What made you join spiritual movement thirty-six years ago?
I had an existential crisis. I couldn’t see the point of living a meaningless life, so I began to search for answers to my burning questions: “What is the purpose to existence? Is death liberation from material suffering, and if so is suicide a short cut?” My search ended after meeting the devotees. Everything resonated—the philosophy, the way of life, the prasada, the devotees. I dropped out of graduate school and moved into the asrama.
When did you start to write for Back to Godhead magazine, and how has your writing matured since then?
I started writing for BTG in 1998. I felt the magazine needed more articles demonstrating the practical application of our philosophy in our everyday life, especially for those living outside temples. I feel my that writing has naturally matured with increased life experience and a maturation of my spiritual realizations.
Why did you decide to take the online course at Bhaktivedanta College?
I’d wanted to take a Bhakti Sastri course for years, but it was never practical while working a full-time job. So I was very happy to find a course offered online by Bhaktivedanta College.
Have you ever experienced online education?
I taught two course online with Bhagavat Life: “japa life steps” and a forgiveness course.
What was your main concern before you enrolled, and was it solved?
I was concerned about memorizing verses. I had an erroneous belief that I couldn’t learn verses. But actually I had never really made an effort to do it, so I was quite surprised and happy to see that I could do it. It became easier and easier to do, and I feel inspired to learn more verses.
What’s your opinion of our delivery (the pace, preparation, and quality) of the course?
I was quite comfortable with the pace of the course. The courses were well organized, and the teachers were knowledgeable and accessible. The only area that could use improvement is the grading of the final exam and papers. There is a sense of incompletion when it takes a long time to receive feedback.
What was challenging?
How was your interaction with the teachers?
The teachers were great. They would respond to questions within a day. They put a lot of time and effort into grading homework assignments and giving relevant feedback.
Which courses would you like us to prepare for the online audience?
One thing that would be nice would be a course on home Deity worship. And another course on learning bhajans.
Arcana-Siddhi has a master’s degree and clinical social work. She is currently in a private practice counseling individuals, families and couples. She lives in Prabhupada Village, NC with her husband, Karnamrita.