Bangalore Initiatives commemorating Srila Prabhupada’s contributions
ISKCON Bangalore is celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada, an important milestone in the cultural history of India, through various projects in his remembrance. The biographical work and the book promotional tour are initiatives undertaken to create awareness about his life, message and contributions in India and abroad. It may be recalled that the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, released a commemorative coin during the quasquicentennial celebrations.
Sing, Dance and Pray describes the well-researched life sketch of Srila Prabhupada, India’s greatest spiritual and cultural ambassador to the world. It was the first time in history that a spiritual leader, thinker and reformer from India carried the message of peace and goodwill to the West and brought about an enduring spiritual revolution to make the world happy. It is a tribute to his extraordinary story of absolute determination and profound compassion.