Berättelsen om prins Rama har återgetts sedan årtusenden i Indien och Sydostasien. Otaliga generationer har lärt känna den hjältemodige krigaren och hans dramatiska väg till tronen i Ayodhya, hans giftermål med den undersköna Sita och hur hon rövas bort av Ravana, en fruktansvärd demon som lagt under sig hela universum. För att befria Sita tar Rama hjälp av den kraftfulla apan Hanuman och en väldig armé av apor och björnar med övernaturliga krafter. Eposet Ramayana utspelar sig i en avlägsen tid då mäktiga hjältar, mystiker, vismän och gudar vandrade över jorden.
Kenneth Andersons romanversion av Ramayana är en attraktiv och lättillgänglig återgivning av den uråldriga berättelsen. Mahabharata, Indiens andra stora epos, finns redan utgiven på svenska, återberättad av samma författare. Därmed kan vi i Sverige äntligen ta del av dessa båda klassiker, som är fyllda av dramatik, kärlek, äventyr, visdom och gigantiska uppgörelser på slagfälten.
Bortom födelse och död
av His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Allt fler säger sig tro på ett liv efter döden. I själva verket finns det en mängd belägg för att reinkarnation är ett faktum. I Bortom födelse och död förklarar Indiens främsta Vediska auktoritet vår verkliga identitet, hur själen färdas genom olika kroppar, hur man kan ta sig ur födelsens och dödens kretslopp och slutligen nå en tillvaro som är fri från den materiella världens fyra problem: födelse, sjukdom, ålderdom och död.
Perfekta frågor, perfekta svar
av His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
En ung amerikansk fredskårist reser till andra sidan jorden i sitt sökande efter mening. I en bambuhydda i den lilla västbengaliska byn Mayapur träffar han en av Indiens största helgonlika mästare, en lärare som verkar kunna besvara alla hans frågor.
Meanwhile in the USA
"Vanity Karma: Ecclesiastes, the Bhagavad-gita, and the meaning of life" by Jayadvaita Swami
Published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Los Angeles, this book has won the 2016 Benjamin Franklin gold award for the year's best book in the "religion" category. The award was announced by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the authority for the awards, at a ceremony on May 8 in Salt Lake City. The IBPA is the largest publishing association in the United States.
From the acceptance talk that the author wrote for the awards ceremony:
"I am grateful that my book has received this distinguished award. But I can't claim the credit for it. The credit belongs not to me but to the sages whose wisdom the book brings together in dialogue.
The biblical book of Ecclesiastes asks in the clearest terms what the point of our life is and for what it is that we work so hard, day after day, in our lives under the sun.
And the Bhagavad-gita, the jewel of India's ancient texts of wisdom, examines these questions with the understanding that each of us, though struggling in a world of birth and death, is a spiritual spark of consciousness, immortal and imperishable.
From the Gita we learn how our karma -- what we do in our lives, and what comes back to us as a result -- can be not for vanity -- for nothing -- but for the perfection of spiritual realization. And we learn how, under the sun, such realization gives meaning to our lives.
The Gita's divine speaker, Sri Krishna, says, "This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed."
So I owe the credit for this book, Vanity Karma, to the sages who have given us the wisdom of Ecclesiastes and the wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita, and most especially to my spiritual teacher, His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Acknowledging where the credit rightfully belongs, I gratefully accept this award."
Srila Prabhupada's Vision
His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada considered publishing Srimad-Bhagavatam and other books on Krishna consciousness to be his primary duty. Publishing and distributing books was his spiritual master's most important work, and Srila Prabhupada dedicated his life to creating Krishna conscious literature to introduce Western audiences to Vaishnava philosophy and culture. In November 1967 he wrote to his disciple Rayarama Dasa:
“If I can leave behind me the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Gita,Upanishads, and Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, and if you continue to work in the spirit of pure Krishna consciousness, surely we shall be able to do some tangible service to humanity at large.”
Even at the end of his life he did not forget about his books. He wanted his disciples to take publishing and distributing them seriously.
To Srila Prabhupada the publishing department was vital to his preaching work. Each time a new book was printed he said he felt as if he had conquered an empire. And he wasn't interested only in English-language publication; he wanted his books to be available in as many languages as possible. In a letter to Hamsaduta Dasa, dated November 1968, he wrote:
"We work so that men of all languages and cultures may join us in chanting Hare Krishna, and for this we need so many literatures in so many different languages. So please try for this.”
When Krishna Consciousness, the Topmost Yoga System was printed in Swedish and Srila Prabhupada received a copy, he said looking through the book gave him unlimited bliss even though he could not read Swedish. He was confident that the devotees would conquer Europe with his books, and again and again he expressed his sincere gratitude to all who helped to produce and distribute them.
On one occasion he wrote: “I was very happy to receive a new edition of Bhagavad-gita. The make-up is very nice. Every time I see a new publication of my books it gives me so much enthusiasm that my life is increased by 100 years. Thank you for helping me so much.” (from a letter to Rameshvara Dasa, November 27, 1975)
"Please accept my blessings. I beg to aknowledge receipt of your letter of 4/1/74, along with the new publication in Swedish of my English work, "Krishna Consciousness, the Topmost Yoga System." Of course I cannot read Swedish, but looking through this book has given me unlimited bliss. After all, this is my prime duty, to publish books on Krishna consciousness. The printing of the book appears excellent, and that you are "profusely distributing" the book all over Sweden is the crowning success of our movement. We will conquer Europe with these books. I can only thank you again and again in sincere gratitude for producing this literature, and pray to Krishna to bless you with all spiritual advancement." (Srila Prabhupada's letter to Ajita Dasa, 7 April 1974)
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT), established in 1987 at Korsnäs Gård, is primarily assisting the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in its preaching mission. We publish many books on
Krishna consciousness and the philosophy, religion, and culture of the Vedic tradition of India.
We especially emphasize the works of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. Our publications include original scriptural works and books that discuss and explain these traditional texts. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust also publishes some of its materials on CD and DVD, in audio book format, and in all e-book formats.
Books by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust range in complexity from brief, introductory volumes and study guides, summary studies, and short
Sanskrit works to exhaustive multi-volume translations (with commentaries) of major Sanskrit and Bengali texts.
First and foremost we translate and publish the works of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. His books are the crown
jewels of Vaisnava literature.
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust is also very active in educating students of these ancient literatures and in establishing methods for proper translation and preservation of these scriptures.
Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita
by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami The masterful biography of the extraordinary life of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the scholar, philosopher, religious leader, and saint responsible for the revolutionary transplantation of India's timeless spiritual culture onto Western soil - a mission crowned with astounding success.
"The life of Srila Prabhupada is pointed proof that one can be a transmitter of truth and still be a vital and singular person.…Srila Prabhupada is one in a thousand, maybe one in a million."
—Harvey Cox, Professor of Divinity, Harvard University.
"Please print as many books as possible, this is my real pleasure. By printing these books of our Krishna conscious philosophy in so many different languages we can actually inject our movement into the masses of people all over the world, especially there in the Western countries, and we can literally turn whole nations into Krishna conscious nations." (Excerpt from Srila Prabhupada's letter to Hridayananda Maharaja, 21 December 1974)