Para Vidyapeeth


In 1927, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupad established Paravidyapeeth (A spiritual educational institution for teaching Vedic scriptures) at Sri Mayapur in Nabadvip Dham, West Bengal, India. The institution was run under the authority of Shri Chaitanya Math. The medium of education in this institution was Sanskrit and Bangali. All branches of Sanskrit and Bangali learning were taught by especially efficient professors in respective subjects. Before being inducted into preaching life, Sannyasi and Brahmacharis in Gaudiya Mission were sent to study at Para-Vidyapeeth. Paravidyapeeth used to administer the exams but the Degree Gaur-Asirbad-Patram (Certificate of recognition with blessings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) was given by Nabadvip-Dham-Pracharini-Sabha. Students were awarded the title Bhakti-Shastri upon passing the Bhakti Shastri course. These titles were given based on proper understanding and interpretation of the Vedic scriptures. Particularly literature written by Vaishnav Acharyas, Aitihya(Vedic History), Bhakti Shastra, Tattva, Rasa Etc. were taught. The exams were held in Mayapur on the day of Gaur Jayanti.

Srila Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupad used to consider the exam nondifferent and as important as worshipping Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on his appearance ceremony. After being awarded the Bhakti Shastri title students could enrol in the Sampraday-Vaibhava course, on the history, teachings and contributions of various Vaishnav Sampradayas. Graduates were designated SampradayVaibhavacharya. The purpose of this course was to spread Spiritual Knowledge by removing the obstacles of material knowledge and to discover genuine teachers of Bhakti-Shastra. In the Pancharatra course Gaudiya deity worship, ritual and procedures were taught and successful students were designated Pancharatra Karya. They were authorized to perform marriage, funeral ceremony and other ceremonies for Grihastas of Gaudiya Math. The Para-Vidyapeeth also offered a Sanskrit course leading to a Government recognized Degree.


It was inaugurated in November 1931 by Srila Bhakti-Siddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupad in Mayapur. It was an English medium school under the auspices of Calcutta University. It offered regular curriculum education to local village children. Many Grihastha of Gaudiya Math sent their children there. Every afternoon the students from grades five through ten, received one hour of spiritual instruction. Sri Bhakti Pradip Tirtha Maharaj became the first headmaster of the institute. He was a teacher in his early life. In his words “Thakur Bhaktivinode Institute” has been established to eradicate the evils of Godless education being imparted in our schools and colleges.”


In 1928, Srila Prabhupad established Sri Bhagavat Pathshala at Paramahamsa Math (Naimisaranya), Uttar Pradesh.