About the Author
On the auspicious day of Mauni Amavasya, 1921, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja took his divine birth in a devout Vaisnava family in Tivaripura, in the state of Bihar, India.
In February, 1946, he met his gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and his life of complete and exemplary dedication to Gaudiya Vaisnavism, or the path of krsna- bhakti in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, began.
He accompanied his gurudeva on his extensive preaching tours throughout India, actively assisting him in propagating the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for the eternal benefit of the living entities in this world. This included regularly hosting the thousands of pilgrims attending the yearly circumambulation of Sri Navadvipa-dhama, the appearance place of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Vrndavana-dhama, the appearance place of Sri Krsna.
His gurudeva had instructed him to translate the writings of prominent Gaudiya Vaisnavas into Hindi, a task he assiduously assumed throughout his entire life and which resulted in the publication of nearly fifty Hindi sacred texts. These invaluable masterpieces are currently being translated into English and other major languages of the world.
For many years, he travelled throughout India to spread the message of Gaudiya Vaisnavism, and it was for this end, also, that in 1996, he journeyed abroad. During the next fourteen years, he circled the globe more than thirty times. Whether he was in India or abroad, his preaching always bore the distinctive characteristic of boldly unmasking any misconception obscuring the specific purposes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's advent, in strict adherence to the desire of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and in perfect congruence with the conceptions of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's foremost follower. Thus, in present times, in upholding the glorious tenets of the Gaudiya sampradaya, he performed the function of a true acarya.
This book is a collection of lectures delivered by one of the most renowned Vaisnava preceptors of modern times, our beloved gurudeva, om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja. Spoken originally in Hindi, these lectures were recorded in January 1991 at Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura Uttar Pradesh, India. They comprise a single instalment of an immaculate running commentary that Srila Gurudeva spoke over a period of two years on Srila Sanatana Gosvamipada's Brhad-bhagavatamrta. Each chapter of this book is comprised of a single lecture, totalling twelve in all. The Brhad-bhagavatamrta is a lengthy scripture, and the material included here covers exclusively verses from the fourth chapter of the second part.
Described herein is how, although having recently arrived in Sri Vaikuntha-dharna, the most desirable of places and the entrance to which is sought after by unlimited saintly persons, Gopa-kumara is feeling despondent and cannot even ascertain the cause of his own dissatisfaction. At that time he is approached by Sri Narada Rai, who becomes his instructing spiritual master and enlightens him with the understanding necessary to complete his spiritual journey and thereby attain the fulfilment of all his long-cherished internal desires. Gopa-kumara's consequent determination to attain the eternal company of Sri Krsna in Vraja inspires him to continue chanting his gopala-mantra until he is fully successful. Devotees who themselves sincerely yearn to one day go beyond Vaikuntha and enter Sri Goloka- Vraja, the transcendental land of spontaneous loving devotion to Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, will find the story of Gopa-kumara particularly useful.
In his ongoing publication of Vaisnava literature in the English language, Srila Gurudeva mentions repeatedly that he is simply following in the footsteps of his dear friend and instructing spiritual master, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada singlehandedly and in a relatively short period of time spread the teachings of Krsna consciousness around the entire world. His translations and writings set the standard for the literary presentation of Vaisnava philosophy, and we sincerely pray that our current efforts are pleasing to him.
Grateful acknowledgement is extended to Lavanga-lata dast for copy-editing this new third edition, to Santi dast for proofreading the final manuscript, to Atula-krsna dasa and Ananta-krsna dasa for checking the Sanskrit, to Krsna-prerna dasa for designing the new cover and to Subala-sakha dasa for providing the new photograph of Srila Narayana Maharaja. Together we offer it into the hands of Srila Gurudeva, the crown jewel of rasika Vaisnavas, praying that he will bless us with the necessary qualification to continue serving him in this capacity.
The Brahmana Meets Gopa-kumara
Gopa-kumara's Remarkable Journey
The Superiority of Nama-sanklrtana
The Moods of Intimacy and Sweetness
Bhagavan's Incarnations are One
Krsna's Glories are Inconceivable
Bhagavan's Inconceivable Potency
The Glories of Yogamaya
Krsna Gives Prema Even To His Enemies
The Gradations in Service
The Proper Mood for Arcana
Ultimately Prema Cannot Be Described
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