The evening celebration began with a bhajan led by the students. This year’s honored guests were His Holiness Lokanath Swami and a former student, Lilasuka Dasa. Jaya Krishna Dasa, the Administrator Officer, coordinated the agenda and spoke about the successful seventh academic year. Yadunandana Swami, the Principal, reminded students of their accomplishments and described the skills gained in the devotional, vocational and academic modules. Our supporting members were reminded of the college’s exceptional aim: training leaders and scholars to contribute to ISKCON. Lokanath Swami offered his utmost support to the college and enlightened the audience about Srila Prabhupada’s own experience in the field of education and his instructions on spiritual education.
Finally, Lilasuka shared some of his experiences while pursuing graduate studies in Indic Religions. Comparing contemporary education at a regular university to what he received at Bhaktivedanta College, he assured everyone that the latter is of the highest quality.
The most thrilling part of the graduation ceremony was the distribution of the certificates and two Bachelor’s degrees. Each student was called up front to receive these from Lokanath Swami, after Yadunandana Swami kindly praised each student’s achievements. The students’ faces lit up (or maybe dampened) as they read the concluding marks and feedback from the college staff. In a mood of Vaishnava etiquette, gifts were exchanged by the students, teachers, and staff.
An entertaining and touching play was performed by a first-year student, Nimai, and the temple’s Bhakta Nir. Laxmimoni Dasi, the caring Dean of the college and women’s ashram supervisor, skillfully directed the drama.
The program concluded with a melodious kirtan led by Lokanath Swami. Then the sharing, laughter, and association continued in the tent during a meal of pizzas and sweets.
We wish to thank everyone who participated in this academic year. And for all of you following us on the internet, thank you for reading about our graduation ceremony and activities during the past year.
Written by: Bhaktin Matea