Author Rebuts Own Rival Book
to Srila Prabhupada


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 61, Vol 1, 2019

In the BTP 53 article "Sticking with Srila Prabhupada's Books", we exposed the book The Bhagavata Purana: Selected Readings, which is a rival translation and commentary to Srila Prabhupada's translation of and commentary on the Srimad-Bhagavatam. In this rival book's blurb and Preface, it is stated that the book is necessary because it makes the Srimad-Bhagavatam "more accessible to English-speaking audiences" and "more meaningful to scholars", and provides a translation that is "accessible to students and scholars". We showed that this book is actually unauthorised and completely unnecessary, since Srila Prabhupada's Srimad-Bhagavatam is already complete in every sense. The co-author of this rival book (along with GBC-elected guru HH Krsna Ksetra Swami) is Radhika Ramana Dasa. Radhika Ramana is also an advisor to the GBC, as he is an associate member of the Sastric Advisory Council ("SAC"). The extracts in shaded boxes are from a lecture he gave on 2/12/18.

Completely accessible to English speakers

"he makes those commentaries relevant to a modern audience. [...] So Prabhupada took something that was modern and relevant in Jiva Goswami's time [...] and made it modern and relevant for us, in a way that we can understand. [...] We can pick up the book and say, ‘So what do I do? How do I apply Gita in my own life?', and we can do it. That is no ordinary accomplishment. That is unprecedented, at least in the English language."

Here, Radhika Ramana explains how Srila Prabhupada's Srimad-Bhagavatam commentaries are especially accessible for English-speaking audiences. Continuing, Radhika Ramana makes it clear again that Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavatam is completely accessible in every way:

"This is a huge accomplishment; to translate knowledge that is so detailed, make it accessible, to summarise the contribution of an entire line of teachers and gurus and wise scholars, and then to make it relevant for our own time in a way that you and I can apply it."

Meaningful and accessible to students and scholars

"big contribution was that in his purports, he took that ancient tradition I was describing, of the different acaryas, throughout five hundred years and even before, and all their commentaries, which are even more locked away in Sanskrit. [...] so much knowledge, wisdom is there, and he read those and he took those commentaries, he summarised the essence of them, and sometimes in great detail actually, and put them in his purports. Right, so he brought that tradition and made it right here in his purports."

Radhika Ramana explains that by "unlocking" the Sanskrit teachings of all the relevant acaryas and presenting them in detail, both Srila Prabhupada's translation of and commentary on the Srimad-Bhagavatam are also completely meaningful and accessible to students and scholars.

Jumping over

In the Introduction to the rival Bhagavatam, it is stated that they consulted the commentaries of 10 previous acaryas. But such "jumping over" directly to the previous acaryas is forbidden:

"You cannot jump over. You must go through the parampara system. You have to approach through your spiritual master".
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 28/3/75)

Radhika Ramana accepts that such jumping over is unnecessary, since Srila Prabhupada's books contain the essential teachings of the previous acaryas:

"He had taken Jiva Goswami's argument and presented it in his purports, the essence of what the acaryas are saying, and Prabhupada does this again and again in his commentaries. Sridhara Swami, Baladeva Vidyabhusana, and Jiva Goswami, and so many different teachers."


By admitting that Srila Prabhupada's translation of and commentary on the Srimad-Bhagavatam is completely accessible and meaningful to English speakers, scholars and students, Radhika Ramana has systematically rebutted all the reasons he gave for the need for his rival book. And thus he has validated the IRM's analysis and conclusion about his rival book that was given in the BTP 53 article mentioned above.


Return to Rival Books Index

Return to Radhika Ramana Das Index

Return to IRM Homepage


Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!