Tag Archives: Bhakti Tirtha

Bhakti-ratna Course 2

Our new course will start on October 17th 2022. The class schedule as per Indian Standard Time from Monday through Friday is as follows:

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm ISTSanskrit Reading: Bhagavad Gītā with ṭīkā, continued (by Jagadananda Das)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pmSanskrit for Beginners (by Jagadananda Das)
8:00 pm – 9:00 pmBhakti Sandarbha, continued (by Babaji)
9:00 pm – 10:00 pmNyāya Sūtras of Gautama (by Babaji)

Saturdays:

8 pm – 9 pm Harināmāmṛta Vyākaraṇam (by Babaji)

Sundays

8 pm – 9 pm Readings from Caitanya Caritāmṛta (by Sri Krsna Saranana Das Babaji)

Every morning there is kīrtana at 10.30. We will have a winter break from 25.12 to 7.1.2023.

If want to follow the classes from home at your convenience, you can receive the daily recordings as audio files. Please visit our Online Store for that. Additionally, we will live-stream all classes in a private Facebook group for all registered students, where these videos will be available to watch on-demand.

Before the Bhaktiranta course, we are planning to have a japa retreat at Jiva for one week. The dates are from October 7th till 14th. 

New students are welcome to join, but we advise that they make themselves familiar with the subjects already taught. If you like to register, please first pay your registration fee, and then fill in the registration form.

Registration is required for all students.

If you have any questions about the registration or the course, please write to bhaktiratna-admin@jivaseva.com

Pricing

Registration: $ 250 or 18750 INR.
Food per month: $ 250.
Accommodation: Ashram: $ 150 per month. $ 800 for 6 months in advance.
Student Hostel: $ 210 per month. $ 1100 for 6 months in advance.
Guest House: $ 300 per month. $ 1600 for 6 months in advance.

Remote, On-Line Study:
$ 150 for the recordings of the whole course for all registered students.
Each course can also be purchased individually at the end of the semester. Details can be given upon request.
$ 90 for Only Sanskrit including recordings.

The teachers:

Satyanarayana Dasa is the founder and director of the Jiva Institute of Vaishnava Studies in Vrindavan, India. He received a postgraduate degree from IIT Delhi and a doctorate in Sanskrit along with a degree in law from Agra University. He has authored 20 books related to Indian culture and philosophy and several important publications in many prestigious journals. In 2013, he was honored by the president of India, Pranab Mukherjee, for his extraordinary contribution in presenting Vedic culture and philosophy, both nationally and internationally. In 2015, he was officially installed as a Mahanta of Jiva Institute.

Since 2016, he is conducting 6-month courses on Indian philosophy known as Ṣaḍ-darśana, and the Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas,which are the foundational works of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism. He also conducts courses on Vedic Psychology.

 

 

Jagadananda Das

Jagadananda Das, a.k.a. Jan K. Brzezinski (b. 1950), joined ISKCON in Toronto, Canada, in 1970 and was initiated by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In 1979, he joined the son and disciple of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Lalita Prasad Thakur from whom he took dīkṣā and vairāgya (bābājī veṣa) and was given the name Jagadānanda Dās Bābājī. For the next five years he studied the literature of the sampradāya in Nabadwip and was given the title Bhakti-śāstrī in 1982. In 1985, he took courses in comparative religious studies and the history of religions at McGill University in Canada, getting top honors. In 1988 he was awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship to study for his doctorate at the School of Oriental and African Studies. In 1992 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Sanskrit Literature, the subject of which was the Gopāla-campū of Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī. In 2007, he returned to India where he taught Sanskrit and studied yoga meditation at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh. Since 2010 he has been living in Vrindavan where he has been working with Satyanarayan Dasa on translating and editing the Sandarbhas.

Jagadananda Das is the editor of the Gaudiya Grantha Mandir, on-line repository of Sanskrit texts (https://grantha.jiva.org) and of the online magazine Vrindavan Today (vrindavantoday.in).

Bhakti Tirtha Inspires

At the end of this semester, Babaji completed two classes that began in the latter half of the second year. One of them was the study of Alaṅkāra Kaustubha, Kavi Karnapūra’s massive work on poetry, its embellishments, how it creates rasa, and the flaws to be avoided, expertly revealing these features and flaws by using poetic stanzas of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes with the gopīs. 

The second class completed was on Bhagavad Sandarbha, the second of Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī’s Ṣaḍ Sandarbha. Bhagavad Sandarbha elaborates further the answer to the question of how we can know the Absolute Truth, which was introduced in Tattva Sandarbha with the “vadanti tat” verse and will continue through Paramātma Sandarbha. In Bhagavad Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva defines Bhagavān, Paramātmā and Brahman and explains the distinctions between them. He then elaborates on Bhagavan’s characteristics and expounds that He can be known theoretically through scriptures (śabda-pramāṇa) but ultimately experienced only through bhakti. 

On Friday 29th, the last day of this semester, our teachers Babaji Maharaja, Jagadananda prabhu, Swamini Radhika Devi, and Navadvipa prabhu as guest speaker offered a closing ceremony. Babaji pointed out that there are many books in our sampradāya that have either not yet been discovered or that have been lost due to a lack of interest. In the past, these books were copied by hand, and if they were not read, were bound to disappear. 

“With this course,” he said, “We are making Jīva Gosvāmī happy because his books are being studied. The Gosvāmīs had no economical motive in writing them but were happy if people applied these teachings and thus made their lives successful.”

He further mentioned that this Bhakti Tirtha course is an inspiring model for other Vaiṣṇava groups, who are now also taking up similar systematic studies. Finally, Babaji thanked the students because without students, there is no course. A teacher’s success depends on the students.

Sanskrit teacher Jagadananda prabhu pointed out that Jiva Institute is a developing Institution that offers and supports intellectual discussions on Vaishnavism. In the same vein, our vernacular and Sanskrit poetry teacher Radhika Devi appreciated the diversity and high level of philosophical tolerance at Jiva Institute. She wants her students to have an experience of the real Vrindavan and strives to give them the tools for such an experience.

Babaji’s longstanding friend and Sandarbha editor, Navadvipa prabhu, shared his early experiences with Babaji in ISKCON and the formative years of Jiva Institute. He spoke about Babaji’s struggle to establish the Institute and his determined vision to translate the Sandarbhas and create a sanctuary for teaching, where he could speak openly and without any reservation. The Bhakti Tirtha course is the fruit of this endeavor. 

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Preview of Bhakti Tirtha Level 4

The new course will start on October 15th and will run until end of March. New students are welcome but are recommended to listen to the previous recordings before the new semester starts.


Class schedule from Monday through Friday:

10.20 – 11.20 am Sanskrit Level 2 (by Jagadananda Das)
11.20 – 12.20 am Paramātma Sandarbha  (by Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa)
12:30 – 1:20 pmĪśvara Kṛṣṇa’s Sāṅkhya-kārikā (by Babaji)
4 – 5 pmSanskrit Level 1 (by Jagadananda Das) 

Saturdays:

5 – 6 pm A Course in Sanskrit and Vernacular Devotional Poetry with special accents (by Radhika Devi)

Every morning there will be kīrtana from 9.00 to 9:50. Everyone is welcome to join.

Besides the regular schedule, we will also have additional classes and weekend seminars, which will be announced in our Bhakti Tirtha email group. Further, a japa retreat is planned before or after the course. 

During the Rutgers student program (tentatively at the end of the year and the first two weeks of 2020), there will be a winter break, but students are welcome to attend the program.

Registration Details:

For registration please write to: bhaktitirtha@jivaseva.com

Registration fees: until end of June: $ 200 US Later registrations: $ 300
Food per month: $ 250.
Accommodation: Ashram: $ 150 per month. $ 800 for 6 months in advance.
Student Hostel: $ 210 per month. $ 1100 for 6 months in advance.
Guest House: $ 300 per month. $ 1600 for 6 months in advance.
There are other options for food and accommodation in the vicinity, which students are free to choose.

Remote, On-Line Study:
$ 550 for complete recordings of the whole course.
Recordings for registered students who attend the course: $ 150.
Each course can also be purchased individually. Details can be given upon request.
Course materials are not included in the above fees.

Please go through the product description before making a purchase as we don’t entertain refunds.


Update: Bhakti-tirtha Course 2016

The classroom at Jiva
The classroom

The first Bhakti-tirtha Course at Jiva Institute will be inaugurated on 16th October 2016. His Holiness Srivata Gosvami of Radha-raman Mandir will be the chief guest.  This course is a unique opportunity to study Gaudiya Vaishnava scriptures in specific and the Sad Darshanas in general, which are necessary to understand Gaudiya philosophy properly. Such an opportunity may not come again because our lives are not eternal.

Jiva Institute
Jiva Institute for Vaisnava Studies

Therefore anybody who is serious about knowing the Gaudiya siddhanta in a systematic and lucid way and who can afford to come and study at Jiva Vrindavan for six months a year for the next five years, should not miss this opportunity.

All classes are free of charge, but there will be a yearly registration fee of US $250 to cover administrative expenses. Students who plan to stay at Jiva ashram need to pay for boarding and lodging.

The details of the various courses and the books required are as follows:

1) Introduction to Sanskrit

2) Study of the Yoga Sutras for the first part of the course, followed by Tattva Sandarbha and further by Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu.

3) Nyaya Sutras for the first part of the course followed by Tarka-sangraha (Nyaya)

4) Readings from Gopala Campu

 

Class schedule from Monday through Friday:

Period Time Part 1 Part 2
1 10 am Sanskrit (16th Oct – 31st March 2017)
2 11 am Yoga Sutras (16th Oct. – Mid. Dec.) Tattva Sandarbha / BRS
3 12 am Nyaya Sutras (16th Oct. – End of Nov.) Tarka-sangraha
4 5 pm Gopal Campu (16th Oct – 31st March 2017)

 

Babaji in Vilnius May 2015The classes on Sanskrit, Tattva Sandarbha by Jiva Gosvami, Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu by Rupa Gosvami, and Tarka-sangraha will be given by Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa. Tarka Sangraha is an entry level book which is a systematic overview of Nyaya/Vaisheshika in its newer (navya) period.

Edwin_TeachingAdvaita Prabhu Das (Prof. Edwin Bryant) will teach the Yoga Sutras, which is helpful in understanding the first two chapters of Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu. This course will consist of a close reading the the Yoga Sutras, the classical Vaidica text on the nature of mind and consciousness. It will especially engage the first chapter, which outlines the various stages of samadhi, as well as the second chapter, which focuses on the mechanisms underpinning rebirth and samsara, and the requisite practices for purifying the mind such that it can engage in meditative practices culminating in samadhi.  Additionally, the course will compare and contrast the goals and techiniques underpinning Patanjali’s classical dhyana yoga with the smarana practices of Vaishnava bhakti. Students will be provided with a copy of the Sutras with the Sanskrit text and English translation.

Prof. Matthew R. Dasti will teach the Nyaya Sutras. This course will study the fundamental text of ancient Nyaya by lookingDasti, Matthew at some of its most important debates and discussions. These include a defense of the existence of the self, an argument that God must exist as creator, and a vindication of the reality of the world against Buddhist skeptics and idealists. Readings will be English translations of passages of the sutras with portions of important commentaries. This course is coupled with the Tarka Sangraha taught by Babaji.

jagatJagadananda Das (Dr. Jan Brzezinski) will read from Jiva Gosvami’s classical literary composition Gopala Campu, which narrates the pastimes of Radha and Krishna. We will start in the beginning, referring to the relevant portions of Krishna Sandarbha and Vaishnava Toshani Bhagavata commentaries, reading from there also according to need. We will start by explaining things in easy Sanskrit and then translate into English, according to the level of qualification of the students . The point will be to make the readings as enjoyable as possible rather than to make it an intellectual exercise per se.

 

Importance of Sanskrit and Nyaya

Knowledge of the Sanskrit language and Nyaya is essential to understand any school of Vedic thought. Therefore, one should not think that these two subjects have no utility for a devotee.

Among the traditional Indian Sanskrit scholars there is a very popular saying, kanadam paniniyam ca sarva sastropakarakam (“The knowledge of Logic and Sanskrit grammar are indispensable to understand any scripture”).

This course is not meant to just give theoretical knowledge, but also to have a personal experience of Gaudiya Philosophy and an understanding of how to practically apply it in life.

Sanskrit

The course will cover the most important aspects of the entire Sanskrit grammar. It will give students a working knowledge of the most important aspects of Sanskrit grammar together with core vocabulary and prepare them to the more advanced Sanskrit grammar studies taught in the traditional way.

The goal of this course is to give a student the basic knowledge of the Sanskrit language which will enable him or her to study the original Bhagavat Gita, Upanishads, Ramayana, etc., initially aided by word-by-word translations. This will be the first step to prepare a student to approach more complex Sanskrit Vaishnava literature such as Srimad Bhagavatam with its commentaries or the Gosvamis’ works. The knowledge of Sanskrit acquired in this course will be put to immediate use while studying Nyaya and Tattva-Sandarbha, two other subjects of the 6-month program. This course will give a student a working knowledge of the most important aspects of Sanskrit grammar together with core vocabulary. It will also prepare a student to the more advanced Sanskrit grammar studies taught in the traditional way  using Aṣṭādhyāyī by Pāṇini or Śrī Harināmāmṛta-vyākaraṇam by Jiva Goswami.

The course will cover the most important aspects of the entire Sanskrit grammar, including the following topics:

  1. Pronunciation and alphabet. 2. Sandhi 3. Parts of speech and Sanskrit sentence. 4. Noun declension system 5. Pronouns and their declension 6. Numerals and their declension. 7. Verb present system and gaṇa conjugations. 8. Non-gaṇa tenses and conjugations 10. Participles 11. Other verbal forms (Gerund, Gerundive, etc.) 12. Secondary verb conjugations (causative, desiderative, intensive) 13. Aorist system 14. Adverbs 15. Common prefixes and suffixes 16. Samasa (compounds) 17. Syntactic constructs (locative/genitive absolute constructions, etc.)

Daily Class and Homework:

A daily 45-min class will include an explanation of a particular grammar topic, a short grammar and/or vocabulary quiz, reading and translation exercises, homework-based short story telling and question answering in Sanskrit, etc. Daily homework will include grammar exercises, reading and translation of original Sanskrit texts, such as Bhagavat Gita or Hitopadesha, memorization of Sanskrit vocabulary as well as word paradigms.

Note: Given the richness and complexity of the Sanskrit language a fair amount of grammar and vocabulary daily memorization is necessary. This is actually a great blessing as memorization is one of the best ways to keep one’s brain sharp.

Prerequisites: This introductory course does not require any prior knowledge of Sanskrit except the knowledge of the Devanagari script.

Textbooks: This course will primarily use the textbook by R. Goldman and S. Sutherland Goldman, Devavāṇīpraveśikā (available from Amazon)

In addition “A Sanskrit Grammar for Students” by Arthur McDonell is quite useful.

There are a number of useful Sanskrit resources for the smart phones (iPhone, Android), such as “Sanskrit Primer”, a free application, and Sanskrit-English Dictionary, a paid application by Academic Room.

Here is playful way a learning Sankrit declensions online: Memrise

 

Tarka Sangraha: Introduction to Nyaya philosophy

Textbooks:

  1. Navya-Nyaya-Bhasa-Pradipa

(Mm. Mahesh Chandra Nyayaratna)

A primer of Nava Nyaya Language and Methodology to understand the terminology of Nyaya.

English translation, printed by Asiatic Society 2004

  1. Tarka Sangraha with Nyaya-bodhini commentary

Textbooks on Tarka Sangraha, Yoga Sutras and Nyaya Sutras are available in Vrindavan and will be made available at Jiva Institute at the cost price. For Sanskrit we will supply free soft copies.

Bhakti-Tirtha Teachers
Board of Professors

 

Those who are not able to attend the course thiso year can receive all audio lectures for a fee of $ 108 per month on a monthly basis. They also have the facility to participate in weekly Question and Answer sessions over an electronic conference system. For the complete course it will $ 550.- for distant learners, payable before the course starts. Those who are registered and physically attend the course in Vrindavan can receive the recordings for 30 US $ per month or for 150 US $ if paid in advance for 6 months. Registrations should be addressed to: jaya@jivaseva.com. Payments can be made through the website.

Next year a new Bhakti-tirtha course will also be offered for beginners.

Classes on the Yoga Sutras, Tattva Sandarbha, Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu and Gopal Champu will be open to the public, and not restricted only to registered students. The classes on Sanskrit and Nyaya can only be attended by students who are registered for the complete course.