We adopt the potential harmonics expansion method for an ab initio solution of the many-body system in a Bose condensate containing interacting bosons. Unlike commonly adopted mean-field theories, our method is capable of handling two-body correlation properly. We disregard three- and higher-body correlations. This simplification is ideally suited to dilute Bose Einstein condensates, whose number density is required to be so small that the interparticle separation is much larger than the range of two-body interaction to avoid three- and higher-body collisions, leading to the formation of molecules and consequent instability of the condensate. In our method we can incorporate realistic finite range interactions. We calculate energies of low-lying states of a condensate containing 23Na atoms and some thermodynamical properties of the condensate. © Indian Academy of Sciences.