Books in English language
Some of the original handwritten letters in Bengali and Hindi, that Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja (Śrīla Prabhupāda) wrote to his dear friend, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s first few years in America, along with their English translations, comprise this tasteful, photo-rich, presentation. “Our relationship is certainly based on spontaneous love. That is why there is no chance of us forgetting one another.” [Letter dated September 1966.]
This present edition of Srimad Bhagavad-gita contains the essential meanings given in the commentaries of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. It is further illuminated by the exegesis of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. This translation is complimentary to the authoritative and popular Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada.
This compelling narrative based on spiritually developed personalities and others 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.
Arcana-dipika means “the lamp that illuminates arcana”. The term arcana signifies honour, or worship. As one of the nine processes of devotional service it refers to worshipping the deity form of the Lord. Arcana-dipika teaches us how to perform this service and thus please the Lord through this process of worship. It contains the exact details of worship, waking, bathing and feeding the Lord, and putting Him to rest at night. It also includes exact details of the rules and regulations for brahminical cleanliness – all to help us develop pure bhakti.
Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu-bindu (a drop from the nectarean ocean of devotion), is a brief summary of the essential topics presented in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. It describes the nature of uttama-bhakti, sādhana-bhakti, the stages in the development of prema, the limbs of bhajana, offences committed in the performance of devotional service, offences against the holy name, vaidhi- and rāgānuga-sādhana-bhakti, bhāva-bhakti and prema-bhakti. Faithful persons who study this book will obtain the qualification to enter into the wealth of the prema of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura’s beautiful Śrī Camatkāra-candrikā comprises four narrations of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s enchanting pastimes. These stories are so delightful that one naturally becomes joyful by absorbing oneself in them. By their very nature, these pastimes allure the reader to relish the eternal sweetness of the transcendental realm.
In the Second Canto of Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta, Srila Sanatana Gosvami examines all the manifestations and incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, culminating in Sri Nandanandana, the beloved son of Sri Nanda Maharaja. He does so by narrating the story of Gopa-kumara and his fascinating journey throughout the material and spiritual universes as he searches for the Lord of his heart. “Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta alone is the main foundation of all the scriptures written by Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and so on. All the other books of our Gosvamis manifested from this one book alone.” [Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja]
For thousands of years, devotees have sung Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam, especially in the revered month of Kārtika. These eight verses mark the profound blossoming of Śrī Satyavrata Muni's love for Śrī Dāmodara, as he prays, "Please appear before me in Your beautiful, eternal form as a young cowherd-boy, and grant me the perfection of life." The true meaning of this prayer remained mostly hidden until the late 1500s, when Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī wrote his elucidating commentary. Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja's lively and poignant supplementary commentary serves to make these essential meanings even more accessible.
This book especially investigates the philosophy of Sri Sankaracarya, whose philosophical misinterpretations of the Vedas were so influential that not only did he succeed in driving Buddhism out of India, but what most of us now think of as Hinduism is fundamentally nothing but his brand of impersonal Mayavadism. To quote the author, "...it can be safely concluded that in truth, any philosophy which has the propensity to dilute, divide, and confuse the rational, logical or factual understanding of the Supreme Lord's personal form, has at some juncture been influenced by the deceptive forces of Mayavadism." Furthermore, Beyond Nirvana demonstrates that Sankaracarya's teachings are in the final analysis ironically nothing but a recycled form of Buddhism and in no way true to the original Vedic wisdom known as sanatana-dharma.
Bhakti-rasāyana, or the nectar tonic of bhakti-rasa, consists of a compilation of verses from the Tenth Canto of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that Parīkṣit Mahārāja spoke to his mother, Uttarā, in the final chapter of Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta. Like stringing pearls on a thread, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī has composed a necklace of these verses for the benefit of the sādhakas (practitioners of bhakti) of this world, to stimulate the moods of bhakti in their hearts.
We trust various persons of authority to inform us about material subject matters, but whom shall we trust in regard to transcendental subject matters and the transcendental world? We cannot experience transcendence with any of our material senses. How then, can we have an idea of that pure reality? We can see the body, but not the soul. How can we verify that there is a soul beyond matter? Though God is everywhere, we don't see Him. How then, can we determine who is God? Although it is evident that we cannot control the world, how can we trust that there is a God from whom this creation has come, and how can we be confident that it is He who controls it? Millions of people are born daily, and millions also die. Who controls this overwhelming tide of birth and death? Sea waves come on schedule, the sun appears on schedule, and new days come with continuous regularity. We do not control those rhythms, yet somehow, everything is maintained.
An unprecedented collection of devotional songs Sanskrit, Bengali and Hindi devotional poems, prayers, songs and bhajanas written by the Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas and compiled for the practicing devotee.
“Lord Brahma described in a samhita (compilation) of one hundred chapters whatever essence of pure bhakti he had been holding in his heart in connection with the Supreme Lord. Among those chapters, this Fifth Chapter is most worshipable for Gaudiya Vaisnavas because it is extremely practical and advantageous for the living entity. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally brought Brahma-samhita from South India for His devotees.” [Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura]
Sri Bhajana-rahasya is compiled by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya. He has collected into the form of a book several confidential hints from his own method of bhajana to guide sincere sadhakas who are performing bhajana under his direction. Some years ago, this destitute person (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura) observed him performing bhajana. He was constantly reciting and relishing verses such as the ones in this book, thus becoming overwhelmed with bhagavat-prema. For sadhakas whose faith is on the neophyte platform, the system of arcana is provided.
This is a summary work examining the verse "Absorb your mind and heart in Me, become My devotee, worship Me, offer your obeisances to Me, and certainly you will come to Me.", the essence of the Bhagavad-gita. This brief publication offers vivid illustrations of the practical application of this verse with many pastimes of Krishna and our great saintly predecessors.
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