If you have been encouraging all your vrinda members to be attending the temple or the centrally coordinated programs of the Nama Hatta Directorate, they would have benefited a lot by the higher standards of the program, exposure to senior devotees, as well as devotees from other vrindas.
This is very important for their development. As a good parent is always concerned about the all round development of his children, you have to ensure that they benefit in the best possible way.
Satsanga: 15 minutes
Engage one of the senior devotees of your group to lead the Satsanga.
For those who are still a little new to the group or are somehow not reading yet, you could ask the question: “Tell us of a time you felt joy of serving someone else.”
You can ask another devotee to read out the following passage. Let him conduct the japa session by leading the japa. After japa, He should ask two or three devotees from the group to share their progress in their daily chanting. .
Spiritual Edification- 45 minutes
Please ask the trainee leader to go through the following instructions and the passage well in advance and discuss with you about extra points on the topic before the session.
If there are new comers to the group, then you should give them a brief introduction on Krsna consciousness and a summary of what you have been doing so far. It is better to give them the first week’s edification to go through. You can have a discussion for them separately. If there is only one new member, you can have a discussion with him. This should not be difficult as the other members are also going to be discussing in smaller groups as you will find out below:
You should divide the group into 2 or 3 groups and make them sit in circles. Make sure that the group is evenly distributed with regard to the number of senior, junior and new members in them.
Distribute the sheets containing the spiritual edification to the members. You could ask a senior member in each group to be the group spokesman/woman.
The leader of each group has to facilitate the participation of all the members, encouraging each one to answer the question addressed to them. Let the leader take down their points. This procedure is only for the Discovery and understanding sessions.
After this the whole group can sit in a circle. You can ask the leaders to read out the consolidated answers of their respective groups for each of the questions.
After this, you can ask each one of them to answer the application question one by one.
You can then sum up the spiritual edification lesson once again and add more points relevant to the topic. You can also include interesting pastimes of the Lord and his devotees, current issues, etc to substantiate the topic.
FROM “BHAGAVAD-GITA As It Is
BY DIVINE GRACE A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA
Bg. Ch-9 Text-13
mahatmanas tu mam partha
daivim prakrtim asritah
jnatva bhutadim avyayam
O son of Prtha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.
In this verse the description of the mahatma is clearly given. The first sign of the mahatma is that he is already situated in the divine nature. He is not under the control of material nature. And how is this effected? That is explained in the Seventh Chapter: one who surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, at once becomes freed from the control of material nature. That is the qualification. One can become free from the control of material nature as soon as he surrenders his soul to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the preliminary formula.
Being marginal potency, as soon as the living entity is freed from the control of material nature, he is put under the guidance of the spiritual nature. The guidance of the spiritual nature is called daivi prakrti, divine nature. So when one is promoted in that way—by surrendering to the Supreme Personality of Godhead—one attains to the stage of great soul, mahatma.
The mahatma does not divert his attention to anything outside Krsna, because he knows perfectly well that Krsna is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt about it.
Such a mahatma, or great soul, develops through association with other mahatmas, pure devotees. Pure devotees are not even attracted by Krsna’s other features, such as the four-armed Maha-Visnu. They are simply attracted by the two-armed form of Krsna. They are not attracted to other features of Krsna, nor are they concerned with any form of a demigod or of a human being. They meditate only upon Krsna in Krsna consciousness. They are always engaged in the unswerving service of the Lord in Krsna consciousness.
1) What are the symptoms of a great soul or mahatma?
1) How can one become freed from the control of material nature?
2) What happens to one who is freed from the clutches of the material enery?
3) Why does a mahatma not divert his attention to anything other than Krishna?
4) How does a person become a Mahatma?
5) How is a mahatma absorbed in Krishna consciousness?
1) Would you like to become a Mahatma? Why or why not?
Preaching Session: 15 minutes
Read out the following passage:
Ask the devotees who conducted the various parts of the Bhakti Vrksha now, to share their realizations on their new experiences. You can also ask for the group’s evaluation of the various trainees’ performances. Since all of them are their peers, no one will mind this kind of evaluation. On the other hand it can be very helpful in boosting their confidence as well as in giving the necessary feed back on how effective they were and where they need to improve. Your judgment of their performance is very important for them to understand the correct standards of evaluation. For example, it is not necessary that a good speaker is the best leader, but that one who facilitates well is the one who is good
Ask for the report of the home visits of the senior devotees along with juniors to some new contacts’ homes.
Continue taking a senior devotee along with you to visit more junior devotees’ homes.
Fix up which devotee is going to accompany you for the week.
You can enquire from the group their progress in their book distribution, prasadam distribution, street Sankirtan, etc. These experiences will give them exposure to dealing with new people and gaining contacts for inviting them to different programs, especially the outreach programs and the new vrindas to be started by the trainee leaders shortly.
Prasadam: 20 minutes
Prasadam time has to be totally relaxed and a happy one. Do not discuss any serious or disturbing topics at that time, lest there be arguments, etc.
It must be a time for socializing, for cultivating relationships and also for learning or sharing things very informally.
It is also the only activity during which all the age groups and sexes can be together exchanging a lot of affection, concern and service. It gives everyone unlimited opportunity to express love.
Share the importance of prasadam time with all your BV members.
Please enter the details about your members attending this week:
Current Siksa status