By Antony Brennan for ISKCON News: The Mayapur Academy is located at ISKCON Mayapur, on the beautiful banks of the Ganges River, in Sridham Mayapur, West Bengal.
The Academy trains devotees to be capable of fulfilling the needs of ISKCON communities around the world. A joint educational initiative of the Mayapur Deity Department and the ISKCON Deity Worship Ministry, the Mayapur Academy offers a wide range of courses for devotees interested in developing their skills and ability as pujaris (priests) and brahmanas.
The Mayapur Academy, specializing in Deity worship and the development of brahminical culture, arts and sciences, cooking, and samskaras, was established to fulfill the desire of Srila Prabhupada for such a training centre.
“It was the desire of Srila Prabhupada to have a city here for 50,000 devotees,” says Jananivasa Dasa, head teacher and one of the driving forces of the Academy. “Srila Prabhupada also said that there should be educational centers, and a university, teaching all branches of knowledge.”
Former Academy student Ahladini Dasi says, “I had been hearing of an Academy that taught proper standards of worship and Deity dressing skills. I decided I had to be part of it—and fortunately, by the kindness of Jananivasa’s twin brother Pankajanghri Dasa, I got the chance to take the course.”
“I took three subjects,” Ahladini says. “Temple worship, brahminical culture and Deity dressing. My favorite part of the course was the explanation of various aspects of Deity worship and Deity dressing by Jananivasa Dasa and Kurma Caitanya Dasa.”
Ahladini adds: “Since completing the course I have been feeling more connection with my home Deities of Gaura Nitai. I have more understanding of and am more appreciative of the entire temple process, as I render service for the Deity department of ISKCON Mayapur’s presiding Deities Sri Sri Radha Madhava.”
Another student, Saci Kumar Dasa from South Africa, says, “Before the course began I was expecting it to deal exclusively with the worship of the Ddeity and different elements directly related to Deity worship. However I was surprised to find that it’s actually aimed at developing all aspects of brahminical life. Particularly inspiring was the aspect of the cultivation of community through brahminical activity, which is a much needed function in our ISKCON communities worldwide. It was also quite striking to get a glimpse into the vastness of brahminical culture.”
Kavi Karnapura Dasa from Lagos in Nigeria says, “How wonderful the Mayapur Academy is cannot be expressed in words. You just have to come and experience it for yourself. Allowing devotees to learn from the most advanced and experienced pujaris in ISKCON is so wonderful. What’s more, I’m now fulfilling the order of my spiritual master to learn about puja!”
Anuradha Kesavi Dasi from Atlanta in the USA says, “Every tiny bit, every moment is so much fun, from staying late to finishing sewing to hearing the wonderful realizations of the teachers. In this course you not only learn so many wonderful things but also get so much opportunity to serve in the holy place Mayapur. I am fortunate to be learning how to serve Krishna under the guidance of all the wonderful Mayapur residents.”
The Mayapur Academy is supported by a network of volunteers and well-wishers. Without their support in the form of service and donations the Academy would not be doing what it is today. You too can be part of the team, raising brahminical consciousness worldwide.
To download this year’s training schedule, to volunteer your service, or to help with much needed donations please visit the Mayapur Academy online at http://www.mayapuracademy.org/
Originally posted at ISKCON News. Click Here to Visit.