HELPING DEVOTEES SUCCEED

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  • 1. Helping Devotees SucceedSpiritual Guidance System

2. Welcome! 3. A Spiritual GuideYour spiritual success partner who: Thinks of you, listens to you and speaks toyou kindly in all circumstances Works alongside you with strong faith inyou and your potential Assists you in making lasting positivechanges in your life Supports you and encourages yourspiritual and professional growth 4. A Spiritual Guide Encourages your service, recognises yournatural gifts and talents, so that you canuse them as a basis for your spiritualgrowth and material support Works with you and for you, not on you Keeps strictly confidential any informationabout you Believes in your inherent potential to be apure devotee of the Lord. 5. The Seven Purposes of ISKCON3. To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus developing the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).6. To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler, more natural way of life. 6. Be under the guidance of your elderbrother Janardana and you willprogress nicely. Letter to Sivananda - Los Angeles 21January, 1968 7. please act under the guidance ofBrahmananda, so long I am not able tosee you Letter to Robert - Los Angeles 20 February, 1968 8. I am pleased to note that Girish isprogressing nicely under your guidance.Letter to Aniruddha - Los Angeles 23 January, 1969 9. People are going to hell for want ofproper guidance.Letter to Harer Nama - Los Angeles 15 January, 1970 10. One who gives personal instruction to each andeveryone does more for others than the platformspeakers do. Generally, whatever platformspeakers say cannot solve the problem of everyonein the audience, nor can it always benefit everyindividual. A persons defects are better rectified ina private tutorial class or private coaching than inhearing lectures in a school or college. Thereforethose who instruct particular persons separatelycan award them something more permanent.- Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Amrta Vani, page 315 11. A Need! There is a clear need for moresystematic and effective support andguidance of devotees - based on talkingto hundreds of serious devotees servingin ISKCON. 12. Return On Investment People who are taken care of well andare guided well will tend to do the samewith others in return This will expand our mission and growour movement. 13. Holistic Or Complete Care Health Sadhana Service Relationships Etc. 14. This is organizationThat is the way of Indian teaching, that there is oneteacher, and how hes managing hundreds? That meansthere are groups. One who is elderly student, hes takingsome beginners: "Write a or A like this." That he can teach.What he has learned, he can teach. Similarly, next group,next group.So in this way, one teacher can manage hundreds ofstudents of different categories. This is organization. Notthat everything I have to do. I cannot teach anybody to doit. That is not intelligence.Room Conversation -- July 31, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm) 15. This is organizationIntelligence is that employ others to help you. That is intelligence. Not that "Oh, I was busy, I could not do it." Why? What about your assistant? Train assistant so that in your absence things can be done. So the elderly students, they could be...Just Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to do that. When Hewas sixteen years old he could argue with KesavaKasmiri, because He was practiced. In this way, stageafter stage, everyone should be expert. Everyone shouldbe teacher and student.Room Conversation -- July 31, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm) 16. Purpose Educate and train devotees to liveaccording to the Krishna consciousprinciples of their asrama. Provide systematic training in Krishnaconscious philosophy, sadhana,Vaisnava behaviour, lifestyle andattitudes. 17. Purpose Provide a formal framework withinwhich personal care and attention canbe provided to all devotees to makethem feel loved and wanted and partof a wonderful spiritual family. Foster warm personal relationshipsand a spirit of love and trust amongstdevotees based on Krishna consciousprinciples. 18. How Does The System Work? Certain experienced devotees from thetemple and the congregation aretrained and nominated to providesupport and guidance. Devotees from the temple and thecongregation accept particular spiritualguide. Train assistant guides. 19. How Is A Spiritual Guide Selected? Be a devotee who has been in active Krishnaconsciousness within ISKCON for a reasonablelength of time. Demonstrate a solid understanding of thephilosophy and practice of Krishnaconsciousness. Demonstrate the ability to give balancedguidance based on Krishna conscious principlesaccording to time, place and circumstance. 20. How Is A Spiritual Guide Selected? Be willing to extend himself/herself tohelp others. Has a spirit of sacrifice. Be compassionate and have genuineconcern for the welfare of devotees. Be a good listener. 21. How Is A Spiritual Guide Selected? Be a mature, sober and stable individual. Demonstrate good standard of sadhana,etiquette, behaviour, service andcommitment to the ISKCONs mission. Be properly situated in his/her own asrama. 22. Becoming A GardenerWhen a person receives the seed ofdevotional service, he should take care of itby becoming a gardener and sowing the seedin his heart. If he waters the seed graduallyby the process of sravana and kirtana[hearing and chanting], the seed will begin tosprout.CC Madhya 19.152 23. Responsibility Of A Spiritual Guide A spiritual guide is a friend, supporter andguide in Krsna consciousness. A spiritual elder brother/sister. Takespersonal care of all devotees in the group. Inspires and encourages devotees whom heguides in Krsna consciousness and monitorstheir progress. Provides Krsna conscious training to thosedevotees. 24. Responsibility Of A Spiritual Guide Assists devotees in both spiritual andpersonal matters. He looks into the overallwelfare of the devotees. Conducts fortnightly meetings with devotees. Recommends qualified candidates for firstand second initiation. Does not abuse his/her position as a guide 25. Responsibility Of A Spiritual Guide Provides useful input to the Team ofSpiritual Guides and activelyparticipates in meetings. Sets a solid standard of sadhana,service and behaviour. 26. 4 Roles Of A Spiritual Guide1. Example2. Support3. Guidance4. Challenge 27. Training Of DevoteesHow to be ideal brahmacaris and grhasthasby keeping Krsna in the centre. How to maintain proper devotional standardsat the temple or at home (regardingbehaviour, sadhana, kitchen, altar, etc.). How to be proper brahmacari orwife/husband/parent/child, etc., according toscriptures. 28. Training Of Devotees How to balance economic and social responsibilitieswith spiritual vows. How women should deal with men, particularlybrahmacharis and sannyasis. How men should deal with women. How to have proper attitude towards other asramas. A manual of Vaisnava Etiquette and Lifestyle isdiscussed in meetings. 29. Meetings Of Spiritual Guides And Devotees Vaisnava bhajans. A few pages of one of Srila Prabhupadas books arediscussed. One of the devotees makes a presentationand a discussion follows. Sharing realizations. Discussion on service, sadhana and Vaisnavaetiquette. 30. Meetings Of Spiritual Guides And Devotees Any challenges or problems. Personal problems that require confidentialityare discussed in private with the guide. Kirtana. Prasadam. 31. Meetings Of The Team of Spiritual Guides Discussion on sadhana (japa, waking up early,etc.). Reading (philosophy, importance of readingPrabhupadas books, etc.). Vaisnava etiquette and behaviour (how toserve/honour prasadam, personal habits,discussion on 26 qualities of a Vaisnava, etc.).Different guides make presentations each time. Caring for devotees (reports from various teamsformed to care for devotees, if applicable). 32. Meetings Of Spiritual Guides Sometimes when the discussion flowsspontaneously, more time is required. At the end, various management matters arediscussed if needed. Prasadam. 33. Current Examples Chowpatty Mumbai Ukraine Bhaktivedanta Manor Stockholm London Soho 34. Benefits Train more preachers Increase book distribution Assist ISKCON gurus Not lose devotees Stable families Train spiritual leaders Krsna consciousness in the workplace Less problems and scandals Expand the mission Boiling the milk 35. Benefits Increase support network for devotees Increase preaching opportunities Increase congregational involvement Increase temple maintenance Ensure that the Temple takes into accountthe views of the congregational and templedevotees when making decisions. Facilitate loving relationships betweenbrahmacaris and grhasthas or temple andcongregational devotees. 36. How to start? Form teams of local devotees who are willingto be spiritual guides. Leaders support them in starting anddeveloping a system by speaking about it inclasses and forums and providing practicalhelp. Take assistance from the European Team forSpiritual Guidance. 37. Fan the spark! Just like people come here with littlefaith. That faith is the little spark offire. Now you have to fan it, fan it, sothat fire may increase.Lecture, Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.12 Vrndavana, October 23, 1972 38. We require many boys and girlslike you to spread this movement.Please do it carefully and helpothers to become Krishnaconscious.Letter to Dayananda - Calcutta 8 February, 1971 39. Every disciple must make his ownspiritual progress positively andhelp others to do so.Letter to Nayanabhirama - Bombay 30 April, 1971 40. So everything is there. Save yourself,save others. This is our Krsnaconsciousness movement. First of allsave yourself; then try to save others.Or both things can go onsimultaneously.Conversation on Roof - February 14, 1977, Mayapura 41. One to One Skills For Spiritual Guides 42. Outli