The College requires that teaching staff demonstrate personal integrity, expertise in their respective fields, and competence as teachers, lecturers, and mentors.
E.C. Abala Andrew, BA
Abala is originally from Greece, and read ‘Western Philosophy with Religious Studies’ in Oxford, where she also gained a PGCE in Religious Education (Secondary-level). At the College, she currently teaches Philosophy and Religious Studies and coordinates the much-esteemed Bhakti Shastri Course. Abala strongly believes in helping young people - especially ISKCON’s second generation - in realizing their distinctive potentials and in securing social and economic stability. She co-ordinates the College’s mentoring scheme and it’s recently-launched career-guidance service.
Edith Best, PhD
Urmila Dasi (Dr. Edith Best) has a Bachelor's of Science (BSc) from Excelsior College of the University of the State of New York in Religion and Education; Master of School Administration (MSA), and Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research is in the field of job satisfaction of teachers, and she's done the only comprehensive, international study of the primary and secondary schools in the Hare Krishna Movement. Urmila is a member of the Sastric Advisory Council to ISKCON's Governing Body Commission (GBC) and has been an associate editor of Back to Godhead magazine since 1990. She has published Vaikuntha Children, a guidebook for devotional education, dozens of articles, and Dr. Best Learn to Read, an 83 book complete literacy program with technology enabling the story books to speak in 25 languages at the touch of a special "pen". Urmila has three decades of experience teaching primary and secondary students, which include 19 years of experience as a school administrator and leader.
Anuradha Dooney, M.St.
Anuradha Dooney was awarded her BA in Social Science, from University College Dublin, and her M.St. in the Study of Religion, from Oxford University. Her masters thesis was an exploration of faith development in the Vaishnava tradition. She is currently a Fellow of the OCHS, acting as a faculty member of the Continuing Education Department. Anuradha has been a tutor for courses in London, Birmingham, Oxford, Cambridge, and Leicester since 2003. She has acted as the principal curriculum writer for undergraduate degree courses granted by the University of Wales, Lampeter, courses taught in the UK and Belgium. She has also organised and run academic and interfaith workshops, seminars and conferences internationally. Anuradha is a respected lecturer and broadcaster.
Gopal Hari Dasa, PhD
Gopal Hari Dasa teaches Readings in Vaisnava Acharyas and Science and Religion at the Bhaktivedanta College. He is a disciple of H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami. Gopal Hari completed a Masters in Science and Religion and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Hindu Studies at the University of Oxford, UK. His research interests include conceptions of consciousness, nature and divine agency in classical and contemporary Indian thought. Before coming to the UK, Gopal Hari completed a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Artificial Intelligence from Boise State University in Idaho, USA, where his parents run the ISKCON Boise temple. Gopal Hari is a regular speaker at interfaith events and university classes, and has been a contributor to radio and television channels on topics of religion, ethics, and science and religion.
Ravi Gupta, PhD
Ravi M. Gupta, is a notable Vaishnava scholar. He is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and a member of the faculty at Bhaktivedanta College. He received his doctorate from Oxford University on the topic of Jiva Goswami's Vedanta, and has a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from Linacre College. He grew up in Boise, Idaho, where his academic accomplishments were documented in the Idaho Statesman. On April 17, 2008, he met with Pope Benedict XVI and presented a gift to him on behalf of the Hindu American community.
Hanumatpresaka Swami, BA
After finishing Encina High School in 1966, he entered the University of California, Davis, graduating in 1970 with a first place prize in Psychology and minor studies in Biology and Electrical Engineering. He then began Doctoral studies at Northwestern University in Chicago while also participating in the famous "Second City” improvisational theater troupe. Soon he became convinced that Western knowledge was lacking much that might be augmented by Oriental wisdom. His mentor, Donald T. Campbell, President of the American Psychology Association, agreed so he then headed East obtaining a black belt in Okinawan karate, and then receiving initiation and taking vows as a brahmacari, novice monk, from A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1974. He continued in this Indian tradition taking vows as a sannyasi in 1984, and becoming an initiating guru in 1994. Since 1990 Hanumatpresaka Swami has also developed a program of global lecturing and travel. This has included work as associate director of the "Bhaktivedanta Institute” which organized two "World Congresses for the Synthesis of Science and Religion", Bombay, 1985, Kolkatta, 1997. These included participation of Nobel Laureates such as George Wald, Charles Townes, Sir John Eccles, Arch-Bishop Paulos Mar Gregorios (President of World Council of Churches), the Dalai Lama and many others. In March 1999 Hanumatpresaka Swami was the Chief Guest for the University of Calcutta's critical seminar on "National Seminar on Science and Technology in Ancient India".
Dragana Jagusic, MA
Dragana Jagusic (Jahnava Lila dd) is a head librarian and a teacher assistant for Introduction to Philosophy and Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion courses. She also teaches on-site Bhakti Shastri Sri Isopanisad and the Disciples Course. She holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Comparative Religion from the University of Zagreb and a Bhakti-Shastri degree from Bhaktivedanta College.
Krishna Kshetra Dasa, PhD
Krishna Kshetra dasa (Dr. Kenneth R. Valpey) holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.A. in Religious Studies from Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, an M.St. in the Study of Religion from Oxford University, and a D.Phil. (Ph.D.) from Oxford University (2004) for his thesis on Caitanya Vaisnava image worship. He has taught at the University of Florida, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Pula (Croatia), and (since its inception) Bhaktivedanta College in Belgium, where he has taught a module on the Caitanya-caritamrita to third-year College students since 2007. In addition to various published articles and his published doctoral thesis, he is now collaborating with Radhika Ramana dasa (Dr. Ravi M. Gupta) on a pair of books on the Bhagavata Purana, to be published by Columbia University Press, New York. He is a permanent Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.
Ana Knez, MA
Ana joined ISKCON in Croatia in 1995, where she did congregational preaching and Deity service. She holds a M.A. in philosophy and religion from the Jesuit College at the University of Zagreb and a B.A. in theology from Bhaktivedanta College. Previously she taught philosophy and religion at a high school. At Bhaktivedanta College Ana teaches World Religions.
Mahendra Dasa, BSc
Mahendra Dasa teaches Classical and Medieval Philosophy. He began practicing Krishna consciousness in 1989 in Bulgaria and served as the ISKCON temple president in Sofia in the mid-1990s. He was the headmaster of the former children's school in Radhadesh for two years. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy (Sofia University) and a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Information Systems and Management (University of London, London School of Economics).
Rembert Lutjeharms, PhD
Rembert Lutjeharms is from Brussels, Belgium. Rembert is the Librarian at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, and as a member of the Academic Planning Committee also helps to organise lectures and seminars at the Centre. He was awarded his BA and MA in Oriental Studies from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and successfully completed his D.Phil. in Theology at the University of Oxford in 2010, focusing on the theology of the sixteenth-century Caitanya Vaishvana poet and literary critic Kavikarnapura. His research interests are Sanskrit poetry and poetics, early Caitanya Vaisnava history, and Sanskrit hermeneutics. At Bhaktivedanta College, Rembert has been teaching Introduction to Hinduism, Bhagavata Purana, and Vedas and Upanishads.
Pranava Dasa, PhD
Pranava Dasa teaches Modern Hinduism at year 3. He has previously taught courses such as The Six Classical Indian Philosophies and Science and Religion. He started his academic career in the year 2000 and has been a teacher at the Bhaktivedanta College since 2002. He has completed a M.A. and Ph.D. in History of Religions at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. He is the academic director of the Bhaktivedanta Research Centre in Kolkata and a fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. He and his wife, Kamala Priya, live in Stockholm.
Seth W. Spellman, JD
He joined ISKCON in 1973, inspired by the political activism of the In God We Trust Party for Purified Leaders, organized by members of ISKCON. He is a member of the Governing Body Commission and head of the Ministry of Educational Development. He served as the temple president of both Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia; as the Managing Editor of Back to Godhead magazine; and as the North American Secretary of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. He attended the United States Military Academy and later received a degree in Political Science from the State University of New York, Albany. In 1991 he earned a Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law. He lives in Alachua, Florida, with his wife and two daughters.
Yadunandana Swami, MA
Yadunandana Swami has been the Principal of Bhaktivedanta College since its opening, in 2002. He joined ISKCON in 1977 in Spain and received initiation from Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami and later sannyasa initiation from Jayadvaita Swami (both disciples of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada). He has performed leadership and educational services in ISKCON since 1982. The latter include ministering spiritual education and counseling to many persons; teaching scriptural, academic, and vocational courses; and lecturing in more than twenty universities. He holds a MA in the Study of Religion from the University of Wales. He is the ISKCON Minister of Educational Development in Europe and the Rector of the Instituto de Estudios Bhaktivedanta in Spain.
Anuttama Dasa sometimes teaches two courses: Communication, and Leadership and Management. He is the International Director of ISKCON Communi-cations and a member of the GBC, the governing body of ISKCON. He is also a Trustee of Bhaktivedanta College. As a former President of ISKCON Colorado and a founding Board Member of Children of Krishna, Anuttama brings both practical insights and personal experience to his teaching. In the United States, he is the Vice President of the national Religion Communicators Council (RCC) and a Board Member of the National Conference on Community and Justice (NCCJ), Capital Region, and The Society for Hindu-Christian Studies. He lives with his wife, Rukmini, another College trustee, in Washington, D.C.
Bhaktavasa Govinda Dasa, BA
Bhaktavasa Govinda was born in Poland in 1965, and he joined ISKCON in 1995 while being a practicing teacher of the English language (having a BA in English literature). Fond of education, he completed the Bhakti Sastri Course in Mayapur in 2005 and graduated from Bhaktivedanta College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Theology degree. He now teaches Bhakti Sastri courses at Bhaktivedanta College at Radhadesh and develops educational programs for Poland. He also teaches vocational courses developed by the Vaisnava Training and Education team. In 2011 he completed Bhakti Vaibhava Course in MIHET, Mayapur, India.
Braja Bihari Dasa, MA
Braja Bihari is the past Director of ISKCON Resolve, ISKCON’s conflict-management system. He earned his Master’s degree in Conflict Transformation and Organizational Leadership from Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia. He is a trained mediator and ombudsman and has mediated dozens of conflicts and met hundreds of visitors in his ombud’s office. He is the past director of the Vrindavan Institute of Higher Education (VIHE). He joined ISKCON in 1977.
Dinadayal Dasa, MBA
Dinadayal (Bhagavad-gita chapters 7-12, BCOC website Administrator) was born in 1976. He has served at Bhaktivedanta College ever since he started studying there, in 2004. He holds a Bachelor of Theology degree and a Master of Information Systems. He also finished a MBA through the Robert Kennedy College in Zurich. He is presently Director for Online learning at the Bhaktivedanta College where he also coordinates the preparations being made to offer a degree in business. In addition to online and onside Bhakti Sastri he is teaching Bhaktivaibhava courses. His personal interest is in integrating spirituality and business. For this reason he is maintaining the Conscious Manager Online Magazine (www.conscious-manager.com). Since 2004 he serves as secretary for the Euro RGB (www.EuroRGB.com).
Jose M. Fornos, PhD
Teaches the Leadership and Manage-ment course and the Interfaith course. He is from Spain and joined ISKCON in 1980. His services include the Spanish BBT, Communications (Interfaith, Education), and VTE (teaching the Communications course in Argentina, Spain, and India). He has a Ph.D. in Quantum Chemistry from the University of Barcelona.
Kripamoya Dasa is born in 1956 in south Wales, where his parents were both in the Royal Air Force, Kripamoya Das was raised as a chapel-going Methodist in a succession of small seaside villages in Cornwall. His maternal grandfather, who had previously been stationed in Allahabad, India, with the British Army in the 1880s, predicted that ‘this boy will become a preacher.’ When he was nine years old, he told his mother he wanted to be ‘a Buddhist monk, with an orange robe and a shaven head.’ At the time his mother thought nothing of it. He has visited India twenty times, leading large groups of spiritual travellers to many sacred places. He now teaches the Bhagavad Gita to his own students and interested individuals, online, and to groups around the country. He has appeared on television, radio and in print many times. He has an avid interest in religious history and inter-religious dialogue.
Krishna-lila Dasi, MEd
Krishna-lila Dasi has sometimes teaches the Counseling course. She holds a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University. She is the Central Coordinator for Professional Staff Development at the New York City Board of Education. She serves as the Senior Trainer and the Crisis Intervention Specialist for counseling professionals. She has worked as a school counselor since 1971. Since 1992, she has been training school counselors in New York City Public Schools in mediation, crisis response, character education, group counseling, and conflict resolution. Now she is also an adjunct professor at New York University and East Stroudsburg University and conduct workshops for UNESCO, UNICEF, Living Values International and various colleges and high schools.
Maha-vidya Dasi, PhD
Maha-vidya dasi was born in Poland in 1982. She first learned about the teachings of Srila Prabhupada in 2004 during her year abroad while doing studies of classics in Germany. She received initiation from Ravindra Svarupa Dasa and looks after the educational development office of ISKCON Germany. She currently teaches a Bhakta Program online and develops new courses for the German temples. She holds a Ph.D. in Ancient Greek Literature from the University of Cologne, Germany and continues to deepen her understanding of the Vaishnava Philosophy especially in dialogue with students while teaching.
Mangala-candrika Devi Dasi, MA
Mangala-candrika devi dasi (Nectar of Instruction) In 2001, a Slovenian girl hitchhiking through Ireland met ISKCON devotees. After several years of associating with devotees in Ljubljana, she joined Bhaktivedanta College as a student (2006-07) and eventually became the college secretary. In between she completed her MA in social work, and Krishna Ksetra Prabhu initiated her as Mangala-candrika Dasi. She got married in Radhadesh and until her first child was born, she was also a coordinator of introductory and Bhakti Shastri courses and taught "The Nectar of Instructionâ€ module (on-site and online). She is now the Academic Administrator and the liason between students and the University of Chester.
After meeting his spiritual master, Sridhar Swami, in 1995, he left for India to experience the culture and practice of Krishna consciousness at its roots. Based at ISKCON's Juhu Beach temple in Mumbai, Mayapur assisted Sridhar Swami and traveled with him as his secretary. He completed a Bhakti Shastri degree in 2003 and the VTE Teacher Training courses in 2007. Since 2005, he has organized local congregation programs in Croatia and taught Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is. Mayapur teaches online Bhagavad Gita Karma Yoga section (Chapters 1- 6).
Merudevi Dasi, MSt
Merudevi teaches the Introduction to Mediation. She has served as the director of ISKCON Communications Europe and as an ombudsperson and mediator with ISKCON Resolve. She joined ISKCON in 1983 in Stockholm, Sweden, and is currently studying for a M.A. in Religion, Politics and International Relations. She lives in Sweden.
Raghupati Dasa, MA
Raghupati Dasa joined ISKCON in Vrindavan, in 1989. He holds a BA (in philosophy, English, and Hindi), an MA (in philosophy) from Agra University, and an MBA from Aston University in England. He now lives in Birmingham with his family and works for Birmingham City University. He completed Teacher Training courses in Mayapur and has taught Bhakti Sastri Online for Mayapur Institute (a nationwide course) in the UK. He is part of the Business-BA team at Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh.
Shaunaka Rishi Dasa
Shaunaka Rishi Dasa is the Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS), founded in 1998 and officially recognized as an independent center of Oxford University in 2006. Shaunaka is committed to interreligious and theological dialogue and is an executive member of the Northern Ireland Interfaith Forum, in Belfast. He is also a broadcaster and lecturer. Shaunaka has been a member of ISKCON since 1979. He is an executive member of ISKCON’s Communications and Education Ministries and was the editor of ISKCON Communications Journal, a scholarly journal of dialogue and discussion. He lives in Oxford with his wife.
Sacinandana Swami is a Gaudiya Vaishnava guru,sannyasi, and one of the religious leaders of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as the Hare Krishnas or ISKCON). Of German origin, he joined ISKCON in 1970 and was initiated by the movement's founder, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in 1971. Sacinandana Swami is well known throughout ISKCON for his kirtana and public speaking. He teaches and writes prolifically on Vaishnavism and the Hare Krishna movement and has translated the Bhagavad Gita into German. His publications include The Nectarean Ocean of the Holy Name, The Gayatri Book, The Way of the Great Departure, The Art of Transformation, and Spiritual Tonic.
Sudevi first read Srila Prabhupada's books during her Indology studies in Berlin, in 2000. In 2003 she took the Bhakti Shastri course in Vrindavana, and from 2004 through 2007 she earned a Bachelor of Theology degree at Bhaktivedanta College, Radhadesh. She now teaches Bhakti Sastri and academic courses at Bhaktivedanta College, oversees the ladies' ashram, and is finishing her work for a Master's degree in Religious Studies from Lampeter University. She likes to study and teach Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy, especially with reference to Srila Prabhupada's books.
Suresvara Dasa, BA
Suresvara was born in 1946 in New York City and joined the Hare Krishna movement in 1970. Over the years, his services have connected him with Srila Prabhupada's books: studying them, distributing them, writing articles based on them, and lately teaching them. He holds a BA in Teaching English as a Second Language, has received VTE teacher-training certificates from Bhaktivedanta College at Radhadesh and the Mayapur Institute. He now coordinates one Bhaktivaibhava module during MI's fall/winter semester. His favorite sastra is Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is, whose verses he committed to memory as a young man and continue to be his guiding light.