JKP Barsana Dham to Complete “Essentials of the Gita for Children & their Parents” Class in NY this August

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Inspired by the overwhelming response to parts 1 and 2 of its family Gita class, JKP Barsana Dham, the U.S. ashram of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, will offer the 3rd and final part of this intensive course in Long Island, NY this summer.

Swami Nikhilanandji teaching Gita to youth

One family said that at their teenage children's urging they cancelled a family trip during the spring break so they could attend part two of the class.

JKP Barsana Dham, the U.S. ashram of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, will present part three of "Essentials of the Gita for Children and their Parents", an intensive course on the Gita for the whole family. Parts one and two, delivered during the mid-winter and spring school breaks earlier this year, were attended by more than 120 adults and 60 youth, an unprecedented turnout for a week-long class on the Bhagwad Gita in the New York area. The classrooms at the Vaishnav Community Center, which hosted the event, were overflowing every night, as families learned how to apply the philosophy of the Gita into their life, one chapter of the Gita at a time. In part one of the class, offered in February, students learned the main topics of the first 6 chapters of the Gita. In part two, offered in March, they studied chapters 7 through 12. Part three of the class, to be offered August 22-28, will cover the remaining chapters of the Gita, 13 through 18. Part one (chapters 1-7) will be offered again this summer at a new location, the Asamai Temple in Hicksville, NY.

The course, designed so that both adults and kids can learn the main topics of the Gita in a relaxed and interactive setting, is presented by Swami Nikhilanandji, who is a pracharak of JKP Barsana Dham and a disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. It is specifically planned to happen during the school breaks so that youth can take full advantage of the hour-and-a-half-long program each evening. Two separate rooms are used, so that youth and adults can receive separate instruction according to their personal needs. Using this format, one chapter of the Gita is covered each night.

The program begins each evening with kirtan and vandana, followed by instruction to the youth on the most important points of that night’s chapter. One mother and father related that their son had spent the whole month in between parts one and two of the class in eager anticipation. Another family said that at their teenage children’s urging they cancelled a family trip during the spring break so they could attend part two of the class. Many took note of the insightful questions asked by the kids who showed that they were indeed processing the information and trying to understand it. The classes moved along quickly in order to keep up with all the kids’ questions. There was hardly a moment when there was not an enthusiastic hand in the air eager to get the answer to a burning question. Video highlights of the events can be viewed at Barsana Dham's You Tube channel.

Following their instruction, youth move into the media room to review their knowledge by playing a friendly game of Jeopardy. The Jeopardy questions challenge them to recall the information they have just learned in the class, while allowing an atmosphere of fun to prevail. Meanwhile, the adults, who have been watching a video speech by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj during the youth class time, return to the classroom to receive their lesson on that evening’s Gita chapter. Like the kids, the adults appreciate the clear explanation of Krishn’s teachings by Swami Nikhilanandji. Much time is also dedicated daily for question and answer with the adult group on that night’s topics. You can see photos of the past classes on Swami Nikhilanandji's Facebook page.

On the last day, youth are given an exam, and prizes are handed out for the highest scores, as well as for perfect attendance. All youth receive certificates of participation.

The final part of the “Essentials of the Gita” class (chapters 13-18) will be offered August 22-28, 2010 at the Vaishnav Community Center, 100 Lakeville Rd, New Hyde Park, NY 11040. The timings will be as follows: Sunday, August 22, 1:00-3:00 pm; Monday-Saturday, August 23-28, 7:00-8:30 pm. Part one of the course (chapters 1-7) is being offered at a second location August 8-15, 2010: Asamai Temple, 80 E. Barclay St, Hicksville, NY 11801. The timings for this course will be: Sundays, August 8 & 15, 11:30am-1:30pm; Monday-Saturday, August 9-14, 7:00-8:30 pm. The course is offered free of charge. For more information and to register, call (516) 281-5973.

Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP) is a religious, non-profit, charitable, educational organization that was founded in India by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. Shree Kripaluji Maharaj is the fifth original Jagadguru in the last 5,000 years. The main center of JKP in the West is Barsana Dham ashram in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1990 by the foremost disciple of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, His Divinity Swami Prakashanand Saraswati.

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