There was conflict due to disagreements between the different sampradayas at the time Bhaktamala was compiled. Everyone thought their worshipable Deity, their literatures, their acaryas, and their followers to be the best and therefore all the others inferior. For this reason the practice of real religion had suffered, and is still suffering.
In such a time of crisis, Srimad Agvadevacarya instructed Sri Nabha about the unalloyed conclusion that by worshiping the devotees of the Supreme Lord and by following the orders of a bonafide spiritual master, one's goal of life is easily achieved. This conclusion is not sectarian or biased because it establishes the absolute and transcendental position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His pleanary portions, His devotees, His devotional service, and His representatives.
Simply by chanting, reading, or hearing the contents of this book, one will become like one of the beads on this string. The beads, the head bead, the act of stringing the beads, and the thread are four different objects, but when strung, they become one. The devotee, devotional service, the Supreme Lord, and the spiritual master-by worshiping anyone of these with faith and determination, one easily avails of the other three.
The glories of the Supreme Lord and His devotees are unlimited. This book will gradually bring the readers closer to their worshipable Lord. The wonderful glories of the devotees of different sampradayas are described in this book.
Just as the Supreme Lord is eternal, so His devotees are also eternal. Just as the narrations of the Supreme Lord's pastimes are eternal, so the narrations concerning the lives of His devotees are also eternal. No pastime of the Supreme Lord is enacted without the association of His devotees.
Prior to Sri Bhaktamala, the characteristics of the devotees were described in the Vedas, Puranas, and historical literatures. The spiritual master of Sri Nabha, who was known as Srimad Agradevacarya, had ordered Nabha (Sri Narayana Dasa), around 1666, to compile Sri Bhaktamala. Compiled one hundred years thereafter, in 1766, Sri Priyadasa's commentary in poetry form is as important s the original book, Bhaktamala.
Shri Bhaktamala is well-known even among common people as a necklace consisting of beads that are devotes in whose hearts the lord eternally enjoys pastimes. These devotees also reside in the Lord’s heart, relishing pastime. Even a barren heart will blossom by hearing the narrations contained in this book. This is not merely a divine literature, but a social experiment as well, because its purpose is to string beads of different origins onto a single thread.
Brahma Sutras (77)
Yoga Vasistha (81)
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