for ISKCON News on Sept. 7, 2012
Srila Prabhupada placed writing and publishing books as his highest priority knowing his followers would thus derive the greatest benefits. The Mayapur Institute (MI) now offers a 1½-year package beginning November 25, 2012, within which devotees can effectively tap these benefits and greatly increase their qualifications to advance by completing both the Bhakti-sastri and Bhaktivaibhava courses in the sanga of senior Vaisnavas.
When the Institute's Bhakti-sastri students begin studying The Nectar of Devotion, they are usually intrigued and inspired when they learn that Srila Rupa Gosvami
describes that the qualification to advance in Krishna consciousness is based upon our faith in and knowledge of sastra. When they really understand this principle, the “lights start to go on” as to why Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Srila Prabhupada placed writing, publishing and studying Vaisnava literature on the highest level of priority.
When we write “knowledge of sastra”, however, we are not referring to theoretical knowledge, but to the realized knowledge one readily achieves by the process described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.25:
satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
“In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.”
Yes, self-study is important and Srila Prabhupada encouraged us to do it, but ask any of our students about the transformations in consciousness and increased capacity to serve they experienced by studying Prabhupada’s books in one of our systematic sastric courses, and you will understand what we mean.
Based upon the above points, we encourage devotees to register online, download their study materials, and prepare themselves for what will likely be the most powerful and blissful experience in their devotion career.
For more information visit: http://mayapurinstitute.org/en
c/o ISKCON Mayapur
2nd Floor Caitanya Building
Sri Mayapur, West Bengal
Phone: +91 (3472) 245 784