The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Second ISKCON Studies Conference:3-6 July 2009

By: on May 23, 2009

The ISKCON Studies Institute is pleased to invite you to the second ISKCON Studies Conference, "The Guru: Person, Position, Possibilities", to be held at Villa Vrindavan, near Florence, Italy, from 3-6 July 2009.

The Conference is a forum for presentations of research and open discussion among the participants.

Presentations include:

  • On the Definition and Authority of the Guru (Dvijamani Dasa)
  • Sitting at the Guru's Feet: Teachers, Students and Didactic Roles in the Upanisads (Gopinathacarya Dasa)
  • Gurus, Charisma, and ISKCON Religious System (Kimmo Ketola)
  • From Father to the Lord Himself. Roles of the Guru in Chaitanya Vaishnavism (Mans Broo)
  • 'Culturing the wisdom of Devotion: Developing ISKCON's Vision for Spiritual Guidance' (Krsna-ksetra Dasa)
  • Acceptance, Guidance, Transcendence: The 'Guru' in Classical South Asian Legal Texts (Frederico Squarcini)
  • The Guru in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition (Ravindra Svarupa Dasa)
  • Guru Training Course: Lessons Learned (Anuttama Dasa)
  • ISKCON's Zonal Acarya period (Arya Dasi) 

A number of these papers will appear in the second edition of the ISKCON Studies Journal.

The theme of this year's Conference – the guru – lies at the heart of Gaudiya Vaisnava faith and practice. Indeed, the Indic religious traditions as a whole emphasize the importance of the guru, and yet they often have widely diverging understandings of the guru's nature, position, and function. The conference aims to provide an academic forum to discuss this theme, especially as it relates to ISKCON, but with attention to its broader context.

Dates: Friday 3 July - Monday 6 July 2009
Cost: 120 Euros including all meals and accommodation for the nights of 2-6 July.
Registrations and other enquiries: Contact Kumari-priya Dasi at

Nearest main airport is Pisa. However, being Italy, there are many alternatives and good rail links from most of the country. There is a 70 minute (8 Euro) bus trip straight from Pisa Airport to Florence Railway Station. If you prefer to spend a little time in Pisa (certainly worthwhile), it is very near to Pisa airport (about ten minutes) and there are regular, inexpensive trains from Pisa to Florence and a left-luggage at the station.

>From Florence Railway Station station it is a short local bus to Tavarnuzze, from where you will be collected.

Day trip: Part of the schedule is for an excursion to Florence. There may be a small extra charge for those wishing to go.

For updates to the programme, see

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