Hansadutta World Travelling Sankirtan Party

Hansaduttas World Travelling Sankirtan Party

Srila Prabhupada wrote a series of letters to Hansadutta in the late 60’s detailing his vision for the
“World Sankirtan Party”, a kirtan group consisting of two harmoniums, two mrdangas and six cartals,
that would travel the world performing kirtan concerts in halls.

Mahakarta das: In 1976, I was part of the travelling sankirtan party and I travelled from Germany to Sridham Vrindavan organized by Hansadutta Prabhu. The journey from Germany to India were in the World Sankirtan buses and we took the routes starting from Germany, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally India. From India, I, along with some devotees including Rohini Kumar Prabhu came to Sri Lanka and found a place and established a Centre. Hansadutta prabhu visited Sri Lanka shortly after that and he brought one of the buses from the World Sankirtan party to Sri Lanka which we used for preaching

Letter to Hamsaduta -- Tokyo 2 May, 1972
Letters, 1972 Hamburg

My dear Hamsaduta,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 21 April, 1972, along with photos of busses. I do not know about these things, but I think a double-decker bus may not pass all the road obstacles such as bridges and tunnels between Germany and India, so I think a single-decker bus may be more practical for driving there. So far Germany, you can purchase one bus and let us develop that program gradually, if we see it is successful. You can report to me how the bus is running, and you may correspond with Kirtanananda Maharaja in Boston as he has got many such busses. He can give you best advice.

Hoping this will meet you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami


His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(Letters to Hansadutta das):

Regarding 'World Sankirtana Party', now the best of my students interested in Sankirtana, namely Mukunda, Tamal and yourself, are now in Europe, so I hope in the very near future you shall organize a very grand World Sankirtana Party and make a tour the world over and if you like I can also go with you.

Personally I still maintain the idea of a World Sankirtana Party, but such things, at the present moment, are a dream only. But one day maybe it will come out successful.

The purpose of 'World Sankirtana Party' will be to establish a center in each and every city and village of the world. I do not mean a concert party or a musical party that may go to a city, have some performances and collect some money without any perminant effect. For this purpose the 'World Sankirtana Party' should consist of members who can impress spiritual ecstasy in the hearts of the people, that some of them may come forward and agree to establish a center where the sankirtana may go on continually.


Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Hamsaduta
Tuesday, May 14, 1968, Allston, Mass

My Dear Hamsaduta,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 13, 1968, and noted the contents.

It is very good news that you are getting one bus for traveling with the Sankirtana party. Our first plan was like that--that we should have a nice Sankirtana party and travel all over the country. But since you said that you could not organize such a party, I requested you to go to open a center in Germany. Now our principle business and aim is to preach this Krishna Consciousness movement, and wherever we get the opportunity, we should take advantage of it.

Now, it is up to you, to settle up--whether you should go to Germany or travel about here in this country. If you have got at least 6 members for your party, then I would advise you to travel in this country with the Sankirtana party. But if you have no members to assist you, then you can try to open a center in Germany, as our good friend Subala is trying, struggling alone in Sante Fe, and still pulling on.

Our only business is to spread Krishna Consciousness to the best of our possibility, and Krishna has given us discrimination and judgment. So, Krishna is within you, you chant and ask Him, Krishna and He will give you proper instruction.

So far from my side, I can say that if you have got a party who can travel with you, then you can travel with them for some time with the Sankirtana party. If you go in the bus with your Sankirtana party, then we must sell our literatures, magazines, books, records, etc. The whole institution is not in very sound financial position, so we should always remember this position and try to sell our articles so that we may again publish our books and literatures.

Back to Godhead is already in difficulty for financial matter. It is giving me some anxiety. Back to Godhead may not be stopped publication--it will be a great setback for our missionary purpose.

At any rate, we should accept that bus.

Hope you are well.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Hamsaduta
Mayapur, 29 January, 1976 - 76-01-29
Bhaktivedanta Manor

My dear Hamsaduta,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to thank you for your letter dated January, 23, 1976.

Your struggle in Germany is the struggle between Hiranyakasipu and Prahlada Maharaja, and Prahlada Maharaja must come out triumphant. When there is so much interference on the part of Kamsa, Krishna must come out victorious, and kill Kamsa.

Yes, begin the bus program village to village, distributing kirtana, prasadam and books. That will make our foundation strong.
Just pray to Krishna for help. Krishna will come out triumphant without any doubt.

I hope this meets you well.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Hamsaduta
Mayapur, 16 February, 1976 - 76-02-16

My dear Hamsaduta das,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated February 7, 1976.

Yes, with great pleasure I will accompany and we shall go village to village.
I have seen the pictures and the buses look very nice. They appear costly.
Regarding London, what I can advise. We must have a city centre. You do the needful, whatever is practical.*

I hope this meets you well.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Hamsaduta
76-07-31, Vrindaban

My dear Hamsaduta Maharaja;

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 24, 1976 and have noted the contents with care. You should carry on your sankirtana movement; you are fit for that. Wherever you like you can make your Hq.

I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well wisher
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Hamsaduta

23 December, 1973, Los Angeles

My dear Hamsaduta,
Please accept my blessings. I am in receipt of your letter dated December 15, 1973.

Previously I have seen copy of German Easy Journey to Other Planets. It is very nice. The printing is very good and I am quite pleased. Thank you very much for helping me spread this transcendental knowledge to the Germanic peoples. It is a great credit for you and all the German devotees and Lord Caitanya will bless you with devotion to His lotus feet. I am very anxious to see our Bhagavad-gita in German so as soon as it is completed, kindly send me a copy.

Regarding the Volkswagen bus, if it is not possible to bring in March to India then it can be brought at a later date. Yes, you should go to London and give me a report on the progress there. Mukunda and Madhavananda are sincere workers and are trying to organize things there. So you may go and help them, not interrupt but help.

I gladly accept the devotees you have recommended for initiations and enclosed find their names, threads and gayatri mantra sheets. You may chant on the beads of the first initiates and hold a fire sacrifice amongst our members.

After that the second initiates may listen to the gayatri tape I have made through the right ear once only. Hare Krsna.

I hope this meets you well.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami


Remembering Hansadutta Prabhu
By Lokanath Swami

In 1976 Hansadutta Swami had come to India with two German busses filled with mostly German and European devotees. I was a new sannyasi and Srila Prabhupada arranged for me to join Hansadutta Swami’s World Travelling Sankirtana Party.

We traveled together all over North India for nearly 5 months holding festivals, performing street Sankirtana and distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books. Srila Prabhupada was very pleased. We developed a strong bond of friendship and we became buddies. He was one of my favorite kirtaneers. Then we were together again during Srila Prabhupada’s final days in Vrndavana taking turns to sing for Srila Prabhupada. Amongst others, Hansadutta and I were in favor of and were preparing for Srila Prabhupada’s pilgrimage on a bullock cart to Govardhan.

Later on I still maintained my friendship with Hansadutta Prabhu, and yesterday when I heard the news of his departure the fond memories flooded back and stirred up emotions in me and I could not resist crying. I will miss him dearly.

May Srila Prabhupada forgive him and engage him eternally in the service of his Sankirtana movement.

Your servant,
Lokanath Swami


My personal comment:

Hansadutta Prabhu was and is one of my most ecstatic kirtan leader, especially in the early days 1974- 1976 in Schloss Rettershof, near Frankfurt, where Srila Prabhupada gave me first or Hari Nama initiation in 1974. ” Your name is Yadavendra Das.” Video available. We used to travel all week, every week, on Prabhupada book distribution throughout what was then called West Germany. The high light of the week was Hansadutta Prabhu’s Saturday kirtans from about 16.00 hours to 21.00 / 22.00 hours. These were very, very, very ecstatic and energetic times. And I used to dance, dance and dance. What Vaikuntha feelings of liberation Hansadutta Prabhu gave me !!! His Holiness Sacinandan Swami will corroborate these matters, so can His Grace Manidhara Prabhu.

I was part and parcel of the 1976 India bus party mentioned by HH Lokanath Swami. We traveled from Frankfurt, Germany to Vrindavan, UP, India, via New Mayapur, France where we met Srila Prabhupada, Austria, Turkey, Iran along the Caspian Sea, Kabul, Afganistan, where we held some Krishna conscious programs, then Vrindavan where I was recommended for and received second initiation from Srila Prabhupada. Second birth in Vrndavan, that makes me a Vrajabasi! HH Holiness mentions only the 2 big buses. There were 2 smaller, brand new Mercedes vans as well. So four vehicles altogether. At that times I did not have a driver’s licence and therefore never drove any of the vehicles. Other members of the party were HG Iskvaku, (who is also on the picture, just on the right of Hansadutta Prabhu), HG Atmavidya, HG Talamka, HG Uthal Prabhus (who also lives in Brisbane, Australia), HG Urdhvaga Prabhu and others as well. Hansadutta Prabhu did not travel with us. He was waiting for us in India. But the whole thing was going on under his supervision.

I join HH Lokanath Swami in his shedding of tears with my own tears on the news of Hansadutta Prabhu’s departure. But these are also tears of joy, as I feel Hansadutta Prabhu must have reached the ultimate perfection of life and must have returned Back Home, Back to Godhead. There were some serious preaching setbacks under his leadership, but from Srila Prabhupada’s letters, we take it that He never ever rejected him. On the contrary, Srila Prabhupada consoled and supported him when Hansadutta Prabhu was feeling down due to his own failures. We also get often the impression that Srila Prabhupada actually enjoyed Hansadutta prabhu’s association. Just look at the above picture! A totally blissful situation! This may also have been due to the fact that Hansadutta Prabhu pioneered book production and distribution in German language, especially Bhagavad-gita As It Is or in German language Bhagavad-Gita Wie Sie Ist. Anything to do with book production, book distribution and distribution of real knowledge holds a special place not only in Srila Prabhupada’s heart but in the heart of our whole Brahma Madhva Gaudiya sampradaya. And I am not sure what His Holiness means by: “May Srila Prabhupada forgive him.”

Srila Prabhupada is simultaneously both a revolutionary and an extremely polished diplomate as well. But in this material world, His main thrust, however, is the Krishna conscious revolution. Srila Prabhupada never hesitated to break the conventional satyam brūyāt priyam brūyāt na brūyāt satyam. [If one speaks the truth, he should speak it palatably. One should not speak unpalatable truth.] when the need arose.

“A strong faith that by Krishna consciousness one will be elevated to the highest perfection of life is called vyavasayatmika intelligence. The Caitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.62) states:

sraddha’-sabde — visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime. When one is engaged in the duties of Krishna consciousness, he need not act in relationship to the material world with obligations to family traditions, humanity, or nationality. Fruitive activities are the engagements of one’s reactions from past good or bad deeds. When one is awake in Krishna consciousness, he need no longer endeavor for good results in his activities. When one is situated in Krishna consciousness, all activities are on the absolute plane, for they are no longer subject to dualities like good and bad. The highest perfection of Krishna consciousness is renunciation of the material conception of life. This state is automatically achieved by progressive Krishna consciousness.

The resolute purpose of a person in Krishna consciousness is based on knowledge. Väsudevaù sarvam iti sa mahätmä su-durlabhaù: a person in Krishna consciousness is the rare good soul who knows perfectly that Väsudeva, or Krishna, is the root of all manifested causes. As by watering the root of a tree one automatically distributes water to the leaves and branches, so by acting in Krishna consciousness one can render the highest service to everyone—namely self, family, society, country, humanity, etc. If Krishna is satisfied by one’s actions, then everyone will be satisfied.

Service in Krishna consciousness is, however, best practiced under the able guidance of a spiritual master who is a bona fide representative of Krishna, who knows the nature of the student and who can guide him to act in Krishna consciousness. As such, to be well versed in Krishna consciousness one has to act firmly and obey the representative of Krishna, and one should accept the instruction of the bona fide spiritual master as one’s mission in life.” BGAII 2.41 purport.

All glories to His Grace Hansadutta Prabhu and his significant contribution to Lord Caitanya’s worldwide Sankirtan movement.