By Lilananda Dasa, Lalita Priya Devi Dasi, and Bhakta Ivan Salles
Posted October 27, 2004 on dipika.org (click here for pictures)
“Brazil?” you ask. “Where is Brazil on the map, anyway?” Well, you will be hearing more from us from now on. There is a preaching revolution going on in Brazil, perhaps the greatest, most significant ISKCON has seen since the 60s and 70s.
Nando Reis, a famous Brazilian singer inspired by George Harrison, has taken Krishna consciousness and the chanting of Hare Krishna to a level never heard before. Below are some statistics that will give you a glimpse of this Krishna consciousness revolution in Brazil:
1. Brazil is famous worldwide for its soap operas. These soap operas are dubbed in several languages and broadcast in many countries. There is a new soap opera being televised six days a week on Globo, the main television network in Latin America. The soap opera is Começar de Novo (“New Beginning”), and it is watched by more than 71 million Brazilians of social classes ABCD and E, including children, teenagers, adults, and seniors. The amazing thing is that the Mahamantra, sung by Nando Reis accompanied by His Holiness Chandra Mukha Swami and 11 other Vaishnavas, is part of this soap opera’s sound track. It is presented as a song called “Mantra.”
2. What’s more, Começar de Novo is reaching 52 percent of the women age 25 and older in class C. And the Mahamantra is sometimes heard more than once on an episode.
3. Começar de Novo captured 38 points in audience rating in Brazil and 63 percent of all the televisions sets, thus consolidating leadership in its category and show time. This means that six days a week during evening prime time, for every ten television sets in Brazil, six are tuned in to Começar de Novo. This audience of more than 70 million has listened to the Mahamantra at least 49 times since the soap opera started seven weeks ago.
4. Other television shows such as Altas Horas (“Late Nights”) are also broadcasting Nando Reis and his Hare Krishna friends chanting the Mahamantra. Since Altas Horas opened, on October 14, 2000, it has averaged seven points in audience rating and 40 percent in the national market. Its nationwide audience exceeds four million. Nando and the Hare Krishnas chanted Hare Krishna on the show last Saturday, October 23.
5. MTV Brazil, the hottest Brazilian Music television network among ages 10 to 50, has recorded Nando Reis and the Hare Krishnas chanting “Mantra” live and is broadcasting it every day.
6. “Mantra” is also playing daily on radio stations across the country, and the DVD and CD are being sold in thousands of music stores and on internet sites across Brazil.
7. “Caldeirão do Hulk,” a television show with almost seven million viewers from ages 12 to 49 in social classes ABCD and E, has also featured Nando and the Hare Krishnas.
8, Public Concerts: Nando Reis, Chandra Mukha Swami, and eleven other devotees performed live this past weekend at the Canecao in Rio de Janeiro, Rio’s equivalent to New York’s Madison Square Garden, and there are many other concerts scheduled throughout Brazil.
And there is much more. Television stations are visiting the Sunday feast at several of the more than 25 ISKCON temples in Brazil to learn more about the Hare Krishnas. People are stopping devotees at malls, on the streets, and in public places. “I have seen you on TV,” they say. “Where are you located? I want to learn more.”
It is simply, without exaggeration, the biggest Hare Krishna revolution we have ever seen.
Stay tuned. There is more coming …