Science & Spirituality
BY: VANDANA KALRA
Dec 16, PUNE, INDIA (NEWSLINE) ISKCON in Pune is playing host to techies seeking spiritual and educational upliftment.
A few months at ISKCON transformed D M Devyadav from a rock drummer to a kirtan aficionado. His started waking up at 4 am everyday. 20-yr-old Devyadav, a second year student of chemical engineering at Institute of Technology (IT), Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi is one of the 60-odd students who are on a visit to International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Pune for a 14-day camp, which began on December 5.
Members of Bhaktivedanta Academy for Culture and Education (BACE), which teaches the ISKCON philosophy to the youth, these students are in the city for a workshop titled Nishtha. “The aim of the camp is to make these students the assets of society, so that they give back what they have received and contribute towards making the world a better place,” says Chaitanya Charan Das, spokesperson for ISKCON, Pune.
An annual workshop, which is in its sixth year, Nishtha has students from BACE camps associated with the Pune centre. This includes students from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, National Institute of Technology (NIT), Warangal, NIT, Surathkal and Institute of Technology (IT), BHU, Varanasi.
The workshop includes seminars where ISKCON faculty members and experts will deliver lectures on aspects like self awareness, personality development, character building, real and illusionary progress, sense gratification as poison and so on.
Pavan Kumar, fourth year student of engineering at IIT, Kharagpur, says, “Not only do the ISKCON courses calm us, but they also help us improve our relationships and lead to an improvement in our grades, as we are able to concentrate better.”
Interactive sessions are also an integral part of the workshop, wherein one-act plays, slide shows, presentations and group discussions are organised. The workshop also includes trips to Mumbai and Dehu, where they’ll visit the religious shrines of Sant Tukaram. During the Mumbai trip, that was held from December 9 to 13, the students were taken to the ISKCON hospital and school. “The experience was enlightening, as we got to meet several members of the ISKCON family,” says Aditya Mittal, second year, chemical engineering student at NIT, Warangal.
But how did friends and family react when they saw these youngsters taking to spiritualism and become members of BACE? Mittal says, “Friends were a little suspicious about what I was doing, but later they developed a respect for me.” Kumar shares a similar experience. “I even inspired my parents to join the ISKCON movement,” he reveals.