Bhakti Sandarbha is the fifth book of the Six Sandarbhas. It offers a thorough analysis of Bhakti, or devotion, on the basis of Srimad Bhagavatam. Jiva Gosvami states that the Bhagavatam prescribes Bhakti as the most efficacious and universal process (abhidheya) for realizing the absolute. Bhakti has never been established as abhidheya so systematically and emphatically as in this book. Earlier Bhakti was generally considered as one among various spiritual processes, including karma-yoga, jnana-yoga and astanga-yoga. Moreover it was usually regarded as a precursor to jnana, which ultimately leads to liberation. Rarely was Bhakti viewed as an independent process. In contrast to this, Jiva Gosvami asserts that Bhakti is the complete abhidheya, and as such all other processes become futile when bereft of devotion. Other practices have enduring significance only through contact with devotion. Even realization of Brahman is possible only by the grace of Bhakti. Bhakti is the most blissful process both in practice and in perfection.
About the Author:
Dr. Satya Narayana Dasa earned his graduate degrees, B. Tech. & M. Tech. In engineering, from IIT Delhi, and worked as a software engineer in USA for a few years.
He gave up a promising carrier in this field to pursue the inner quest for truth. He studied Sanskrit and the six systems of Indian philosophy under various traditional Gurus in Vrndavana. He also studied the entire range of Gaudiya Vaisnava literature from his Guru. Sri Haridas Sastri, one of the eminent scholars and saints of India.
Dr. Satya Narayana Dasa (PhD. Sanskrit) founded Jiva Institute to promote Vedic culture, philosophy and ayurveda through education. He regularly gives classes on Gaudiya Vaisnava literature, and has authored many books on the subject. He has contributed to the twenty-five volume work brought out by the project of history of Indian science, philosophy and culture.
Bruce Martin has been studying the systems of Indian philosophy, especially that of the Chaitanya School, for over twenty-five years. Besides English, he is conversant in French, Sanskrit, Bengali and Hindi. He has translated and edited several Vaisnava works, including Bhagavad-gita, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu, Siksastaka and Mana-siksa. He is well read in both modern and traditional systems of philosophy and is particularly concerned with bringing out the relevance of ancient wisdom traditions for modern practitioners.
Back of Book:
How is it that the living beingwho is trapped in a material bodycreated by his own karma is apart of the unlimited Lord?
This is described in the verse by the compound abahirantara-samvaranam, meaning that in reality the living being is devoid of external and internal coverings. It is covered only by the designations with which it identifies. Therefore the living being is exclusively a part of the Lord, who is also devoid of all coverings. Knowing this truth, that the living being characterized above is by nature under the shelter of the Lord and that the Lord is his very life, the learned, being full of faith, worship only the Lord's feet.
Therefore, although the jivas are eternally under the Lord's shelter, they experience material misery because their attention is directed towards the world of material phenomena and away from the Lord. The material miseries sun away of their own accord when one turns one's attention towards the Lord. This is the significance of the word abhavam, "in which there is no existence of the material world," which also qualifies the Lord's feet. This means that when one turns to the Lord, material existence comes to an end.
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