Excerpt from The Heart of Transcendental Book Distribution, pg 44-47.
In February 1974, he was initiated by ISKCON founder Srila Prabhupada and became Aindra Dasa. Later, Aindra became a priest for Radha-Madhan Mohan and Gaura Nitai, and would play around with the harmonium in between services, soon working out his first melody: Bhaktivinode Thakura’s short song Jaya Radha Madhava. He continued to practice, and his skill and love for kirtan grew. Moving to New York City, he converted a truck that would open out into an ornate golden temple. He acquired sound permits and would drive to different parts of the city where he would set up his truck and perform kirtan for eight hours a day. His performances were impactful, inspiring several people to join ISKCON. Eventually Aindra decided he would like to try organizing a kirtan program in India. Travelling to Lord Krishna’s birthplace of Vrindavana in 1986, he learned the story of the Krishna Balarama Mandir’s 24-Hour Kirtan program. It had first been introduced in 1975 by ISKCON founder Srila Prabhupada—but without proper management, it began to fade, and by 1978, a year after Prabhupada passed on, it had ground to a halt. Aindra decided to dedicate himself to the project. He began to soak up the atmosphere of Vrindavana, connect with other kirtaniyas, and learn Indian classical music or ragas, teaching himself the traditional melodies by ear. And eight years after the 24-Hour Kirtan had faded away, he reconstituted it as its own department, organizing a core group of kirtan enthusiasts to ensure its continuance.
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