Srila Prabhupada's Transcendental Books – 1


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 47, Spring 2015

In the Preface to his wonderful magnum opus, a multi-volume English translation of and commentary on the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada wrote:

"Srimad-Bhagavatam will fill this need, for it is a cultural presentation for the respiritualization of the entire human society."
(SB, Preface)

Thus, through his books, Srila Prabhupada is actually respiritualising the "entire human society". However, one of his disciples has also made a similar claim about his books. We examine this claim below, with all quotes in the shaded boxes being from the website of ISKCON GBC guru HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami ("BVKS"). All emphases below have been added.

The puffed-up program

"I have much work to do in writing. [...] But my heart is burning with the desire to produce more books. It may sound puffed-up, but I feel they will be important contributions to the ongoing respiritualization of human society. Therefore I constantly go on writing. [...] Funds are also required. So are distributors for my books in different parts of the world."

Yes, it does sound puffed-up, as BVKS is speaking of his books as though they are on a par with Srila Prabhu-pada's -- stating that they are also "important contributions to the ongoing respiritualization of human society". And BTP had previously documented that BVKS has been very ambitious in his "puffed-up" books program:

"30,000 Telugu Ramayana have just been printed, which brings the number of my books in print to over one million. [...] I request all the devotees to pray [...] that I may write many more books as a service to Srila Prabhupada and his mission."
(BVKS, 24/11/11)

No authorisation

Given that Srila Prabhupada 's books are already respiritualising the "entire human society", the question arises as to what is the authorisation for BVKS's "puffed-up" program. In response, BVKS offers up the following claim:

"Srila Prabhupada's books are the lawbooks, and everything we need to know to become fully Krishna conscious is in his books. Nevertheless, Srila Prabhupada wanted his disciples to write also. He once said that, "My disciples will write commentaries on my purports.""

Earlier, BVKS had also claimed:

"Srila Prabhupada, your books are complete and perfect, and are available to all. Nevertheless, you instructed your disciples, especially the sannyasis, to write. "My disciples will write purports to my books.""
(BVKS Vyasa-puja offering, 1997)

His use of speech marks in both cases for the "quotes" he offers means that BVKS is claiming to be offering direct verbatim quotes from Srila Prabhu-pada. However, there is just one problem for BVKS in this attempt to justify his "puffed-up" program to be a big author: no record for either one of the "quotes" he offers exists! We only have BVKS's own self-serving claims. Therefore, according to the BTP 40 article entitled, "Techniques of Mass Deception (TMDs)", this claim of BVKS would be classified as a TMD 4, or "Phantom Quote".

Transcendental literature

As Srila Prabhupada's books are respiritualising the entire human society, they are not ordinary literature. Such transcendental literature is written only by the pure devotee with the direct assistance of Krishna:

"Transcendental literature that strictly follows the Vedic principles and the conclusion of the Puranas and pancaratrikavidhi can be written only by a pure devotee. [...] The secret in a devotee's writing is that when he writes about the pastimes of the Lord, the Lord helps him; he does not write himself."
(Cc., Adi-lila, 8.39)

Thus, unless such transcendental literature is presented only by a self-realised soul, it is poison:

"any Vedic literature, unless it is presented by a self-realized devotee, it is poison."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 9/5/69)

Hence, in addition to there being no "quotes" authorising him to write "commentaries and purports" on Srila Prabhupada's purports and books -- quotes which BVKS claims exist to justify his extensive book program -- BVKS also faces another hurdle. In order for BVKS to be able to write books that are on a par with Srila Prabhupada's and 'respiritualising human society', as he claims his books are, then BVKS would also need to be of this pure, self-realised spiritual calibre. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada stated that his disciples would write books like the books of the previous acaryas and his books, only when they were self-realised souls:

"Persons like all of the Gosvamis wrote so many books, Visvanatha Cakravarti, and all the acaryas wrote books, and still I am writing books. Similarly, also my disciples will write. So any self-realized soul can write unlimited books without deviating from the original ideas."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 28/2/72)

One may consult the following page to decide for oneself whether BVKS is such a pure, self-realised soul, or a deluded pretender speaking contradictory nonsense:

Even translations

When asked if his disciples could translate Vaisnava literature that he had not translated, Srila Prabhu-pada replied:

"A realized soul, must be. Otherwise, simply by imitating A-B-C-D will not help. [...] Our translation must be documents. They are not ordinary...One cannot become unless one is very realized. It is not A-B-C-D translation."
(Room conversation, 28/5/77)

Thus, even for only translation work Srila Prabhupada has called for a person to be a "realised soul" and "very realised" -- not to speak of producing transcendental literature that is respiritualising human society!


There is no evidence that Srila Prabhupada has asked for commentaries to be written on his books, or that BVKS is of the same spiritual calibre as Srila Prabhupada, capable of producing books like Srila Prabhupada's, that are respiritualising human society. He should therefore stop trying to compete to do this, and instead just distribute Srila Prabhupada's transcendental books.

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