Opportunity for Good Fortune
Hare Krishna ! The very first auspicious occasion in the new year is Makar Sankranti and Ganga Sagar Mela. On this day, the Sun God will make northward movement, uttarayana, and bring more light and good fortune.
The Matsya Purana states: “On the day of Makar Sankranti, one should feed devotees and the poor sumptously. Those who make offering on this day are rewarded by Sun-god in many future lives.”
Lord Krishna declares in the Bhagavad-gita (17.20): “Charity given out of duty, without expectation of return, at the proper time (kala) and place (desha), and to a worthy person (paatra) is considered to be in the mode of goodness.”
The place where any charity is given, the time when it is given and the type of recipient of the charity are very important factors. The auspicious occasion of Makara Sankranti, the holy place of Ganga Sagar, and its pious pilgrims present before us an ideal combination, which is a rare opportunity for us to take advantage of and earn immense punya by giving in charity.
Your good deeds of the past have bestowed you with wealth. When you share your wealth in charity for a deserving purpose, the wealth gets back to you multiple times!
To welcome and accommodate the lakhs of pilgrims, a temporary city is erected on the shores of Ganga Sagar on this auspicious bathing day. Ganga Sagar Mela is the convention of great souls like yogis, pious pilgrims, sadhus (saints), sannyasis, and bramacharis, spritual tourist who come from around the world. Many Sadhus come from various holy places and the remotest forests and mountain caves in the Himalayas. The most popular visitors are the Naga Babas. These Naga Babas wear no clothes and the only thing that covers their bodies is ash. They wear their hair in dreadlocks and appear to be impervious to their surroundings.
The pilgrims and yogis congregate at Ganga Sagar with the complete faith that Lord Sri Hari will send charitably disposed devotees like you to fulfill these basic needs of theirs: free food (prasadam), pandal (temporary night shelter to protect themselves from the cold sea weather and rain); Swach Mela ground (temporary toilet and bathrooms to keep the holy place clean and pure), free warm clothes (blankets, etc.), the Bhagavad Gita to purify their intelligence and, finally, medical care. Once these basic needs are met, these great souls are able to hear and chant Maha Harinam Sankirtana for World Peace.
We plan to distribute 1,00,000 plates of free prasadam during 5 days of Ganga Sagar Mela charity camp. A plate of prasadam consisting of rice, dal, sabji and picle will cost Rs. 20/-. Hence we need to raise Rs. 20,00,000/-.
The Vishnu Smriti states, “Lakshmi , the Goddess of fortune, resides in those who are charitable.”
You have always been a generous supporter. A kind-hearted person like you can understand the value of Anna-Dan on an auspicious day like Makar Sankranti day at Ganga Sagar mela, so I am approaching you for support. About 1666 donors like you donating Rs. 1,200/-(or more) each will bring us very close to our target.
I request you to spare us a few minutes and write a tax-deductable cheque/ Demand Draft in favour of “ISKCON Ganga Sagar Fund”, and forward it to us with the completed donation form in the enclosed postage-free business-reply envelop. Please consult the brochure for alternative modes of sending your donation like NEFT, internet banking and online donation.
As a gesture of appreciation for your donation of Rs. 1,200/- or more, a special puja and tarpan will be performed on your behalf at Ganga Sagar, which will bring prosperity and success to you. In addition, we will also send you the holy Ganga water collected from auspicious muhurtha at Ganga Sagar Mela on Makar Sankranti day, so you can sprincle it on your head to get the unlimited blessings of of Mother ganges and Lord Kapila.
Your prompt response will help us to properly plan the prasadam distribution during the festival. Please do not skip this rare opportunity to get the unlimited blessings of Lord Sri Krishna!
For more information, please feel free to contact Mr. Sundar Govind Das (General Manager of ISKCON Mayapur) at 0973-5333-511/ 0987-443-7164 or E-mail your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
May Mother Ganga and Sun-god bestow you with good fortune in the new year.
Yours in the service of Lord Krishna.
Sankarshana Nitai Das
Chairman, ISKCON Ganga Sagar Project Development
History of Ganga Sagar
According to Vedic scriptures, in the past age, in Satya Yuga lived a king named Sagara, king of Oudh, the 13th ancestor of Lord Ramachandra. He performed a holy Yajna, the Ashwamedha yajna or horse-sacrifice 99times. This ceremony consisted of sending a horse (the symbol of his power) round the world challenging to all the earth to arrest its progress. If the horse returned unopposed, it was understood to be an acceptance of the supremacy of the king. When king sagara made preparations for the 100th sacrifice, Indra, the king of Heaven, who had himself performed the ceremony a 100 times, jealous of being displaced by this new rival, stole the horse, and concealed it in a subterranean cell, where the sage Kapila ( incarnation of Lord Vishnu) or Kapil Muni, was absorbed in meditation, oblivious to all happenings of the external world.
Sagara’s 60,000 sons travelled far and wide to find the stolen horse. At last they found it near the ashram of the great sage.Believing the sage to be the thief of the theft, assaulted him. The muni, upon being aroused, opened his eyes, understood the situation and cursed his assailants, who were immediately burnt to ashes and sentenced to hell. On hearing this, King Sagara went to sage and begged for his mercy. The sage, at first turned a deaf ear to his plea, but later told that the princes would gain enlightenment if their ashes were washed by the holy waters of the heavenly river Ganges.
For two generations, attempts were made to bring the Ganges down to the earth from the celestial regions but all efforts proved futile. A prince of this dynasty, Bhagiratha, pleased the gods, and with the help of Lord Shiva, brought Ganga down to earth. His forefathers’ sins were washed away and the people had the opportunity to wash away their sins as well.
From then on, Gangasagar, near the ashram of the sage Kapila, has been a holy pilgrimage water at the junction of the river and the sea is auspicious, specially during Maker Sankranti and makes the soul pure and free from all earthy sins.
All Donations paid within India are Tax Exempted under 80/G Section of Income Tax Department, Govt. of India.
If the sender is a citizen of country other than India (Foreign donation) -
Name of account: ISKCON Gaura-purnima Festival Fund
Account no.: 237010100071336
Bank: AXIS Bank Ltd., 12 MM Ghosh Street, 1st Floor, Krishnanagar, District Nadia, West Bengal, INDIA 741101
Swift Code: AXISINBB005
If the sender is a citizen of only India -
Name of the account: ISKCON State Bank of India
Account Name: “ISKCON”
Account No.: 111 40 38 90 49
Bank: State Bank of India., Vill-Bamanpukur, PO. Sri Mayapur, Nadia, WB, India. Pin. 741313
RTGS/IFSC code: SBIN0015273
After remittance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with the following details to track the remittance:
1. Name of Donor
2. Country name (for foreign remittances)
3. Date of remittance
4. Amount remitted
5. Swift copy of remittance (for remittance from country other than India, sometimes the amount does not show in our bank account, in such case swift copy of remittance helps bank to trace the amount. If the fund show up in bank account then this is not required)