By His Holiness Jayapataka Swami
Every devotee should be engaged in spreading Krsna consciousness. There is no limit to how many people can become involved and we need to get everyone involved. Everyone should see that they have a very important part to play in developing Krsna conscious communities.
People in many parts of the world are not so favorable to organized religion due to previous negative experiences. When congregational development is at the forefront of the preaching, however, people can be taught how to practice in their home, a pressure-free environment. After that, it is up to the individual to determine how much he or she wants to be involved in organized temple programs. The home can be made into a suitable place for practicing Krsna consciousness. The point is that everyone should practice Krsna consciousness.
Krsna consciousness is a very open process – at any place and in any circumstance, everyone should chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and read Srila Prabhupada’s books. As one becomes more and more Krsna conscious, the temple festivals and preaching activities become naturally more attractive. Sometimes people are allergic to Krsna consciousness because they think that joining the movement means becoming a monk or living a monastic life. Of course, we have that option for people who want to live as monks, but we also have the option for people to practice Krsna consciousness from their homes.
Srila Prabhupada said you do not have to shave your head or join the temple. Krsna consciousness is very relevant to everyone. Congregational outreach programs bring new opportunities and new challenges. These programs save people from illusion and contamination from the material world. Krsna consciousness gets rid of the binding illusion of the material world and liberates us from material identification. We need to give people this contact with Krsna consciousness, and this is where congregational development becomes essential. Congregational development reaches out to people in various ways and gives a range of options for a variety of prospective devotees.
(Excerpt from the book ‘The Nectar of Congregational Preaching’ by ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry)
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