Manor community devotees participated in a timely international conference organised the Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies (BIHS), entitled “Cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana: Current Research on History, Philosophy, and Science.”
This conference, which took place at BIHS in Headquarters in Gainesville, Florida, examined studies of cosmological issues in relation to text including the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Jyotiṣa Sastras and the Mahabharata.
The BIHS also facilitated workshops chaired by Akhandadhi das relating to exhibits to be housed in the west wing of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in Mayapur, West Bengal.
The event opened with a premiere viewing of the documentary video: “Exploring the Puranic Vision of the Universe: The Work of the BIHS,” by Radha Mohan das. The film summarized cosmology research that has been presented at previous BIHS events. Notably, his film informed viewers of the highly practical work of Bhaktivedanta Manor’s Taruna das brahmacari, who has been working on a mechanical working model of the geocentric solar system.
Akhandadhi das’ talk was entitled “Cosmogony: Ingredients for Making a Successful Universe” and the conference’s presentations were divided into four main categories:
i) Philosophy of cosmology in relation to the Purāṇic tradition.
ii) Archeoastronomy and Purāṇic chronology.
iii) Purāṇic and Siddhāntic cosmology – contemporary scholarship
iv) Understanding science in śāstra: Hermeneutics and Epistemology
The BIHS Headquarters was packed with more than 50 in-person participants, and remote attendance via Zoom brought in another 100 attendees from around the world. Spirited Round Table discussions demonstrated the value of bringing intellectuals and scholars together in an organised forum.
Radha Mohan das said, “I considered it a great privilege to be invited to participate and contribute to the conference. The subjects were broad yet simultaneously highly focused. To me, it confirmed my understanding that profound knowledge of astronomy and cosmography is encoded within the Srimad-Bhagavatam and other ancient Puranas. The hospitality I experienced at the conference was second to none. It was a great opportunity to associate with devotees and well-wishers with similar interests.”
The BIHS hopes to include such global gatherings as a regular feature of their outreach efforts. To learn more about BIHS, upcoming events, and publications, please visit their website.
Radha Mohan das’ Channel on Vedic Cosmology, Science and History can be found HERE.