About the programs
About the programs
We're offering two online programs. Level 1: Certificate in Bhakti-yoga Studies (three modules); and Level 2: Bhakti Sastri Course (six modules).
It depends on your knowledge and interest in India's culture, philosophy and practice. The Certificate in Bhakti-yoga Studies program aims to introduce you to some general ideas and principles, whereas the Bhakti Sastri course requires some preliminary knowledge about the most common bhakti texts and practices.
If you're seeking an opportunity to know more about Vedic culture, philosophy, and practice, then our curriculum is for you. In three modules, you'll find ample opportunity to learn the Vedic arts of leading a balanced life with a focus on spiritual well-being. The CYBIS "trilogy" of modules offers both theoretical and practical approaches to the topics of human devotion to God and a healthy relation to the world. The CIBYS courses will take you on a journey through the academic world of comparative religious and social studies, and into the realm of bhakti-yoga, meditation, and self-discovery. You'll study basic principles and the structure of Indian philosophy from a very practical angle: as a necessary support to the practice of any kind of yoga. Finally, you'll learn how profound Vedic philosophy is imparted and practiced in daily life.
Are you already familiar with some foundational texts and practices of bhakti, and do you want to systematically study Srila Prabhupada's books? Are you seeking quality association with devotees from various backgrounds with different levels of experience? Do you feel the need to deepen your connection with Krishna and to broaden your understanding of His instructions? Are you looking for a real spiritual immersion and transformation, without changing your external circumstances? This online Bhakti Sastri course aims at all this and more. You will systematically study the Bhagavad-gita, The Nectar of Devotion, The Nectar of Instruction, and Sri Isopanisad, four important bhakti texts. You can complete your Bhakti Sastri course from your home, within a year. Our teachers are experienced devotees, who've studied, lived by, and taught for many years. Our students come from all over the world and create a worldwide online community whose goal is the understanding and imbibing of Gaudiya Vaishnava principles and practices.
The term bhakti means "devotion" or "love", and the term sastri refers to a person who is conversant with ancient sacred texts of spiritual knowledge and wisdom, known as sastra in the Sanskrit language. The title Bhakti Sastri is traditionally offered to accomplished students of the theology and philosophy of the Vedas. According to the Bhagavad Gita, texts that teach how to develop bhakti, love of God, the Supreme Soul Krishna, are the best.
You will find a commitment to providing you with extraordinary convenience, online tools and resources, and the opportunity to achieve your educational goals. You can count on an attractive and challenging curriculum in a supportive learning environment. Teachers or course administrators respond to all inquiries in less than forty-eight hours.
On average, we have about two dozen students per class.
The Certificate in Bhakti-yoga Studies (three modules) takes six months, and the Bhakti Sastri course (six modules) takes one year. Alternatively, you can take the two courses one at one time and thus spread out your studies over more time. You can find the dates for courses on the home page.
You can register up to one week into the course. To register, you click on the course title, create a user account, and pay via Pay Pal. Then you'll be sent a confirmation e-mail with an enrollment key that you're required to use only once, during your initial access to the course. It's easy.
I would like to know whether the courses are paced at the student's speed or according to the college's plan?
We have a weekly course delivery, which should be followed by the students. Students should meet deadlines given by the teachers. But students are not obliged to take modules consecutively, so they can take them at their own pace.
How much time each week is needed to complete the reading, forum activities, and homework assignments?
We suggest you spend five to seven hours per week for satisfying and rewarding studies.
No. You just need to be familiar with basic Web and Office skills. For an introductory session, please explore the free Demo Course. You also need to be confident in written and spoken English.
Yes, there is usually a live session once a week, using webinars. If you can't attend, the teacher will post a full video recording. In the case of a live chat, you'll also be able to access it later. You can access course materials any time, 24/7.
Yes. You can also take each course in a different order since we prepared independent modules.
The VTE accreditation refers only to the Bhakti Sastri program, not the Certificate in Bhakti-yoga Studies course. The VTE certificate is your official Bhakti Sastri certificate issued by BOEX (the ISKCON Board of Examination). The diploma you will receive from Bhaktivedanta College upon finishing your studies confirms that you have taken the course, but is not the Bhakti Sastri certificate. To receive the Bhakti Sastri certificate you will have to provide a letter of recommendation from one of your local ISKCON representatives, confirming that you chant sixteen rounds, follow the four regulative principles and are positively engaged in Sri Caitanya's sankirtana mission. We'll ask you for the recommendation letter and a completed VTE Application Form after you enroll in the course. You also have to take closed-book exams in the ISKCON center nearest you under the supervision of a devotee.
Yes. If you are not interested in receiving VTE accreditation, you can take the course and receive a Bhakti Sastri diploma from Bhaktivedanta College confirming that you have taken the course. You can even do your exams for the VTE certificate later.
You'll need a recommendation letter if you are interested in receiving the VTE diploma. After enrollment, we will provide you with the standard letter of recommendation. Please ask your local representative to fill it in and send it to us.
You'll be responsible to find a local ISKCON representative who is
All online students will receive a Completion Digital Certificate signed by the Principal for each finished course. After successfully completing the Bhakti Sastri program (six modules) successful students who choose to will get VTE diplomas. Students of the Certificate in Bhakti-yoga Studies course (three modules) will receive a Bhaktivedanta College diploma.
Costs are determined by the number of delivery weeks.
We will give a 100% refund on cancellations in the first week of the course. We will give a 30% refund if after the first week you decide you don't want to continue for any reason.
Upon enrollment you will be asked to pay via Pay Pal. If you don't have Pay Pal, you can use a bank wire and inform us by e-mail about it:
This depends on your level of familiarity and knowledge of Bhakti Yoga. The Certificate in Bhakti Yoga Studies is for those interested in building a strong foundation, and the Bhakti Sastri Course is a more advanced program.
More questions? Contact us using the form on the home page. We aim to respond to queries within forty-eight hours.
Each course runs once a year. You can take the modules in various orders.
Yes, if you feel you can manage. However, if you haven't studied at the university level before or for a long time, you may wish to start with one course to get a feel for the time that's involved.
Do not worry about technical skills - if you can handle e-mail then you're ready to go.
Courses are open to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Check your spam folder. If it's not there, then contact us.
No, all materials are included in the course. In some courses the online course notes are available for purchase in book form, but this is for convenience only and is not a necessity.
The easiest way is to enroll for each module separately via PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, we offer bank wire transfer and that way someone can pay for the complete program. Before doing a transfer, please Contact us.
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