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Ramananda Prasad

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Ramananda Prasad (born 1938) is the founder of the International Gita Society. He has translated the Bhagavad Gita into English in 1988 from the Sanskrit text.

Prasad was born in Hargawan, Bihar to a farmer who had three acres of land and six children to support. By hard work, his father was somehow able to send his sons to college. Ramanand had his pre-school education in the village from the late Mazahirul Haque, a Muslim headmaster who taught him English and Mathematics. After finishing his high school education at Mahadeva High School, Khusrupur, he passed his high school from Patna College in 1953. He attended Patna Science College from 1953-55 and is a 1959 graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India, obtained his Master's Degree from the University of Toronto and earned his doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. Since then, he has been involved in research, teaching, engineering and consulting and worked for the U. S. Navy Corps of Engineers before retiring in 2000. He is presently a professor of Civil Engineering at San Jose State University and an adjunct professor of religion and psychology at the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Prasad has founded several non-profit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area such as the Vedic Dharma Samaj that now runs the Fremont Hindu temple, Ramayan Sabha, and the Universal Yoga Center of San Francisco. He is married to Sadhana Prasad, a devotee of Lord Shiva and has one daughter, Reeta Raina who is married to Abhinav Raina and one son, Sanjay Prasad, who now directs the activities of the International Gita Society. He also has two Grandsons, Jay Raina and Raj Krishan Raina.

Prasad created the American Gita Society (later renamed the International Gita Society) in 1984 in order to foster unity and goodwill between all religions and faiths of the world, through the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Its initial focus was to put copies of Bhagavad-Gita in libraries, hotels, motels, hospitals all over the world as the American Bible Society does with copies of the New Testament. In his translation, he borrows allied concepts liberally from the Koran, Bible, Dhammapada, and many other Hindu texts in order to get his message across that all faiths are ultimately one, while nonetheless giving supremacy to the stature of the Gita.

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