What is the School of Bhakti?
School of Bhakti is a unique educational hub and vibrant community as well. The School was founded at Bhaktivedanta Manor, the historic spiritual sanctuary donated by George Harrison to the community, and now functions in multiple locations around the UK and abroad.
Our Vision - The Why
School of Bhakti delivers a universal spirituality rooted in the Krishna tradition of Bhakti-yoga, and based on the writings of A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Bhakti, the culmination of all yoga practice, is the devotional awakening that allows for the perfect expression of love. This inspired consciousness infuses one with deep purpose, courageous spirit, and most importantly, a connection with the divine that unleashes joy and fulfilment within every individual.
Our Mission - The How
At School of Bhakti, friendly, down-to-earth tutors share empowering wisdom and impactful spiritual techniques with the modern-day seeker. Through practical philosophy, lifestyle, culture and spiritual activity, the School facilitates a journey that will inspire and transform the student on every level. Seeing this as the greatest need of the day, the School also reaches out to the wider world, sharing spiritual solutions which contribute to a more positive planet.
Our Promise - The What
School of Bhakti organises courses, cultural events, retreats, and informal get-togethers, which equip the student to live what they learn and face the experiences of life in a way that makes them happier, healthier and wiser. The School is not just a centre of spiritual excellence, but also a warm, vibrant community of diverse, inquisitive, and creative individuals – it’s a place where you’ll form spiritual friendships that will illuminate your journey in life.
Want to know more about what’s inside School of Bhakti?
What is Bhakti?
The devotional awakening
Bhakti, the culmination of all yoga practice, is the devotional awakening that allows for the perfect expression of love. This inspired consciousness infuses one with deep purpose, courageous spirit, and most importantly, a connection with the divine that unleashes joy and fulfilment within every individual.
How love develops
“In the primary stage a child loves his parents, then his brothers and sisters, and as he daily grows up he begins to love his family, society, community, country, nation, or even the whole human society. But the loving propensity remains imperfectly fulfilled until we know who is the supreme beloved.” (Nectar Of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada)
The practice of bhakti
Bhakti-yoga is practiced in many ways – through music, dance, selfless service, wisdom, worship and art, to name just a few. Since Bhakti-yoga allows one to utilise their natural propensities for the purpose of spiritual elevation, it is considered the most practical and accessible path available. The path of devotion is best practiced with discipline and dedication (vaidhi), which eventually leads to a natural spontaneity (raganuga) in which there is effortless and uninterrupted experience of love.
What is Bhaktivedanta Manor?
Bhaktivedanta Manor is the UK home of the Hare Krishna movement, a centre of learning and a hub for spiritual seekers.
How the manor came about
The Manor is named after A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement. For millennia, the wisdom of ancient India had been strictly concealed within its borders. In 1965, at the age of 69, Bhaktivedanta Swami left his homeland penniless and alone to share those teachings with the western world. In the following 12 years, he opened 108 temples, translated 80 volumes of scriptural writings and initiated 5000 disciples into the tradition. He singlehandedly made “Hare Krishna” a household name.
The need for something bigger
In the late 60’s, devotees of Krishna had became a familiar site in London as they enthusiastically chanted along the famous Oxford street equipped with drums and cymbals. Their small temple near the British Museum had become a hive of activity, and they were in desperate need of a bigger home.
George Harrison helps
The devotees had contacted George Harrison and formed a friendship with him that was to last the rest of his life. He was enthusiastic to help. In an act of visionary generosity, He kindly purchased this beautiful Mock Tudor Mansion for his Hare Krishna friends, appreciating the value of their spiritual contribution to society.
Who is Prabhupada?
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, also known by his followers as Srila Prabhuapda is the Founder-Acharya of the Hare Krishna Movement, officially known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
Swami in skid row
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was a saint like none other. At the age of 69, homeless, penniless and alone, he arrived in the Lower East Side of New York, in search of ‘better opportunities’ to preach his message. This was Skid row; the lowest of the low. Here he lived, worshiped, studied and taught. Every evening his new residence, the rat-ridden 94 Bowery, would fill up with buzzing acidheads, bearded bohemians, ruined alcoholics and disillusioned dropouts. Sex, music, LSD, and meditation is what made them tick.
The Swami would nonchalantly step into the ‘temple’ and take his seat at the front, face-to-face with these confused souls who were looking for real love, real happiness and real spiritual experience. The Swami’s expression would exude bottomless depth, not fazed in the slightest. In short, straight, simple philosophical discourses, he communicated eternal truths with unparalleled impact. When he sang in unsophisticated tunes with a bongo drum, their heads would spin, and their hearts conquered. His tremendous devotion was irresistible, empowering his urgent message to penetrate the core of their hearts. He effortlessly smashed layers of illusion, unrelentingly speaking out in defiance of all materialistic ideology.
From these humble beginnings, Prabhupada went on to found the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and in a few short years made “Hare Krishna” a household word. No amount of social commentary, historical analysis or academic conjecture can account for his miraculous achievements. Prabhupada’s life is tangible proof of the spiritual reality. He forever remains the strength, inspiration and guiding light. Indeed, a saint like none other.