On Friday March 18th, GBC and ISKCON New Delhi leader Gopal Krishna Goswami had the opportunity to meet with Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at his residence in the capital city, to discuss ISKCON’s work.
Mr. Modi is known for promoting the Bhagavad-gita, and so Gopal Krishna Maharaja gifted him a special deluxe edition of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Printed in Italy, the large format luxury book measures 17.3 x 12.2 inches, weighs 37 pounds and runs to 920 pages. It is hand-bound, and the cover features a beautiful relief cast inlaid centerpiece of Lord Krishna and Arjuna, made at a family-run foundry in Milan.
“Prime Minister Modi deeply appreciated the gift, and assured Maharaja that he will keep it with him throughout his life,” says ISKCON India Communications Director Vrajendranandana Das, who was also present.
Gopal Krishna Goswami also gifted the Prime Minister with copies of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is in Russian, Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi and English.
Maharaja then informed Mr. Modi about ISKCON’s global preaching efforts, particularly its propagation of the Bhagavad-gita’s priceless message around the world.
“The Prime Minister was especially pleased to hear that the Bhagavad-gita As It Is had been printed in 181 languages,” Vrajendranandana says.
Gopal Krishna Goswami also explained that ISKCON has over 650 temples around the world, and more than sixty goshalas for protecting cows. Several times during the fifteen-minute meeting, Mr. Modi commented that ISKCON was doing “good work.”
The Prime Minister was also pleased to see a photo of his visit to the ISKCON temple in Moscow in October 2001, and reminisced about the trip.
“Finally, we took the chance to invite Mr. Modi to our major ISKCON 50th celebration in New Delhi this November as the Chief Guest,” says Vrajendranandana. “He said he needed more time to confirm, and did not commit, but he was favorable to the idea. Let’s hope that by Krishna’s mercy it happens!”
As soon as the meeting was over, India’s national TV channel Doordarshan began covering it. By the afternoon, the Prime Minister’s official Twitter page – with 18 million followers – was broadcasting his personal message: “Touched to receive a copy of the Gita from Shri Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja.”
Shri Narendra Modi’s website and Youtube Channel also reported on the meeting.
“This was the first time that a meeting between ISKCON representatives and the Prime Minister of India was featured so prominently and positively across the media, particularly the wide-reaching social media,” Vrajendranandana says.
“Srila Prabhupada personally believed in engaging the leaders of society in Krishna Consciousness in order to set an example for the general populace, and this was our step towards his vision of ‘thinking big.’”[ delhi ] [ gopal-krishna-goswami ] [ modi ] [ narendra-modi ]