October 11: Gauranga Darshan Das, a disciple of His Holiness Radhanath Swami, is a spiritual teacher and author of over 27 books. He is the Dean of the Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha at ISKCON Govardhan Ecovillage (GEV). He is a member of the ISKCON Board of Examinations (BoEx) and the GEV Administrative Council.
As a Professional
Gauranga Darshan Das holds a Master’s degree in Systems Science and Automation from the reputed Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. His corporate career extended for about two years, during which he worked for Force Motors and TCS Innovation Labs in the capacity of a researcher. During his brief academic and professional tenure, he achieved the rare distinction of publishing over ten technical papers in the areas of language and speech processing and filing a provisional patent for his research.
As a Monk
Having realized the importance of spiritual practices and with a desire to serve the Lord and humanity, he took up the order of Monkhood in 2009. After the initial training at ISKCON Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple, Chowpatty, Mumbai, and spiritual initiation by His Holiness Radhanath Swami, he joined the Govardhan Eco Village Project in 2010. At GEV, he displayed his repertoire of skills involving himself in areas like Media, Web design, Content writing, Creative design, Construction, Event management, Outreach, Sastric Education and teaching. Impressed by his skills, the presidential board at GEV gave him the mandate to develop a school of Vaishnava Studies at GEV, named the Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha, in 2012. Since then, he has been leading the intense two-year study course on traditional Bhakti literature like Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya Caritamrita. He has not only designed the entire course curriculum with its 5S model but also developed the teaching formats, student handbooks, course presentations, website and online training modules as well. He also oversees the Deity worship and Vrindavan Forest at ISKCON GEV.
As an Author
Gauranga Darshan Das authored over 27 books, including the ‘Subodhini’ series of systematic study guides to holy scriptures, ‘The Pravaha series of story books, self-enrichment books like ‘Bhagavata Viveka’ and ‘Disapproved but not Disowned,’ and children’s books like ‘Illustrated Bhagavatam Tales,’ that were sold over 100,000 copies. “Bhagavata Subodhini,” a systematic multivolume study guide to Srimad Bhagavatam compiled by him, has gained him laurels from many Vedic scholars and academicians alike. His books Gita Subodhini, Caitanya Subodhini, Bhakti Rasamrita Subodhini, Upadesamrita Subodhini & Isopanishad Subodhini, are adored by the community of scripture lovers. You can see all his books here. He has a special love for scriptural verses and has compiled sloka books, namely Gita Ratnamala, Bhagavata Ratnamala, Caitanya Ratnamala and Bhagavata Tattvamala. He also runs a monthly e-magazine called ‘Bhagavata Pradipika ‘and regularly writes spiritual and educational articles that appear in Back to Godhead Magazine International and in multiple Indian language editions.
As a Teacher
Gauranga Darshan Das is a prolific speaker of the scriptures, having deeply imbibed the imports of the scholarly commentaries of the various Vaishnava acharyas. He teaches Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Vaishnava character and several other spiritual courses to both adults and children, online and onsite. His lucid and systematic presentations with captivating visuals make the message of the scriptures easily understandable, as acknowledged by his students and several devotees. He has delivered over 6500 hours of spiritual discourses so far. His shloka recitations, Nectar Verses short video series, online courses and programs on Hare Krishna TV and YouTube are adored by several people across the globe. Apart from teaching and writing, he also guided several students in their scriptural study and helped them evolve in their understanding and presentation of the philosophy. Some of his areas of expertise include The concept of “Bhakti Triad” – Bhagavan, Bhakti and Bhaka as explained in the Bhagavatam; The concept of “Gods and Godhead” and the principles of personalism; and Cultural nuances of Vaishnavism.
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