One of ISKCON's best friends and scholarly supporters, Professor Thomas J. Hopkins, passed away the morning of Saturday, February 20, 2021, at the age of ninety-one. Dr. Hopkins was Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College, USA, and an expert in the study of Caitanya Vaishnavism.
Professor Hopkins met Srila Prabhupada and the early ISKCON devotees in 1966 at 26 Second Avenue in New York City, ISKCON’s first temple. He purchased a set of Srila Prabhupada's original publication of the "Srimad Bhagavatam” during that visit. At one point, Professor Hopkins arranged for Srila Prabhupada to teach a course at Franklin and Marshall College, where he was a professor. In the end, Srila Prabhupada declined this offer because Srila Prabhupada was too busy establishing the ISKCON and its temple-centers.
Professor Hopkins wrote an oft-quoted review of the Bhagavad-gita As-It-Is, wherein he commented: "There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada’s translation is an ideal blend of literal accuracy and religious insight."
Professor Hopkins contributed his own eloquent writing to many ISKCON publications, such as his article entitled, "A Vital Transition: The Molding of the Hare Krishna Movement in British India," for the BTG Magazine (Vol. 16, No. 8). A "Preface" to one of Kusakratha Dasa's works, a "Foreword" to Hari Sauri Dasa's book, “A Transcendental Diary,” another "Foreword" to Satyaraja's recent work entitled, “Swamiji: An Early Disciple, Brahmananda Dasa, Remembers His Guru,” and other works.
Perhaps Professor Hopkin's most well-known writing among ISKCON members is his "Foreword" to the second volume of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami's biography of Srila Prabhupada, "Planting the Seed." He begins with his famous first words: "The story you are about to read is, like many true stories, highly improbable." He goes on to write, "What follows is a remarkable tale of faith, determination, and success beyond anyone's expectation."
Dr. Graham Schweig, Garuda dasa, comments, "Tom and I were good friends and close colleagues. Tom had truly a great love for devotees, for Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON, and for the vibrant Vaishnava tradition and its rich literature."
Read more: https://iskconnews.org/professor-thomas-j-hopkins-scholar-and-friend-of-iskcon-passes-away,7702/