Meaning of Rupanuga
Statement of Purpose
Vision for a Vedic College
Srila Rupa Goswami
The College Emblem
Features of the College
Scholars Reviews of Texts
Vedic College is dedicated to His Divine Grace Srila Rupa Goswami
Prabhupada who perfectly realized and explained the sublime teachings
of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu & His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada (Founder-Acarya of the International Society for
Krishna Consciousness) who so kindly presented the transcendental
Vedic science to the entire world.
svayam rupah kada mahyam
When will Srila
Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material
world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya,give me
shelter under his lotus feet?
nah sandarsito dhatra
dustaram nistitir satam
kalim sattva-haram pumsam
We think that
we have met Your Goodness by the will of providence, just so that
we may accept you as captain of the ship for those who desire to
cross the difficult ocean of Kali, which deteriorates all the good
qualities of a human being.
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Rupanuga Vedic College (RVC), like the International Society of
which it is part, belongs to the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Sampradaya,
i.e. the disciplic succession which originated with Lord Krishna
and continues as follows:
- Sri Krsna
- Jaya Tirtha
- Vyasa Tirtha
- Isvara Puri,
- Lord Caitanya
- Rupa, (Svarupa,
Swami Prabhupada's Disciples
Lord Krsna is
the Supreme Personality of Godhead or commonly known as God. He
exists eternally in full knowledge and bliss. The transcendental
knowledge taught at Rupanuga Vedic College is the same eternally
perfect scientific knowledge which is imparted from Lord Krsna to
Brahma and passed on in disciplic succession. Our universe was manifest,
according to Vedic evidence, approximately 155 trillion years ago.
Lord Krsna enlightened Brahma at that time. However before the manifestation
of this present universe, there were millions of universes which
were created and annihilated in the past. Besides the material realm,
there is the spiritual realm which is ever-existent and there the
transcendental knowledge is fully perceivable. Consequently, the
history of Vedic knowledge is beyond the purview of time. It is
timeless and eternal.
ages, this knowledge was passed from guru to disciple via the spoken
word (sruti). The students and teachers were so advanced that they
could memorize everything taught to them. However with the advent
of the fallen age of Kali (this age began 5,000 years ago) the memories
of students has markedly declined. Seeing this deficiency in people,
Sri Vyasadeva (the fourth teacher in the disciplic line) decided
to put the teachings in written form. Thus the written Vedic scriptures
were compiled just at the time of the beginning of this age, 5,000
years ago. Each teacher must present the wisdom without change as
he heard it from his guru. In this way the knowledge is passed down
and it remains pure and potent.
In the 16th
Century, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's principle disciple was Rupa
Goswami who presented this transcendental tradition in its fullness.
(Please see the section "Srila Rupa Goswami" below). Four
hundred years and ten disciplic generations later, His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada [Srila Prabhupada as he is commonly
known] carried forth the same original science.
In 1962, while
residing at Srila Rupa Goswami's samadhi (burial memorial) in Vrndavan's
Radha-Damodara Temple, Srila Prabhupada revealed openly, for the
first time which we are aware of, his desire to establish a Vedic
college of the name Rupanuga Para Vidyapitha (please see the section
"The Meaning of Rupanuga"). He expressed this to Gauracandra
Goswami and Sri Nripendra Natha Banerji, the two proprietors of
Radha-Damodara Temple. Although at that time, the college did not
fully manifest, Srila Prabhupada reminded Mr. Banerji about the
plan four years later in a letter:
one thing I beg to draw your attention is the Rupanuga Para Vidya
Pitha which I wanted to start in Vrindaban within the vicinity
of Radha Damodara Mandir. If it is possible to get some vacant
land for constructing the building. My American students are ready
to spend for this and I think if you give some land on lease terms,
then I can immediately begin the work. Perhaps you may remember
that when I first came to your temple, this was my proposal and
both yourself and Gauracandra Goswami agreed to this."
(Letter to: Nripen Babu Bannerji New York 15 December, 1966)
As time went
on, Srila Prabhupada revealed many ideas for enlightening the world's
population - from book publication to self-sufficient farm communities
to prasadam (spiritual food) restaurants. History has witnessed
how each of his ideas began as seeds and then grew and grew into
tremendous spiritual desire trees which spread throughout the world
and fulfill everyone's desires. We may therefore mark 1962 as the
date of Srila Prabhupada's founding the Rupanuga Vedic College.
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MEANING OF RUPANUGA
The name Rupanuga
may be understood as follows. Rupanuga is a combination of
two Sanskrit words namely rupa and anuga. Rupa (lit.
- spiritual form) refers here to Srila Rupa Goswami (1489-1564)
The word anuga means followers. So Rupanuga indicates
the followers of Srila Rupa Goswami and the Rupanuga Vedic College
is an institution where they may learn the science of bhakti as
taught by Srila Rupa Goswami.
word Vidyapitha, as mentioned above, literally means "place
of education" i.e. a school or college. However the added word
para meaning "transcendental", indicates that the
Rupanuga college could not be an ordinary one - it must specialize
in presenting supramundane, transcendental topics.
prior to writing Nripen Babu, Srila Prabhupada founded the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in New York. (Please
see "The College's Founder"
section for more information on ISKCON). This was keeping in line
with his former plan to establish the Vedic college. He once commented,
"Actually, every center [of ISKCON] should be a college, and
this is our training, singing, dancing, working, temple worship,
like that." Be that as it may, Srila Prabhupada still wanted
another institution within the greater ISKCON to concentrate exclusively
on Vaisnava education.
program is there for
one Rupanuga Vidyapithathat is
a school for educating brahmanas and Vaisnavas. We have enough
of technological and other types of educational institutions,
but perhaps there is none where actual brahmanas and Vaisnavas
are produced. So we will have to establish an educational institution
for that purpose."
(From a letter written by Srila Prabhupada to a disciple; January
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In 1974, under
Srila Prabhupada's direction, a system for recruiting and training
new adult students in the science of bhakti-yoga was established.
This system became known as the Bhakta Program throughout the 1970's
and 1980's with Danavir Goswami as its worldwide inaugurator-coordinator.
Gradually further academic emphasis was added to the program.
In 1990 Danavir
Goswami and some assistants moved to Florida hoping to establish
a Vedic college seminary. At that time it was learned that a Vedic
college of the name Florida Vedic College (FVC) had recently been
formed. By cooperation a branch campus of the FVC was formed near
Tampa and from there Danavir Goswami forged a cooperative relationship
with Professor of Religions Nathan Katz at the University of South
Florida (USF). By the professor's effort, the university acknowledged
the value of some courses offered by FVC and agreed to allow USF
students to take them for full exchange/transfer of credit. Danavir
Goswami taught three semesters of first and second semester beginning
Sanskrit to both FVC and USF undergraduate and graduate students
on both campuses.
In 1995, the
Bhakta Program Institute (BPI) was established as a world headquarters
for Bhakta Programs and the AVC semester course. Its first publication
was Fortunate Souls; The Bhakta Program Manual a 760
The next year,
1996, marking Srila Prabhupada's Centennial, Danavir Goswami and
some assistants, inaugurated the Rupanuga Vedic College following
the master plan imparted earlier in 1962. Also that year an annual
supplementary journal called Vaisnava Society was published.
In 1998 and 1999 the college was located in Kansas City, Missouri
at McGee and 63rd Streets where a few dozen students took RVC courses
progressing toward their degrees and titles while continuing their
full devotional services within ISKCON.
It is the sole
purpose of the RVC to execute the will of Srila Prabhupada through
the teachings and example of Srila Rupa Goswami. In particular,
the literary works of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada constitute the final conclusion (siddhanta) on all subject
matters. Rupanuga Vedic College is a seminarial branch of the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness meant to provide the supreme education.
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To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at
large and to educate all peoples in the techniques of spiritual
life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to
achieve real unity and peace in the world.
To propagate a consciousness of Krishna, as it is revealed in
the Bhagavad~Gita and Shrimad Bhagwatam.
To bring the students, faculty, and supporters of the Rupanuga
Vedic College together with each other and nearer to Krishna,
the prime entity, thus to develop the idea within them, and humanity
at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of
To teach and encourage the sankirtan movement, congregational
chanting of the holy name of God as revealed in the teachings
of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
To erect for the college students, faculty and supporters and
for society at large, a holy place of transcendental pastimes,
dedicated to the Personality of Krishna.
To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching
a simpler and more natural way of life.
a view towards achieving the aforementioned Purposes, to publish
and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.
Vedic College (RVC) was established in 1996 to present Vedic science
and culture as delineated by His Divine Grace Srila Rupa Goswami
and His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda.
To this end, the college grants academic and devotional degrees
in Vaisnavism or Vedic monotheism.
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FOR A VEDIC COLLEGE
His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda often expressed his thoughts;
are traveling all over the world, but there is no university,
no institution, no school, no college where the education of spiritual
nature is imparted."
considered the establishment of a Vedic college essential.
the world will be saved from destruction."
Here are his
perspectives for the college:
- The college
should be state-approved to award Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates
of Divinity degrees according to the advancement of knowledge.
is better than precept." Instructors must be learned and
practicing Vaisnava brahmanas.
- Sincere students
coming from anywhere in the world should be admitted for education
without financial obligation and should imbibe the ideals of the
college namely: peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity,
tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness.
- The basis
of the curriculum shall be Vaisnava texts taken from the Vedic
body of literature including the Vedänta Sutra, Upanisads,
Ramayan, Mahabarata, Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya Caritamrta,
Bhakti-rasamrta Sindhu, etc. - as comprehended by Srila Rupa Goswami.
- The initial
emphasis should be to train first class brahmanas (intellectuals),
then ksatriyas (administrators), and vaisyas (agriculturalists
titles should also be awarded to students who pass examinations.
The titles should be Bhakti-sastri (proficient in primary Vedic
scriptural knowledge), Bhakti-vaibhava (accomplished in Vedic
scriptural knowledge), Bhakti-vedanta (master of Vedic scriptural
knowledge) and Bhakti-sarvabhauma (professor of Vedic knowledge).
- The primary
language medium should be English and the Sanskrit language should
also be taught.
- All charitably-disposed
persons and institutions should kindly support the college.
ISKCON during his final eleven years on earth, Srila Prabhupada
repeatedly expressed the hope to establish a Vedic college.
construction of the buildings can now be taken up and my American
disciples are ready to spend for the proposed building of Sri
Rupanuga Para Vidya Pitha." (Letter from Srila Prabhupada;
October 11, 1966)
I do not think it is necessary for you to return to your university
for taking further education
Your education is to be found
in our books, the material education is finished. If you want
to teach in universities and colleges, they must accept us on
our high degree of Vedic learning, not on our so-called [mundane
academic] credentials. They must accept our system of scholarly
learning from the spiritual master." (Letter from Srila Prabhupada;
August 5, 1972)
brahminical school; that I am willing to do. That is required
absolutely. There must be a class of men, perfect brahmanas. Otherwise
society will be ruined."
a Morning Walk April 9, 1976)
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Rupa Goswami was the chief of the six Goswamis, who were the direct
disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When he first met Lord Caitanya,
Srila Rüpa Goswami Prabhupada was engaged as a minister in
the Muhammadan government of Bengal. He and his brother Sanatana
were then named Dabira Khasa and Sakara Mallika respectively, and
they held responsible posts as ministers of Nawab Hussain Shah.
At that time, five hundred years ago, the Hindu society was very
rigid, and if a member of the brahmana caste accepted the service
of a Muhammadan ruler he was at once rejected from brahmana society.
That was the position of the two brothers, Dabira Khasa and Sakara
Mallika. They belonged to the highly situated sarasvata-brahmana
community, but they were ostracized due to their acceptance of ministerial
posts in the government of Hussain Shah. It is the grace of Lord
Caitanya that He accepted these two exalted personalities as His
disciples and raised them to the position of goswamis, the highest
position of brahminical culture.
met the two brothers Dabira Khasa and Sakara Mallika in a village
known as Rämakeli in the district of Maldah, and after that
meeting the brothers decided to retire from government service and
join Lord Caitanyas. Dabira Khasa, who was later to become Rupa
Goswami, retired from his post and collected all the money he had
accumulated during his service. It is described in the Caitanya-caritamrta
that his accumulated savings in gold coins equaled millions of dollars
and filled a large boat. He divided the money in a very exemplary
manner, which should be followed by devotees in particular and by
humanity in general. Fifty percent of his accumulated wealth was
distributed to the Krishna conscious persons, namely the brahmanas
and the Vaishnavas; twenty-five percent was distributed to relatives;
and twenty-five percent was kept against emergency expenditures
and personal difficulties. Later on, when Sakara Mallika also proposed
to retire, the Nawab was very much agitated and put him into jail.
But Sakara Mallika, who was later to become Srila Sanatana Goswami,
took advantage of his brother's personal money, which had been deposited
with a village banker, and escaped from the prison of Hussain Shah.
In this way both brothers joined Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
first met Lord Caitanya at Prayaga (Allahabad, India), and on the
Dasavamedha bathing ghata of that holy city the Lord instructed
him continually for ten days. The Lord particularly instructed Rupa
Gosvamion the science of Krsna consciousness.
Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada elaborated the teachings of the Lord with
profound knowledge of revealed scriptures and authoritative references
from various Vedic literatures. Srila Srinivasa Acarya describes
in his prayers to the six Gosvamis that they were all highly learned
scholars, not only in Sanskrit but also in foreign languages such
as Persian and Arabic. They very scrutinizingly studied all the
Vedic scriptures in order to establish the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu
on the authorized principles of Vedic knowledge. The present Krsna
consciousness movement is also based on the authority of Srila Rupa
Gosvami Prabhupada. We are therefore generally known as rupanugas,
or followers in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada.
Hare Krishna. (Taken from Srila Prabhupada's Nectar of Devotion;
a summary study of Srila Rupa Gosvami's Sanskrit work Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu)
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- The Rupanuga
Vedic College was founded as Rupanuga Para Vidyapitha in 1962
(Vrndavana, India). Later it was inaugurated in the United States
on September 29, 1996, as the collegiate division of the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) KrishnaFest Incorporated.
Vedic College is the only Vaishnava college in Missouri and the
first Vaishnava residency college in the USA. The College is located
in Jackson County in the State of Missouri, and offers classroom
and tutorial divinity degree programs.
- RVC is a
division of ISKCON KrishnaFest Inc. which is incorporated with
The United States of America Department of Treasury as a tax-exempt
501 (c) (3) Not-for-profit religious entity. (Federal Tax ID #
- RVC is registered
in the state of Missouri to grant theological degrees in the field
of Vaisnava Philosophy, Vaisnava Education, Vedic History, etc.
- RVC is a
theological college which was exempted by the Missouri Coordinating
Board for Higher Education in 1998.
- RVC is not
I first met the Hare Krishnas, I can remember how surprised
I was, and I wondered what this meant. The costumes, the chanting,
and the shaved heads appeared a little strange to me. But
as I came to know the movement, I came to find that there
was a striking similarity in the essence of what they were
teaching and in the original core of Christianitythat
is, living simply, not trying to accumulate worldly goods,
living with compassion toward all creatures, sharing, loving,
and living joyfully. I am impressed with how much the teachings
of one man and the spiritual tradition he brought have impacted
themselves into the lives of so many people. In my view Shrila
Prabhupada's contribution is a very important one and will
be a lasting one."
Professor of Religion
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The two Sanskrit letters on the book, "ve" "da"
combined become Veda which means knowledge. Among all scriptures,
the eternal Vedas are the most important, having been recorded in
written form five thousand years ago by the great sage Vyasadeva
and preserved in the mother of all languages Sanskrit. Among the
Vedas, the Srimad Bhagavatam (lit: the Beautiful Story of
the Personality of Godhead), is known as the ripened fruit. Rupanuga
Vedic College offers courses in the Vedas and its Masters Degree
Program concentrates largely on the Srimad Bhagavatam.
bhagavan svayam: A famous Sanskrit verse which means "Lord
Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead." This
conclusion is the ultimate premise of all Vedic literature and is
found in the text of the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 3, verse
Ganges: Among sacred rivers, the Ganges is foremost because
it emanated from the lotus feet of Visnu and because it purifies
all who come in contact with it.
White Swans: Among birds, the swan (in Sanskrit; hamsa) is beautiful,
and among different types of swans, the white swan is the best and
represents purity. Swans resort to clear lakes and rivers where
they sometimes sport with the stems of the lotus flower. The lotus
flower is analogous to Lord Krsna's feet and swans are analogous
to pure devotees of Krsna who enjoy residing at the lotus feet of
the Lord. The Sanskrit word for such pure devotees is paramahamsa
or supreme swanlike persons.
It is said that
the swan has a unique ability to extract milk from a solution of
milk and water. Similarly, the paramahamsa swanlike persons accept
only the essence of life, namely the Supreme Personality of Godhead
as their life and soul, leaving aside all external, material things.
Two swans are depicted because pure devotees relish keeping association
with other devotees to enhance their devotion. It is hoped that
the students of Rupanuga Vedic College will themselves become paramahamsas.
Ensign: Vaisnava refers to those who are devoted to serving
Lord Visnu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This distinctively-shaped
sign, is often shown in authentic paintings depicting the sankirtana
parties of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Upon the Vaisnava Ensign:
Decorative and protective clay markings of fortune symbolizing
Visnu temples. While applying tilaka upon different parts of
the body, devotees meditate on the Lord's names.
Symbols of Visnu: Lord Visnu is a plenary expansion of Lord
Krsna who holds four auspicious symbols in His four hands. The
first two items are for offering benedictions to His devotees.
The second two items are weapons used for protecting His devotees.
(A supernatural razor-sharp discus which whirls about the
finger of the Lord and instantly accomplishes the Lord's bidding)
Branches: Tulasi Devi is a pure devotee of Krishna in the
form of a plant and she should be treated with the same respect
given to all Krishna's pure devotees. Lord Krishna is very fond
of tulasi leaves and buds. It is said in the Skanda Purana,
"Tulasi is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing,
simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying
to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about or simply
by sowing this tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone
who comes in touch with the tulasi tree in the above-mentioned
ways lives eternally in the Vaikuntha world."
The crown indicates that Lord Krsna is the supreme king (isvara
parama krsna) and His instructions are raja vidya the "King
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OF THE RUPANUGA COLLEGE
- Teaches the
- The World's
Oldest System of Education, (namely the parampara or guru-disciple
or acarya principle: "teaching by example")
Professors and Instructors
Teaching, Counseling and Tutoring
- Vedic Work-Study
System (i.e. an alternative to tuition fees and costs for lodging
Learning "Take a Break From the Material World"
Degree Programs and Certificates: Associate, Bachelors, Masters,
Title Programs and Certificates: Bhakti-Sastri, Bhakti-Vaibhava,
Residency (for undergraduate, graduate and faculty/staff)
Healthful Vegetarian Prasadam Meals
- English Medium
(with opportunities for multi-lingual education)
15-Credit Starting Semester: (The Introductory Semester in Applied
Vedic Culture, also known as the "AVC"
course or the "Bhakta Program")
Opportunities for Faculty Positions
- Medical and
Dental Care (Please see the title "Health and Medical"
in the Handbook portion of the Student
- Special Summer
day, week, or month programs for those unfamiliar with the Vedic
- Course Materials
(provided on a loan basis)
- College Credits
- Campus Library
Liaison Services (Includes Academic Transcripts)
and Nutritious Meals (Please see the title "Food Policy"
in the Student Life section)
- Clean, Neat
and Comfortable On-Campus Residency Lodging (Please see the title
"Accommodations" in the Student
Clothing and Other Personal Items provided as required according
to the discretion of the RVC management. (Please see the title
"Dress Codes" in the Student
- Usage of
Phone, Postage, E-Mail, Fax
- Pick Up Transportation
to and From Bus, Train or Airport
Training in Computerized Administration, Multimedia, Publishing,
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Vedic College overlooks a beautiful parkway across from Rockhurst
University in a southern Kansas City residential area. Three blocks
west sits the impressive University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC).
main building, Bhaktivedanta Hall, was built in 1928 by the Presbyterian
Church and accommodates the following areas:
Sri Sri Radha
Ramananda Raya Auditorium
Narada Hall (Classroom)
Kapila Hall (Classroom)
Brahma Hall (Classroom)
Manu Administration Offices
Kumara Academic Offices
Govinda's Books and Gifts Shop
Sanjaya Video Lounge
Rajasuya Reception Lounge
Sandipani Muni House (Faculty Residence Building)
Sudama Vipra House (Guest Lodge)
Visvakarma Maintenance Department
RVC campus is
presently equipped to accommodate sixty resident students and faculty/staff
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Library comprises a general library, a research
library and a special collection private
computers, Audio Tape Library, Photo Library, cd's, video tapes,
DVD's, etc. Both faculty and students are afforded the use of
the college's general library which includes all of the Bhaktivedanta
Book Trust publications as well as many related ISKCON-authored
publications both in book form and elec- tronic computer form.
The library provides a peaceful and quiet atmosphere for study
Bhagavatam (12 cantos)
Caitanya Caritamrta (18 volumes)
As It Is
of lectures and bhajanas (devotional music) by His Divine
Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
lectures and bhajanas by ISKCON leaders.
dramatic readings of Vaisnava literature and Krsna pastimes
modern devotional music albums
paintings of Krsna and incarnations (computers and printed)
photos of RVC history and activities
videos of Srila Prabhupada
such as Ramayana, Mahabharata, Krsna Lila, Madhvacarya, Caitanya
of Srila Prabhupada series
Institute science videos
Videos: NBC "Mysterious Origins of Man", etc.
there is a vast private research library, both book and computer,
which includes Krsna Institute publications, as well as many
writings of Vaisnava acaryas and modern Vaisnavas (via electronic-computer).
works by Srila Vyasadeva such as:
from the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, etc. along with commentar
ies by Srila Sridhara Swami, Srila Sanatana Goswami and Srila
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.
Upanisads. à Numerous works by the six Goswamis of
works by Vaisnava acaryas such as Srila Sanatkumara, Srila Narada
Muni, Srila Yamunacarya, Srila Garga Muni, Srila Madhvacarya,
Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati, Srila Ramananda Raya, Srila
Kavi Karnapura, Srila Locana dasa Thakura, Srila Rasikananda,
Srila Narotthama dasa Thakura, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana,
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
of Vaisnava acaryas
library contains other compositions which are available by permission
of the college president or vice president.
Collection Private Library
library, located near the RVC, is owned by a close associate
of the college and contains many rare Vaisnava literatures.
These works are accessible with permission of the college president
and the collection's owner.
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REVIEWS OF COURSE TEXTS USED AT RVC
Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) adheres strictly to the
principles of India's ancient Vedic culture, whose goal is the spiritual
perfection of man. The Krishna consciousness movement is firmly
based upon the conclusive truths found in Bhagavad-gita, Shrimad-Bhagavatam,
and Caitanya-caritamrta, which contain the essence of Vedic knowledge.
These three major texts, translated into the English language by
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and replete
with his erudite commentation, provide the philosophical and practical
foundation for the Krishna consciousness movement.
His Divine Grace
Shrila Prabhupada is uniquely qualified to translate and teach Vedic
knowledge. He is the representative of a well-documented disciplic
succession of Vedic authorities. By providing guidelines for the
practical implementation of the sublime Vedic teachings, Shrila
Prabhupada has for the first time successfully implanted genuine
Vedic culture in the West.
The books of
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are highly
respected by students, scholars and laymen alike. His works are
now widely used in college courses and seminars in diverse subjects,
including philosophy, religion, world literature, history, and the
social sciences. The following reviews, written by scholars renowned
in their fields, give graphic testimony to the scholarship and authenticity
of the books of Shrila Prabhupada, the founder-acarya of the Krishna
consciousness movement. The RVC grants its degrees for students
who master these primary texts.
As It Is
work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is
better loved, in the West, than the Bhagavad-gétä.
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
Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
University of Southern California
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."
have now read considerable part [of Bhagavad-gita As It Is]. 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."
Professor and Head of the Department of Asian Civilizations
The Australian National University
am most impressed with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's
scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gétä.
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
Samuel D. Atkins
Professor of Sanskrit
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
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."
Frederick B. Underwood
Professor of Religion
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."
Elwin H. Powell
Professor of Sociology
State University of New York, Buffalo
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 J. Hopkins
Professor of Religion
Franklin and Marshall College
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
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."
Edward C Dimock, Jr.
Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization
University of Chicago
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
J. Stillson Judah
Professor of the History of Religions
and Director of Libraries Graduate Theological Union,
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.
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
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 Shrila 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."
Director of Indian/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
Gétä 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."
Professor of Linguistics
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."
Author, Professeur Honoraire
Catholic University of Paris
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.
Professor of Psychology
has been my great pleasure recently to have read the Shrimad-Bhagavatam
in the superb edition authorized by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
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."
Professor of Sanskrit
Shrimad-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 Shrila 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."
Soda L. Batt
Professor of Indian Languages
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 Shrimad-Bhagavatam is particularly welcome."
John L. Mish
Chief, Oriental Division
New York Public Library
A commentary on the Vedanta-sutra by Shrila 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
magazine, June, 1975
the diversity of religious approaches offered by the yogis of
India, the most significant, of course, is the way of Krishna
consciousness. It is amazing to see how Shrila 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 lyrical and devotional quality of
the Bhagavata. Shrila Prabhupada has done an excellent service
by his able rendition of `the abode of divine joy' that the Bhagavata
Professor of Asian Studies
University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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."
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."
Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies
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."
Daniel H. H. Ingalls
Chairman Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies
appearance of an English translation of Krishndaas Kaviraja Gosvami's
Shri Caitanya-caritamata by A. C. Bhaktivedanta [Founder-Äcärya
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 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 Shri Bhaktivedanta.
Anyone who gives a close reading to the commentary will sense
that here, as in his other works, Shri 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
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."
J. Bruce Long
Department of Asian Studies
is a remarkable document of great historical and sociological
importance, giving a picturesque presentation of the socio-religious
climate in the India of Shri 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.
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."
Emeritus Chairman and Professor, Department of Philosophy
Government Postgraduate College, Gyanpur, India
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."
Associate Professor of Ethics and the Phenomenology of Religions
Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
by year, interest in Eastern religious thought and philosophy
grows in America. The editing and translating of the important
Shri Caitanya-caritamrta will make a substantial contribution
to those who seek information about Indian concepts.
Gerald A. Larue
Professor of Religion
University of Southern California
can recommend Shri Caitanya-caritamrta as a source of rich insights
for every serious student of consciousness."
Department of Human Relations
University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
of Lord Caitanya is an authentic and lucid account, in English,
of the life and philosophy of Shri Caitanya 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, and is presently making its mark throughout the world.
"Shri 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."
K. L. Seshagiri Rao
Professor of Religious Studies
University of Virginia
is an important book both for the new student of the history of
religions and for the professional scholar. It is a helpful and
significant contribution to the growing phenomenon of interest
in the religions of Asia."
Professor of Philosophy, Brandeis University
book Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead should prove
to be an important addition to materials available for college
courses in religion. It is one of the best sources in English
for gaining insight into the bhakti religious tradition."
Roberts, Executive Chairman
Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures
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 alla powerful combination."
Frank Ledwith, Professor of Psychology
University of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland
think the best feature of the Hare Krishna movement is that it
is providing scholars with excellent translations of the rarest
books on krishna-bhakti."
Professor of Religion, Oberlin College
have read Shri Bhaktivedanta Swami's 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 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."
H. B. Kulkarni
Professor of English and Philosophy
Utah State University
publications of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust are very valuable
documents and will no doubt become classics for the English reader
of Indian religious literature."
Jerry M. Chance, Chairman
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Florida A&M University
books are not only beautiful, but also relevant to our times,
as we as a nation search for new cultural patterns for our way
C. L. Spreadbury
Professor of Sociology
Stephen F. Austin State University
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