Radio Free Europe – Mar 20, 20212
A Moscow regional court has upheld a lower court decision declaring books on Scientology to be extremist literature and banning publication or distribution of books from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Court spokeswoman Anna Tyurina said that during the course of the hearing it was proven to the court’s satisfaction that Scientology was aimed at forming isolated groups, prepared to engage in extremist activities in a battle with the rest of the world. Go to story
Amidst what appears to be a campaign against dissident and extremist literature in Russia, on the very same day that a Moscow court banned books on Scientology, another court in Tomsk dismissed a state prosecutor’s plea to ban the Bhagavad-gita As It Is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is has been saved from the ban, thanks to the staunch Krishna devotees in Russia, who rallied to its defense, and rounded up support from Russian scholars and the Hindu community there – which spread the word to India, where protests threatened to break off friendly ties with Russia.
The prosecutor had found fault with Srila Prabhupada’s commentaries in the book, and claimed that they incited religious hatred and social hatred and therefore should be banned as extremist literature. Expert witnesses, however, did not agree with the prosecutor, and pointed out to the court that Srila Prabhupada’s translation and commentary were traditional and had the same right to exist as any other commentary or scripture, and that such a presentation is a fundamental principle of Hinduism. Moreover, the court did not concur that the text was provocative or inflammatory as the prosecutor had claimed.
The Bhagavad-gita As It Is is an exceptional contribution to literature. While it is the tradition of the Acharyas to give their commentaries on the scriptures, nonetheless, Bhagavad-gita As It Is keeps to the spirit of the original Gita. Rather than dissecting the verse into distraction—hundreds of other translations of the Gita offer as many interpretations, rendering the text in some cases utterly confusing and meaningless—Srila Prabhupada’s purports illuminate and support the words of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is is unique in this sense.
It is also unique in its format and layout, which is simultaneously scholarly and yet very readable for any layperson. Srila Prabhupada first published the unabridged Bhagavad-gita As It Is in USA with MacMillan in 1972. That edition gives each and every Sanskrit verse in daiva-nagari, followed by the romanized transliteration of the verse, and next a word-for-word translation, then the translation in verse, and finally a purport, which is his commentary on the verse. Bhagavad-gita As It Is has been translated and published in 28 major languages and distributed in the millions of copies around the world under the publishing trust named Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Every translation follows the same content, format and layout as in the English language edition.
Scholars worldwide have praised Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is and other books. Srila Prabhupada published some 60 titles during the last 12 years of his life, and following his departure, some hundred or so titles have been added posthumously, mainly compilations of his lectures, conversations. The entire library of his works is available in print as well as in digital formats at Krishna Store, and has been published free online at Prabhupadabooks.com.