Former ISKCON News Editor Graduates From Law School as Valedictorian

By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 7 Jun 2013
Navina Shyam Das
Navina Shyam Das

On May 23rd, former ISKCON News editor Navina Shyam Das graduated summa cum laude from law school at the prestigious Temple University, Philadelphia and was honored as Valedictorian.

Navina Shyam tied with one other student for the number one rank in his class, receiving the highest GPA amongst 300 students.

It has been a long path for Navina, who spent many years searching for his professional calling.

Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio as the son of ISKCON congregation members, the young Indian American was the first in his family to become vegetarian and to delve deeply into Krishna consciousness.

“During my undergrad years, I was depressed, and was searching, trying to understand things,” he says.

After searching through other religious texts, he made an informed decision to choose Krishna consciousness, and began living and serving at various ISKCON centers throughout North America.

While serving at the Krishna House in Gainesville, Florida in 2002 he met his wife Krishna Priya and decided it was time to start a career to support his family.

Navina first did a Master’s Degree at the University of Florida in urban and regional planning, thinking he would like to work as a planner. During the summer in between years, he tried the job out, but didn’t find it intellectually engaging enough.

In 2006, he moved to the University of California, Irvine, where he began a PhD in cultural design, specializing in Vastu Shastra under a Bengali professor.

In 2008, he moved back to Florida, where he served as assistant director at the Bhaktivedanta Academy, a primary school at the ISKCON Alachua community. However, realizing that he liked the school but didn’t enjoy managing, he left after a year and a half.

It was then that a devotee suggested practicing law to him. …

Navina Shyam is also already providing the legal perspective as a member of the board of directors of ECOV, an organization that takes care of the New Vrindaban community’s cows and farming. …

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