Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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The Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies Releases Two New Books
By BIHS Operations Team   |  Sep 22, 2023

The Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies (BIHS) is pleased to announce the release of two new publications as it prepares for its upcoming November conference, “Cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana: Current Research on History, Philosophy, and Science.”

The first publication, “2019 Consciousness in Science Conference: Partial Collection of Abstracts and Papers,” is the fruit of BIHS’ first international conference held in 2019, “Consciousness in Science.” The event was hosted at the historic Thomas Centre in Gainesville, Florida. This event included lectures by Professor Stuart Hameroff and author Brenda Dunne at the University of Florida’s Harn Museum on Friday, January 18th, to promote the conference.

More than 20 countries were represented from six continents. The atmosphere was electric, with a broad array of highly esteemed guests, including 50 devotee scholars holding Ph.D. or MS qualifications. 

The primary objective of this conference was to gather scientists from the worldwide devotional community to provide them with a platform to share their research ideas and network with fellow scholars. A broad range of specialties were represented, such as consciousness studies, quantum physics, metallurgy, DNA, medicine, psychiatry, and astrophysics. This recently published volume is an informal collection of abstracts and papers submitted for consideration and offers a review of recent research by conference attendees and other scholars. For more information and for ordering a copy, please click here.

The second publication is “Pūrva-pakṣa: Fine-Tuning Opposing Views. A Journal Featuring Recent Research of Scholars Associated with the Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies (Volume 1).” The term pūrva-pakṣa is drawn from the Indian philosophical method of argumentation, where one considers all available views from one’s own or rival traditions before forming one’s own views. This journal aims to feature recent research of scholars who wish to examine the ideas and practices identified with the traditions of the Indian subcontinent while considering their relevance in a contemporary context. The essays published in this initial volume are taken from presentations given at workshops and seminars hosted by the Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies in Gainesville, Florida, with a number drawn from edited transcripts. The objective is to invite a modern pūrva-pakṣa involving participants confident in personal convictions, enthused to analyze from different perspectives, and open to the test of critical examination in a manner that stimulates productive scholarly discourse. Thus, an analytical discussion of the content of these articles will hopefully take wing, or pakṣa, and achieve a destination far beyond initial expectations that the readers of this volume will find rewarding. For more information and for ordering a copy, please click here.

Upcoming November Conference

Volume 2 of “Pūrva-pakṣa” is already in the works, and we plan to draw the contents for Volume 3 from the more than two dozen presentations to be given at the much anticipated BIHS conference, “Cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana: Current Research on History, Philosophy, and Science.” This event, to be held November 17-19th in Gainesville, is a natural outgrowth of three prior BIHS cosmology workshops, which examined traditional and contemporary studies of cosmological issues in relation to Sanskrit texts such as the Purāṇas (notably Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam), the Jyotiṣa Śāstras, and the Mahābhārata. We have invited scholars from around the world for this conference to discuss academic analyses in discourse with internal cultural appreciations. The roster will include Abhinanda (Alexey Timoschuk, Ph.D. Culture Studies), Doug Watson (Ph.D. in Physics), Giridhari (Tiziano Valentinuzzi, Ph.D. Astronomy), Janakirama (Jonathan Edelmann, Ph.D. Religious Studies and Theology), W. Randolph Kloetzli (Ph.D. History of Religion), Krishna Kshetra Swami (Kenneth Valpey, Ph.D. Religion), and Radhika Ramana (Ravi M. Gupta, Ph.D. Hinduism), to name a few.

The main objective of this conference is to network with established scholars familiar with Purāṇic and other ancient and modern cosmological constructs to foster collaborative projects that can lead to a richer understanding of the Vedic view of the universe. This, in turn will help develop productive narratives identified with the Purāṇas for a variety of ISKCON-related projects concerned with public presentations of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam’s Fifth Canto narratives. 

If you would like to attend this conference (via livestream), please register using the link at the bottom of the BIHS conference webpage. To participate in person, please contact Prishni via email. Space is limited.

For a full selection of BIHS books, visit

Photo credit: Oscar Ovalle.