(Hinduism: ISKCON/Gaudiya Matha)

A disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and an initiating guru with his own mission based at Audarya, a hermitage in the Californian Redwoods. Swami Bhaktivedanta Tripurari Maharaja, born March 12th 1949, became famous in ISKCON as the "incarnation of book-distribution", distributing phenomenal amounts of books, whilst on "sankirtana".

Swami Tripurari was awarded the sannyasa order by Prabhupada in 1975. Being one of the devotees who took shelter of Prabhupada's godbrother, Sridhara Maharaja in Navadvipa in the eighties, Swami Tripurari was forced to leave ISKCON when the GBC requested him and others to renounce their faith in Sridhara Maharaja.

Noted as the "Thomas Merton of the modern bhakti tradition", Maharaja has authored a number of ground breaking works, including Aesthetic Vedanta: The Sacred Path of Passionate Love, Rasa: Love Relationships in Transcendence (an exposition on rasa theory), Ancient Wisdom for Modern Ignorance (a collection of essays), Tattva-sandarbha: Sacred India's Philosophy of Ecstasy (a summary study of Jiva Gosvami's famous text of the same name), Joy of Self, and Sri Guru Parampara.

Swami Tripurari was the first disciple of Prabhupada to write a new Bhagavad-gita commentary, Bhagavad-gita: Its Feeling & Philosophy, published in Autumn 2001. In my opinion, this does not detract from Prabhupada's edition--as some of his critics cry--but rather complements it, and addresses contemporary issues of the 21st Century.

He has just published a commentary on Gopala-tapani Upanishad, and is working on a Siksastakam one. His website can be found at http://www.swami.org.