What is Nama-hatta?
Nama-hatta is the most traditional of the congregational programs and mirrors the organization of a regular ISKCON temple with the leader and his assistants in the center. There is no membership limit and some groups become quite large. Groups function under the direct supervision of ISKCON preachers responsible for the area. Minimally experienced devotees can serve as group leaders. Training of existing members and recruitment of new ones depend largely on the group leader’s initiative and inspiration by visiting preachers.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Nama-hatta Program
Interviewer: How did the Nama-hatta start in ISKCON Mayapur?
H.H. Jayapataka Swami: In 1977, there was a change in government and the new government was the Left Front government. Somehow or other our temple was attacked. That is another story but that was the cause for us to organize a response. So we organized about 3000 persons in a procession to all the main roads of West Bengal, a shanti procession- that they shouldn’t attack devotees, we want peace. There were 168 kirtan groups and Radha Dyuti Prabhu came and said to me that this is amazing that every group is doing the same kirtan, but each one is singing in a different tune, a different melody. It is so ecstatic. So I thought we could organize all these kirtan groups and we will have a kirtan type organization. So my first idea was ISO- ISKCON Sankirtan Organization.