This book relates the story of the Lord and His Incarnations since the earliest records of the vedic history. It is verily the Krishna-Bible of the Hindu-universe. The Bh‚gavad GÓt‚ compares to it like the sermon on the mountain by Lord Jesus to the full Bible. It has 18.000 verses and consists of 12 books also called cantos. These books tell the complete history of the vedic culture with the essence of all its classical stories called pur‚nas and includes the cream of the vedic knowledge compiled from all the literatures as well as the story of the life of Lord Krishna in full (canto 10). It tells about His birth, His youth, all His wonderful proofs of His divine nature and the superhuman feats of defeating all kind of demons up to the great Mah‚bh‚rat war at Kurukshetra. It is a brilliant story that has been brought to the West by Swami Bhaktived‚nta Prabhup‚da, a Caitanya Vaishnava, a bhakti (devotional) monk of Lord Vishnu [the name for the transcendental form of Lord Krishna] who undertook the daring task of enlightening the materialist westerners as well as the advanced philosophers and theologians, in order to help them to overcome the perils and loneliness of impersonalism and the philosophy of emptiness. For the translation the author of this internet-version has used the translation of Swami Prabhup‚da. As an ‚c‚rya [guru teaching by example] from the age-old indian vaishnava tradition he represents the reformation of the devotion for God the way it was practiced in India since the 16th century. This reformation contends that the false authority of the caste-system and single dry bookwisdom is to be rejected. Lord Krishna-Caitanya, the avat‚ra [an incarnation of the Lord] who heralded this reform, restored the original purpose of developing devotion for God and endeavored especially for the sacred scripture expounding on the devotion relating to Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This scripture is this bh‚gavata pur‚na from which all the vaishnava-‚c‚ryas derived their wisdom for the purpose of instruction and the shaping of their devotion. The word for word translations as well as the full text and commentaries of this book were studied within and without the Hare Krishna temples of learning in as well India, Europe as in America. The purpose of the translation is first of all to make this glorious text available for a wider audience over the Internet. Since the Bible, the Koran and numerous other Holy texts are readily available, the author meant that this book could not stay behind on the shelf of his own bookcase as a token of material possessiveness. Knowledge not shared is knowledge lost, and certainly this type of knowledge which stresses the yoga of non-possessiveness and devotion as one of its main values could not be left out. The version of Prabhup‚da Swami is very extensive covering some 2400 pages of plain fine printed text including his commentaries. And that was only the first ten cantos. The remaining two cantos were posthumously published by his pupils in the full of his spirit. Thus the author was faced with two daring challenges: one was to make a readable running narrative of the book - that had been dissected to the single word - and second to put it into a language that would befit the 21 st century with all its modern and postmodern experience and digital progress to the world order without losing anything of its original verses. Thus another verse to verse as-it-is translation came about in which Prabup‚da's words were retranslated and set to the understanding and realization I myself acquired. This realization came directly from the disciplic line of succession of the vaishnava line of ‚c‚ryas (teachers) as well as from a realization of the total field of indian philosophy of enlightenment and yoga discipline as was brought to the West by also non-vaishnava gurus and maintained by their pupils. Therefore the author has to express his gratitude to all these great heroes who dared to face the adamantine of western philosophy with all its doubts, concreticism and skepticism. Especially the pupils of Prabhup‚da, members of the renounced order (sanny‚sÓs) who instructed the author in the independence and maturity of the philosophy of the bhakti-yogÓ's of Lord Caitanya need to be mentioned. The author was already initiated in India by a non-vaishnav guru and been given the name of Swami Anand Aadhar ("teacher of the foundation of happiness"). That name the Krishna community converted into Anand Aadhar Prabhu (master of the foundation of happiness) without further ceremonies of vaishnav'initiation (apart from a basic training). Anand Aadhar is a withdrawn devotee, a so called v‚naprashta, who does his devotional service independently in the silence and modesty of his own local adaptations of the philosophy.
The spelling of Sanskrit names has here and there been adapted because of the absence of the suitable Sanskrit signs on the keyboard so that e.g. where normally a flat stripe was placed above the letters a ^accent is placed. It means that one has to choose for two letters where one is written, or that one has to pause pronunciating the word at that place. Also the name Krsna has been spelled this way as Krishna and rsi (=wise) as rishi. Normally the word for word translations of Prabhup‚da have been taken as they were given in the translations of Prabhup‚da, be it that here and there some words, because of their multiple meanings have lead to slightly different translations. E.g. the word loka means as well planet as place as world. Between square brackets [ ] sometimes a little comment and extra info is given to accommodate the reader when the original text is drawing from a more experienced approach. The original running text of Prabhup‚da is linked up at each verse so that it is possible to retrace what the author has done with the text. This is according the scientific tradition of the Vaishnava-community. These texts, as also most of the images, are copyrighted material and the property of the ISCKON-Krishna community and may only be used as a fragment and not be published by non-members without permission (BBT). For the tenth Canto more verse-to-verse loyal translations of a former pupil of Prabhup‚da (S'rÓ Hayesvar das) and Prabhup‚da's godbrothers/pupils have been used [including their word for word translation] next to the translation of Prabhup‚da, as for this volume [but not the eleventh canto] the word-for-word translations had been omitted and replaced by a more elaborate description of the text. The twelfth canto was drawn in reference to the work of only the ISKCON pupils of Prabhup‚da who completed his work. Further was throughout the concatenation process of this version the so-called Shastri-version of the Bh‚gavatam (from the GÓt‚ Press, Gorakpur) as extant with the common Hindu in India itself used as a reference and second opinion.
For copyright purposes concerning the used images and texts and further commentaries and the word-for-word translations of Prabhup‚da themselves one will have to consult the Bhaktivedanta Booktrust and other Krishna sites and the printed books of Prabhup‚da themselves. For the copyrights on this translation one will have to consult this writer. It is permitted to download and print these texts for private and non-commercial use. For all other usage one will have to contact the author (for links see our linkpage).
A discussion of the structure of the bh‚gavatam.
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There is a download of the full concatenated translation canto 1-12 of Anand Aadhar: http://bhagavata.org/downloads/bhagavata-compl.html
The version by Swami Prabhup‚da and others is available from: http://www.bhagavata.org/downloads/bhagavatamprabhupc.html (download 3.5 Mb!).
For a full version with purports and a Sanskrit database of the same translation you can go to: http://vedabase.net/sb/.
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