By His Holiness Kadamba Kanana Swami
Congregational preaching means Krsna consciousness for the grihastha ashram. Because many people who are involved in family life cannot directly live in the temples, we need a program to offer Krsna consciousness to those people. Since householders are the majority of the population, congregational preaching is one of the first priorities of our movement. We should develop different ways to engage people in chanting the holy name, in reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and rendering service to the deities.
Congregation naturally indicates that people must come together in groups, that naturally they come together to chant the holy names and come together to the temples to serve the deities. In this way we can change the world. It must be one of our main strategies to develop more and more groups to facilitate these activities.
One of the areas where I do a lot of preaching is in South Africa. It is a country where there are a lot of congregation members. There is really no difference between a devotee who stays in the temple and one who stays outside the temple. They are running Nama-hattas and are doing so many wonderful things.
Durban they have their famous Ratha-yatra. Every year 200,000 to 250,000 plates of Prasada go out. It is all going on by the efforts of the congregation. The ladies chop vegetables and the men cook all night in big pots. It doesn’t have to be that the temple devotees are on a higher level of Krsna consciousness and the congregation is on a lower level. Of course, the temples do offer a lot of special opportunities for Krsna consciousness training. We have to take responsibility and offer training, education and good spiritual standards to the congregation.
(Excerpt from the book ‘The Nectar of Congregational Preaching’ by ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry )
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