Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

New Mayapur Rolls Out Their “Be a Monk for a Week” Programme
By Chandni Raj   |  May 05, 2023

New Mayapur rolls out their “Be a monk for a week” programme for young people to acquaint them with the practice of bhakti yoga. The programme gives hands-on training and direct immersion in the Vedic lifestyle to participants, mainly consisting of volunteers who visit New Mayapur to work on the community’s farms and gardens. Young men and women who come from non-devotee backgrounds with absolutely no knowledge of Krishna consciousness are introduced to the philosophy and culture by senior devotees living in the temple.

Participants sign up to live the devotee lifestyle in the brahmachari and matajis ashrams in the temple, wake up early morning for ablutions, wear devotee clothes and tilaks, attend the entire morning programme beginning with Mangala Arati to the Bhagavatham class, chant 16 rounds and finish the day by attending the evening programme. They take part in the weekly Harinam Sankirtan, participate in special courses on Vaishnava philosophy and the Bhagavad Gita (where they are encouraged to ask questions), and are engaged in various services in the temple. The programme also includes yoga classes, music workshops, mantra meditation workshops, and meetings with monks. The program’s first batch was successfully completed, with two volunteers deciding to remain in the temple to serve as full-time devotees.

“Discovering Krishna was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Bhagavad Gita gave answers to so many questions I had, and I feel at home with Krishna,” said Agustina, a participant from Argentina who now serves in the temple kitchen and also does graphic design for temple projects. She aims to be a Sankirtan devotee and is eager to learn book distribution. Theo, a participant from France, says he feels at ease in the temple and loves serving Krishna. He is keen to learn Vaishnava songs and more of the philosophy.

Anagha, a volunteer from South Africa, said, “I was supposed to leave but decided to stay back when I heard about this programme. I didn’t want to miss out on this amazing experience in life. I was confused between choosing Sufism or Krishna consciousness as my spiritual path. After this programme, I knew Krishna consciousness is the way.” A few participants were literally in tears and wished they didn’t have to return to their everyday lives back in their countries and promised to return soon to New Mayapur. “We want them to be comfortable first and foremost, and we first become friends with them and slowly handhold them through this process,” said Rita, one of the organizers of the programme.

“I was moved to see young volunteers attending Mangala Arati every morning and embracing Krishna bhakti,” said Hind, a full-time devotee in the temple, who had been a volunteer in New Mayapur a year earlier. “At that time, there was no “Be a monk” programme. It’s indeed wonderful that young people are given this experience and training to live the devotee lifestyle,” she added. “The tremendous positive response we received from participants in the first batch of this programme motivated us to continue it,” said Gandharvika Rai Devi Dasi, Vice President New Mayapur. “Our idea is to make them understand the beauty of Krishna consciousness, the love and warmth in the temple, and the peace of mind that comes from following a Sattvik lifestyle,” she explained.

To take part in the programme, please email or visit their website at

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