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@jiva.org. 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.

 

 

 

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Comments ( 9 )
  1. Atma Prasad Krishna das

    Hare Krishna,

    This is so great!

    So is it recommended that we purchase the sanskrit textbooks mentioned above before coming?
    Ys,
    Atma

    • Malatimanjari Post author

      It depends on you. I personally prefer to have the book with me, but it is not necessary.

  2. Radhey Radhey,

    Is it possible to come to two of the courses over the course of the month, but not attend all 4 classes? I would pay the entire fee regardless. Is there still lodging available? What is the cost? What are the dates of the course?

    I am interested in possibly attending but would like more details.

    thank you,
    Keli

    • Malatimanjari Post author

      Yes, it is possible to also partially attend the course if you are registered. All courses will start on Oct. 16th. I have added the end date of the courses in the article. The Nyaya course may also end a few days before the end of November. Rooms at the ashram (shared bathrooms ) 300 rs/ 5 USD a day. Rooms at the guesthouse (attached bathroom) 600 rs /10 USD a day. Meals are 4 USD each.

      For more infos please contact Jaya Devi at jaya@jiva.org.

  3. Persone Personson

    Hari Hari!

    What will the coursework for the other classes (nyaya, BRS, Yoga-sutras, Tattva-sandarbha, and Gopala-campu) look like? Tests and quizzes? Summaries and essays? Memorization? Giving a presentation of what we’ve understood?

    Thank you much.

    • Malatimanjari Post author

      Babaji’s reply: The purpose of this course is not so much official which means to grant a degree or certificate, but to impart knowledge of shastra. We do not plan very extensive testing, but definitely there will be some methodology for ascertaining the knowledge acquired by the students. At present I do not intend that students have to write essays or papers but plan to give simple quizzes. At the end of the 5-year course I will give certificates for successful students.
      These courses are not affiliated with any university, but if anybody had any intention to write exams for a degree, then we have a separate program for that, which is affiliated with Sampurnananda Sanskrit University Benares which grants shastri and acarya degree that are equivalent to graduate and post-graduate degrees. But to get admitted to that course one needs a pre-university certificate in Sanskrit from an Indian school or one has to pass a three years course in Benares to qualify for admission. Then one can study at Jiva and get a degree.

    • Malatimanjari Post author

      For the Yoga Sutras, students will be expected to memorize key definitional sutras in Sanskrit. That’s the only
      requirement.

  4. Persone Personson

    Oh, and what if we can’t find a textbook? For instance, I can’t find Navya-Nyaya-Bhasa-Pradipa 2004 edition, only the 2011 edition.

    • Malatimanjari Post author

      That is fine also, no problem. Usually the books are available in Vrindavan.

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