One effort in helping establish a healthy unified society, a shared vision in ISKCON, is the society’s disciple’s course, which was taught for the first time in North America at the Washington D.C. temple. The course was facilitated by Anuttama Dasa, a GBC member and ISKCON’s Minister for Communications.
At the 2014 Annual General Meetings of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission in Mayapur, the GBC resolved that devotees wishing to take initiation from an ISKCON guru will be required to first pass the ISKCON Disciple Course. The resolution will not be effective until Janmastami 2015, so that ISKCON leaders throughout the world will have time to put the proper systems in place to make the course widely available.
From the holy day of Janmastami – September 5th -- this year, devotees wishing to take initiation from an ISKCON guru will be required to first pass the ISKCON Disciples Course. The course grew from the ISKCON Guru Seminar, created by the GBC Guru Services Committee in 2008 to educate those taking up the service of guru in how to be effective in caring for their disciples.
This month, the ISKCON Disciple Course – a program introduced in 2012 to help devotees better understand the guru-disciple relationship – became a requirement for initiation into ISKCON. And now, the straightforwardly-named The Guru and Disciple Book, by Prabhupada disciple Kripamoya Das, adds to the complex age-old topic and makes it even more accessible.
The current intellectual and philosophical climate in the industrialised world has contributed to a particular perspective on the Vedas and the guru-disciple culture which is at its heart.
Problems. Complications. Difficulties. We all have them. Usually they occur 365 days a year. Being a leader means dealing with the added responsibility of societal and institutional issues and finding viable solutions as well. But the first step in solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. On the second and third days of the GBC, sannyasi and guru sanga, the participants began to untie this Gordian knot.
w website, http://www.iskcondisciplecourse.com/, has been launched for the ISKCON Disciples Course. Throughout the world, the course has been inspiring a family togetherness amongst devotees, as well as a strong dedication to Srila Prabhupada, their gurus, and Lord Chaitanya’s mission.
In general, accepting criticism is the ability to stay strong and to expand. Today people cannot handle criticism. Even the thought of it throws their status quo out of control.
Approximately 160 visitors from China, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan recently went to Mayapur with Giridhari Swami on pilgrimage.
“One of the benefits of this was to show the disciples the culture of Vaishnava discussion,” says Sarvajna Das. “Another was to help them think about the topic more and how to apply it in their practical lives.”