arjunaḥ—Arjuna; uvāca—said; dṛṣṭvā—after seeing; imam—all these; svajanam—kinsmen; kṛṣṇa—O Kṛṣṇa; yuyutsum—all in fighting spirit; samupasthitam—all present; sīdanti—quivering; mama—my; gātrāṇi—limbs of the body; mukham—mouth; ca—also; pariśuṣyati—drying up.
Arjuna said: My dear Kṛṣṇa, seeing my friends and relatives present before me in such a fighting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.
Any man who has genuine devotion to the Lord has all the good qualities which are found in godly persons or in the demigods, whereas the nondevotee, however advanced he may be in material qualifications by education and culture, lacks in godly qualities. As such, Arjuna, just after seeing his kinsmen, friends and relatives on the battlefield, was at once overwhelmed by compassion for them who had so decided to fight amongst themselves. As far as his soldiers were concerned, he was sympathetic from the beginning, but he felt compassion even for the soldiers of the opposite party, foreseeing their imminent death. And so thinking, the limbs of his body began to quiver, and his mouth became dry. He was more or less astonished to see their fighting spirit. Practically the whole community, all blood relatives of Arjuna, had come to fight with him. This overwhelmed a kind devotee like Arjuna. Although it is not mentioned here, still one can easily imagine that not only were Arjuna's bodily limbs quivering and his mouth drying up, but that he was also crying out of compassion. Such symptoms in Arjuna were not due to weakness but to his softheartedness, a characteristic of a pure devotee of the Lord. It is said therefore:
yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ
"One who has unflinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead has all the good qualities of the demigods. But one who is not a devotee of the Lord has only material qualifications that are of little value. This is because he is hovering on the mental plane and is certain to be attracted by the glaring material energy." (SB 5.18.12)
Srila Prabhupada placed much importance on his teachings, thus Vanipedia is dedicated exclusively to his body of work which comprises books, recorded lectures and conversations, letters, etc. When completed, Vanipedia will be the first-ever Vani-temple in the world offering a sacred space where millions of people seeking authentic spiritual guidance will find answers and inspiration from the illustrious teachings of Srila Prabhupada, presented in an encyclopedia format in as many languages as possible.
Vanipedia's Vision Statement
Collaborating to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's multi-lingual Vani-presence, thus facilitating hundreds of millions of people to live the science of Krishna consciousness and assist Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's sankirtana movement to re-spiritualize human society.
Building an encyclopedia to the degree that is evinced in Vanipedia is only possible by the mass collaborative effort of thousands of devotees congregationally compiling and diligently translating Srila Prabhupada's teachings.
We want to complete the translation of all of Srila Prabhupada's books, lectures, conversations, and letters in at least 16 languages and reach at least 108 languages with some representation in Vanipedia by November 2027.
As of October 2017 the full Bible has been translated into 670 languages, the New Testament has been translated into 1,521 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1,121 other languages. These statistics show that our aims while being a substantial increase in Srila Prabhupada's teachings, are not at all ambitious compared to the efforts that the Christians are making to spread their teachings globally.
We invite all devotees to join us in this noble endeavor of invoking and making fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's multi-lingual Vani-presence on the web for the benefit of ALL humanity.
In 1965 Srila Prabhupada arrived uninvited in America. Even though the days of his glorious Vapu presence ended in 1977, he still exists in his Vani and it is this presence that we must now invoke. Only by calling on and begging Srila Prabhupada to appear will he do so. Our intense desire to have him among us is the key we hold for his appearance.
We do not want the partial presence of Srila Prabhupada before us. We want his full Vani-presence. All of his recorded teachings should be completely compiled and translated into many languages. This is our offering to future generations of people of this planet - complete shelter (ashraya) of Srila Prabhupada's teachings.
Srila Prabhupada's full Vani-presence will appear in two phases. The first - and easy phase - is to compile and translate all of Srila Prabhupada's teachings in all languages. The second - and more difficult phase - is to have hundreds of millions of people fully living his teachings.
Different Ways to Study
To date, in our research, we have found that there are 60 different ways that Srila Prabhupada has instructed the devotees to read his books.
By studying Srila Prabhupada's books in these different ways we can properly understand and assimilate them. By following the thematic methodology of studying and then compiling them one can easily penetrate into the deep significance of the meanings of each word, phrase, concept or personality that Srila Prabhupada is presenting. His teachings are without a doubt our life and soul, and when we study them thoroughly we can perceive and experience Srila Prabhupada's presence in many profound ways.
Ten Million Acaryas
Suppose you have got now ten thousand. We shall expand to hundred thousand. That is required. Then hundred thousand to million, and million to ten million. So there will be no scarcity of acharya, and people will understand Krishna consciousness very easily. So make that organization. Don't be falsely puffed up. Follow the acharya's instruction and try to make yourself perfect, mature. Then it will be very easy to fight out maya. Yes. Acharyas, they declare war against maya's activities.– Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, 6 April 1975
This vision statement of Srila Prabhupada speaks for itself - the perfect plan for people to easily understand Krishna consciousness. Ten million empowered siksa-disciples of Srila Prabhupada humbly living our Founder-acarya's instructions and always endeavoring for perfection and maturity. Srila Prabhupada clearly states "make that organization." Vanipedia is enthusiastically helping to fulfill this vision.
Science of Krishna Consciousness
In the Ninth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita this science of Krishna consciousness is called the king of all knowledge, the king of all confidential things, and the supreme science of transcendental realization. Krishna Consciousness is a transcendental science which can be revealed to a sincere devotee who is prepared to render service to God. Krishna Consciousness is not achieved by dry arguments or by academic qualifications. Krishna Consciousness is not a faith, such as the Hindu, Christian, Buddhist or Islam faith, but it is a science. If someone reads Srila Prabhupada's books carefully they will realize the topmost science of Krishna Consciousness and be more inspired to spread the same to all persons as their real welfare benefit.
Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana Movement
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the father and inaugurator of the sankirtana movement. One who worships Him by sacrificing his life, money, intelligence and words for the sankirtana movement is recognized by the Lord and endowed with His blessings. All others may be said to be foolish, for of all sacrifices in which a man may apply his energy, a sacrifice made for the sankirtana movement is the most glorious. The entire Krishna consciousness movement is based on the principles of the sankirtana movement inaugurated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore one who tries to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the medium of the sankirtana movement knows everything perfectly. He is sumedhas, a person with substantial intelligence.
Re-spiritualizing Human Society
Human society, at the present moment, is not in the darkness of oblivion. It has made rapid progress in the field of material comforts, education and economic development throughout the entire world. But there is a pinprick somewhere in the social body at large, and therefore there are large-scale quarrels, even over less important issues. There is a need for a clue as to how humanity can become one in peace, friendship, and prosperity with a common cause. Srimad-Bhagavatam fills this need, for it is a cultural presentation for the re-spiritualization of the entire human society. The mass of people, in general, are tools in the hands of the modern politicians and leaders of the people. If there is a change of heart of the leaders only, certainly there will be a radical change in the atmosphere of the world.
The aim of real education should be self-realization, realization of the spiritual values of the soul. Everyone should help to spiritualize all the activities of the world. By such activities, both the performer and the work performed become surcharged with spirituality and transcend the modes of nature.
Vanipedia's Mission Statement
To offer Srila Prabhupada a continuous, worldwide platform to preach, educate and train people in the science of Krishna consciousness in all languages of the world.
To explore, discover and comprehensively compile Srila Prabhupada's teachings from multiple angles of vision.
To present Srila Prabhupada's Vani in easily accessible and understandable ways.
To offer a repository of comprehensive thematic research to facilitate the writing of many topical books based on Srila Prabhupada's Vani.
To offer curriculum resources for various educational initiatives into Srila Prabhupada's Vani.
To instill among sincere followers of Srila Prabhupada an unequivocal understanding of the necessity to both consult Srila Prabhupada's Vani for personal guidance, and become sufficiently learned to represent him on all levels.
To attract Srila Prabhupada's followers from all nations to collaborate globally with the view to achieving all the above.
What is Motivating Us to Build Vanipedia?
We accept that
Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee, directly empowered by Lord Sri Krishna to engage living entities in loving devotional service to God. This empowerment is proven in his unparalleled exposé on the Absolute Truth found within his teachings.
There has been no greater exponent of Vaishnava philosophy in modern times, and no greater social critic who explains this contemporary world AS IT IS, than Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada's teachings will be the primary shelter for his millions of followers for all future generations.
Srila Prabhupada wanted his teachings to be profusely distributed and properly understood.
A thematic approach to Srila Prabhupada's teachings greatly enhances the process of understanding the truths within them, and that there is immense value in exploring, discovering and thoroughly compiling his teachings from every angle of vision.
Translating all of Srila Prabhupada's teachings into a particular language is the same as inviting Srila Prabhupada to reside eternally in the places where those languages are spoken.
In his physical absence, Srila Prabhupada requires many vaniservants to assist him in this mission.
Thus, we are committed to creating a truly dynamic platform to facilitate the profuse distribution and proper understanding of the perfect knowledge and realizations found within Srila Prabhupada's teachings, so they may be joyfully acted upon. It is that simple. The only thing separating us from the completion of Vanipedia is time and the many sacred hours of vaniseva that is yet to be offered by the devotees who commit themselves to this vision.
A culture of shelter at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada's teachings can only be realized when these three positions of Srila Prabhupada are awakened in the hearts of all his followers.
Srila Prabhupada is our pre-eminent siksa-guru
We accept that all of Srila Prabhupada's followers can experience his presence and shelter within his teachings – both individually and when discussing them with each other.
We purify ourselves and establish a firm relationship with Srila Prabhupada by learning to live with him as our guiding conscience.
We encourage devotees feeling separation from Srila Prabhupada, to take the time to seek his presence and solace within his Vani.
We share Srila Prabhupada's compassion with all his followers, including those who take initiation in his line as well as those who follow him in different capacities.
We educate devotees in the truth of Srila Prabhupada's position as our pre-eminent siksa-guru, and our sisya relationship with him in separation.
We establish a succession of siksa-empowered disciples to uphold Srila Prabhupada's legacy throughout successive generations.
Srila Prabhupada is the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON
We promote his Vani as the primary driving force that keeps the members of ISKCON connected and faithful to him, and thus inspired, enthused and determined to make his movement everything that he wished it to be – both now and in the future.
We encourage the sustainable development of Vaishnava-brahminical standards centered on Srila Prabhupada's teachings and his preaching strategies – a "vani-culture."
We educate devotees in the truth of Srila Prabhupada's position as the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON and our service to him and his movement.
Srila Prabhupada is the World-acharya
We increase the global awareness of the significance of Srila Prabhupada's spiritual stature as the world-acharya by establishing the contemporary relevance of his teachings in all circles in every country.
We inspire a culture of appreciation and respect for Srila Prabhupada's teachings, resulting in active participation in the practices of Krishna consciousness by the world's population.
We realize the premise that Srila Prabhupada built a house in which the whole world can live by establishing his Vani as simultaneously the foundation and roof – the shelter, the ashraya – that protects this house.
Vital to Establish Srila Prabhupada's Natural Position
Our ISKCON society needs educational initiatives, political directives, and social culture to facilitate and nurture Srila Prabhupada's natural position with his followers and within his movement. It will not happen automatically or by wishful thinking. It can only be achieved by intelligent, concerted and collaborative efforts offered by his pure-hearted devotees.
Five Key Obstacles Concealing Srila Prabhupada's Natural Position within his Movement:
1. ignorance of Srila Prabhupada's teachings – he has given instructions but we are not aware they exist.
2. indifference to Srila Prabhupada's teachings – we know the instructions exist but we do not care about them. We ignore them.
3. misunderstanding of Srila Prabhupada's teachings – we apply them sincerely but due to our over-confidence or lack of maturity, they are misapplied.
4. a lack of faith in Srila Prabhupada's teachings – deep within we are not fully convinced and think of them as utopian, neither realistic nor practical for the "modern world."
5. in competition with Srila Prabhupada's teachings – with full conviction and enthusiasm we go in a completely different direction than what Srila Prabhupada has instructed, and in so doing influence others to go with us.
We believe these obstacles can easily be overcome with the introduction of integral, structured educational and training programs aimed at nurturing our relationship with and increasing our knowledge of Srila Prabhupada's teachings. This will only succeed however if fueled by a serious leadership commitment to create a culture deeply rooted in Srila Prabhupada's Vani. Srila Prabhupada's natural position will thus automatically become, and remain, apparent to all generations of devotees.
Devotees are his Limbs, ISKCON is his Body, and his Vani is his Soul
You should always remember that whatever we are doing, it is in the parampara system beginning from Lord Krishna, down to us. Therefore, our loving spirit should be more upon the message than the physical representation. When we love the message and serve Him, automatically our devotional love for the physique is done.– Srila Prabhupada Letter to Govinda dasi, 7 April 1970
We are Srila Prabhupada's limbs. To successfully cooperate with him to his full satisfaction we must be united in consciousness with him. This loving unity develops from our becoming fully absorbed in, convinced by and practicing his Vani. Our holistic success strategy is for everyone to assimilate Srila Prabhupada's teachings and boldly place them at the heart of everything we do for his Krishna consciousness movement. In this way, Srila Prabhupada's devotees can flourish personally, and in their respective services to make ISKCON a solid body which can fulfill Srila Prabhupada's desire to save the world from complete disaster. The devotees win, the GBC wins, ISKCON wins, the world wins, Srila Prabhupada wins, and Lord Caitanya wins. There will be no losers.
Distributing the Teachings of Parampara
1486 Caitanya Mahaprabhu appears in order to teach the world Krishna consciousness – 533 years ago
1488 Sanatana Goswami appears in order to write books on Krishna consciousness – 531 years ago
1489 Rupa Gosvami appears in order to write books on Krishna consciousness – 530 years ago
1495 Raghunatha Gosvami appears in order to write books on Krishna consciousness – 524 years ago
1500 Mechanical printing presses begin to revolutionize the distribution of books throughout Europe – 520 years ago
1513 Jiva Gosvami appears in order to write books on Krishna consciousness – 506 years ago
1834 Bhaktivinoda Thakura appears in order to write books on Krishna consciousness – 185 years ago
1874 Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati appears in order to write books on Krishna consciousness – 145 years ago
1896 Srila Prabhupada appears in order to write books on Krishna consciousness – 123 years ago
1914 Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati coins the phrase "brhat-mrdanga" – 105 years ago
1922 Srila Prabhupada meets Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati for the first time and is immediately requested to preach in the English language - 97 years ago
1935 Srila Prabhupada receives the instruction to print books – 84 years ago
1944 Srila Prabhupada starts Back to Godhead magazine – 75 years ago
1956 Srila Prabhupada moves to Vrndavana to write books – 63 years ago
1962 Srila Prabhupada publishes his first volume of Srimad-Bhagavatam – 57 years ago
1965 Srila Prabhupada arrives in the West to distribute his books – 54 years ago
1968 Srila Prabhupada publishes his abridged Bhagavad-gita As-It-Is – 52 years ago
1972 Srila Prabhupada publishes his full version of Bhagavad-gita As-It-Is – 47 years ago
1972 Srila Prabhupada establishes the BBT to publish his books – 47 years ago
1974 Srila Prabhupada's disciples start the serious distribution of his books – 45 years ago
1975 Srila Prabhupada completes the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 44 years ago
1977Srila Prabhupada stops speaking and leaves his Vani in our care – 42 years ago
1978 The Bhaktivedanta Archives is established – 41 years ago
1986 The world's digitally stored material amounts to 1 CD-ROM per person – 33 years ago
1991 The World Wide Web (brhat-brhat-brhat mrdanga) is established – 28 years ago
1992 The Bhaktivedanta VedaBase version 1.0 is created – 27 years ago
2002 The Digital Age arrives - worldwide digital storage overtakes analog – 17 years ago
2007 The world's digitally stored material amounts to 61 CD-ROMS per person – 12 years ago, that makes 427 billion CD-ROMs. (all full)
2007 Srila Prabhupada's Vani-temple, the Vanipedia begins construction in the web – 12 years ago
2010 Srila Prabhupada's Vapu-temple, the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium begins construction in Sridhama Mayapur – 9 years ago
2012 Vanipedia reaches 1,906,753 quotes, 108,971 pages and 13,946 categories – 7 years ago
2013 500,000,000 of Srila Prabhupada's books have been distributed by ISKCON devotees in 48 years – an average of 28,538 books every single day - 6 years ago
2019 21st March, Gaura Purnima day at 7.15 Central European Time, Vanipedia celebrates 11 years of inviting devotees to collaborate together to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence. Vanipedia now offers 45,588 categories, 282,297 pages, 2,100,000 plus quotes presented in 93 languages. This has been achieved by over 1,220 devotees who have performed more than 295,000 hours of vaniseva. We still have a long way to go in order to complete Srila Prabhupada's Vani-temple thus we continue to invite devotees to participate in this glorious mission.
The unfolding of the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu under the banner of the modern day Krishna consciousness movement is a very exciting time to be performing devotional service.
Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-acarya of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness has brought onto the world scene a life-changing phenomenon in the form of his Translations, Bhaktivedanta Purports, Lectures, Conversations, and Letters. Here lies the key to the respiritualization of the whole human society.
Vani, Personal Association and Service in Separation - Quotes
My Guru Maharaja passed in 1936, and I started this movement in 1965, thirty years after. Then? I am getting the mercy of guru. This is Vani. Even the guru is not physically present, if you follow the Vani, then you are getting help.– Srila Prabhupada Morning-walk Conversation, 21 July 1975
In the absence of physical presentation of the Spiritual Master the Vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master, Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, may appear to be physically not present, but still because I try to serve His instruction I never feel separated from Him. I expect that all of you should follow these instructions.– Srila Prabhupada Letter to Karandhara das (GBC), 22 August 1970
From the very beginning I was strongly against the impersonalists and all my books are stressed on this point. So my oral instruction as well as my books are all at your service. Now you GBC consult them and get clear and strong idea, then there will be no disturbance. Disturbance is caused by ignorance; where there is no ignorance, there is no disturbance.– Srila Prabhupada Letter to Hayagriva das (GBC), 22 August 1970
Please be happy in separation. I am separated from my Guru Maharaja since 1936 but I am always with him so long I work according to his direction. So we should all work together for satisfying Lord Krishna and in that way the feelings of separation will transform into transcendental bliss.– Srila Prabhupada Letter to Uddhava das (ISKCON Press), 3 May 1968
Srila Prabhupada offers many revealing truths in this series of statements.
Srila Prabhupada's personal guidance is always here.
We should be happy in feelings of separation from Srila Prabhupada.
In Srila Prabhupada's physical absence his Vaniseva is more important.
Srila Prabhupada had very little personal association with his Guru Maharaja.
Srila Prabhupada's oral instruction, as well as his books, are all at our service.
Feelings of separation from Srila Prabhupada transform into transcendental bliss.
When Srila Prabhupada is not physically present, if we follow his Vani, we get his help.
Srila Prabhupada never left Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's association, not even for a moment.
By consulting Srila Prabhupada's oral instructions and his books we get clear and strong ideas.
By following Srila Prabhupada's instructions we will never feel separated (disconnected) from him.
Srila Prabhupada expects all his followers to follow these instructions in order to become empowered siksa-disciples of him.
I am very encouraged by the reports of the tremendous success of your TV and radio programs. As much as possible try to increase our preaching programs by using all the mass media which are available. We are modern day Vaishnavas and we must preach vigorously using all the means available.– Srila Prabhupada Letter to Rupanuga das (GBC), 30 December 1971
If you are able to arrange everything so that I can simply sit in my room and be seen by the world and speak to the world, then I shall never leave Los Angeles. That will be the perfection of your L.A. Temple. I am very, very encouraged by your proposal to flood the medias of your country with our Krishna Consciousness program, and see that it is practically taking shape under your hands, so I am all the more pleased.- Srila Prabhupada Letter to Siddhesvar das and Krishnakanti das, 16 February 1972
Following in the footsteps of his Guru Maharaja Srila Prabhupada knew the art of engaging everything for Krishna's service.
Srila Prabhupada wants to be seen by the world and speak to the world.
Srila Prabhupada desires to flood the media with our Krishna Consciousness programs.
Srila Prabhupada wants his books distributed through the press and other modern-media.
Srila Prabhupada was happy to hear about the plan for a subject by subject encyclopedia of his teachings.
Srila Prabhupada says we should increase our preaching programs by using all the mass media that is available.
Srila Prabhupada says we are modern day Vaishnavas and we must preach vigorously using all the means available.
Srila Prabhupada says we can use everything – television, radio, movies, or whatever there may be – to tell about Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada says that the mass-media can become such an important instrument in spreading our Krishna consciousness movement.
Modern-media, modern opportunities
For Srila Prabhupada, in the 1970's, the terms modern-media and mass-media meant the printing press, radio, TV and movies. Since his departure, the landscape of mass media has dramatically transformed to include Android phones, cloud computing and storage, e-book readers, e-commerce, interactive TV and gaming, online publishing, podcasts and RSS feeds, social networking sites, streaming media services, touch-screen technologies, web-based communications & distribution services and wireless technologies.
In line with Srila Prabhupada's example we are, since 2007, using modern mass media technologies to compile, index, categorize and distribute Srila Prabhupada's Vani.
Vanipedia's aim is to increase the visibility and accessibility of Srila Prabhupada's teachings on the web by offering a free, authentic, one-stop resource for
• ISKCON preachers
• ISKCON leaders and managers
• devotees studying devotional courses
• devotees wishing to deepen their knowledge
• devotees involved in inter-faith dialogues
• curriculum developers
• devotees feeling separation from Srila Prabhupada
• executive leaders
• teachers and students of religious education
• searchers of spirituality
• people concerned about current social issues
There is still more to be done to make Srila Prabhupada's teachings accessible and prominent in the world today. Collaborative web technologies provide us the opportunity to surpass all our previous successes.
Vaniseva – the Sacred Act of Serving Srila Prabhupada's Vani
Srila Prabhupada stopped speaking on the 14th of November, 1977, but the Vani he gave us remains ever fresh. However, these teachings are not yet in their pristine condition, nor are all of them readily accessible to his devotees. Srila Prabhupada's followers have a sacred duty to preserve and to distribute his Vani to everyone. We are therefore inviting you to perform this vaniseva.
Always remember that you are one of the few men I have appointed to carry on my work throughout the world and your mission before you is huge. Therefore, always pray to Krishna to give you strength for accomplishing this mission by doing what I am doing. My first business is to give the devotees the proper knowledge and engage them in devotional service, so that is not very difficult task for you, I have given you everything, so read and speak from the books and so many new lights will come out. We have got so many books, so if we go on preaching from them for the next 1,000 years, there is enough stock.– Srila Prabhupada Letter to Satsvarupa das (GBC), 16 June 1972
In June of 1972 Srila Prabhupada said that "we have got so many books" that we have "enough stock" to preach from for the "next 1,000 years." At that time, only 10 titles had been printed, so with all the extra books that Srila Prabhupada published from July 1972 to November 1977 the number of years of stock could easily be expanded to 5,000. If we add to this his oral instructions and letters, then the stock expands to 10,000 years. We need to expertly prepare all these teachings to be accessed and properly understood so that they can be "preached from" for this whole period of time.
There is no doubt that Srila Prabhupada has unending enthusiasm and determination to preach the message of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It does not matter that his vapu has left us. He remains in his teachings, and via the digital platform, he can now preach even more widely than when he was physically present. With complete dependence on Lord Caitanya's mercy, let us embrace Srila Prabhupada's vani-mission, and with more resolve than ever before, expertly prepare his Vani for 10,000 years of preaching.
Over the past ten years I have given the framework and now we have become more than the British Empire. Even the British Empire was not as expansive as we. They had only a portion of the world, and we have not completed expanding. We must expand more and more unlimitedly. But I must now remind you that I have to complete the translation of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. This is the greatest contribution; our books have given us a respectable position. People have no faith in this church or temple worship. Those days are gone. Of course, we have to maintain the temples as it is necessary to keep our spirits high. Simply intellectualism will not do, there must be practical purification.
So I request you to relieve me of management responsibilities more and more so that I can complete the Srimad-Bhagavatam translation. If I am always having to manage, then I cannot do my work on the books. It is document, I have to choose each word very soberly and if I have to think of management then I cannot do this. I cannot be like these rascals who present something mental concoction to cheat the public. So this task will not be finished without the cooperation of my appointed assistants, the GBC, temple presidents, and sannyasis. I have chosen my best men to be GBC and I do not want that the GBC should be disrespectful to the temple presidents. You can naturally consult me, but if the basic principle is weak, how will things go on? So please assist me in the management so that I can be free to finish the Srimad-Bhagavatam which will be our lasting contribution to the world.– Srila Prabhupada Letter to All Governing Body Commissioners, 19 May 1976
Here Srila Prabhupada is stating "this task will not be finished without the cooperation of my appointed assistants" to help him make "our lasting contribution to the world." It is Srila Prabhupada's books that have "given us a respectable position" and they are "the greatest contribution to the world."
Over the years, so much vaniseva has been performed by BBT devotees, book distributors, preachers who have held firmly to Srila Prabhupada's words, and by other devotees who have been dedicated to distribute and preserve his Vani in one way or another. But there is still much more to do. By working together via the technologies of the brhat-brhat-brhat mrdanga (the World Wide Web) we now have an opportunity to build an unparalleled manifestation of Srila Prabhupada's Vani in a very short period of time. Our proposal is to come together in vaniseva and build a Vani-temple to be completed by November 4th, 2027, at which time we will all be celebrating the final 50th anniversary. 50 years of serving Srila Prabhupada in separation. This will be a very appropriate and beautiful offering of love to Srila Prabhupada, and a glorious gift to all the future generations of his devotees.
I am glad that you have named your printing press the Radha Press. It is very gratifying. May your Radha Press be enriched in publishing all our books and literatures in the German language. It is a very nice name. Radharani is the best, topmost servitor of Krishna, and the printing machine is the biggest medium at the present moment for serving Krishna. Therefore, it is really a representative of Srimati Radharani. I like the idea very much.– Srila Prabhupada Letter to Jaya Govinda das (Book production manager), 4 July 1969
For the better part of the 20th century, the printing press provided the tools for successful propaganda from so many groups of people. Srila Prabhupada stated how expert the communists were to spread their influence in India via the pamphlets and books they distributed. Srila Prabhupada used this example to express how he wanted to make a large propaganda program for Krishna consciousness by distributing his books all over the world.
Now, in the 21st century, Srila Prabhupada's statement "the biggest medium at the present moment for serving Krishna" can undoubtedly be applied to the exponential and unparalleled power of internet publishing and distribution. In Vanipedia, we are preparing Srila Prabhupada's teachings for proper representation on this modern mass distribution platform. Srila Prabhupada stated that the Radha Press of his devotees in Germany was "really a representative of Srimati Radharani." We are therefore certain that he would consider Vanipedia to be a representative of Srimati Radharani as well.
So many beautiful Vapu-temples have already been built by ISKCON devotees – let us now build at least one glorious Vani-temple. The Vapu-temples offer sacred darshans to the forms of the Lord, and a Vani-temple will offer the sacred darshan to the teachings of the Lord and His pure devotees, as presented by Srila Prabhupada. The work of ISKCON devotees will naturally be more successful when Srila Prabhupada's teachings are situated in their rightful, worshipable position. Now there is a wonderful opportunity for all his current "appointed assistants" to embrace the vani-mission of building his Vani-temple and to inspire the whole movement to participate.
Just as the enormous and beautiful Vapu-temple rising from the banks of the Ganges in Sridham Mayapur is destined to help spread Lord Caitanya's mercy all over the world, so too can a Vani-temple of Srila Prabhupada's teachings strengthen his ISKCON mission to spread all over the world and establish Srila Prabhupada's natural position for thousands of years to come.
Vaniseva – Taking Practical Action to Serve
Completing Vanipedia means Srila Prabhupada's teachings will be presented in a way that no one has ever done for the works of any spiritual teacher. We invite everyone to take part in this sacred mission. Together we will give Srila Prabhupada a unique exposure to the world on a magnitude only possible via the web.
Our desire is to make Vanipedia the No.1 reference encyclopedia of Srila Prabhupada's teachings in multiple languages. This will only happen with the sincere commitment, sacrifice, and support of many devotees. To date, over 1,220 devotees have participated in building Vanisource and Vaniquotes and translations in 93 languages. Now in order to complete Vaniquotes and build the Vanipedia articles, the Vanibooks, the Vanimedia, and the Vaniversity courses we need more support from devotees with the following skills:
• Curriculum Development
• Design and Layout
• Server Maintenance
• Site Development
• Software Programming
• Technical Editing
Vaniservants offer their service from their homes, temples, and offices, or they can join us full-time for certain periods in Sridham Mayapur or Radhadesh.
For the past 12 years Vanipedia has been primarily financed by the book distribution from Bhaktivedanta Library Services a.s.b.l. To continue its construction, Vanipedia needs funding beyond the current capacity of BLS. Once completed, Vanipedia will hopefully be sustained by small donations from a percentage of many satisfied visitors. But for now, in order to complete the initial phases of building this free encyclopedia, the service of offering financial support is crucial.
Supporters of Vanipedia can choose from one of the following options
Sponsor: A person donating any amount they desire
Supporting Patron: An individual person or legal entity donating at least 81 euros
Sustaining Patron: An individual person or legal entity donating at least 810 euros with the possibility to make 9 monthly payments of 90 euros
Growth Patron: An individual person or legal entity donating 8,100 euros with the possibility to make 9 yearly payments of 900 euros
Foundational Patron: An individual person or legal entity donating 81,000 euros with the possibility to make 9 yearly payments of 9,000 euros