Durga Puja Camp for ISKCON Youth Forum

While the city of joy was immersed in celebrating the victory of good over evil during Durga Puja, hundreds of devotees and budding spiritualists gathered at ISKCON Kolkata to win over the lower tendencies with their hearts and revive their dormant Krishna Consciousness. Students from prestigious colleges, like IIT Kharagpur, ISM Dhanbad, NIT Jamshedpur, Haldia Institute of Technology-Haldia, NIT Durgapur, Jadavpur University and many other premier colleges in and around Kolkata, connected to Kolkata temple, confluxed together to hear from HH Bhakti Prem Swami Maharaj, HG Atul Krishna Prabhu, HG Radheshyam Prabhu, HG Dwarkadhish Prabhu and various senior Kolkata devotees.
All the participants got the opportunity to attend Mangala Aarti, chanting in the association of devotees, honouring prasadam and hearing the Srimad-Bhagawattam together, before dispersing for their respective camps. HH Bhakti Prema Swami Maharaj, HG Atul Krishna Prabhu and HG Radhesyam Prabhu gave deep, philosophically insightful classes.

The following camps took place during the eight days of the festivity:

· Drishti Camp- To give spiritual vision to the young budding devotees, three days drishti camp was conducted from 8th October to 10th October and attended by 120 Devotees. Learning the art of serving, respecting, being non-envious of others and being dependent on the Lord, the participants got to hear HG Radheshyam Prabhu, HG Mukunda Lila Prabhu, HG Prema Swaroopa Prabhu, etc. On 10th, HG Radheshyam Prabhu took extensive session on clearing doubts of the participants on Scriptures, Process and Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness.

· Facilitator Empowerment Camp- To equip the senior devotees to take care of the new ones, parallel to drishti camp, Facilitator Empowerment Camp was conducted. Teaching the 80 participants about the intricacies of one’s own sadhana and also taking care of others, the camp was majorly addressed by HH Bhakti Prema Swami Maharaj. HG Prema Swaroopa Prabhu, HG Mukunda Lila Prabhu and HG Kumara Lila Prabhu also addressed the participants.

· ISKCON Disciple Course (IDC)- An ISKCON GBC certified course, mandatory for taking spiritual initiation within ISKCON, two batches of IDC were conducted for 60 devotees, seeking initiation. HG Atul Krishna Prabhu and HG Acharya Ratna Prabhu conducted the six session course and gave the participants insights about the unique position of Srila Prabhupada as the pre-eminent siksha guru within ISKCON, the guru-tattva, the position of gurus within ISKCON, etc. After completion of the course, formal written exam was conducted and all the successful candidates were given GBC authorised certificates.

· Ashraya Camp- From 11th October to 14th October, Ashraya Camp was attended by almost 100 participants. On first day of the Camp, HG Atul Krishna Prabhu shared some of his secrets of being an effective presenter. He discussed the challenges faced during making a public presentation and gave practical solutions to those challenges. The subsequent days, HG Radheshyam Prabhu and HG Acharya Ratna Prabhu extensively spoke on the importance of Inner Transformation and Pillars of Trustworthy Character- Integrity, Maturity and No-envy.

· Sabha Camps- On the concluding two days, 15th and 16th October, Gauranga Sabha and Nityananda Sabha camps were organised. These are specialised camps to train the participants about practicing Krishna Consciousness, in future, in their respective ashramas. HG Radheshyam Prabhu addressed the Gauranga Sabha devotees about the life in brahmachari ashrama, while HG Dwarkadhish Prabhu and HG Vishakha Priya Mataji spoke about the practicalities of practicing Krishna Consciousness as grihastha to the Nityananda Sabha devotees.

In the Bhagwat-vidhi, the ears are like yagna-kunda and hearing from self-realised saintly beings the yagna that burns out annarthas in one’s heart. Similarly, all the participants were greatly benefited by the association of so many senior devotees and hearing from them.

We are extremely thankful & grateful to all our pass out [Alumni] Devotees for their constant support. We wanted to show our heartfelt gratitude to the many pass out [Alumni] Devotees who came by taking so much inconvenience to inspire each other.

Author: sevak