Happy Anniversary, Sampradaya Sun!


Jul 12, 2010 — CANADA (SUN) — Celebrating five years of the Sun's publication.

Five years ago today, on July 12, 2005, we launched the Sampradaya Sun newspaper. We chose that day because it was the 10th Anniversary of our publication of the HareKrsna.com website. So today, we're really celebrating both events. It's hard to believe that 15 years have gone by since we first came online with the Hare Krsna website. And while those first ten years seemed busy, the last five have been hyper-drive, in comparison.

Upon launching the Sun, one of the first letters of support we received was from Bhakta Charlie in Alachua, who reminded us that it's one thing to publish a daily site for a few weeks or months, but what's needed is longevity – if we can manage to keep publishing the Sun for years, we will have succeeded. Bhakta Charlie's words have come to mind quite often over the years, as we experienced the phenomenon he referred to.

We find a similar message in Bhagavad-gita. Creating something in the mode of passion is easier than maintaining it, in the mode of goodness. We've done our best to maintain the Sun over the years. In some ways we've succeeded, and in other ways, failed. The daily task of generating fresh content has always taken precedence over technical chores, and this has sometimes come with a penalty. In August 2008, we had a serious site crash because we'd let our compliance with ever-evolving HTML standards go lax. We still have work to do, bringing the main HareKrsna.com webpages into compliance, and will probably be working on that for another year.

Another technical failure was the demise of the Sun Blogs, caused by a catastrophic code crash of the blog platform, which at the time was 'cutting edge', but today would be considered a dinosaur. One day soon we hope to renew the Sun Blogs, using software that's now simple and mostly bug-free. Thanks to the gentle prodding of our readers, we finally upgraded to a Google search engine on the Sun front page, and that's been a helpful tool, even for us!

But without a doubt, our greatest shortcoming with the Sun has been our inability to respond to all the incoming email. We try, mightily, but we never seem to overcome the backlog. To our readers who have written, and waited, please forgive our inability to respond promptly, or sometimes at all. It's never meant as a personal slight, it's just the physical impossibility of a day with only 24 hours. Srila Prabhupada had an amazing ability to answer all correspondence, promptly and personally. We can only continue to aspire to his standards in that regard.

In the meantime we're trying to figure out how to set the Sun up on Facebook (rather than using our individual names), and will hopefully accomplish that in the next day or two. We've received hundreds and hundreds of friend requests from Facebook over the last few years, and have never accepted because we haven't had a presence there. But after many requests, the Sun will find its way to Facebook soon. Everyone is invited to connect with us there.

We thank our Sun readers for their patience over the years with all these issues. Your continued support, words of kindness, constructive criticism, and most importantly, written contributions give us the encouragement we need to continue publishing the Sun each day. We're enormously grateful for this opportunity to serve the devotees. We measure our success not only based on our supporters, but also by our critics. Some of our critics loathe the freedom of speech this venue offers: the mood of brahminical independence it represents and the voices of dissent it facilitates. Your rejection of the Sun is another measure of our success, and it too encourages us forward each day.

To our regular contributors, we thank you warmly for keeping the Sun alive and interesting. Thanks, too, to all those who assist the Sun in other capacities: reporters, cartoonists, researchers, and donors. We couldn't succeed without your kind support. And to those readers who not yet submitted, please consider starting today. Among his many unsurpassed preaching abilities, Srila Prabhupada was first and foremost a writer. He encouraged his disciples to also write and share their realizations on the science of Krsna Consciousness, and we should all try to follow his example.

In closing, following are some of Srila Prabhupada's words about the sun, the personification of whom is Lord Surya, who appears today on our masthead with a new look. Gone is his moustache, which went unappreciated by quite a number of readers. We trust the new, clean-shaven form of Surya will be found pleasing. This Surya may be followed by a few other designs as we look for the perfect fit, for the next five years.

The new small picture of Srila Prabhupada beneath the masthead, which links to the HareKrsna.com homepage, is a beautiful image of Prabhupada that Sriman Visnu dasa painted for Rocana's 60th birthday. That image will appear in the soon to be redesigned homepage of HareKrsna.com, which we'll announce… where else – in the Sun!

    "My success is always there. Yes. Just like the sun is there always. It may come before your vision or not. The sun is there. But if you are fortunate, you come before the sun. Otherwise you remain in darkness. Sun is open to everyone."

    ~ Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, February 12, 1975, Mexico

Your servants,

Rocana and Jahnava
Sun Editors


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