lesson 2

A LITTLE HISTORY – THE FIRST BHAGAVAD-GITA IN RUSSIAN.

The Bhagavad-gita As It Is first entered the Soviet Union in 1971. The author himself brought it here – Srila Prabhupada. A few more copies were brought by his disciples – Hamsaduta Swami, Mondakini devi dasi and Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj. The book was, of course, in English. The first Russian Vaisnava – Ananta Shanti das, a student of Srila Prabhupada – spoke English fluently and in the apartment buildings where he was invited, he simply read the Bhagavad-gita aloud. But, as the number of believers grew, it became clear that a translation was needed. There was no question of publishing a book in the USSR legally. Since the end of 1980, real repression has come upon the devotees of Krishna. In 1982, the first criminal case against Vaisnavas was launched, then the first court was held, which was preceded by numerous searches and detentions. But Bhagavad-gita believers needed it like air! What to do? Fortunately, in a totalitarian USSR there was such a thing as samizdat …

So – below is an article about how the Bhagavad-gita As It Is was translated and published in Russian.

An article in the ISKCON World review about the release of the new Gita in Russian.

Translations of this book into Russian were carried out in the mid-1970s by Krishna devi dasi and Ananta Vijaya dasa, however, disappointment in Krishna consciousness of one and the tragic death of another prevented them from completing their work.

At the very beginning of the 1980s, an interpretation of several chapters of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is appeared, made by Vishwamitra (das Vladimir Kritsky) and dictated to the film. This translation was distributed among Moscow Vaishnavas, and they listened to it at meetings and preaching programs. However, this was not enough. For successful spiritual development, devotees needed a systematic study of Vaisnava philosophy. And for this, books were needed.