In the “sublime and auspicious land of Gaurasundara on the charming bank of the Bhagirathi, Gaudadesh[Sridham Mayapur], which is eternally shining and full of bliss” (extracted from Navadvipastakam Verse 1, Srila Rupa Goswami), on the auspicious Appearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, the GBC College for Leadership Development held the 2018 Graduation ceremony at the ILS (ISKCON Leadership Sanga). Twenty-three leaders from various locations in Africa, Bangladesh, China, India, Italy, Russia and Singapore, received their GBC College Graduation certificates and gifts in the presence of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, Srila Prabhupada, and over 600 ILS devotees including many ISKCON Gurus, GBCs and sannyasis.
The students had the good fortune of receiving their certificate and gifts from three GBC Trustees: Radhanath Swami, Romapada Swami and Tamohara Das. Over the last three years, the students attending the GBC College have been most fortunate to be trained by many renowned and qualified teachers including : Badrinarayan Swami, Bhakti Charu Swami, Bhakti Rasamrita Swami, Bhakti Vijnana Swami, Giriraj Swami, Kavicandra Swami, Jayapataka Swami, Radhanath Swami, Anuttama Das, Gopal Bhatta Das, Kalakantha Das (ACBSP), Vaisesika Das, Laxmimoni Devi Dasi, Praharana Devi Dasi, Braja Bihari Das, Kaunteya Das, Krsnanama Das, Srutidharma Das, Prana Das, Brajamohan Das, Radheshyam Das, Jai Nitai Das, Bal Govinda Das, and Rupanuga Das.
It was a special occasion as the devotees from China became extremely joyful when fellow Chinese devotees Sandhini Dasi, Janaka Das and Gaudiya Das received their gifts and certificates. Another graduate from China, Govinda Vallabha Das, could not attend the ceremony. The three class valedictorians this year were Rishi Kumar Das, Narottamananda Das, and Devakinandan Das (Singapore). They all received above 95% marks overall, in nearly 80 quizzes, essays and assignments that they completed over the course of one year in their 12 online courses, 4 weeks of residential sessions, and an Action Learning Project that they carried out with devotees from the respective zones.
The GBC College IT team makes the online education possible. And, Lalita Manjari Devi Dasi, Secretary of the College, painstakingly works with each student leader from the day they are nominated for admission until they graduate. She also works closely with the College President, Rupanuga Das and the many course assistants and graders, including Ajita Krsna Das, Amritanjali Gaurangi Devi Dasi, Antardwip Das, Nandini Radha Devi Dasi, Nija-Dham Das, Radheswari Padmini Devi Dasi, and Shreeji Kumari Devi Dasi.
The MC of the event, Kaunteya Das, spoke briefly on the successful GBC College training that was started in Russia last year.
The GBC College will be holding leadership training in Spanish at the Instituto Jaladuta, Campina Grande, Brazil in March 2018. This institute is headed by Dhanvantari Swami and it has been operational for the last 18 years.
Kaunteya Das also spoke about the GBC College Alumni who have been appointed as Zonal Supervisors in various locations around the world, including Albania, Austria, Belgium,Bolivia, Botswana, Chile, Ecuador, England,Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Myanmar, Netherlands, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia,South Peru, Suriname,Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, US Midwest, and West Africa.
More Zonal Supervisors need to be allocated to other parts of the ISKCON world which has been divided into 168 Zones.The admission to the GBC College and subsequent appointment as a Zonal Supervisor are both initiated by a GBC of the zone. The College is developing more programs for all other leadership levels in ISKCON, such as the temple presidents, community leaders, mentors, etc..
The video recording of the event can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DUoMPEfMf0education ] [ gbc ] [ ils ] [ leadership ] [ mayapur ]