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College Background
Meaning of Rupanuga
Recent History
Statement of Purpose
Vision for a Vedic College
Srila Rupa Goswami
The College Emblem
Features of the College
The Campus
Vyasadeva Library
Scholars Reviews of Texts


The Rupanuga Vedic College is dedicated to His Divine Grace Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhupada who perfectly realized and explained the sublime teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu & His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) who so kindly presented the transcendental Vedic science to the entire world.

sri-caitanya-mano 'bhistam
sthapitamyena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
dadati sva-padantikam

When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya,give me shelter under his lotus feet?

tvam nah sandarsito dhatra
dustaram nistitir satam
kalim sattva-haram pumsam
karna-dhara ivarnavam

We think that we have met Your Goodness by the will of providence, just so that we may accept you as captain of the ship for those who desire to cross the difficult ocean of Kali, which deteriorates all the good qualities of a human being.

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Historically, Rupanuga Vedic College (RVC), like the International Society of which it is part, belongs to the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Sampradaya, i.e. the disciplic succession which originated with Lord Krishna and continues as follows:

  1. Sri Krsna
  2. Brahma
  3. Narada
  4. Vyasa
  5. Madhva
  6. Padmanabha
  7. Nrhari
  8. Madhava
  9. Aksobhya
  10. Jaya Tirtha
  11. Jnanasindhu
  12. Dayanidhi
  13. Vidyanidhi
  14. Rajendra
  15. Jayadharma
  16. Purusottama
  17. Brahmanya Tirtha
  18. Vyasa Tirtha
  19. Laksmipati
  20. Madhavendra Puri
  21. Isvara Puri, (Nityananda, Advaita)
  22. Lord Caitanya
  23. Rupa, (Svarupa, Sanatana)
  24. Raghunatha, Jiva
  25. Krsnadasa
  26. Narottama
  27. Visvanatha
  28. (Baladeva) Jagannatha
  29. Bhaktivinoda
  30. Gaurakisora
  31. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
  32. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
  33. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's Disciples

Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead or commonly known as God. He exists eternally in full knowledge and bliss. The transcendental knowledge taught at Rupanuga Vedic College is the same eternally perfect scientific knowledge which is imparted from Lord Krsna to Brahma and passed on in disciplic succession. Our universe was manifest, according to Vedic evidence, approximately 155 trillion years ago. Lord Krsna enlightened Brahma at that time. However before the manifestation of this present universe, there were millions of universes which were created and annihilated in the past. Besides the material realm, there is the spiritual realm which is ever-existent and there the transcendental knowledge is fully perceivable. Consequently, the history of Vedic knowledge is beyond the purview of time. It is timeless and eternal.

In previous ages, this knowledge was passed from guru to disciple via the spoken word (sruti). The students and teachers were so advanced that they could memorize everything taught to them. However with the advent of the fallen age of Kali (this age began 5,000 years ago) the memories of students has markedly declined. Seeing this deficiency in people, Sri Vyasadeva (the fourth teacher in the disciplic line) decided to put the teachings in written form. Thus the written Vedic scriptures were compiled just at the time of the beginning of this age, 5,000 years ago. Each teacher must present the wisdom without change as he heard it from his guru. In this way the knowledge is passed down and it remains pure and potent.

In the 16th Century, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's principle disciple was Rupa Goswami who presented this transcendental tradition in its fullness. (Please see the section "Srila Rupa Goswami" below). Four hundred years and ten disciplic generations later, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada [Srila Prabhupada as he is commonly known] carried forth the same original science.

In 1962, while residing at Srila Rupa Goswami's samadhi (burial memorial) in Vrndavan's Radha-Damodara Temple, Srila Prabhupada revealed openly, for the first time which we are aware of, his desire to establish a Vedic college of the name Rupanuga Para Vidyapitha (please see the section "The Meaning of Rupanuga"). He expressed this to Gauracandra Goswami and Sri Nripendra Natha Banerji, the two proprietors of Radha-Damodara Temple. Although at that time, the college did not fully manifest, Srila Prabhupada reminded Mr. Banerji about the plan four years later in a letter:

"Now one thing I beg to draw your attention is the Rupanuga Para Vidya Pitha which I wanted to start in Vrindaban within the vicinity of Radha Damodara Mandir. If it is possible to get some vacant land for constructing the building. My American students are ready to spend for this and I think if you give some land on lease terms, then I can immediately begin the work. Perhaps you may remember that when I first came to your temple, this was my proposal and both yourself and Gauracandra Goswami agreed to this."
(Letter to: Nripen Babu Bannerji— New York 15 December, 1966)

As time went on, Srila Prabhupada revealed many ideas for enlightening the world's population - from book publication to self-sufficient farm communities to prasadam (spiritual food) restaurants. History has witnessed how each of his ideas began as seeds and then grew and grew into tremendous spiritual desire trees which spread throughout the world and fulfill everyone's desires. We may therefore mark 1962 as the date of Srila Prabhupada's founding the Rupanuga Vedic College.

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The name Rupanuga may be understood as follows. Rupanuga is a combination of two Sanskrit words namely rupa and anuga. Rupa (lit. - spiritual form) refers here to Srila Rupa Goswami (1489-1564) The word anuga means followers. So Rupanuga indicates the followers of Srila Rupa Goswami and the Rupanuga Vedic College is an institution where they may learn the science of bhakti as taught by Srila Rupa Goswami.

The Sanskrit word Vidyapitha, as mentioned above, literally means "place of education" i.e. a school or college. However the added word para meaning "transcendental", indicates that the Rupanuga college could not be an ordinary one - it must specialize in presenting supramundane, transcendental topics.

Five months prior to writing Nripen Babu, Srila Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in New York. (Please see "The College's Founder" section for more information on ISKCON). This was keeping in line with his former plan to establish the Vedic college. He once commented, "Actually, every center [of ISKCON] should be a college, and this is our training, singing, dancing, working, temple worship, like that." Be that as it may, Srila Prabhupada still wanted another institution within the greater ISKCON to concentrate exclusively on Vaisnava education.

"Our program is there for…one Rupanuga Vidyapitha—that is a school for educating brahmanas and Vaisnavas. We have enough of technological and other types of educational institutions, but perhaps there is none where actual brahmanas and Vaisnavas are produced. So we will have to establish an educational institution for that purpose."
(From a letter written by Srila Prabhupada to a disciple; January 12, 1969)

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In 1974, under Srila Prabhupada's direction, a system for recruiting and training new adult students in the science of bhakti-yoga was established. This system became known as the Bhakta Program throughout the 1970's and 1980's with Danavir Goswami as its worldwide inaugurator-coordinator. Gradually further academic emphasis was added to the program.

In 1990 Danavir Goswami and some assistants moved to Florida hoping to establish a Vedic college seminary. At that time it was learned that a Vedic college of the name Florida Vedic College (FVC) had recently been formed. By cooperation a branch campus of the FVC was formed near Tampa and from there Danavir Goswami forged a cooperative relationship with Professor of Religions Nathan Katz at the University of South Florida (USF). By the professor's effort, the university acknowledged the value of some courses offered by FVC and agreed to allow USF students to take them for full exchange/transfer of credit. Danavir Goswami taught three semesters of first and second semester beginning Sanskrit to both FVC and USF undergraduate and graduate students on both campuses.

In 1995, the Bhakta Program Institute (BPI) was established as a world headquarters for Bhakta Programs and the AVC semester course. Its first publication was Fortunate Souls; The Bhakta Program Manual a 760 page treatise.

The next year, 1996, marking Srila Prabhupada's Centennial, Danavir Goswami and some assistants, inaugurated the Rupanuga Vedic College following the master plan imparted earlier in 1962. Also that year an annual supplementary journal called Vaisnava Society was published. In 1998 and 1999 the college was located in Kansas City, Missouri at McGee and 63rd Streets where a few dozen students took RVC courses progressing toward their degrees and titles while continuing their full devotional services within ISKCON.

It is the sole purpose of the RVC to execute the will of Srila Prabhupada through the teachings and example of Srila Rupa Goswami. In particular, the literary works of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada constitute the final conclusion (siddhanta) on all subject matters. Rupanuga Vedic College is a seminarial branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness meant to provide the supreme education.

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(a) To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all peoples in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.

(b) To propagate a consciousness of Krishna, as it is revealed in the Bhagavad~Gita and Shrimad Bhagwatam.

(c) To bring the students, faculty, and supporters of the Rupanuga Vedic College together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus to develop the idea within them, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).

(d) To teach and encourage the sankirtan movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

(e) To erect for the college students, faculty and supporters and for society at large, a holy place of transcendental pastimes, dedicated to the Personality of Krishna.

(f) To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life.

(g) With a view towards achieving the aforementioned Purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.

The Rupanuga Vedic College (RVC) was established in 1996 to present Vedic science and culture as delineated by His Divine Grace Srila Rupa Goswami and His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda. To this end, the college grants academic and devotional degrees in Vaisnavism or Vedic monotheism.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda often expressed his thoughts;

"We are traveling all over the world, but there is no university, no institution, no school, no college where the education of spiritual nature is imparted."

Therefore he considered the establishment of a Vedic college essential.

"Then the world will be saved from destruction."

Here are his perspectives for the college:

  • The college should be state-approved to award Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates of Divinity degrees according to the advancement of knowledge.
  • "Example is better than precept." Instructors must be learned and practicing Vaisnava brahmanas.
  • Sincere students coming from anywhere in the world should be admitted for education without financial obligation and should imbibe the ideals of the college namely: peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness.
  • The basis of the curriculum shall be Vaisnava texts taken from the Vedic body of literature including the Vedänta Sutra, Upanisads, Ramayan, Mahabarata, Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Bhakti-rasamrta Sindhu, etc. - as comprehended by Srila Rupa Goswami.
  • The initial emphasis should be to train first class brahmanas (intellectuals), then ksatriyas (administrators), and vaisyas (agriculturalists and businessmen).
  • Devotional titles should also be awarded to students who pass examinations. The titles should be Bhakti-sastri (proficient in primary Vedic scriptural knowledge), Bhakti-vaibhava (accomplished in Vedic scriptural knowledge), Bhakti-vedanta (master of Vedic scriptural knowledge) and Bhakti-sarvabhauma (professor of Vedic knowledge).
  • The primary language medium should be English and the Sanskrit language should also be taught.
  • All charitably-disposed persons and institutions should kindly support the college.

While organizing ISKCON during his final eleven years on earth, Srila Prabhupada repeatedly expressed the hope to establish a Vedic college.

"The construction of the buildings can now be taken up and my American disciples are ready to spend for the proposed building of Sri Rupanuga Para Vidya Pitha." (Letter from Srila Prabhupada; October 11, 1966)

"But I do not think it is necessary for you to return to your university for taking further education…Your education is to be found in our books, the material education is finished. If you want to teach in universities and colleges, they must accept us on our high degree of Vedic learning, not on our so-called [mundane academic] credentials. They must accept our system of scholarly learning from the spiritual master." (Letter from Srila Prabhupada; August 5, 1972)

"Have brahminical school; that I am willing to do. That is required absolutely. There must be a class of men, perfect brahmanas. Otherwise society will be ruined."

(From a Morning Walk — April 9, 1976)

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Srila Rupa GoswamiSrila Rupa Goswami was the chief of the six Goswamis, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When he first met Lord Caitanya, Srila Rüpa Goswami Prabhupada was engaged as a minister in the Muhammadan government of Bengal. He and his brother Sanatana were then named Dabira Khasa and Sakara Mallika respectively, and they held responsible posts as ministers of Nawab Hussain Shah. At that time, five hundred years ago, the Hindu society was very rigid, and if a member of the brahmana caste accepted the service of a Muhammadan ruler he was at once rejected from brahmana society. That was the position of the two brothers, Dabira Khasa and Sakara Mallika. They belonged to the highly situated sarasvata-brahmana community, but they were ostracized due to their acceptance of ministerial posts in the government of Hussain Shah. It is the grace of Lord Caitanya that He accepted these two exalted personalities as His disciples and raised them to the position of goswamis, the highest position of brahminical culture.

Lord Caitanya met the two brothers Dabira Khasa and Sakara Mallika in a village known as Rämakeli in the district of Maldah, and after that meeting the brothers decided to retire from government service and join Lord Caitanyas. Dabira Khasa, who was later to become Rupa Goswami, retired from his post and collected all the money he had accumulated during his service. It is described in the Caitanya-caritamrta that his accumulated savings in gold coins equaled millions of dollars and filled a large boat. He divided the money in a very exemplary manner, which should be followed by devotees in particular and by humanity in general. Fifty percent of his accumulated wealth was distributed to the Krishna conscious persons, namely the brahmanas and the Vaishnavas; twenty-five percent was distributed to relatives; and twenty-five percent was kept against emergency expenditures and personal difficulties. Later on, when Sakara Mallika also proposed to retire, the Nawab was very much agitated and put him into jail. But Sakara Mallika, who was later to become Srila Sanatana Goswami, took advantage of his brother's personal money, which had been deposited with a village banker, and escaped from the prison of Hussain Shah. In this way both brothers joined Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu.

Rupa Gosvami first met Lord Caitanya at Prayaga (Allahabad, India), and on the Dasavamedha bathing ghata of that holy city the Lord instructed him continually for ten days. The Lord particularly instructed Rupa Gosvamion the science of Krsna consciousness.

Later, Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada elaborated the teachings of the Lord with profound knowledge of revealed scriptures and authoritative references from various Vedic literatures. Srila Srinivasa Acarya describes in his prayers to the six Gosvamis that they were all highly learned scholars, not only in Sanskrit but also in foreign languages such as Persian and Arabic. They very scrutinizingly studied all the Vedic scriptures in order to establish the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu on the authorized principles of Vedic knowledge. The present Krsna consciousness movement is also based on the authority of Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada. We are therefore generally known as rupanugas, or followers in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada. Hare Krishna. (Taken from Srila Prabhupada's Nectar of Devotion; a summary study of Srila Rupa Gosvami's Sanskrit work Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu)

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  • The Rupanuga Vedic College was founded as Rupanuga Para Vidyapitha in 1962 (Vrndavana, India). Later it was inaugurated in the United States on September 29, 1996, as the collegiate division of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) KrishnaFest Incorporated.
  • Rupanuga Vedic College is the only Vaishnava college in Missouri and the first Vaishnava residency college in the USA. The College is located in Jackson County in the State of Missouri, and offers classroom and tutorial divinity degree programs.
  • RVC is a division of ISKCON KrishnaFest Inc. which is incorporated with The United States of America Department of Treasury as a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) Not-for-profit religious entity. (Federal Tax ID # 59 3036972).
  • RVC is registered in the state of Missouri to grant theological degrees in the field of Vaisnava Philosophy, Vaisnava Education, Vedic History, etc.
  • RVC is a theological college which was exempted by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education in 1998.
  • RVC is not accredited.

    "When I first met the Hare Krishnas, I can remember how surprised I was, and I wondered what this meant. The costumes, the chanting, and the shaved heads appeared a little strange to me. But as I came to know the movement, I came to find that there was a striking similarity in the essence of what they were teaching and in the original core of Christianity—that is, living simply, not trying to accumulate worldly goods, living with compassion toward all creatures, sharing, loving, and living joyfully. I am impressed with how much the teachings of one man and the spiritual tradition he brought have impacted themselves into the lives of so many people. In my view Shrila Prabhupada's contribution is a very important one and will be a lasting one."

-Harvey Cox
Professor of Religion
Harvard University

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Veda: The two Sanskrit letters on the book, "ve" "da" combined become Veda which means knowledge. Among all scriptures, the eternal Vedas are the most important, having been recorded in written form five thousand years ago by the great sage Vyasadeva and preserved in the mother of all languages Sanskrit. Among the Vedas, the Srimad Bhagavatam (lit: the Beautiful Story of the Personality of Godhead), is known as the ripened fruit. Rupanuga Vedic College offers courses in the Vedas and its Masters Degree Program concentrates largely on the Srimad Bhagavatam.

krsnas tu bhagavan svayam: A famous Sanskrit verse which means "Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead." This conclusion is the ultimate premise of all Vedic literature and is found in the text of the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 3, verse 28.

The River Ganges: Among sacred rivers, the Ganges is foremost because it emanated from the lotus feet of Visnu and because it purifies all who come in contact with it.

Two Large White Swans: Among birds, the swan (in Sanskrit; hamsa) is beautiful, and among different types of swans, the white swan is the best and represents purity. Swans resort to clear lakes and rivers where they sometimes sport with the stems of the lotus flower. The lotus flower is analogous to Lord Krsna's feet and swans are analogous to pure devotees of Krsna who enjoy residing at the lotus feet of the Lord. The Sanskrit word for such pure devotees is paramahamsa or supreme swanlike persons.

It is said that the swan has a unique ability to extract milk from a solution of milk and water. Similarly, the paramahamsa swanlike persons accept only the essence of life, namely the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their life and soul, leaving aside all external, material things. Two swans are depicted because pure devotees relish keeping association with other devotees to enhance their devotion. It is hoped that the students of Rupanuga Vedic College will themselves become paramahamsas.

A Vaisnava Ensign: Vaisnava refers to those who are devoted to serving Lord Visnu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This distinctively-shaped sign, is often shown in authentic paintings depicting the sankirtana parties of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Five Symbols Upon the Vaisnava Ensign:

Tilaka: Decorative and protective clay markings of fortune symbolizing Visnu temples. While applying tilaka upon different parts of the body, devotees meditate on the Lord's names.

The Four Symbols of Visnu: Lord Visnu is a plenary expansion of Lord Krsna who holds four auspicious symbols in His four hands. The first two items are for offering benedictions to His devotees. The second two items are weapons used for protecting His devotees.

1. Lotus Flower

2. Conch shell

3. Club

4. Disc: (A supernatural razor-sharp discus which whirls about the finger of the Lord and instantly accomplishes the Lord's bidding)

Two Tulasi Branches: Tulasi Devi is a pure devotee of Krishna in the form of a plant and she should be treated with the same respect given to all Krishna's pure devotees. Lord Krishna is very fond of tulasi leaves and buds. It is said in the Skanda Purana, "Tulasi is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing, simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about or simply by sowing this tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the tulasi tree in the above-mentioned ways lives eternally in the Vaikuntha world."

A Crown: The crown indicates that Lord Krsna is the supreme king (isvara parama krsna) and His instructions are raja vidya the "King of Knowledge."

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  • Teaches the Highest Knowledge
  • The World's Oldest System of Education, (namely the parampara or guru-disciple or acarya principle: "teaching by example")
  • Qualified Professors and Instructors
  • Accelerated Learning Environment
  • Personalized Teaching, Counseling and Tutoring
  • Vedic Work-Study System (i.e. an alternative to tuition fees and costs for lodging and food)
  • Stress-Free Learning "Take a Break From the Material World"
  • Divinity Degree Programs and Certificates: Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
  • Devotional Title Programs and Certificates: Bhakti-Sastri, Bhakti-Vaibhava, Bhakti-Vedanta, Bhakti-Sarvabhauma
  • On-Campus Residency (for undergraduate, graduate and faculty/staff)
  • Delicious, Healthful Vegetarian Prasadam Meals
  • English Medium (with opportunities for multi-lingual education)
  • Continuous Commencement Dates
  • World-Acclaimed 15-Credit Starting Semester: (The Introductory Semester in Applied Vedic Culture, also known as the "AVC" course or the "Bhakta Program")
  • Excellent Opportunities for Faculty Positions
  • Medical and Dental Care (Please see the title "Health and Medical" in the Handbook portion of the Student Life section)
  • Special Summer Semesters
  • Experimental day, week, or month programs for those unfamiliar with the Vedic culture.
  • Course Materials (provided on a loan basis)
  • College Credits
  • Campus Library Access
  • Collegiate Liaison Services (Includes Academic Transcripts)
  • Delicious and Nutritious Meals (Please see the title "Food Policy" in the Student Life section)
  • Clean, Neat and Comfortable On-Campus Residency Lodging (Please see the title "Accommodations" in the Student Life section)
  • Devotional Clothing and Other Personal Items provided as required according to the discretion of the RVC management. (Please see the title "Dress Codes" in the Student Life section)
  • Usage of Phone, Postage, E-Mail, Fax
  • Pick Up Transportation to and From Bus, Train or Airport
  • Advanced Training in Computerized Administration, Multimedia, Publishing, Internet, etc.

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Rupanuga Vedic College overlooks a beautiful parkway across from Rockhurst University in a southern Kansas City residential area. Three blocks west sits the impressive University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC).

RVC's impressive main building, Bhaktivedanta Hall, was built in 1928 by the Presbyterian Church and accommodates the following areas:

Sri Sri Radha Krsna Temple
Ramananda Raya Auditorium
Radha's Kitchen
Govinda's Cafeteria
Narada Hall (Classroom)
Kapila Hall (Classroom)
Brahma Hall (Classroom)
Vyasadeva Library
Manu Administration Offices
Kumara Academic Offices
Govinda's Books and Gifts Shop
Sanjaya Video Lounge
Gauranga Lawn
Rajasuya Reception Lounge

Located in Additional buildings:

b1  b2  b3

Pariksit House (Student Dormitory)
Sandipani Muni House (Faculty Residence Building)
Sudama Vipra House (Guest Lodge)
Visvakarma Maintenance Department
Kailasa Gardens

RVC campus is presently equipped to accommodate sixty resident students and faculty/staff members.

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The Vyasadeva Library comprises a general library, a research library and a special collection private library.

General Library

Books, magazines, computers, Audio Tape Library, Photo Library, cd's, video tapes, DVD's, etc. Both faculty and students are afforded the use of the college's general library which includes all of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust publications as well as many related ISKCON-authored publications both in book form and elec- tronic computer form. The library provides a peaceful and quiet atmosphere for study or writing.


Srimad Bhagavatam (12 cantos)

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta (18 volumes)

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Srila Prabhupada's Letters

Srila Prabhupada's Conversations

Audio Tape Library

Hundreds of lectures and bhajanas (devotional music) by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Numerous lectures and bhajanas by ISKCON leaders.

Numerous dramatic readings of Vaisnava literature and Krsna pastimes

Numerous ISKCON plays

Numerous modern devotional music albums

Photo Library

Numerous paintings of Krsna and incarnations (computers and printed)

Numerous photos of RVC history and activities

BBT images

Video Library

Numerous videos of Srila Prabhupada

Classics such as Ramayana, Mahabharata, Krsna Lila, Madhvacarya, Caitanya Lila, etc.

Abhay Charan series

Memories of Srila Prabhupada series

ITV productions

Bhaktivedanta Institute science videos

Special Videos: NBC "Mysterious Origins of Man", etc.

Research Library

Additionally there is a vast private research library, both book and computer, which includes Krsna Institute publications, as well as many writings of Vaisnava acaryas and modern Vaisnavas (via electronic-computer).

Several works by Srila Vyasadeva such as:

  • selections from the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, etc. along with commentar ies by Srila Sridhara Swami, Srila Sanatana Goswami and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.
  • several Upanisads. à Numerous works by the six Goswamis of Vrndavana.

Numerous works by Vaisnava acaryas such as Srila Sanatkumara, Srila Narada Muni, Srila Yamunacarya, Srila Garga Muni, Srila Madhvacarya, Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati, Srila Ramananda Raya, Srila Kavi Karnapura, Srila Locana dasa Thakura, Srila Rasikananda, Srila Narotthama dasa Thakura, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, etc.

Biographies of Vaisnava acaryas

Sri Mahabharata

Sri Ramayana

*The research library contains other compositions which are available by permission of the college president or vice president.

Special Collection Private Library

This extensive library, located near the RVC, is owned by a close associate of the college and contains many rare Vaisnava literatures. These works are accessible with permission of the college president and the collection's owner.

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The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) adheres strictly to the principles of India's ancient Vedic culture, whose goal is the spiritual perfection of man. The Krishna consciousness movement is firmly based upon the conclusive truths found in Bhagavad-gita, Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and Caitanya-caritamrta, which contain the essence of Vedic knowledge. These three major texts, translated into the English language by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and replete with his erudite commentation, provide the philosophical and practical foundation for the Krishna consciousness movement.

His Divine Grace Shrila Prabhupada is uniquely qualified to translate and teach Vedic knowledge. He is the representative of a well-documented disciplic succession of Vedic authorities. By providing guidelines for the practical implementation of the sublime Vedic teachings, Shrila Prabhupada has for the first time successfully implanted genuine Vedic culture in the West.

The books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are highly respected by students, scholars and laymen alike. His works are now widely used in college courses and seminars in diverse subjects, including philosophy, religion, world literature, history, and the social sciences. The following reviews, written by scholars renowned in their fields, give graphic testimony to the scholarship and authenticity of the books of Shrila Prabhupada, the founder-acarya of the Krishna consciousness movement. The RVC grants its degrees for students who master these primary texts.

Bhagavad~Gita As It Is

"No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is better loved, in the West, than the Bhagavad-gétä. Translation of such a work demands not only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with the theme and a verbal artistry. For the poem is a symphony in which God is seen in all things.… The Swami does a real service for students by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever our outlook may be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has lead to this illuminating work."

Dr. Geddes MacGregor
Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
University of Southern California

"The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita."

Thomas Merton, Theologian

"I have now read considerable part [of Bhagavad-gita As It Is]. As a human being I cannot but applaud the fact that your movement is bringing faith and joy back into the lives of many unhappy young people who have not been able to find those virtues in the religion and culture in which they were raised, and I wish you success in the good work you are doing."

A.L. Basham
Professor and Head of the Department of Asian Civilizations
The Australian National University

"I am most impressed with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gétä. It is a most valuable work for the scholar as well as the layman and is of great utility as a reference book as well as a textbook. I promptly recommend this edition to my students. It is a beautifully done book."

Dr. Samuel D. Atkins
Professor of Sanskrit
Princeton University

"…As a successor in direct line from Caitanya, the author of Bhagavad-gita As It Is is entitled, according to Indian custom, to the majestic title of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The great interest that his reading of the Bhagavad-gita holds for us is that it offers us an authorized interpretation according to the principles of the Caitanya tradition."

Olivier Lacombe
Professor of Sanskrit and Indology
Sorbonne University, Paris

"I have had the opportunity of examining several volumes published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and have found them to be of excellent quality and of great value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is particularly true of the BBT edition and translation of the Bhagavad-gita."

Dr. Frederick B. Underwood
Professor of Religion
Columbia University

"…If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident lives of contemporary people."

Dr. Elwin H. Powell
Professor of Sociology
State University of New York, Buffalo

"There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada's translation is an ideal blend of literal accuracy and religious insight."

Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins
Professor of Religion
Franklin and Marshall College

"The Bhagavad-gita, one of the great spiritual texts, is not as yet a common part of our cultural milieu. This is probably less because it is alien per se than because we have lacked just the kind of close interpretative commentary upon it that Swami Bhaktivedanta has here provided, a commentary written from not only a scholar's but a practitioner's, a dedicated lifelong devotee's point of view."

Denise Levertov, Poet

"The increasing numbers of Western readers interested in classical Vedic thought have been done a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, he has increased our understanding manyfold."

Dr. Edward C Dimock, Jr.
Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization
University of Chicago

"The scholarly world is again indebted to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Bhagavad-gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a translation of singular importance with his commentary.…"

Dr. J. Stillson Judah
Professor of the History of Religions
and Director of Libraries Graduate Theological Union,
Berkeley, California

"Shrila Prabhupada's edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become familiar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the commercial East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time Europeans first penetrated India.

"Whether the reader be an adept of Indian spiritualism or not, a reading of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be extremely profitable. For many this will be the first contact with the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India."

Francois Chenique
Professor of Religious Sciences
Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France

"As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see the publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Shrila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized `gurus' and `yogis' and will give an opportunity to all people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture."

Dr. Kailash Vajpeye
Director of Indian/Oriental Studies
The University of Mexico

"… It is a deeply felt, powerfully conceived and beautifully explained work. I don't know whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-Gita, its daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas. I have never seen any other work on the Gétä with such an important voice and style.… It will occupy a significant place in the intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to come."

Dr. Shaligram Shukla
Professor of Linguistics
Georgetown University

"I can say that in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is I have found explanations and answers to questions I had always posed regarding the interpretations of this sacred work, whose spiritual discipline I greatly admire. If the asceticism and ideal of the apostles which form the message of the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is were more widespread and more respected, the world in which we live would be transformed into a better, more fraternal place."

Dr. Paul Lesourd
Author, Professeur Honoraire
Catholic University of Paris


"This is a work to be treasured. No one of whatever faith or philosophical persuasion who reads these books with an open mind can fail to be both moved and impressed.…"

Dr. Garry Gelade
Professor of Psychology
Oxford University

"It has been my great pleasure recently to have read the Shrimad-Bhagavatam in the superb edition authorized by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.… I am sure this monumental work will go far to bring the sublime message of the Bhagavatam to numerous Westerners who otherwise would miss this opportunity."

Dr. Alex Wayman
Professor of Sanskrit
Columbia University

"The Shrimad-Bhagavatam is extremely useful for all those interested in ancient India, whether their interest be that of the philosopher, the student of religion, the historian, the linguist, the sociologist or the political scientist.… I truly hope that Shrila Prabhupada will complete his translation of the entire Bhagavata and continue to translate other eminent Sanskrit works as well. Undoubtedly, this work of Swamiji's is a great contribution to the troubled human society of today's world."

Dr. Soda L. Batt
Professor of Indian Languages
Boston University

"The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust editions of famous religious classics of India, with new translations and commentaries, are an important addition to our expanding knowledge of spiritual India. The new edition of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam is particularly welcome."

Dr. John L. Mish
Chief, Oriental Division
New York Public Library

"… A commentary on the Vedanta-sutra by Shrila Vyasadeva divided into twelve `cantos' of which four are presented here in eight beautifully produced volumes. These lavish volumes, obviously the product of devotional effort, contain many lovely full-color illustrations.…"

Choice magazine, June, 1975

"In the diversity of religious approaches offered by the yogis of India, the most significant, of course, is the way of Krishna consciousness. It is amazing to see how Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami has in less than ten years succeeded, by his personal devotion, untiring energy and efficient direction, in organizing the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Now, he has undertaken the stupendous project of rendering the entire Bhagavata, the great devotional classic of India, into English. His edition is learning blended with devotional feeling and inspired by a definite purpose of communicating the intense lyrical and devotional quality of the Bhagavata. Shrila Prabhupada has done an excellent service by his able rendition of `the abode of divine joy' that the Bhagavata is."

Dr. Mahesh Mehta
Professor of Asian Studies
University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada

"It is axiomatic that no book can be expected entirely to satisfy all its potential readers. Here is one, however, which can be said to come remarkably close to that ideal.… we have here the ideal of what an edition of a Sanskrit text for a Western audience should be."

—Dr. R. E. Asher
Professor of Linguistics
University of Edinburgh

"… For those who have no access to the Sanskrit language, these books convey, in superb manner, the message of the Bhagavatam. In addition to being a scholarly work, it directly reflects the spiritual aspirations of a religious community which has gained considerable popularity in modern America."

Dr. Alaka Hejib
Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies
Harvard University

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta

"I am most happy to have these handsomely printed volumes which embody the work of so learned and sincere a believer in the message of the Caritamrta. I thank you."

Dr. Daniel H. H. Ingalls
Chairman Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies
Harvard University

"The appearance of an English translation of Krishndaas Kaviraja Gosvami's Shri Caitanya-caritamata by A. C. Bhaktivedanta [Founder-Äcärya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness] is a cause for celebration among both scholars in Indian studies and lay-people seeking to enrich their knowledge of Indian spirituality. It will fill a most serious lacuna in our libraries and in our courses on the religious traditions of India.

"… For the first time we possess a readily accessible edition for this great religious classic that will provide opportunity for scholars in Indian literature and followers of the Krishna consciousness tradition alike to compare the original text with a modern English translation and become acquainted with the deeper spiritual meaning of this work through the learned commentary of Shri Bhaktivedanta.

"… Anyone who gives a close reading to the commentary will sense that here, as in his other works, Shri Bhaktivedanta has combined a healthy mixture of the fervent devotion and aesthetic sensitivity of a devotee and the intellectual rigor of a textual scholar. At no point does the author allow the intended meaning of the text to be eclipsed by the promotion of a particular doctrinal persuasion.

"… These exquisitely wrought volumes will be a welcome addition to the libraries of all persons who are committed to the study of Indian spirituality and religious literature, whether their interests are sparked by the motivations of the scholar, the devotee or the general reader."

Dr. J. Bruce Long
Department of Asian Studies
Cornell University

"It is a remarkable document of great historical and sociological importance, giving a picturesque presentation of the socio-religious climate in the India of Shri Caitanya's times and the far-reaching social and religious changes wrought by him. As a literary piece, it is regarded as a work of great merit, having no parallel in the whole of Bengali literature. As a religious text, its sanctity is comparable to that of the Bhagavad-gita.

"This English edition translated by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is superb. It contains the original Sanskrit and Bengali verses with their English transliteration, synonyms, translation and elaborate purports, easily bearing testimony to the author's profound knowledge of the subject."

Dr. O.B.L. Kapoor
Emeritus Chairman and Professor, Department of Philosophy
Government Postgraduate College, Gyanpur, India

"It is a genuine joy to have this momentous biographical work on the life of Bengal's great saint Caitanya, prepared by his best-known modern interpreter, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada."

Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer
Associate Professor of Ethics and the Phenomenology of Religions
Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California

"Year by year, interest in Eastern religious thought and philosophy grows in America. The editing and translating of the important Shri Caitanya-caritamrta will make a substantial contribution to those who seek information about Indian concepts.…"

Dr. Gerald A. Larue
Professor of Religion
University of Southern California

"I can recommend Shri Caitanya-caritamrta as a source of rich insights for every serious student of consciousness."

Dr. Rory O'Day
Department of Human Relations
University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Other Texts

"Teachings of Lord Caitanya is an authentic and lucid account, in English, of the life and philosophy of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The spiritual movement initiated by `the Great Master' five hundred years ago has profoundly influenced millions of men and women in India ever since, and is presently making its mark throughout the world.
"Shri A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the present spiritual master of the movement in disciplic succession, has done a great service to the English-speaking world by making this spiritual treasure available in English."

Dr. K. L. Seshagiri Rao
Professor of Religious Studies
University of Virginia

"Krishna is an important book both for the new student of the history of religions and for the professional scholar. It is a helpful and significant contribution to the growing phenomenon of interest in the religions of Asia."

William A. Johnson
Professor of Philosophy, Brandeis University

"The book Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead should prove to be an important addition to materials available for college courses in religion. It is one of the best sources in English for gaining insight into the bhakti religious tradition."

Louis Roberts, Executive Chairman
Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Syracuse University

"The Perfection of Yoga is most useful for anyone wishing to understand the meaning of yoga. It also introduces the student to the study of Bhagavad-gita and shows how direct and simple, yet in another sense, how profoundly complex is the path of spiritual growth through yoga practice. It is a scholarly book, yet has a direct personal meaning for all—a powerful combination."

—Dr. Frank Ledwith, Professor of Psychology
University of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland

"I think the best feature of the Hare Krishna movement is that it is providing scholars with excellent translations of the rarest books on krishna-bhakti."

Dr. Lawrence Shinn
Professor of Religion, Oberlin College

"I have read Shri Bhaktivedanta Swami's books with great care, attention and profound interest, and have found them to be of incalculable value to anyone who is curious about India's spiritual and cultural heritage. The author of these books displays on every page an astounding scholarship in the subjects treated, and also an understanding and ease of exposition of abstruse ideas, which are rarest gifts."

Dr. H. B. Kulkarni
Professor of English and Philosophy
Utah State University

"The publications of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust are very valuable documents and will no doubt become classics for the English reader of Indian religious literature."

Dr. Jerry M. Chance, Chairman
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Florida A&M University

"These books are not only beautiful, but also relevant to our times, as we as a nation search for new cultural patterns for our way of life."

Dr. C. L. Spreadbury
Professor of Sociology
Stephen F. Austin State University

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International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Founder-Acarya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada