21 November 2014

Homeschool - My Best Friend Krishna - Worksheet for 4-5 yr old

Here is a worksheet to introduce Krishna as the best friend to four to five year old children.

The idea is to make them understand that Krishna is everyone's best friend and that other relationships may one day leave but Krishna never leaves. We can communicate with Krishna, our best friend through chanting.

Arjuna and Sudama's stories can to told to show how Krishna takes care of His friends.

My Best Friend Krishna.docx

The Apparent Paradox: Self-confidence and Humility

HG Mahatma (ACBSP) dasa: The Apparent Paradox: Self-confidence and Humility How do we maintain self-confidence, yet feel ourselves a fool before our spiritual master? How can we be confident and simultaneously feel unqualified to serve Krishna? Arent self-confident people somewhat proud or arrogant?

We are ordinary people engaged in an extraordinary process, a process that will make us extraordinary. Thus, our confidence lies not in ourselves, but in the power of the process of bhakti.

With Krishnas divine power and intelligence guiding us, we know we will succeed.... I can feel lowly, even useless, yet still be confident that Krishna can use me to do wonderful service. Its even possible, by the grace of the guru, that a disciple can do more than his spiritual master, even though feeling totally unqualified to serve (actually, he does so much because of feeling unqualified to serve). Externally, Prabhupada achieved more than his guru. Yet, he always gave credit to his spiritual master.

Its interesting to note that Prabhupada writes in the Bhagavatam that he is hopeful one of his disciples will become pure enough to take him back to Godhead......

Homeschool - Disciplic Succession - Parampara Worksheet for 4-5 yr old

Here is a lesson plan to introduce Gaudiya Vaishnava diciplic succession or parampara to 4 to 5 year old children.

Parampara Worksheet.docx

Parampara Disciplic Succession Worksheet.pdf


1, The activity is designed like a treasure hunt. The treasure here is Srila Prabhupada.
2. The blocks on the Parampara Disciplic Succession Worksheet.pdf are paper pockets with names and numbers on them.
3. Print and cut the acharyas' pictures and write on them the same number that is on the pocket they are to be hidden in to. Acharyas whose pictures that are not in the picture file may be written in a piece of paper and inserted in to the respective pockets.

4. Show Bhagavad Gita to the children and ask them to the draw the book in the first page of the activity sheet. Encourage them to draw Lord Krishna, Arjuna, the chariot, the horses and the weapons.
5. Ask them the following questions.
a.What did Lord Krishna speak to Arjuna in the battle field of Kurukshetra?
b.Who gave us Bhagavad Gita?
6. Let one child find Krishna's picture in pocket number 1. Explain how Krishna is God and how He knows everything.
7. Let another child search for pocket number 2 in some other page and find Lord Brahma. Explain a little about who is Lord Brahma and how Krishna revealed Bhagavad Gita to him from his heart. In this way every child gets an opportunity to search for a pocket according to the number and finds an acharya. A small and exciting story about the acharya may be told.
8. At the end, Srila Prabhupada is be found and we can explain how Srila Prabhupada translated and explained Bhagavad Gita to all of us.
9. This activity can go up to 2 hrs depending on the group.
10. It can also be used any number of times and as kids grow we can give them more information about the acharyas.

Hours of Krishna Conscious story telling ahead!

02 November 2014

Homeschool - Krishna's Ornaments : Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam worksheets for 4-5 yr old kids

Here are a few worksheet to teach 4-5 year old kids about the transcendental ornaments of Lord Krishna.

  • Kids can look at the picture of Krishna on the first page and guess the missing ornaments.
  • They can attempt to draw the ornaments themselves.
  • Parents or carers can cut out the ornaments in the second page and ask them paste those on Krishna's picture.
  • Kids may be made familiar with the names of the ornaments.
  • In addition they can draw Kausthuba jewel and a pearl necklace.
  • Krishna and His ornaments may be coloured and further decorated.
  • Pastimes related to the ornaments can be discussed. Eg: Kausthuba jewel was offered to Krishna by the naga patnis, wives of Kalia serpent, Krishna's Vaijayanthi mala is made up of 5 kinds of flowers... 
  • In the last page, kids can try to match the names of the ornaments with the pictures. This exercise is more suitable for those who are familiar with reading.
Hope this will help our children to meditate on the transcendental ornaments of Lord Krishna.

Krishna's Ornaments Worksheet

06 August 2014

Dangers of Fermented Knowledge

Roughly one remembers only 10 to 20 % of what he or she reads. As a new devotee when we read Srila Prabhupada's books, 50 % for the contents would have bounced over our heads. With great enthusiasm of having found the holy grail of spirituality, we would have read the entire Bhagavad-gita in a few sittings trying to assimilate the contents of the great book.

We wouldn't have, at that time, been keen on taking notes or even bookmarking those pages that may have required re-reading. We may have ignored expressions such as 'three types of miseries' that didn't have an explanation close to it, and may have also forgotten to later find out more about it.

In great enthusiasm, which is the topmost qualification in spiritual life that is mostly found in new bhaktas, we all would have devoured Srila Prabhupada's nectarean books written for the benefit of souls for the next ten thousand years to come.

Later on we have all attempted to become preachers in our own capacities. We classified ourselves into various categories of preachers depending on the mode of transport we use. Nevertheless, the very attempt made to preach the Holy Name of the Lord is commendable. All glories to those devotees who are active preachers.

Now, that said and done, what about the content we are actually preaching? Coming back to the fact that one roughly remembers only 10 to 20% of what he or she reads, preaching based on initial reading is no doubt inadequate.

Then comes hearing: how many of our senior devotees actually read Srila Prabhupada's books every day or at least study and prepare for a Bhagavatam class before actually delivering a lecture to eager devotees?
So, if all of us are dependent on our weak memory to deliver lectures and to fuel our short preaching endeavours, what gain is there to the listener? With very little of what we remember our tricky minds would most probably fill the gaps with self-made or somebody else's speculation. This is a dangerous trend. And I call it fermentation of knowledge. Yoghurt that ferments goes bad after a period of time. But one spoon of yoghurt mixed with fresh milk would give more tasty fresh yoghurt. Similarly, if our knowledge is cultured daily with fresh first-hand reading and studying of Srila Prabhupada's books, our preaching will be authentic.

Hence Srila Prabhupada wrote:
"If there is lack of knowledge, or if there is forgetfulness, everything will be spoiled in time. So especially you must encourage the students to read our books throughout the day as much as possible"
(Letter to Hamsaduta -- Los Angeles 22 June, 1972)

If not we will be vomiting the stale fermented knowledge over and over again to innocent newcomers and this unhealthy trend will go on. Maybe this is why Srila Prabhupada insisted on book distribution rather than our two minute preaching.

He wrote:
"If these books are read, there is no doubt that many sincere souls shall be attracted and will join you in your work for Krishna. So please try for selling these books, it shall be considered as the greatest service"
(Letter to Gurudasa -- Los Angeles 1 December, 1968)

The words of the Acharya are so powerful that simply repeating like a parrot can liberate one from the vicious cycle of birth and death. Let us on a mission mode make reading Srila Prabhupada's books a must for all the devotees. Let this be a pre-requisite qualification for initiation like chanting 16 rounds.

Srila Prabhupada insisted:
"If they will simply take to reading this transcendental literature we are presenting, the same reading capacity will elevate them to the highest perfection of spiritual life"
(Letter to Harer Nama -- London 6 November, 1969)

"If we remain strong in our own literature, we can meet anyone else without any fear"
(Letter to Damodara Pandita -- New York 17 July, 1976)

If we do not insist on reading, our mission will end up as another sentimental cult bereft of any value. And that would be the greatest disservice done to His Divine Grace.

Source: http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/editorials/07-14/editorials11966.htm