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.
This present edition of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā contains the essential meanings given in the commentaries of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. It is further illuminated by the exegesis of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja. This translation is complimentary to the authoritative and popular Bhagavad-gītā As It Is by Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda.
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 to us.
Arcana-dīpikā 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-dīpikā 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.
Early one morning, Vrajendra-nandana Sri Syamasundara, the unrestricted carefree enjoyer of rasa, disguised Himself as a young woman of heart-stealing beauty and went to the courtyard of Srimati Radhika. Covering His lotus-like face with a crimson veil, He appeared before Her, His eyes bashfully lowered. Within His heart, He yearned to hear of the excellence of Her love for Him and the inferiority of His love for Her.
After taking shelter of this desire tree of aspirations presnted by Srila Visvanath Cakravati Thakura, that is to say, in order to attain the desire for the seva described in this compilations, one should sincerely, and without duplicity, with body, mind and words, remain under the guidance of the devoted persons who are completely immersed in this seva. These topmost, incomparable and transcendental aspirations can then quickly be fulfilled. Thus, the name of this book, Sri Sankalpa-kalpadrumah, is appropriate, because it makes one’s desires bear fruit. The sadhaka’s life attains success only when the impetus to obtain these trancendental aspirations appear in the heart by the causeless mercy of the guru and Vaisnavas.