In summary, there are many ways in which to inspire the youth to take on more responsibility and commit themselves in Krishna Consciousness. Some of the key aspects could be:
To engage the youth in dynamic and exciting services
Allow the youth to get regular association of devotees that have dedicated their lives to Krishna Consciousness
Arrange for the youth to regularly gain each other’s association
Imbibe the principle of ‘People over projects’ and focus on every individual
Jammin’, as a project, is meant to help enlighten the youth of the world and is directed mainly at college students (15 to 18yrs old). This project is aimed to attract people, no matter what background they are from, and is a program tailored especially towards the younger audience. Having regular Jammin’ sessions builds an understanding and intimacy between people who otherwise may not socialize together. It is an activity that has long proved, and continues to prove, successful because people come together to meet, talk, dance, sing, and eat in an atmosphere that is both spiritual and social. Many people have started their journey in Krishna Consciousness through Jammin’, and have greatly developed in their personal spiritual life as well as giving Krishna Consciousness to others also. Jammin’ is platform to connect people to the philosophy, culture and spirit of Krishna Consciousness where they can really make their life, and the lives of those around them, special.
In summary, what Jammin’ is and what its purpose is can be summed up in the 3 following points:
Jammin’ is a program specifically tailored to college students.
It is a platform for students to make genuine relationships with devotees (also students).
Jammin’ sessions should allow attendees with the opportunity to experience the bliss of Krishna Consciousness through the philosophy, kirtan, prasadam and devotees association.
KC Soc stands for Krishna Consciousness Society. It’s important to understand the difference between university preaching and the regular forms of preaching carried out in Krishna Consciousness. At universities we understand that many students are not specifically looking for “religion”, but are looking for answers, spirituality or just to try something new.
We simply approach students who share an interest or curiosity in spirituality and invite them along to one of our sessions. Being at university doesn’t mean everyone is as open minded as it seems and therefore, we should try to introduce KC Soc to as many people as you can, but ensuring not to force your opinion on anyone. If you talk to someone, and find they are not interested towards the society, politely thank them for their time and move to someone else.
KC Soc is about introducing spirituality to students. It’s about giving spiritual solutions to material problems, answering the bigger questions in life and sharing knowledge from the Vedas. Emphasis on spirituality and not religion is key, this is a spiritual society. We try to slowly ease them into the teachings of the Vedas, which is catered towards students specifically. So although we don’t do Bhagavad Gita classes in the first event, we use interactive presentations which present the Veda’s in a digestible way. This method has proved successful, but in different locations different strategies can be trialed.
In essence, a KC Soc is a society that holds weekly or biweekly events with an interactive seminar and prasadam (often promoted as ‘free food’). A few weeks in to regular events, kirtan is also introduced as a fundamental aspect of the KC Soc event. The events usually start with a brief icebreaker, to warm up the crowd, which is followed by the seminar and concludes with prasadam.
After establishing a KC Soc at a university, it is important to consider its long term success. Often, people will not be at university for more than three years and therefore the current leaders must constantly be searching for some members to succeed them and take on the responsibility of organising a KC Soc in the future.
The mentorship system should be at the heart of youth group, and all preaching activities should be centred around it. The purpose of a mentorship system is to ensure that devotees within the youth group are cared for, and have some form of guidance in their spiritual life. As well as looking after the devotees’ spiritual life, mentors can look after their mentees in all aspects of their lives such as career, marriage and health.
The mentorship system allows devotees that have been Krishna Consciousness for some time, to share their knowledge and guide newer devotees in the youth group. Through such positive guidance, each person in the youth group should be cared for properly and helped to live a balanced spiritual life. Mentors should also have their own mentors, ensuring they are also spiritually nourished and taking guidance from senior devotees.