9615964496?profile=RESIZE_584xBy Madhava Smullen 

A new ISKCON Youth Ministry initiative, loosely based on the Mormon Mission trips and dubbed “The Krishna Conscious Gap Year Experience,” was endorsed by the GBC Executive Committee in a March 2021 letter to ISKCON leaders. Now, various international temples are piloting the program. 

“The idea is to create incentives for our young people to spend a semester – three, six, or nine months – or an entire gap year, living at a temple,” says ISKCON Youth Minister Manorama Das. “There, they would get to experience ashram life, study the scriptures via the Bhakti Sastri curriculum or similar, and absorb themselves in missionary activities.” 

Young people aged 18 and older would typically take time off after high school, and before entering college or university, to dedicate to full-time missionary service in ISKCON. Potential candidates could be youth who grew up in ISKCON, college students new to Krishna consciousness who wish to experience living with monks, or young people who recently joined the Hare Krishna movement and feel they may benefit from residential, in-person ashram training. 

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