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Friday, November 03, 2006

Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu comes clean - finally.

After the "Nectar of Devotion" (1969) and Dhanurdhara Swāmi/Victor di Cara's sequel 'Waves of Devotion', it seems the ISKCON-branch of our sampradāya finally has access to a proper representation of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī's 'Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu', translated this time by Bhānu Swāmī. I could only have a brief look at it in the Jīva Institute the day of my departure from India, but in that brief time I naturally curiously browsed to verses 1.2.291-309, and was glad to see that eligibility for rāgānugā bhakti and the difference between it and rāgātmikā bhakti are finally properly presented. Most interestingly, in one of the many footnotes (the one of 1.2.295) it is actually acknowledged that the siddha deha is received from the Guru and the manuals of Gopāl Guru and Dhyānacandra are mentioned. This is not a review (yet), just a preview, because the book is very big and expensive so I didn't buy it. It appears to me at first sight that the complete commentaries of Jīva Gosvāmī and Visvanātha Cakravartī are included, without the original Sanskrit text, but that is no problem because I have these already anyway. By coincidence the only book I brought from India this time is the Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu, but then the Bengali edition of the Gaudiya Math.


  1. Quote: Most interestingly, in one of the many footnotes (the one of 1.2.295) it is actually acknowledged that the siddha deha is received from the Guru

    In the commentary to verse 2.2.186 of Sri Brhadbhagavatamrtam, Srila Sanatan Gosvami wrote:
    bhagavati layam praptasyapi nri dehasya mahamuneh punar narayana rupena pradurbhavah

    That deha which they manifest in order to worship Narayana is not given to these people absorbed in sayujya-mukti. Not given by any Guru. But they still have it anyhow. It arises from them, from themselves, in accord with what is said in Vs 4.4.12

  2. Radhe Radhe

    Advaitaji, before you throw praises at the BRS edition of ISKCON’s Bhanu Swami, you have to first acknowledge and/or (praise ?) the contributions/editions of other great devotees that came out ages ago. I am sure the Gaudiya Math strain would have 2-3 versions already, and the traditional strain would have a few ?? also.

    Bhanu Swami always comes out with something nice after many versions have come out in the market . I have 2 of his books which were written years after I have bought some other versions. This is not to downgrade at the slightest Bhanu Swami’s contribution but to put things in perspective. At the most, I would say, that his version(though I have not seen it or read all the versions floating in the market) is a canvass of what have been written in the past.

    Bhanu Swami , if I am not mistaken, is a devotee I have listened to in an Iskcon temple; he is Chinese –American who I understand have lived in India and thus have learned the Indian language.

    Hare Krishna

    Malati d d (formerly Myrla, now back in samsara)

  3. Malati, which other versions of BRS are you referring to? In English I know Habermann's only, but I deliberately didnt mention that one because I wanted to keep the ISKCON mindframe here ("not bonafide, Prabhu!"). Gaudiya Math has published an English Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu Bindu only, which is essentially a different book.

    " his version(though I have not seen it or read all the versions floating in the market) is a canvass of what have been written in the past."

    It is possible, I had no time to seriously read it. Possibly the text translations are somewhat similar to Habermann's.

    Bhanu is not Chinese but Japanese. I was fortunate to have his sanga in Nepal in 1980 - high quality.

  4. Radhe Radhe

    As resources to those interested
    (I have not read them myself):

    Unknown affiliations but a treasure trove of vaishnava books/commentaries:
    translated commentary of Sripad Chakravartipada

    Gaudiya Math editions

    English translation and commentaries by Tridandi Hyrydaya Bon Maharaj

    English translation and commentaries by Srila Narayan Maharaj - two editions

  5. Ah yes, Bon Maharaja, I forgot. But that one is neither complete nor available. Narayan Maharaj? I thought he only did the Bindu?

  6. Narayana Maharaja's is only Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu-bindu, which is -- as noted -- a separate book, though his edition (which is a very useful edition) incorporates a good deal of material from BRS as well.

    Bon Maharaja only published the first division of the four of the total BRS, hence it is essentially incomplete. His commentary draws some elements from Jiva Gosvami and Visvanatha Cakravarti, but is not a literal translation of either.

    Haberman's is good, but unfortunately quite a bit short on the commentary side, the footnotes give random glosses at best.

    If Bhanu Swami indeed translated the whole thing with commentaries and it's available, then sadhu-sadhu to him, great! However I didn't see it for sale anywhere at Loi Bazaar.

    Bhanu is an able translator (though he works fast and this affects the flow of language and accuracy at times), and has also done many original titles that have not previously been translated.

  7. There is a Bengali language edition of BRS by Srila B.R.Sridhar Maharaj.

    Extensive commentaries are included.

  8. Madhava: "However I didn't see it for sale anywhere at Loi Bazaar."

    On arrival in India in September I saw it at Ras Bihari's.

  9. There are several editions of BRS in Indian languages like Hindi (Harinam Press) and Bengali (GM, BV Tirtha Maharaja) but I keep them out of the discussion because until now (with the exception of BH Bon Maharaja's) no English translation has done justice to the siddha deha and raganuga-adhikara issues. Hence....

  10. Murali: There is a Bengali language edition of BRS by Srila B.R.Sridhar Maharaj.
    Extensive commentaries are included.

    I'd like to read that when it gets translated. Srila B R Sridhar is an exalted personality and heavy on the philosophy.

    To everyone: What could be the reason why such a very important book was not completely translated and commented upon after all these 30 years (until Bhanu Swami's edition) when we see many literature get translated every year?

    Hare Krishna

  11. Advaitaji
    BTW, how much is the book and is it from the Jiva Institute? Do they have a website?

  12. I cant remember the price. I think the first, large, volume is 750 Rs and the second, smaller one, about 250 Rs. No it is not from Jiva Institute but from Bhanu Swami, who collaborates with Mahanidhi Swami of ISKCON (the former translates and the latter publishes) and that was the whole point of the blog - it is finally bonafide! (Joking here)

  13. Radhe!!

    I just ordered it at the BLS in Belgium.

    Seems to be decent!!!!

  14. Perhaps devotees might find Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Bengali edition of BRS interesting. It is complete -the whole of BRS- and I have found it is significantly different from Bon Mahararaj's presention, as for instance Bon Maharaj's presentation of BRS 1.2.291.

    This edition was first published in the 1940's and a reprint was published about 4 years ago.

    Here is my friend Murlikrsna's translation of SSM's edition of Bhaktirasamrtasindhu 1.2.291:

    tatra adhikari:
    ragatmikaika-nistha ye vraja-vasi-janadayah
    tesam bhavaptaye lubdho bhaved atradhikaravan
    Those eligible for Raganuga Bhakti:
    Those who have the feeling: “I want feelings of attraction for
    Krishna like Ragatmikaikanistha, the feelings felt by the
    Vrajabasis, the eternal residents of Vraja” – they are eligible to
    engage in Raganuga Bhakti.

  15. More to the point...

    Advaita das, why did you not tackle BRS?

    Radhe Radhe

  16. Please explain what you mean with 'tackle the BRS'. 'Tackle' means 'engage in' or 'deal with'. If you mean 'review Bhanu's book', well as I said before, I dont have the book here. I'd love to read and review it.

  17. Sorry, I was'nt clear.

    I mean,you translated a few books, so why did you not translate BRS?

    Radhe Radhe

  18. I'm not really sure why not. I suppose if someone asked me now I'd say its quite a large job and there are no Bengali translations to the tikas. Translating the tikas straight from the Sanskrit may still be a problem for me.

  19. I will have to check out this edition. Right now I do have Bon Maharaj's translation at hand, however I would prefer a different one.

    Any chance someone is doing a comprehensive translation of Ujjvala Nilamani? It's rather disheartening that we who aspire to do Rupanuga bhajana do not already have *excellent* English translations with commentary of these two major works of Rupa Goswami.

  20. About Ujjvala Nilamani:
    The text and especially its commentaries are notoriously hard to crack. It was, in 1983, the first book I attempted to translate, boy have I known that! The commentaries are very grave and technical and Jiva and Visvanatha often disagree over the parakiya/svakiya issue. Finally, important as the book is in terms of outlining all the different amorous emotions vis-a-vis Krishna, it does not discuss manjari bhava at all, except for one or two verses.

  21. Radhe Radhe!
    Just had to weigh in-
    I have not read any other BRS, but have been deeply happy with Haberman's translation. I know I could benefit from a deeper reading with the help of Sriman Cakravartipad etc.
    But for now, just seeing the immense and elegant architecture of Sri Rupa Goswamipad's theology was a turning point in my life.

  22. I may have mentioned this before on these pages, but Visvanatha Cakravartipad's tikas of BRS are often verbatim repetitions of Jiva Gosvami's. There was even a debate on it on Gaudiya Discussions in the days of yore, whether this should be considered plagiarism or just a surrendered confirmation of the opinion of the previous acaryas. Anyway, apart from that there ARE also new and extra points in VC's tikas. Until now we dont know whether the tikas that Bhanu translated are complete or not...

  23. I saw this edition in my local temple about a couple of week ago and was quite impressed with the look of it. It was still unopened in it's plastic package so I didn't get to take a look at the actual text or find out who the author was. So it is Bhanu Swami? I might have known, he tends to come out with original titles as someone said.

    It's very expensive here, £20. :-( And I was most impressed with the facty that it also includes tikas of Sri Jiva and Sri Visvanatha? Wow! But what a shame no Sanskrit is available?

  24. From the practical point it's understandable there's no Sanskrit - even without it it is already a huge bulk. Sad though, of course. For me that is not a problem because I have all these texts here at home. I was more interested in the controversial issues being put straight in this particular edition. Slim chance here in Holland, but I still hope someone will lend me a copy so I can write a comprehensive review of it. Or I must wait till I go to Jiva's again in February...

  25. Radhe!!!

    I recently bought the excellent edition of HH Bhanu Swami, so I am able to sell my edition of David L. Haberman´s BRS.

    I was thinking of 40 Euros inkl. mail costs.

    Think about it....

  26. As far as I'm concerned - thanks. I got myself a copy already, and Malati is sending me the one of Bhanu Swami as well (so I hope to write a review of it whenever I finished it)! But perhaps others who surf to this place will be interested....