“…arrange for
such conferences
one after another.”

Srila Prabhupada

lotus flower

Prof. Benjiman Libet and Prof. John Searle debating at a conference organized by the Bhaktivedanta Institute.

drop cap Srila Prabhupada continually emphasized to Maharaja the need for organizing conferences in major cities of the world. His idea was to provide a platform for mutual dialogue among scientists, religious leaders, and academicians. In this way both scientists and spiritual leaders would have the opportunity to learn from each other and thereby broaden their respective worldviews.

Conference debate

The first conference Maharaja organized was under the direct guidance of Srila Prabhupada and was held in Vrindavan, India, in October of 1977. It was entitled ‘The First International Conference on Life Comes From Life’. Srila Prabhupada was extremely concerned about every detail of the conference, from the venue, to the reception of the scholars, to the prasadam and the accommodations. In fact, he was calling Maharaja almost every hour during the conference to inquire about its progress. He was extremely pleased with Maharaja’s humble effort of organizing the conference. He later said, “…arrange for such conferences one after another.”

conference flyer

  Since the first conference in Vrindavan, Maharaja, with his limited resources, has been humbly trying to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s instruction of organizing conferences under the banner of the Bhaktivedanta Institute. Maharaja has held many conferences around the world. He has organized three major international conferences; First World Congress for the Synthesis of Science and Religion, Bombay (1986); First International Conference on the Study of Consciousness within Science, San Francisco (1990); Second World Congress for the Synthesis of Science and Religion, Calcutta (1997) where, collectively, thousands of scholars in different fields participated, including many Nobel Laureates and well-known spiritual leaders. The participants have all expressed their gratitude to the Bhaktivedanta Institute for the platform of dialogue created at its various conferences.

Maharaja has organized numerous smaller conferences and seminars including, a symposium on “Consciousness and the Origin of Life”, Bombay (1978); an ayurvedic conference entitled “Health and Consciousness”, Bombay (1978); a conference on “The Model and Structure of the Universe”, Bombay (1981); an international symposium on Science and Religion, Tirupati (1981); a seminar on Religion and Science, Gandhi Bhavan,

“I would like
to thank the
Bhaktivedanta
Institute for
organizing such
an important
conference. I
learnt a lot
from it.”

Prof. Karl H. Pribram