Friday, April 29, 2016

Academic Conference at Bath Spa University, UK

Academic Conference at Bath Spa University, UK As a part of ISKCON’s 50th year celebrations, devotees from Bhaktivedanta Manor, academics from around the country and students from Bath Spa University gathered at the picturesque and quaint university on 23rd April to talk about their shared interest in the Hare Krishna movement. The day, organised in collaboration with Religions, Philosophies and Ethics at the University, was dedicated to talks, presentations and a panel discussion on the history of ISKCON including its greatest achievements and challenges, its position within the larger British Hindu community and its future and the potential challenges it may experience going forward into the next fifty years. The academics included Dr Dermott Killingley who used to be of Newcastle University and Professor Kim Knott of Lancaster University, both of whom have extensively studied the Holy Scriptures such as the Bhagavat Gita, and the theology and practice of Srila Prabhupada’s movement. Professor Kim Knott conducted her PhD on ISKCON, which enabled her to spend a week at the temple and experience and enjoy the practical aspects of Krishna conscious life such as garland making and the 4am aarti. She spoke openly and positively about ISKCON’s development within the UK Dr Killingley, one of the country’s most advanced Sanskrit speakers and a senior associate researcher at University of Oxford’s Centre for Hindu Studies, spoke at length about the history of ISKCON within the Vaishnava tradition as a whole. Rasamandala Prabhu gave a presentation on the education ISKCON provides and the aims of this education, including further propagation of Krishna Consciousness in the future. Conference goers were also treated to a demonstration of aarti with its meaning and spiritual purpose, a short skit by the Bhaktivedanta Players, a traditional Bharatnatyam dance and a rousing musical rendition of the mahamantra. #laxmi

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