Atul Krsna Dasa, our Systematic Sastric Study Coordinator, discusses with a prospective student about our Bhaktivaibhava Course:
Why do you think the Bhaktivaibhava course is important?
I feel that all full-time ISKCON preachers and administrators should get the opportunity to take the Bhakti-sastri and Bhaktivaibhava Courses at some time during their devotional careers. Prabhupada has given everything in his Bhaktivedanta purports to the first six Cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam. We should take advantage of the legacy Prabhupada has left us through the medium of the Bhaktivaibhava Course. All serious aspiring madhyama-bhaktas in ISKCON should study Prabhupada books at least to the level of bhaktivaibhava.
Why shouldn’t we just study Srila Prabhupada’s books on our own? Why do we need to come to Mayapur to take a course?
It is a rare soul who can all alone maintain a systematic thorough study of the first six Cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Most devotees find the course curriculum, the support of the facilitators, the association of fellow students and the mercy of Sri Dhama Mayapur essential components contributing to success in their studies. Srila Prabhupada specifically mentioned in various letters that he wanted his books to be studied in a systematic way and degrees awarded.
What could I expect if I participated in the Mayapur Institute Bhaktivaibhava course?
As with our Bhakti-sastri Course, we have designed our Bhaktivaibhava Course with clear aims and objectives, and we facilitate the course in a very interactive manner. The weekly schedule involves trained VTE facilitators conducting Structured Learning Classes and senior ISKCON leaders and preachers facilitating Thematic Discussions. Facilitators will assign various types of project work during the course concluding with individual student presentations before final graduation.
What is special about the Mayapur Institute Bhaktivaibhava Course which may not be there in other Bhaktivaibhava Courses?
Here in Mayapur, we are currently developing a standard bhaktivaibhava curriculum.
In particular, we are preparing:
- Supportive material for facilitators to conduct an effective course.
- Resources for the students to guide them in their private reading, such as chapter overviews and short answer study questions.
We are also:
- Organizing the content of Srimad-Bhagavatam into assessable modules and study units with clear learning objectives, and we are delineating what students will achieve at various stages throughout the course.
- Establishing standards for accrediting a Bhaktivaibhava degree.
- Enhanced knowledge and understanding of the content of the first six Cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
- Improvement in one’s personal application of the practices of bhakti.
- Development of preaching skills with reference to the first six Cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
- Deepened appreciation of Srila Prabhupada’s mood and mission as revealed in his purports to the first six Cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
- Increased taste from and appreciation for the basic practices of hearing and discussing Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of devotees.
- Enhanced appreciation of Sri Dhama Mayapur.
- In summary, devotees will experience a guaranteed improvement in their devotional lives.