Chakra Announcements

VIHE Karttika Semester 2003


Posted September 22, 2003

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Jaya Sri Guru and Gauranga!

Please find enclosed the information about this Kartik semester, with course descriptions and teachers' short biographies.


Semester Dates
October 6 to November 8, 2003.

The courses for this year are:

  1. Congregational Development: What, Why and How?
    Healthy Vaisnava Community Building - Principles and Applications
    Kaunteya das
    Oct 6-10, 15 hours
    fee: Rs. 600

    Course description:

    An in-depth look at the fundamental principles of progressive congregational development, of healthy Vaisnava community building. Interactive workshop on skills useful for making the group discussions more lively and deep. How to improve the impact of the Sunday Program, for new visitors and regular guests. Preaching as a way of life for every devotee. Cultivation for long-term results. How to spice up congregational meetings with icebreakers. Views of Children Programs, a precious but often neglected aspect of our communities. How to avoid the common pitfalls in the relation between temple and congregation. First impression lasting impression: the art of greeting guests. Models of effective growth in ISKCON: ideas for your place from different parts of the world.


    Kaunteya das, disciple of HH Jayapataka Maharaja, joined ISKCON in 1980, in Italy, where he mainly served as book distributor. Based in India since 1987, he served five years in the Sri Rupanuga Paramarthika Vidyapitha in Mayapur, especially teaching the elder students Bhakti-sastri and Bhakti-vaibhava courses. Kaunteya das has given more than fifty presentations, seminars or demonstrations on five continents on Bhakti-vriksha preaching and other aspects of congregational preachings. He participated as executive editor in producing the "Bhakti-vrksa Manual." He serves as the secretary of the ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry and he is the editor of the "Congregational Development Journal." He is married with his Godsister Sri Radha Govinda Dasi, from Bangalore, India, who has experience in running preaching programs for children, both at home and in schools.

  2. Deity Worship: How to Observe Festivals
    Mukunda Datta das
    Oct 6-10
    fee: Rs. 500

    Course description:

    How to celebrate festivals according to guru, sadhu, sastra, knowing the tradition. How to involve everyone, including congregation and public. How to celebrate specific appearance days of the Lord and the Deities, Chandan-yatra, Gundica Marjana, Ratha-yatra, Govardhana-puja, boat festival etc, Dipavali, rasa-purnima, pushyabhishekam, Vasant-panchami etc, appearance and disappearance days of the acaryas. Concluded with a traditional fire yajna.


    Mukunda Datta Prabhu. He joined ISKCON in 1980 in Vrndavana, did sankirtana for several years and was trained in Deity worship by Krsna-ksetra and Astaratha Prabhus. He has been doing full-time Deity worship in Vrndavana since 1990 and became head pujari in 1992.

  3. Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 3 - The Teachings of Lord Kapila
    Bhurijana das
    Oct 6-22, 26 hours
    fee: Rs. 850

    Course description:

    These are the final lessons of the 4-month Bhakti Vaibhava course. A wonderful opportunity to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of learned, sincere devotees. Please bring your own copy of the book.


    Bhurijana Dasa first met Srila Prabhupada at 26 Second Ave, and was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1968. After preaching in Japan for about a year, in 1970 he opened ISKCON's first Hong Kong center. Throughout the early 1970s Srila Prabhupada would many times meet with Bhurijana during Srila Prabhupada's tours of the Far East: Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. In his last meeting in 1976, Bhurijana was requested by Srila Prabhupada to help develop the educational system. Since then he has taught both academic and asrama courses in Gita-Nagari and Vrindavana and has conducted several teacher training courses in Vrindavana. In 1987, in Vrindavana, he began the Vaisnava Institute for Higher Education, where he has taught courses in teaching, writing, and the main books of Srila Prabhupada -- Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, The Nectar of Devotion, The Nectar of Instruction, and Sri Isopanisad. To fulfill Srila Prabhupada's desire, he is now organizing degree courses on Srila Prabhupada's books, especially the first six cantos of the Bhagavatam. He has written several books, including The Art of Teaching, Surrender Unto Me (in-depth study of the Bhagavad-gita), Studying Srimad-Bhagavatam, My Glorious Master. Soon to be published is an in-depth study of the whole Srimad-Bhagavatam.

  4. Bhagavad-gita Chapters 14-18
    Adi Purusa das
    Oct 6-Nov 8, 1.5 hours daily
    fee: Rs. 850

    Course description:

    This is continuation of the 4-month Bhakti-sastri course. An in-depth study of the final chapters of Bhagavad-gita. Please bring your own copy of the book.


    Adi Purusha das, disciple of HH Gopal Krsna Goswami, joined in 1990 in West Ukraine. After distributing books for some time he joined the Ukrainian BBT and for 10 years served there as a translator, translating Caitanya-caritamrita, parts of SB, other books. Studied Bhakti-sastri with Purnacandra Prabhu in 1993 and with Bhanu Swami in 1998. Taught Bhagavad-gita in the BBT and VIHE. Since 1999 stays in Vrindavan, studying and teaching sastra.

  5. Hatha-yoga for Women
    Caitanya Nitai dasi
    Oct 6-Nov 7, 1,5 hours daily
    fee: Rs. 1,200

    Course description:

    Srila Prabhupada taught us that our minds and bodies do not belong to us but to Lord Krsna. The body is the temple for the soul, so it is our responsibility to take care of this temple. This course is based on Iyengar yoga, and Caitanya Nitai's purpose of teaching it is to encourage women to take responsibility in caring for their own bodies and gaining confidence in using yoga to heal all diseases. The students will get a basic and practical understanding of hatha-yoga so that they feel experienced enough to carry on with their individual practice after the course. Those who commit to these 5 weeks of going within and working on their individual bodies through the various asanas will feel quite a difference physically and mentally and will continue serving with more vibrancy and optimism.


    Caitanya Nitai was born in ISKCON and for her it is very natural to incorporate the sastric teachings for balancing the body, mind, and spirit. Throughout her life as a gurukuli, she has seen so many devotees taking all kinds of chemical medications for their mental and physical imbalances, instead of turning to the ancient yogic science, which heals these imbalances naturally. Caitanya has been studying yoga since the age of 17. She has learned from several teachers, however her foremost instructor is Krodhashamani dasi, who teaches Iyengar yoga, named after her teacher B.K.S. Iyengar, the most renowned guru in this science of yoga and a Vaisnava himself.

  6. The Art of Singing for Krishna
    Citra Devi
    Oct 6-Nov 7, 1,5 hours daily
    fee: Rs. 1,200

    Course description:

    A five-week workshop for learning the basic theory and practice of traditional Indian music. The course is for those who would like to strengthen their voice and train it to properly sing the seven musical notes. You will gain the confidence and ability to lead kirtana at any time and place! You will also learn a few simple brijabasi songs and Hare Krishna tunes in Vrindavan ragas in the accompaniment of harmonium and/or tamboura. The art of singing is to please Lord Sri Krishna by expressing one's deep longing for His love -- even a hopeless singer can master that!


    Chitra Devi was born in Nepal. For 8 years she studied classical Indian music and singing at the Gandharva Vidyalaya Institute in New Delhi and from Srimati Shubha Mudgal. Later on she taught music at the same institute. Chitra met the devotees in 1995 and till 2000 she actively participated in the cultural programs at the ISKCON temple in New Delhi. Since 2002 she lives in Vrindavan and serves as a private music teacher.

  7. Third Canto: From the Bottom Up
    HH Hanumatpresaka Swami
    Oct 6-9, 2 hours daily
    fee: Rs. 500

    Course description:

    Sense enjoyment - illicit and licit. Third Canto in perspective. Science and the Vedas. Preaching and Teaching Srimad-Bhagavatam. Adventurous exploration of the Bhagavatam's that brings you in.


    Born 12 January 1948 on Guam in the Marianas Is. In 1970 Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from University of California with first prize in psychology and minor studies in biology and electrical engineering. Left doctorate studies at Northwestern University, Chicago, USA to investigate broader paradigms of knowledge. Resulted in term as understudy with the Second City, one of USA's three foremost improvisational theaters, and Black Belt in Uechi Ryu Okinawa Karate. In 1974 Formally accepted as a brahmacari, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Served variously in the ISKCON institution as pot-washer, Temple President, Head-Priest, Treasurer, Member of Board of Directors etc. In May 1979 established the Anjana Suta Academy which regularly publishes the 'Hanuman Express Dispatch'. In 1984 Took life-long vows as 'sanyasin', bishop, and served as associate director with the Bhaktivedanta Institute and the Ranganiketana Manipuri Cultural Troupe. Annually travels to Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, North and South America, Spain and India teaching yoga mysticism and philosophy based upon the books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of ISKCON. In 2002 was honored as Chief-Guest at the "National Seminar on Science and Technology in Ancient India" organized by the University of Calcutta, and in ISKCON presented a much applauded seminar, "Pada-padma, A Study Guide for Cantos One and Two of the Srimad Bhagavatam". Is currently academic ambassador for the Ricardo Palma University, Center for Classical and Oriental Studies, Lima, Peru and is continuing to travel, lecture and write.

  8. Ayurvedic Self-Healing
    Dr. Liladhar Gupta
    Oct 13-25, 3 hours daily
    fee: Rs. 1,500

    [The course includes 2 retreats at Dhanvantari Dhama (Dr. Gupta's Ayurvedic Clinic) where students will learn practical skills in cooking and massage.]

    Course Description:

    Ayurveda means "the science of life" Although Ayurveda originated in India over 5000 years ago, it has much to offer modern society. Ayurveda shows us how to become healthy and to stay healthy through guidance on all levels - physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

    This health system addresses the whole person, not just the ailment, with emphasis on prevention and understanding our own body nature. We need to learn how to live in a healthy way by practicing daily lifestyle measures to balance, and keep in balance, our unique blend of body-mind-spirit.

    We will live a happy and harmonious life by following Ayurvedic principles:

    "Ayurveda is beyond beginning and ending. It is a science of eternal healing. It is compared to a vast ocean, and studying Ayurveda -- to swimming across this ocean. A true teacher can teach one to swim, but the swimming is up to the student. It is a lifelong journey." Charaka Samhita, Sutrasthana, Chapter 3


    Dr. Liladhar Gupta of Vrindavan, India, is a 4th generation Ayurvedic doctor. During his youth and schooling his father comprehensively trained him in the knowledge and preparation of Ayurvedic herbs. After obtaining a B. Sc Degree in Biology and Chemistry, he entered a 5 1/2 year course of Ayurvedic study and in 1992 achieved his B.A.M.S (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery). He now travels around the world propagating Aryurveda through seminars and consultations. He has a strong desire to introduce Ayurveda to the world and to demonstrate its holistic nature, which is grounded in spiritual understanding and practice, as well as being thoroughly practical, modern and scientific. He presents Ayurveda "As It Is" in its original form from the Vedas, and demonstrates the benefits of living the Vedic way of life in the present day.

  9. Public Speaking
    Braja Bihari das
    Oct 13-17, 2 hours a day
    fee: Rs. 500

    Course description:

    In most polls the only thing people fear more than death is speaking in public. This course will cover topics including:

    Overcoming the fear of public speaking, proper preparation, getting the audience on your side, developing convincing arguments, speaking with honesty from realization, how to begin, develop and end a talk, speaking at special occasions, and Srila Prabhupada's secrets.

    The course is enhanced with the use of video replay so each student can see themselves speak and receive analysis of their strengths and areas of improvement.


    The instructor is Braja Bihari dasa, a graduate of Jayadvaita Swami's course on Public Speaking. Braja Bihari has been teaching this course since 1991. He has been speaking in public, giving classes and seminars, for 27 years. Braja Bihari dasa joined ISKCON in 1977 in Detroit USA. There he distributed Srila Prabhupada's books and lead fund-raising efforts for 13 years. In 1987 he attended the first semester of the Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education in Vrindavan, India. He enjoyed that experience so much that he return to Vrindavan the following year to help manage the VIHE and learn to teach. He was the VIHE's Director from 1992 to 2002, and has taught courses on Bhagavad-gita, Nectar of Devotion, Nectar of Instruction, Studying Srimad-Bhagavatam, Harinama Cintamani, Communication skills, Public Speaking, Logic and Debate, How to Facilitate Meetings, and Mediation. He is on the Board of Directors for the ISKCON Ministry for Educational Development, the Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School, and Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh. He has also assisted the publishing of three VIHE books written by Bhurijana Prabhu: The Art of Teaching, My Glorious Master, and Surrender Unto Me.

    Presently he is working on the ISKCON ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) project. An ambitious project -- perhaps the first of it's kind in a religious context -- for establishing a worldwide network of grievance receiving, mediation and ombuds for the entire ISKCON Society.

  10. ISKCON Mediation Course
    Braja Bihari das
    Oct 20-24, 6 hours a day
    fee: Rs. 1,000

    Course description:

    ISKCON Introductory Mediation Course: A Course in Basic Conflict Resolution

    When conflicts arise we have three choices: 1) avoid them; 2) try to get our way by force, or 3) negotiate. Although negotiation is usually the best course, it is often complicated by high emotion and other communication roadblocks.

    Students in this mediation course will come away equipped to resolve conflicts by helping the disputants speak to each other and negotiate their own solution. The art of mediation is a blend of counseling, investigation, intuition and common sense. In this 30-hour course, students will gain basic skills to help them make the most of their natural peacemaking talents.

    Course graduates will be ready to practice mediation and take part in the ISKCON Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) initiative. This initiative is authorized and guided by world renowned mediation expert Arnold Zack and Cristina Cassanova (Krsna-lila devi dasi), a highly experienced mediator in the New York City Public School system.

    The teacher for this practical, effective and enjoyable course is Braja Bihari das. Braja Bihari das is the director of ISKCON ADR. He is trained in mediation and as an Ombudsman and regularly teaches courses on dispute resolution.

    (See his bio above.)

  11. Getting Serious about Studying Srila Prabhupada's Books
    Braja Bihari dasa
    Oct 30, 3 hours
    fee: Rs. 50

    Course description:

    In interactive discussion on overcoming the obstacles to regularly studying Srila Prabhupada's books. The course discussion the contrast we experience when we are studying regularly and when we aren't; what the obstacles are, and how to overcome them.

    The facilitator of this lively presentation is Braja Bihari dasa (see the bio above). It is a 2 1/2 hour seminar

  12. Leadership & Management Skills
    Anuttama das
    Nov 2-7, 6 hours a day
    fee: Rs. 2,000

    Course Description:

    A hands-on, interactive six-day course designed for GBC members, temple presidents, department heads and other devotees who supervise people or projects. The course examines the essential principles of leadership and management and enhances skills in both personal and professional capacities.

    Delegation, time management, strategic planning, public speaking, project vision, team development, writing job descriptions, assessment and reporting, facilitation and meeting skills, and characteristics of expert leaders are some of the areas explored in the course. All are welcome. No prerequisite courses are required.


    Anuttama dasa has been a member of ISKCON since 1975. He served as sankirtan leader, and later president, of the Denver, USA temple. In 1999, he became a GBC member and the International Minister of Communications. Anuttama is a founding board member of Children of Krishna; national vice president of the interfaith Religion Communicators Council; and board member of the Washington, D.C. region of the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ). He and his wife, Rukmini, live in Rockville, Maryland.


    Mayapura 2003

    I would like to express my appreciation for the Leadership course in Mayapura. I found it both enlightening, providing essential tools and skills indispensable for my service; and entertaining, it was a wonderful presentation.

    I lament that I did not have these tools before. They are all logical, simple to understand and easy to put into practice. There is no doubt in my mind that had we taken more care to emulate the unique qualities of Srila Prabhupada in his dealings and command of the devotees, we would have deemed it crucial to train our leaders in the same skills.

    I would not only recommend this course for every devotee who has leadership responsibilities, but emphasize it as a must. Even those who are not directly involved in management or leading others will find this course useful in everyday interactions in a world where decision-making is a must.

    Your servant,
    Guru Prasad Swami


    I enrolled in this year's course with a certain degree of desperation. It can often feel isolating and overwhelming in management, especially in ISKCON, where we've often just "stepped in" to do the needful.

    So, when I saw the degree of time, expertise and intense endeavor that had gone into the preparation and delivery of this course, my anxiety was fully pacified. Here is a real gesture of concern and practical assistance from the GBC for the benefit of every devotee-whether a leader or a follower.

    If you want to understand your own potential as a leader, learn how to plan successfully, develop the skills needed to build and maintain a positive team spirit, or just get inspiration and individual feedback from others in your field, this is the best investment of time I could honestly recommend.

    The course has been developed to give a deep focus on assisting Srila Prabhupada's mission through competent leaders. As many participants commented, it's only fault is that we didn't have access to it years ago!

    Manasi Ganga dasi
    Gurukula Manager
    Sri Dhama Mayapura


    I found the course very useful, especially in our ISKCON setup. By implementing the principles and values taught in the course, I am sure, we can improve the quality of the service rendered to the devotees. Also it helped me to broaden my vision Temple Leadership and Management.

    I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who painstakingly organized this course. It creates a nice environment of learning and training in ISKCON.

    Thank you very much,
    Sanat Kumara Das


    May 2003

    Anuttama dasa and Hanuman dasa along with the assistance of some of the most experienced managers and leaders within ISKCON have expertly put together a course that is both instructive and inspirational. Their team work during the presentations serves as a practical example of the seminar's teachings.

    The theoretical as well as the interactive and practical aspects of the course are well integrated and serve as a foundational stone to continue to build the dynamic and responsible ISKCON management and leadership that Srila Prabhupada displayed himself and encouraged others to follow.

    I highly recommend the seminar and will personally try to apply the teachings they have generously and warmly imparted in their efforts to serve the devotees within ISKCON and to make ISKCON more attractive to others.

    Your servant,
    Prahladananda Swami

  13. Gita Revisions Explained
    Questions and Answers about the Editing of Srila Prabhupada's books
    Jayadvaita Swami
    Oct 21-22, 1.5 hours a day
    fee: Rs. 0 (sponsored)

    Course description:

    An open seminar. Questions and Answers about the Editing of Srila Prabhupada's books

    What's all this controversy about the second edition of "Bhagavad-gita As It Is"? What was done? Was it authorized? Is it really still "as it is"?

    On October 21-22, you're welcome to attend an open two-dayseminar where these topics will be discussed. Jayadvaita Swami, the BBT's senior editor, will explain what was done, and why, and on what authority. And he will respond to any questions you may wish to ask.

    For anyone who has concerns about the editing of "Bhagavad-gita As It Is," this is a must-attend event.


    Jayadvaita Swami, a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. joined the Hare Krishna movement in 1968 in New York City. Since the beginning of his devotional life, he has served in the production of Krishna conscious literature.

    He was the main editor for Srila Prabhupada's edition of Srimad-Bhagavatam (from the third canto onwards), Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila and Antya-lila), Krsna Book (after Krsna leaves Vrindaban), and "The Science of Self-Realization." He also served as the executive editor, and sometimes typist, typesetter, proofreader, and production manager, for most of the other books published during Srila Prabhupada's lifetime.

    He revised, during Srila Prabhupada's physical presence, the first canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam and, after Srila Prabhupada's departure, "Bhagavad-gita As It Is."

    He serves as a director of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.

  14. Flower Ornaments, Decorations and Outfits for the Deities
    Saila Vasini dasi
    Oct 13-24, 2 hours a day
    fee: Rs. 700

    Course description:

    This is a very practical workshop in which you can learn how to make Deity ornaments, decorations and outfits from a variety of flowers. A rare chance to offer Their Lordships flower decorations you have made with your own hands! The course book contains drawings of different designs based on descriptions by the previous Vaisnava acaryas.


    Saila Vasini dasi joined ISKCON in 1991, in Russia. For several years she served as a book distributor and accountant at the temple in Saint Petersburg. In 1995-96, during the war in Chechnya, she served as a Food for Life missionary. Since 1996 she's been serving at the Deity department of the Krishna-Balaram Mandir -- baking cakes, distributing maha-prasada and making beautiful flower decorations for Sri Sri Radha-Syamasundara.

  15. Nectar of Instruction
    Kurma Rupa das
    Oct 6-24, 1.5 hours daily
    fee: Rs. 850

    Course description:

    This is continuation of the 4-month Bhakti-sastri course. An in-depth interactive study of the Nectar of Instruction. Please bring your own copy of the book.


    Kurma Rupa Prabhu: Disciple of Srila Prabhupada, joined in 1974 in British Columbia on a farm, for many years was a bhakta-leader in New York. Visited India for the first time in 1978, moved to India in 1984, and was an asram and academic teacher in the Gurukul for about 10 years. Has more than 20 years of experience in teaching. Taught many courses in the VIHE. Lately he helps publishing many devotional books and takes care of over 60 cows, some of whom are crippled, for which end he created his own goshala.

  16. [To be announced]
    Bhakti Caitanya Swami
    Oct 13-23 [not confirmed yet]

    Course description: [to be announced]


    Bhakti Caitanya Swami. He joined in 1972 and most of his devotional career has been spent between South Africa and the UK. He is an initiating spiritual master and co-GBC for South Africa and Russia. He has been a regular VIHE teacher for many years and teaches similar courses during his travels. Some of the courses he teaches are: Bhagavad-gita, Nectar of Devotion, Sri Isopanisad, Brahma-samhita, The Demons in Krishna's Vrndavana pastimes, Brihad-bhagavatamrita and Tattva Sandarbha.

  17. Demons in Krishna-lila
    Uttama Sloka das
    Oct 6-20, 26 hours
    fee: Rs. 850

    Course description:

    In one of his books, "Sri Caitanya Siksamrta", Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained how the demons that Lord Sri Krsna killed in Vrindavana represent the main obstacles facing the aspiring devotee. If, in whatever way they manifest in our lives, those demons can be killed by the Lord's grace, then our progress in devotional service is guaranteed. That is the theme of this course.

    "Sri Krsna has killed a number of demons which may arise in the kingdom of heart - so in order to destroy these problems, a devotee must cry very humbly before the Lord and admit defeat - then the Lord will nullify all contaminations" (from "Sri Caitanya Siksamrta")

    Very practical and vitally important seminar for any devotee who seriously desires to overcome obstacles on the path of devotional service. Based on the materials of H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami and presented in an interactive way.


    Uttama Sloka das, disciple of H.H.Indradyumna Swami, joined ISKCON in 1989 in CIS (Georgia) and after a few years as a traveling preacher and book distributor took the managerial responsibilities as a temple president and later a Regional Secretary for Urals area and a GBC deputy. For the last few years he is focusing more on systematic education and preaching. The seminar he is going to teach was presented by him to devotees in Russia, then in Mayapur and lastly in England.

A proficiency in English and good sadhana.

To apply
You must confirm that you will be attending by October 1. Please write to

September 27 - October 3 in Vrindavan. Registration fee is Rs. 200. The total fee for all the courses is Rs. 7,500 (US$ 165), which allows you to attend all and any seminars of your choice as well as parikramas. Vrindavan residents get a 40% discount. To register please write to

Please become a sponsor of a whole seminar of your choice! Make it free for other devotees to participate in it and make it available to a larger community! Please contact about that.

The weather is usually from mid October to early December, but it can also be cold. Keep in mind that the temple is outdoors, so bring warm clothing.

For registration or further info please write to

Contact Information: VIHE c/o Krishna Balaram Mandir,
Bhaktivedanta Swami Marg, Raman Reti, Vrindavan, Mathura Dist., 281124, U.P.,
India / Phone: +91 (0565) 2540238 or 2540228
E-mail:, Web site:;

Hope to see you in Vraja.

Thank you very much,
Your servants at VIHE