Published on January 5th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image2
Brahmana Means Pandita. Therefore I Am Suggesting Examinations.
I have also suggested for the GBC’s consideration, that we introduce a system of examinations for the devotees to take. Sometimes there is criticism that our men are not sufficiently learned, especially the brahmanas.
Bombay, 10 January, 1976
My Dear Svarupa Damodara,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to thank you for your letter dated December 26th, 1975, and I have noted the contents carefully.
Your plan to have the Bhaktivedanta Summer Institute in one of our farms is a very good idea. But you say that there is a chance that none of our farms will be suitable. Why not? Anyway, you will be discussing it at Mayapur at which time you should fix-up everything definitely.
I have read the aims and objects of the Institute and it is done very nicely. I am satisfied that you are properly understanding the philosophy. The analysis you have given in the section “What is the Bhaktivedanta Institute”, regarding the scientists, technologists, and other so-called authorities is most accurate. According to Bhagavatam, they are all asses and cows, sa eva gokhara.
I have also suggested for the GBC’s consideration, that we introduce a system of examinations for the devotees to take. Sometimes there is criticism that our men are not sufficiently learned, especially the brahmanas. Of course second initiation does not depend upon passing an examination. How one has moulded his life–chanting, attending arati, etc., these are essential. Still, brahmana means pandita. Therefore I am suggesting examinations. Bhakti-sastri–(for all brahmanas) based on Bhagavad-gita, Sri Isopanisad, Nectar of Devotion, Nectar of Instruction, and all the small paper backs. Bhakti-vaibhava–the above plus first six cantos of S.B. Bhaktivedanta–the above plus cantos 7-12 S.B. Bhakti-sarvabhauma–the above plus Caitanya-caritamrta.
These titles can correspond to entrance, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. So just consider how to organize this Institute. At Mayapur we shall finalize everything.
Hoping this meets you well.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Hare Krishna Prabhu
Are these exams compulsory for advancement in Krishna consciousness? Please tell me where to give these.
No. The exams are not compulsory for advancement in Krishna consciousness. They are meant for encouraging the devotees to read and understand Srila Prabhupada’s books. So it is the reading and understanding of Prabhupada’s books that is essential for our advancement in Krishna consciousness and the exams are just meant to encourage the devotees to do this.
But nowadays these exams are not being held. And they are not required, what is required is seriously reading all of Srila Prabhupada’s books and I encourage you to read them aloud so you are chanting and hearing them as well as reading them. And also please chant all the Sanskrit and Bengali verses in the books as these are all very powerful spiritual mantras and chanting these mantras as you read Prabhupada’s books is also very powerful purification.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!