on Aug. 30, 2008
Over two hundred children from the Bhaktivedanta National School in Mayapur, India, held their own congregational chanting parade this August 19th. They were accompanied by school staff members, parents, visiting pilgrims, and members of the local Nagara Sankirtan chanting party.
The parade left the school’s main gate at 4pm, danced in front of the temple’s Pancha-Tattva deities, and continued on to the Goshalla cow barns, householder living area, and Samadhi of Srila Prabhupada before returning to the school at 6pm. “The five mridanga drums and many cymbals and other musical instruments created a beautiful sound, but it was the purity of the children that made the biggest impression on people,” says Shastra Dasa of the Mayapur Nagara Sankirtan Department.
His department organizes Harinamas (chanting parties) for the children on a regular basis, and has a special "Harinama Rikshaw" that can seat up to twelve small children.
Other ISKCON communities around the world have organized similar events. In Ghana, Africa, the students of Lord Krishna’s Academy held a beach harinama that caught the attention of a Reverend Minister from the local Catholic Church. "I have heard your members singing and dancing many times," he commented. "But the way the children sing touches the heart in a unique way."
"Singing kirtan is a very important element of our society," Shastra Dasa says. He hopes that parents everywhere will encourage their children to develop the taste for harinam at an early age.
“Please organize more children’s harinams in your temples and communities,” he says. “Catch them young, and they will become future kirtan leaders!”