Richard L. Thompson Lecture Series

The Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies is hosting an ongoing lecture series based on the books of Richard L. Thompson (Sadaputa dasa) at the BIHS Headquarters in Gainesville, FL, on alternate Saturdays at 11 am – 12:30 pm EDT (see schedule below for dates)

Six of Thompson’s books will be covered chapter by chapter with a lecture summarizing the contents and highlighting the chapter’s essential messages, followed by a discussion session. Having completed his first book, Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science: An Investigation Into the Nature of Consciousness and Form (1981), the series is currently presenting his second book, Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy (1989). 

The mysteries of the Fifth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam have long puzzled students of Vedic cosmography and astronomy. Confronted with a description of the universe that seems much at variance with the information provided by our senses and standard astronomical calculations, foreign observers—and even Indian commentators—from the Middle Ages up to the present have concluded that the Bhagavatam’s account, elaborated in other Puranas, must be mythological. On the other hand, the same persons have been much impressed with Vedic astronomical treatises, the Jyotisa Sastras, which provide remarkably accurate measurements of the solar system.

In this publication, Thompson shows that the Fifth Canto’s cosmography and the accounts of the solar system found in the Jyotisa Sastras are not contradictory, but that they in fact represent distinct yet mutually consistent ways of comprehending a universe with important features beyond the range of ordinary sense perception.

Schedule for Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy

All dates are 2023
July 1 VCA Introduction – Bob Cohen (Brahmatirtha), Prishni Sutton
July 15 Ch 1. The Astronomical Siddhantas – Maricio Garrido (Murli Gopal)
July 29 Ch 2. Vedic Physics: The Nature of Space, Time, and Matter – Krishna Narasimhan (Narasimhadeva)
August 12 Ch 3. Vedic Cosmography – Prishni Sutton
August 26 Ch 4. The Vertical Dimension – Vasyl Semenov (Dvija Govinda)
September 9 Ch 5. The Empirical Case for the Vedic World System – Christopher Beetle (Krishna Kripa)
September 23 Ch 6. Modern Astrophysics and the Vedic Perspective – Doug Watson
October 7 Ch 7. Red Shifts and the Expanding Universe – Hugo Stetz
October 21 Ch 8. Questions and Answers – Prishni Sutton
November 4 Appendices – Stewart Kreitzer (Sthita-dhi-muni)


Four more of Thompson’s books will be included in the Lecture Series, in chronological order:

  • Parallels [Alien Identities]: Ancient Insights into Modern UFO Phenomena (1993)
  • Mysteries of the Sacred Universe: The Cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana (2000)
  • Maya: The World As Virtual Reality (2003)
  • God & Science: Divine Causation and the Laws of Nature (2004)