Inspiring and inculcating Vaishnava qualities and a mood of selfless service in the followers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, by creating a strong sastric foundation for their spiritual lives
Assisting the devotees in understanding the glorious contribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books, by systematically studying them and contemplating practical ways for application of their teachings through an effective educational framework as envisaged by the Gaudiya Vaishnava parampara.
Our philosophy and practice of it is governed by an important rule – we cannot invent God, a religion and the practices that support it. It must come from the actual source Itself. Thus, we follow a triad to qualify what we speak and practice – sādhu-śāstra-guru: one has to test all spiritual matters according to the instructions of saintly persons (sādhus), scriptures (śāstra) and the spiritual master (guru) respectively. This ancient Vedic measure ensures that instructions and practice should not differ at any point from the above mentioned three and should always reconcile. Thus, we are sure that we are following a genuine path. Truth, Tradition and Transformation are symbolic equivalents for sastra, guru and sadhu respectively.
Satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi. According to the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the definition of truth, Absolute Truth, is janmādy asya yataḥ: [SB 1.1.1] “The Absolute Truth is that from which everything emanates, the original source of all.” That is Absolute Truth.
The Truth is “God is great, and we are subservient. So our duty is to abide by the instruction of God.” Instruction of God is passed on as Veda which means ‘Knowledge’ and being the words of the Absolute Truth, this message is absolute truth. All the knowledge required for us to live a meaningful and purposeful living ismentioned in the Veda. Vedic texts contain knowledge, not only about spirituality but any area that modern scientists and philosophers can think of or rather can’t even think of – like Cosmology, Medicine, Arts, Theatre, Sociology, Politics, Governance and many more.
What we will not even learn from years of research can be easily found and understood by studying vedic texts. Thus, Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha engages the students in systematically studying and assimilating this truth of the scriptures with an aim of further propagating it.
evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way.
In the last 5000 years the popular scholars, politicians, philosophers, and svāmīs, have skewed the knowledge of Krishna who is the Absolute Truth. Anyone who tries to understand Vedic texts from such misguided views will commit a great blunder and will distract from a proper spiritual path.
In order to ensure proper guidance God has personally passed on this information through his four empowered representatives Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Vishnuswami, and Nimbarkacharya which are today know as Four Sampradayas vis-a-vis Sri, Brahma, Rudra, and Kumara respectively. Perfect knowledge descends in paramparā (lineage), or deductive knowledge coming down from the authority to the submissive aural receiver who is bona fide by service and surrender. The guru, or the bona fide spiritual master, is the representative of lineage, who iscompetent to teach the disciple in the right path with reference to the context of all authentic Vedic literature. Lineage and Spiritual master together represents Tradition.
At Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha, we study the scriptures translated and commented by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who is a representative in one such bona-fide lineage, Brahma-Madhva-Gauḍīya-Vaishnava-Sampradāya. And the study is conducted under the guidance of his disciples and their followers.
sad-bhāve sādhu-bhāve ca
The sense of the nature of the devotee is the sense of nature of Supreme
One who acts in divine consciousness is called a sādhu. Sādhu or a mahātmā, is defined as: mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanty ananya manaso [Bg. 9.13] – one who has taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa cent percent, and his only business is to worship and glorify Kṛṣṇa.
Sādhu means sage, or saint. He can be determined by his qualities:
titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ suhṛdaḥ sarva-dehinām
ajāta-śatravaḥ śāntāḥ sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇāḥ
The symptoms of a sādhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime.
Today, millions of people who have come in contact with ISKCON movement and Srila Prabhupada’s books have developed these qualities which is a major transformation in their lives and a significant contribution for the society.
At Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha, students experience such transformation by studying scriptures, rendering services in their perspective and by associating with people who are living such exemplary lives.
The Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha has been created so that Srila Prabhupada’s books are systematically studied and the teachings are assimilated by the students for further propagation of Krishna consciousness in the world. Our efforts aim at also facilitating this for others by creating supporting study materialsand other research work [that includes thematic compilations] on the teachings of Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya Caritamrita and the Bhaktivedanta purports on these books.