CDM Convention in Taiping
Posted by iskconklnews on February 26, 2009
By Srivas Caitanya dasa
On behalf of CDM Vision
Sri Jagannatha Mandir Kuala Lumpur
All glories to Srila Gurudeva
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to Sri Sri Nitai and Nimai
All glories to Sri Sri Jagannatha Baladeva and Subhadra Maiya
Please accept our humble obeisances
3rd Congregational Development Convention ? Taiping, Perak.
The congregational Development Ministry Vision team based in Kuala Lumpur, working in tandem with ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry in Mayapur, organized the 3rd Congregational Development Convention for Malaysian leaders in Taiping, Perak from the 9th ~ 11th January 2009.
The objective of the convention was to share, strategize and formulate ideas and plans for the systematic organization of congregational
development in each Yatra to further spur the growth of congregational development in Malaysia as a whole.
Hg Uttama Caitanya pr., HG Vishnu Caitanya pr., HG Srivas Caitanya Prabhu and HG Rasika Murari Prabhu from Sri Jagannatha Mandir Kuala Lumpur shared their experiences over the two days workshop. The main topics covered were on self development, sustenance and congregation devotee care and some basic concepts of Bhakti Homes. The emphasis was on the combined factor of form and substance, which alone could sustain the quality of growth and the continuity of our congregation in this millennium.
The summarized report was as follow.
The Bhagavatam class was conducted by HG Gaura Mandala Prabhu, after mangala arati and the japa session. HG said that he was pleased with the convention and mentioned that such efforts are indeed praise worthy and constituted important facets of the movement. As such, HG encouraged active participation from everyone concerned. HG also mentioned that he was looking forward to fresh CDM ties with Indonesia.
Participants were served with sumptuous prasadam.
The opening address was given by HG Uttama Caitanya Prabhu. HG opined that the convention was not to be treated as a formal seminar, instead he wished for it to be a sharing session for the benefit of all devotees and to pave the way forward for ISKCON Malaysia as a whole.
The day commenced with a session conducted by HG Rasika Murari Prabhu, entitled ?Diagnosis – Let?s not assume?. HG showed selected Srila Prabhupada?s letter (1968 ~ 1977) to his disciples emphasizing the importance of daily sadhana and studying his books. HDG emphasized that if these programs were not religiously followed, then every aspect Krsna consciousness will become a burden. HG also reminded the importance of daily sadhana. This was more so for preachers because the correct action and decisions now will have deeper impact on the lives of many souls that will soon embrace Mahaprabhu?s movement. As an example he quoted, ?If one were to plant a tree now, the generation to come can benefit from it for the next 400 years and similarly if we are serious in practice and preach this Sankirtana movement, then its benefits are more likely to extend for 10,000 years into the future.?
Thereafter, the session continued with a self analysis examination. In this session, the participants were examined with basic practical Krsna
consciousness questionnaires. This exercise was meant to assist the
participants to appraise their understanding and involvement in Krishna consciousness. It was a 40 minutes session which saw most of the participants completing on time.
HG Krishnacandra das Prabhu (VP2 of SJMKL) reminded everyone that HH Prabhavisnu Maharaj had once said that the cooperation among devotees was an all important quality and cautioned that if we failed in this aspect, then we are heading towards breaking everything that has been achieved thus far and we will soon become like any other society.
The second session for the day was undertaken by HG Uttama Caitanya Prabhu titled ?Developing taste – let?s not miss the point?. HG took participants down memory lane via a story entitled, ?What happened on the way to Krsna?. HG pointed out that ISKCON had undergone much hardship and turbulent moments immediately after the founder acarya of the movement; HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada had left his body. Many leaders and devotees alike were reported to have neglected the most vital issue; the development of Krsna prema, the prime reason for the formation of the society.
Many leaders are in agreement that most of the yatras appear to have no growth, lack spiritual zeal and enthusiasm, and that more importance is given to form than substance. HG highlighted the need for substance, Krsna consciousness, which is chanting and hearing; our basic essential sadhana.
He advocated that we develop genuine loving and caring relationships
between devotees. This HG said this will in turn nurture the devotees to further develop pure Krsna consciousness. HG also advised that yatras and temples must not be project based but should instead be devotee based; therein lay the real treasure and thus create a conducive environment for chanting and hearing for the further development of devotees in the yatra.
HG also implored that everyone should dwell in Caitanya Caritamrta on a daily basis as this would help to develop the intense love for fellow
devotees, just as Mahaprabhu did for His devotees.
1.30pm – 5.30pm
The participants were served sumptuous prasadam in the Lake Gardens by the Taiping devotees and outdoor activities were next on the agenda. Only a few games were possible as it started to rain, a common occurrence in this part of Malaysia.
After evening arati, HG Rasika Murari Prabhu shared the examination
results, which clearly highlighted weaknesses in self-development and its sustenance. The positive effect of the open exchange was that while it was unanimously agreed that more could be done to develop self improvement, everyone agreed that the best way forward was for a five day retreat and seminar to be conducted annually. This was considered an ideal way to learn the basic skills and substance of Krsna consciousness as a congregation. An important learning and conclusion was the general consensus that yatra leaders are genuinely needed to continue to lead the yatra and guide the devotees who are under their care.
Session 3 was addressed by HG Uttama Prabhu. HG mentioned that currently, the biggest neglect in ISKCON was the lack of proper japa or chanting mood. Activities such as preaching and festivals cannot function without chanting but chanting he said was an activity that could stand alone. HG advised that everyone must sit and chant for a minimum of at least 30 minutes a day. The foundation is all about chanting and hearing. HG recapped on the previous day?s questionnaire session and shared his vision for the future, wherein HG hoped for and encouraged the leaders to train themselves correctly first before imparting their divine knowledge to others.
The next session was the CDM operational meeting. HG Rasika Murari Prabhu presented the importance of congregational preaching scores that was undertaken by CDM Mayapur. HG also emphasized that the CDM secretariat, SJMKL is ever willing and ready to help any yatra to complete their preaching scores.
HG Srivas Caitanya Prabhu presented his strategy for the continuous
cultivation of homes that were visited during Damodara programs. HG shared his experience where these ?interested? homes were visited regularly by the preachers to cultivate the family members of these homes. HG called this program the ?Damodara Home Cultivation Program?. HG also advised that CDM SJMKL had established its own secretariat to carry out its preaching operations and activities. All the participants unanimously agreed to make the effort to meet again for the next CDM meeting, scheduled for June in Klang.
Our special note of appreciation goes out to Taiping Yatra, especially HG Yaduraj Prabhu and his dedicated and committed team for managing an exemplary organization for the event. The appropriateness of the conference venue, comfortable accommodation, the luncheon at Taiping Lake Garden, the ample and delicious Prasadam made this event a most memorable one.
There were numerous outcomes that were both delightful and enlightening, discovered over the two days Vaishnava Sanga. The most prominent aspect was the growth in the participation and the seriousness with which participants excelled themselves and helped others along the way deserves mention. The immense bliss, joy and experience gained in the midst of like-minded Vaishnavas association were priceless. This was definitely a small step forward towards a progressive and vibrant congregational development for the betterment in the near future, in Malaysia specifically and South East Asia generally. A vision inspired by our beloved Gurumaharaj HH Jayapataka Swami, a stalwart and doyen in the field of Congregation Development.