Text downloads / books
Please observe that SADANANDA'S PRINTED BOOKS are to be found under VAMANDAS' LINK in the available languauges!
All his other texts are to be found under his own link in PDF-format.
We estimate that a mere 10% of the complete literary estate, of which the translations of the Shastrams alone contain over 4000 pages, have been typed so far – and of these only about 30% have been translated into English or Swedish.
The texts presented here can be sorted into the following groups: Letters to Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Svami Bon, Vamandas or friends in Europe (or from them), including Svami’s corrections of Vamandas‘ book “Die indische Gottesliebe” (1933-1977); diaries of Svami and Vamandas from the time during the internment in India (1939-1945) and diaries from Svami during his travels with Bhaktisiddhanta (1934-1936); articles for the magazine of the Gaudiya mission in Bengal “The Harmonist” (1935-1936) by Svami; and finally handwritten or typewritten translations of the Shastram-s (ca. 1935-1976). The letters often contain songs, prayers and passages from the Shastram-s which we present in separate documents. Letters have been abbreviated and made anonymous, and their subject is indicated by the title.
The following letter gives an idea under what circumstances e.g., Murari Gupta’s “Kadaca” was translated (129 p., not yet online). The letter was written by Gauranga Ghoshe, a poor Vaishnava, whose family had sort of adopted Svami in Calcutta. He writes to Vamandas:
“You know with great, great difficulties all of us here tried our best to snatch him from the hands of Yama. You cannot imagine how his condition was since September: severe pain, his head getting cold all of a sudden during day or night. Doctors, injections, protein, medicines from Canada, careful diet at tremendous cost somehow made him get to read.
All on a sudden he decided to start on Murari’s notes. He went to a house of a man not far away from here only to sit there all the nights till dawn and write and think and write, and finishing Murari’s notes he was quite finished himself, as in that house there was nobody to look after him, to give him diets and medicines at hourly intervals as advised.
When your manuscript came, he worked like mad night and day and did not listen to anybody. The day after it was dispatched he collapsed and with great difficulties he was brought back to my house. We nurse him by turns, but you know we can give only our time and strength and love for him. To keep him alive means more than Rs 100 a month – only for medicines and doctors, without his food, diet etc. He tried to save to take a typewriter by instalments so that one copy of his notes be with him and you can read better what he writes, but he had to give it up and pay the doctor’s bill from it.” (1953)
In the same year the Raya Ramananda passage of the Caitanya Caritamritam (45 p.) was translated. Svami to Vamandas:
“There you two sit in a distant country and long for hearing about lila and seva. That’s why I’ve pulled myself up and since yesterday, sitting in front of a noisy hotel radio, I am working through and writing down the Rai Ramananda together with surveys and explanation for you. It might not be possible to hold up the decay of the body much longer.”
The Caitanya Bhagavatam (487 p., not online yet) was translated under similar conditions (1955):
“Something really TERRIBLE has happened! I had planned to report some few important things from Caitanya Deva’s lila (for the strengthening of you all) and had already gathered some notes during the 3 weeks when I received no letters from you. But then I opened the Caitanya Bhagavatam by Brindaban Das that was written between 1545-50 and that I had been studying thoroughly some 19 years ago. That set me into such a terrible ecstasy that I took Barbara’s beautiful air mail paper and have been translating 18 hours a day for 20 days now – in fact EVERYTHING that is necessary – apart from a few geographic details and the ususal pranama verses at the end and the beginning of each chapter. In minuscule ant-writing (with explanations) I have already translated 65 pages (4 800 shlokas out of 12 300).
It is an EXTREMELY EXCITING work, one forgets eating and drinking and sleeping. I don’t know whether the body will make it till the end, but I do hope to be able to send the manuscript to you by air mail, recorded delivery, by the end of the month. ANYTHING YOU’VE READ ABOUT CAITANYA DEVA, SOURCES AND BOOKS ‘ABOUT’, IS REDUCED TO A DIM GLOW in front of the the shining moon of this work. BELIEVE ME, WITHOUT THIS TEXT YOU CAN HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT WHAT LILA IS, ESPECIALLY NOT WITH HIS OWN [BHAKTAS]. IT IS NO EXAGGERATION.”
The seva of God’s Own Word Form was always in the centre of Svami’s life. To Vamandas he explained what it means to translate in a serving attitude:
“Without knowing yourself completely lonely and alone on a seabound island with nothing but the CC. and the Bhagavatam, struggling seriously for the meaning of every single word in order to find the path and not go astray, one can NEVER understand what Krishna and Caitanya want. Only these very important commentaries [by the acarya-s to these works] can prevent that one translates ones own vasana-s and samskara-s into the text and distorts it […].
You are lacking the patience of listening attentively, of taking in silently, the interest in assimilating it within, the readiness to serve with UNDERSTANDING. You don’t realise that ONE line, well-understood, really enlightening your mind, can be the key to eternity. […] The revelations of the Vedas etc. are not an OBJECT of intellectual exploitation, an object of KNOWLEDGE and WANTING TO KNOW, but of SERVING and LISTENING.
The Revelation’s light of realisation is clear and sharp. Whoever listens to it with firm resolve will not remain in uncertainty about anything; he will not be left with any kind of mystical hints he could interpret according to the mode in which he experiences them in his ‘maya-intuition’.”
The scientific apparatus of Svami fitted according to his own words into “five big steel suitcasas and six smaller ones“:
“I feel so cold in this warm country. How much do I long for my Vamandas. You I could ask to hand me over one of the heavy volumes of the Bhagavatam which I can hardly lift out of the suitcases any more and I could speak to you about the many wonderful secret beauties that are hidden behind these tenacious knotty Sanskrit constructions. […] I have instructed Gauranga [Ghoshe] to tell you, in case Sadananda leaves this world. There are five big and six smaller steel suitcases with numbers, ready to be sent to you.” (1955)
After Svami’s tirobhava in 1977 his whole library was eventually donated to the library of the University of Basel by Phyllis Imhof in 1987. He had rented a room in her house in Basel which she had kept as it was for another 10 years. In 2010 Benedikt Vögeli, the official responsible for this collection, informed us that Svami’s library contained ca. 250 volumes or eight shelf metres, half of them in Indian languages. Handwritten texts however, were never given to the UB Basel. In the year 2001, a scientific assistant dealt with the collection. Subsequently the head of the UB decided, after consulting experts at the University of Basel, to hand over the section in Indian languages (ca. 140 titles) to the department of Indology at the University of Zürich. The rest was catalogued by the UB Basel and included into their stock insofar as they were not already part of it. The duplicates were given to the Indogermanistic library of the University of Basel (under Prof. Dr. Rudolf Wachter).
Of the more or less 140 titles of the ”collection Schulze” now 27 titles in English and German language are to be found in the catalogue of the IDS Library Association Basel Bern. The titles in Indian languages, however, obviously didn’t go to the Department of Indology of the University of Zürich, but back to Mrs. Imhof. She bequethed them in 1989 to Mr. Georg Wagner, who had been studying under Svami in Basel in the early Seventies and who also knew Sanskrit. As that part of the estate, that belonged to Svami, contains round about 140 titles and mostly in Indian languages, they are most probably exactly those books that were originally meant to go to Zürich.
After Georg Wagner’s demise in 2013 his son and heir, Pasqual Wagner, contacted us via Prof. Dr. Frank Neubert of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Bern. He generously donated these books to the Sadananda-archive where they will be stored and further worked with. The estate not only comprises books that also contain handwritten comments and translations by Svami but other manuscripts of Svami as well, that had been inherited by his father after the demise of Phyllis Imoff in 1989.
We hereby express our gratitude to all who were involved in saving these texts which are very valuable for our work/seva, especially Pasqual Wagner, Prof. Dr. Frank Neubert and Ursula Bründler Stadler, who had kindly stored the books/texts for about two years.