Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada envisioned four levels of study of his books–Bhakti Sastri, Bhakti Vaibhava, Bhakti Vedanta and Bhakti Sarvabhauma, The Bhakti Sastri course is concerned with an in depth study of Bhagavad-gita, Upadesamrita (Nectar of Instruciton), Sri Isopanisad and Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (Nectar of Devotion).
It is the desire of Srila Prabhupada that we study his books daily as a means of making advancement in Krishna consciousness. On the 13th of June 1972 in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada wrote to Bhargava Dasa:
So I am requesting all of my students to read my books very seriously every day without fail. In this way, if your mind becomes absorbed at least one or two hours daily in the transcendental subject matter of Srimad- Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, and other books then very easily you will make your advancement in Krishna Consciousness.I recommend you to read books more and more and try to understand the subject matter from different angles of vision and be always discussing it with your godbrothers.
I develop this course to allow devotees in Europe to study Bhakti Sastri at a pace that allows the combining of the study with their other duties. The course is especially meant for devotees in the UK and Ireland but is open to devotees residing in other European countries provided they, prior to registering, fulfill the conditions explained hereafter. For each module (once/year) students will have to sit for a close book exam on site as part of the standard assessment prescribed by the ISKCON Board for Examination, ex. The yearly assessments/exams will be administered at ISKCON Leicester. However, students from all over Europe can register provided they discuss first with the teacher/faciliator of the course how the exams will be administered. After an agreement about the assessment has been reached, they can go through the registration process as explained below. You can reach the course facilitator via email: Bhakti.Prabhava.Swami@gmail.com.
The course schedule is as follows:
Module 1 – Bhagavad-gita Chapters 1-9:
1 January 2017 to 15 May 2017
and from 1 October 2017 to 15 December 2017
Module 2 – Bhagavad-gita Chapters 10-18:
1 January 2018 to 15 May 2018
and from 1 October 2018 to 15 December 2018
Module 3 – Nectar of Instruction – Sri Isopanisad – Nectar of Devotion:
1 January 2019 to 15 May 2019
and from 1 October 2019 to 15 December 2019
Module 4: – writing of a 1,250 words essay on a theme covering the four books.
All teachings are presented on line using the gotomeeting conference system.
Classes will be presented on-line every Thursday 7 pm to 9 pm (2 hours) . 70% attendance of classes is compulsory. A detailed schedule of the courses will be available three months prior to the starting dates of each module.
Assessments: Students will need to write five essays of 250 to 500 words for the first and second module and sit for a close and open book exam for modules 1, 2 and 3.
Considering that close and open book exam includes the writing of key memorisation verses in Sanskrit and English, the close book exam will be administered on site for both, on-line students and on-site students, at ISKCON Leicester near the end of the term of each module. On-line students will also have to submit answers on homework-questions via email.
Requirements: Good sadhana, brahminical tendencies, voluntary service, proficiency in English and a recommendation/character sketch from a senior devotee who knows you well. Assessment criteria include attendance and personal conduct. According to the standards of ISKCON Board of Examination students should chant a minimum of 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and follow the 4 regulative principles in order to qualify for obtaining a Bhakti-sastri degree. A full recommendation (attesting the student’s character and service attitude) by a senior devotee in good standing is a must.
Students who complete the entire course and graduate receive an ISKCON Leicester certificate, and an official ISKCON certificate approved by the ISKCON Board of Examination provided they comply with the aforementioned requirements.
Registration is open. The registration will be closed once a maximum of 25 students have registered.
The registration fee for the first three modules is £50.00 and £25.00 for module 4. Fees are payable via bank transfer: LLOYDS BANK, ISKCON Leicester, sort code 30-99-21, account number 07117871. As communication, please mention clearly: “Bhakti Sastri module 1 + name”. Non-UK/Ireland residents will need, prior to registering, to make an agreement about their assessment procedures with the course faciliator.
Please contact the course facilitator for registration via Bhakti.Prabhava.Swami@gmail.com.
In cooperation with the College of Vedic Studies – Bhaktivedanta Manor (krishnacollege.co.uk).
ISKCON Leicester Institute for Vaishnava Training and Education (LIVTE)
31, Granby Street