30 Tips to take some services in ISKCON Temples!
Actual Qns from two devotees:
(1) “Hare Krishna. I am very benefited by your counsellings. I am new to ISKCON. Now, I have changed my job and I have holidays on sat and Sundays. I want to do some services in ISKCON temple. What services I can do there? Please guide me.”
(2) An army soldier asked like this (Name hidden):
Hare Krishna Prabhuji. My question is that, After retirement I want to serve with ISKCON. I am about 51 years of age having a son and daughter of 22 & 19 of age respectively. Which kind of service performed by me being a retired soldier after 28 years of service? I am reading serially 8th canto of Shrimad bhagwatam. Please Guide.
Getting service in ISKCON temples is not very difficult one if you are maintaining four regulative principles and chanting because, the managements need devotees to render services.
First, you need to evaluate your family background before selecting the kind of service you can do. Everyone should select a service according to his/ her family situation and natural inclination towards a certain service.
(BOOK DISTRIBUTION – WHY IT IS THE BEST SERVICE FOR DEVOTEES? READ HERE!)
(I) If you have no family commitments, you can stay in temples after getting diksha and do all the possible services to Lord from temple. But, in your case, you have a son and daughter. You need to settle your daughter in a marriage. Even after marriage, you need to take care of her delivery, etc.
(II) If your son is willing to take care of your wife, you may take more services from ISKCON temples. In case, your presence is needed more in your family, do not neglect it. You can visit the temples regularly after perfoming family assignments and do possible services to the temples.
In many temples, I have noted that there will be a long queue for Prasadam. But, after taking Prasadam, most of the devotees leave the temple. They won’t bother what the temple devotees will do after we leave as they have to remove 100s of food plates/ leaves, clean the plates, clean the dining hall, cleaning the temple hall, etc.
(AFTER COMING TO DEVOTION, I HATE MARRIAGE AND LIKE TO SETTLE IN THE TEMPLE. CAN I DO SO? READ HERE!)
And, the services are more ONLY ON SUNDAYS AND FESTIVAL DAYS in ISKCON temples. Week days will be free there. Therefore, since you are free on weekends, you can take part on Sundays alone. That is good.
LIST OF SERVICES AVAILABLE IN TEMPLES
So, there are many services for the devotees in any temple. You can help in any one or more of the following:
(1) Temple cleaning and maintaining.
(2) Taking care of cows if the temple is protecting cows.
(3) Washing the clothes used for deities.
(4) Arranging Bringing the goods and vegetables required for preparing prasadam every day.
(5) Cooking, vegetable cutting, etc.
(6) Dressing the deities and the murthy of Srila Prabhupada.
(I like to join ISKCON to become a Member and Practice Devotion. How to Join? READ HERE!)
(7) Getting some books of Srila Prabhupada and distributing them to the people in any place where more people assemble. You can do this outside Ganesh, Shiva temples, Vishnu temples, Divya desams, etc whenever there is a crowd. This book mdistribution is the most preferred service one can do to please the founder Acharya Srila Prabhupada and get his blessings.
(8) Another best service for your temple will be collecting some donations for temple like introducing life patrons or even small donors that will help in the management of the temple.
(9) Preaching to the visitors in the temple. You can also do some preaching works that will increase the number of devotes in your temple. Preaching must be done according to your level of learning. It must be done only under the advice of your senior devotees. However, giving a book of Srila Prabhupada to someone will be the best preaching as he has written everything.
(Krishna or Krishna’s Service as target – which one is right for devotees? READ HERE!)
(10) Clerical and counter collection service.
(11) If you know accounts, you can help in maintaining the accounts of the temple properly.
(12) Going to banks, post offices, courier, etc.
(13) Preparing garlands for the Lord and Srila Prabhupada.
(14) Distributing Prasadam to the visitors on sundays and festival days. You can also sponsor Prasadam on any days like the birthdays, wedding days, memorial days, etc.
(15) Protecting the Tulasi plant in the temple.
(16) Type setting the printing works, proof reading, etc.
(18) Pasting the stamps and address slips to the mailing lists to send the monthly news letters of temple to the subscribers.
(19) Maintaining online services in the temple.
(20) Drawing beautiful Rangoli inside and outside the temple.
Thus, there are many services for you to do in any ISKCON or any Temples.
(My Parents do not allow me to go to ISKCON. What shall I do? READ HERE!)
HOW TO PERFORM OUR SERVICES?
(21) Therefore, first visit the nearest ISKCON temple for 4-5 sundays as a new devotee. Get introduced with the devotees there. Request them to offer any service to do from the above lists.
(22) They will be pleased to give you the service you like the most. You need not have any membership with ISKCON to do these services. Just start going to temple and take part in the classes and kirtans. First become comfortable with the atmosphere there for a few weeks.
(23) However, only in the case of cooking for Krishna in kitchens, there are certain rules that you can get clarified with the temple president of your area temple. Other works can be done by any devotee.
(24) During festivals, the temple may need more service from you that you can do according to your situation.
(25) If you like to do any one or two services from the above list, you can perform them. Get the approval of your temple manager before that.
(26) If your family needs your support, select a service that can be done even as a grahastha in spare time. In case you are free, stay in temple and do a service from there.
(27) Just do your services and come back to home if you are not a resident devotee. That is enough. No other things are necessary for you. Don’t see any other administrative issues in the temple, issues, extra unwanted talks about any other devotees, etc. If you are a resident devotee, be humble and understand the needs of the temple and perform your dedicated services.
(28) If you come back to home after serving in the temple, take care of your routine activities keeping Krishna in mind. This will make your life very happy and blissful. This is how, a devotee should associate with the temple.
All the best.
(How to involve your ego in Krishna’s service? Practical Tips! READ HERE!)