Week 8

Check up if they have brought the homework you had given them. You could go through their work and write any corrections or comments on the sheets and give it to them. Gauging what level they will find interesting and easy to work on, you should engage them gradually in a systematic way of study.

This could be the each-one-teach-one program, where you pair them off and ask them to meet to study together during the week, or it could be a group of those who want to come together to study once a week, being monitored by a senior devotee.

We have recommended a study class to be started for them at the end of 24 weeks, but actually we have experienced in many groups the members’ enthusiasm to learn more in a systematic way is instilled much earlier due to this interactive program.

Hence, you can, when the time seems appropriate enquire from them whether they would like to come to another day of the week for the study classes. Please go through the chapter on “study classes” before you start one.

Beginners in Krsna consciousness are going through a wonderful period of discovery of new and exciting concepts, so you should make them enjoy this enquiry further by making it regular and interactive.

Inform them of a seminar that is going to be held the following week. Upa chakrapati or anyone upwards can be invited to come and address them on the significance of taking the siksha of Krsna Sevaka. The seminar material is available in week- 9.

Satsanga : 15 minutes

String of facts

Materials: one yarn of string and scissors (or whatever can cut the string)

After everyone has settled down, announce to them that you are going to have an unusual satsanga today.

Pass around the ball of string and the scissors, and have everyone cut off a piece, without specifying anything. Some will take tiny pieces, some long ones. After everyone has a piece, go around the circle and have everyone say one thing about himself/ herself for each finger width of string. This usually gets a few laughs for the person who cut off several feet!

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 18

The chanting of the holy name is Lord Caitanya’s special concession to the animal- like human beings of this age:

Love of Krsna is not an easy thing to obtain, because by this love one can purchase Krsna, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu distributed this love of Krsna to anyone and everyone, even to the two drunkards Jagai and Madai. Narottama dasa Thakura has therefore sung:

Dina hina yata chilo hari-name uddharilo, ta’ra saksi jagai-madai

“Caitanya Mahaprabhu is so magnanimous that He delivered all kinds of sinful men simply by allowing them to chant the Hare Krsna mantra. The evidence of this is Jagai and Madai..”

At that time, of course there were two Jagais and Madhais, but at the present moment, by the grace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His process of teaching, so many Jagais and Madhais are being delivered. If Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is pleased, He can give Krsna-prema, love of Krsna to anyone, regardless of that person’s qualification. If a person is giving charity, he can select anyone to take it.

Without the mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, understanding Krsna is very very difficult. Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye (Bg. 7.3) out of many millions of people, hardly one tries to make his life spiritually successful.

People simply work like animals, not knowing how to make a success of human life.

One’s human life is successful when one understands Krsna; otherwise one remains an animal. Anyone who is not Krsna conscious, who does not know who Krsna is, is no better than an animal. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave this concession to the fallen souls of this age: “Simply chant the Hare Krsna maha mantra and you will be delivered.” This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s special concession (kirtanad eva krishnasya muktasangah param vrajet, S.B.  12. 3. 51

Teachings of Queen Kunti

You can do a full round of japa with them. Please chant the Panca Tattva Mantra 3 times before chanting the japa and ask them to follow you. While relishing the holy names yourself do make sure that you keep eye contact with the members from time to time to encourage and enthuse them.

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 SECTION

FROM “The Laws of Nature” p.17 - 23”

                                   BY H.D.G. A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA

The Isopanishad explains that whatever we see, whether animate or inanimate, is controlled by the Supreme Lord. Lord Krsna says the same thing in the Bhagavad Gita(9.10)- that His energies are managing everything. And the Visnu purana confirms, eka-desa\sthithasyagner jyotsna vistarini yatha: “As heat and light are distributed all around by a fire situated in one place, so the whole creation is a manifestation of energies expanded from the Supreme Lord.” For example the sun is in one place, but it is distributing its heat and light all over the universe. Similarly the Supreme Lord is distributing His material and spiritual energies all over the creation.

The Isopanishad states, “Although fixed in His abode, the Personality of Godhead is swifter than the mind and can overcome all the others by running. The powerful demigods cannot approach Him. Although in one place, He controls those who supply the air and the rain. He surpasses all in excellence.”

The Brahma Samhita says something similar:”goloka eva nivasatyakhilatmabhutah”. Although Krsna is always in Goloka Vrindavana, He is simultaneously in the hearts of all living beings.

Krsna has no duties to perform in Goloka. He is simply enjoying in the company of His associates- the gopis, the cowherd boys, His mother and father, His cows and calves, etc. He is completely free.

And His associates are even freer than He is, because when they seem to be in danger, Krsna feels some anxiety about how to save them. But His associates feel no anxiety. They simply think, “Oh, Krsna is here. He will protect us.”

When Krsna enacted His pastimes five thousand years again Vrindavana, India, He would go everyday with His cowherd boyfriends and their calves and cows to play in the forest on the bank of the Yamuna river. And often Kamsa would send some demon to try to kill Krsna and His friends. Yet the cowherd boys would continue enjoying their pastimes without anxiety because they were so confident of Krsna’s protection. That is spiritual life, which begins with surrendering to Krsna.

Surrendering to Krsna means having a strong faith that Krsna will save us in any dangerous condition. The first step in surrendering is that we should accept whatever is favourable for devotional service. The next stage is the confidence that in any situation Krsna will protect us and maintain us. Actually He is already giving protection and maintenance to everyone. That is a fact. But in maya (illusion) we think that we are protecting ourselves, or that we are feeding ourselves.

For the devotees , Krsna personally takes charge of their protection and maintenance. And for the ordinary living entities, Maya-devi- Krsna’s external energy takes charge. Maya devi is Krsna’s agent for punishing the conditioned souls.

The situation is like what we see in the state: good citizens are tken care of by the government directly, while prisinors are taken care of by the government through the prison department.

Discovery:

1)Where does Lord Krsna reside? How does He manage the material world?

Understanding:

1)Mention some reasons why Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

2) How can we be free of all anxieties if we surrender to Krsna? Illustrate with an example.

3) How can we practically express our surrender to Krsna?

4)Who looks after those who do not surrender to Krsna? How are they treated?

Application:

1) Share your experience of a time when you were in great anxiety. How did you react then?  Do you think you should  have reacted differently  in that situation? Why?

Preaching Session :  15 minutes

Read out the following passage:

                            Preaching is the Essence

                His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada

Page 14

Lord Caitanya wants His followers to preach all over the world:

“Dear Lord, Your personal associates, devotees, wander all over the world to purify even the holy places of pilgrimage. Is not such activity pleasing to those who are actually afraid of material existence?”

There ar two kinds of devotees.One is called gosthyanandi and the other bhajanandi. The word bhajanandi refers to the devotee who dos not move but remains in one place. Such a devotee is always engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. He chants the Mahamantra staught by many acaryas and sometimes goes out for preaching work.

The gosthy-anandi is one  who desires to increase the number of devotees all over the world. He travels all over the world just to purify the world and the people residing in it.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advised: prithvi ache yata nagaradi gram / sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted His followers to move all over the world and preach in every town and village.

In the Chaitanya – sampradaya those who strictly follow the the principles of Lord Chaitanya must travel all over the world to preach the message of Lord Chaitanya, which is the same as preaching the words of Krsna- Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. The more the devotees preach the principles of Krsna katha, the more the people throughout the world will benefit.

Devotees like the great sage Narada who travel all over to preach are called gosti-anandi. Narada Muni is always wandering throughout the universe just to create different types of devotees. Narada even made a hunter a devotee. He also made Dhruve Maharja and Prahlada devotees. Actually all devotees are indebted to the great sage Narada, for he has wandered both in heaven and in hell. A devotee of the Lord is not even afraid of hell. He goes to preach the glories of the Lord everywhere-even in hell- because there is no distinction between heaven and hell for a devotee.

                                           Narayanaparah sarve

                                           Na kutascana bibhyati

                                           Svargapavarga-narakesv

                                           Ap tulyartha- darsinah

“A pure devotee of Narayana is never afraid of going anywhere and everywhere . For him heaven and hell are one and the same.” (Bhag. 6.17.28) Such devotees , wandering all over the world, deliver those ho are actually afraid of this material existence.

Bhag. 4.30.37

1)Give an inspiring account of what you have done during the week either to cultivate them or to new people.

2)Ask the most enthusiastic devotee what they did during the week. If they have been able to bring anyone or convince anyone to come for the program .

3)Ask very gently one by one if the others have done anything during the week.

4)If anyone encountered some difficulties while approaching people, you can advise them on how to deal with different people and situations.

5)Again discuss with services they  would like to volunteer to do in preaching  for the following week.

They need to be gradually cultivated in the mood of preaching. So allow them to be gradually inspired through this  session.

Do not make the mistake of forcing them or showing impatience if they felt shy or lazy to do it.

With time, they will undoubtedly pick up the preaching  mood which is infectious. You have to give them time to mature.

If  preaching is there from the very beginning, they will have a very spiritual understanding of their relationships and will develop the compassion to spread the message to everyone and thus bring everyone to the fold. Otherwise they will have no incentive or inspiration to multiply the groups and will prefer instead to continue as  the same group.

Prasadam :  20 minutes:

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

Please enter the details about your members attending this week:

No:

Members

Attendance

Current Siksa   status

Remarks