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Vice President of India calls Prabhupada as Ambassador of Indian civilization

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The Vice President of India, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, inaugurated ISKCON's East West Cultural Festival in New Delhi yesterday. The event also saw the Indian premiere of the film Hare Krishna! directed by Yadubara Prabhu.

Dr. Bibek Debroy, one of world's well-known economist and Indologist, executive member of India's Planning Commission (NITI Aayog) and Chairman of Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council participated as the Guest of Honour.

The audience of more than 1800 guests comprised of businessmen, diplomats, government officials along senior ISKCON leaders, 38 disciples of Srila Prabhupada, devotees and members of ISKCON.

The Vice President of India was welcomed by the Chairman of ISKCON Bureau Sripad Gopal Krishna Maharaj and was greeted on stage by the fellow speakers Sripad Sivarama Maharaj and Sriman Yadubara Prabhu.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Naidu said "He [Srila Prabhupada] established more than 100 temples, cultural centres and farm communities, and wrote commentaries for over 75 books, and traveled the world more than fourteen times – all in the short span of just eleven years.

In many ways it is astonishing that a person who is seventy years old did all of this, sleeping just three-four hours a day and produced so many literatures which today have been translated into 82 world languages and have published more than 50 crore copies...

But to me – Swami Prabhupada’s greatest achievement was that he was an exemplary ambassador of India’s ancient civilization. He carried the same traditional values that you, his followers, are now promoting from inside and outside the shores of India."

Dr. Debroy in speech give scriptural references to duties and activities of Acharya and how Prabhupada lived an exemplary life as an Acharya. He further said that the true glorification of Srila Prabhupada was when we take to heart his teachings and become self realized.

The other highlight of the evening was the much anticipated premiere of the film Hare Krishna!. Devotees from various corners of India flew in or drove overnight to attend the first screening in the country.

The movie was well appreciated by the devotees and guests alike. People have already began making plans for attending the theatrical release which is expected in the second week of December.

The event closed with a group photo of all the disciples of Srila Prabhupada and sannyasis.

A transcript of the full speech of the Vice President and Dr. Debroy will be sent out shortly for your perusal. Meanwhile, please find attached few photos.

Thank you.

Your servant,
Yudhistir Govinda Das

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