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Proposed List of Standards for Boys, public relations files, circa 2. Letter to the editor, Life magazine, Dec. Krsna kids touring America, IWR 4. Four new gurus appointed, IWR 5. Hare Krsna kids rate high in general awareness test, IWR 5. Dear Jagadish Maharaja, anonymous letter from a mother, click here to read the letter GBC Resolution, GBC Resolutions, One Account of Child Abuse, anonymous, posted at the V. Vrindavana Gurukula, by Nirmal-chandra, author's collection, Excerpt from Priti-laksanam, by Kunti, The Children of Krishna, Inc. My Life Story, by S. McKee, author's collection, GBC resolutions, Maria Ekstrand, An analysis of Dr. Rochford admits he felt caught in an internal political struggle when encouraged to publish his paper click here Hi everyone, by Bhakta Visvareta, author's collection, Cases Resolved by the Child Protection Office, vnn. Following are several examples. For the entire list, click here. One should participate in all kirtans [musical chanting ceremonies]. One should not avoid bowing down before the Deity. One should not bow down on one hand or in some other extraordinary way. One should not offer obeisances silently [prayers while bowing down]. One should not enter the temple room to worship the Lord until he has washed his hands and feet after eating. One should not pass air or belch before the Deity. One should not play with or throw flowers in the temple room. One should not turn his back to the Deities. One should fold his hands or raise his arms before the Deity during kirtan. One should not engage in conversation before the Deity. All students are expected to sit up properly and listen to Bhagavatam class [morning scriptural reading]. There should be no talking during Bhagavatam class. One's hands should be kept folded in his lap during Bhagavatam class one should not play with anything or fidget. One should not sleep during Bhagavatam class. If tired one may stand, but not lean on the wall or columns. Only initiated boys are allowed to perform guru puja, tulasi puja [temple ceremonies], or fanning Prabhupada in the temple. There should be no fighting for any reason in the temple room. In I served as a teacher's assistant for a boy's ashram at the Los Angeles gurukula. Over the past eight years I have also interviewed dozens of second generation youth about their experiences in the gurukula. In I conducted a non-random survey of second generation youth in North America. Click here to read Rochford, back to timeline Life Letter to the Editor: The Krishna children was a very good cover indeed. There is not a North American alive who has spent any time in a big city and has not seen the funnily dressed bald men chanting and banging tambourines while dancing down the sidewalk. Most would like to learn more about them, especially about their children and what kind of upbringing they are receiving. The following IWR interview with Jagadish sets the official party line for gurukula. Challenging this image was considered blasphemy. What is gurukula's purpose and what did Srila Prabhupada say about it? Gurukula is a scientific system for preparing children to live effective human lives as devotees of the Lord and prepare themselves for the time of death when they can transfer themselves back home, back to Godhead. Srila Prabhupada told us to follow the guidelines given in the Vedic scriptures, such as Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the Seventh Canto the sage Narada outlines the basic principles: What does gurukula actually mean? It's a Sanskrit word meaning "the place of the guru, or spiritual master. Our first gurukula was in Dallas in It was the only gurukula for about five years. Then, in , we decided to start many more gurukulas. Now we have twenty-four in eighteen countries. What do you consider to be the most important subjects taught in gurukula? Srila Prabhupada said our students should learn English and Sanskrit, so they can read our books of Vedic philosophy. And he said they should learn a little mathematics, some history, and geography, so they won't be thought of as being unaware of the everyday aspects of life in the material world. But mainly, we just try to teach them to become nice devotees of the Lord, and give them some practical skills they can use to serve Krishna when they grow up. How long does a gurukula education last? In , Srila Prabhupada told us that the gurukula is meant for children up to twelve years old, and after that they should go to a college that would be based on varnasrama dharma, the system of social organization taught in the Vedas. Each boy would be trained according to his special physical and psychological nature. We now have two varnasrama college programs--one at the New Vrindaban farm community in West Virginia, and the other at our center in Vrindavana, India. The Vrindavana college specializes in education for boys inclined to be brahmanas priests and ksatriyas administrators. The curriculum for brahmanas will emphasize philosophy, which will be learned from Srila Prabhupada's books. The students will learn logic and argument, so that they will be able to convince people of the value of Krishna Consciousness through writing or speaking. Those boys training to be ksatriyas will also study philosophy from Srila Prabhupada's books. In addition, they will learn about management, finances, and government. And the vaisya farmers and merchants and sudras workers and craftsmen? They will study at our New Vrindaban college, where they will work as apprentices under devotees expert in farming, cow protection, and various arts and crafts, such as painting, woodworking, masonry, and so forth. Are girls taught any differently than boys? Both girls and boys receive the same training in gurukula. But after that, instead of going to varnasrama college, the girls will be trained in devotional arts, such as painting, making jewelry, sewing, cooking, and so forth. Some will learn secretarial skills. All these talents will be useful both in the home and in the temple, for serving the Deity. What has happened in the last five years to standardize and improve the gurukula? Well, we've got a basic structure now for our language arts curriculum. The system we used to teach the basic reading and writing is called "Let's Read. Why did Srila Prabhupada so much stress the gurukula system? He once wrote, "If such children are given practical guidance on the transcendental platform above the bodily and mental conception of life, then they will develop into perfect citizens--moral, honest, hard-working, law abiding, clean, faithful to home and country. That is the unmatched success of our Krishna Consciousness schooling system. Introduce it nicely so that your countries' leaders will see something very nice and come to our assistance. How many students are there in the gurukula system now whose parents are not initiated devotees? Does it seem to be growing? Yes, more and more people are taking interest. The condition of public schools, especially in America, is forcing sincere parents to seek alternative approaches. It's only a matter of time. In an article about two Lake Huntington students, I included three paragraphs of P. In all of the ISKCON gurukula schools, children are required to study English, Sanskrit, mathematics, history, geography, natural science, art, and music. But, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada taught that the essence of the gurukula system is to train the children to become pure devotees of Lord Krsna. Therefore, the students are primarily trained in the science of bhakti-yoga, devotional service to the Lord. As explained in Srila Prabhupada's writings, "Our eternal relationship with God can be revived in the human form of life, and that should be the goal of education. Indeed, that is the perfection of life and the perfection of education. One that they are particularly enthusiastic about is supervised distribution of transcendental literature in malls, stores, and door-to-door in private homes. Members of the public often question the children about the Krsna Consciousness philosophy, giving them added incentive to study Srila Prabhupada's books. In May , when IWR published the following article, the system and the perpetrators were well-established.
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