This compelling narrative, based on spiritually developed personalities in cultured Bengali life a few hundred years ago, serves as the basis of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's presentation of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava philosophy, from its basic tenets to its esoteric pinnacle. Woven into the story are penetrating philosophical questions that are commonly pondered and eternally relevant. The depth of the answers gives clarity and direction to the quest to establish ourselves in our jaiva-dharma, our soul's constitutional function.
The intriguing pastimes of Durvāsā Muni – he who cursed Ambarīṣa Mahārāja, he who blessed Śrīmatī Rādhikā, he who incensed the residents of Dvārakā, he who was charmed by Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma – are bound to captivate all. This booklet, containing sixteen engaging narrations of the history of Maharṣi Durvāsā, is written in simple, story-tale style. In this way, it easily lends itself to drama and art, and is sure to be a source of family delight.
What are the beautiful yet highly disciplined internal attitudes that are to be deeply embedded in the heart of one who sincerely aspires to be follower of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī? In this book, the foremost rūpānuga, Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, reveals the firmness of mind required to attain that topmost goal. These eleven nectarean and startling instructions to his “brother mind” are truly for the serious practitioner and sincere aspirant.
“O wicked mind, although you adopt the path of sādhana, you imagine yourself purified by bathing in the trickling urine of the great donkey of full-blown deceit and hypocrisy.”
It was through this wonderful literary work that the true history of Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma was first revealed to the world. Now, thousands of pilgrims visiting the holy places on Śrī Navadvīpa’s nine islands prayerfully chant the verses from these pages, which extol the glories of this abode and the unprecendented mercy that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates shower upon those who come here. This charming pocket-sized book is an excellent companion for one on Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā.
Out of the seven hundred verses of the Bhagavad-gītā, Verse 18.65 captures the essence of the entire Gītā: “Absorb your mind and heart in Me, become My devotee, worship Me, offer your praṇāma to Me, and then certainly you will come to Me. I make this promise to you because you are very dear to Me.” The first three chapters of Nectar of Govinda-līlā explain the three elements of this verse in relation to our aim to enter Goloka Vṛndāvana. Other chapters contain a colourful description, infused with pure Gauḍīya siddhānta, of Vasanta-pañcami, the first day of Spring, and other nectar.
In this booklet, a translation of a Hindi lecture spoken in 1964, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja systematically guides us in understanding the actual nature of our soul. He begins with a captivating story from Vedic history in which two kings, the lord of the demigods and the lord of the demons, vie with each other for factual knowledge of the soul's identity. The contents herein provide a complete foundation for understanding all other devotional literature.
In Murwillumbah, January 1997, devotees eagerly gathered daily to hear Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja's enthralling descriptions of pure devotees' love for Kṛṣṇa, with a higher level of devotion being introduced each successive day. "Come with me," he would begin, and all sat in submission as he gradually presented the pinnacle of devotion: becoming an unalloyed maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. These classes, based on the fourth verse of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta's Ādi-līlā, articulate the purpose of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's advent with inspiring precision, thus facilitating a clear understanding for all.
In his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu-bindu, Śrīpāda Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has briefly explained the path of rāgānuga-bhakti (spontaneous loving devotion). He has given a more detailed description of the same subject matter in this book, presented in two illuminations. In the First Illumination, he ascertains the paths of vaidhī and rāgānuga-bhakti.
The Second Illumination presents concepts in relation to Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s aspects of supreme opulence (aiśvarya) and consummate sweetness (mādhurya). Also described are the principles of Kṛṣṇa’s sarvajñatā (omniscience) and mugdhatā (quality of being charmingly oblivious and captivated), the concepts of svakīya (marital love) and parakīya (paramour love), the types of cherished eternal forms attained by rāgānuga devotees upon ascending to the realm of perfected divine love (prema), the authority of the Yogamāyā potency, and so on.
More than five hundred years ago, the Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sat with His intimate devotee Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya on the banks of the river Godāvarī. For the benefit of all living beings, the Lord inquired from him about the ultimate goal of life, as if ignorant.
Śrī Rāmānanda’s initial response did not satisfy Lord Caitanya, who probed for a deeper answer. Again and again He rejected the goal Śrī Rāmānanda put forth, calling it external. Finally, when Śrī Rāmānanda touched upon the natural, eternal religion of the soul, the Lord was somewhat satisfied. His subsequent inquiries continued to depths that astounded and delighted His devotee, who replied wonderfully to each of them.
The purpose of this booklet is to introduce the reader to the beauty and wonder of his or her own natural being. Sages say that our souls are each more brilliant and powerful than thousands of suns, and that we come to experience this by hearing from those who are self-realized. Secrets of the Undiscovered Self was kindly presented in the form of a discourse by such a selfrealized personality, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, a pre-eminent saint and one of the foremost teachers of divine wisdom in the present day. This discourse was given in March 2002, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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