Every year, new students arrive from various backgrounds and are led to the dance floor of Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh, Belgium, where Krishna is the only dance leader and everyone submits to His moves. Some coming to the college this year were seekers, yogis, and scholars, but all twelve new students were looking for melodies to fill their souls, which they’d not yet found. They may find the desired melodies as the music and dance begin.
For eight years the college has held an orientation week for students and an inauguration ceremony for the students, faculty, and community members. One especially appreciated person returning each year is Anuradha Dasi, who lives in Oxford, England. Her enthusiasm and desire to enliven new students amazes and entertains everyone.
She is skilled in the art of praising devotees, but even more so in creating a warm, trusting environment in which the students can excavate their pasts and find Lord Krishna’s hand in every step. After a week of digging, the students are then presented to the community with her interpretative findings. This is a much appreciated introduction ceremony, and it makes a lasting impression.
The ninth inauguration ceremony began with speeches by the Principal, Yadunanadana Swami, the Administrative Director, Jaya Krishna Dasa, Trustee and Instructor Braja Bihari Dasa, and another visiting teacher, Urmila Dasi. They all held their own pieces of the college puzzle, and their own share of wisdom, appreciation, and gratitude for the college and the Radhadesh community.
For Yadunandana Swami, education has a crucial role to play in developing ISKCON, and he acknowledged the distance still left to go.
“We will be able to say that education has become a real priority when we’re able to establish a full-fledged university,” he said, “And when we can develop excellent schools for children worldwide.”
Jaya Krishna spoke of the college’s present endeavors: finishing the new residential building and planning for two more buildings. “Despite the financial crisis,” said Yadunandana Swami, “Jaya Krishna still pulled together the new building in a way only a Swiss manager could do.”
Braja Bhihari spoke of the unique potential of the college. He cited his son’s graduating class at an American college as quantitatively bigger, but qualitatively inferior and not even comparable. Much of the college’s potential is still untapped, he said, such as more locations and a better reputation in the world.
Urmila said that the inaugural evening in itself marked a success, because as Prabhupada said, if he could make even one pure devotee, his mission would be successful. So, the college, in enrolling even one student, no matter what the future is, has already succeeded. The students are the proof of this.
Malati Dasi, the Congregational Development Director of Radhadesh, representing the Radhadesh community, welcomed the students to the cold weather but warm feeling of Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha’s temple and home.
The blessings and good wishes of all the devotees went out to the students and faculty for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Let the music begin!
For more information, please visit http://www.bhaktivedantacollege.com
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