(Kadamba Kanana Swami, September 2013, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 8.20.12)
Before Aindra Dasa, Srila Prabhupada started the 24 hour kirtan in 1975. When the temple opened, for a short while Hamsadutta Dasa was the temple president. He had a very strict system – everyone would get coupons for prasadam at mangal-aarti.
So it was a very strict management and not so popular but then Prabhupada instructed him about the 24 hour kirtan. Prabhupada told him to have shifts and Hamsadutta implemented it in everyone – no matter who you were, you were given a shift. All the devotees had shifts and one mataji went complaining to Prabhupada, by saying, “But I have to make garlands for three hours.” Prabhupada said, “Yes, then you do not have to do the kirtan. It is not like that, it is for those who do not have other service.”
So it was a big struggle and it was hard to maintain after Prabhupada’s disappearance; it became difficult to maintain the kirtan. It was going on a bit but not exactly for 24 hours.
In 1978, I became in charge of the 24 hour kirtan for quite a number of years and we just did not have people to go on the whole night. We used to keep the kirtan going during the day with different volunteers. The temple commander before me was very eager; he was always getting devotees from all over the world to come and sit down and do some kirtan, while others danced. But no one had done exactly the schedule that Prabhupada wanted because we were managing. We were not sitting down ourselves but Aindra, he sat down himself. He sat down and he did the night shifts; he did the tough parts.
So like that, by hard work, he was successful not by some miracle but by hard work!