By Madhava Smullen
Following a global edition in April/May, the 18-hour Online Devotee Care Course, subtitled “Embedding Care in Krishna Conscious Communities,” will be offered specifically for devotees in North American timezones starting September 18th.
The ISKCON GBC Devotee Care Committee, an initiative of the GBC Strategic Planning Team, was officially mandated in 2017 and supported by GBC resolutions in 2017 and 2019. Pre-Covid, the Committee’s course on devotee care was offered in-person multiple times at various ISKCON centers around the world. Since the pandemic began, the course has been offered online instead.
Now, regional Devotee Care Coordinators for North America Nrismhananda Das and Vraja Raman Das are offering the course for up to 30 devotees from different “yatras” across the US and Canada, to inspire them to implement devotee care in their own local temples.
The course is suitable for leaders, caregivers, counselors, mentors, and any other devotees who would like to be involved in instituting devotee care within ISKCON and in their local, regional and national communities.
“Devotee care as a virtue is always there in ISKCON,” Vraja Raman says. “But the main aim of putting together a committee and a course is to create a framework and structure around it in such a manner that it can be implemented in a very systematic way. This ensures that it doesn’t get neglected, and becomes part of the institution. Just like each temple has a deity department, kitchen department and book distribution department, so we should also have a department of devotee care.”
The North American edition of the Online Devotee Care Course will be offered across eight sessions and four weekends, starting on Saturday September 18th, and ending on Sunday October 10th. Each Saturday and Sunday, a two-and-a-half-hour session will be offered, beginning at 9:30am EST / 6:30am PST, for a total of 18 hours of learning.
Devotees must register at devoteecare.org, and will receive a personalized Zoom link for the course. Sessions will also be recorded and posted at devoteecare.org for participants, so that they can rewatch sections they missed at any time.
Teaching the course will be Global Director for Devotee Care and Govardhana Ecovillage Director Gauranga Das; and Harivallabha Das, who has been a devotee at ISKCON Chowpatty for the past thirty years, and works as an HR representative for a multinational company in India. The two also developed the course content.
“Gauranga Prabhu will lay out the principles and vision of devotee care and its importance from the scriptural standpoint, discussing topics like how Chaitanya Mahaprabhu reciprocated with His devotees,” explains Vraja Raman Das. “Harivallabha Prabhu will talk about how to take those scriptural principles, and implement them practically in your yatra.”
Read more: https://iskconnews.org/online-devotee-care-course-aims-to-embed-care-in-krishna-conscious-communities,7940/