27th September 2010
Of course you probably know, that there has been a long standing controversy about who wrote the dramas and sonnets of William Shakespeare. Many say there was too much insider knowledge of royalty and their life for the son of a glove maker like Shakespeare. However, Mark Twain's comment was that the works of Shakespeare were written by William Shakespeare, or someone else of that name.
This is a very fine evaluation of classical literature, no? It has to have pragmatic value. It has to work regardless of the formalities of time, place, circumstance, names.
All of our NIOS office work, project development, goes on by the efforts of volunteer workers. Why, because they see we are actually making a pragmatic contribution to the improvement of the world, to the cultivation of the human spirit.
Internationally, at the end of July, Hanumatpresaka Swami, Professor Huber Hutchin Robinson, returned from another successful tour of South America. A short video clip of highlights is available here: NIOS South America Tour 2010. The tour included Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina. Programs in Chile went especially well because the Ambassador of India gave us his name to use for arranging all of the programs with universities. He himself attended some of the programs such as Universidad Catolica in Chile and an excellent program arranged in the house of one plastic surgeon and attended many of his profession colleagues. Presentations were in three areas: Light of the Bhagavata - Cultivation of the Human Spirit; Hamlet and Arjuna; and Science a New Perspective?. The last program was an excellent synthesis of many previous shows and was presented at the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Santiago in Chile, during a three day symposium with the Argentinian National Writer's Association in Mendoza and at the national science and technology counsel, CONCYTEC, in Lima, Peru.
Hanumatpresaka Swami is scheduled to return to Peru, Brazil and Argentina in November and intense work is underway for a week long accredited seminar on classical India literature with La Cantuta, the Peruvian National Education University. If the seminar goes well then the university is very open to establishing a full semester course on the same subject. Included in the seminar will be a third show and movie by Oscar and Anna Natars, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, the Person Bhagavatam.
Returning from South America we are now touring the USA with Light of the Bhagavata with visits to Houston, Tennessee for our annual symposium, Boise, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest and finishing off with Sedona and Tucson, Arizona.
We also visited Mexico were we did very much appreciated programs with National School of Anthropology and Monterrey Tech, the second finest university in Mexico City. In contrast, for one week during the 21-days in Mexico we presented a seminar for the ISKCON Bhakti sastri certificate. This is an internal certificate from ISKCON, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta's International Society for Krishna Consciousness, that includes the profoundly classical Bhagavad-gita, Upadesamrta, Bhakti-rasa-amrta-sindhu and Isopanisad. NIOS supports this curriculum and is helping to develop the curriculum for what is roughly equivalent to a Bachelor's degree, the Bhakt-viabhava diploma.
On the home front, members such as Dr. Ravi P. Sing, Vivek Narain, Thanu Subramaniam, Hiralal Patel, William Dukes and others contributed to the super-excellent 8th annual NIOS symposium on cultivation of the human spirit. We were able to contact Professor John Thatamanil at Vanderbilt University, Rabbi Rami Shapiro in our hometown of Murfreesboro and many other fine scholars. Besides the publication and seminar for the main topic, Married for Life, there were also excellent discussion on broader educational development on diplomas and curriculum in classical literature.
Hanumatpresaka Swami expects to stay in Tennessee for four months, March to June, after returning from teaching at the Bhakti-vedanta College in Belgium. Papers submitted for the symposium are being edited and should be available in the archives within the next few weeks.
Members in Tennesse will also write about many other local events that are developing. As a specific example, as a result of their maintaining two very successful information and demonstration booths at the new Nashville International Festival, with attracted 40,000 people this last year, they have been invited to participate in the additional attraction for the Festival this year, an international parade. NIOS will sponsor and organize a traditional, Ratha, giant, highly ornamented cart of Jagannatha, Lord of the Universe, from Orissa. Last year all of our business cards, brochures and even samples of traditional Orissian cuisine were exhausted before the Festival came to an end.
So, the opportunities are great to make a much, much needed contribution to getting the world back onto a path toward peace, prosperity and friendship with a common cause, by basing our lives on the wisdom of the past. It should be obvious that we need help with strategy, writing, publishing, financial administration and so many other things, so please contact us. Give us your mercy and help our efforts be fruitful.
For further details contact secretary at