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By Tamal Krishna Goswami

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhup?da (1896-1977), founding father of the Hare Krishna circulation, traced his lineage to the fifteenth-century Indian saint Sri Chaitanya. He authored greater than fifty volumes of English translation and commentaries on Sanskrit and Bengali texts, serving as a medium among those far-off professionals and his glossy Western readership and utilizing his writings as blueprints for religious swap and a revolution in cognizance. He needed to converse the language of a humans tremendously disparate from the unique recipients of his tradition's scriptures with out compromising constancy to the tradition.

Tamal Krishna Goswami claims that the social clinical, philosophical, and 'insider' kinds of research formerly utilized have didn't clarify the presence of a robust interpretative device-a mahavakya or 'great utterance'-that governs and pervades Prabhupada's 'living theology' of devotion on bhakti. For Prabhupada, the big variety of 'vedic' subject material is ruled by way of the axiomatic fact: Krishna is the perfect character of Godhead.

Goswami's educational education on the collage of Cambridge, his thirty years' event as a practitioner and instructor, and his huge interactions with Prabhupada as either own secretary and managerial consultant, afforded him a distinct chance to appreciate and light up the theological contribution of Prabhupada. during this paintings, Goswami proves that the voice of the scholar-practitioner may be in detail hooked up together with his culture whereas maintaining a mature severe stance relative to his topic. A residing Theology of Krishna Bhakti incorporates a serious creation and end by way of Graham M. Schweig.

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Extra info for A Living Theology of Krishna Bhakti: Essential Teachings of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Having established his first storefront temple in New York’s Lower East Side (in what was formerly a curio shop, whose signboard, “Matchless Gifts,” was befittingly retained), he set about shaping his fresh recruits into useful assistants. While the external appearance of an elderly Bengali sādhu was commonplace in India, his flowing ocher robes and rubber shoes were news in New York. Bhaktivedanta Swami, however (as A. L. Basham was to note), was not one of the “streamlined swamis” who glutted the market with “a streamlined kind of Hindu mysticism designed to appeal to modern, jet-age disciples: levitation of a few months or even weeks, mokṣa (final liberation) in a few easy lessons—a Hinduism without class, without worship, without rigid taboos, and so forth” (Basham 1983:166).

A tradition’s presuppositions are clear (which is not to infer reflexivity in its advocates), but scholars are not always so clear about their presuppositions (neither necessarily reflexive). A productive reading of Prabhupāda demands that the criteria of contemporary scholarship be balanced against an appreciation for traditional and often equally rigorous standards. Viewed in this light, Prabhupāda’s contribution may be that of a respected “colleague” rather than of a theologically biased traditionalist.

For Prabhupāda, scriptural transmission is always as much a transformation as it is a translation, an exercise in preserving the canon’s authority while extending its boundaries; see Tamal Krishna 1998a. 24. See Lawrence 1998:340. For a summary of forty years of literature on the subject, see Waldman 1986. In Quest of the “Theological” Prabhupāda 31 the advantage of being thought of as unconsciously adopted, normative, unanalyzed, and ancestrally recognized. (326–327) How this process worked within the Vedānta tradition, where “change” can be regarded not as a virtue but a deviation, is explained by Julius Lipner: It was no virtue to be seen to be ‘doing theology in an original way’, to be offering a new interpretation of the ancient wisdom.

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