“O Ye, who are deeply merged in the knowledge of the love of God and also in deep thought about it, constantly drink, even after your emancipation, the most tasteful juice of the Srîmad-Bhågavatam, come on earth through ̧Srî ̧Sukadeva Gosvåmî’s mouth carrying the liquid nectar out of the fallen and, as such, very ripe fruit of the Vedic tree which supplies all with their desired objects.” ( ̧rîmad-Bhågavatam, 1/1/3)
We love to read a book which we never read before. We are anxious to gather whatever information is contained in it and with such acquirement our curiosity stops. This mode of study prevails amongst a great number of readers, who are great men in their own estimation as well as in the estimation of those, who are of their own stamp. In fact, most readers are mere repositories of facts and statements made by other people. But this is not study. The student is to read the facts with a view to create, and not with the object of fruitless retention. Students like satellites should reflect whatever light they receive from authors and not imprison the facts and thoughts just as the Magistrates imprison the convicts in the jail! Thought is progressive. The author’s thought must have progress in the reader in the shape of correction or development. He is the best critic, who can show the further development of an old thought; but a mere denouncer is the enemy of progress and consequently of Nature.
Who is Śrī Rādhā? She is the tender, divine counterpart of the Supreme Personality, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. She is the personification of His potency, specifically His potency of bliss, and She kindly bestows that transcendental bliss upon anyone who takes shelter of Her. This has been fully realized by stalwart practitioners of bhakti, such as the exalted authors of the articles herein. It is their sincere desire to see others relish substantial, never-diminishing happiness, the path to which they skillfully reveal in Śrī Rādhā: Our Supreme Shelter.
Out of his fathomless compassion, our most worshipful Śrīla Gurudeva, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, bestowed his blessings upon the world through his immaculate translations and commentaries of the life- transforming ancient Vedic literatures. His authority is that he has presented, without adulteration, the Vedic literature and those literatures in pursuance of it.
He is glorious because he represents the glorious guru- paramparā, the unbroken chain of disciplic succession of realized gurus coming from lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is accepted by Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s devotees throughout the world as a manifestation of Śrīla Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa, the lord’s literary incarnation. He represents and has manifested the sublime works of Śrīla Vyāsa, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, Śrīla Naro ama dāsa Ṭhākura, Śrīla Viśvanātha cakravartī Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda, and all the pure ācāryas in our disciplic line. In addition, he has glori ed their message in his discourses and discussions, and those words have later also become books.
This volume contains Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja’s appeal, inspiration, guidance and blessings in regard to the most essential practices that nourish our bhakti, namely śravaṇa (hearing, or reading) and kīrtana (chanting, or preaching).
We are feeling great bliss in publishing the book “Mādhava-tithi (Glories of ekādaśī)” in the English language. Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja has written the introduction to this book. The main contents of this book are based on the lectures of Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja. We have included some additional information such as the foods that permitted on the day of ekādaśī and the foods that are prohibited.
It is mentioned in the Purāṇas that the beloved day of ekādaśī can fulfill all of the desires of every human being. By following this vow all sins are destroyed, one achieves all of the goals of human life, and one is able to please Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The following are four well-known considerations regarding the vow of ekādaśī: observing it pleases Bhagavān; it is based on scriptural injunctions; it imposes restrictions on taking meals; and failing to follow it results in offenses accruing. The vow of ekādaśī is very dear to Śrī Hari. Anyone who observes this vow with devotion, whether a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiṣya, śudra, woman, or man, will attain liberation and association with Bhagavān.
We are not these mortal bodies and this world is not our real home. We are but passers-by, taking a material body for some time only to leave it, and then taking another. Lost and forlorn, we remain oblivious to our blissful real identity. This journey of the soul ends joyfully, however, by the mercy of true saints, such as Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja. Part One of this book consists of selected lectures by him, as well as interviews and informal meetings on the topic of the truth of the soul (jīva-tattva). Part Two delivers three chapters from Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s Jaiva-dharma, and Part Three consists of quotes by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
‘Śrī Jagannātha Ratha-yātrā’ is bound to take one’s appreciation of Ratha-yātrā to new heights, beyond the thrill of an extraordinary cultural or religious experience. Annually, in Purī, India, approximately a million people attend the ancient Ratha-yātrā festival, to take darśana of Lord Jagannātha on His chariot, and at least three times that view it from other places in India and around the world. Still, the deep significance of Ratha-yātrā, being most confidential, is not widely known. ‘Śrī Jagannātha Ratha-yātrā’ is rich with this significance, offering an invaluable Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava perspective of this wonderful event. The book contains three separate ancient histories of Ratha-yātrā as well as an elaborate description of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s inner moods during the festival.
The basis of this book is ‘The Origin of Ratha-yātrā’, a transcription of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja’s English lectures, but because a written review and translation (into Hindi) of one’s spoken word will naturally contain intensified focus and greater detail, as well as elaboration and omissions, ‘Śrī Jagannātha Ratha-yātrā’ is a new presentation of this subject. Due to Śrīla Mahārāja’s deep immersion in the beautiful moods of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, it is not surprising that his revelation of Śrī Ratha-yātrā is also suffused with this sublime sweetness and deep philosophical truths.