(iskconnews.org) – ISKCON News | Devotee-Owned Travel Agency Connects Community Support with Commerce
Owner of Fly Sacred Gaura Narayan and his wife, Shruti Rupa, on their wedding day.
Within the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), a question often arises for the devotee—how does one balance family life with dedicated service to the movement? Gaura Narayana Das stands as a testament to transcending this challenge. A former brahmachari, he has seamlessly transitioned into the roles of a family man and a pioneering business owner. His brainchild, Fly Sacred, represents not only a travel agency but also a bridge connecting spirituality, commerce, and community support within the ISKCON sphere.
Born into a military family, Gaura Narayana’s upbringing was defined by discipline and service—a precursor to the values he’d later mirror in his spiritual journey. His education led him to London, where his academic pursuits intersected with a profound discovery of Krishna Consciousness.
As a young devotee navigating the rich cultural tapestry of London, he found himself drawn to the practice and principles of ISKCON and became a brahmachari. Later, he discerned a transition to family life. It dawned on him that young devotees transitioning from ashram life into married life and family often needed more structured support or sustainable economic pathways.
His business, Fly Sacred, emerged as an answer — a devotee-owned travel agency that not only serves the community’s travel needs but also gives back by supporting smaller preaching projects within ISKCON. It fed his aspirations to serve and the necessity for sustainable initiatives within the ISKCON community.
In our recent interview, Gaura emphasized that Fly Sacred aims to foster an internal economic ecosystem within ISKCON. The initiative supports traveling preachers, sannyasis, and other members by handling their flight bookings, ensuring a hassle-free experience as they extend the reach of Krishna Consciousness.
“Supporting these projects through our business becomes a way of making the act of travel a sacred one, contributing to the spread of Krishna Consciousness,” Gaura Narayana prabhu explained.
He passionately articulated the need for such initiatives, highlighting the challenges many devotees face in balancing family responsibilities and continuing their preaching endeavors. Post-COVID, the overlapping donor pools and general grantor conflicts of interest emerged as a substantial problem, making sustaining preaching efforts challenging.
“We need solutions that bridge the gap between supporting our families and upholding our service to Srila Prabhupada’s mission,” Gaura expressed, underscoring the necessity for sustainable economic models within ISKCON.
Beyond Fly Sacred, Gaura Narayana envisions this initiative as an example, a model to inspire others to establish similar devotee-owned businesses. With an earnest intention to shape the community’s future, Gaura stressed the importance of creating companies that embrace communal support, offering services and a model of self-sustaining contributions to mobilize the people in the movement.
Initiatives like Fly Sacred represent more than their services; they exemplify how Krishna Conscious businesses can transcend profit margins and serve the greater good within spiritual communities. Gaura Narayana’s journey from ashram life to entrepreneurship illustrates a transformative approach to ashram transition, weaving spirituality, community support, and sustainable business practices into a harmonious narrative.