In the News

In the News:
When Generation Y becomes Generation Why

by Ujjayini Das, Panigrahi
The Indian Express

Posted January 20, 2005

Mumbai, December 1: You're young. You've got the cameraphone, the sharp clothes, the latest CDs, and money to burn. You've got everything.

Or is something missing? Like, how's your soul?

That's the question Mumbai's young men seem to be asking themselves as more and more turn to the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple at Girgaum in Chowpatty. In these times of plenty, hundreds of young single men turn to ISKCON for spiritual guidance.

The number of single young men attending their monthly 'Prerna' enlightenment discourses -- which cover everything from stress management to future goals -- has been rising and now regularly touches 800. "Even we're amazed at how numbers are swelling," says regular 'Prerna' attendee Vraj Bihari Das, an MBA graduate and postgraduate in Economics.

At Tuesday's 'Prerna' session, the hall was packed with young men for Radhanath Swami Maharaj's discourse on "Why Bad Things Happen to Good People". They laughed on cue, echoed the 'Hari-Bols' at the right times and hung on every word.

"What you are undergoing today is actually nature's reaction to your past deeds," intoned the Swami. "If you kill 100 men, the law of the land may kill you once, but nature will find a way to kill you 100 times. And that is Karma."

"These meditations help me to concentrate on my studies," says Nipuna Tandon, a science graduate and postgraduate of IIT Mumbai who finds no conflict between his scientific and spiritual worlds. "If you think a little deeply, the entire process is scientific."

Young women are seeking out ISKCON's brand of enlightenment too, at sessions entitled 'Chetna'. "The transformation I have gone though since I started coming here is amazing," says 26-year-old former Sahara Airlines employee Kavitha Jajoo (name changed on request). Jajoo has been a 'Chetna' regular for the past three years. Now it's impossible to imagine her in modern clothes. Dressed in a sari and head-covering, her days revolve around Sattvik food, chants of the Lord's name and service at the temple.

Bars and discos may be spilling over, but the Swami's tribe is growing. Hari Bol!