On September 15 th , the North American Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies (NIOS) hosted Viva Kultura at the prestigious Vand...

Viva Kultura Sponsored by NIOS

On September 15th, the North American Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies (NIOS) hosted Viva Kultura at the prestigious Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Viva Kultura is a Polish based non-profit organization with the aim of promoting various forms of traditional arts and culture. Viva Kultura means ‘long live culture’, and with artists from 15 different countries, it is a fine ambassador for unity in diversity. Viva Kultura has been performing in Poland for the past 30 years for audiences of up to 500,000, and has also toured Australia, South Africa, Brazil, India, Moldova, Mongolia and United States. Headed by His Holiness Indradyumna Swami, the troop of performers have been traveling all over America performing theatrical and dance acts depicting scenes from the Ramayana, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, and Srimad Bhagavatam infused with Sankhya philosophy and marital arts.

A small group of devotees based in Nashville and headed by His Holiness Hanumatpreshaka Swami volunteered their time and energy to organize the event. The volunteers posted flyers in local colleges, universities, temples, churches, and other cultural centers across Nashville and the surrounding area. The volunteers also passed out flyers and brochures at local music festivals, sporting events, and other similar events around the city. The volunteers took advantage of every opportunity to pass out massive quantities of flyers and built enthusiasm and anticipation for this event through social media.

The performance took place at Langford Auditorium, located on Vanderbilt University’s campus. The event was attended by more than 800 students, professors, yoga students, spiritual seekers and the curious, all garnered within the short time of five weeks of promotion!

Everyone in the crowd was left speechless and enamored by the amazing performance with the bright and colorful costumes, melodious singing, and breathtaking acting. At the end of the first half before intermission, the audience gave a rousing standing ovation. Moreover, after the second act concluded, His Grace Bada Hari Das ended the night with a thunderous kirtan singing the Hare Krishna maha-mantra (great mantra). While this was new to many in the audience, as the chanting began, everyone rose to their feet and joined the performers in dancing and chanting the Holy names.

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare

While the Nashville community has organized Ratha-yatras, 24 hour kirtans, educational symposiums, interfaith dialogues and hosted numerous senior disciples of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedatna Swami Prabhupada, this event was something different. This event reached the hearts of so many individuals through art and drama. NIOS and the Nashville, Tennessee community are eager to host His Holiness Indradyumna Swami and the cast of Viva Kultura for many years to come.

By Abhiseka Singh, Esquire.


After over twenty years of international performances, with their diverse cast from over fifteen different countries, Viva Kultura in...

Nios on Tour (USA–Spain)

After over twenty years of international performances, with their diverse cast from over fifteen different countries, Viva Kultura inspires and entertains with a variety of cultural extravaganzas from martial arts through dance and live music to the crown jewel of their latest production, a modern take on the military tale, Ramayana. [see video below]

Between August 1st and September 12th, Hanumatpresaka Swami (HpS), Senior NIOS lecturer and project promoter, traveled to Houston, Texas; San Francisco, California; Boise, Idaho; and Spain doing NIOS’s educational development.

He participated in Teacher Training for the traditional Vedic primary school, Goswami Academy, in Houston and gave four lectures on the Srimad Bhagavatam for the Bhakti-vaibhava diploma for the ISKCON Ministry of Education. Everywhere he was inundated with requests for individual consultation and inquiry.

Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada leading the Ratha-yatra festival.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, he stayed for four nights in San Jose and three in Berkeley, California. He lectured and showed original documentary videos from the 1977 Ratha-yatra festival in San Francisco and joined the annual event on Sunday the 19th. With great austerity, he moved to the very old and traditional ISKCON temple in Berkeley for three nights doing regular lectures and one Vedic Hari-nama Diksa ceremony.

Continuing, he then spent one week in Boise, Idaho with Professor Ravi Gupta (of Oxford; William and Mary; and now Logan State University, Utah) and other excellent scholars, theologian and enthusiastic public. The festival of Balarama-purnima was held at the ISKCON Vedic Cultural Center and daily lectures presented for curriculum development for the ISKCON Bhakti-vedanta diploma. Contact was also initiated by Sugopi Palika with Professor Jean Laude at Boise State University which resulted in an on-line lecture given by Prof. Robinson (HpS) on the 18th of September in Alternative Methods of Psychotherapy. [Download PowerPoint Presentation (pptx)]

From Boise to Madrid was three very, very long and hard flights, but our HpS did it and then spent two weeks in Brihuega at New Vraja Mandala, Barcelona and Madrid.

Madrid is Spain's golden metropolis.

Efforts had been made to contact prominent philosophers and artists, but none of these materialized. However, there was excellent recruitment of very qualified people—such as Jose Vallines Mira, Jayanta Das and his good wife, Paloma Rojas—to develop the promotion of Solaris and contact contributors in Spain. HpS also performed another Diksa ceremony and was lecturing up to four times a day on the Upadesamrta of Rupa Goswami. The annual Janmastami festival, which was celebrated at the New Vraja-mandala castle in Brihuega, had participation of over one hundred guests and public from all over Europe.

Arriving back in the USA, very low on energy, HpS dove right into the work for NIOS’s annual IRS reporting, the Viva Kultura festival, and plans for the October–November South American Art and the Sacred Symposium. NIOS investment for the Tour was about $1,500 and donations were about $11,000 demonstrating the popular appeal of these topics.


Goswami Academy Graduation Ceremony, Class Two. NIOS has very intimate relations with the Goloka Foundation and Nila-madhava Dham...

Texas Tour—May to June 2018

Goswami Academy Graduation Ceremony, Class Two.
NIOS has very intimate relations with the Goloka Foundation and Nila-madhava Dhama in Houston, Texas. May 1st to June 5th, Hanumatpresaka Swami (Prof. H. H. Robinson) visited Houston and worked very enthusiastically to push forward our NIOS initiatives.

Systematic Study of the Indian Classics

Systematic harvesting of the wealth of Veda, Upanisad, Purana, Itihasa, etc. is one of NIOS’s dearest projects. This is being pushed forward with the ISKCON Ministry of Education which is developing diploma programs titled:
  • Bhakti-sastri
  • Bhakti-vaibava
  • Bhakti-vedanta
  • Bhakti-sarvabhauma

Authorized teaching and evaluation centers for these diplomas now exist in San Jose, California and Houston, Texas. In the modern, mechanized, industrialized society it is, of course, very difficult to establish the importance of these programs, but there are successful efforts.

While in Texas, we were able to arrange a meeting between local academic leader, Radha-krsna Das, and the Nila-madhava Dhama Temple President, Shyama-sundara Das, in which Radha-krsna Das received full endorsement to develop the programs.

With this under our belt, we were then able to arrange a teleconference with Atul-krsna Das, Chairman of the Board of Examiners of the ISKCON Ministry of Education; Srivasa pandita Das, Director of Education for ISKCON Silicon Valley; Radha-krsna Das and Hanumatpresaka Swami. The meeting was very successful and various enormous challenges facing these Sastric Education programs were brought within the practical reach of harmonized work effort.

Directly, Hanumatpresaka Swami gave three seminars for the Bhakti-vaibhava Diploma while in Houston. Subal-sakha Das, a very senior project architect with Dell, is now working to develop blended education programs for the Bhakti-Sastri program based out of Houston.
Nila-madhava Dhama, Houston, Texas, USA.

Primary Education

Classical resources are not just available as add-ons to our present educational institutions, but a real competition to offer the student a holistic education of body, mind and spirit. In this regard, Hanumatpresaka Swami worked in consultation with the rapidly growing Goswami Academy in Nila-madhava Dhama, which currently enrolls about 30 full-time students and is building a complete facility for 150 students within one block of the temple.

This work was fundamental for the Fifth Annual Symposium on Education with ISKCON being organized for June 21–24 in Alachua, Florida. It is so easy for us to become involved in developing the mechanics of education for pragmatic, social and sensuous success, forgetting the primary dictates of Socrates, Confucius, Solomon, Vyasa et al. — “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Next, we hope to report the results of the Alachua Symposium.


Dr. Divya Svarupa, Dr. Ravi P. Singh, President, NIOS, Hanumatpresaka Swami. 2018 Feb–May, NIOS USA–South America Tour This is a ...

Journey to the South—Feb to May 2018

Dr. Divya Svarupa, Dr. Ravi P. Singh, President, NIOS, Hanumatpresaka Swami.
2018 Feb–May,
NIOS USA–South America Tour

This is a report of the NIOS, Añjana Suta Academy, tour of North and South America from 12 February to 2 May. We went through six countries and changed residence twenty-two times. We lectured at three different universities, enumerable Yoga and cultural institutions and conferred with dozens of scholars, doctors, adults and children.

We have decided that we—Tom Brown (Monkey), eternal associate of Hanumatpresaka Swami (Prof. Huber Hutchin Robinson)—should write this report, because you can see that basically only a madman would attempt and realize this tour.
Tom Brown (Monkey).
We started from our NIOS offices in Murfreesboro, Tennessee at 7am, but after 45 minutes of fighting with Greyhound understood that their bus was canceled because of snow in Chicago. This created a catastrophe since we had to be in Atlanta at 10am the next day for a meeting with important officials from the Brazilian Embassy about our Visa status.

Air tickets were $25,000+ to get from Nashville to Atlanta at the last minute, but Miss Manjari Singh—our NIOS President’s (Dr. Ravi P. Singh’s) daughter—and His Holiness Rtadvaja Swami discovered Botique Airlines. It is government subsidized to get air travel to places the big–money airlines don’t go. We recommend it. Only $100 and only hand baggage—we were in the air in an eight–seater with a baseball player and a movies star by 5pm. We stopped over in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

We stayed in Atlanta at the ISKCON cultural center and did programs at the Georgia Tech and the ISKCON temple. Then on to Richmond, Virginia for programs at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia and, as always, programs with ISKCON community on education development and regular cultural events. Next stop Houston in transit to Mexico and Peru.
ISKCON Houston Cultural Center.
In Peru we were hosted by Alejandro Salazar of Cultural Foundation Sattva doing promo programs for Art and the Sacred at the Jesuit Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University in Lima and the Temple of Understanding in Chosica. Speakers included: Ramon Mujica, Member of the Cervantes Foundation in Spain and former director of the Peruvian National Library; Hector Bejar, on faculty of five universities in Peru and member of the United Nations committee against poverty et al.
Ramon Mujica, Director National Library, Peru.
Professor Hector Bejar, Lima, United Nations.
We also finished the Spanish version of the Art and the Sacred promo video with award winning Director, Oscar Natars of Integro.

The Pope comes from Jesuit tradition, the Director of the Harvard School of Divinity is Jesuit. The Jesuits today form the largest single religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church. As of 2016 the society had 16,378 members, 11,785 priests, and 4,593 brothers and scholastics. It takes 7–17 years to become qualified as a priest, so from the Vedic perspective we could say that they have about 12,000 Sannyasis worldwide.

Lima travel was Callao, Wilson, Chosica, Callao, then one night each in Cusco, La Paz, Cochabamba and Sao Paulo. In all these places we had packed audiences of scholars, Yogis, priests with excellent questions and offers of academic and financial support for NIOS and ASA.

In Campina Grande, Brazil, we learned and taught for five days at the ISKCON GBC College for training Zonal Supervisors. Of course, we consider ISKCON as one of the most important agencies for helping NIOS accomplish its goals of extracting classical culture for modern use. We see many good and bad things in the development of ISKCON as a cultural institution and we were able to address those at the symposium. There were forty students in the training sessions, five teachers and ten organizers. ISKCON now reports one million members; the training of Zonal Supervisors—with technical administrative talents and pure motivational attitudes—is essential. A separate report is in the current issue of Viplavah, A Journal of the ISKCON Ministry of Education.

Then, Air Something changed our ticket to some impossible arrangement so that we would miss our Air Turkey flight to Buenos Aires, so we had to re-book to go a day earlier, find some place to stay in Sao Paolo, sit for three hours in the airport (as usual) and then do wonderful programs in Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Mar de Plata in Argentina. Of course, ISKCON temples and enumerable lectures and seminars to packed audiences on Srimad Bhagavatam.

Continued development of relationship with the Jungian community. We co-presented, SCIENCE, PSYCHE AND SPIRITUALITY: the Encounter of Carl G. Jung with the Mysticism of Ancient India with Professor Maximillian Peralta of the Jungian Society of Cordoba.

Had a long interview with the translator of the Red Books of Jung in Buenos Aires. All want to participate in the NIOS magazine, Solaris, and the symposium, Art and the Sacred in Lima in October.

You are getting tired of reading this.
We are getting tired of writing it.
We were getting tired of living it.

So… head down, deep breath… Lima (Callao, Wilson, Chosica), Mexico City, Houston, home… back to the Boro.

Eye infection (still not recovered). Program at the powerful university in Mexico City on Art and the Sacred. Cultural Program at the ISKCON Mexico center on the International Day of Dance showcased: Manipuri and indigenous Mexican dance, two excellent tenured professors, and many programs of education development with ISKCON faculties.
Prof. Dolores Chavez,
Organizer in Mexico.
Tangible results:
  • $5000 in donations
  • Art and the Sacred promo video in Spanish and English.
  • Organized promoters and presenters in Peru, Mexico, Chile etc.

  • Develop our magazine, Solaris
  • Develop symposium in Peru in October and Chile in November
  • Develop the ISKCON Ministry of Education Journal, Jayam, in South America and Viplavah in North America.

Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.

Thank you. Please give us your perspectives on this little report.
Hp Swami dba Tom Brown


Asiatic Society Kolkata : (Left to Right) Prof. Dr. Samaresh Bandyopadhyaya, Principal Advisor, NIOS ; Prof. Isha Mahammad, President,...

NIOS on Tour (India - Australia)

Asiatic Society Kolkata: (Left to Right) Prof. Dr. Samaresh Bandyopadhyaya, Principal Advisor, NIOS; Prof. Isha Mahammad, President, Asiatic Society; H.H. Hanumatpresaka Swami, Scholar, NIOS; Dr. Satyabrata Chakrabarti, General Secretary, Asiatic Society.
India – Australia
September – November 2017

Swami Hanumatpresaka (Professor H. H. Robinson) represented NIOS on a tour of India and Australia from 26th September to 11th November. This included lectures at the Asiatic Society in Kolkata, interview with Dr. Kalyana-kumar Chakravarti, former head of India’s fine arts, Lalita-kala Academy, and programs at the powerful ISKCON centers in Pune, India and Melbourne, Brisbane and New Govardhana, Australia, also detailed work with the Institute’s Principal Advisor, Professor Dr. Samaresh Bandyopadhyay on upcoming publications, and the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal, Manipur.

Tour took off from NIOS’s offices in Murfreesboro, Tennessee at 5.30AM and trundled through the fields and hamlets of Tennessee, and through the skies of North America to arrive at the ISKCON Center in Houston, Texas. The campus and community is under continuous development with a two story tall altar, six story classical Vedic temple, pioneer primary school and residential and guest accommodations of over two hundred local community members.

Two days later our intrepid explorer flew from Houston to Paris and then New Delhi. Of course, there are many details of dialogs, meetings and work along the way but here we will just touch on some of the highlights.

From Delhi he visited the ancient and lectured, sacred, land of Vrindavana. Then about two hours were spent with Dr. Kalyan-kumar Chakravarty, former Director of Education for India’s Madhya-pradesha State, the Indian Institute for Educational Development and the national fine arts, Lalita-kala Academy. The result of the excellent discussions with Dr. Chakravarty and other scholars from O. P. Jindal University and ABES Institute of Technology was a 15-minute video interview on Art and the Sacred. This has been forwarded to NIOS’s very decorated collaborator in Peru, Director Oscar Natars, Integro, and will be enhanced with other interviews to form the basis for promotional video for the Institute’s events in Peru in March and October.

Back in the aluminum sausage with the fortunate association of Swami Badri-narayana who was headed for the ISKCON Governing Body Commission meetings in Ujjain, India. In Ujjain there were three intense days of meetings with members of the Executive Committee of the ISKCON Ministry of Education designing forthcoming events and the Ministries magazine, Viplavah. ISKCON has over 250,000 school age children now and of course NIOS is very happy to try to serve this very classically oriented Society.

From Ujjain to ISKCON Pune which like so many ISKCON centers in India is breath taking. The Temple campus has grown into what has been described as the Crown Jewel of Pune. The classical Indian architecture, the daily educational and religious programs, gardens, have attracted developers so that it is now surrounded by high rise apartment buildings filled with residents or under construction. H.P. Swami had very intense meetings about NIOS’ cooperation for developing educational programs world-wide for the Indian classical literature such as Sanskrita Bhagavad-gita and the Bhagavata-puranas. Will you permit us to say that Western traditions have developed a technology like a very robust strong moving fellow with diverse communication media and earth moving tools, but he is short-sighted. Classical India wisdom can give our fellow the millennia of long range perspectives that he needs to apply his muscle and fingers. Hence, NIOS’s essential contribution is bridging the gap between East and West, between C. G. Jung and the Bhagavata.

Back in the weiner, Mumbay to Melbourne. We must offer our respects for such an old man, 70-years old, Hanumatpresaka Swami, taking so much trouble to travel so much for these educational programs. On the other hand he loves it and thinks that if death is a certainty this is the best way to die and then be assured of at least as much as Socrates declares in the Phaedo, we shall go to live forever with the gods.

The programs in Australia were almost all internal ISKCON programs but this does not mean that they will not reach the outside cultural and educational communities. ISKCON in Australia has very successful programs with the larger world. In general, our observation is that culture in Australia is best spread with a basis in cuisine and music followed by erudite palaver, a practical, prosperous people.

Kolkatta, Imphal, back Delhi, back to Houston. Swami resided in the ISKCON Kolkata Temple which is giving all facilities to help NIOS’s programs and worked with Dr. Samaresh Bandyopadhyay on forthcoming publications. Dr. Bandyopadhyay has been one of the two or three principal columns in the NIOS’s work. He is Chairman of NIOS’s Advisory Board and his impressive biography is available on the NIOS web site. With the Professor and ISKCON, H.P. Swami finished the Advertising Brochure that its agent in Navi Mumbai, Goloka Education, will distribute to promote sales of its many publications, and the formatting of the Institutes next major publication, Siksadarsa, Education in Ancient India and Man-making in Modern Times. With Professor review of the Institute’s journal, Solaris, now in production for its third annual edition was also executed.

Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal: (Left to Right) Dr. Sarada Ningthoujam, Professor, Department of Physiology, RIMS; Dr. N. Heramani Singh, Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry, RIMS; H.H. Hanumatpresaka Swami, Scholar, NIOS; Prof. M. Akshaye Kumar, Former Head, Department of Clinical Psychology, RIMS; Dr. Brogen Akoijam, Professor and Head, Department of Community Medicine, RIMS.
Three quick nights in Imphal, Manipur capped the India visits. Manipur is a state where Tagore declared the most ancient forms of India dance and culture are still intact. To a full auditorium of Psychologists, Psychiatrists, medical students a Seminar on Science, Psyche and Spiritual Health was presented. Manipur is a place with very, very, deep current esoteric traditions of introspection and psychic health that may for one of the most essential of all of our NIOS’s efforts. The host Regional Institute of Medical Sciences wants to develop more programs with international impact in the future.

The final travel push from the front gate of ISKCON Kolkata to ISKCON Houston was 45-hours! This entailed a 12-hour working stopover in Delhi to drop off and receive literature, monies and plan a proposed Key-note Address for the forthcoming symposium with O. P. Jindal University on Administration and Spirituality and Mysticism in a Global Age. Participants will be joining from over 40-countries.

Arriving back in Houston, Swami, Prof. H. H. Robinson, had no more gas in the tank. Of course, there was fever and exhaustion, but a monk following the classical Vedic life may be exhausted in mind and body but energized in spirit and intellect. Careful introspection can insure that this is the situation and no deep damage is being done. As scheduled, the instrument has recovered its strength and the Institute is working steadily to profit from the resources generated by the tour, and the next tour is being planned for Latin America, February to May 2018.

For all your questions and contributions contact H. P. Swami (Prof. H. H. Robinson) through the NIOS Corresponding Secretary mentioned on the About Us page.

Thank you for your kind attention.