Week 49

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.

Let them go through the following instructions before conducting it.

Share an interesting and useful point that you have learnt from Srila Prabhupada’s books during the week, and ask others also to do so in turn. 

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.”

Kirtana: 15 minutes

Assign another senior devotee of the group to lead the Kirtana. Let them be responsible for the Kirtana session by ensuring that the new members get the copies of the mantras being sung, and that they offer the incense to the Deities.

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Japa…. 15 minutes

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.  .

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                            Sri Namamrta  - The Nectar of the Holy Name

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Those who have tasted the nectar of chanting the holy name do not care for any other spiritual bliss or for material comforts:

The personified Vedas said:] “The most intelligent devotees do not take to any means of self-realization except devotional service and constant engagement in the nine different processes of devotional life, especially hearing and chanting. When hearing and chanting about your transcendental pastimes, Your devotees do not care even for the transcendental bliss derived from liberation or from merging into the existence of the Supreme. Such devotees are not interested even in so-called liberation, and certainly they have no interested in material activities for elevation to the heavenly planets for sense gratification. Pure devotees seek only the association of paramahamsas, or great-liberated devotees, so that they can continually hear and chant about Your glories. For this purpose the pure devotees are prepared to sacrifice all comforts of life, even giving up the material comforts of family life and so called society, friendship and love. Those who have tasted the nectar of devotion by relishing the transcendental vibration of chanting Your glories. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, do not care for any other spiritual bliss or for material comforts, which appear to the pure devotee to be less important than the straw in the street.”

                                                Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

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.

SPIRITUAL EDIFICATION 
FROM   “BHAGAVAD-GITA As It Is

BY DIVINE GRACE A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA

Bg. Ch-9 Text-13

TEXT 13

mahatmanas tu mam partha

daivim prakrtim asritah

bhajanty ananya-manaso

jnatva bhutadim avyayam

TRANSLATION

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.

PURPORT

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.

Discovery:

1)      What are the symptoms of a great soul or mahatma?

Understanding:

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?

Application:

1)   Would you like to become a Mahatma? Why or why not?

Preaching Session: 15 minutes

Read out the following passage:

                                       Preaching is the essence

                   His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada                  

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Servants of God preach and thus become dear to the Lord:

asuras are gradually rectified to God consciousness by the mercy of the Lord’s liberated servitors in different countries according to the Supreme will. Such devotees of God are very confidential associates of the Lord, and when they come to save human society from the dangers of godlessness, they are known as the powerful incarnations of the Lord, as sons of the Lord, as servants of the Lord or as associates of the Lord… Such servants of God are called mahatmas, or tirthas, and they preach according to particular time and place. The servants of God urge people to become devotees of the Lord…….

The servants of God come to propagate God consciousness, and intelligent people shlould cooperate with them in every respect. By serving the servant of  God, one can please God more than by directly serving the  Lord. The Lord is more pleased when He sees that His servants are properly respected because such servants risk everything for the service of the Lord and so are very dear to the Lord. The Lord declares in the Bhagavad-gita ( 18.69) that no one is dearer to Him than one who risks everything to preach His glory.

                                                                        Bhag. 1.2.16 ( 1:1. P. 112)                                                                   

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

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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:

No:

Members

Attendance

   Current Siksa status

Remarks