Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Books I Have Ordered

Haberman, David L., Acting As A Way Of Salvation.

Guha, Manindranath, Nectar Of The Holy Name.

Vasu, Rao Bahadur Srisa Chandra, The Vedanta Sutras of Badarayana: With The Commentary of Baladeva.

The first one (Haberman) has been spoken about for a very long time (since my days on GD) so I thought that might be a useful addition to my library. Guha's book appears to be very popular among devotees so I thought I'd check it out.

Vasu's book, well, I've been waiting a long time for someone (preferably a Gaudiya Vaishnava) to come up with a translation of the Govinda-bhashya of Sripada Baladeva Vidyabhushan and none has come forth. There is an ISKCON edition I think but ISKCON editions are usually slanted translations; I think I heard that Haridas Sastri's ashram has come out with an edition but, if true, it would be useless for me since it is reportedly in Hindi.

In any case, I've been wondering for a very long time about the Vedantic basis of our tradition and so I figured I had better get off my behind and find it out. I'm not sure if Vasu's book is the best but it appears to be the only one out there and, from the whisperings I've heard, it appears to be "satisfactory" for now in the matter of explaining Sripada Vidyabhushan's Govinda-bhashya explanations of Vedantasutra.

It's all very well having your head in the clouds (literally) where Radha-Krishna lila is concerned but it's nice to have a little bit of intellectualism thrown in now and again. If intellectualism wasn't important (at least to a certain extent) then why did Sripada Jiva Gosvami take the trouble to write the Sat-Sandarbhas?

Speaking of which, the Sat-Sandarbhas will be next on my list once I hear that it has been printed in full. Tripurari Swami, Stuart Elkman and Satyanarayan das have each brought out a version of Tattva-Sandarbha, but what about the other five? Apparently the Jiva Institute are due to release Bhakti-Sandarbha but anyway, just so long as I can get some good editions.

Has anyone read the Tattva-sandarbhas out there by Tripurari, Elkman and Satyanarayan? Any good? Any recommendations?


  • At 26 July, 2006 08:06, Blogger advaitadas said…

    I have read Elkman's translation in 1987 - he is apparently a sannyasi in the Ramakrishna Mission and it shows too. He gives a more liberal, non dualist image of Mahaprabhu. Neither his nor Tripurari's would be commendable for obvious reasons. Tripurari is of course IGM and will have a 'slanted', as you call it, view of things, apart from the fact that he is prancing with another's feathers - Jagat's. Satyanarayan has brought out the first volume of about 3, the price is high but I believe it should be good in quality, havent read it because of the high price (nearly 1000 Rupees).

  • At 27 July, 2006 01:57, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    Ah I see, thank you very much!

    Interesting info about Satyanarayan. I wouldn't mind the high prices as I am more concerned about the quality of translation. Would you know if it is in English or Hindi? If Hindi, then useless for me. :-(

  • At 27 July, 2006 02:00, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    I mean to say, a high price would be worth it if it was a good translation. If it's not a good translation then I wouldn't bother, which is why I haven't bothered to get Elkman's or Tripurari's editions so far.

  • At 27 July, 2006 13:12, Blogger advaitadas said…

    It's in English.

  • At 28 July, 2006 02:22, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    Ah I see, thanks for that information. I shall keep a lookout for that one!

    By the way are you speaking about Tattva-Sandarbha or Bhakti-sandarbha?

    And what did you mean by "Satyanarayan has brought out the first volume of about 3"? You mean that the TS/BS is projected to be published in 3 volumes?

    Wow, if so then that will be rather expensive! (But worth it in the end....)

  • At 28 July, 2006 06:48, Blogger advaitadas said…

    "And what did you mean by "Satyanarayan has brought out the first volume of about 3"? You mean that the TS/BS is projected to be published in 3 volumes?"

    No just the BS.

  • At 19 September, 2006 14:05, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well.. I've read Sri Satyanarayanji's edition of the Tattva Sandharba, I would say it is a very good edition and very easy to understand. I haven't checked out Tripurari's because I'm not such a fan of his works personally. Especially after browsing his Gopal Tapani and Bhagavad Gita briefly, I decided to opt of reading his tattva sandarbha. If you ask me though, I'm dying for an academically respectable translation of the Bhagavat Mahapurana with the commentaries of Cakravarti Mahasaya, Sanatana Goswami and Jiva Goswami, that would be absolutely fabulous. (Caitanya Math has published the complete works... but all in Bengali!)

    If you really want to read something tastefully translated and academically respectable, learn bengali... every Vaisnava work has been translated into Bengali, and if you're really nuts, then go learn Sanskrit. However bengali, being a vernacular, and from my personal experience of learning it, shouldn't take you more than a few months to quickly grasp and to read translations of our Vaisnava Works.

    I'm only 19, I did it, it's not impossible. It opens up a whole world of Vaisnava literature unknown to the west completely, and as the Bhagavat is the heart of every Vaisnava, my reccomendation would be to at least read the Bhagavat first before stepping into the world of the Goswami Granthas. If you're looking for technicalities, read one of the five commentaries Cakravarti Thakura wrote on the first verse of the Bhagavat, not only is it QUITE nectarean, but it is a technical challenge, as to understand the volumnious amount of sruti and smrtis he quotes from requires a bit of intellectual capability.

    Hope that helps...

    My two paisa...
    Anony Vaisnava Dasa.


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