Swāmī B.V. Tripurāri is a lifelong monk and practitioner of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, a tradition of Hinduism that advocates the path of devotion to God (bhakti-yoga). Since the 1970s, Swāmī has traveled the world as a simple renunciate, learning deeply from elders on the path, and inspiring others to cultivate nonviolence and devotion. Through nine scholarly books on the theology and philosophy of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, three ecologically sustainable intentional communities, international retreats, hours of poetic discourse, and his own personal example, Swāmī offers practical mystic insight with both profound wisdom and a tender heart of devotion. Very rarely do we find a person able to address the anxieties of postmodern life in ways that resonate, enliven, and provide meaning and impetus to engage in selfless giving.
"The mystic is not a world citizen in any practical sense. Passions transcended, the world holds no charm. Living within, the mystic experiences a humbled yet heightened sense of self"
Swami Tripurari’s books on Gaudiya Vaishavism have received praise from scholars of religion such as Klaus Klostemaier, Houston Smith, Arvind Sharma, Georg Feuerstein, and William Jackson. His work provides a unique combination of mystical insight and philosophical clarity concerning the central concepts of the Gaudiya tradition.
“The study of scripture requires the full application of one’s intellect resulting in logical cohesion of individual scriptural tenets within the entirety of the scriptural canon... We must strengthen the tender heart with our head and–with a strong heart that transcends reason–go the distance.”
"The transmission of spiritual knowledge from guru to disciple requires that the disciple understand the heart of the guru, as in talks between friends in the language of love"
Philosophically, Swāmī emphasizes a transrational and experiential approach to the mystery and primacy of consciousness. Drawing from ancient Sanskrit texts such as the Vedānta Sūtra, Bhagavad-gītā and the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, Swāmī offers a strong critique of the dominant philosophy of science, materialism, and its violent and oppressive social and environmental implications. As an alternative to an unsatisfying and ephemeral materialistic life, Swāmī encourages sincere seekers to go deep within their own subjective existence (ātma) to discover not only peace and freedom from the tendency to exploit, but to also cultivate a selfless heart with the greatest potential and capacity to repose oneself in love for God. As the Thomas Merton of the modern bhakti tradition, Swāmī’s example and encouragement to live a humble life with great meaning is rare and refreshing in our world today.