Letter to Svarupa Damodara -- Bombay 10 January, 1976:
I have also suggested for the GBC's consideration, that we introduce a system of examinations for the devotees to take. Sometimes there is criticism that our men are not sufficiently learned, especially the brahmanas. Of course second initiation does not depend upon passing an examination. How one has moulded his life—chanting, attending arati, etc., these are essential. Still, brahmana means pandita. Therefore I am suggesting examinations. Bhakti-sastri—will be based on Bhagavad-gita, Sri Isopanisad, Nectar of Devotion, Nectar of Instruction, and all the small paper backs. Bhakti-vaibhava—the above plus first six cantos of S.B. Bhaktivedanta—the above plus cantos 7-12 S.B. and Bhakti-sarvabhauma—the above plus Caitanya-caritamrta.
These titles can correspond to entrance, B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. So just consider how to organize this Institute.
Semester 1 & 2
We have designed Bhakti Vardhini course for those devotees who have been sincerely practising Krishna consciousness and wants to systematically study Srila Prabupada’s - Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, The Nectar of Devotion, The Nectar of Instruction and Sri Isopanisad. This course will help you to enhance your scriptural knowledge & understanding. The course aims at preparing the Vaishnavas more determined in practicing Krishna consciousness and potent to convey the Gaudiya Vaishnav principles to the society. Qualified students of the Bhakti Vardhini course will also be awarded a ‘Bhakti-sastri’ certificate from the ISKCON Board of Examinations. Srila Prabhupada envisioned this course as an essential part of brahminical training. The speciality of Bhakti Vardhini course at ISKCON Bhagavata Mahavidyalaya is that with systematic study of Bhagavad Gita, you would be studying the commentaries of Srila Prabhupada & Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana. With the Nectar of Devotion devotees will also study the commentary of Srila Jiva Goswami on the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu. Along with the Nectar of Instruction, the commentary of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur on the Upadeshamrta will be taught. In Sri Isopanisad, the commentaries of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur & Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana will be taught.
Requirements for enrolment:-
- As per the guidelines of ISKCON Board of Examination to be qualified to obtain the Bhakti sastri degree, the students must chant minimum 16 rounds of Hare Krishna maha-mantra daily & follow the four regulative principles.
- You need to submit a recommendation letter by an ISKCON authority who knows you well, certifying your character, sadhana, Brahminical tendencies and being favourably engaged in the preaching mission of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu for at least the previous 12 months.
- For better understanding we humbly request you to read all the four books, Bhagavad Gita, Nectar of Devotion, Nectar of Instruction and Sri Ishopanishadbefore you come here to deeply study these books with us and be fully benefited from the course.
- As the course would be in English so sufficient command in English language would help in better understanding and qualifying the assessments.
- You must be 18 years or above in age.
- The candidates will be scheduled for a Telephonic interview with the academic teamfor final approval.
Note : You will be considered registered only when you complete the Registration Form and submit the Recommendation Letter.
Service charges : Education is completely free of charge. There will be no tuition fee charged from the students.
In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna addresses Himself to the conditioned souls in the material world, especially the spiritually unfit souls of the modern age, and tells them what they need to hear. He says in uncomplicated terms why they should not remain entrapped in the bodily concept of life, and how, step by step, they can become free and regain their real life. Anyone who is still a conditioned should be glad to hear these instructions on the science of liberation. Because its spoken by the one person most competent to teach these instructions which have all potency to transform the life of anyone who hears them with little faith. Those who are already liberated also relish the Personality of Godhead’s words on these essential topics and refer to them regularly while preaching. Srila Prabhupada said that every devotee who wants to be a good preacher should become proficient in Bhagavad Gita.
The Nectar of Devotion explains all the intricacies of Bhakti, spiritual love as one can never be happy without satisfying the fundamental desire to love. This is a summary study of Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, the Vaishnava classic written by Rupa Goswami that analyzes the various stages of bhakti (devotion) as a methodical practice resulting in love of God.
Rupa Goswami uses a metaphor comparing an ocean (sindhu) to a devotional relationship with God. The title of the book conveys that loving relationships are enjoyable like sweet nectar and deep like an ocean. However, devotion is truly only meant for the supreme beloved, Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada has written this summary study to show the essential understanding of the practices and ideals of Krishna consciousness, and to introduce the Western world to the beauty of devotional concepts.
The spiritually thirsty can develop their relationship with Krishna by drinking from the unlimited reservoir of The Nectar of Devotion. Drink deeply.
The Nectar of Instruction comprises of Eleven Lessons of essential spiritual teachings on how to choose a guru, how to practice yoga, even where to live — you'll find it all in this invaluable work. This was originally written in Sanskrit by Srila Rupa Gosvami, the greatest spiritual genius of medieval India. The Nectar of Instruction is the key to enlightenment for all seekers on the path of spiritual perfection.
The 108 Upanishads are considered the essence of all the Vedas, and Sri Ishopanishad is foremost among them. Discover the distilled essence of all knowledge in these eighteen enlightening verses.
For thousands of years, people on a spiritual quest have consulted the mystical, intensely philosophical Upanishads. As the name implies (upa-near; ni-down; shad-to sit), one is advised to sit near a spiritual teacher to learn. To learn what? This Upanishad's name gives the clue: Isha means "the supreme controller." Let us sit near the spiritual guide to learn about the supreme controller: God.
Dasa Mula Tattva is a philosophical treatise written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Dasa Mula Tattva is a must-have book for any serious student of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. The importance of this book cannot be overstated, for herein, all the essential teachings of the Vedas are concisely expounded. These gems are revealed by the spiritual and intellectual brilliance of Śrīla Bhaktivinode Ṭhākura, illuminating all who will glance this way with the guiding light of Vedic truth.
Sri Brahma-samhita is a collection (samhita) of prayers spoken by Brahma at the beginning of material creation, after the Supreme Person Krishna gave Brahma a divine vision of the spiritual world. Brahma, in his amazement, speaks volumes of divinely inspired praise before beginning his work of creation. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu acquired the Fifth Chapter of the Brahma-samhita from the Adi-keshava temple in South India. This commentary of Sri Brahma-samhita was written by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur—the spiritual master of Srila Prabhupada—who spread Krishna consciousness all over India during the early twentieth century
The Teacher Training Course (TTC)
The Teacher Training Course (TTC) has been professionally developed by the UK-based Vaisnava Training and Education (VTE) to help fulfill ISKCON’s educational purposes. The VTE consists of a team of professional devotees mandated by the ISKCON Ministry of Education to develop systematic training courses for the members of the Society with the aim to create and support Krsna conscious leaders for the Sankirtan Movement.
Teacher Training Course 1
The VTE Teacher Training Course 1 is the first of a series of several courses for training teachers. It is the fruit of many hours of reflection over 30 years of experience in teaching in ISKCON, research based on Srila Prabhupada’s instructions for Krsna conscious education, and professional advice from experienced educators.
This dynamic six-day training course will equip you with:
- Speaking skills
- Effective use of resources
- Proper delineation of aims and objectives
- Skills in writing lesson outlines/plans
- The ability to give oral feedback for assessment
- Different interactive teaching and preaching styles
- The art of empathic listening
Teacher Training Course 2
The VTE Teacher Training Course 2 is a 30-hour seminar for devotees wishing to facilitate courses and presentations. It is especially recommended for those pursuing outreach, training, and education within ISKCON. The course focuses on classroom-delivery skills, particularly those required for an interactive and experiential approach to teaching. Students will be trained to take into consideration, and address, the needs and learning styles of varied audiences.
Each student is required to prepare and deliver a forty-minute presentation, which will be assessed by both facilitator and peers. There is little or no written assessment. The VTE Teacher Training Course I Certificate is a pre-requisite. You can bring your TTC1 Student Handbook if you have.
Contact Details :-
Address : Gopinath Seva Dham, opposite Vaishno Devi Lane, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh – 281121
Accommodation assistance & Visa related inquiries : Prema Sindhu Gauranga Das - +91 84540 01231
General inquiries : Vamsidhari Gauri Devi Dasi - +91 95280 06565
For any queries please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HH Bhakti Dhira Damodara Swami
HG Kamalalocana Das
HG Sri Keshav Das
HG Prema Sindhu Gauranga Das