What we're about
During weekly meetings on Saturday evenings in the East Village of New York City, Atma-Nivedana dasa ("Atma") and Subhangada devi dasi ("Subhie") teach how to hear and chant sanskrit names for God in kirtan and teach a systematic study the Bhagavad Gita As It Is. Kirtan meditation consists of hearing and chanting sanskrit names for God to the accompaniment of melodious and rhythmic music in order to invoke God's divine mercy and presence. Bhagavad Gita As It Is is studied according to the ancient, yet unbroken, chain of teachers, as taught originally by Krishna and eventually Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Rupa Goswami, and more recently A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Our focus is a systematic and thematic, but not difficult to understand, study of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is. Everyone will read verses together from the Bhagavad Gita, copies of which will be provided for attendees to reference during the meetup. Atma and Subhie will together explain the Bhagavad Gita verses according to the ancient tradition that they have studied and lived by for a combined forty years. We will learn about various fascinating topics, such as karma, reincarnation, the soul, the material energy, the Supreme Soul, time, and the relationship between the soul, the material energy, and the Supreme Soul.
Hard cover copies of the beautiful Bhagavad Gita As It Is with the original 700 sanskrit verses, translations, and elaborate purports by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, will be available for any member who might choose to take one home for a suggested donation of $10.
This meetup is intended for everyone who is interested without discrimination and regardless of one's familiarity with the subject matter. Please come and relish this most wonderful discussion and kirtan, celebrating the glories of bhakti yoga, i.e., devotional service to God, who is known according to the Bhagavad Gita by the name Krishna.
Here is the general schedule of our meetups: we begin the evening with a kirtan that lasts about half an hour -- until about 6:00 p.m. Then, we have a class on Bhagavad Gita As It Is, which lasts for about an hour and a half. In the class, we will go through verses of the Gita in order, continuing from where the last class left off, with questions pertaining to those verses being encouraged throughout the class. By about 7:30, the last kirtan begins; it lasts for about 30 minutes. A sumptuous and nutritious vegetarian dinner is served after that.
Admission to each meetup is free. Donations for the meetup's expenses are welcome, but not at all required!
Atma is an initiated priest who since 1990 has been studying, teaching, and living according to the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita as taught and followed by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. After living in a monastic setting for eight years, Atma resumed his undergraduate education at Brown University, where he hosted weekly programs that focused on kirtan and Bhagavad Gita. He then enrolled at the University of Chicago Law School from which he graduated in 2004 and from which he received a merit scholarship for 75% of tuition. Currently, Atma spends his weekdays as a securities fraud federal prosecutor. His primary goal is to imbibe in his own life the devotional teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and to share the same with others as a humble offering to God.
Subhie has been living her life according to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita since 1991 and is also an initiated priest. Subhie lived in a monastic setting until 2005. From 1991 to 2005, Subhie taught Bhagavad Gita in Croatia, Serbia, Greece, Germany, and United Kingdom. Subhie spent several years studying Vedic knowledge in India, primarily in the holy town, Vrindavana. After 2005, Subhie resumed her undergraduate education in religion at the University of London -- and then locally at Queens College, after she moved to New York and married Atma. Subhie also got her Master's degree in teaching at Queens College. She is currently an elementary school teacher.