Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

New Books Arrived!

I finally got my shipment of Madhvacharya books, yippee!

  • The Philosophy of Madhvacharya
  • History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta and it's Literature

Both books are by the famous Madhva scholar, Dr. B.N.K. Sharma. Now finally I have some authentic Madhva material in my hands so that I can properly understand Tattvavāda philosophy. After years of being a member of their forums and not understanding a single word of what they say (lol), perhaps now I can make some headway "from the beginning" so to speak.

At first glance they do look a little difficult to comprehend in terms of language, whew! Lots of references to Madhvite influence on Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism. ī'll be looking forward to flicking through these books. I think my next move will be to procure a copy of Sankara's, Ramanuja's and Madhva's commentaries on the Vedanta. I have been searching around and I have found several books supposedly offering a "combo" of all three commentaries but I don't think such a thing is possible, because Vedanta is a big text and the bhashyas even more so. So I might be better off getting separate commentaries. I'll also need to speak to some Advaitins, Sri Vaishnavas and Dvaitins so that they can recommend good editions/authors.

On the other hand, ī was informed around a week ago that my order of Advaita dasji's books will take three weeks to arrive! Sheesh! But at least they're on the way, and I'm looking forward to that delivery too.


  • At 26 August, 2006 11:22, Blogger advaitadas said…

    ORDER OF ADWAITADASJI'S BOOK? WHICH ONE? You mean u ordered them from brajagopal and line his pockets while u can get them much cheaper from me? Holland and the UK are EU - just separated by the North Sea. And how far is the USA? And how much u pay for freight from there? You know I get NOTHING for this from loibazaar7brajagopal????

  • At 26 August, 2006 12:05, Blogger advaitadas said…

    It would also have saved you the three weeks waiting time to order from your friendly neighbor. So any EU citizen reading this, welcome....

  • At 27 August, 2006 01:14, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    No I did not get them from Braja Gopal/LoiBazaar. He no longer does international shipping anyway so I can't buy anything from him.

    I saw the offer on Audarya Fellowship and you had just gone away to Krishnacandra's ashram, so I snapped up the offer while it was still going. I didn't have time to cross-check with you sorry, I guess I did it in haste.

    The three-week thing is because of the terrorist scare betwen US and UK, otherwise it would get here much quicker.

    On the other hand I think it's unfair that you do not get a percentage from LoiBazaar.

  • At 05 September, 2006 21:23, Anonymous Braja said…

    Er, yeah. It's entirely unfair. The whole thing is rotten. BNK Sharma doesn't get a percentage from me, neither does David Frawley, nor Haberman. I'm such a scoundrel, stealing from authors everywhere.

    For those without a social welfare mentality, you might be interested to know that publishers take the risk in putting a book in print and publishers therefore generally take the lion's share of the returns. I've encouraged people to buy directly from Advaita and offered to assist him with selling his books in a more "above the table" manner. I pay taxes and run my business legitimately, thus there are no requirements to send me cash or use Western Union so the transaction remains hidden. I cannot buy from Advaita for practical or moral reasons if he does not operate legitimately. Speak to the people at Motilal and you'll discover that many authors receive absolutely nothing till the 2nd or 3rd printing. Books with a limited market are simply not profitable.

    If he has issues with the agreement he entered into with the publishers, that is unfortunate but there is little I can do about given the above considerations. I will however stop selling Advaita's books once the current stock sells out so hopefully that will put him at ease. And, for what it's worth, I am probably in the red for around four thousand dollars so I'd hardly consider it fair to suggest that I "line my pockets". (I have a real job to support my family.) And I have probably sold the grand total of 3 or 4 of Advaita's books over the past few months, making me a huge profit of, what, $12? Send a stamped self-addressed envelope and it is all yours Advaita.

    Loi Bazaar is a hobby but one I have quickly come to dislike, given the wonderful attitude of so many.

  • At 06 September, 2006 04:03, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    Dear Braja,

    I'm terribly sorry if you felt offended by my careless remark. Obviously I did not know all of these details and I merely assumed that you and Advaitaji had (or should have had) some some sort of arrangement. Sorry again. Obviously I did not mean it the way it came out.

    On another note, I hope that everything is well with you.
    On the other hand, I'm also sorry that you have chosen to discontinue international shipping, otherwise I would have purchased quite a few books from your site as I said to you in a PM some time back. I'm also sorry that you have come to dislike the whole endeavour. That is definitely a saddening turn of events.

  • At 06 September, 2006 10:33, Anonymous Myrla said…

    Folks. calm down a little bit.

    In fairness to Advaita das, though I don’t know much about the publishing business, and his arrangement with his publisher, doesn’t the author have the moral right to get paid royalty per book sold? Also, if a person is on welfare, and he sells paper airplanes 30 times in a year at $1 each with 50 cents/airplane profit, would it be technically or morally wrong not to declare that to the government as income, I do not think so. The amount will not really matter. But selling only one house a year with a tidy profit and not declaring it is technically and morally wrong obviously. I bought a book from him paying via Western Union and I am not worried because we belong to a very small community. I didn’t think he was getting rich.

    I can understand the annoyance of Braja because of Advaita’s outburst and I am convinced of Braja’s main reason in distributing devotional books – to attract people to the philosophy.

    With publishers, their main reason in putting something in print is profit so they know that in business it is either make or break.

    Braja if you want to discontinue any part of Loi Bazaar distribution such as outside of US, then I am interested to do it. It would be a pity if only people living in the US can access the knowledge.

    I will be in the Govardhan area from 21 Oct -31 Oct, just in case you are serious.

    Radhe Radhe

  • At 06 September, 2006 10:53, Anonymous Myrla said…

    On second thoughts, sorry, for a few reasons, I retract what I have said about helping in distributing such stuff.

    But it would be a pity if people outside of US would not have a convenient central site where they can buy such stuff.

  • At 06 September, 2006 20:49, Anonymous Braja said…

    International shipping was dropped as there were issues with close to half of all shipments: they never arrived, they were damaged, or whatever, i.e. it ended up costing me more in both money and time than could justify the activity.

  • At 07 September, 2006 02:44, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    Dear Brajaji, I completely understand.


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