Padmapani Prabhu, a senior brahmachari in Ujjain temple, conceived a very innovative means to attract and involve people in Ujjain as well as those in remote corners of Madhya Pradesh and all over India in Krishna consciousness – the Bhagavad-Gita correspondence study course. The Gita study course has met with tremendous success, with a membership of more than 1250 students and increasing.
The course is generally of 6 months duration. Visitors to the temple and the people we meet during book distribution and other programs are enrolled as members in the course for a nominal fee of Rs.100/- and are requested to purchase a copy of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is. They will receive a total of 4 question papers in succession on the Bhagavad Gita by post.
- Paper 1 – chapters 1-6 of the Bhagavad Gita
- Paper 2 – chapters 7-12 of the Bhagavad Gita
- Paper 3 – chapters 13-18 of the Bhagavad Gita
- Paper 4 – entire Gita
The grades awarded are according to the student’s performance. The certificates and grades are awarded in a special function held in Ujjain. They are also given special gifts according to their performance.
- 40% and above is considered pass – 3rd grade
- 50% and above is 2nd grade
- 60% and above is 1st grade
The entire course mentioned above consists of Level 1 of the course. The levels and their subjects are as follows:
- Level 1 – Bhagavad Gita
- Level 2 – Krishna book and Nectar of Instruction
- Level 3 – Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada biography, Isopanishad, Divya Jnana
- Level 4 – First canto of the Bhagavatam
The students are enrolled from all over India, and there is a seminar held for all of them at Ujjain for 3 days. This is generally held around Nrisimha Chaturdasi time in May. During this seminar, they are engaged in Nagar Sankirtan, classes, kirtans and are shown entertaining and educative videos on Krishna consciousness. About 30% of the students are regularly chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on beads, while some of them are getting ready for initiation. Some of them are engaged in Nitya seva, some become life members and engage in other activities and programs like Bhakti Vriksha. They are regularly sent invitations for temple functions.