1 million Bhagavad-Gitas in US-Canada Motels

published on May 8, 2009

By Akruranatha das

On April 22-25, 2009, at a convention center just outside Washington, D.C., members of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) met for their annual national convention
and trade show. Amid the booths of vendors of furniture, ice machines,
accounting software, and just about everything else related to the hospitality industry,
stood a booth of a different kind, in which a group of earnest
volunteers passed out copies of Bhagavad-Gita and made a humble request
to the assembled hotel and motel owners: “Please let us provide copies
of Bhagavad-Gita to place in your rooms alongside the Gideons Bibles.”
The volunteers were members of Pancajanya Project (www.MotelGita.org),
a branch of ISKCON dedicated to placing at least 1 million
Bhagavad-Gitas in guest rooms across the U.S. and Canada. By making
these sacred books available to millions of travelers who might not
otherwise buy or examine them, not only the readers but everyone
involved will be immensely benefitted.
“Wherever there is Krishna and Arjuna there is opulence, victory,
power and morality”, says Vaisesika Dasa, president of ISKCON”s Silicon Valley temple in San Jose, California,
and visionary of the Pancajanya Project. “Whoever reads one verse, one
line, or even touches one of these books will have an opportunity to
achieve perfection in life and meet Lord Krishna face to face.”
The Project started when Dilip Patel, owner of Sea Breeze Motel in Pacifica, California,
began placing Gitas in his own rooms. A faithful devotee of
Bhagavad-Gita and its universal message, even he was surprised at the
favorable reaction and comments he received from many of his non-Hindu
In April of 2008, Patel teamed up with Milan Doshi and began approaching other motel owners in the San Francisco area. By 2009 they had placed Gitas in over 10,000 rooms in California,
and the response was they got was tremendous. Meanwhile, on the other
coast, Rohini Nandana of ISKCON”s Boston temple had been independently
inspired to distribute Gitas to motel owners in his area.
“Something like 60% of the economy lodgings in the United States are now owned by Indian Americans,
primarily Gujarati Patels,” Rohini Nandana explains. “This gives the
owners a unique opportunity to spread the wisdom and glorious message
of Krishna throughout the country. We are finding that many of the
owners we contact have been waiting for an organized effort such as
this one and are showering their blessings on this Project.”
Gitas have been supplied to motels of numerous chains including
Days Inn, Econolodge, Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Motel 6, Super 8 and
many more. Guests at these motels frequently express their gratitude
and interest in the Bhagavad-Gitas provided in the rooms. Nilesh Patel, manager of a Super 8 in Sacramento, California,
writes: “I often see guests coming in for breakfast with Bhagavad-Gita
in hand and reading it while they are in the lobby or in the reception
room. It is satisfying to know that I have contributed in spreading
this knowledge.”
Taking a booth at the national AAHOA convention in April marked a
concentrated effort by ISKCON’s Pancajanya Project to expand operations
throughout the U.S. and Canada. The experience was very encouraging.
Convention organizers offered to support the Project in the future.
Many motel owners expressed their happiness to see this Project
developing. Over 12,000 confirmed orders were taken at the convention,
and contacts were made with owners who could potentially order twice
that many in the near future. Pancajanya Project plans to attend future
national AAHOA conventions and also regional conventions throughout the
year, as well as meetings of other organizations.
Several motel owners not only ordered books for their rooms, but
offered to personally take Project members to other friendly motels to
encourage them to order as well. With orders for nearly 30,000 books
and counting, the goal of placing 1 million Bhagavad-Gitas seems quite

Giving the opportunity to so many ordinary Americans to
contact Lord Krishna in their motel rooms will have profound positive
effects, promoting cross-cultural understanding and spiritual
awareness. Many will respond like one California guest named Terrance,
who wrote: “I got my first Gita in a hotel room and ever since I read
the first verse my life has been ever-increasingly in Krishna
consciousness. Life is a journey back to Krishna. Peace.”

Pancajanya Project organizers anticipate the need to
accommodate exponential growth, as this appears to truly be “an idea
whose time has come.” “We request all motel owners to not only place
the Gitas but to also encourage friends and relatives to do so,” says
founding member Milan Doshi. “We expect to organize regional chapters
to contact and meet the needs of motels in their local areas. Many
volunteers are welcome.”
In addition, funds are needed to print and ship the books, and to
supply advertising and promotional materials. Many, but not all motel
owners are contributing the cost of the Gitas for their own rooms. Many
more are waiting to receive books when funds become available to pay
the cost of publication and shipping.

Pancajanya Project organizers request everyone to visit www.MotelGita.org and to contact Milan Doshi, (510) 962-2203 ([email protected]), Rohini Nandana, (617) 233-9567 ([email protected]), or Dilip Patel (650) 369-3903, to find out more about the Project and how they can assist this historical effort.

Source : http://www.dandavats.com/?p=7231

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