Bhakti Rasamrita Swami launched “The Srimad Bhagavatam Gifting Chain Project” or the “TSBGCP” at ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai on December 3, 2014 in the auspicious presence of Nartaki Dasi, senior Srila Prabhupada disciple, Brajhari Das, Temple President, ISKCON Juhu, Yudhishthira Das, Publisher of the Back to Godhead magazine (Indian edition), and other senior Vaisnavas and several distinguished guests including industrialists, CEOs, leading lawyers and trustees of several leading educational and charitable trusts in Mumbai.
“The Srimad Bhagavatam Gifting Chain Project” is a unique idea inspired from the purport by Srila Prabhupada to the first verse of the first chapter of the first canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, where Srila Prabhupada referring to the Matsya Purana, states that anyone who makes a gift of this great work on a full moon day attains to the highest perfection of life by returning to Godhead. All that the donee has to do, while accepting the gift of the Srimad Bhagavatam, a beautiful set of neat, colourful volumes, is to make a promise to gift a similar set to at least one person. This is how the chain works.
Bhakti Rasamrita Swami began his lecture by talking about the importance of gifting. He emphasized how this human life is a gift which Krsna has given us and the purpose of human life. He spoke elaborately on charity and the various types of charity, being charity in the mode of ignorance, charity in the mode of passion and charity in the mode of goodness. Maharaj then spoke of the transcendental charity viz. the highest charity that one can give, which is giving Krsna to others. He then spoke of the glories of the Srimad Bhagavatam and emphasized that the Srimad Bhagavatam would be the best gift to give someone. Maharaj concluded his lecture with an overview of The Srimad Bhagavatam Gifting Chain Project and urged all ISKCON temples to adopt this project as an ISKCON project so as to spread the chain of divine knowledge.
Bhakti Rasamrita Swami launched the project by gifting the first Srimad Bhagavatam set in English to Shrimati Arati Vissanji, a leading tax lawyer belonging to one of the leading industrialist families in Mumbai, along with a citation letter signed by Braj Hari Das speaking of the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam and containing the promise made by the recipient to carry the chain forward. Shrimati Vissanji is also a director on the board of Walchandnagar Industries Limited and Vissanji & Sons as well as a trustee of several educational and charitable trusts including the Lady Vissanji School and Foundation. Shrimati Vissanji said she was honoured to receive the first set of Srimad Bhagavatam and pledged to continue the chain.
Bhakti Rasamrita Swami also started four more chains by handing over Srimad Bhagavatam sets to eminent donors who were desirous of participating in The Srimad Bhagavatam Gifting Chain Project. One of the donors, Shri Kanchan Murarka, the Managing Director of the Topworth Group, committed to donate twelve Srimad Bhagavatam sets at the launch. There were other guests also who signed up for donating at least eight Srimad Bhagavatam sets.
The program was followed by dinner prasadam at Govinda’s for all the guests.
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