There was a flurry of excitement as a panel of judges announced the winners of the All-India Bhaktivedanta Swami Literary Quiz in the holy town of Vrindavana recently. Organized by ISKCON Vrindavan, ISKCON Pune and Vrindavana’s Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School, the Quiz had children answering questions from Srila Prabhupada’s books and other devotional classics. It was the first of its kind in promoting ISKCON education amongst ISKCON children in India.
The competition was open to children in six categories, from ten to fifteen years of age. The winners are: 15-year-old Manjulali Manjari Biswas of Sri Mayapur Dham; 14-year-old Divya Kala of ISKCON Delhi; 13-year-old Aakriti Gupta of ISKCON Chandigarh; 12-year-old Devansh Pushkarna of ISKCON Ghaziabad; 11-year-old Goura Chand Dasa of ISKCON Ujjain; and 10-year-old Tusti Panchasara of ISKCON Chowpatty/Meera Road.
During the sacred month of Kartika (October/November), all winners will receive an impressive list of prizes for themselves and their communities, including a baby calf from the Bhaktivedanta Swami Goshalla; a free tour of Vrindavana’s most sacred landmarks with tour guide Deena Bandhu Dasa; copies of Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Krishna from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust for their school library; and a murti likeness of Srila Prabhupada from Vrindavana’s Krishna Balarama Gift Store.
Prizes also include a subscription to a children’s publication from ISKCON Pune; a one-month summer camp with Pune’s ISKCON Youth Forum; a Krishna Balarama Treasure Box; a huge feast at the Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School; and finally, an awards certificate.
“On behalf of the sponsors of this prestigious event, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the winners,” said Bhaktivedanta Gurukula principal Ananda Vrindavaneshvari Dasi. “I’d also like to say a big thank you to the temple presidents and congregation leaders who coordinated the competition in their temples.”
She added: “The response was overwhelming and we feel very confident that our ISKCON children are studying Srila Prabhupada’s books under the supervision of their congregational leaders. We would like to see this quiz become an annual event all over the world.”
The winners of the quiz were equally overwhelmed by the experience. “I have never been to Vrindavana, so I prepared from my heart to win this competition and go to Vrindavana,” said Aakriti Gupta of ISKCON Chandigarh, winner of the 13-year-old category. “This made me become serious in studying Srila Prabhupada’s books. Krishna has answered my prayers. Thank you!”