Have you ever heard of a Bhakti Convocation? Or heard of a graduation ceremony where the students met their teachers face to face for the first time since their teacher-student relationship?
It so happened at ISKCON Coimbatore, on the 24th of June 2022, the Bhaktivedanta Academy awarded 125 Bhakti Shastri certificates to students who had successfully completed the graduation in the last two years of its operations. Approximately 250 candidates attended the course and exams, and the assessment board could clear 125 candidates in the first phase to meet with the event scheduled. This was a heartfelt offering of the Academy to Srila Prabhupada on his 125 years of birth centenary celebrations.
Courses were done in English, Tamil, and Malayalam languages. The students came from far and wide to receive these certificates. They were able to see the facilitators and staff of the academy in person for the first time after numerous screen & phone encounters during the COVID times. It was a momentous occasion as many of the facilitators and staff were also present in the program.
Suresvara Srikantha Das, one of the Bhakti Shastri graduates, shared his experience during the occasion – “It was an insightful journey that took a year of systematic Vedic study of Srila Prabhupada’s books. So many Q&A sessions, group activities using breakout room sessions in Zoom, etc. made me experience the association of other students even in lockdown. The assignments helped me to be introspective about my life choices with the help of these principles we read and heard from the facilitators.
My heartfelt appreciation to the Bhaktivedanta Academy team and to the facilitators, including His Holiness Bhaktivinoda Swami Maharaj, His Grace Srinivasa Hari Das Prabhu, His Grace Hari Lila Prabhu, and various other guest speakers. I am happy to be part of it and looking forward to attending the Bhakti Vaibhav session.”
The Bhaktivedanta Academy started educational programs in 2001 after the Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, inaugurated the Academy. Since then, numerous students have taken the opportunity to attend workshops, seminars, courses, etc. conducted by the Academy.
The Academy offers short, medium & long-term certificate courses that amalgamate Vedic philosophy with its practical application and trains the participants to integrate the same into their everyday life.
The courses are offered both online as well as offline modes with structured syllabi created to align with the learning curves of the participants at each level.
The Academy consistently offers courses based on the timeless wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita, such as Bhagavad Gita Overview (BGO), Living the Geeta, Geeta Life, Geeta life for doctors, etc. apart from Bhakti Shastri and Bhakti Vaibhav, etc.
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj gave away the certificates after a keynote talk on the “most satisfying” achievement of the Academy while acknowledging and recognizing the dedicated staff, volunteers, and facilitators of the Academy for their sincere service.
His Holiness Bhakti Vinoda Swami, the Director of the Academy has been inspiring its growth with a dedicated core group and spoke at length about the importance of assimilating the knowledge given in these books of Srila Prabhupada.
The next session of Bhakti Sastri Courses and Bhakti Vaibhava courses in Tamil and English is soon to start in the coming months. Please visit www.bhaktiyoga.live for enrolments and more information.
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