By Syamagopika devi dasi
‘I have learnt so much from the course already as you can see and we are only half the way through. There is a lot more nectar that our wonderful teachers are yet to share with us. I am really grateful to all of them. Everyone in ISKCON should try and do the course’ says Bhakti Nilaya Das from South Africa.
Students of Mayapur Academy are excited about their new experience of learning the art of deity worship. The first batch of students in the newly opened Mayapur Academy has recently completed classes on deity dressing, cooking and learning samskaras. Students are very fortunate to receive the wonderful association and instructions from Sri Sri Radha-Madhava’s dear most Puajris, Jananivasa Prabhu and Pankajanghri Prabhu. Kurma Chaitanya Prabhu, who bakes those nectarean cakes to delight Sri Sri Radha-Madhava, shared his expertise and knowledge to the students. Every minute aspect on the art of deity worship has been carefully dealt with during the course.
Cooking in mud pots in a Vedic way using cow dung fuel in a natural setting is definitely a unique experience. Few cooking classes were organized in Mayapur Gurukula by Pritivardhana Prabhu. ‘Learning Samskaras and details of performing fire sacrifice is an experience of its own’ says the students as they share their realizations on their course in Mayapur Academy.
Enjoy browsing through few of the students realizations.
Saci Kumar Das (South Africa): Before the course began, I was expecting it to deal exclusively with the worship of the Deity and different elements directly related to Deity worship. However I was surprised to see 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. Also striking was to get a glimpse into the vastness of brahminical culture.
For me the highlight of the Mayapur Academy is the wonderful association we receive daily of Jananivas and Pankajanghri Prabhus. They have selflessly for so many years served in Sridham Mayapur and to be a recipient of their realizations and experience is very powerful.
Kavi Karnapura Das (Nigeria, Mayapur): To be frank and sincere, it has been all wonderful experiences. Although before I came to Mayapur Academy I could dress the Deity but I could not explain the principles and elements behind the decoration. Studying these with Kurma Caitanya Prabhu was an out of this world experience. Performing fire yajnas is another special experience I will never forget about Mayapur Academy. Before I came here, I did not have any theoretical or practical knowledge of how to perform simple initiation fire sacrifices although I have been seeing people doing this many times. But now, I am confident to perform this anywhere and at any time after studying this with Ananda Tirtha Prabhu in Mayapur Academy.
Another fascinating experience is the one I am getting in this week by experience the cooking of Priti Vardhana Prabhu at the Gurukula, very natural and simple which is going to be a life experience. Hare Krsna!
Ramacandra Kaviraja Das (Alachua): For the first month at the Mayapur Academy we have been engaged in learning the different skills needed for serving the Deity and living according to the brahminical standards. The first class we had was learning how to dress the Deity. For lack of time we mainly concentrated on putting turbans on Krsna since they are the most confusing. Kurma Caitanya Prabhu very intelligently presented it as an art. I never knew that if one knew how to make the turban properly then he could emphasize different parts of Krsna’s face, such as His eyes or smile.
Then we started to learn how to perform yajnas. Sadly, we again didn’t have much time to learn so we started with the most basic form of yajna. Ananda Tirtha Prabhu showed us how to set up the kunda, decorate, install the fire, offer oblations, and end the yajna.
The teachers and organizers are trying their best to facilitate everyone’s needs and this is very nice. In the many years to come this program will grow and becomes a very successful training course for aspiring pujaris.
To know more about Mayapur Academy, write to Mayapur.Academy @pamho.netor visit www. mayapuracademy. org.
(Please visit http://www.mayapur.com/main/?q=node/747 for complete article and photos.)
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