Reviews by distinguished western scholars

Leading Western scholars review the works of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Bhagavad-gita As It Is
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Dr. Shaligram Shukla,
Department of Linguistics,
Georgetown University, U.S.A.

… It is a deeply felt, powerfully conceived and beautifully explained work. I don’t know whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-gita, its daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas. I have never seen any other work on the Gita with such an important voice and style. It is a work of undoubted integrity. I have strongly recommended this book to all students interested in Sanskrit and Indian culture. It will occupy a significant place in the intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to come.

Dr. Edward C. Dimock, Jr.,
Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization,
The University of Chicago, U.S.A.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is a welcome edition from many points of view. It can serve as a valuable textbook for the college student. It allows us to listen to a skilled interpreter explicating a text which has profound religious meaning… I think there will be little disagreement about the quality of the Swami’s Sanskrit scholarship… And, finally, for the non-specialist, there is readable English and a devotional attitude which cannot help but move the sensitive reader.

The increasing numbers of Western readers interested in classical Vedic thought have been done a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, he has increased our understanding manyfold.

Dr. Kailash Vajpeye,
Visiting Professor of Indian Studies,
Center for Oriental Studies,
The University of Mexico

As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see the publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized “gurus” and “yogis” and will give an opportunity to all people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture.

Dr. Samuel D. Atkins,
Professor of Sanskrit and Vedic Philology,
Princeton University, U.S.A.

I am most impressed with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita . It provides a lucid English translation followed by an outstanding and comprehensive exegesis, with extensive subject index. It is a most valuable work for the scholar as well as the layman and is of great utility as a reference book as well as a textbook. I promptly recommend this edition to my students. It is a beautifully done book.

Dr. J. Stillson Judah,
Professor of the History of Religions and
Director of Libraries,
Graduate Theological Union,
Berkeley, California, U.S.A.

The scholarly world is again indebted to A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Bhagavad-gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a translation of singular importance with his commentary.

Dr. I.C. Sharma,
Professor of Philosophy,
Old Dominion University,

Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is a unique contribution to religion and philosophy in general and to the understanding of the basic philosophy and religion of India. The scholarly interpretation, honest translation and most intelligible explanations of the original text makes this work valuable both to the general reader and to the serious student seeking advanced knowledge. I have not come across a more comprehensive, lucid and more genuine presentation of the Bhagavad-gita than this work.

Dr. Elwin H. Powell,
Professor of Sociology,
State University of New York,
Buffalo, New York, U.S.A.

If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident lives of contemporary people.

Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins,
Professor of Religion,
Franklin and Marshall College,

There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada’s translation is an ideal blend of literal accuracy and religious insight.

Thomas Merton,

The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita . Swami Bhaktivedanta brings to the West a salutary reminder that our highly activistic and one-sided culture is faced with a crisis that may end in self-destruction because it lacks the inner depth of an authentic metaphysical consciousness. Without such depth, our moral and political protestations are just so much verbiage.

A.L. Basham,
Professor and Head of the Department
Of Asian Civilizations,
The Australian National University,
Canberra, Australia

It is a most useful publication for the student of Sanskrit, the text in both Devanagari and Roman type is clear and accurate, the word-for-word translation is helpful to the beginner. The translation approaches the text from the angle of Chaitanya bhakti. Thus, while I cannot agree that this edition is “definitive”, it is a very useful one, and as Professor Dimock says in his Preface, it gives us insight into the doctrines of the Gaudiya Vaishnava school.

The above judgment is made as a scholar. As a human being, I cannot but applaud the fact that your movement is bringing faith and joy back into the lives of many unhappy young people who have not been able to find those virtues in the religion and culture in which they were raised, and I wish you success in the good work you are doing.

Dr. Geddes MacGregor,
Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy,
University of Southern California, U.S.A.

No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is better loved in the West than the Bhagavad-gita. Translation of such a work demands not only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with the theme and a verbal artistry, for the poem is a symphony in which God is seen in all things.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is, of course, profoundly sympathetic to the theme. He brings to it, moreover, a special interpretative insight… a powerful and persuasive presentation in the bhakti tradition… The swami does a real service for students by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever our outlook may be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has led to this illuminating work.

Dr. William F. Shipley,
Professor of Linguistics,
University of California, Santa Cruz, U.S.A.

The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is proves to be an inspiration and a delight… This is a beautiful book, subtly combining excellent scholarship with a reverent sensitivity.

Dr. Davis Herron,
Professor of Religion,
Manhattan College, U.S.A.

This definitive edition of the Gita is, due to the extensive purports, a storehouse of ancient Vedic wisdom, poetry, politics and history. It should serve as a useful textbook for students and a reference book for scholars of religion, as well as a general introduction to Vedic culture and practical philosophy. It is written for serious readers in general, not only from a scholar’s point of view, but as a life-long practitioner. It is this sense of devotion that Srila Prabhupada has captured in his discussion of the verses and which other commentators have failed to reveal. For this reason, Bhagavad-gita As It Is is an essential work for understanding the Indian religious tradition.

Dr. Ann Stanford,
Translator of The Bhagavad-gita: A New Verse Translation,
The Seabury Press

Bhagavad-gita As It Is is an excellent translation of this important religious work. Swami Prabhupada renders the words of the master creator of the Gita as only a person intimately familiar with the culture and language of ancient India as well as the full religious purport of its message can. Being myself a translator of the Gita, I know he has been faithful to the tremendous task of bringing this work fully into the present.

Dr. James Cecil King,
Professor of Sanskrit,
George Washington University, U.S.A.

Swami Bhaktivedanta’s edition of the Bhagavad-gita —with Sanskrit text, Roman transliteration, English glosses and translation and a scholarly exegesis—is an invaluable reference work. We are indebted to the editor for his erudition, insights and industry, and to the publisher for making the work available in an attractive and readable, yet inexpensive format.

Dr. Frederick B. Underwood,
Department of Religion,
Columbia University, New York, U.S.A.

I have had the opportunity of examining several volumes published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, and have found them to be of excellent quality and of great value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is particularly true of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust edition and translation of the Bhagavad-gita.

Dr. Victor Daniels,
Indian Studies Program,
California State College, U.S.A.

This is a real work of scholarship, and is at the same time written simply and clearly. The many beautiful illustrations bring the reader still another dimension of Indian consciousness.

Choice Magazine,
March, 1973

Another commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, this one by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada… a translation and commentary by an ardent devotee of Sri Krishna is a welcome counterpart to the familiar works of such western scholars as Edgerton and Macnicol and the more modern translations of Deutsch, Staford and others. The frankly dvaitist position is a welcome contrast to much that is presented as “Hinduism” in popular courses.

Dr. Leo M. Pruden,
Dean of Academic Affairs,
College of Oriental Studies,
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

I can thus happily recommend Prabhupada’s edition and commentary on the Gita to any of my colleagues in the field of Religious Studies, for I myself have included it on a number of my reading lists for my courses in the field of Indian Religions.

Dr. Alf Hitebeitel,
Professor of the History of Religions,
George Washington University, U.S.A.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is has provided a rich resource for a number of students, including those beginning to learn Sanskrit, those who have longed to appreciate Hindu literature within a living tradition and those who appreciate dedicated and impressive scholarship. As for myself, I have persistently recommended it on all these counts, and have also found such satisfaction in it as the above.

Dr. Judith Tyberg,
Founder-Director, East-West Cultural Centre, Los Angeles,
Professor of Sanskrit (Field Faculty),
Goddard Collage, U.S.A.

Swami Bhaktivdanta has offered a great service with his English translation and commentary on the great Upanishadic scripture, the Bhagavad-gita. This presentation with its many beautiful color pictures, is truly an inspired work.

Olivier Lacombe,
Professor of Sanskrit and Indology,
Sorbonne University, Paris, France

The original version of this work is by Swami Bhaktivedanta. Essentially, it consists of a commented translation of the Bhagavad-gita, edited in English, a language which the Swami has completely mastered, as he has Sanskrit and Bengali.

As successor to the Chaitanya line, the author has right to an august title, according to the Indian usage: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The great interest in reading his edition of the Gita lies in the authenticity of the interpretation according to the Chaitanya tradition.

As for this French version, here offered to the public, it is avowedly faithful to the original English by Swami Bhaktivedanta. It has been presented without philologic addition or doctrinal editing.

Dr. Francois Chenique,
Profesor of Religious Sciences,
Institute of Political Studies,
Paris, France

Srila Prabhupada’s edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become familiuar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the commercial East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time Europeans first penetrated India.

… Whether the reader be an adept of Indian spiritualism or not, a reading of The Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be extremely profitable, for it will allow him to understand the Gita as still today the majority of Hindus do. For many, this will be the first contact with the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India.

Dr. Jean Varenne,
Professor of Sanskrit Studies,
Universite d’Aix-en-Provence, France

… This magnificently presented book is of inestimable value. To [the translation and commentary] are added—in order to facilitate to the maximum the reader’s understanding of the author’s explanations—an entire series of very valuable appendices: glossary, index, pronunciation guide, etc. There are also numerous illustrations in full color with the merit of having made no compromises with Western art. The paintings are in fact exactly in keeping with contemporary, popular religious iconography of India.

One cannot help but enthusiastically recommend that others read such a work which, from so many points of view, merits applause.

Dr. Paul Lesourd, Author,
Professor Honoraire,
Catholic University of Paris, France

I can say that in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is I have found explanations and answers to questions I had always posed regarding the interpretations of this sacred work, whose spiritual discipline I greatly admire. If the asceticism and ideal of the apostles which form the message of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is were more widespread and more respected, the world in which we live would be transformed into a better, more fraternal place.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Vol 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam Srimad-Bhagavatam
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Valdis Leinieks,
Department of Classics,
University of Nebraska, U.S.A.

The monumental edition of the Bhagavata Purana by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust is a major contribution to Indian studies. It is one of those rare works which are truly useful to both the scholar and the layman. The edition contains the Sanskrit text, both in Devanagari and transliteration, a word-for-word translation, connected translation in contemporary English, and an extensive commentary for each verse. It can thus be used profitably by students of widely differing degrees of familiarity of Sanskrit and Indian culture. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s commentary represents a consistent religious interpretation of the work based on thorough familiarity with Hindu tradition. The books are beautifully produced, yet modestly priced. They should play a significant role in promoting serious study of Indian culture and religion in the English-speaking world.

Kantimag Kumar,
Professor of Indo-European Philology,
Oxford University, England

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has undertaken the gigantic task of translating into English the most popular of the Vedic theological works which are the philosophical treasures of ancient India.

Now, in his monumental English rendering of the Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana ), the author has made available for the first time to English readers a full perspective of the broad philosophical scope of the Bhagavatam . Srila Prabhupada has taken immense care to present before the reader a lucid and comprehensive exposition of the text by providing accurate synonyms for all words, an easily intelligible English rendering and an elaborate commentary, which is not only a useful compendium of information on the vast body of Vedic literature, but also a learned, logical and crystal-clear exposition of the intended meaning of this unique sacred scripture.

This important series, presented by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, affords a golden opportunity to scholars and laymen alike to dive deeply into the ocean of India’s profound philosophical wisdom.

Dr. Alex Wayman, Professor of Sanskrit,
Columbia University, New York, U.S.A.

It has been my great pleasure recently to have read the Srimad-Bhagavatam in the superb edition authorized by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I am sure this monumental work will go far to bring the sublime message of the Bhagavatam to numerous Westerners who otherwise would miss this opportunity.

Alaka Hejib, Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies,
Harvard University, U.S.A.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has presented the monumental scripture Srimad Bhagavatam, the stupendous work of Maharsi Vyasa, with the English translation accompanied by an exegesis of each verse. His commentary is remarkable from various points of view. In these books one finds a rare blend of traditionalism and modernism with an abundant fund of knowledge about Hinduism… The format of the book is appealing, and it is attractively produced… For those who have no access to the Sanskrit language, this book conveys in superb manner the message of the Bhagavatam. It can be recommended to all students of Indian religion, culture and philosophy.

Dr. Garry Gelade,
Professor of Psychology,
Oxford University, England

This is a book to be treasured. The clarity and precision of his commentaries on the text can rarely have been equalled. No one of whatever faith or philosophical persuasion who reads these books with an open mind can fail to be both moved and impressed.

Dr. Mahesh Mehta,
Professor of Asian Studies,
The University of Windsor, Canada

In the diversity of approaches offered by the yogis of India, the most significant, of course, is the way of Krishna consciousness. It is amazing to se how Sri Bhaktivedanta Swami has in less than ten years succeeded by his personal devotion, untiring energy and efficient direction in organizing the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Now, following his exposition of the Bhagavad-gita, which has gained a considerable popularity both among the Sanskritic and non-Sanskritic circles, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has undertaken a stupendous project of rendering the entire Bhagavata into English. The format of the work, with Sanskrit text transliteration, analysis of words and purport, makes it eminently useful for students of Sanskrit. The edition is true to the spirit and flavour of the original. Srila Prabhupada has done an excellent service to the students of Sanskrit poetry by his able rendition of “the abode of divine joy” that the Bhagavata is.

Dr. Will B. Evans, Jr.,
Professor of Humanities and Philosophy,
University of Arkansas, U.S.A.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s explanation of the text is extraordinarily lucid and cogent in the light of contemporary problems. This edition of Bhagavatam is especially welcome at a time when India’s wisdom is needed in the West. I recommend highly this edition of the Bhagavatam to anyone who wishes a sound and practical knowledge of India’s spiritual wisdom.

Professor C.P. Agrawal, Chairperson,
Department of Humanities,
University of Michigan, U.S.A.

Srimad-Bhagavatam is a valuable source material for several categories of readers. With its exhaustive plan of providing the original Sanskrit text, its Roman transliteration, English synonyms, English translation and elaborate commentary by a scholar and practitioner of the philosophy, it cannot but be attractive to serious students and scholars of religion and philosophy. I recommend this series to anyone as an important and useful reference work.

Dr. I.W. Mabbett,
Professor of History,
Monash University, Australia

It is clear that these volumes are essential additions to the library of any university where Indological studies are pursued. The books have been lavishly produced, and the format is one likeley to be attractive to the undergraduate reader. The scholarship of the edition and translation is very sound, and the sections discussing the “purport” of each verse contain a great deal of background material.

Dr. Ashok Malhotra,
Professor of Philosophy,
State University of New York at
Oneonta, New York, U.S.A.

The translation by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of the First Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam is a rare treat for scholars as well as students of the Hindu religion. Swami Bhaktivedanta’s translation is accurate, and his use of contemporary idioms in the commentary will appeal to both scholars and layman. The book will be a worthy addition to one’s personal and/or college library.

Dr. A.D. Brear,
Professor of Philosophy,
The University of Leicester, England

I have derived great pleasure from studying the first volume of your edition of the Srimad Bhagavatam . It is indeed a model of clarity, and may be used with profit by all students of Indian religions. Here at last is a text of central significance with a sensitive commentary by a master from within the bhakti tradition. … presents the text within its living spiritual context.

Dr. James Breckenridge,
Professor of History of Religions,
Baylor University, U.S.A.

The Srimad Bhagavatam is the most celebrated of the Puranas. No serious student of Hinduism can afford to neglect Swami Prabhupada’s translation of this text. Here is a valuable tool for both the student and teacher of world religions.

Dr. R.E. Asher,
Professor of Linguistics,
University of Edinburgh, Scotland

It is axiomatic that no book can be expected entirely to satisfy all its potential readers. Here is one, however, which can be said to come remarkably close to that ideal. Here we have the ideal of what an edition of a Sanskrit text for a Western audience should be. It is beautifully planned and printed.

Dr. Sooda L. Bhatt,
Professor of Indian Languages,
Boston University, U.S.A.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam is extremely useful for all those interested in ancient India, whether their interest be that of the philosopher, the student of religion, the historian, the linguist, the sociologist or the political scientist. I truly hope that Srila Prabhupada will complete his translation of the entire Bhagavata and continue to translate other eminent Sanskrit works as well. Undoubtedly this work of Swamiji’s is a great contribution to the troubled human society of today’s world.

Choice Magazine, June, 1975

A commentary on the Vedanta-sutra by Srila Vyasadeva divided into twelve “cantos”, of which four are presented here in eight beautifully produced volumes. These lavish volumes, obviously the product of devotional effort, contain many lovely full-color illustrations. Even the dust jackets are replete with symbolism.

A well-prepared set of references, glossaries, pronunciation guides, indexes to Sanskrit verses, and general indexes concluded Cantos 1 and 2. All in all, these books will be useful in the study of Hinduism.

Dr. Mohan Lal Sharma,
Professor of English,
Slippery Rock State College, U.S.A.

The life of Krishna is treated here with marvelous felicity and facility. Each Sanskrit verse carries an English rendering followed by an exegesis/explication of India’s hoary and sublime contributions in culture, philosophy, politics, sociology, religion and bhakti (love). The reviewer deems it a signal honor to strongly recommend this encyclopedic work, undertaken as a labor of love, to all readers/students of Indian religion and culture.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Dr. Gerald A. Larue,
Professor of Religion,
University of Southern California, U.S.A.

Year by year, interest in Eastern religious thought and philosophy grows in America. The editing and translating of the important Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita will make a substantial contribution to those who seek information about Indian concepts. This is an attractive, readable presentation of the text. The Sanskrit [sic—Bengali] text is followed by an English transliteration, synonyms and a translation—an excellent educational approach to the teachings. The intent of the texts is developed in the purports, which guide the reader into interpretative appreciation of the texts. A list of references, a Glossary, a Bengali pronunciation chart, an index, and eleven plates (most in color) make this volume an important resource for anyone interested in the teachings of Krishna.

N.C. Bhattacharya,
Professor, University of Alberta, Canada

I have read Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi Lila, Volume 1 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta with great pleasure. Though the work is relatively unknown in the West, it is considered to be an important contribution to one aspect, namely, bhakti margo, of Indian philosophy and Hindu religion. Scholars and students interested in Indian classics will certainly welcome the publication of this important work with original Bengali text, Roman transliterations of the text, translation, and elaborate purports in English.

Dr. Bruce Long,
Department of Asian Studies,
Cornell University, U.S.A.

The appearance of an English translation of Krishnadas Kaviraja Gosvami’s Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita by A.C. Bhaktivedanta (Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) is a cause for celebration among both scholars in Indian studies and lay people seeking to enrich their knowledge of Indian spirituality. It will fill a most serious lacuna in our libraries and in our course on the religious traditions of India.

For the first time we possess a readily accessible edition for this great religious classic that will provide opportunity for scholars in Indian literature and followers of the Krishna consciousness tradition alike to compare the original text with a modern English translation and become acquainted with the deeper spiritual meaning of this work through the learned commentary of Sri Bhaktivedanta.

Anyone who gives a close reading to the commentary will sense that here, as in his other works, Sri Bhaktivedanta has combined a healthy mixture of the fervent devotion and aesthetic sensitivity of a devotee and the intellectual rigor of a textual scholar. At no point does the author allow the intended meaning of the text to be eclipsed by the promotion of a particular doctrinal persuasion.

These exquisitely wrought volumes will be a welcome addition to the libraries of all persons who are committed to the study of Indian spirituality and religious literature, whether their interests are sparked by the motivations of the scholar, the devotee or the general reader.

Professor Daniel H. Ingalls,
Chairman, Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies,
Harvard University, U.S.A.

I am most happy to have these handsomely printed volumes which embody the work of so learned and sincere a believer in the message of the Charitamrita.

Dr. Rory O’Day,
Department of Human Relations,
University of Waterloo, Canada

I can recommend Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita as a source of rich insights for every serious student of consciousness.

Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer,
Associate Professor of Ethics and
the Phenomenology of Religions,
The Graduate Theological Union, U.S.A.

It is a handsomely bound, elegant volume, as well befits its contents. The format of the book is well thought out and should be a model for other translations. Having the original text and synonyms, verse-by-verse with the translations and purport is a splendid idea.

It is a genuine joy to have this momentous biographical work on the life of Bengal’s great saint Chaitanya, prepared by his best-known modern interpreter, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Dr. Leonard Nathan,
Professor, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies,
University of California at Berkeley, California, U.S.A.

The Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita of Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami is one of the most important texts of the Vaishnava bhakti movement of north India, and for that reason alone A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s translation of it is important. Its very presentation provides embodiment of a living religious tradition. All this for the very reasonable price of $7.95 per volume, in a day when books of this size with illustrations might run easily twice that.

Dr. Herbert J. Landar,
Professor of English,
California State University,
Los Angeles, U.S.A.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita with Chaitanya’s teachings, as represented in the sixteenth century by Krishnadas, in the brilliant edition of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, contains the original Bengali text (some parts are in Sanskrit), a transliteration, separate treatments of the meanings of words, translation, and explanations, along with prefactory and lecture material, a key to the Bengali syllabary, a map of Bengal, and beautiful illustrations. Students, scholars and laymen will take inspiration from this work, each in his own way.

Dr. Arthur Kreisman,
Professor of Humanities,
Dean of Arts and Sciences,
Southern Oregon State College, U.S.A.

Apart from being a great religious leader and reformer, Sri Chaitanya ranks as one of the outstanding thinkers of classical medieval Hindu philosophy. It is therefore both important and interesting to have this Bhaktivedanta edition of the Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita in English available, so that scholars who do not read Sanskrit can for the first time follow the subtleties of Achintya-Bhedabheda doctrine in their original format. There is the additional bonus of insight into a Vaishnavite saint and religious ecstatic. Praise for the physical format of these books (the printing, the illustrations, the helpful apparatus supplied) and the price cannot be too high. They are truly beautifully done.

Dr. John L. Mish,
Chief, Oriental Division,
New York Public Library, New York, U.S.A.

The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust editions of the famous Sanskrit religious classics of India with new translations and commentaries are an important addition to our expanding knowledge of spiritual India. The new editions of the Bhagavata Purana ( Srimad Bhagavatam ) and Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita are particularly welcome. The print is clear and the paper excellent. Continue the good work!

Other writings
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada—
Krishna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Dr. Robert B. Tapp,
Professor of Humanities,
Religious Studies and South Asian Studies,
University of Minnesota, U.S.A.

I know of no better introduction to the vast literature of Krishna bhakti than Swami Bhaktivedanta’s paraphrase of Canto 10 of the Bhagavata Purana . Translators inevitably have to choose between felicity and fidelity. In this edition, Bhaktivedanta resolves the dilemma by presenting a “purport” of each chapter which is both readable and substantial… retains much of the piety and rich imagery of the original. Krishna has been too transforming a figure for too many people to remain confined to India or known only through the Bhagavad-gita . Here we have the rounding out of his story that has proved so fecund for Indian art, song, dance and devotion.

Dr. R.N. Sharma,
Professor of History,
Colgate University, U.S.A.

A very beautiful account of Lord Krishna’s life. All the stories are well presented and are easy to read and understand. Each volume has many colored pictures showing Lord Krishna in different moods and actions. The glossary of terms makes it easy for Western readers to enjoy these books much more.

Dr. Bardwell Smith,
Professor of Religion,
Carleton College, U.S.A.

This marvelously available summary study of Srila Vyasadeva’s Srimad Bhagavatam (10th Canto) by Swami Bhaktivedanta is a boon to classroom discussion of material previously unavailable to all but a few. The reasonably priced three-volume paperback edition brings this wealth of stories about Krishna within reach of undergraduate study, making knowledge of the bhakti tradition considerably richer. Recommended for both introductory and intermediate use.

Dr. Louis Roberts,
Executive Chairman,
Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures,
Syracuse University, U.S.A.

The book Krishna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead should prove to be an important addition to materials available for college courses in religion. The three-volume paperback edition contains plates with well-produced colors. The text reads well in English, and undergraduates will have no difficulty reading large segments of the work. It is one of the best sources in English for gaining insight into the bhakti religious tradition.

Dr. William A. Johnson,
Professor of Philosophy,
Brandeis University, U.S.A.

Krishna is an important book for both the new student of the History of Religions as well as for the professional scholar. It is presented in an interesting format with a readable text and multi-colored pictures. A glossary in the back of the book helps clarify the many complex terms which are used in the volume.

Krishna is a helpful and significant contribution to the growing phenomenon of interest in the religions of Asia.

Dr. James Preston,
Professor of Anthropology,
State University of New York at Oneonta, U.S.A.

At last we have an inexpensive set of classical Indian texts (Krishna, three volumes) available for students. These are particularly valuable for introductory courses on Indian civilization, but may also be used to advantage by anthropologists who seek to introduce undergraduates to South Asia. Frequently anthropology courses on India use ethnographies and sometimes indigenous novels as required texts, but these should be supplemented with some key classical Indian scriptures. Now this is possible with the welcome publications of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.

Dr. Roger j. Corless,
Professor of Religion,
Duke University, U.S.A.

With all the books on Vedanta and bland neo-transcendentalism that are at present available to the English-speaking public, it is good to have on the popular market such an uncompromising statement of an opposing view from the pen of one who is as firmly rooted in a disciplic tradition as Bhaktivedanta Swami. The Sanskrit is carefully and intelligibly romanized. There is a Sanskrit glossary, an index and a list of scriptural citations.

Dr. Patrick Peebles,
Professor of History,
University of Missouri at Kansas City, U.S.A.

This is a valuable book for any student of Indian civilization. It is a sumary and exegesis of an important work of Sanskrit religious literature, written in a clear, direct and very readable style. It serves as a rigorous explanation of bhakti-yoga for one whose knowledge of Krishna comes primarily through Indian art, literature or history.

Nectar of Instruction

Dr. Klaus Klostermaier,
Department of Religion,
University of Manitoba, Canada

This “authorized English presentation of Srila Rupa Goswami’s Sri Upadeshamrita”—as the subtitle says—is a very welcome addition to literature from the Chaitanyaite school of thought. This very brief work gives in a nutshell the essence of prema-bhakti . The present edition gives the Sanskrit text in bold Devanagari and in Roman transliteration, a word-for-word translation of the text, a running translation in bold type and a brief comment after each verse, which should prove very helpful for students. A glossary as well as an index of Sanskrit terms has been added. The cover—colour reproduction of photographs of Rupa Goswami’s samadhi in Vrindaban and of the Radha-kunda at Govardhana—make the volume appear very attractive. It should be very useful for classes dealing with Indian religions.

Teachings of Lord Chaitanya

Dr. H.B. Kulkarni,
Associate Professor of English and Philosophy,
Utah State University, U.S.A.

1. Krishna, two volumes
2. The Bhagavad-gita As It Is
3. Srimad-Bhagavatam
4. Teachings of Lord Chaitanya
5. The Nectar of Devotion

I have read the above books with great care, attention and profound interest, and have found them to be of incalculable value to anyone who is curious about India’s spiritual and cultural heritage. The quality of the get-up and illustrations is excellent, and the language unusually felicitous. The author of these books displays on every page an astounding scholarship in the subjects treated, and also an understanding and ease of exposition of abstruse ideas—which are rarest gifts of a man who has been rigorously brought up in the schools of Vaishnava philosophy and has absorbed its teachings so fully that he seems to have reached the highest state of spiritual illumination only few blessed souls achieve.

Dr. James P. McDermott,
Professor of Religion,
Bowdoin College, U.S.A.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s volume on the Teachings of Lord Chaitanya is a most handsome production, the photographs and the other full-color illustrations making a most attractive accompaniment to the text. The text itself serves as a solid introduction to the life and thought of Chaitanya. Scholars will find the inclusion of all quotations in transliterated Sanskrit to be of use, while full translation of such passages will make the text accessible to students, as will the presence of the Glossary.

Dr. Roy C. Amore,
Professor of Religion,
University of Windsor, Canada

All of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s writings combine an expert’s knowledge of Sanskrit and a spiritual master’s authority of interpretation with an especially readable style. When read from cover to cover, Teachings of Lord Chaitanya provides an encyclopedia of Krishna doctrine and ethics. The reader sees here a very complete expression of “personal theism”, which differs radically from Shankara’s Vedanta. This should prove a valuable book to the student.

Robert Frager,
Assistant Professor of Psychology,
University of California, Santa Cruz, U.S.A.

I have read over both the Krishna trilogy and the Teachings of Lord Chaitanya . I find them both excellent examples of Indian religious thought. The stories and illustrations of Krishna provide an insight into Indian devotionalism that is not generally available in the United States. The Teachings of Lord Chaitanya gives details of the life of Chaitanya that are also very difficult to find outside of India. It also includes many interesting interpolative comments by Bhaktivedanta Swami that amplify and interpret Chaitanya’s teachings.

Thank you for the opportunity to review these books. I plan to recommend them as alternative readings for my classes on psychology of religion.

Dr. K.L. Seshagiri Rao,
Professor of Religious Studies,
University of Virginia, U.S.A.

Teachings of Lord Chaitanya is an authentic and lucid account in English of the life and philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The spiritual movement initiated by “the Great Master” five hundred years ago has profoundly influenced millions of men and women in India ever since, an is presently making its mark throughout the world.

Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the present spiritual master of the movement in disciplic succession, has done a great service to the English-speaking world by making this spiritual treasure available in English.

Sri Ishopanishad

Paul Hockings, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of Anthropology,
University of Illinois, U.S.A.

This [Sri Ishopanishad] is a very elegant paperback, clearly printed and well designed in every way. The eighteen Sanskrit mantras are given in both Devanagari and Roman script, something that will be of great help to the beginning students. Swami Prabhupada has given intelligent and lucid commentary on every mantra, and—unusual for this type of publication—a glossary and index have been added.

Dr. C.L. Spreadbury,
Professor of Sociology,
Stephen F. Austin State University, U.S.A.

These books are not only beautiful, but also relevant to our times, as we as a nation search for new cultural patterns of our way of life.

Perfection of Yoga

Dr. Frank Ledwith,
Professor of Psychology,
University of St. Andrews, Scotland

The Perfection of Yoga is most useful for anyone wishing to understand the meaning of yoga. It also introduces the student to the study of Bhagavad-gita and shows how direct and simple, yet in another sense, how profoundly complex is the path of spiritual growth through yoga practice. It is a scholarly book, yet has a direct personal meaning for all—a powerful combination.

BBT Publications

Dr. Jerry M. Chance, Chairman,
Department of Philosophy and Religion,
Florida A & M University, U.S.A.

The publications of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust are very valuable documents and will no doubt become classics for the English reader of Indian religious literature.

Go to Reviews by Leading Indian Scholars

Click on the links below to view listings of Institutions of Higher Learning, Public Libraries and Private Libraries and Others worldwide who have placed orders for whole sets of Srimad-Bhagavatam and/or Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. These lists are by no means complete.

Tertiary Institutions and Libraries in India
Tertiary Institutions and Libraries in Europe
Tertiary Institutions and Libraries in USA and Canada

This entry was posted in KRSNA Books, Wonderful KRSNA and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.