His Grace Ravindra Svarupa Dasa
I think everybody has realized that congregational preaching has become more and more important because we discovered that all over the world, we have congregations. If Krsna consciousness is going to spread and it will be spread it will be chiefly through congregation. That is to say, people living at home, and practicing Krsna consciousness at home, and preaching Krsna consciousness in their homes and from their homes to other people in their homes.
The history of ISKCON was that the beginning it was not a congregational movement. It was ashram centered, and anyone who became a devotee was expected to move into the temple. The idea of the congregation came a little slowly to us.
We kind of discovered we had a congregation and we didn’t know what to do with them. In the early days, if somebody didn’t move in the temple they could not be a devotee. Now we have a different vision and we see that this is where we will go, and so the real importance of congregational ministry is not only to make congregational preachers but to fulfill the ideal of grihastha ashram.
Ashram means a place of spiritual development, a place to make people who live at home, spiritually strong. And that’s a very great necessity. If people are not spiritually strong at home, then they may not be able to preach effectively.
We can only preach by the potency that we have from realized knowledge when we have experience. So, this is a very, very important mission. It’s Prabhupad’s mission.
(Excerpt from the book ‘The Nectar of Congregational Preaching’ by ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry)
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