Week  6

During the week, you should give them some homework or some activity to do.

Apart from chanting at least a mala of japa everyday if possible, they could be made to read some study material with some exercises of answering some questions at the end of the passage. You can ask them to jot down the points they have learnt during the program, and bring it along with them. The following week, you can go through those points, make any corrections if necessary and give it back to them. By this, you will also be able to gauge how well they understand the philosophy.

You could also enquire from them during the week how they were doing generally, and listen to what they have to say about their realizations, or their problems, etc. Listening is the best way to win people’s hearts. Normally people are too busy to listen to others, or even if they are not busy, they would rather talk about themselves! So if you show interest in them and what they have to say, they would feel very comfortable and will want to definitely have more of your association.

But we have to exercise caution. There are some who are introverted and shy, and may not like to talk much about themselves at all, and may feel that you are prying into their lives if you enquire too much about themselves, or they may just feel very uncomfortable. But even for such people, if you just call up and have a few pleasant exchanges, they will feel endeared to you.

In the beginning, association is the motivating factor for most people. So we should ensure that we develop a good rapport with all of the members. Then their advancement in Krsna consciousness will be rapid, as they will be willing to try doing whatever you request them to do.

It also makes the Bhakti Vrksa leader very humble and in a service mood, rather than trying to lord over or boss over them, or to show off his own advancement, etc, which will not at all inspire them to become good devotees.

Satsanga  15 minutes

After everyone has settled down, and brief pleasantries exchanged, divide the whole group in pairs and have each pair interview each other. Give a time limit. After that everyone introduces the partner to the whole group.

This satsanga will enable more details about everyone to come out. It will help them to think and focus on the others in the group.

Kirtana : 15 minutes

Continue as in the previous weeks by distributing the sheet containing the Pranama mantras and the Hare Krsna mantra as well as the glorifications at the end of the Kirtana.

Also the offering of incense by every member to the Altar Deities or Deity pictures can be done.

Make sure that everyone is singing and taking part. You can encourage them to sing along, if they are not doing so.

Japa…. 15 minutes

Read out first, the following passage from:

                            Sri Namarta  - The Nectar of the Holy Name

Page 12

In the age of logic, argument and disagreement, the chanting of the Hare Krsna is the only mean of self realization.

In three out of four millenniums (namely Sathya yuga, Treta yuga and Dvapara yuga), people had the honor to be able to understand transcendence through he path of disciplic succession. However, in the present age, people have no interest in the disciplic succession. Instead, they have invented many paths of logic and argument. This individual attempt to understand the Supreme transcendence (called the ascending process) is not approved by the Vedas.

The Absolute must descend from the absolute platform. He is not to be understood by the ascending process.

The holy name of the Lord- Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare  - is a transcendental vibration because it comes from the transcendental platform, the supreme abode of Krsna. Because there is no difference between Krsna and His holy name, the holy name of Krsna is as pure, perfect and liberated as Krsna Himself.

Academic scholars have no entrance by means of logic and other argument into the understanding of transcendental nature of the holy name of God.

The single path in understanding the transcendental nature of HARE KRSNA HARE KRSNA KRSNA KRSNA HARE HARE, HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE

Is the chanting of these names with faith and adherence?

Such chanting will release one from designated conditions arising from the gross and subtle bodies..

In this age of logic, argument and disagreement, the chanting of Hare Krsna is the only means of self – realization.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya 

Before you begin chanting the mala with them, enquire from those who had taken the beads in the previous class, if they were chanting regularly. Ask those who have started to chant, to share some realization on how they felt after chanting regularly every day.

Appreciate their commitment, and ask again if any one else would also like to start chanting regularly at least one mala every day.

Then continue with chanting together one mala on beads the Hare Krsna mantra loudly with them. If there are any new visitors, then explain to them how to hold the beads and chant.

Even children enjoy chanting, so if there are any children around, make sure that they too take part in Japa as well as Kirtan together.

Spiritual Edification -   45 minutes

Please read out the passage and start asking the questions.(Do not explain it to them.)  Let the people assembled find out the answers from the passage themselves. Please engage everyone in answering. You can ask two, three people to add to the same answer. Move from one person to the next and give them sufficient time to think. You could ask leading questions for them to go deeper and clearer in understanding the subject matter and in giving relevant replies.

The application question has to be answered by everyone.

This is the most important part of the discussion, and so you must provide sufficient time of at least 15 to 20 minutes for it.

You should at last sum up all the points and give more points that you have

                                          SPIRITUAL EDIFICATION

                      From      “The Path of Perfection”

                 BY HIS DIVINE GRACE    A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA

                   Pg 101- 104

Purification of consciousness is the purpose of this Krsna consciousness movement. Presently we are preparing this divine consciousness, for our consciousness goes with us at the time of death.

Consciousness is carried from the body just as aroma of a flower is carried by the air. When we die, this material body, composed of five elements- earth, water, fire , air and ether- decomposes, and the gross materials return to the elements. Or as the Christian Bible says, “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.”

At death, the finer elements (mind, intelligence, ego), which combined are called consciousness, carry the small particle of spirit soul to another body to suffer or enjoy, according to one’s work.

If we associate with stool, our consciousness which is like the air will carry the aroma of stool, and thus at the time of death will transport us to an undesirable body.

 Or if the consciousness passes over roses, it carries the aroma of roses, and thus we are transported to a body wherein we can enjoy the results of our previous work.

If we train ourselves to work in Krsna consciousness, our consciousness will carry us to Krsna.

Therefore our present duty is to cultivate divine consciousness. If we want divine life, spiritual elevation, and eternal, blissful life, full of knowledge-in other words, if we want to go back home back to Godhead- we have to train ourselves in divine consciousness, or Krsna consciousness.

This can easily be done through association.(sangat sanjayate kamah   BG ch 3 verse  )

Through divine association, our consciousness is made divine , and through demoniac association, our consciousness is made demoniac. Therefore our consciousness must be trained to be divine through the proper association of those in Krsna consciousness.

That is the duty of one in this human form, a form that gives us a chance to make our next life completely divine. To attain this end, we should try to contact those who are developing divine consciousness.

Krsna consciousness is a method for connecting directly with the Supreme. This is the special gift of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Not only is this method direct and immediate, but it is also practical. Although many people entering this society have no qualifications, they have become highly advanced in Krsna consciousness simply by coming in contact with this society.

Discovery:

1)      What is the purpose of the Krsna consciousness movement ?

2)      What happens to our bodies at death?

3)      What happens to our souls at death?

Understanding:

1)      Why is it important to purify our consciousness? Explain with the examples mentioned.

2)      What are the benefits of going back to the spiritual world to Krsna?

3)      Why is it very important to associate with the devotees in Krsna consciousness?

4)      How does the Krsna consciousness movement easily elevate everyone, even if they are without any previous qualifications?

Application:

       1)  Do you enjoy coming regularly for the program? Share the obstacles if any that     you face in attending the sat-sanga regularly.

Preaching Session:  15 minutes

Read out the following passage:

                            Preaching is the Essence

                His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada

Page 100

A preacher’s duty is to induce the offenders to chant the Hare Krsna mantra:

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu teaches us that those whom preachers meet are almost all offenders who are opposed to krsna consciousness, but it is a preacher’s duty to convince them of krsna consciousness movement and then induce them to chant Hare Krsna maha mantra. Our propagation of sankirtana movement is continuing, despite many opponents, and people are taking this chanting process even in remote parts of the world like Africa. By inducing the offenders to chant the Hare Krsna mantra, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu exemplified the success of the Krsna consciousness movement. We should follow very respectfully in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, and there is no doubt that we shall be successful in our attempts.

Cc Adi 7.150( Adi :2,p.143)

.

1) Share with them what preaching activities you were engaged in during the week. This could also include the phone calls you made to the different members, or the houses you visited, etc, along with any new people that you may have preached to.

2) Ask the members if any of them talked about Krsna consciousness during the week to any one.

3) You can engage them in Book distribution. If they agree to take a few small books of Srila Prabhupada’s or a few BTGs, then you can encourage them to sell them to some of their friends or acquaintances.

4)You can also guide them on how they could approach new people or acquaintances for inviting them to the Bhakti Vrksa program.

Encourage them to take up some easy assignments for the week.

Acknowledge and appreciate if anyone of them have brought new members to the program.

Prasadam :  20 minutes:

As you have done in the previous week, request them to chant the prasadam mantra.

Share with them some of the benefits of honoring prasadam.

1)       How it is sanctified food and can rejuvenate us spiritually

2)       Take  away the negative effects of our past karmas

You can share the following spiritual pastime from the puranas with them.

Narada muni the great devotee who can travel all over space and beyond was once in Vaikuntaloka, and eager to taste the Mahaprasad or sanctified food from the plate of Sri Narayana Himself. He undertook to please Srimati Lakshmidevi for this purpose, so that She would help him in getting some Mahaprasadam from the Lord’s plate. Srimati Lakshmidevi was very pleased with Narada muni’s sincere service and promised him to get some Mahaprasadam . The Lord however forbade Lakshmidevi to give out the Mahaprasadam to anybody. On  Srimati Lakshmidevi revealing  Her promise to Narada muni, He said that She could however take some from His plate when He was not aware of it. In this way Narada muni somehow managed to get a handful of Prasadam which he immediately ate up. He was in great transcendental bliss as his heart was filled with love for the Lord and was singing very energetically glorifying the Lord and travelling over space in the material world. Lord Shiva spotting Him, questioned him on his great ecstacy, and Narada muni revealed the secret of his great happiness to him. Lord Shiva said ,”Surely you must have kept some left over prasadam for me, who am your close and intimate associate?”

Nrada muni was embarrassed as he had thought of none in his eagerness to consume the Mahaprasadam, but  did not want to disappoint Lord Shiva. He saw a small particle of rice of  the Mahaprasadam between his nail and little finger and gave it to Lord Shiva, who delightedly put it into his lotus mouth. He became mad in love for Krsna and began dancing very vigorously in great ecstacy. All the three worlds shook at Lord Shiva’s thunderous dance and his consort Parvati came running to check if the end of the cosmic manifestation had arrived when Lord shiva would engage in his dance of destruction. As she spoke to him, Lord shiva came out of his deep ecstatic meditation and was displeased for being so disturbed, but shared the reason for his ecstatic dance with his wife.

She expressed confidence that her husband would certainly have saved some remenants for his beloved wife.

Lord Shiva told her slightingly that she was not qualified  to accept this Mahaprasadam, ! Parvathi was angered upon this as She said that She was Narayani or the Lord’s sister and so was well qualified to accept the Mahaprasadam. She was eager to get the Mahaprasadam both for Herself as well as all the conditioned souls of this material world out of great compassion for them and so approached Lord Narayana Himself for the same. The Lord assured her that He would be appearing as Lord Jagannath in the kali yuga when profuse quantities of His mahaprasdam would be offered to everyone after first being given to her. This satisfied Devi Parvati.

That is why to this day in Jagannath Puri dham in Orissa, 56 items of prasadam are offered to Their Lord ships Sri Sri Jagannath Baladeva and Shubhadra every twenty minutes and distributed to the public every day after offering the Mahaprasadam to the Deity of  Vimala devi or the expansion of Sri Parvati devi present within the Temple complex. 

Request them to treat the prasadam with great care and not to waste or throw away any of the prasadam, and to appreciate it even if not exactly to their taste.

In this way they will start appreciating the value of prasadam, and not think that it is some mundane feast that you are offering them.

 Also converse with them light heartedly, so that it creates a pleasant and loving mood.

Please enter the details about your members attending this week:

No:

Members

Attendance

Current Siksa   status

Remarks