Radhika Ramana Dasa

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Ravi M. Gupta, also known as Radhika Ramana Dasa, is a notable Vaishnava scholar. He holds the Charles Redd Chair of Religious Studies and serves as Director of the Religious Studies Program at Utah State University. He is the author of The Caitanya Vaiṣṇava Vedānta of Jīva Gosvāmī (Routledge, 2007),[1] co-editor of The Bhāgavata Purāṇa: Sacred Text and Living Tradition (Columbia University Press, 2013), editor of Caitanya Vaiṣṇava Philosophy: Tradition Reason and Devotion (Ashgate Publishing, 2014), and co-author of The Bhāgavata Purāṇa: Selected Readings (Columbia University Press, 2016).

Ravi completed his doctorate in Hindu Studies at Oxford University[2] and subsequently taught at the University of Florida, Centre College, and the College of William and Mary. He has received four teaching awards, a National Endowment for the Humanities summer fellowship, two research fellowships at Oxford, and a book award. He is a Permanent Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and past president the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies. He is also a member of the faculty at Bhaktivedanta College.[3] Ravi lectures widely on topics related to Vaishnava bhakti traditions, Vedanta philosophy, interreligious dialogue, and the relationship between scholarship and practice.

Childhood and early education[edit]

He was brought up by his parents Ananta-Rupa Dasa and Aruddha Dasi in Boise, Idaho. He was home schooled together with his brother Gopal with a curriculum based on the Bhagavata Purana, English, comprehension skills, critical thinking, debate, and communication. He also took Sanskrit, math and science as separate subjects, and was academically accomplished.[4][5]

When he enrolled in the local Boise State University at the age of 13, on the first day, the professor of the English department sent Ravi to the honors writing course because all the introductory classes were full. Ravi recalls.

At first, I was so intimidated by the curriculum. Rather than contemporary novels and story books, it was full of classical literature like Shakespeare, the Iliad and the Odyssey. But everything changed when I realized how similar they were to our own epics in many ways. Homer's Odyssey spoke about valiant warriors and their code of ethics, just like the Mahabharata. And the conflicts Shakespeare's Hamlet faced were very similar to those of Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita.

Five years later, at the age of seventeen, he left the university with a degree in philosophy, a BS in mathematics, and the university's highest honor, a silver medallion.[6]

Post graduate education and career[edit]

He graduated from the University of Oxford at twenty-two with a doctorate in Hindu Studies and was one of the youngest students to gain a PhD from this University. He was assisted in his studies by Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies run by Shaunaka Rishi Dasa. From there he moved to the University of Florida, Gainesville to teach for one year. In 2006, he became Assistant Professor of Religion at Centre College, Kentucky. In 2008, he became Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011.

Current career[edit]

In 2013, Ravi Gupta became the Charles Redd Chair of Religious Studies at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, where he lives with his wife Amrita Keli. He was promoted to full professor in 2016.

He has received four teaching awards: Rookie Professor of the Year at Centre College, the David Hughes Award for Excellence in Teaching at Centre College, the Alumni Fellowship Award at William and Mary, and the Teacher of the Year Award at Utah State Universitym an. He was also chosen by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to greet Pope Benedict XVI and presented a gift to him on behalf of the Hindu American community during the Pope's first visit to the United States.[7][8][9][10][11]

He is the author of The Caitanya Vaisnava Vedanta of Jiva Gosvami (Routledge, 2007), co-editor of The Bhagavata Purana: Sacred Text and Living Tradition (Columbia University Press, 2013), editor of Caitanya Vaisnava Philosophy: Tradition, Reason and Devotion (Ashgate Publishing, 2014), and co-author of Bhagavata Purana: Selected Readings (Columbia University Press, 2016), an abridged translation of the Bhagavata Purana to be published by Columbia University Press. He is also the author of numerous journal articles on Caitanya Vaisnavism and Vedanta philosophy. Caitanya Vaisnava Philosophy (Ashgate) won the 2016 Best Book Award from the Dharma Academy of North America.

In 2012, Ravi was elected President of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies, and in 2015 he became a Permanent Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. He is currently co-directed the Bhagavata Purana Research Project under the auspices of the OCHS. In ISKCON, he serves in the Ministry of Educational Development on the executive board and teaches Sanskrit at the Bhaktivedanta College.[6] He is a disciple of Hanumatpreshaka Swami.[3]

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