Philosophy Reading Group

Wednesdays beginning June 19, 2024
6:00pm – 7:00pm ET

A Little History of Philosophy
by Nigel Warburton

Join us this summer to explore and discuss fundamental philosophical questions and ideas. Using A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton, we will gain insight into some of the most influential thinkers in Western philosophy from ancient to current times.

Facilitated by Lila dd / Details and registration here.

Recent and Past Events

Exclusive BI Summer School site

BI Summer School
2 Weekend Online Event

July 13 & 14 / July 20 & 21

Each 3-hour session covers a major aspect of BI projects.

Topics covered include:

  • Mind and Consciousness Interaction Studies – Latest research
  • Consciousness is Fundamental – A shift in academic thinking
  • Mental Health Applications of Spiritual Practices
  • Spiritual Care and Near-Death-Experiences
  • Extraordinary Perceptual Abilities
  • Understanding the Philosophy of Science
  • Studying the Science of Bhakti and Metaphysics in Srimad Bhagavatam
  • The Sankhya Metaphysics of the Yoga Sutras
  • History of Resolving the Siddhantic and Puranic Descriptions of the Universe
  • Vedic Archaeology and Human Antiquity
  • New Reincarnation Research – Children’s recall of previous lives
  • How do the mind and subtle body interact with the biological body?
  • Evidence for Consciousness-based Life and the Punctuated Appearance of Species

Richard L. Thompson Lecture Series

Alternate Saturdays / February 3, 2024 – In-person & Online

Parallels [Alien Identities]: Ancient Insights into Modern UFO Phenomena

Thompson (1947–2008), a founding member of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, published many technical papers, articles for Back to Godhead (BTG), and numerous books dealing with the relationship between science and Vedanta. He extensively investigated ancient Indian astronomy, cosmology, and spirituality, and developed multimedia expositions on these topics.

This lecture series is systematically exploring Sadaputa’s books in chronological order, with an aim toward developing a deeper understanding of his pioneering work and its implications concerning further research.

Schedule, details, and Zoom link here.

Yoga – Practice & Theory

Saturday, June 22, 2024
8:30am – 10:00am ET

International Yoga Day Class

What to expect:

  1. Philosophy & theory: Go beyond physical postures and explore some of the history, philosophy, and principles.
  2. Guided practice: Hatha Yoga practice suitable for all levels.
  3. Meditation & Breathwork: Breathing techniques that improve health, increase focus, & cultivate inner peace.

Cooking Class & Dinner

Saturday, June 22, 2024
4:00pm – 7:00pm ET

International Plant-Based Nutrition

Be part of an instructive and nourishing experience at the BIHS. Don’t miss the opportunity to elevate your cooking skills and discover the benefits of prioritizing digestive health.

In this event, we will learn new skills and recipes, contribute to the preparation, and enjoy the feast together.

This is a paid event and class size is limited.

Online Documentary –
Viewing & Discussion

Friday, June 21, 2024
6:30pm – 8:00pm ET

Decoding the Universe (PBS, 2024)

(From the Producer)
Explore 50 years of mind-bending discoveries in physics and cosmology.

How big is the universe? What is it made of? Are we alone? Questions like these have inspired amazing discoveries that have transformed our understanding of the universe since the 1970s, shedding light on everything from exoplanets to black holes to the mysterious dark matter and energy that rule the cosmos.

Human Devolution Lecture Series

Alternate Saturdays / April 6, 2024 – Online

Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory

If we did not evolve from apes, then where did we come from? Human Devolution is Michael Cremo’s definitive answer to this question. In his characteristic style of meticulous documentation and research, Cremo offers a fresh and scientifically based perspective on human origins, with an emphasis on state-of-the-art consciousness studies. Take a fascinating tour through incredible enigmas of time and space, ranging from Precambrian microfossils to black holes to the planets of demigods, and discover how we devolved from pure consciousness to this earthly realm.

Join us for Michael A. Cremo’s lecture presentations on the contents of Human Devolution

Schedule, event details, and Zoom link here.

Film & Discussion Evening

Saturday, June 8, 2024
5:00pm – 8:00pm ET

Film: Ex Machina (2014)

We invite you for an evening of entertainment where we will present a curated film followed by a discussion based on the themes presented.

Themes: Artificial Intelligence, Consciousness, Evolution…

Please register in advance as space is limited.  This event is open to people 18+

3-day Ayurvedic Clinic

March 29 – 31, 2024
Gainesville, Fl

Presented by Dr. Bharat Vaidya, – Ayurved Sadhana, Superior, Colorado

3-day Ayurvedic Clinic given by a skilled Advanced Ayurvedic Physician coming from a long lineage of Ayurvedic healers.

R. L. Thompson Lecture Series

July 1 – November 4, 2023
Gainesville, FL

Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy

In this publication, Thompson shows that the Fifth Canto’s cosmography and the accounts of the solar system found in the Jyotisa Sastras are not contradictory, but that they in fact represent distinct yet mutually consistent ways of comprehending a universe with important features beyond the range of ordinary sense perception.

For schedule and event details, click here.  Lectures available on the BIHS YouTube Channel

Vedic Cosmology Conference

November 17 – 19, 2024
Gainesville FL

International conference that drew upon its prior workshops concerning contemporary as well as traditional research into the mysteries of the Puranic concept of “universe.” One of the primary objectives of this conference was to present this work to a broader audience in a disciplined scholarly manner.

Learn More

VIHE Cosmology Seminar

September 24 – October 91 through November 4, 2023

Giridhari Prabhu (Tiziano Valentinuzzi), BIHS research associate with a PhD in Astronomy, will be giving a seminar on the cosmology of the 5th Canto sponsored by the Vrindavan Institute for Higher Studies (VIHE) this fall. The seminar is for Bhakti-vaibhava Bhakti-sastri students and graduates. This will include six 2-hour presentations on 9/24, 9/26, 10/4, 10/6, 10/7, and 10/9 at 5.30-7.30pm IST.

Consciousness Explorer’s Workshop

June 17, 2023, Gainesville, FL

A one-day workshop that was be a unique exploration of our existence, life, the universe, and the central role of consciousness in the reality around us. Based on the Atma Paradigm lecture series, this workshop delved into some of life’s big questions.

See this on YouTube

Explore the original Atma Paradigm Lecture Series on YouTube

RLT Lecture Series Special Event

June 10, 2023; Gainesville, FL

Join us at the Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies to close out the lecture series for Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science before we begin the next series in July.

The last chapter of the book “Epistemology of Transcendental Consciousness,” presented by Christina Kelly, outlines the practical observational process of bhakti-yoga. Thompson argues that “this process is truly scientific, and that it shares with modern science such features as a theoretical system, necessary and sufficient conditions for success of experiments, and independent evaluation and confirmation of results by a community of experts.”

View this presentation on YouTube

Leaps of Faith and Doubt Lecture Series

Sundays, beginning  April 23, 2023 – BIHS Headquarters, Gainesville, FL

This 8-part seminar will compare and contrast faith and evidence-based knowledge systems by examining scientific paradigms through the lens of Bhakti-sastras, and vice versa. We will explore themes such as origins, evolution, cosmology, consciousness, the nature of evidence, burdens of proof, and the scientific practice of bhakti-yoga.

View this lecture series on YouTube

Richard L. Thompson (Sadaputa) Lecture Series

Beginning on February 4, 2023, BIHS Headquarters, Gainesville FL

Thompson (1947–2008), a founding member of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, published many technical papers, articles for Back to Godhead (BTG), and numerous books dealing with the relationship between science and Vedanta. He extensively investigated ancient Indian astronomy, cosmology, and spirituality, and developed multimedia expositions on these topics. In this lecture series we will systematically explore Sadaputa’s books in chronological order, beginning with Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science (1981), with an aim toward developing a deeper understanding of his pioneering work and its implications concerning further research.

This event will be open to the public and available remotely via Zoom.
Click here for event details and Zoom links

BI Legacy Seminar: Toward Fulfilling Srila Prabhupada’s Vision

July 30 – 31, 2022, BIHS Headquarters, Gainesville FL

ISKCON congregational members gathered from around the world to share their memories of Bhaktivedanta Institute history and discuss ongoing concerns in order to enrich our appreciation of Srila Prabhupada’s aspirations for the Institute. These insights are helping to define the BI, BIHS, and other BI initiatives, and to develop future goals in a cooperative spirit that explore new territory while remaining grounded in Prabhupada’s vision.

The Nature of Spacetime and the Evolving Universe:
Exploring Puranic Cosmology

February 19-20, 2022, BIHS Headquarters, Gainesville FL

This workshop discussed ongoing research into the nature of spacetime and the origin and fate of the universe from a Puranic perspective. Both empirical and philosophical gaps are becoming more and more appreciated and acknowledged by the working scientific community. Therefore, it is paramount for devotee scholars to collaborate with the intention of developing a broad mathematical and experiential framework consistent with both traditional Indic and modern scientific cosmology.

Neuro Workshop – Mind-Brain Interface

December 17–19, 2021, BIHS Headquarters, Gainesville FL

This workshop focused on probing the mind-brain/mind-body interface as an initial step toward formulating a consolidated theory concerning the relationship between the subtle and the physical.

Models and memes and maps: A modern journey through ancient cosmography

November 21-22, 2020, BIHS Headquarters, Gainesville FL

The workshop aimed to develop a unified framework for intellectual discourse involving 5th Canto Puranic cosmographical models. It considered existing models in the light of such a framework while exploring new research with the potential to enhance the already rich tradition of scholarship surrounding this important topic.

Bhaktivedanta Institute for the 21st Century

February 14-20, 2020; Mayapur, India

Members of the BIHS team participated in the 2020 ISKCON Leadership Sanga held at Sri Dhama Mayapur. Akhandadhi Prabhu, Drutakarma Prabhu, and Pracarananda gave a talk called “The Bhaktivedanta Institute for the 21st Century,” which was presented four times over the course of the week-long ILS event. We gave a look back at the history of the BI, discussed the mode and relevance of the BI in the new century, and presented some of the current and planned projects we have on the table moving forward. The talks were well-attended and sparked many valuable discussions.

Taking the 5th…Canto!

Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2019; Gainesville, FL

We explored the past, present, and future study of Puranic cosmography within ISKCON, as it relates to the ongoing development of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

The Strands of the Evolution Web

July 12 – 14, 2019; Brecon, Wales

As a follow-up to the “Evolution Narratives in Krishna Consciousness” workshop, specific research tasks were accepted by a collection of devotees in support of exhibit designs from the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

Evolution Narratives in Krishna Consciousness

June 7 – 10, 2019; Gainesville, FL

We examined the stories we tell ourselves regarding the nature, origin, and diversity of species from religious and scientific perspectives, with the aim of finding common ground and developing new paradigms.

Consciousness in Science Conference

Jan. 19 – 21, 2019; Gainesville, FL

Devotee scientists and scholars from around the world gathered to share their most up-to-date research in fields relating to consciousness and science.

Summer BIHS Ambassador Speaking Tours

Mauricio Garrido (Murali Gopal) travels as a BIHS ambassador

2018: June – August; England, Wales, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Russia.

2019: June – August; England, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, India.

Mysteries of the Sacred Universe Workshops

Mauricio Garrido, as the workshop facilitator, explored the four Vedic cosmography models presented in R. L. Thompson’s Mysteries of the Sacred Universe. Attendees deepened their understanding of the Bhagavatam’s 5th Canto by gaining insight into the scientific significance of the Puranic universe.

  • PART 1: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Sacred Universe, May 19-21, 2017; Alachua FL.
  • PART 2: Mysteries of the Sacred Universe 2, June 16, 2018; Bhakti Center, NYC

Bhakti Yoga and Science:

Exploring A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s vision for the Bhaktivedanta Institute in the 21st Century
November 13, 2016; Alachua FL

Focusing on how Bhaktivedanta Swami’s teachings have been developed and articulated in the early 21st century, this conference highlighted developments from some of those on the forefront of the encounter between Krishna consciousness and the sciences.

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