Don't get Stuck, go Up

August 7, 2016 |

English with தமிழ் Translation; Zurich, Switzerland

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Accepting a Service in Which the Guru Doesn't Engage

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Question: Can a devotee accept service that his guru doesn't directly engage in? For instance, I am very much inspired by Indradyumna's Maharaj's festivals. I think such festivals have a broad reach to masses. I don't like the cultural part of these festivals, but the philosophy and prasadam and kirtan can really get people intrigued. Some time in the… Expand>

Question:

Can a devotee accept service that his guru doesn't directly engage in? For instance, I am very much inspired by Indradyumna's Maharaj's festivals. I think such festivals have a broad reach to masses. I don't like the cultural part of these festivals, but the philosophy and prasadam and kirtan can really get people intrigued.

Some time in the future I would like to organize such festivals and do mass book distributions. However, for that I would need a lot of training from Indradyumna Maharaj even though I am aspiring to serve you.

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Question: My name is Jayapatni Gopi dasi and I have been in the movement and a disciple of Jayapataka Swami most of the time since 1980. I serve here at New Talavana Farm in Mississippi. In the late 80's, I was raising four young children all born within a span of eight years. I was dealing with… Expand>

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My name is Jayapatni Gopi dasi and I have been in the movement and a disciple of Jayapataka Swami most of the time since 1980. I serve here at New Talavana Farm in Mississippi.

In the late 80's, I was raising four young children all born within a span of eight years. I was dealing with my elderly dad who was alone, and had had a bad habit of drinking for many years. He had caused drunk driving accidents, but due to Krsna's mercy had not hurt anyone except
himself.

I made a decision when I moved to New Talavana not to give him my address, because he lived 2 1/2 hours away and I feared he would spend most of his time on the highway driving back and forth to and from his house to mine.

I now am plagued with guilt and remorse for the totally isolated life he lead for the last three years of his life. He was totally alone in a cabin in the woods in the backwoods of Mississippi. He often told me how distressed he was. We went to see him once a month and brought prasadam. If I had it to do over I would trust in Krsna to help me and attempt to have him here doing some menial service for the farm. He liked mowing.

I feared I couldn't care for my four infant children and also be cognizant enough to deal with him and my husband commuted to work and was rarely here to help us. I have had two shrada ceremonies and intend to have another one performed in October, but my thoughts are almost constantly haunted by his distress during those years. He died in 1991, and this doesn't seem to be getting any better for me. We were very close.

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April 17, 2012 |

Question: I have a new kind of service in our yatra since October 2011 – arranging children’s programs. The idea of it appeared last year. During Sunday programs the children are left to their own devices. While the parents are taking part in kirtana and listening to a class the children run about, make a noise, disturb the lecturer.… Expand>

Question:

I have a new kind of service in our yatra since October 2011 – arranging children’s programs. The idea of it appeared last year. During Sunday programs the children are left to their own devices. While the parents are taking part in kirtana and listening to a class the children run about, make a noise, disturb the lecturer.

Unfortunately parents don’t always pay attention to the kids and their behavior in the temple. Sometimes it caused the irritation of other devotees. Actually it was not clear for me how to hold these programs and what content they should have.

I was in Moscow last year in September and made acquaintances with a mataji who serves as a coordinator of children’s programs. She explained to me the way They organize such programs in Moscow yatra. After returning back home I asked the advice of Advaita-patni dd, Kalindi-priya dd and the devotees who have children. They gave me their blessings and I started my new service.

Children’s programs are held once a week on Saturdays and last about one and half hour. Children are divided into two groups: those who are 2-6 years old and those who are 7-10 years old. At first we arrange the program for the little children and then for the older ones. We learn to offer obeisances to the Deities and chant Maha mantra for 2 or 3 times, read about Krishna, play, draw and learn how one should behave himself in the temple. The little children offer their pictures and applications to the Deities. Then they chant Prasada Sevaya mantra and take prasadam, after that they wash the floor in the altar room.

The older children offer their obeisances to the Deities and chant one round of Maha mantra. We learn together the following topics: what is the Veda, what piety means, the qualities that pious people have, the law of God, the manners of behavior in the temple. The girls attending Sunday programs have their own Deities of Gopal and they are taught to make garlands. We plan to teach them to sew dresses for Deities and play musical instruments.

They also chant prasada-sevaya mantra, take prasadam and wash the floor in the altar room. The older children take care of the little ones during Sunday programs (dispense prasadam, help to wash hands). The adult devotees staged a New Year performance for the children about Father Frost (Santa) and his granddaughter seeking for Krishna. When we celebrated the Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya the children had their own abhiseka for the Deities of Gopal. The older children rang the bell and made acaman. The little children recited poems about Krishna during the celebration of Lord Caitanya’s Appearance Day, the older ones showed a performance about a brahmana who prepared a feast at Jagannatha Misra’s house and Nimai ate that offering without permission. We are planning to stage a performance for Lord Nrisimha’s Appearance Day which all the children would take part in. The adult devotees try to involve our little vaisnavas in the ceremony of the Deities Greeting and kirtana at Sunday programs. The upbringing of children mostly depends on the way  parents behave and spend time together and what knowledge they impart to them. That’s why we arrange classes for the parents concerning the topic of child upbringing.

Guru Maharaja, in one of your lectures answering the question “How to bring up a Krishna conscious child,“ you told that one cannot enforce children to become devotees. We try to follow this instruction and involve our children indevotional service in a very gentle way and they attend programs, take part in celebrations, help the adult devotees with a great pleasure. There are 25 children in our yatra. However only half of them attend children’s programs. They are the children whose parents are active in devotional service and take part in Sunday programs.

Unfortunately there is not enough literature about philosophy adapted for children. I have a lack of knowledge myself, but my tutor Advaita-patni Mataji and other devotees support me.

Guru Maharaja, I’d like to ask for your advice concerning the following topics:

  • How should we arrange the work with the parents?
  • How do we act properly in training and upbringing our children?
  • How should we awake the interest of those parents whose children do not attend programs?
  • What should be avoided in our cooperation with parents and their children?
  • There are a lot of films and cartoons about Krishna, can we use them in our programs arranged for the children?
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Presently I am working in a company and my qualification is Diploma. Now whenever I chant my rounds, in the early morning, my mind speaks to me to study further (material studying-degree) rather than chanting, so that in future it will help my career. Now i am of age 33 and married & I have twin children (of age 6yrs, both boys-Pramod & Pradyumna). Because of this I cannot concentrate on chanting. Please advise which is best for me – either to chant & work for personal care (or) to focus on further material studies and work. Please note my working schedule is hectic and I cannot do all the three things (i.e. to chant 16 rounds, work & study) and working is compulsory as I don’t have any other source of income.

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