Dates: 08/02/2021 - 14/03/2021
Mode of Delivery: Online
Madhurya Kadambini is the work of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, one of the greatest Gaudiya Vaisnava Acaryas. This writing provides scientific analysis of the various stages through which a practicing bhakti-yogi advances. The stages are eloquently described through 8 showers (chapters) offering students an understanding of the symptoms that manifest on the bhakti path and how to skillfully address each one
All the lectures are pre-recorded and put on our learning platform along with other learning materials so students can access them and study at their own time – morning, evening, weekdays, weekends. The ‘alive’ part of the course is the forum where you interact with your teacher and other students in writing. Each Monday students get access to different sets of materials and need to go through them during that week.
About the Instructor
When Ananda Vrndavan dd, the instructor of this course, started with her bhakti yoga practice, she was immediately attracted by the vast knowledge available in the books of Srila Prabhupada, and other acaryas and sadhus from our disciplic succession. She spent the last 20 years reading, studying, translating, editing, proofreading, promoting, sharing and distributing books and the jewels of knowledge available in them to practitioners and non-practitioners alike.
Madhurya Kadambini offers detailed information on the stages of the spiritual journey and what a practitioner can expect along the way. In this module, there is a particular focus on the stage where he/she encounters inner difficulties by giving practical solutions and authorized instructions found in sacred scriptures.
Aims of course
- to provide relevant information on 9 stages of the spiritual journey
- to help practitioners overcome common and more specific obstacles in their spiritual lives
- to encourage practitioners by providing the knowledge which assures us that no obstacle is stronger than spiritual techniques for dealing with them
- to equip practitioners with tools to address obstacles even before they surface
Topic 1 - Phenomenon of Bhakti, its appearance, and initial development
Great acaryas like Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur are facilitating us in returning to the realm of pure love. Their teachings are as remarkably relevant for us today as they were when they were written several centuries ago – they stress the benefits of having a yardstick for measuring one’s spiritual advancement. To honestly detect where we are now and where we are going next in our spiritual life seems to be a necessity if we want to make our way to the goal of divine love. We start with exploring the appearance of the initial faith in spiritual life (sraddha) and how it develops in the proper association (sadhu-sanga).
Topic 2 - Bhajana kriya
Development of faith at some point requires a certain practice which will lead us further on the path. At that moment, a qualified guide is required to step in so that our efforts can yield the best results possible. At the same time, there are obstacles to be dealt with which appear in the lives of all practitioners, like lethargy, doubt, and attraction to sense enjoyment, to name a few.
Topic 3 - Anartha nivrithi: removing of unwanted desires
The fourth stage is the longest and it is a make-it-or-break-it stage as obstacles are getting more complex and subtle. During this stage, we can lose hope that progress, or that reaching our goal, is actually possible. But Madhurya Kadambini gives not one but many solutions to challenging situations which often occur.
Topic 4 - Stages of nistha, ruci and asakti - steadiness, taste and attachment
After the stage of clearing unwanted desires comes the stage called nistha or steadiness. It is a turning point after which other stages of spiritual unfoldment come naturally and quickly. It is compared to riding a bicycle uphill and then ending up in a open field – the pedals are almost turning on their own! There are still a few things which need to be taken care of, but progress from here is significantly easier.
At the stage of ruci, or transcendental taste, activities of bhakti are no longer considered a choir. A practitioner has developed an internal attraction for devotional service and is naturally inclined towards it. Such taste develops further into the deep transcendental attachment to the object of devotional service – Lord Krishna, which deepens one’s inner life and sense of spiritual identity further.
Topic 5 - Bhava and Prema: Transcendental ecstasy and Divine love
Finally, one arrives at the healthiest and most natural position of the person, spiritual soul – total intoxication from being madly in love with God. The long journey has been successfully finished, and now the real life starts!
If a student wishes to test his/her knowledge of the subjects discussed in this course, there are 2 quizzes available, one covering the first three topics of the course and the other one covering the remaining 2. At the beginning of Topic 3, students have 20 essay questions from which they can choose the one most relevant for them – either from the philosophical or personal perspective. The instructor will provide comments and answers to the points raised in essays. Taking quizzes and writing essays are optional.
We offer a certificate of attendance if either the tests or the essay have been submitted.
Madhurya Kadambini course can be attended without any special requirements.
The Paypal fee is €69, fully inclusive. By clicking “Enrol Now” you will be redirected to Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus (BCOC), where you will proceed with registration and payment for this course.