Week 51

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: “What do you like most about sharing Krsna consciousness with others?”

 

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.

 

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.

                            Sri Namamrta  - The Nectar of the Holy Name

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Even if one is highly elevated in Krsna consciousness, if he stops chanting, his devotional creeper will dry up.

Krsna is within you, and as soon as Krsna sees that you are very sincere, that you are seeking. He sends a bona fide spiritual master. This combination of Krishna and the spiritual master is the cause of one’s receiving the seed of Krsna consciousness. The seed is there. If you have a very nice seed of a rose bush, what is your duty? If you have a seed of any nice plant, it is your duty not to lock it up in the safety vault of a bank.  Your duty is to sow it in the ground. Where shlould you sow that seed? If you have information of Krsna consciousness, you just sow it in your heart.  Not in this earth, but in the earth within yourself. And after sowing a seed you have to pour a little water on it, so that water is hearing and chanting. Once the seed is sown in the heart, just pour on a little water, and it will grow.

This process should not be stopped by the thought that because one is initiated there is no need of hearing and chanting. It should go on continuously. If you stop pouring water on a plant, it will dry up; it will not produce any fruit. Similarly, even if you are highly elevated in Krsna consciousness, you cannot stop this process of hearing and chanting because maya is so strong, so powerful, that as soon as she sees, “Ah, here is an opportunity,” at once you will dry up. By the process of pouring water, that plant of Krsna consciousness grows…….. If you continue this chanting and hearing process, you will grow and grow and actually reach Krsna’s lotus feet and there relish His association.

                                    Krsna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System.

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Spiritual Edification- 45 minutes

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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.

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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-18 Text-66

TEXT 66

sarva-dharman parityajya

mam ekam saranam vraja

aham tvam sarva-papebhyo

moksayisyami ma sucah

TRANSLATION

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

PURPORT

The Lord has described various kinds of knowledge and processes of religion—knowledge of the Supreme Brahman, knowledge of the Supersoul, knowledge of the different types of orders and statuses of social life, knowledge of the renounced order of life, knowledge of non-attachment, sense and mind control, meditation, etc. He has described in so many ways different types of religion. Now, in summarizing Bhagavad-gita, the Lord says that Arjuna should give up all the processes that have been explained to him; he should simply surrender to Krsna. That surrender will save him from all kinds of sinful reactions, for the Lord personally promises to protect him.

 In the Seventh Chapter it was said that only one who has become free from all sinful reactions can take to the worship of Lord Krsna. Thus one may think that unless he is free from all sinful reactions he cannot take to the surrendering process. To such doubts it is here said that even if one is not free from all sinful reactions, simply by the process of surrendering to Sri Krsna he is automatically freed. There is no need of strenuous effort to free oneself from sinful reactions. One should unhesitatingly accept Krsna as the supreme savior of all living entities. With faith and love, one should surrender unto Him.

 The process of surrender to Krsna is described in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (11.676):

anukulyasya sankalpah
pratikulyasya varjanam
raksisyatiti visvaso
goptrtve varanam tatha
atma-niksepa-karpanye
sad-vidha saranagatih

According to the devotional process, one should simply accept such religious principles that will lead ultimately to the devotional service of the Lord. One may perform a particular occupational duty according to his position in the social order, but if by executing his duty one does not come to the point of Krsna consciousness, all his activities are in vain. Anything that does not lead to the perfectional stage of Krsna consciousness should be avoided. One should be confident that in all circumstances Krsna will protect him from all difficulties. There is no need of thinking how one should keep the body and soul together. Krsna will see to that. One should always think himself helpless and should consider Krsna the only basis for his progress in life. As soon as one seriously engages himself in devotional service to the Lord in full Krsna consciousness, at once he becomes freed from all contamination of material nature. There are different processes of religion and purificatory processes by cultivation of knowledge, meditation in the mystic yoga system, etc., but one who surrenders unto Krsna does not have to execute so many methods. That simple surrender unto Krsna will save him from unnecessarily wasting time. One can thus make all progress at once and be freed from all sinful reactions.

 One should be attracted by the beautiful vision of Krsna. His name is Krsna because He is all-attractive. One who becomes attracted by the beautiful, all-powerful, omnipotent vision of Krsna is fortunate. There are different kinds of transcendentalists—some of them are attached to the impersonal Brahman vision, some of them are attracted by the Supersoul feature, etc., but one who is attracted to the personal feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and, above all, one who is attracted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Krsna Himself, is the most perfect transcendentalist. In other words, devotional service to Krsna, in full consciousness, is the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is the essence of the whole Bhagavad-gita. Karma-yogis, empiric philosophers, mystics and devotees are all called transcendentalists, but one who is a pure devotee is the best of all. The particular words used here, ma sucah, “Don’t fear, don’t hesitate, don’t worry,” are very significant. One may be perplexed as to how one can give up all kinds of religious forms and simply surrender unto Krsna, but such worry is useless.

Discovery:

1)      What are the different kinds of knowledge and religions described by Lord Krsna in the Bhagavad Gita?

2)      What does Krsna say that we must do with all this knowledge? What is His final instruction to us?

Understanding:

1)          In what ways does Krsna help His surrendered devotees?

2)          Who is the best transcendentalist? Why?

3)          How can we become the best transcendentalist?

4)          Why do we hesitate to follow Krsna’s final instruction?

Application:

1)     Share with everyone what surrendering to Krishna means to you. How has it helped you?

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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Vasudeva Datta’s prayer to save all living entities (exemplifying Vaisnava compassion):

Vasudeva Datta told Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “My dear Lord, You incarnate just to deliver all conditioned souls. I have now one petition, which I wish You would accept…… My Lord, my heart breaks to see the suffering of all conditioned souls; therefore I request You to transfer the Karma of their sinful lives upon my head. My dear Lord, let me suffer perpetually in a hellish condition, accepting all the sinful reactions of all living entities. Please finish their diseased material life.”

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard Vasudeva Datta’s statement, His heart became very soft. Tears flowed from His Eyes, and He began to tremble……..

            A Vaisnava is so liberal that he is prepared to risk everything to rescue conditioned souls from material existence….. He [Vasudeva Datta] was a most exalted personality who wanted to show mercy upon conditioned souls….. He was a Vaisnava-para-duhkha-duhkhi-very much aggrieved to see others suffer……. One who executes Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission must be considered to be eternally liberated. He is a transcendental person and does not belong to this material world. Such a devotee engaging in the deliverance of the total population is as magnanimous as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself….. Such a personality factually represents Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu because his heart is always filled with compassion for conditioned souls.

                        Cc. Madhaya 15.160, 162-164 ( Madhya: 6, pp 82-85)

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 feedback 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

Always announce the names of the devotees who have helped in sponsoring, purchasing, cooking, offering , distributing the prasadam and in cleaning up Normally though everyone benefits greatly by these services, they tend to be  left unnoticed or unappreciated and taken for granted.

Appreciation can enthuse the devotees to serve Krsna better, inspire more people to join in the services, and taste the nectar while performing their services. The ones who acknowledge others services also feel good for having done so.

            Please enter the details about your members attending this week:

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