Will that divine personality, bhakti-bhagiratha Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who has delivered the entire world by casting away all obstacles on the path of bhakti and bringing forth the current of the Ganges River of bhakti, forever become the object of my constant meditation?
By the causeless mercy and inspiration of paramdradhya Guru-pada-padma nitya-Irla pravista aril visnupada astottarasata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajhana Keava Gosvami Maharaja, this book, entitled, "Rapanuga Vaisnava Acaryas" is being presented to the readers. This book contains the specialties of the teachings of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura Prabhupada. It also embodies their priceless contributions. The transcendental lives of our acaryas are extensively described in this book. Therefore, I consider myself greatly fortunate to be able to present this book to the blessed readers.
After publishing Srila Guru Maharaja's biography, which contains his unparalleled teachings and contributions, on the appearance day of his centennial year (1998), I had a strong desire in my heart to publish a book on the lives and teachings of Param Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura; Paratpara Gurudeva, Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja; Param Paratpara Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura; and Paramesti Gurudeva, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Although I was fully engaged in preaching the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I was unable to check my desire to publish such a book. Today is a very auspicious day, because I have now fulfilled my desire. Therefore, I consider myself to be very fortunate.
By the special blessings of my paramaradhya Srila Gurudeva, after receiving his mercy, I started the service of publishing this book during the previous year. Although the lives and teachings of the four Svarapa-Rupanuga Acaryas have been detailed in many books that have been published in Bengali, Hindi, and English, I have tried to fulfill the innermost heart's desire of my Guru Maharaja, by presenting this book, which is an unprecedented collection of the specialties of our acaryas' teachings, contributions, and pastimes, in a concise manner. The line of the Rupanugas will be preserved by careful study of this book.
I have firm faith that upon imbibing the conduct and teachings from the lives of our Gaudiya-acaryas, the faithful will receive the qualification to attain their spiritual status. By examining their lives, the sincere sadhakas will become conversant with their sadhana and as a result, their path of devotion will become firmly fixed.
By following the teachings and imbibing the conduct of our predecessor acaryas, the Gaudiyas, who are the followers of Sri Svarapa Damodara Gosvami and Srila Rupa Gosvami, will realize how the Guru-varga are fully realized in the moods and conduct of Srila Rupa Gosvami. He has been described by Srila Kavi Karnapara Gosvami in the following sloka.
Srila Rupa Gosvami, whose dear friend is Svarapa Damodara, is the exact replica of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he is extremely dear to the Lord. Being the embodiment of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's ecstatic love, Rupa Gosvami is naturally very beautiful. He very carefully followed the principles enunciated by the Lord, and he was a competent person to explain properly the pastimes of Lord Krsna.
This book has been compiled from the essays published in Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Sri Sajjana Tosani, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's weekly journal-the Gaudiya, and the Dainik Nadiya Prakasa. The book has also been compiled from essays penned by my Guru Maharaja, and my esteemed godbrother, Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja. I pray to Sri Guru-Gauranga-Gandharvika-Giridhari Sri Sri Radha Vinodabiharijiu that They bestow Their blessings upon all the devotees who have helped compile and manifest this book .
I have unflinching faith that this book will greatly please Srila Gurudeva and the Guru-varga. This book will be greatly respected in the assembly of faithful, sincere devotees. By imbibing the teachings of this book, the reader will become qualified to transcend all the obstacles that present themselves on the path of devotion. Thus, he will gain the eligibility to enter the realm of rupanuga-bhajana.
May the readers accept the essence of this book, and overlook any mistakes that have gone unnoticed during the compilation and publication.
Praying for the mercy of Sri Hari, Guru, and Vaisnavas,
Brahma Sutras (81)
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