August Friends and Members,
We hope this meets you well and intensely situated in your own efforts to move forward the cultural evolution of human society. As one of the original incorporators of NIOS and general secretary of its advisory board we, Hanumatpresaka Swami (Huber Robinson), would like to welcome you to this NIOS Interim Prospect Report.
The previous report discussed our visit to Russia last year and by Nature’s arrangement we are just now returning from Russia once again. Besides this general traveling and lecturing, this last year has been a little bit of a rest from the monumental efforts that were required to produce the Bharatiya-sanskriti: Festival of Classical Indian Culture. As you may know the BS was a joint effort, extending over three years, with San Marcos University in Lima, Peru.
We have been active, however, initiating and developing some systematic programs, notably in co-operation with V.E.D.A.S., a group of young scholars and teachers, also based in Lima, Peru. This effort has been to develop the ideas for a complete classical education as outlined by Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (Prabhupada), the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He suggested a curriculum for what would amount to a Secondary, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in his classical tradition, Caitanya Vaisnavism.
With V.E.D.A.S. we began a rapid study of the matter, certified 8-teachers and then enrolled about 85-students for a more extended two year course for the Secondary certificate. This is curriculum is titled Bhakti-sastri. Students and professors are from Peru, Bolivia, Panama, United States, Thailand, Croatia, Australia. This has actually been very challenging and very satisfying. As we write we are just finishing the first Semester. Please feel free to ask us for details.
Mostly because of the natural flow of men, money and intelligence, now we are moving to inaugurate another extended program at the university level like the Bharatiya Sanskriti. Our working title for this is Counselors, Codes and Kings. The centerpiece will be to publish an authoritative, annotated, translation of the Parasara-dharma-sastra. The classical Indian dharma-sastras offer advice for organization of civil life so that society can actually be one in peace, prosperity, friendship with a common cause. Codes such as the Manu-samhita are described as useful for very elevated societies, but Parasara’s is described as very apt for the current international environment where we find great conflict and short-sightedness.
To make this practical we are proud to announce that our very respected advisor and friend Professor Samaresh Bandyopadhyay, formerly Head of the Department of Ancient Indian History and Culture at Calcutta University, has agreed to head this project. We are drawing up a budget, recruiting researchers and beginning the process, which first requires us to investigate all versions of the original text now extant.
As the translation of the dharma-sastra is advanced we hope to also collect essays on it’s relation to other Indian dharma-sastras, and furthermore petition scholars from traditions such as Chinese, Arabic, Christian, scientific, humanistic, militaristic to comment from their “dharma-sastras”.
We view NIOS as a small but vital element in this grand effort to push human civilization forward. It is designed to promote research of world classical literature and culture, and publish and distribute original texts and new related material. We would ask you to please give us advice on how to do this. How can we integrate with other more and less competent organizations? Where are sources of funding, intelligence, participants?
We will circulate this IPR by hand, post, web.
Thank you. We are looking forward to you enquiries and commentaries.
(Huber Hutchin Robinson)
General Secretary NIOS