A Special Name
The Sanskrit term bhaktivedanta has special significance for Bhaktivedanta College. The word bhakti means loving devotional service to the transcendental, personal source of everything. The word Vedanta, composed of words veda (knowledge) and anta (conclusion), means the culmination of knowledge, understanding, or critical evaluation.
So, the word bhaktivedanta combines the ideas of scholarly excellence and the highest spiritual values and activities. The honorific term bhaktivedanta is given to revered devotee-scholars in Indian spiritual circles. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder (Sanskrit: acarya) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), received this title in the mid-twentieth century from his contemporaries. He is the inspiration behind Bhaktivedanta College, because his exemplary life teaches that the best education combines the advancement of knowledge with self-realization and love of personal God, addressed in Vedic scriptures as Sri Krishna.
Late in his life, Srila Prabhupada wrote nearly seventy books, which are translations of and commentaries on sacred texts of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya spiritual lineage, one of the four Vaishnava sampradayas. Between 1965 and 1977, he and his followers worldwide started more than a hundred temples, farms, and schools. Nowadays, his teachings are taught and practiced in many communities connected to the ISKCON movement he founded.
How Does The College Look Like?
The College is located in Durbuy, a hamlet nestled in the scenic Ardennes region of Belgium. Unequalled for its quietude and tranquillity, this forested area is a superb setting for research and reflection. College’s is made of two buildings, one residential and the other one with offices, classrooms and a library. The library contains more than 8500 books in several languages (English, French, Dutch, Spanish, German, Gujarati, Sanskrit, Hindi, etc.) while the teaching medium is English. Next to the College campus stands the historic Château de Petite Somme, the heart of a thriving Vaishnava temple and community.
Since its opening in September 2002, Bhaktivedanta College has received over a thousand students from twenty-six countries and has a few hundred students going through its online programs yearly.
In 2003, the University of Wales Lampeter (UWL) accredited the three-year academic course, culminating in a Bachelor of Theology degree in ‘Vaishnava Studies’: the first-ever in the English-speaking world. The College worked collaboratively with the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS), a recognised independent centre of the University of Oxford. Later on, The University of Chester (UK) also offered its accreditation to the Bachelor studies in Theology and Religious Studies with the contract ending in 2021.
Since 2016 the College is developing a number of online and campus programs aimed for a general audience, spiritual searchers, and already practicing spiritualists who seek inspiration and nourishment in their everyday life.
ISKCON Communications Course – ONLINE
Learn principles of effective communication, how to listen properly and stir the conversation, become an expert presenter, and how to relate to media effectively through the series of lectures, exercises, and personal guidance from our expert teacher, Anuttama das (ACBSP).
Bhagavata Purana – ONLINE Self Study
This module takes the Bhagavata Purana, sacred literature foundational to the Vaishnava tradition and approaches it from several different angles, including the contemporary scholarship. Such an approach fosters our attempts to understand the Bhagavatam as something to be presented to others in the wider world, in the contemporary world.
The Nectar Of Instruction – ONLINE
Krishna consciousness movement is conducted under Srila Rupa Goswami’s supervision. One of his most important works is The Nectar of Instruction where he teaches us how to start our spiritual lives, how to practice further, and how to attain the highest goal of life – Vraja bhakti.
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