Dates: 16/11/2020 - 09/04/2021
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Bhakti Sastri Plus will empower you with answers based on scriptural study:
- When a non-devotee friend asks you “WHY are you a Hare Krishna?”
- When facing an existential crisis, you ask yourself “WHY am I a Hare Krishna?”
- When, despite all the opportunities coming your way, you still feel like asking yourself “WHY am I not a better devotee?”
- When a coworker asks you “WHAT do the Hare Krishnas believe?”
- When an agnostic asks you “WHAT does Vaishnavism have to say about the human condition?”
- When you ask yourself “WHAT should I do to improve my spiritual life?”
- When a relative asks you “HOW does it all make sense: your lifestyle, your philosophy and your goals?”
- When you ask yourself “HOW can I better share Krishna Consciousness with others?
- When a skeptic asks you “HOW do the Hare Krishnas contribute to the modern world?”
Bhakti Sastri Plus will equip you with more confidence in being a Hare Krishna devotee because it will help you understand the meaning and reasons behind our daily spiritual practice, theology and culture.
The Bhakti Sastri Plus course takes a personal approach to learning, encouraging students to not only memorize and understand the content of Srila Prabhupada’s books (knowledge) but to assimilate the philosophy (values) and practically apply it (skills). Through various systematic learning approaches, the course aims to strengthen students’ critical thinking skills while nurturing and deepening their faith in the scriptures.
The Bhakti Sastri programme, which awards its students a Vaishnava Training and Education (VTE) Certificate, is designed to familiarise students with the theological background underpinning Vaishnavism and the practices of bhakti-yoga.
The Plus component adds to the development of a sara-grahi (the essence seeker) attitude and further nurtures students in appropriate Vaishnava values. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions, the plus component is subjected to change as well as complete cancellation in case the circumstances prevent the travel of visiting teachers.
Carefully designed and written, Bhakti Sastri Plus draws on the principles of Krishna consciousness and progressive education. While remaining true to the ISKCON’s heritage, the course explores application and dissemination of sastric knowledge in the context of contemporary society echoing Srila Prabhupada’s dictum: “We must know the present need of human society.”
Challenge yourself with numerous systematic learning opportunities to strengthen your critical thinking skills and deepen your faith in the scriptures. Learn the broader Vaishnava context of the Bhakti sastri books – expand the borders of your knowledge of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. Think outside of the box – learn how to present the Bhakti sastri teachings in the context of contemporary society.
Use the transformative potency of this extraordinary place, Vaishnava sanga, and scriptural studies to deepen your spiritual practice, to gain profound experiences and to be even more seriously inspired to apply and share Krishna Consciousness.
Radhadesh is a thriving community with various departments ready to give you an opportunity to (im)prove your skills and talents.
Socialize with like-minded devotees pursuing the path of learned saragrahi Vaishnavas.
Besides being a place of education, Radhadesh is well known for being a place of kirtan. Your studies will be imbued with regular evening kirtans culminating with the Radhadesh mellows.
Experience different European yatras, such as Brussels, Antverp, Goloka Dhama (Germany), Paris, Amsterdam, London, Brugges, Cologne, their common practices and missionary activities, during short field-trips. Trips are optional and will be organized based on the interest of students.
Students will receive full schedule of main Bhakti-sastri modules before the course starts.
General schedule is as follows:
- approximately 3 weeks per month, 5 days a week, 3 hours of lectures + 2 hours of studying
- approximately 1 week monthly dedicated for studying and preparing for exams
- approximately 3-6 hours of lectures per month of PLUS modules – if circumstances permit
- classes during weekends only in exceptional circumstances
Bhakti Sastri Modules
- Bhagavad-gita 1 (Chapters 1-6) – Karma Yoga
- Bhagavad-gita 2 (Chapters 7-12) – Bhakti Yoga
- Bhagavad-gita 3 (Chapters 13-18) – Jnana Yoga (Transcendental Knowledge)
- Sri Isopanisad
- The Nectar of Instruction
- The Nectar of Devotion
The Plus Component
This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions, the plus component is subjected to change as well as complete cancellation in case the circumstances prevent the travel of visiting teachers.
The PLUS modules are taught in intensive or block mode teaching apart from the regular Bhakti-sastri modules.
- Mahabharata Crash Course (setting the scene for Bhagavad-gita)
- The Bhakti Tradition (Bhagavad-gita and Upanisads, basics of Vedanta – advaita, dvaita, acintya) and Rupa Goswami’s Rasa Theory
- Modern Interpretations of Bhagavad-gita (comparing the interpretation of Srila Prabhupada with those of Gandhi, Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Maharishi, etc)
- Madhurya Kadambini (recognizing common obstacles and staying enthusiastic on the path of bhakti)
- Psychology for Transcendence (explore the differences between humility and low self esteem, false pride and healthy self esteem in Krishna consciousness)
The PLUS classes/workshops are spread throughout the course (during the Bhakti-sastri modules and PLUS modules) and aim to continuously supplement your studies with experiential learning of:
- sadhana and temple/ashram life essentials
- Vaisnava etiquette
- the art of sharing Krishna Consciousness
- following Srila Prabhupada
- ISKCON and hot button issues – and many more interesting and relevant topics!
Note: Classes/workshop topics to be taught during the 2020/21 course will be selected based on the tutors’ availability, travel restrictions and students interest
It is possible to study:
- the whole Bhakti-sastri course towards the Bhakti-sastri certificate
- half of the Bhakti-sastri course and do the other half the next year or online
- as an auditing student towards the certificate of attendance
- in exceptional cases, one or more modules as an auditing student
While studying and based on the accommodation/prasadam arrangement, students are engaged in the service in the temple and/or College.
The sanctity of our venue is influenced by the behavior and contribution of each resident, no matter how long or short she or he resides on its premises. To leave a positive imprint, all of us are required to follow the basic house rules. A detailed description of the house rules will be shared with the prospective students during the admission process.
For all students: 189 euro
Accommodation and prasadam
Accommodation is arranged according to the availability in the College buidling, temple asram, or nearby accommodation. Prasadam is served in the temple premises. The prices for both are discussed on an individual basis according to the preferences and possible agreements between the temple and the student.
If a student doesn’t have his/her own travel insurance, Belgian AXA Assistance can offer insurance for the time of stay in Radhadesh for the maximum of 185 days. More info.
Basic insurance price is 168 euro, while extended insurance is 271 euro.
As Radhadesh is in a remote place, and no public transport is available, students are advised to have some means to pay for the scheduled transport, which costs approximately 6 euros for a local doctor or an urgent dentist visit, or 26 euros for a trip to the hospital.
Deadline for registration: November 1, 2020
IMPORTANT: The course will take place only if the minimum number of students register for the course. Before making travel plans, please check if the course is confirmed.
You can submit your Bhakti Sastri Plus On-site 2020/21 application using the Registration Form below.
The total number of students is limited to a maximum of 18.