We were delighted and honoured to receive the personal archives of Sriman Sadaputa prabhu at the beginning of this year. Sadaputa prabhu aka Dr. Richard L. Thompson, was a founding member of the Bhaktivedanta Institute in 1976 (seen here seated second from left with Srila Prabhupada and the other members during a visit to WDC in July 1976):
It was thanks to Sadaputa prabhu’s genius that we are now confident to present the S.B. 5th Canto cosmology in the Mayapur Temple of Vedic Planetarium. His ground-breaking book Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy was brilliant fulfilment of Prabhupada’s order to his Ph.d. disciples to present the Vedic view of the universe to the scientists and scholars of the world:
Letter to: Svarupa Damodara — Auckland 27 April, 1976
Now our Ph.Ds must collaborate and study the 5th Canto to make a model for building the Vedic Planetarium. My final decision is that the universe is just like a tree, with root upwards.
…The planets have their fixed orbits, but still they are turning with the turning of the great tree. There are pathways leading from one planet to another made of gold, copper, etc., and these are like the branches. Distances are also described in the 5th Canto just how far one planet is from another.
…It is not that we shall accept the theory that the sun is fixed up and the others are all going around the sun. That is not correct. …
So now you all Ph.D.s must carefully study the details of the 5th Canto and make a working model of the universe. If we can explain the passing seasons, eclipses, phases of the moon, passing of day and night, etc. then it will be very powerful propaganda."
His untimely departure in 2008 was a great blow to ISKCON but fortunately by the grace of his widow Smt. Devamrta dd, and the diligence of Sriman Stithadhi Muni dasa and Sriman Krsna Krpa dasa we received all his research materials and writings at the beginning of January 2012.