Mahendra Dasa joined the College in late 2005 and taught two courses this year while also serving as a staff member. A few years ago he was a teacher in the former Radhadesh children’s school. He came from Sofia, Bulgaria, where he served in the position of the temple president during the nineties.
What inspired you to come to teach at the College?
I knew about the College before it actually manifested in 2002. Saunaka Rsi Prabhu, in 2000, told me about the idea and suggested that I could teach. I was still completing my Bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and later, I did external studies in Information Systems and Management with the London School of Economics. I always hoped to use what I learned directly in Krishna’s service. It was not my plan to be involved at the College so soon, but Krishna made an arrangement for me to come this academic year. Also, my wife, Sangita Dasi, encouraged me to come now instead of doing business. So my desire to serve in a devotional environment was fulfilled.
Do you like teaching on the college level?
Yes, very much. But it is quite challenging. It requires a lot of effort and skill to teach in a way that is understandable and attractive to the students. You need to know how to assist them with assignments and give them valuable feedback. But this service is rewarding, especially when you hear from students comments like this: ‘Thank you for taking us on this intense philosophical, intellectually stimulating journey. I never thought I would like philosophy so much.’ I also learn a lot by teaching, both about the subject and the ways to teach it. In my experience it is good to challenge the students to think, and then they get involved in the topics.
What do you appreciate about the college?
Devotees who pursue higher education in a stable devotional setting like Radhadesh have opportunities to serve Krishna and practice regulated devotional service in the temple. They have devotee teachers. Every subject is explored from Krishna conscious angles in the association of devotees. The students perform sadhana and have the opportunity to see the beautiful forms of the Lord many times a day.