Dear Guru Maharaja
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to you!
Thank you so much for helping ISKCON Dallas get the Bhakti Sastri center approval. All the devotees were very grateful for your guidance.
We finished our overview of the Bhagavad Gita course a few weeks back. We had 16 students and most of them attended all the 9 sessions. We had a very personal connect with all the students and all of them gave very positive reviews. A couple of students even gave dothis to us after the course as a mark of dakshina!
HpS - AGTSP.. The Mormon missionaries get neck ties!
Since I have been coordinating the adult sastric education program in Dallas, I have been getting a lot of questions by email from the students. It is sometimes very personal. I have questions on how they need to deal with certain specific situations. I am comfortable answering philosophical questions, but it is scary when they ask for advise. I don't think I am qualified to act in that capacity, but I have been praying to you and Krishna before answering them so that the right words may come out of me.
Please tell me how I should handle this service Gurudeva, because I anticipate more and more people asking such questions as we continue this program.
HpS - Just be honest. That simple. If they have an false impression of who you are then try to correct it.
In terms of Bhakti Sastri, before starting the program, the education team (Devadarsana Prabhu, Nrtya Kisori Mataji, Rasaraj Prabhu, Hemangi Mataji and myself) had a few questions. With the current circumstances, it also looks like Krishna's arrangement to give us some time to prepare before starting the Bhakti Sastri course.
- Are there any syllabus materials for teachers that we can have access to such as VHIE, MIHE, etc
HpS - I don't think so. You have to ask them.
- Are there any student handouts that we can have access to?
HpS - Same.
- We had requested the BoEx for a teach and learn program where some of the teachers teaching the course could also earn their BhS degree. So, for the tests, can someone else give us the exams and grade the exams so that we don't need separate exams for the teachers without BhS degree.
HpS - What did they say when they gave permission? We did similar and we had separate test for the Testers.
- Considering our community is a grihasta community, what should be the scope of the BhS course? How may hours is a student expected to put in apart from attending a 2-3 hr class every week? Do we need essays every week or is there a minimum number of essays we can have per module and one closed book short answer exam per module?
HpS - Hmmm! This was not all clear when they made you a teaching and examination center? It is funny. Again, I do not know what the current standard is. The only persona that I think who might know is Radha Krsna Das in Houston.
Thank you so much Gurudeva for engaging me in this service.
Srinatha Krsna dasa
HpS - Does this file have some help is it? http://www.jayarama.us/archives/tpp-bs.docx