Since 2019, the Ministry of Education embarked upon an annual symposium called “Viplavah” where ISKCON educators from around the globe gather in Sridham Mayapur to share some of the invaluable insights they’ve acquired through years of practice. It is with great pleasure that we now invite you to share with us this enlightening journey. We hope you enjoy imbibing this knowledge as much as we did. We hope to release one seminar every fortnight. And if you would like what you see below and like to be kept informed then please register on this website and we will keep you updated on new releases.
We are targeting to organize Viplavah 2021 between 4rd – 6th March 2021. Write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate and/or present there.
Tapana Mishra dasa,
Atul Krsna Prabhu video synopsis: Srila Prabhupada’s vision, wherein all of his followers would have Bhaktivedanta by 1975, and current statistics differ greatly. We discussed the obstacles faced in conducting sastric degree certification programs and explained how the newly developing system of assessment which can increase the number of degrees awarded.
Atul Krsna dasa joined ISKCON’s Melbourne Mahäprabhu Mandir in Australia in 1985. He served as a book distributor and fundraiser in ISKCON Melbourne for 12 years. Prabhu spent the subsequent 4 years, under the personal guidance of his mantra guru, serving in the Bangladesh preaching mission, during which time he learnt fluent Bengali. Prabhu played a leading role in the development of the ISCKON Disciples Course which has become a mandatory educational program in ISKCON. Prabhu resides in Sri Dhama Mayapur, and teaches in both English & Bengali mediums, throughout India, Bangladesh and the Middle East. He currently serves as the Chairman of the ISKCON Board of Examinations, which sets standards for sastric study courses in ISKCON, and is an Executive Member of the Ministry of Education.’
Academics in Religion
It was the desire of our Acharyas to introduce academic studies in Vaishnavism. The problem in India today is a lack of academic institutes that study Vaishnavism. Such studies could include the Theology of Vaishnavism, the History, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, Cosmology and Astronomy of Religion, as well as World Religions, Interreligious Studies and languages such as Sanskrit, Bengali, Hindi, etc.
The operation of a research library is essential for academic studies. This ground was laid by the Bhaktivedanta Research Center (BRC) in Kolkata, founded in 2009. The Bhaktividyapitha Research Center in Mumbai, a sister organization of the BRC Kolkata, is a successful example of academic studies in Vaishnavism and religious studies. It has been affiliated with a Ph.D. program to the University of Mumbai, department of Philosophy, in 2018.
There are different options of academic educational facilities like e.g. affiliation with a department of an already existing university, opening of a deemed independent university or establishing an independent research center at a university.
The next steps for ISKCON would be that ISKCON leaders recognize the importance of a Vaishnava University, fund raising and involvement of wealthy donors, cooperation with professors, and to educate qualified academic and administrative staff.
More detailed explanations:
Do our Acharyas see the need of academic Vaishnava Studies?
How to proceed?
Religious Studies with focus on Vaishnavism could include:
Examples of religious universities in India:
The Foundation of Religious Studies is a Research Library:
Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha Research Center Mumbai was founded in 2018:
How to Start a University?
Next step, to find out what kind of educational facility we want?
What do we need practically?