ISKCON MIRAROAD conducted 50 Summer Camps on the occasion of ISKCON’s 50th Anniversary
By Krsnanandan Das and Bhagavati Kripa Devi Dasi
For the pleasure of Guru and Gauranga, and by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, on the occasion of 50 years of ISKCON, Narsimha Institute for Children Education of ISKCON Mira Road conducted Summer Camp at 50 places in the year 2016. This Summer Camp was conducted in almost 45 residences and 5 schools.
Summer Camp classes for children started from 14th April at some residences and it continued for 10 days. Every place had a good response of enthusiastic children. The children who attended the summer camp enjoyed learning shlokas of the 12th Ch of Bhagavad Gita, singing bhajans like Madhurashtakam, Guruvashtakam, hearing the stories of ‘Mighty HANUMAN’, playing Krishna Conscious Games and had the feeling that they had chosen the best Summer Camp.
On 23rd April, 2016, the respective teachers invited all the students and their parents from almost 30 places. So there were 300 children attending Darshan Arati at ISKCON Mira Road temple on that day. Then H.G. Kamala Lochan Prabhuji (temple president), addressed the children. He spoke about the qualities which Lord Krishna had mentioned in the 12th chapter of Bhagavad Gita. He stressed on the verse ‘advesta sarva bhutanam….’, and told the children the definition of kindness. The children loved his lecture and learned many things from it. After the lecture, H.G. Kamala Lochan Prabhuji himself distributed certificates to the children who attended the Summer Camp, which inspired them to be a part of ISKCON. At 10am they had delicious breakfast prasadam followed by games and Krishna-Balaram movie. Thereafter, the children were fortunate to get the association of H.G. Bhima Prabhuji (Srila Prabhupada disciple) who addressed all of them for few minutes. Then all the teachers got gifts from his hands. After all this, the children were getting excited to participate in the Quiz Competition taken by H.G. Kamala Lochan Prabhuji inspite of his busy schedule. First teams of 5-6 children were made and Prabhuji started asking them questions from the ‘Mighty Hanuman’ book. By this the children got to know many details about Ramayan which they didn’t know initially. At the end, those children who had sincerely read the Hanuman book were the ones who won. The program ended with a small kirtan. All the children and their parents enjoyed this picnic and it became their unforgettable day.
From the next day, the children without getting tired started preparing for their models and speech for the exhibition which was going to be held on 1st May, 2016.
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On 1st May 2016, at the Balaji hall, ISKCON Mira Road, there was the Spiritual Science Exhibition with 120 models and total 200 children standing near the models to explain the wonderful pastimes of the Lord to the devotees who came to visit the exhibition. The theme of the exhibition was based on the 5 most powerful Bhakti Principles which was instructed by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Srila Rupa Goswami. The 5 principles are:
1) To chant the holy names of the Lord
2) To hear and discuss scriptures
3) To associate with devotees
4) To visit the holy places which are connected to Lord Krishna
5) To worship the deity
Based on the 1st principle, few children from Mira Road had made models on the stories explaining the importance of the Holy Name.
Based on the 2nd principle, children from different places had made models on the 10 subject matters of Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12 and 15, Pastimes of Panchatattva and Ramayan.
Based on the 3rd principle some children from Bhayander, Vapi and Mira Road had made models on the pastimes of Vaishnava Acharyas, Associates of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sripad Madhvacharya and Sripad Ramanujacharya.
Based on the 4th principle, many children had made models on Navadwip Mandal Parikrama, Jagannath Puri Parikram, Vrindavan Parikrama and Pandharpur Dham.
Based on the 5th principle, children explained models on how Srila Prabhupada took up so many struggles to establish ISKCON temples all over the world, having the best system of Deity worship. Some children also made models about Tulasi Devi and Bhoga offering to the deities.
The exhibition continued till 3pm. Inspite of standing in the exhibition for hours, the children and their parents were ready to attend the Narsimha Katha by H.G. Kamala Lochan Prabhuji from 2nd May to 7th May. The children performed various dramas, dance and singing based on Lord Narsimha’s and Lord Jagannath’s pastimes during the program.
Thus, we had total of 700 children getting introduced to Krishna Consciousness. Everyday all of them wrote Hare Krishna Mahamantra 5 times, they did Tulasi arati and chanted one round of Japa apart from Shravanam and Kirtanam.
If you would like to have a similar program at your area,
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Your servants from ISKCON Mira Road,
Krsnanandan Das and Bhagavati Kripa Devi Dasi