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University preaching?

Friday, 09 February 2007 / Published in Announcements / 3,579 views

By David Jorm

Submitted by Phanisvara dasa (namahatta.org)

Hare Krishna all!

I would like any advice on running a successful university program. Here in Melbourne, Australia, we do not have a presence at any of the universities and the word from the devotees is they have been ‘hard to crack’.

Orientation week for the new students arriving is in a few weeks and, as I am a part time student and can get a free stall from the student union, I would like to use the oppurtunity to run some kind of program.

Many Christian, Buddhist and Islamic groups run stalls at orientation week, usually distributing literature and making contact to the faithful who arrive new to the city. The approach for ISKCON to take probably needs to be a bit more missionary, so my idea is to run a stall giving out some small prasadam like sweets or snacks to draw a crowd, have devotees there to talk to the crowd and distribute books to those interested and then invite everyone who takes prasad to come to a kirtan on the lawn later on.

We could perhaps schedule two kirtans and give people little cards showing them where to go and when. When the time for kirtan comes, we could leave one person on the stall, then pull out the mrdanga and start a harinam procession to the appointed place on the lawn, sit down and have a kirtan. Anyone left standing we can then speak to further.

Does this sound like an appropriate program? Does anyone have a different idea, or some experience running something similar that was successful?

Your input is most appreciated.

Your servant, David Jorm

Shyamasundara Prabhu
Day Three and Four of the G.B.C. Meetings

One Response to “University preaching?”

  1. aniruddha says :

    Interesting, that you ask. We had a very successful Vegetarian Club at Melbourne Uni in the ’80’s. Too successful, in fact. The Student Union eventually changed the area we distributed meals from a wet area to a dry area in order to stop us despite the fact the students voted to keep the Vegetarian Club in a referendum held expressly to decide its fate the previous year.

    I know a number of Australian leaders who came from that program which was originally started by Kurma and Cakra. Why don’t you write to Kurma and see what he thinks might work in this day and age?

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