Scholarly Reviews of
Srila Prabhupada's Books
A scene from the Bhagavad-gita. Image copyright: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust -- www.Krishna.com
Reviews of Bhagavad-gita As It Is
"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.... 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 lead to this illuminating work."
Dr. Geddes MacGregor
Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy University of Southern California
"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."
Thomas Merton, Theologian
"I am most impressed with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita. 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. Samuel D. Atkins
Professor of Sanskrit, Princeton University
"...As a successor in direct line from Caitanya, the author of Bhagavad-gita As It Is is entitled, according to Indian custom, to the majestic title of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The great interest that his reading of the Bhagavad-gita holds for us is that it offers us an authorized interpretation according to the principles of the Caitanya tradition."
Professor of Sanskrit and Indology, Sorbonne University, Paris
"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 BBT edition and translation of the Bhagavad-gita."
Dr. Frederick B. Underwood
Professor of Religion, Columbia University
"...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. Elwin H. Powell
Professor of Sociology State University of New York, Buffalo
"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."
Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins
Professor of Religion, Franklin and Marshall College
"The Bhagavad-gita, one of the great spiritual texts, is not as yet a common part of our cultural milieu. This is probably less because it is alien per se than because we have lacked just the kind of close interpretative commentary upon it that Swami Bhaktivedanta has here provided, a commentary written from not only a scholar's but a practitioner's, a dedicated lifelong devotee's point of view."
Denise Levertov, Poet
"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. Edward C. Dimock, Jr.
Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization University of Chicago
"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. J. Stillson Judah,
Professor of the History of Religions and Director of Libraries Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
"Srila Prabhupada's edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become familiar 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 many this will be the first contact with the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India."
Professor of Religious Sciences Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France
"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. Kailash Vajpeye,
Director of Indian Studies Center for Oriental Studies, The University of Mexico
"... 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 will occupy a significant place in the intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to come."
Dr. Shaligram Shukla
Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University
"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 aesceticism 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."
Dr. Paul Lesourd,
Author, Professeur Honoraire, Catholic University of Paris
A scene from the 12th canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam which predicts that at the end of the present age of Kali, the Lord will appear in the form of Kalki Avatara. People will be so degraded and sinful that preaching will be useless. He will simple kill everyone and usher in the next Satya-yuga. Lord Kalki will apear in 427,000 years. Image copyright: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust -- www.Krishna.com
Reviews of Srimad Bhagavatam
"This is a work to be treasured. 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. Garry Gelade
Professor of Psychology Oxford University
"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. "
Dr. Alex Wayman
Professor of Sanskrit, Columbia University
"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."
Dr. Sooda L. Bhatt
Professor of Indian Languages, Boston University
"The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust editions of famous religious classics of India, with new translations and commentaries, are an important addition to our expanding knowledge of spiritual India. The new edition of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is particularly welcome."
Dr. John L. Mish Chief,
Oriental Division, New York Public Library
"... 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...." Choice magazine, June, 1975 "In the diversity of religious approaches offered by the yogis of India, the most significant, of course, is the way of Krsna consciousness. It is amazing to see 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, he has undertaken the stupendous project of rendering the entire Bhagavata, the great devotional classic of India, into English. His edition is learning blended with devotional feeling and inspired by a definite purpose of communicating the intense Iyrical and devotional quality of the Bhagavata. Srila Prabhupada has done an excellent service by his able rendition of 'the abode of divine joy' that the Bhagavata is."
Dr. Mahesh Mehta,
Professor of Asian Studies University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
"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.... we have here the ideal of what an edition of a Sanskrit text for a Western audience should be."
Dr. R. E. Asher
Professor of Linguistics, University of Edinburgh
"... For those who have no access to the Sanskrit language, these books convey, in superb manner, the message of the Bhagavatam. In addition to being a scholarly work, it directly reflects the spiritual aspirations of a religious community which has gained considerable popularity in modern America."
Dr. Alaka Hejib
Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University
"Srimad-Bhagavatam is a valuable source material and 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. C. P. Agrawal,
Chairwoman Department of Humanities, University of Michigan
A scene from the Antya-lila of the Caitanya Caritamrta. Lord Caitanya is constantly meditating on the past-times of Sri-Sri Radha-Krsna, even in His dreams. Image copyright: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust -- www.Krishna.com
Reviews of Sri Caitanya-Caritamrita
"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 Caritamrta. I thank you."
Dr. Daniel H. H. Ingalls
Chairman Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies Harvard University
"The appearance of an English translation of Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami's Sri Caitanya-caritamrta by A.C. Bhaktivedanta [Founder-Acarya 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 courses 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 Krsna 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."
Dr. J. Bruce Long
Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University
"It is a remarkable document of great historical and sociological importance, giving a picturesque presentation of the socio-religious climate in the India of Sri Caitanya's times and the far-reaching social and religious changes wrought by him. As a literary piece, it is regarded as a work of great merit, having no parallel in the whole of Bengali literature. As a religious text, its sanctity is comparable to that of the Bhagavad-gita. "This English edition translated by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is superb. It contains the original Sanskrit and Bengali verses with their English transliteration, synonyms, translation and elaborate purports, easily bearing testimony to the author's profound knowledge of the subject."
Dr. O.B.L. Kapoor,
Emeritus Chairman and Professor, Department of Philosophy Government Postgraduate College, Gyanpur, India
"It is a genuine joy to have this momentous biographical work on the life of Bengal's great saint Caitanya, prepared by his best-known modern interpreter, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada."
Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer,
Associate Professor of Ethics and the Phenomenology of Religions Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
"Year by year, interest in Eastern religious thought and philosophy grows in America. The editing and translating of the important Sri Caitanya-caritamrta will make a substantial contribution to those who seek information about Indian concepts...."
Dr. Gerald A. Larue Professor of Religion, University of Southern California
"I can recommend Sri Caitanya-caritamrta as a source of rich insights for every serious student of consciousness."
Dr. Rory O'Day,
Department of Human Relations University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada