- Ruskin’s Unto this Last: A Critical Edition. Alpha Publishing, Calcutta. 1969.
- S. Eliot’s The Sacred Wood: A Dissertation. Calcutta. 1969; 2nd ed. Bharati Bhawan, Patna. 1995.
- of West Bengal’s Manual of Protocol & Ceremonials. Calcutta. 1976.
- Amar Chitra Katha comics. English, Hindi, Bengali. Bombay. 1981.
- The Monkey Prince. Adarsh Chitra Katha English, Hindi. New Delhi. 1983.
- Secret of the Mahabharata. Parimal Prakashan, 1984.
- I.D.P. Guide Book. Guidebook. Bengali. Murshidabad. 1984. 2 edns.
- Proceedings of Workshop-cum-Conference on Co-operative Functioning. West Bengal State Cooperative Union, Calcutta. 1985.
- The Unknown Ashoka. The Heritage magazine, Madras, 1987.
- Themes & Structure in the Mahabharata. Dasgupta & Co., Calcutta. 1989.
- Bankimchandra Chatterjee’s Krishna Charitra. P. Birla Foundation, Calcutta. 1991. The first English translation from Bengali.
- Shivaji Sawant’s Mrityunjaya: A Long Critique. Writers Workshop, Calcutta, 1991.
- The Mahabharata TV film Script: A Long Critique. Writers Workshop, 1991.
- Lt. Col. G.L. Bhattacharya’s Krishna of the Gita. Writers Workshop, Calcutta. 1993.
- Handbook of Valuation, Central Valuation Board, West Bengal, 1994.
- Pratibha Ray’s Yajnaseni: the story of Draupadi. RUPA, New Delhi, 1995. The first English translation.
- Human Values: The Tagorean Panorama (with Dr. S.K. Chakraborty). New Age International, New Delhi. 1996. The first English translation from Bengali.
- Sri Aurobindo & The Mother: Right Attitude to Work & The Right Spirit. Govt. of W.B., Calcutta. 1997; 2nd ed. 2005; 3rd ed. 2012.
- Manual of Refugee Relief & Rehabilitation, 2 vols. Govt. of W.B., Calcutta. 1998.
- Annual Administration Report, 1997-98, Refugee Relief & Rehabilitation Dept. Govt. of West Bengal. Calcutta. 1998.
- Subodh Ghosh’s Bharat Prem Katha. Rupa, 1998. The first English translation from Bengali.
- Annual Administration Report, 1998-2000, Sunderban Affairs Dept., Govt. of West Bengal. Calcutta. 2000.
- Leadership & Power: Ethical Insights (with Dr. S.K. Chakraborty). OUP, New Delhi. 2001.
- Prachin Bharatey ebong Mahabharatey Netritva O Kshamatar Byabahar (with S.K. Sen) Bengali. Dasgupta & Co., Calcutta. 2002. Translation from English.
- Annual Administration Reports 2000-2002, 2002-03, Consumer Affairs Dept., Govt. of West Bengal. Calcutta. 2003.
- Manual of Legal Metrology, Govt. of West Bengal. Calcutta. 2005.
- Consumer Handbook. Consumer Affairs Dept., Govt. of W.B., Calcutta. 2005.
- Parashuram’s Puranic Tales for Cynical People (with S.K. Sen). Indialog, New Delhi. 2005. Translated from Bengali.
- Love Stories from the Mahabharata. Indialog, New Delhi. 2005. Translation from Subodh Ghosh’s Bengali Bharat Prem Katha.
- Pancha Kanya: the five virgins of India’s Epics—a Quest in search of Meaning. Writers Workshop, Calcutta. 2005. 2nd edition, Sri Vishnu Mohan Foundation, Chennai, 2017.
- Administrative Training Institute Monographs 1-20. Kolkata. 2005-9.
- Revisiting the Panchakanyas—proceedings of a national seminar. Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata. 2007.
31-36. Ed. Samsad Series on Public Administration. Kolkata, 2007-8.
The Appu Papers by P.S. Appu
WB Services and Financial Rules and Office Procedure
Dimensions of Law and Order Administration
Inspections and Tours
District Administration: Changes and Challenges
Crisis of Governance by P.S. Appu
- Manual on Training of Trainers for Human Development by Dr. A. Ghosh. ATI, Kolkata. 2008.
- The Jaiminiya Ashvamedhaparva by Maj. Gen. S.K. Sen VSM. Writers Workshop, Kolkata. 2009. The first verse-by-verse English translation from Sanskrit.
- Narrative Art in the Mahabharata—the Adi Parva. Dev Publishers & Distributors, 2012.
- The Mahabharata of Vyasa: The Complete Mokshadharma Parva, translated from the Sanskrit, Writers Workshop, Kolkata, 2016. This is the first sloka-by-sloka translation in verse and prose.
- The Jaiminiya Mahabharata: Mairavanacaritam and Sahasramukharavanacaritam, A Critical Edition, with sloka-by-sloka verse translation, National Mission for Manuscripts & New Bharatiya Book Agency, New Delhi, 2017.
- Kabi Sanjay’s Mahabharata, the first Bengali Mahabharata translated verse-by-verse into English verse, Das Gupta & Co. Kolkata 2019.
- Camille Bulcke: The Rama Story: Origin and Growth (translated from Hindi to English) The Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 2022.
- The Mahabharata of Vyasa: The Complete Anuśāsana Parva, translated from the Sanskrit, Writers Workshop, Kolkata 2023. This is the first sloka-by-sloka translation in verse and prose.
- Edited “X“, the first Eng-Beng minimag, 1968-71.
- “Wordsworth the Kavi,” a bicentennial tribute, Journal of the Department of English, Calcutta University. Reprinted in Mother India.
- Associate Editor, 20 Points: Nadia (1976).
- The Administrator, quarterly journal of the L. B. S. National Academy of Administration, Govt. of India, 1980-83.
- Associate Editor, The Service, journal of the I.A.S. Association, West Bengal, (1986-88).
- Case Studies on relief work in Bangladesh and various facets of district administration in The Administrator and The Statesman.
- “Indus Valley Civilization” in Dravidian Encyclopaedia vol.1 (International School of Dravidian Linguistics, Thiruvananthapuram, 1990). Articles on Harappan Civilization in Puratattva, journal of the Indian Archaeological Society, The Book Review, The Administrator and on new light on ancient Indian history in the K. D. Sethna Festschrift (Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry1994.)
- Articles on Transactional Analysis in TASI Darshan (journal of the T. A. Society of India), The Administrator, Actualiatesen Analyse Transactionelle (journal of the European T.A. Association) and in TAJ (journal of the International T. A. Association, USA).
- Articles on civil service training in Bhandar (journal of the West Bengal Co-operative Union), HRD: International Perspectives on Development & Learning (ed. M. Jones & P. Mann, Kumarian Press, USA); Indian Journal of Public Administration.
- Articles on comparative mythology in Indian Railways, Indian Literature, The Heritage, India International Centre Quarterly, Mother India, Xaverian Literary Treasury, Shatapatra, Vyasa’s Mahabharata: Creative Insights (ed. Padma Sri Prof. P. Lal, 2 volumes), The Statesman, Indian Review of Books, Indian Book Chronicle, The Book Review, BIBLIO, PURANA, Journal of the Asiatic Society, Journal of South Asian Literature (Michigan State University), International Journal of Hindu Studies, PARABOLA, South Asia.
- Articles on Values in Management in Human Values for Managers (ed. Dr. S.K. Chakraborty. Wheeler, New Delhi, 1995), Liberalised Economy & Quality of Life (ed. Dr. Subir Chowdhury & Prof. Nikhil Barat. Association of Indian Management Schools, 1995), Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual 1995, Journal of Human Values, Mother India, Advent.
- “A spiritual viewpoint” in WHO’s Round Table on the “Renewal of the Health-for-All Strategy”, World Health Forum, 17, 1996 (the only Indian selected for contributing to this discussion).
Parents: Lt. Col. Gunindra Lal Bhattacharya, B.Sc., MA, LL.B and Suprobhat Bhattacharya nee Chatterjee, MA, B.T. Lt. Col. Bhattacharya, Corps of Signals (1942), served in the XIV Army in World War II and suffered solitary imprisonment in East Pakistan 1961-64 after being shot and abducted. He fought his own cases against the Pakistan Government in their Supreme Court which created sensation.
Education: Schooling in St. Lawrence High School, Calcutta, 1955–63.
- Graduated with Honours in English from St. Xavier’s College, first in the college and 4th in Calcutta University (1966).
- A. (English) from Presidency College, 1968, first class first, Calcutta University; awarded gold and silver medals and cash prizes.
- B. (Prely.) University College of Law, Calcutta University, first class. Completed the degree course.
- German Language Certificate, Max Muller Bhawan, Calcutta, first in the first division.
- The only candidate awarded the Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Service Training with Distinction, Manchester University, 1983.
- Certified Scholar (Homeopathy), Grace Medical Mission Kerala; M.D. (Homeopathy), Premier Homeopathic College, Chandigarh.
- PhD. in Comparative Literature on “Narrative Art in the Mahabharata” from the Netaji Subhash Open University.
- The sole Indian awardee of the International Human Resource Development Fellowship by Manchester University and the Institute for Training & Development, U.K. in 1989, the year it was instituted, and invited to address the World Training Conference in London. The citation states: “Mr Bhattacharya’s designation as an International HRD Fellow is indeed an honour to him and the IAS, for it recognises the outstanding contribution that he is making to the achievement of professional excellence in human resource development.”
- The only Indian selected to contribute a paper to WHO’s Round Table on the “Renewal of the health-for-all strategy” published in World Health Forum, vol. 17, 1996.
- The sole third world representative to address the 1983 National Conference of the Institute of Transactional Analysis, U.K. in London.
- Founding Vice President of THE OSKARS a new-wave theatre group in Calcutta.
- Revived the British Council Play-Reading Group, Calcutta.
- Founding editor, “X”, the first English-Bengali mini-magazine.
- The only officer selected twice to lead, from inception, World Bank Projects (viz. upgrading of Industrial Training Institutes and the Bank’s largest intervention in the health sector—the State Health Systems Development Project-II).
- Twice elected Member of the Board of trustees, Transactional Analysis Society of India (TASI); accredited Basic T.A. Trainer by TASI; Founding Chairperson, TASI Calcutta Chapter.
- Elected Executive Committee Member of the I.A.S. Association, West Bengal several times and served as its Honorary Secretary,
- Government of West Bengal’s longest serving nominee on the Board of Governors, I.I.M. Calcutta 1993-2002; 2005-contd.
- The Provincial’s nominee on the Managing Committee, St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, Calcutta, for several years till 1996.
- Guest faculty in the L.B.S. National Academy of Administration for courses on Ethics in Administration and in the Management Centre for Human Values of I.I.M. Calcutta.
- Selected by the Sahitya Akademi as a judge to choose the best English translation for the year.
- Government of West Bengal’s nominee on the Board of Governors of I.I.M. Calcutta for over 15 years.
- Served on the Editorial Board of IIMC’s Journal of Human Values (SAGE) and of MANUSHI.
- Was Regional Editor (East) for the Mahabharata Encyclopaedia Project of the Mahabharata Samshodhana Pratishthanam, Bangalore, funded by the Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India.
- Member of the governing board of the Rabindranath Tagore Centre for Human Values set up by Ambuja Realty in May 2011 to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore. Taught a 30 hour credit course on India’s Epics and Puranas for the M.A. in Human Values course of the Netaji Subhas Open University.
- Initiated a Regional Mahabharatas Documentation Project by the Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts, New Delhi, under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
- Chaired sessions and presented papers in several international and national seminars on the Mahabharata organised by the Sahitya Akademi, IGNCA, MANUSHI and the Department of Sanskrit, Bombay University.
- Lectured in English at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta, 1969-71, organising the first inter-collegiate seminars on English Literature.
- Joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1971. Relief work in Rajshahi District, Bangladesh, 1972, resettling several thousand evacuees.
- Radically remodelled the training of IAS probationers, posting them as BDOs for the first time in 1974-75.
- Drafted Agriculture Department’s orders vesting supervisory and coordinating powers over all extension officials in BDOs.
- Established the Directorate of Homeopathy in Govt. of West Bengal, 1975.
- Wrote Government of West Bengal’s first Manual of Protocol and Ceremonials, a standard reference work since then.
- Twice acted as “One-man Enquiry Committee” into problems of Government of West Bengal’s premier hospital, SSKM Hospital.
- Carried out cadre review of the armed forces and Defence Lands & Cantonment Service, Government of India, 1979.
- Deputy Director, National Academy of Administration, Govt. of India, 1979-83, training the All-India and Allied services.
- District Magistrate & Collector of Murshidabad 1982-83; commended by Govt. of India for the outstanding work done under IRDP for poverty alleviation.
- As Registrar of Co-operative Societies, West Bengal, organised a workshop-cum conference on the functioning of co-operatives that was acclaimed “a unique learning experiment” by the International Co-operative Alliance and the Govt. of West Bengal.
- As Managing Director of the W.B. Tourism Development Corporation made unprecedented earnings for the languishing organization.
- As Chairman, Central Valuation Board, computerised the calculation of taxes for urban holdings, tripling the tax base of municipalities.
- As Secretary, Municipal Affairs, drafted legislation in West Bengal in the context of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, setting up the State Election Commission, the District Planning Committees, the Metropolitan Planning Committee, several Municipal Corporations and finalised the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993.
- As Director, Administrative Training Institute, West Bengal, radically remodelled the training content and style and published a Handbook of Service and Financial Rules and several training monographs and case-study volumes.
- The only officer selected for leading from inception two World Bank projects [for modernising Industrial Training Institutes in West Bengal (1989-91) and the Bank’s largest intervention in the health sector, a Rs. 710 crore project for West Bengal (1996-97)].
- Edited & published the first comprehensive Manual of Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation in 2 vols.
- Drafted Government of West Bengal’s orders setting up public grievance and assistance offices in all districts and constituting a Working Group on increasing efficiency in government functioning and introducing E-governance.
- As Commissioner of Presidency and Burdwan Divisions held inspections for the first time since 1974, computerised processing of land acquisition cases resulting in considerable savings, got all Collectorates cleaned up, persuaded Government to revise the ACR format of WBCS officers incorporating objective-setting and evaluation.
- In Consumer Affairs introduced on-line grievance handling, bringing all three wings under one roof in all districts, both for the first time anywhere in India, which was acclaimed by the Govt. of India.
- Revised the B. Secretariat Manual and the Rules of Business. Drafted the state government rules under the Central Right to Information Act.
- Served in Land Reforms, Home, Finance (Jt. Secy. Audit and Banking, and as Director Staff Inspection Unit), Health, Tourism, Labour, Technical Education & Training, Municipal Affairs, Refugee Relief & Rehabilitation, Food Processing Industries & Horticulture, Sunderban Affairs, Consumer Affairs, Development & Planning.
- Retired as Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of West Bengal in charge of Development & Planning and Director of the Administrative Training Institute (2 tenures).
T.S. Eliot: The Sacred Wood–A Dissertation
- “I have read your work on The Sacred Wood carefully and enjoyed reading it…I myself think that this is an excellent commentary.” Amalendu Bose, D. Phil. (Oxon.), F.I.A.L., Sir Gooroodas Banerjee Professor & Head, Department of English, Calcutta University.
- “I have gone through your work with much interest and have been much impressed by your methodical exposition and your very clear analysis of Eliot’s thought. This is what critical appraisal and analysis should rest on; otherwise criticism, however good, so easily passes into myth for the next generations which their successor have in turn to pull down. Thank you very much for giving the opportunity to see your worth.” T.G.P. Spear, Fellow, Selwyn College, Cambridge University.
- An extraordinarily well-informed, sympathetic and useful dissertation…In fact, for the general reader this is probably the best organised book on Eliot’s criticism, the appendices being products of much thought and sensitivity. Mr. Bhattacharya has five topics that will be specially useful to university students…It is encouraging to see an alert mind not unafraid to tell off grey eminences like Sean Lucy, Eliseo Vivas and Kristian Smidt where they seem to go wrong in their understanding of Eliot’s meanings. Mr. Bhattacharya’s work is not, as most books of this nature are, a re-hash of available material on the subject. There is much original thinking in it–and many new viewpoints on clichéd areas. For instance, Watson apart, no one has so far explained the title of the book. Mr. Bhattacharya suggests that this is sacred grove at Nemi near Rome…Eliot’s murderer in ‘the bloody wood’ has not yet appeared on the scene; and acolytes of Mr. Pradip Bhattacharya’s devotion will not doubt prevent the guru’s stiff shroud from being dishonoured.” Padma Shri P. Lal in The Hindusthan Standard.
- A valuable little book…very useful, totally unpretentious and well written. Your power of concentration on the subject is admirable. With your writing ability you will, I feel, turn in due course to other subjects and authors as well, both old and new.” A. N. Kaul, Head, Department of English, Delhi University.
- “I have read (it) with interest and profit. Sri Bhattacharya’s writing shows a good deal of critical penetration and intelligent understanding of complex and difficult ideas of a book which still remains a basic work on modern criticism. I am particularly impressed with Sri Bhattacharya’s wide reading in Eliot’s prose and poetry and in the large Eliot literature. The dissertation gives a careful and minute analysis of the major chapters of the book and follows up with a series of appendices of a more general nature, all bearing on Eliot’s fundamental ideas. These show a critical maturity which is rare indeed. In spite of its modest compass the book will be of great help not only to students but to those also who are interested in Mr. Eliot’s work as poet and critic.” Amal Bhattacharji, Head, Department of English, Presidency College, Calcutta.
- “It is thoughtful and well written and I have read it with pleasure and profit. Indeed, I am happy to congratulate the young author. He deserves everyone’s congratulations.” S.K. Sen, Professor & Head, Department of English, Presidency College, Calcutta.
- “I have read it with interest and delight. I feel this is a notable contribution to the study of T.S. Eliot’s most important literary essays…Mr. Bhattacharya’s book will not only be of great assistance to students new to Eliot’s criticism; it is sure to prove a refreshing and stimulating work even for old readers of Eliot. I hope to see more work of the same order from our young author.” Sujata Chaudhuri, Principal & Head, Department of English, Lady Brabourne College, Calcutta.
Ruskin’s Unto This Last: A Critical Edition
- “Pride of Bookmarks’ place to a finely annotated edition of Ruskin’s Unto This Last…the book, which has long introduction and careful notes, is excellent value.” Padma Sri P. Lal, The Hindusthan Standard.
The Secret of the Mahabharata
- Churning of the Ocean: “Pradip Bhattacharya is not only an able administrator…but an erudite scholar. In the present work, he has delved into some of the most revolting (apparently) episodes of the Mahabharata, and tried to explain their deep moral/spiritual significance…No doubt, all this is interesting and thought-provoking and probably hints at the true import of the myth in the “ Dr. H. D. Sankalia, The Times of India.
- Message in the Myth: “Pradip Bhattacharya’s work is an erudite and important study of Vedic spiritual messages and symbols as transmitted and popularised through the Mahabharata myths & stories…The analysis is essentially dialectical in mode and principle…The logic involved is not formal-rational but dialectical-esoteric. An excellent work.” Subir Das Gupta, The Telegraph.
- Vyasa & the Vedic Secret: “A brilliant analysis of Vyasa’s myths in terms of Vedic truths comes as a fresh corroboration of the validity of the integral approach… It is delightful to see the author reads correctly the message of Vyasa…with a marvellous sweep from Veda to Savitri…Shri Bhattacharya’s scholarship has an eye and ear for the mystic, which is the essential pre-requisite for a researcher in Indology… After going through the 155 pages of his book, one is convinced that the Mahabharata is a unique time-capsule invented by Vyasa the Veda–the Grand Synthesis–is preserved for posterity.” Gauri Dharmapal, The Statesman, Mother India and Srinvantu.
- The technique the author adopts to discover the secret meaning is indeed a Herculean task. Since the Mantras reveal their innermost secret only to an intuitive mind, Bhattacharya with little difficulty attains success…the fruit of a decade of intensive study of the epic…(his) arguments are very convincing and his discoveries open up new vistas in the Hindu epic lore. Certainly the seeker after spiritual truth cannot afford to ignore this book which is a consummate scholarly piece of work written with verve and style.” P. Raja, Mother India.
- The Impact Eternal–Lights from the Great Epic: “An equally noteworthy addition to the Mahabharata lore by a senior member of the Indian Administrative Service who is basically a serious scholar…The author chooses some of the episodes in the epic and discovers the truths underlying the story elements. He performs his complex task ably, mostly with the help of Sri Aurobindo’s Vedic Glossary compiled by A. B. Purani.” Manoj Das, The Heritage.
- “I read your book on the Mahabharata and enjoyed it greatly. More than anything, it showed a deep and moving comprehension of the symbols, something experienced rather than simply quoted…after reading your book I feel like doing a story of the ‘Earings’…Thank you for the experience your book afforded me.” Maggi Lidchi Grassi, internationally renowned novelist.
- “I am impressed by your perceptive scholarship and find your analysis of the subject interesting. I agree with many of your conclusions.” P. Pandit, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.
Themes & Structure in the Mahabharata: the Adi Parva
- Journey to the Centre of an Epic: “A quality of the treatise that stands out is the manner in which the scholar dishes out information, knitting them together with both relevance and order…If (certain) elements sometimes intrigue an average reader of the epic, Bhattacharya views them in a wider perspective and establishes their justification… While commenting on certain issues Bhattacharya recreates the stories behind them and does so with beauty and restraint, making cogent references to sources to sources outside the Mahabharata whenever appropriate. He shows, through arguments, cross-references to characters and events and drawing our attention to the totality of the Mahabharata are more meaningful than meets the eye. He has followed a method which he expects would let the epic ‘as it were, to grow on the reader’. No doubt he succeeds in this.” Manoj Das, The Statesman.
- Far Beyond the Idiot Box: “Pradip Bhattacharya’s illuminating book is a welcome addition to modern work on our national epic…It has obviously been a labour of love—Bhattacharya’s commitment and devotion are apparent in each page of his analysis… (he) deserves all congratulations for providing answers…he has pegged the Mahabharata squarely within an international framework of comparative literature and universal appeal. (His) method is painstaking… He searches for meaning, layer within layer. Thus we find him meticulously splitting hairs with a very definite purpose—the drawing out of nuances and variations of emphasis… Particularly impressive is (his) capacity for underlining the tongue-in-cheek humour in the Mahabharata, which most commentators are too solemn to note…Another service the commentator performs is to highlight those verses which once heard ring for ever in our ears…The book is not for cursory reading. It represents hours of solid study and requires to be approached in a similar spirit. The author deserves all praise for his application in the midst of the pressures of his working life far removed from academic cloisters.” Ketaki Datta, Business Standard.
- Vyasa Nodding & Critic Napping: “this enthralling book…One does not very often come across a work of such elegance and depth. Bhattacharya’s prose is effortless and beautiful… He has established his firm control over the language even in the poetic form while transcreating some slokas…extremely well-informed commentary…has continuously endeavoured to establish some kind of continuity, remove irrelevance, apparent or otherwise, establish the logicality of seemingly meaningless words and episodes with tremendous research… He presents very interesting social and cultural concepts prevalent within that frame of reference… (he) has made it a point to mention and pinpoint all the Vedic concepts in the epic whenever they occur in the course of narrative…The basic characteristic of the book is the brilliant of incidents which is very clearly the results of extensive research…He has introduced touches of humour too, which, in combination with his erudition and skill with language, has made the book eminently readable…He has also done the stupendous task of connecting far-related incidents…consequently the reader obtains a clear, logical, intelligible and sane picture of the very involved and confused panorama of the ..(he) has provided for fun time too…There are so many pieces of interesting information that one is amazed…a genealogical chart and a map…are two of the best points of the book. Thematic analysis and highlighting have made (the book) an experience of a special kind…The book leaves one with a feeling of joy and satisfaction…(he) has analysed the characters and incidents with consummate skill and dedication and provided an unforgettable insight into the greatest story of the tragedy of man. He has done this service only for the first parva. There are seventeen more. Here is hoping that we shall hear from him again, soon, on these.” Maj. Gl. S.K. Sen, VSM, Vyasa’s Mahabharata: Creative Insights, Vol. 1. ed. Padma Shri Prof. P. Lal (Writers Workshop, Calcutta).
- Vyasan Alap: “A commendable effort to analysis the alap–the baffling nebulous mass of material with which the epic begins…bringing out (the) central theme of each of the subparvas…poetic breath is retained in translation. He also injects a bit of Comparative Mythology…His sub-titling…shows more vividly the connecting links…(they) become a condensed commentary, or rather sutras, to comprehend the Adi Parva…the author (is) a successful explorer of symbolism…He analyses each section and gives his comments. Dhritarashtra’s psychoanalysis from his famous lament is excellent…(His) observations are insights what really help us to get glimpse of the Vyasan Vision and Master’s mastery of his epic art in all its nuances. He helps the reader to to comprehend the web of inter-connections…He also points out similarities with the other epic ..He gives parallels from European literature of characters, themes, expressions etc. which add a taste of comparative literature and thus widen our field of vision…The study is lit up with humour at places…Vyasa’s humour is also noted. He delightfully follows the Indian habit of chanting out a couplet by way of comment even in a serious critical work. Thanks are due to Bhattacharya for displaying to us some intricate fabrics of the gigantic pattern that is the Mahabharata and giving us another opportunity to breath-in the refreshing air of great poetry, blowing away the monotony of life and opening up a Cosmic Panorama before which all pettiness vanishes.” Dr. Gauri Dharampal, Mother India, The Statesman, Srinvantu.
- “Most striking…is the effortless way in which he moves back and forth from ancillary material to the Bharata story…it yields gems of insight about thematic congruence that seem to echo throughout the epic narrative.” Dr Barbara Gombach, doctoral dissertation, Columbia University.
Bankimchandra Chatterjee’s Krishna Charitra
- “Pradip Bhattacharya and M. P. Birla Foundation deserve the gratitude of all the serious students of the Mahabharata. The translation is almost word-perfect…He has been able to capture the flow and the difficult and complicated syntax used by Bankim…very successfully captured that distinguishing atmosphere that is essentially Bankim…The introduction contains some interesting information hitherto little-known…The Bibliography…is very exhaustive…This work of translation is a production of very high order. The printing, the binding, the get-up etc. are excellent.” Maj. Gen. S.K. Sen, Vyasa’s Mahabharata: Creative Insights, Vol. 2, ed. Padma Shri Prof. P. Lal (Writers Workshop), The Statesman.
- “Truly meritorious translation…It is no routine exercise, but a labour of love and dedication.” K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar.
- “I am very glad to have this important translation in my library…what I have checked seems excellent.” Julius Lipner, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.
- “Bhattacharya, a noted scholar on the Mahabharata with several works on the subject to his credit, certainly accomplishes a fine translation of a difficult work… But what is more, he enriches the work in the light of research subsequent to Bankimchandra’s… He also provides in the Appendix notes on references to works and persons left unannotated by Bankimchandra as well as English rendering of Sanskrit verses the author quoted only in their original.” Manoj Das, The Hindu.
- “The style is racy and invigorating, facilitating understanding of the original essay…The abstruse Indian ontology propounded by Bankim has been lucidly and elegantly conveyed.” Debal Kr. Chakravarti, Vyasa’s Mahabharata: Creative Insights,Vol. 2, ed. Padma Shri Prof. P. Lal (Writers Workshop, Calcutta).
- “A monumental work…I do not think that anybody working on Mahabharata or Lord Krishna can afford to neglect this work…Publication and printing is flawless and matches to the standards of the contents of the book. The M. P. Birla Foundation deserves congratulations.” Jodh Singh, Head, Department of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, The Journal of Religious Studies.
- “excellent translation”. Hans Harder, Universität Halle, Germany.
A Long Critique on “MRITYUNJAYA”
(Shivaji Sawant’s novel was awarded the Moorti Devi Puraskar by Bharatiya Jnanpith. This Critique was published in Marathi as well.)
- Karna is the hero: “The discussion on Shivaji Sawant’s Mrityunjaya will remain incomplete if in this context another work is not referred to. The critique written on Mrityunjaya by a Calcutta civilian Pradip Bhattacharya IAS has behind it not only his own research on the Mahabharata but also the two Hindi and English translations of Mrityunjaya. He has examined Shivaji’s Karna differs from Sawant’s Karna, where Shivaji has departed from facts to establish the greatness and sublimity of his creation, Karna, nothing has escaped Bhattacharya’s eye. Still, he remains an admirer of Sawant’s genius…Bhattacharya’s scholarly critique has brought the hapless Karna even closer to us.” Neeta Sen Samarth,
- “Pradip Bhattacharya brings to the difficult if fascinating task the resources indicated in his The Secret of the Mahabharata and Themes & Structure in the Mahabharata: Adi Parva…it leaves one with a feeling of joy and satisfaction.” K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar, The Hindu.
- “This is the real microscopic literary valuation of Mrityunjaya. My heartiest congratulations with thanks to him. Here he has taken a deep dive like the author into the character of Karna. He has suggested some very essential corrections… done full justice to the magnum opus literary creation.” Shivaji Sawant, author of
- Echoes of the Epic: “a welcome venture…an estimate at once objective and highly readable, Bhattacharya’s scholarship on the Mahabharata being commendable and his study of Sawant’s work being sincere…The critic has done well by pointing out a couple of errors made by the translators.” Manoj Das, The Hindu.
- “Highly incisive, critical yet objective critique.” Subramanian, Pratibha India.
The Mahabharata TV Film Script–A Long Critique
- “A brilliant critique. His assessment of the ten volumes is certainly most enlightening and puts the entire work in proper perspective.” Satish Bhatnagar, translator of the Hindi script into English.
- “I feel particularly obliged for your very enlightening critique (and) in-depth study of Mahabharata…all praise for the highly intellectual display of critical excellence…Your critique on the serial was really a masterpiece of writing… heartfelt thanks for the contribution you have made to books on Mahabharata.” B. R. Chopra, noted film-maker & producer of the tele-epic.
- Mythology—A Contemporary Appropriation: “Bhattacharya goes to great pains to chronicle these departures (from the epic) bringing to bear his considerable scholarship in this area… Both Reza and Bhattacharya are believers in the feminine cause…With Reza and Bhattacharya the Kunti-Draupadi-Gandhari triumvirate emerges from the no less resplendent than the Arjuna-Karna-Bhima trio, an yang-yin balance which enhances the impact of the epic… Bhattacharya here goes the entire distance in secularising the epic…If Bhattacharya after Bankim Chandra is more concerned with Krishna as Purushottama, Reza is occupied with showing Krishna as Magi not Magic. The end result in both cases is a character more suited for secular absorption.” Champak Chatterjee IAS, The Indian Book Chronicle & in Vyasa’s Mahabharata: Creative Insights, Vol. 2, Padma Shri Prof. P. Lal.
- Is anybody listening? “Pradip Bhattacharya’s review, in many ways, is much more than a review. It is an independent work that throws a lot of intimate insights into the mysteries of the epic. He has given his own interpretation, besides, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of Reza’s presentation and those of the English translation. Consequently, what we have in the 10th volume is a work of art that not only has incisive criticism, but also creative insights that give us much more than what we have in the script. Reza has thrown up many ideas on values and PB has dexterously fielded them, enriching his observations with his characteristic expertise. Those important aspects of the Mahabharata which Reza should have included but did not and those aspects that Reza has included but has blundered are pinpointed with ruthless precision and exposed in razor-sharp clarity… The nicest thing about it is that there is no exhibitionism, no pomposity of the pseudo-intellectual, but the simplicity of a mind rich in incisive wisdom that is born out of a comprehensive assimilation of available literature… PB has an excellent discussion on the similarity of the principal female characters and the concept of eternal virginity…we get information not commonly known…His discussion of lust being the nemesis of the Paurava Dynasty is one important contribution…he startlingly reveals that it was Dharma who protected Draupadi, not Krishna. He gives us a hint that the entire episode of vastraharana is an interpolation. PB effectively brings out Krishna’s political acumen… PB’s discussion of the Sishupala incident is significant in dispelling the myth of Bhishma’s unquestioned supremacy (and) for the demystification of Krishna’s superhuman Halo… PB introduces the Kalpataru concept but unfortunately does not elaborate… But his discussion on the Karna-Kunti relationship provides perhaps the most interesting analysis of a much-talked about incident of the Mahabharata…PB has very sensitively brought out an expose on Dharma as spoken by various characters…he has been able to, very effectively, garnish his review with quotations and discussions from authors…He has also quoted parallel situations from European mythology and literature…We also find evidence of his expertise in this field (of Transactional Analysis) in his work…PB has also brought in modern day parallels…these, too, have added a freshness to the work and brought in a touch of contemporaneity…a superb work of penmanship.” Gen. S.K. Sen VSM, Vyasa’s Mahabharata: Creative Insights Vol. 2 (ed. Padma Shri Prof. P. Lal).
- “I like rehandling of old texts with changes in accents and nuances. Some of these may not be quite sound and for creative changes tributes are due. Reza deserves such a homage and your long critique pays it unreservedly. It must have taken through study and is most comprehensive.” Krishna Chaitanya.
- Epic which came to the drawing room: “Volume X has also a Critique running to about 280 pages of high class English prose which is at once a fine addition to modern Indo-Anglian English literature and an extremely fair, critical review of Rahi Masoom Reza’s monumental work in Hindi for the T.V. Serial of the …Bhattacharya’s Critique is a masterpiece of Literature by itself and it can be safely recommended for special study for students of modern mass communication schools in the English speaking world.” K. Vedamurty, The Hindu.
- A trip down the memory lane: “Pradip Bhattacharya has a brilliant epic simile to ram it (the public stripping of Draupadi) down our intelligence…truly a meaningful gift to the coming generations. In his masterly analysis of the script, (he) whirls us through the inner countries of the mind to get at the core significance of Vyasa’s epic as well as Reza’s version. In the course of a painstaking, fair and boldly critical study of Reza’s script, he brings in scores of other versions of Vyasa’s epic characters… There is a blow-by-blow comparison of Vyasa and Reza…According to PB, the very fact that an Indian Muslim has brilliantly recast the epic is a sterling validation of the universality of appeal of Rishi Vyasa’s epic…Backed by wide reading in Indian and Western literatures, Pradip ‘load every rift with ore’ in his critique. The way Reza and he have amply fulfilled Sri Aurobindo’s dream for a ‘weighty, careful and unbiased study of the work, canto by canto, passage by passage, line by line, which can alone bring us to any valuable conclusions.” Prema Nandakumar, The Hindu.
Ed. Lt. Col. G. L. Bhattacharya: Krishna of the Gita
- Living scripture & personal testament: “ P. Lal, a Gita enthusiast himself, confesses to have met his waterloo in GLB’s book out of the ordinary…we owe the present posthumous publication to the filial devotion and editorial expertise of Gunindra Lal’s son Pradip Bhattacharya, himself a writer of distinction doubled with a responsible civil servant in West Bengal. It is legitimately claimed that Krishna of the Gita is the only exegesis written by an army officer. No wonder GLB is in a sense both the subject and the commentary… GLB was to be guided by Sri Aurobindo’s exposition of the Gita itself, come to terms with it, live its Yoga and play the role of Arjuna in despondency, and listen to Bhagvan, and find solace and strength in the Lord’s words… (he) braved the worst privations…(it) invites careful study…his presence was something of a benediction to the fellow prisoners as well… For Gunindra Lal the two aims of his writing are to come to the core of the Gita’s message and to suggest a regrouping of the text of the Gita…it is a personal testament and his wide-ranging understanding has room also for the profound insights of Christianity and Islam… Once rises after reading Gunindra Lal’s book feeling more than ever certain that the Gita is truly living scripture.” Dr. K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar, The Hindu.
- Guidebook on the Gita: “a symmetrical and complementary instance of the Gita’s truth playing a redemptive role in the life of another soldier…its message proved a great source of strength…the most important concepts seem to be conserved. The author stresses the radicalism of the Gita in the bold rejection of Vedic orthodoxy…a guidebook-like text…The author’s son, Pradeep Bhattacharya, who writes the preface, has studied the epic and its inset with exceptional thoroughness.” Krishna Chaitanya, Indian Review of Books.
- Sweetness and Light: “Lt. Col. G.L. Bhattacharya who has undergone a lot of trouble, suffered anguish and imprisonment, forgets his misery by applying himself to The Gita. Krishna of the Gita is born of his intense suffering and the Col. seems to have read a lot in religious literature and his learning is sprinkled with quotations from various religious texts such as the Holy Qur’an and the Bible… Colonel’s comments on Yoga are informative as he has learnt the techniques from his study of Sri Aurobindo… Col. has dwelt extensively on this aspect of The Gita and has discussed minute details necessary for a through understanding of the text…a dependable commentary born of the author’s sadhana. It reveals the author’s erudite scholarship and catholicity of outlook.” The literary Half-Yearly (Mysore).
- Another viewpoint: “The speciality of this commentary by Lt. Col. Bhattacharya is that he has analysed Gita’s Krishna and Arjuna from a new point of view.” Moni Gangopadhyay, Ananda Bazar Patrika.
- “An intensely personal account…Here indeed one is witness to the rising of the Human Spirit over constricting and confining religious boundaries to truly catholic heights. Bhattacharya’s journey through the Gita in the company of Krishna to discern the path of Samarpan is an exercise with contrasts built into its structure. It begins with delicate precision and ends in a wanton faquir! …The appendices form a fascinating collage…The text does indeed flow like an internal dialogue, a personal missive…A superb piece of delicate artistry!…the get-up is refreshingly original.” Shashi Mishra IAS, Director General, YASHADA, Mother India.
- “Another attempt at understanding the Gita but with a difference…the book also records the profound inner transformation of the author…the metamorphosis takes place in the seclusion of an East Pakistan prison where he, a victim of an evil confinement… What sets the book apart from other commentaries is its unconventionality…he considers it is an essentially military document…brings out the relevance of the Gita in an actual battle-field situation forcefully and logically…the only commentary on the Gita written by a serving soldier…it describes the new order of Krishna very vividly… (he) provides an insight into Krishna’s three yogas which generates further insight into Krishna’s value system…(what) makes the book unique is the unconventional approach…he challenges the orthodox understanding of the Gita…interesting observation that demolishes some popular beliefs…Bhattacharya also finds a need for regrouping the verses of the Gita as the present arrangement has no true authority… There is a lovely little article in Appendix H on Prophet Mohammad…reinforces the catholicity of Bhattacharya… All in all the book provides a refreshing change from the intellectual fare that one usually comes across.” Gl. S.K. Sen VSM, Journal of Human Values.
YAJNASENI: the story of Draupadi
(Pratibha Ray’s novel won the Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award and Bharatiya Jnanpith’s Moorti Devi Puraskar 1993. The original Odiya 100th edition came out in December 2018. )
- Draupadi’s Saga: “In a language richly poetic and sensitive, which seems to have lost no beauty in translation by Pradeep Bhattacharya, Draupadi’s soul in its poetry, charm and music cries out for love.” Janaky, Indian Express.
- Of Eternal Appeal: “What we are looking into is the English translation of the famous novel by a distinguished bureaucrat belonging to the Indian Administrative Service and author of 14 published books including one on ancient Indian History and author on the ..The novel reads well in its English translation.” M. L. Varadpande, Hindustan Times.
- Celebrating womanhood: “The celebrated Oriya novel at times admirable translated by Pradip Bhattacharya.” Suresh Kohli, The Hindu.
- New Myths: “Pradip Bhattacharya’s English translation appears to be smooth.” M. Badola, The Pioneer.
- “Pradip Bhattacharya’s translation shows that Pratibha’s original Oriya must have strong and suggestive whorls of significance. Here is no doubt a welcome addition to the growing shelf of Indian literature in translation…a mesmerising picture of Draupadi who is ‘burdened with the sorrow and struggle’, the image of woman in all her yesterdays…She hits at the quintessence of womanhood…proclaims this message of integrality…” Prema Nandakumar in Mother India.
- “Nicely written and translated, it has interesting twists on the marriage.” Alf Hiltebeitel, Professor of Religion, The George Washington University, in Rethinking the Mahabharata (University of Chicago Press), p. 268.
- Amazing interpretation: “This book is beautifully written, and gets inside Draupadi’s head in a way that really endears her to you, while staying utterly true to the source material. I read another book that tried to do this, and it didn’t handle it nearly as well as Pratibha Ray has. I burned through this book in days, and now that I’m finished, I want to go back through and read it again. There are things in Draupadi’s character that are brought into better light by Ray’s writing, and it’s as if endearing an already dear friend to you. Highly recommended reading for anyone who is a fan or even casual studier of the Mahabharata.” Budgie Feather on https://www.amazon.com/Yajnaseni-Story-Draupadi-Pratibha-Ray/dp/8171673236
- “It is a story about a women’s strength, her devotion, her intelligence, her passion and above all her sacrifice in every role she played. Very beautifully written (I am sure original version must be even better).” Pratikhya Das in goodreads.com
- “One of the first and the finest books ever written from the perspective of Draupadi…One of the quotes that I shall always remember from the book: ‘Life is sacrifice from the minute you step into this world and God is your only shelter from it.’”
- “I have read 2-3 books on Draupadi and have found this the best book written on Draupadi or Yajnaseni. Have recommended this book to many of my friends.” Ashima Roy Chowdhury on amazon.com
- “Life of draupadi is beautifully portrayed… I forgot my sleep hunger everything and continued reading it… many things are there which I didn’t knew before about draupadi and pandavas… just loved it.” Lipsa on www.amazon.com
- “Fantabulous story. Very nice translation. Excellent flow. Recommended for avid readers. A collector’s choice.” Ranjith on amazon.com
- “Enjoyed the scholarship but the writing style is easy and highly readable. Recommend it highly to serious readers.” Nagasundari on www.amazon.com
Vyasa’s Mahabharata: Creative Insights (2 vols)
- “Your essays are wonderful, simply brilliant. Your review is full of lovely insights giving me insights into my insights!!” Maggi Lidchi Grassi, (internationally acclaimed novelist).
- “I feel you have been more than generous. The criticisms you have made but lend credibility to the praise…your critiques of Sawant’s and Maggi Lidchi-Grassi’s novels are very perceptive indeed.” K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar.
- “I fully agree with your critique of my colleague, John Smith’s review of the Brook Mahabharata…Sometimes western scholars study this great epic with preconceived notions.” Julius Lipner, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.
- “The essays by Pradip Bhattacharya and B. K. Matilal are serious, deep.” Arnab Guha, Amrita Bazar Patrika.
- “Other interesting critical work is by Pradip Bhattacharya.” Arshia Sattar, Indian Review of Books.
- “Paradoxically, it is the seemingly heavy essays of Pradip Bhattacharya that keep us glued to the book with their dramatic inputs… ‘Desire under the Kalpataru’ shows what an astute observer of the epic Pradip is, a fact seen in several other pages of the volume containing his reviews or where his views get discussed…Even a school-boy effusion in ‘What Happened to the Golden Mongoose’ Aurpon tells his tale with a neat moral.” Prema Nandakumar, The Hindu.
Human Values: The Tagorean Panorama
- Managing Values: “a welcome addition to the growing literature of the ethico-moral art of management… practical yet profound values for daily life…The authors, indeed, deserve praise for making this treasure-trove available to the English-speaking audience…these inspired talks will be an excellent handbook for experienced and senior managers who have lived through stress and strains, trials and tribulations. In the days of ruthless hedonism which caters for cakes and ale, the intensely spiritual yet immensely practical instructions of Tagore will, no doubt, bring about attitudinal change from Individualism to Universalism, from suspicion to trust, from hatred to love, from chaos to cosmos… Such insights which combine spirituality with materialism are a rarity and these will, certainly, turn our mind from the daily monotonous rut of thinking to something new, something fresh for revising our old established ideas procedures, providing an aid to holistic management.” Pankaj Kumar Mandal, The Statesman.
- Small is beautiful: “they are excellent specimens of creative treatments in which philosophy, poetry and pragmatism have a memorable rendezvous.” Manoj Das, The Hindu.
- “No, this is not just a book: verily it is an invitation for kindling consciousness itself… One feels beholden to Chakraborty and Bhattacharya for the cumulus of wisdom they have painstakingly arranged and offered with care and sensitivity in this collection of essays on human reality by one of the greatest sages of our times… Do we really need a Jonathan Livingstone Seagull to bring this home to us from across the Atlantic? … the oarsmen, Chakraborty and Bhattacharya, steer the boat over a smooth course into eternity. Nowhere is there an undue splash of oars to register a presence, not even in their brief introduction where one gets the impression that the effort is not to say much themselves but to induce the reader to step into the main text… Nor do the translators’ personalities intrude upon the reader, consistently revealing the subtle mastery, the unstated competence of the nature percussionist, constantly drawing one’s attention to the singer with well rounded echoes, enough to uphold but never to obtrude. This book is indeed a work of love, untainted by the gravitational pulls of small individual egos; hence the sense of unity and harmony.” Shashi Mishra IAS, Director General YASHADA, Journal of Human Values.
- “Chakraborty and Bhattacharya have rendered yeomen’s service to the English readership by providing English translations of discourses and essays from Tagore’s Santiniketan…What strikes one at the outset is the simple elegance of honest translation… The translation touches you as does the original…very sensitively captured and conveyed in these translations. They have like expert oarsmen steered our understanding through Tagore’s wisdom. The qualities of honesty, sensitivity and the easy graceful flow of language place this book in the must-read class. Going through the essays has been an educative and cherished experience…it will indeed be a very important weapon in the quiver of managers and administrators.” Gen. S.K. Sen, VSM in The Statesman.
Leadership and Power: Ethical Insights
- “An assorted yet well marshalled collection of papers makes an intellectually stimulating reading.” Prasanna Bhat in Business Line
- “This compilation (comes) at a time when materialism, commercialisation of education and research have devoured almost the whole of traditional wisdom. Theirs is an attempt to examine the problem, make a list of the diseases and suggest remedies in the light of earlier experiences. The contributors were given wide freedom, and since they come from a variety of work-areas, Leadership and Power has shaped itself into a double-jointed inter-disciplinary tool. There is a charming variety of subjects and style…When seen in balance, the twenty-nine papers in the collection usually zero in on either political power or corporate power and discuss the tremendous pressure upon a leader in either of these areas. So many authors leading us on Himalayan treks helping us look at the blossoms and thorny bushes on the pathway, the gurgling stream flowing close by, the strips of waterfalls that make you blink, the dangerous gorges on the sides and the beckoning peaks of achievement beyond. This elevating and practical adventure has been given a visual kick-start by Pradeep Nayak who has placed the leaders and their instruments of power in a capsule and whirled it into the space on the cover. Indeed Leadership and Power sets awhirl significant ideas and makes us think that transformation is possible. Transformation of a misused present into a worthy future. Yad bhaavam tad bhavati.“— Prema Nandakumar in BIBLIO.
- “In their book, Chakraborty and Bhattacharya have compiled a wide selection of perspectives on power. Twenty-nine diverse pieces…enriching material…from different parts of the world and from different fields and professions. The articles are thought-provoking and deal with real issues we are faced with on a day to day basis. On several levels the material in the articles is rich…have a high degree of authenticity about them…There is also a high degree of scholarship in many of the articles with myriad references from many renowned sources and personalities…the articles are a rich source with which to glimpse many aspects of power…in reading these pieces many questions arise which, when worked through, facilitate the emergence of a framework for power.” Pravir Malik in Mother India.
Panchakanya: The Five Virgins of Indian Epics—A Quest in Search of Meaning
- Pradip Bhattacharya is one of those intrepid scholars who also happen to be bureaucrats… Pradip has been exploring the Mahabharata tradition with enviable tenacity…. (it) is a mine of information… Pradip has taken up a cosmic canvas for his portraiture. His erudition lies in the ability to pick up a few intelligible details, send questions flying at himself, and seek answers from the reader….. Pradip’s approach is a feminist’s delight…Pradip’s account is sublime because the subject is sublime…In this wonderful chapter bringing together Vyasa with a good deal of latter-day recreations of Draupadi’s personality… Though Pancha-Kanya seems to be a slim monograph, it expands to Trivikraman proportions as we ruminate on the past sorrows, trials, triumphs of these five heroines…As Pradip says in conclusion: “The past does indeed hold the future in its womb.” It has been a great adventure … discovering new leads It is a wonderful package…prepared, and I will be coming to it again now and then, I am sure.— Dr. Prema Nandakumar, The Hindu
- (It) is anything but a simple analysis. It is unique as the first elaborate study of the two epics seen through the lens of a popular exhortation, whose source is elusive. It also posits a feminist perspective in the male dominated literary world of South Asia. Bhattacharya incorporates unorthodox scholarship in conjunction with orthodox scholarship, with the text poised at the cutting edge of Internet research…. It is this feminist “eye” that sets Bhattacharya’s analysis apart from most academic scholarship…. The analysis of the characters of non-Aryan Tars and Mandodari as strategists, politicians, visionaries, and no simple helpmates to their male consorts is brilliant and convincing….he displays his ability to “twist the plot” and throw the reader off-center while making him or her a partner in this “quest for meaning.”… The analyses again center around the duo as powerful females, as creators of their own destinies, independent of any male partners…. This slim volume is packed with information, references, and data, stemming from the ancient texts to modern revisitations in literature and performance studies. It is invaluable in its tested appeal for both undergraduate students and scholars. It is concise yet exhaustive. It is diverse as opposed to monolithic in its imaging of South Asian womanhood. And, finally, it engages a dialogue between past literature and present scholarship.— Ratna Roy, International Journal of Hindu Studies, 10 (3), 2006.
- The book is a beauty: it is hand-produced, with calligraphed trimmings, and the hardback is bound in patterned sarī cloth…. Many female epic characters are discussed in addition to the five, and mention is made of similar characters in other world mythology and literature. Overall the interested reader will feel that many fascinating issues have been raised… By the end, the book has become a dissertation on the kanyā concept rather than an inquiry into the śloka…Distributed throughout the book are thirty small black-and-white illustrations, including representations of Indian sculpture and painting from various regions and periods up to the present day. These pictures serve to emphasise one of Bhattacharya’s most central and well-made points, the cultural importance of the kanyā— Dr. Simon Brodbeck, SOAS, South Asia Research, volume 26 issue 1 (February 2006).
- “…a deeply engrossing and scholarly study…impeccable analysis… He brings about an effective fusion of the past and the present in his dextrous analysis of feminine psychology… He displays great fluidity of style, as he moves back and forth in time… the author encourages in the reader a spirit of inquiry, and leaves much of his observations to the interpretation of the reader, thus making the latter an active and creative participant in the development of his analysis… Panchakanya imparts a new dimension to post-colonial intellectual literature in English, in which the author relates historical and mythological facts to contemporary literature, theatre and modern feminist and psychoanalytic theories, thereby bringing out the richness of Indian feminism and cultural heritage.”— Ralla Guha Niyogi in Jadavpur University Essays and Studies, Kolkata, Vol. XIX–XX, 2005- 06.
- “Not only is it encyclopaedic in scholarship, it is written with exceptional sensitivity, asks all the questions that anyone can think up on the Pancha-Kanyas, provides answers that are at once thoughtful, provocative and commonsensical and what’s very important is that it eschews jargon to take you on a gripping ride across world-cultures regarding parallels and analogues to the Pancha-Kanyas. It’s a terrific, exciting read. It’s a book on comparative mythology like no other that I’ve read. Everyone should read it. It takes you deep into questions about women across time and across civilizations that will provide you both education and entertainment….spell-binding research work…a monument of scholarshiop that is of great relevance to our lives…a Renaissance man…he seems to have critically read through everything ever written on the Pancha-Kanyas across the globe…classical scholars, mythologists, translators, theatre directors and actors, film makers, dancers, musicians et al.”— Prof. Amitava Roy, former Shakespeare Professor, Rabindra Bharati University, in International Journal of Cultural Studies & Social Sciences, Vol. VIII, No. XI, 2017.
Revisiting the Panchakanyas
- “Five brilliant women speaking of the five traditional ‘Five Ladies’… The result is an arresting document that has also an afterword by Saroj Thakur and some paintings on the subject, executed during the seminar. … detail essentially a personal voyage within, anxious and defiant by turns. Which, of course, makes them eminently readable…. each a flame of courage and tapasya. Pradip, thank you!”— Prema Nandakumar, Mother India.
- “The volume’s inclusion of voices from outside academia as examples of contemporary interpretation complemented the goal of exploring the relevance of the pañca-kanyā in modern times and as a living tradition. This volume will be of greatest interest to scholars of contemporary Indian discourse on gender and gender models.”— Kendall Busse, University of California, Santa Barbara, in International Journal of Hindu Studies 13, 2, 2009.
- “This is an altogether an impressive and intellectually satisfying publication. Well-documented, and enriched with art drawings and dance photographs, the editor deserves praise.”— N. Vedanta Desikan, The Hindu, 10 July 2007.
- “Dr Pradip Bhattacharya weaves the seams together effortlessly… In celebrating the kanyas, we celebrate survivors.”—Amreeta Sen in The Sunday Statesman 6th May 2007.
Puranic Tales for Cynical People
- “The translators have done a wonderful job, despite the fact that they were faced with a daunting task, that of translating humor into English, from a language that is far removed in kinship terms. Indialog Publications deserves all praise for doing their bit for cynical people!” Lekshmy Rajeev on www.boloji.com
Ed. The Jaiminiya Ashvamedhaparva by S.K. Sen
- “The translation of this influential text, which renders it more accessible to English speaking scholars and other interested individuals, is therefore very welcome indeed! On the whole, the translation is easy to follow and flows nicely… Sen has done an excellent job by providing many wonderful footnotes as well as two glossaries… I find the introduction to be extremely interesting and instructive. In conclusion, this book has its place on the shelf of scholars interested in the Mahābhārata, especially if they are interested in its reception history and the role of Mahābhārata tradition within the cultural history of the subcontinent.” Dr. Tamar Reich in International Journal of Hindu Studies.
- “The long Introduction…is well written and instructive…the present transcreation is quite accurate”. Klaus Karttunen in Studia Orientalia vol. 111.
- “Their pretty book is the first English version of Jaimini’s …and as such it is an important publication which can bring the text to an enormously enlarged audience…it reads nicely enough… five handsome illustrations from a seventeenth-century Razmnama are reproduced as plates…The book includes a seven-page contents list with summaries of each chapter. This is a valuable reference tool, and readers will consult it often…The book has four useful glossaries…Sen, Bhattacharya, and the Writers Workshop are to be heartily and gratefully congratulated for the contribution they have made. This book will undoubtably reinvigorate scholarly and public interest in Jaimini’s Asvamedhikaparvan.” Dr. Simon Brodbeck, Religions of South Asia 4.1 (2010).
Narrative Art in the Mahabharata
“This is a solid, original work of scholarship. It is also unusually well written, with flare and elegance, and carefully edited; I found almost no typos or infelicities of style. I actually enjoyed reading it, and learned much from it. The insights come not in any overarching argument or thesis, but rather in a series of separate apercus that come in each chapter, shedding light on each of a series of human problem, even beginning with the structure of the table of contents! These insights often come from, or reflect, works outside of Indian literature, classics of Greek and English literature, in particular, but the work also incorporates a knowledge of Chinese and Irish history, inter alia. I also enjoyed the quiet citations of English literature peppered throughout the writing. And I welcomed the continuous concern to present the agency of women throughout the Epic, a focus on the strong women in the story—not just Draupadi and Kunti, but Shakuntala, Devayani, Urvashi, and many others. The historical background is brought into the argument from time to time, to ground it.”—Dr. Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions, Chair of the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago.
“…reveals (his) command over the entire epic story and the creative literature that has been inspired by it…his study of the epic has transcended the perimeters of a doctoral dissertation to stream forth into the epic’s parameters…A very satisfactory introduction to indicate how out of all the jumble of man-woman relationships (in and out of wedlock), a certain perfected aim at conserving the very best in the nation had been achieved by the time the Kurukshetra war took place and how the very human passions that billow throughout the epic get their early push from the Book of the Beginnings…there are also flashes of insight…Despite the tangled nature of the criss-crossing myths and legends, Sri Bhattacharya has maintained clarity in outlining the themes, indicating the structure and conveying his views in a commendable manner.”—Dr. Prema Nandakumar, noted scholar.
“This is a most valuable and original contribution to the field of Hindu Studies in general and in particular to the study of the Mahabharata. It contributes to new understanding. It makes important corrections to well-established views and gives an interesting and original account of a topic that remains important. It will add a new approach and addition to the study of the Mahabharata. The work is based on Hindu categories, epistemology, and historical experience. The work effectively restores complexity to a subject that indeed is often badly over-simplified. It offers a fascinating, insightful but critical account to the study of the Mahabharata. It is a well-researched reflection on the topic, and the author gives evidence of a deep familiarity with the material. It is engaging and well written and should capture the attention of readers. I learned a lot from this work. It made me think of my own work in a new way. An outstanding contribution.”—Dr. Sushil Mittal, Associate Professor of Hinduism, James Madison University, USA.
“…succeeds in directing the reader’s attention to the key patterns in the Ādiparvan time and again…insights are enriched by parallels and cross-references to other epic and purāṇic material, and are strengthened by an intimate familiarity with the MBh as a whole…rightly identifies the Ādiparvan as an object worthy of exclusive and lengthy investigation… succeeds, in an easy and readable style, in drawing attention to the merits of Lal’s poetic rendering, and in presenting several intriguing insights into the Ādiparvan‘s dominant themes.” Dr. Christopher Austin, Dalhousie University, International Journal of Hindu Studies.
The Mokshadharma Parva
- “It is indeed very brave of Bhattacharya as this is the toughest section of the epic, containing the essence of Vyasan philosophy…The depth of research that has gone into this translation is amazing. The additional stories and verses he found have been included…providing the reader with the ‘full ragbag version.’ This has lent the book a unique comprehensiveness. A difficult and colossal job, well done! …he has succeeded in communicating the meaning of the concepts difficult to comprehend. One moves easily with the easy flow of his language. His poetry is excellent. It is rich yet simple. One never stumbles while going along. It has the easy flow of a river and the cadence of raindrops, and that makes the translation so attractive.” Shekhar Sen, The Sunday Statesman, 25.12.2016.
- “Bhattacharya is the foremost Sanskrit scholar in India today in the field of Mahabharata Studies… (his) method of approach makes for a definitive translation…sustains the profound subtlety of the original and extremely compressed words…likewise captures well the extremely complex dramatic quality of so much of Bhīṣma’s vast monologue…this great event of mimēsis is fully conveyed by the translation…The great Naranārāyaṇīya…is beautifully translated and finely captures the tone and flavour of that long anthem…the author frequently leaves within his translation certain words in the Sanskrit which brings to the text a much larger authenticity and authority…This is a crucial aspect of the book’s effectiveness as a medium not simply of specific communication but also of cultural significance…This wonderful, thoroughly well-composed, and masterful book is faultlessly printed and handsomely bound…surely to become a matchless title on the shelves of any library of theology. This mighty work will long remain as one of Bhattacharya’s most renowned and paramount contributions to current Indology, both in Asia and in the West.” Kevin McGrath, Harvard University, Journal of Vaishnava Studies, Vol. 26, No.1, 2017.
- “Bhattacharya’s work is culturally important in bringing to the English speaking world this very important parvan…Bhattacharya deserves kudos for bringing into light the stupendous work and name of Siddhāntavāgiśa…translation is crisp, compact and lucid. As an experimentation in translation, Bhattacharya’s methodology is here to last…The annexures are useful and enlightening….In final analysis, Bhattacharya’s rendering is a must in library for serious scholars and readers alike. Indrajit Bandyopadhyay, Indologica Taurinensia, 43 (2017).
- “…brilliantly translated into English…a monumental piece of work as well as a superb literary achievement. Bhattacharya’s mastery of the English language is astounding. With amazing fluidity, the mighty torrent of the translation flows on for 1077 pages, carrying us with it…a superb example for what encyclopedic knowledge, hard work, superb literary talent and total commitment can achieve. The work is a masterpiece of Sanskrit translation. As a translator Bhattacharya eminently succeeds in achieving all the aims he sets for himself.” Satya Chaitanya in Religions of South Asia 11.2-3 (2017).
The Jaimini Mahabharata
“The texts are unique in many ways…takes the readers to another unexplored domain of Ramayana tradition…(The) Introduction provides valuable information, research and insight on parallels and regional variations of Ramayana in general and these episodes in particular in different languages and tradition, both within India and beyond…through comparative analysis in lucid style…Bhattacharya’s style, other than giving a perspective of what is translated, infuses the rendered work with an archaic charm with authentic flavour…Such style pioneers a new direction in the much misdirected translation-game…act as guidelines to future enterprisers…The charm of the translation is enhanced by the image-plates…a gigantic task…No one else could possibly have handled this difficult task in a better way.” Prof. Indrajit Bandopadhyay, Indologica Taurinensia, vol. 45, 2019.
The Mahabharata of Kavi Sanjay
“A creditable performance indeed!…by presenting this classic in English he has brought it to the attention of a larger readership. This will go a long way to help in the field of research on the history of Bengali literature…This is the first ever English translation of Sanjay’s Mahabharat.…The book is worthy of being in one’s collection, not only for the literary value of its content but also for the aesthetic quality of its presentation.” Maj. Gen. S.K. Sen, The Sunday Statesman.
- The Rama Story: Origins and Growth
“…ambitious translation…critically examining the errors and omissions…supplementing Bulcke’s original list…an organised exhaustive bibliography…sheds light on…intriguing episode…that Bulcke skipped…the book is worth all the attention at present and for times to come…a comprehensive wellspring of information.” Oshin Vipra Sagar, Avinash Kumar, Kalakalpa, IGNCA Journal of Arts, VII.2.2023.
Panchakanya: Women of Substance
(Translated into French, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam)
“What a fantastic piece of writing is Panchakanya! The research is extraordinary, but so is the in-depth analysis…It’s the kind of writing that should reach the wider reading public …champions of women’s rights, feminists included, would be greatly interested.” Dr.Sarala Barnabas, scholar and novelist, Ahmednagar College, Maharashtra
- “I have read it with great interest I am baffled that such a highly specialised topic could arouse such an interest.” Gilles Schaufelberger, on the Panchakanya Seminar report on indianest.com .
- “It is a piece that should be read slowly…find your article packed with information.” Ahana Lakshmi about “Panchakanya: Women of Substance.”
- “We found the article of great interest, and it shows considerable scholarship.” Nanny de Vries, co-editor Thamyris
- “Panchakanya indeed made a very interesting reading. I am yet to come across such exhaustive yet comprehensive piece of work. It appears as through the writer has actually delved deep into the minds of all the five characters (this I say inspite of the references used) and somewhere deep down I feel there is one in most of us. The write-up is very much unputdownable.” firstname.lastname@example.org
- “Many thanks for the complex and fascinating notes on the dharma of niyoga, which strike me as absolutely right.” Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago.
- “I just read your wonderful review in BIBLIO (of Splitting the Difference), for which I am VERY grateful. It raises big issues and is very generous, all at the same time. I am so happy to have it; there have been very few truly perceptive reviews of that book and they are precious to me…What would I do without you! I do appreciate your appreciation of my work.” Wendy Doniger.
- “It remains the very best review of ANY of my books, ever, and I remain very grateful to you.” Wendy Doniger on the review of her The Bedtrick.
- “As I read the review of Doniger’s book (Splitting the Difference), I began to realize the reviewer had done such an excellent, comprehensive job, it was almost as good as reading the book.” Sarla Barnabas, Ahmednagar College, Maharashtra.
- “Thank you SO MUCH for such a generous and appreciative review (of The Hindus—an alternative history); it says all that I hoped critics would say, and some did, in part. It’s a great gift.” Wendy Doniger.
- “Thank you very much for reading it so carefully. I don’t think I have ever received an extensive and careful review before.” Dr Paula Richman on the review of her Questioning Ramayanas.
- “I am grateful to you for such a long and detailed review of Epic Threads…thank you once again for the care with which you have prepared your review.” J.L. Brockington, School of Asian Studies, Edinburgh University.
- “Your long and thoughtful review does justice to Brockington’s work, and I’m glad to have seen it. The review of Richman’s book is—like your review of Brockington—very thoughtful and balanced and well-informed. The Panchakanya article introduced me to a topic I had never come across before.” J. D. Smith, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Cambridge University, on the reviews of Epic Threads and Questioning Ramayanas.
- “That is quite a review. Good to see you getting tough…the extensions on Doniger’s piece and the proposals on a Narmada research are most well taken. Can we hope for some such study from you?” Alf Hiltebeitel, Professor of Religion & Human sciences, The George Washington University, on the review of Hawley & Wulff’s Devi: the Divine Consort.
- “I have been very interested in your text, it breathes life into old friends of mine, Bhishma, Karna, Krishna, Satyavati, Kunti and Draupadi, and it has deeply changed the opinion I could have on them. Thus, I have the impression to understand them better, which gives me also a better understanding of the epic itself. Be thanked for that.” Gilles Schaufelberger on “Leadership Insights from Mahabharata” (translator of “Panchakanya: Women of Substance,” “Desire under the Kalpataru” and “Leadership Insights from the Mahabharata” into French http://www.neurom.ch/mbh/5.htm#liens).
- “Your most recent piece on Mausala backfills the sparse Critical Edition account of the end of the Yadavas with so many informative narratives, from the Harivamsa on. A truly edifying and inspiring piece.” Alf Hiltebeitel
- “I took time out to read and re-read your review on Debroy and Smith. As the popular saying goes: What is there in the Mahabharata may be found elsewhere but what is not there cannot be found anywhere else. Truly, the same could be said about you too with reference to literature reviews on our Epics. What you don’t know about the various translations and scholarship on the Mahabharata would not be known by anyone else indeed.”—Avin D.
- Text and Variations of the Mahabharata: “two articles by Pradip Bhattacharya are arresting. In one he strikes at the very root of the most talked-about episode of the epic, the disrobing of Draupadi.…In another remarkable essay on Mahabharata as performed on the small and the large screen, Bhattacharya discusses in depth B.R. Chopra’s notable television production of the Mahabharata bringing out the salient features of Rahi Masoom Reza’s sensitive and ingeniously conceived script, …to lambast, quite rightly, Peter Brook’s inadequate eight-hour production of the epic…highlighting Brook’s shallow and insensitive handling of the epic.”— Gen. S.K. Sen, VSM.