Devotional Pathways: Mentoring, Outreach & Personal Support
Our New Govardhana community consists of individuals and social groups of many varied types. It is nice to think that we can offer each other some personal support for our spiritual development; in times of personal need; for personal growth; in times of crisis; as well as when we just want to connect with other devotees. It is also our aim to connect newcomers with our more established members. Our Devotional Pathway programs attempt to respond to these needs.
Mentoring is a means by which new devotees can benefit from having personal guidance from a senior devotee. A mentor can be of assistance within all aspects of devotional life, including guiding individuals and groups in devotional practices; imparting scriptural knowledge; offering sound advice about life choices; responding to philosophical enquiries; offering encouragment in times of difficulty; and to act as a friend and a confidant. Mentors teach by example, as well as from knowledge of devotional life accumulated over years of personal experience.
It is the desire of our New Govardhana Mentorship Team to keep our program simple, flexible and individualistic, as we endeavor to cater for all different types of devotees desiring to be a part of our program:
Responsibilities of a Mentor:
- To guide the mentee in his/her general devotional and spiritual practices;
- To respond to philosophical enquiries by the mentee, in accordance with guru (the bonafide spiritual master), saddhu (devotees) and sastra (scriptural teachings). To assist the mentee in
- understanding the practical application of bhakti-yoga (devotional service to Lord Krishna);
- To assist (if requested) the mentee in making realistic, pragmatic and healthy decisions about his/her personal life as a new devotee;
- To encourage the mentee to dedicate as much time and attention as is possible to develop his/her Krishna consciousness;
- To act as a friend and confidant for the mentee, especially with regards to personal matters which may require confidentiality and sensitivity from a sympathetic person;
- To be present at any important communications/meetings between the mentee and the farm authorities, especially in the case of any conflict or grievance.
Responsibilities of a Mentee (mentee: one who is mentored):
- To act respectfully and conscientiously towards his/her mentor. To communicate appropriately and to show consideration for the mentor’s time and personal sacrifice in accepting the mentee;
- To at all times communicate to the mentor in a clear and logical way, what he/she needs or wants from the mentor;
- To make appropriate arrangements with the mentor, for how and when he/she will be able to meet with the mentor for discussion or any other type of engagements;
- To respect the mentor’s limitations, in terms of what the mentor is and is not willing to offer the mentee.
- Mentoring is also available for well-seasoned devotees who may feel a need for guidance in their devotional lives.
- Mentoring is available for both individuals and groups, according to our resources.
- For more information about our Mentorship Program, please contact our program coordinators.
Program Coordinator: Coming soon
Our Devotional Pathways program can offer university-qualified mediators, who have also completed our ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Mediators Training Course. Our mediation services attract a small fee.
For more information about our mediation services, please contact our program coordinator.
Program Coordinator: Krsnarupa Devi Dasi (ACBSP)
Ph: 0416 179 733
A brahmacarini is a female devotee undergoing training in devotional life as a celibate student. New Govardhana community has recently established our first brahmacarini program, including a facility for a womens asrama. Our brahmacarinis are fully engaged in performing devotional services within our temple and other farm departments, as well as adhering to strict devotional practices known as sadhana. All brahmacarinis strictly follow 4 regulative principles in their daily lives. These include:
- No illicit sexual engagement. Sex outside the sanctity of marriage is prohibited in order to maintain cleanliness and chastity within society;
- No eating of any type of meat, fish or eggs. Vegetarian foodstuffs only are permitted, as a meat-based diet destroys the quality of compassion. Hare Krishnas eat only foodstuffs offered to the deity;
- No taking of any type of intoxication. Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, tea etc. are prohibited substances. Indulgence in any of these destroys an individual’s ability to live austerely, which is a requirement for civilised human life; and
- No gambling. Gambling destroys the quality of honesty.
(Prabhupada, 1989, 4.26; 16.10; Prabhupada, 1987, 3.20.53)
Our brahmacarinis’ daily sadhana also includes chanting the maha mantra on Tulasi-beads; attending classes on the Hare Krishna philosophy; associating with other devotees; and participating in festivals and other temple programs. The maha mantra (meaning the ‘great mantra for deliverance’) is as follows:
hare krsna, hare krsna, krsna krsna, hare hare / hare rama, hare rama, rama rama, hare hare
Women interested in pursuing devotional life in accordance with ISKCON’s Hare Krishna philosophy can contact our Brahmacarini Program coordinator for further details.
The ancient Vedas of India teach that all living beings in this material world are suffering in some way. This is because all living beings are inherently spiritual by nature and as such, we all belong in the spiritual world. The only shelter from the suffering that comes from being materially embodied is the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, and His bona fide representatives. Through the mercy of Krishna’s representatives, such as the authorized spiritual master, a living being can receive the opportunity to re-enter the spiritual kingdom of God and put a permanent end to his/her suffering.
Our Outreach Programs aim to connect newcomers with devotees for purposes of helping newcomers to re-awaken their spiritual consciousness, by gaining knowledge about spiritual life. Our Devotional Pathways team offers a variety of outreach programs for this purpose. Some of these programs include congregational chanting of Krishna’s names; serving out sanctified food (prasadam); hosting home-programs; hosting public venue programs; and book-distribution. Such outreach programs are regularly offered to our congregational members as well as to the public, both within our own premises as well as in public.
Any individual or group desiring to learn more about our Outreach Programs can contact our program coordinators for further details.