Hare Krishna! Welcome to the Brilliant as the Sun series, a dramatic retelling of Srimad Bhagavatam.
We hope this series will encourage and aid devotees to study Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam. Often devotees find the flow of the Srimad Bhagavatam verses difficult to understand. The purpose of Brilliant as the Sun is to show both the flow and dramatic context of each conversation in the Bhagavatam, which is essentially a compilation of many dialogues between student and spiritual master. In each discussion the student’s questions are driven by a need: either they are distressed (Devahuti), in need of wealth (Dhruva), curious (Prachinabarhi) or seekers of the truth (Vidura). In this dramatic retelling we try to show the student’s motivation for asking their questions and the flow of the ensuing conversation.
We often weave additional insights from Srila Prabhupada’s purports or Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti’s commentary into the text. However, some of our dramatisation is inevitably based on our imagination, as the details are not always provided in the original. Our justification is as follows: Srila Prabhupada told his disciple, HG Sarvabhavana das, that there are two ways to translate sastra. One can either give a literal translation, or try to capture the mood and meaning in one’s own words. This second type of translation he called ‘bhavarta’. Srila Prabhupada prefered this second approach. Although we are not exactly translating the Srimad Bhagavatam, we are trying to dramatise it. We consider our effort to be ‘bhavarta’. Please see below a video interview with Sarvabhavana das where he talks about this.
We hope this series will inspire you to read the original Srimad Bhagavatam. The Brilliant as the Sun series is intended to be easy to read or hear as an audiobook, and can be used as a companion when reading Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam
We would love to hear from you. Let us know if you find this series helpful or if you find better ways of explaining the flow of the verses. With feedback from the reader we will gradually improve future editions of this series.
“After reading the two epics Mahabharata and Ramayana into books that are widely accessible and entertaining, Krishna Dharma and his good wife Cintamani Dhama have now taken on the summum bonum of Vaisnava literature – the Magnus opus of the sage Vyasadeva: the great Srimad Bhagavatam.
In their highly engaging retelling they have remained faithful to the original text, by highlighting the essence in such a way that both the lay person and the long practitioner will be deeply spiritually nourished. They draw from a wide variety of authorized commentaries and the insights of a long and deep spiritual practice. Highly absorbing, deeply nourishing and evocative… I am looking forward to each new volume.”
HH Sacinandana Swami