:star2: Bhakti-Ratna Course 4 - (Registration open) :star2:
Prīti Sandarbha (continued) - By Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa
Vaiśeṣika Sūtras of Kaṇāda with Praśastapāda Bhāṣya - By Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa
Sanskrit for Beginners – By Gururaja
Vedic Psychology – By Dr. Joshika Richmond
Bhakti-Ratna Course 4
Prīti Sandarbha – By Babaji
Vaiśeṣika Sūtras of Kaṇāda – By Babaji
Sanskrit for Beginners - By Gururaja
Vedic Psychology - By Dr. Joshika Richmond
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Bhakti Tirtha and Ratna Audio Course

Bhakti Tirtha and Ratna Audio Course

“All knowledge is available in our books, but not many people are interested in studying them from a teacher. And those who are interested may not find a qualified teacher. This is why I want to teach this Bhakti Tirtha course. We have to preserve this knowledge and apply it in our own lives. If we experience it, then we can truly share it with others.”

Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa

What is the course about?

Millions of people pursue the path of bhakti and yet, even after decades of practice, only a few of them are observed to have arrived at or near the goal. If an astute business person is not gaining success or a dedicated athlete is failing to achieve his desired goal, then that person will analyze the cause and look to correct himself. He will consult an expert or a coach in his field. Similarly, it behooves a sincere seeker of Reality to do the same thing and investigate the cause behind one’s lack of progress. The most likely reason is either a deficiency in or incompleteness of, one’s root understanding and outlook, which inform and pattern every detail regarding self-concept, God-concept, life-view, and the practice of devotion. The authenticity of practice can arise only from a genuine understanding of Reality, process, and goal.

The goal of this Bhakti Tirtha course is to make both the process and the goal clear by offering what is missing for most practitioners of bhakti: a systematic study of śāstraThis 5-semester course gives an introduction into the Six Indian schools of thought, Śaḍ Darśanas. These are necessary to understand Gauḍīya philosophy properly, which is the specific focus of this study. Therefore this Bhakti-tirtha course is a unique opportunity to study Gauḍīya Vaiṣnava scriptures, particularly Śrī Jīva’s Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas, under a person who has studied them for many years in great depth from his own teacher.

The Sandarbhas have served practitioners for centuries and represent a thoroughly tested and validated body of evidence. Previously this knowledge was locked in Sanskrit and not many had access to it. Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa is unlocking this spiritual treasure in the English language with his lucid translations and explanations of the original texts

The classes are conducted at Jīva Institute Vrindavan since 2016 yearly from mid-October until the end of March. More information for studying on-site in Vrindavan. Since not everyone serious about studying can come to Vṛndāvan for the time necessary, we offer also remote studies online. The individual subjects can be purchased from our store.

classroom bhakti tirtha 2016
Babaji teaching the Bhakti Tirtha course in the class room at Jiva Institute Vrindavan

Course Outline

Saṭ Sandarbhas

Complementary Subjects


Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas

Tattva Sandarbha

Teacher: Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa

Jīva Gosvāmī’s philosophical magnum opus, the Ṣaṭ Sandarbha  (“six treatises) can be considered as the most conclusive and important work on Indian theology and philosophy (darśana) that answers all questions about Absolute Reality in a very systematical way. 

Tattva Sandarbha is the first book of the Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas. It discusses the Reality (tattva) that is the ultimate subject to be understood and realized. It also offers a brief overview of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava ontology, on which its theology is based. Tattva also means “essence,” and thus Tattva Sandarbha provides the essence of what is to be elaborated upon in the rest of the Sandarbhas and serves as an introduction to them. This book can be divided into two parts: pramāṇa and prameya. The first deals with epistemology (pramāṇa), or the means of valid knowing. In it, Jīva Gosvāmī establishes the Bhāgavata Purāṇa as the foremost source of knowledge and vision of Reality.  Tattva Sandarbha provides the epistemological viewing frame through which Śrīmad Bhāgavata is established as the means of valid knowing of Ultimate Reality and Bhagavān as the supreme object of divine love.

Get the recordings of Tattva Sandarbha

Bhagavat Sandarbha

Teacher: Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa

In the next three Sandarbhas (beginning with Bhagavat Sandarbha), Jīva Gosvāmī elaborates on the topic of ontology (sambandha-jñāna). He begins this book by establishing Bhagavān, or God, the Supreme Person as the most complete manifestation of nondual Reality. This Reality is realized in three aspects: as Brahman (God without any qualities, the Unqualified Absolute), as Paramātmā (the Immanent Self, residing in each of us), and as Bhagavān (the all-powerful, all-blissful, infinitely charming playful Person).

This course is a systematic study of the book which analyzes each of these aspects and demonstrates with conclusive evidence that Bhagavān is the complete and indivisible Absolute Reality. All other manifestations are dependent on, and thus subordinate to, Him. Bhagavān’s diverse energies, qualities, name, form, associates, and abode are intrinsic aspects of His essential being. 

Get the recordings of Bhagavat Sandarbha

Paramātma Sandarbha

Teacher: Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa

Paramātmā Sandarbha is the most philosophical of the Six Sandarbhas, and it demands focused attention and an unbiased attitude on the part of the student. It is an elaborate essay on the nature of Paramātmā. The distinction between Absolute Reality’s manifestations as Paramātmā and Bhagavān is relatively unknown, even to those who study Vedānta. These two specific designations are often used synonymously to refer to a single aspect of the tattva. It is Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī’s genius to clearly define them and enumerate their characteristics and functions in detail.

Paramātmā is akin to what people usually conceive of as God, the creator and overseer of the cosmos, whereas Bhagavān is God in His supreme transcendence, without reference to the phenomenal world—God in His own intrinsic being. Paramātmā is the regulator of the intermediary potency (taṭasthā-śakti) and the extrinsic potency (bahiraṅgā-śakti), otherwise known as māyā. The conditioned living being, jīva, belongs to the former potency, while the latter is responsible for the evolution, sustenance, and dissolution of the cosmos.

Paramātma Sandarbha explains the relation between the individual living being and Paramātmā, as well as between Paramātmā and the cosmos. Paramātmā is the same Reality in His feature of supreme immanence.

In his classes, Babaji patiently and lucidly explains the intricacies of Jīva Gosvāmī’s terse anucchedas, thus giving his audience the key to understanding this difficult book. 

Get the recordings of Paramātma Sandarbha
(Please note: only the first class has the background noise of running fans)

Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha

Teacher: Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa

Within the entire gamut of Vedic literature, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha stands out as a unique and brilliant investigation into the constitutional being of Svayaṁ Bhagavān. Who or what Bhagavān actually is in His own identity is not at all clear to people in general and also to the majority of spiritual practitioners. Prior to discussing Bhagavān in general in Bhagavat Sandarbha and Svayaṁ Bhagavān in particular in this fourth volume, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī laid the foundation for an existentially grounded inquiry in the first volume itself, by making evident the primordial and fundamental nature of the Reality (tattva) to be investigated. After first defining Reality as nondual consciousness with reference to the famous vadanti verse (SB 1.2.11), he proceeded to explain how the One Nondual Absolute is self-disclosed as Bhagavān to the devotees, as the Immanent Self, Paramātmā, to the yogīs, and as unqualified Brahman to the jñānīs. Establishing Kṛṣṇa as Svayaṁ Bhagavān is the principal theme of Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha. This is also one of the chief distinctive features of the Gauḍīya School of Vaiṣṇavism. Although it contravenes the popular belief of Hindu Indologists, this understanding is crucial for the highest type of devotion, uttamā-bhakti, known as rāgānugā. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī thus endeavors to dispel any doubts in this regard. This is his unique contribution to Hindu theology.

So far, Anucchedas 1-174 have been covered. To be completed during the 6th semester of Bhakti Tirtha.

Get the recordings of Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha (Anuccheda 1-174)

Complementary Subjects

Yoga Sūtras

Teacher: Prof. Edwin Bryant and Rama Krsna Dasa

Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras are the classical work of the Yoga School of thought, one of the Six Darśanas studied in the Bhakti Tirtha course. They focus on how to attain direct experience and realization of the puruṣa, or the individual self. As the classical treatise on the Vedic understanding of the mind and consciousness and on techniques of meditation and self-realization, it has exerted immense influence over the religious practices of Hinduism in India and, more recently, in the West. For Vaiṣṇavas, the Yoga Sūtras are especially helpful in understanding the first two chapters of Bhakti-rasāmṛita-sindhu.

This course completes the first two chapters – Samādhi Pada (Meditative Absorption) and Sādhana Pada (Practice). 

Get the recordings of Yoga Sūtra

Classical Nyāya

Teacher: Prof. Matthew R. Dasti

Nyāya is a leading school of classical Indian philosophy. It is pioneering in epistemology, metaphysics, and logic in particular for all the philosophies and world views of India. The word nyāya means “method of reasoning” and is often translated with the shorthand “logic.” Nyāya’s development as a school of philosophy includes dimensions of metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy of language.

The Nyāya Sūtras by Gautama Ṛṣi present the essence of classical Indian Nyāya. This course presents some of the most important debates and discussions among logicians and samples of the major views and arguments of the early school of Nyāya. 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.

Get the recordings of Classical Nyāya

Teacher: Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa

Navya-nyāya is the name given to the new school of Nyāya that developed in Navadvipa, which preserved the traditions of both Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika. Its main focus is to define terms in a precise manner and then to formulate or evolve a language as a precise medium of communication. It is keen on rationally explaining human behavior based on cognition, which necessarily refers to relation – an essential concept in this school of thought.

This course introduces the basic concepts of the Navya-nyāya literature and many technical terms which are systematically explained in Navya-Nyāya-Bhāṣā-Pradīpa, a primer of Navya-Nyāya language and methodology. This is followed by a study of Tarka Saṅgraha, which is an entry-level book that is a systematic overview of Nyaya/Vaisheshika in its newer (navya) period.

Get the recordings of Navya-Nyāya

Gopāla Campū

Teacher: Jagadananda Das

The Gopāla Campū is a poetic work of Jīva Gosvāmī which depicts the activities of Kṛṣṇa in Vṛṇdāvana.  This course focuses on the introduction and Chapter One of the book, the description of Goloka within the Goloka-vilāsa section. The text is studied in the original Sanskrit with many linguistic explanations and references, rich in information about the historical, cultural and philosophical background.

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Teacher: Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa

This work is one of the most essential books of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī establishes in it the theoretical and esoteric foundation of sādhana-bhakti by utilizing the theory of aesthetics (rasa) developed in ancient poetic Sanskrit literature. 

In this course, we study the Eastern Division that gives the definition of pure bhakti and expounds its progressive stages from the beginning (śraddha, or faith) to the perfection of pure love (prema). It is also an erudite exposition of the various rasas. Most importantly, it also teaches the correct practice of bhakti so that one can get the expected result.

Get the recordings of Bhakti-Rasāmṛta-Sindhu

Alaṅkāra Kaustubha

Teacher: Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa

This work of Kavi Karṇapūra is a treatise on poetical theory that encompasses the theory in Rūpa Gosvāmi’s Bhakti-rasamṛta-sindhu. The author follows the literary tradition, drawing from classical works like Kāvya-prakāśa, Sāhitya-darpaṇa, Dhvany-āloka, and Nāṭya-śāstra and using them in the context of bhakti, with Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs as protagonists.

Students can enter into the relish of Sanskrit poetics through the examples of various forms of poetry that Babaji further commentates and analyzes according to the author’s intention. The study of this subject enables one to properly interpret śāstra such as the Śrīmad Bhāgavata, which uses a broad variety of stylistic means and poetic figures.

Get the recordings of Alaṅkāra Kaustubha

Sāṅkhya Kārikā

Teacher: Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa

In this course, we are studying the classical Sāṅkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa with the Tattva Kaumudī commentary of Śrī Vācaspati Miśra. Babaji translates the text from Sanskrit and explains the underlying philosophical concepts of Sāṅkhya, which is the most ancient of the philosophical systems in India. It means knowledge of the self through proper discernment between prakṛti and puruṣa and is derived from the word “saṅkhyā,” which means counting. Its originator is Kapila Muni. According to this school, the way to achieve permanent happiness is the complete isolation of puruṣa from prakṛti.

To make the course more relevant to the students’ own lives, Babaji has added insights from Vedic psychology which require homework and introspection on such crucial questions, such as how we experience and deal with our own ahaṅkāra, sense control, and habits.

Get the recordings of Sāṅkhya-kārikā

Artha Saṅgraha

Teacher: Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa

“Artha Saṁgraha” by Laugākṣi Bhāskara is an introductory book on Pūrva Mīmāṁsā, which is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy which accept the authority of the Vedas. Pūrva Mīmāṁsā is also called Karma Mīmāṁsā or in short Mīmāṁsā. Since its main object is an investigation into dharma, or religious duty, it is also called Dharma Mīmāṁsā. It is a science of interpretation of the sacrificial portion of the Vedas pertaining to prescribed duties, called karma-khaṇḍa. While interpreting the Vedic sentences, it explains the performance of ritualistic acts, from which it has developed its own philosophy, logic, psychology, and linguistics.
Although the book deals with the interpretation of the ritual part of the Veda, its principles are universal and helpful in the study of any school of thought. It is therefore a must for a proper understanding of Vedanta.

Get the recordings of Artha Saṅgraha


Reading Course: Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta

Teacher: Jagadananda Das

Sanātana Gosvāmī’s Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta, one of the oldest literary works of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava school, occupies a special place in the realm of Gauḍīya literature.
Being unparalleled in its delineation of rasabhāva, and līlā, it clearly establishes our siddhānta and is thus one of the most beneficial books for aspiring devotees. It explains the progressive stages of rasa and sambandha in 14 chapters subdivided into 2 khaṇḍas or parts. Sanātana Gosvāmī himself has written his own commentary on the verses.

In this course, we study the first part of the book, where Narada Muni begins his journey in search of the greatest recipient of Bhagavān’s mercy. Jagadananda Das reads the verses and analyzes the sentences and grammar in sometimes greater and sometimes lesser detail. The referenced text of Brhad-bhāgavatāmṛta is available here on Grantha Mandir.

Get the recordings of Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta 1.1.1–1.3.58 (Bhakti Tirtha 4))

Get the recordings of Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta 1.3.58-1.4.98 (Bhakti Tirtha 5)

Other Classes

Get more free sample of other lectures here.