Teenagers go through a very special phase in life. They want to gradually establish themselves in this world, and want to be accepted as individual and almost grown-up personalities, with their own desires, talents, inclinations, hopes and plans for our future.
They don't like to be corrected and instructed by their parents any longer. They need other role models, heroes and mentors, who guide and inspire them. It does not mean that they are ungrateful to their parents, but now they want to be treated and respected as adults, and want to see their parents as friends to whom they may turn whenever we feel like.
They want to have some fun and explore the world. They need some adventure within the frame of Krishna consciousness - otherwise they might look outside for it. They want to experiment and learn from their own mistakes and decisions, and take responsibility for them. They don't like to be pushed and forced to do things - otherwise they might even become rebellious.
To offer such fun within the frame of Krsna consciousness, Devaki Dasi in conjunction with the Institute for Spiritual Culture organized an International Girls' Mela at the Jagannath Temple in Rajapur, just outside of Mayapur, at the end of February. The event was for girls between 13 and 20 years of age, coming from different parts of the world, many of them living permanently in Sri Dham Mayapur. Devaki conducted a seminar entitled "Fascinating Womanhood In Spiritual Culture". The topics included the differences between spiritual culture and material culture. She also elaborated on the power of chastity, two kinds of beauty, men's and women's nature, entering married life and so much more.
The whole event was conducted during four days - two nights they spent at the Guest House, and the last one camping outside in the seminar pandal at the beautiful Mango Grove behind the temple.
Every day started with mangal arti and darshan arti at the Temple. Afterwards they went on Harinam all the way to Kolavecha Sridhar's house, played some games and listened to Gaura Katha. At 9am they had a tasty and filling prasadam breakfast, and from 10:30am to 13:30pm was the seminar.
The girls found the seminar very intriguing, and it inspired them to ask many interesting questions, which deepened their understanding of the subject matter. Devaki gave they role plays to perform and they all had a good laugh.
During the afternoons they went swimming in a nearby pond, and Sri Hari Priya Dasi arranged harmonium lessons, Mehandi practice and foot reflexology demonstrations for they. In the evenings they had bonfires, and of course lots of great association with new as well as old friends.
The girls had a great Krishna-conscious experience and a lot of fun, and look forward to the 2018 gathering.[ girl ] [ kuli-mela ] [ mayapura ] [ vaishnavi ]