Dates: 24/08/2020 - 18/10/2020
Mode of Delivery: Online
For six weeks we will be discovering Srila Prabhupada’s translation and commentary to Srila Rupa Goswami’s Upadesamrita. Rupa Goswami was especially empowered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to assemble instructions on how to attain love of Godhead, Krishna -prema. His Upadesamrita (The Nectar of Instruction) is a compilation of eleven verses that outline the gradual progress and main instructions for a serious spiritual practitioner who wishes to attain this eternal love.
Bhakti Sastri program can be attended without special requirements. You are able to enroll in one module or all program. By clicking “Enrol Now” you will be redirected to Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus, where you will proceed with registration and payment only for this module. The Paypal fee is €99 fully inclusive.
Bhakti-sastri course is always going on, with 6 modules in total, one after another. It is possible to enroll at any time and continue from the next scheduled module or just take one module (or more) of your choice as each one is independent from the rest of the modules.
Registration to the complete Bhakti Sastri PLUS program
We are offering the possibility to study full Bhakti Sastri PLUS program:
- Create account on Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus (BCOC).
- Fill in the Bhakti Sastri PLUS registration form.
- Pay the Paypal fee (link below).
Registration into the Bhakti Sastri PLUS program brings number of benefits:
- a tuition-fee deduction of 15% (paying €505, instead of €594)
- each module can be studied according to one’s preference in a maximum period of two years (two consecutive postponing possible)
- one can immediately take the Disciples Course online
- after meeting criteria for receiving a Bhakti Sastri degree, one can automatically continue with the Bhakti Sastri PLUS and take one TRS module free of charge
- after receiving a Bhakti Sastri degree, one gets deduction of 15% for Bhaktivaibhava module (paying €339 instead of €399). This is applicable for those enrolled into BS+ after December 2015
- Bhakti Sastri graduates can apply for the BA in Theology and Religious Study (TRS) without paying the application fee of €50.
- As a special gift we will immediately send you two breathtaking audio CDs recorded by the Bhaktivedanta College students!
Once you register you will be automatically enrolled in the next Disciples Course and all upcoming Bhakti Sastri modules.
Preface and Verse 1
In the Preface Srila Prabhupada gives a brief history of the 6 Vrndavan Goswamis and points out the significance of their writings by quoting Srila Narottama Das Thakura: “When I am eager to understand the literature given by the Gosvamis, then I shall be able to understand the transcendental loving affairs of Radha and Krishna.” He also stresses the importance of becoming a Goswami, the topic described further in the first Verse
Verse 2 describes 6 habits or practices that prevent spiritual progress: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required; (2) overendeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain; (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4) Practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically; (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krishna consciousness; and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.
Verse 3 explains various practices that will help devotees making spiritual progress. It lists 6 qualities ‘assuring complete success of pure devotional service’: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles, (5) abandoning the association of non-devotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous acharyas.
Verse 4 lists 6 loving exchanges between devotees and Krishna, and between devotees: (1) offering gifts in charity, (2) accepting charitable gifts, (3) revealing one’s mind in confidence, (4) inquiring confidentially, (5) accepting prasada and (6) offering prasada Verses 5 and 6 teach us how to interact with three types of devotees, and (how) to avoid offenses against a Vaishnava.
Verses 7 and 8
Verses 7 and 8 glorify the potency of the holy names and advise devotees to always chant. In verse 8 Rupa Goswami gives the essence of all advice: to fix one mind on Krsna without deviation by constantly hearing and chanting about Him and remembering His pastimes.
Verses 9, 10 and 11
Verse 9 describes the hierarchy of the material and spiritual worlds. Verse 10 the hierarchy of different types of human beings and text 11 the glories of Radha-kunda. The verses perfectly illustrate that the cultivation of spiritual life is a gradual process. In the same way as one is meant to read he first nine Cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam before aproaching the Tenth Canto, one must assimilate the first ten verses of Upadesamrta before approaching Radha-kunda. If one fails to do so one is sure to misunderstand the instruction given herein and ruin one’s spiritual life.