Here's a Krsna conscious project you might like to support or get involved in. We'll tell you what the goals are, who's involved, what's going on, what's blocking the way, and how you can give a hand.
Manor Youth Forum (MYF).
Bhaktivedanta Manor, London.
Shamir Tanna, 23, from London, a Nama-Hatta (congregation) member since 1984. Shamir implements his ideas under the guidance of Akhandadhi Dasa (Manor president), Sruti Dhara Dasa, and Sita-Rama Dasa.
To reach the young people, ages 16 to 24, in the temple's congregation and involve them in Krsna consciousness, individually and as a group.
The MYF was set up in September 1989 by a group of young people active in the Manor's congregation. Monthly meetings attract between 150 and 200 for dramas, debates, discussions, prasadam, and kirtanas with electric instruments.
"The challenge," says Shamir Tanna, "is to show young people absorbed in their education, work, and home life that Krsna consciousness is relevant and vital to them."
"Rather than give lectures, we organize debates where people can freely express their opinions on spiritual issues."
The interest spawned from these meetings grows on Sunday evening through study, association with devotees, and practical service. Many of the young people are involved in door-to-door sankirtana. They spread the word of Krsna consciousness at festivals and other youth events.
Last summer, fifty members of the MYF went on a five-day excursion to Radhadesa, the ISKCON community at a renovated castle in Belgium. They took part in the temple program, had extra classes, and went to the Rathayatra festival in Antwerp. The MYF produces its own quarterly magazine and has set up several weekly programs in colleges its members attend.
Nurturing the spiritual lives of such a large number of young people, all with materialistic pressures and influences on them, calls for serious and increasing commitment from many devotees. It is a difficult program to maintain in the face of other temple needs.
The MYF wants to provide opportunities for young people to take a sabbatical from work or college and gain the benefit of a year's training in the asrama. Last September six members of the MYF took this up.
The MYF would also like to increase the number of Krsna conscious programs at universities and colleges, continue the theater workshops recently started, and sponsor annual excursions. Next year the members plan to travel to New Mayapur, ISKCON's farm community in France.
How You Can Help
l Attend monthly programs at the temple.
l Set up educational programs at your college.
l Fund various MYF projects.
For further information, contact:
Shamir Tanna or Sita-Rama Dasa at Bhaktivedanta Manor, Letchmore Heath, Watford, Hertfordshire WD2 8EP, U.K. Phone: (0923) 856269.
Elsewhere: Help set up or take part in similar programs through the Hare Krsna temple nearest you.