Our Other Family Business: TOVP

By: Svaha Dasi for ISKCON News on Nov. 9, 2017

From left to right: Amrita, Hrishi, Ambarish, Svaha and Anisha.

Vaisesika Prabhu has written about book distribution in “Our Family Business.” Closely connected to it, or inseparable from it, is the manifestation of the TOVP as funds from book distribution around the world directly contribute to the TOVP every year. These two heartfelt desires of Srila Prabhupada are intimately connected. This becomes even more evident in the following account from Giriraja Swami:

In 1971, as a young devotee in Calcutta, I approached Srila Prabhupada. “I have been trying to understand what your desire is. And two things seem to please you most: distributing your books and building the big temple in Mayapur.” Prabhupada’s face lit up, his eyes opened wide, and he smiled. “Yes, you have understood.”

We feel blessed to be engaged in serving the TOVP along with all of our ISKCON family. I’m especially grateful that our daughters have imbibed this mood of service to Srila Prabhupada as well and have understood the true value of the blessings Krishna has bestowed upon them.

Amrita serves at the Washington, DC temple as an assistant to HG Anuttama Prabhu and contributes regularly to many worthwhile projects, including the academic conference at Harvard for the 50thanniversary of ISKCON and last year at the ISKCON 50th Gala celebration in Washington, DC. She and her husband Hrishikesh help teach in the Sunday school at the DC temple. Hrishi is a graduate of Harvard Law School and was the editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal. They are most grateful to all the devotees who have supported and guided them in their service.

Anisha, our youngest daughter, graduated from the University of Chicago with honors. She was on the Dean’s List all four years and graduated a semester early. She too has a long service history at the University, including teaching under-privileged children in inner city schools. From an early age, she has been saying how she will build temples like her father. As they say in America, “she put her money where her mouth is,” at a TOVP fundraiser at Devasadan Mandir in Detroit two years ago. She turned 21 on June 1st and received a gift from her grand-mother, and 27 days later on June 28th, she donated a million dollars to the TOVP campaign like her sister. She was sitting at the back, quiet as a mouse, and unbeknownst to us had filled out the form with her donation. When it was announced, it came as a wonderful surprise to us all.

I pray that they continue to serve Srila Prabhupada’s mission by the blessings of all the vaishnavas. Manifesting the TOVP is an excellent opportunity for all of ISKCON to come together and cooperate to serve and please Srila Prabhupada, whose departing words were, “your love for me will be shown by how you can cooperate to push on this movement.”

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