Week 39

Welcome all the members and guests. Make a change in the seating arrangement, as today they would all have to sit in a crowd facing the speaker, rather than in a circle.

Have the black board/ white board ready with chalk or marker as the case may be, for the seminar. Have a chair and table arranged for the speaker. Discuss with your senior leader about who could possibly enact the short skit which is part of the seminar given below.

Also show him/her the seminar material well in advance, so that they can be well prepared. Prepare the handouts to be given at the end of the class.

Kirtana:  20 minutes

Request the senior to lead a kirtana for twenty minutes. 

Seminar:       90 minutes

Lesson Module:  For PRABHUPADA ASHRAYA

Aim:     

v     To motivate members to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada

v     To inspire them to start performing the  Mangala Arathi regularly.

v     To help them accept the regulative priciples in greater detail( having only prasadam, avoiding onion , garlic, tea, coffee etc and avoiding frivolous sports).

v     To start chanting 16 rounds

v     To attend the Friday Bhagavatam class/ attend the Bhagavad Gita study groups.

v     To start reading the Bhagavad Gita systematically.

Objectives :

At the end of the lesson the participants will be able to:

v     Will give at least four reasons why one should take shelter of Srila Prabhupada

v     Will agree to perform the Mangala daily and will learn it from a senior devotee, in case they don’t know it already.

v     Will commit themselves to observing all the finer details of the four regulative principles, namely- no onion & garlic, tea and coffee and avoiding frivolous sports.

v     Will start offering all the food preparations to the Lord and only eat Prasadam.

v     Will agree to attend the Friday Bhagavatam class regularly

v     Will agree to attend the study groups for BG as well as SB.

v     Conditions:  They will volunteer to commit these things.

Criteria:  Atleast 75% of the members attending the program will agree to take up the Prabhupada Ashraya certificate immediately.

Assessment:  By orally asking them at the end of the class.

Preparation:   

What

Who

Resources

Time

A Video Presentation/ Flip Chart Presentation

Facilitator

A TV, Video player and video cassette / Flip chart & B/W Board

30 minutes

Lecture

Fac

B/W Board, Flip chart

 15 minutes

Quiz

Fac/ any other devotee

Quiz questions,

B/W Board

10 minutes

Lecture

Facilitator

Do

20 minutes

Skit

Devotees

----------

10 minutes

Conclusion

Facilitator

--------------

5 minutes

       

Lessson Plan :

1) Show them the part 1 of the video cassette “Acharya 1&2”

2) Lecture on:  a) Srila Prabhupada’s achievements:

1)      Bringing the authentic Vedic religion to the notice of the whole world.

2)      Converting even mlecchas into first class brahmanas

3)      Convincing all kinds of people about the existence of God.

4)      Removing the misery of the people by giving the mahamantra.

5)      Giving His transcendental association to everyone and thus uplifting them spiritually.

6)      Engaging everyone in the service of Krsna

7)      Giving initiation to tens of thousands of devotees all over the world so that they may be connected to Krsna and can go back to Godhead.

8)      Translated & wrote as well as published so many books   for our spiritual knowledge and upliftment.

9)      Gave us the simple process to achieve the highest perfection.

10)  Gave us Temples, farm communities, Gurukuls, Govinda Restarants, Ratha Yatras and numerous festival celebrations, cultural festivals for our benefit and gave us his own disciples, so that we may learn and follow his instructions and thus please Krsna.

Also lecture on the need to take the shelter of Srila Prabhupada/ the benefits one gets by taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada:

1)      One feels more committed to following Srila Prabhupada.

2)      One gets spiritual strength from Srila Prabhupada.

3)      Srila Prabhupada is a pure devote of the Lord; so by pleasing HDG and serving him, we are easily able to please Krsna.

4)      Srila Prabhupada is our Siksa Guru and the Founder Acharya of ISKCON, and so one has to take shelter of his lotus feet, if one wants to make further spiritual progress.

5)      Can understand the mysteries of the Bhagavad  Gita only by his mercy.

   Quiz :

Questions for the Quiz:

1)      Which year did Srila Prabhupada go to the United States?

2)      What was the real reason   for his successful preaching world wide?

3)      What was his mission?

4)      What was his relationship with his disciples?

5)      Mention at least 6 of his achievements.

Lecture on the importance and significance of performing Mangala Arathi, Japa, Reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and maintaining strict standards with regard to Prasadam, Deity worship, etc. Flip charts can have the pictures of the above mentioned processes with also the following points in the respective charts.

Benefits Of Mangala Arathi:

1)      Gives a very good spiritual start to the day.

2)      Early hours are Brahma Muhurta and are most suited for prayers.

3)      Will give us great spiritual strength.

4)      Very essential to advance in Krishna Consciousness.

Benefits of chanting 16 rounds:

1)      Gives us great spiritual strength

2)      Keeps our mind in Krsna consciousness throughout the day

3)      This is the minimum recommended by Srila Prabhupada to be a “human being”. Otherwise our consciousness is animalistic

4)      Gives us more taste in chanting.

5)      Gives rapid advancement and the desire to render devotional service.

6)      Gives us great protection in our spiritual and material lives.

7)      Can get a deeper understanding of the Krsna conscious philosophy.

Onion and Garlic

1)      Too Rajasic and Tamasic respectively in nature.

2)      Onion and garlic not used in Temples and religious functions.

3)      The Purana’s Testimony: onion and garlic were first produced when after cow slaughter, drops of blood fell on the ground. The drops of the cows blood transformed themselves and grew as onion and garlic. So the result of eating them is just as bad as eating beef.

5)      Easy substitutes available in cooking 

 Coffee and Tea

Addictive

Acidic and so bad for the health.

Tea consumption produces aluminum in the brain

 Keep us dependent on them and thus on the bodily platform.

           Benefits of taking only Prasadam

1)      It is "Mercy of the Lord"

2)      Destroys sins

3)      Purifies our consciousness.

4)      We taste Krsna, and so the prasadam is extremely tasty!

5)      Makes us regulated in our eating habits

6)       Is healthy, as we only use foods in the mode of goodness.

7)      Makes us blissful, since it connects us to God

8)      Gives us love of God

9)       Easy and practical to follow the principle.

Skit for taking up systematic study of the Bhagavad Gita.(In case you are not able to get people to enact it, just ask two people to read out the characters.)

Devotee to his friend:  Ramesh, you must take up chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. It will really give you so much bliss and happiness.

Ramesh: Why should I chant only Hare Krsna? There are so many gods you know. I can chant any of those mantras.

Devotee: No, but Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Ramesh:  Says who?

Devotee : the scriptures.

Ramesh: Well, I know some scriptures which talk of Lord Siva as the supreme. Can you refute that with any quotes?

Devotee: Scratches his head. Well, you must have faith you know.

Ramesh: But you talked of scripture. Where in the scriptures does it say that Krsna is the Supreme Perconality of Godhead?

Devotee: Well, er, I have forgotten. I will look it up and tell you.

Ramesh : And can you tell me why we must offer Krsna only vegetarian foods. Kali mata accepts non vegetarian food you know. Where has God said that He will only accept certain kinds of foods. I f He has created everything, everything must be good to eat.

Devotee: (aside) My Bhakti Vrksa leader told me to do it and I did it. Now where does it say all this?)  Looks dumb.

Ramesh: And I also cannot understand why you are so fanatic about your religious activities. Now, does God ever say that you must not watch the cinemas once in a while? You never take part in any of our social functions. A little bit of drinking and womanizing is what gives spice to life, you know. You just don’t know how to enjoy life…

Devotee (aside) Maybe what he says is true.  Maybe Krsna did not want us to be so fanatic after all…. (Looks bewildered)

Ramesh: For all the puja and worship that you are doing why are you suffering so much. You are constantly harassed by your boss, and your family members ill-treat you, and you are always short of money. What is the use of your worshipping Him?

You see me, I am moderate and balanced in my religious beliefs and I have no major problem going for me. You should become smart in your material dealings. You should work hard like me…

Devotee: but I do work hard... as much as is necessary. It is just my bad karma that I get these sufferings.

Ramesh: Then, is there no hope for you? What a defeatist philosophy! No I would rather enjoy life! You become a sannyasi if you want…. (Walks out)

Devotee:  Oh Krsna! Why do I feel so confused?… What do I do? Why don’t I have any answers for all his questions? How can I reveal my defeat to my Bhakti Vrksa leader? He keeps scolding me for not reading the Bhagavad gita… (thoughtfully)….. Oh yes… now I understand.. I must read the Bhagavad Gita systematically and thoroughly as my Vrinda leader has done.. Then I can be so strong and preach strongly! Oh yes! I am going to start reading the Bhagavad gita from today!