YPT, a recent youth outreach training course at ISKCON Pune, India proved a grand success, with 68 senior devotees taking Level 1 from April 19th to 22nd, and 58 taking Level 2 from April 23rd to 26th.
The courses taught self-purification and practical youth outreach strategies, emphasizing the importance of balancing service and spiritual practices to achieve enduring success. It also explained how to apply strategies according to time, place and circumstance, and how to work with local temple presidents. Its main focus was learning how to encourage dedicated, talented, and sincere youth to join ISKCON temples, both as celibate monks and married volunteers.
In the aftermath of the course, a facilitator from ISKCON Pune will be available by email or phone to help attendees successfully connect with groups of youth and encourage them regularly visit their local temple.
“The course gathered a varied group of devotees under the same umbrella, and gave them all the opportunity to develop loving friendships with Sri Krishna and Srila Prabhupada in the center,” says ISKCON Pune temple president Radhe Shyam Dasa. “Although it’s a humble endeavor, I think previous saints would have been pleased.”
Radhe Shyam suggests that ISKCON leaders provide those who attended his course with a number of things: time and facilities for beginning a college outreach program; facilities for nurturing youth through Krishna conscious education and culture; the chance to visit Pune once or twice a year during downtime; and basic encouragement for youth outreach. That way, he says, they can expects results in 3 to 5 years in the form of dedicated youth leaders.
“One of my humble desires in life is to see every ISKCON temple have a team of fifty dedicated monks and 1,000 married congregational members, who can create a dynamic and vibrant spiritual atmosphere,” Radhe Shyam says. “These courses for youth outreach volunteers in India and abroad are our first steps in this direction.”