Review of Siddhanta Ratnam, an Introduction to the Govinda Bhasya. Originally written by Sripada Baladeva Vidyabhusana with commentary by Vedanta Vagisa. Translated by Dr. Demian Martin, Phd.
Sri Srimad Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, the renowned author of over 75 books on Indology and Gaudiya Vaishnavism, commented on Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s Vedanta-Sutra commentary:
“…. sometimes back, in Jaipur, there was a challenge that “The Gauḍīya Sampradāya has no commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra.” So, at that time Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura was requested… Because he was grand scholar, grand old man scholar, at that time living in Vṛndāvana… So, he was very old at that time; so, he authorized Baladeva Vidyābhūṣana, that “You do it.” There was no need, but people are demanding, “Where is your commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra? So Baladeva Vidyabhusana, with the order of Govindaji at Jaypur, he wrote the commentary on Brahma-sutra. That name is Govinda-Bhasya, So, the Gaudiya -Brahma-Sampradaya, they have got commentary on Brahma Sutra”: Bhagavad-gita Lectures: Bg 13: Lectures. Bhagavad-gita 13.8-12 — Bombay, India, September 30, 1973.
This recent translation of the Siddhanta-ratnam of Baladeva Vidyabhusana by Dr. Demian Martin is a rich mixture of scholarship, detailed research and modern rendering of complex dialectical and theological arguments. The Siddhanta-Ratna was a hidden an esoteric gem couched in terse Sanskrit for over 200 years. The current edition brings the reader to the wonderful world of vedantic arguments with the detailed elucidations and explanatory commentary of Vedanta Vagisa, an associate of Baladeva.
The author also gives a detailed historical rendering of the circumstances leading to the debate with the panditas of the Ramanandi sect and the order of Govinda deva himself to Baladeva to write the commentary on Vedanta-Sutra, thus the name, Govinda Bhasya.
Every practicing Gaudiya Vaishnava and every person interested in Indian philosophy, should procure this translation and dive deep into the subtle and powerful arguments of Baladeva and Vedanta Vagisa. Baladeva was trained under the panditas and scholars of the Madhva-sampradaya in Mysora, Karnataka. The current work is available through Amazon, both in Kindle and paperback versions.