Nectar of Devotion - 00 - Dedication and Preface

Uploaded by TheVedicStudent on 11.01.2012

dhīrādhīra-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pūjitau
nānā-śāstra-vicāraṇaika-nipuṇau sad-dharma-saṁsthāpakau
Krishna Productions presents, a narration of the book the Nectar of Devotion: The Complete
Science of Bhakti Yoga. It was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, who lived
in India from 1489 to 1564. The work was later translated into English in 1970 by His Divine
Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svāmī Prabhupāda, the Founder Director for the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as ISKCON. It was published by the Bhaktivedanta
Book Trust of Los Angeles, California which reserves all rights to it.
rādhā-kṛṣṇa-padāravinda-bhajanānandena mattālikau
Before beginning, I, Amala Bhakta dāsa, your narrator, offer my humble obeisances at the
lotus feet of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svāmī Prabhupāda,
who is very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa, having taken shelter of His lotus feet. Śrīla Prabhupāda,
through his numerous books and disciples, is kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanya
Mahāprabhu and delivering souls all over the world from the miseries of illusion and ignorance.
May he be pleased to inspire this humble narration with his spiritual potency, so that all who
listen to it may be helped to develop pure love of God, and transcendental ecstasy and
return home back to Godhead.
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau
The song introducing and ending each chapter was written in Sanskrit by Śrīnivāsa Ācārya,
and sung and recorded by Śrīla Prabhupāda. It also appears in the book and means. I offer
my respectful obeisances unto the Six Gosvāmīs, namely: Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī,
Śrī Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunataha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, and Śrī Gopāla
Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, who are very expert in scrutinizingly studying all the revealed scriptures with
the aim of establishing religious principles for the benefit of all human beings.
Thus, they are honored all over the three worlds, and they are worth taking shelter
of because they are absorbed in the mood of the gopīs, the Lord's supreme devotees, and
are engaged in the transcendental loving service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
dhīrādhīra-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pūjitau
nānā-śāstra-vicāraṇaika-nipuṇau sad-dharma-saṁsthāpakau lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau tri-bhuvane mānyau śaraṇyākarau
The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written
in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the six Gosvāmīs, who
were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When he first met Lord Caitanya,
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda was engaged as a minister in the Muhammadan government
of Bengal. He and his brother Sanātana were then named Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika
respectively, and they held responsible posts as ministers of Nawab Hussain Shah. At that
time, five hundred years ago, the Hindu society was very rigid, and if a member of the brāhmaṇa
caste accepted the service of a Muhammadan ruler he was at once rejected from brāhmaṇa
society. That was the position of the two brothers, Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika.
They belonged to the highly situated sārasvata-brāhmaṇa community, but they were ostracized due to
their acceptance of ministerial posts in the government of Hussain Shah. It is the grace
of Lord Caitanya that He accepted these two exalted personalities as His disciples and
raised them to the position of gosvāmīs, the highest position of brahminical culture. Similarly,
Lord Caitanya accepted Haridāsa Ṭhākura as His disciple, although Haridāsa happened to
be born of a Muhammadan family, and Lord Caitanya later on made him the ācārya of the chanting
of the holy name of the Lord: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare
Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Lord Caitanya's principle is universal. Anyone
who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa and is engaged in the service of the Lord is accepted as
being in a higher position than a person born in the family of a brāhmaṇa. That is the original
principle accepted by all Vedic literatures, especially by Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
The principle of Lord Caitanya's movement in educating and elevating everyone to the
exalted post of a gosvāmī is taught in The Nectar of Devotion.
Lord Caitanya met the two brothers Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika in a village known
as Rāmakeli in the district of Maldah, and after that meeting the brothers decided to
retire from government service and join Lord Caitanya. Dabira Khāsa, who was later to become
Rūpa Gosvāmī, retired from his post and collected all the money he had accumulated during his
service. It is described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta that his accumulated savings in gold coins
equaled millions of dollars and filled a large boat. He divided the money in a very exemplary
manner, which should be followed by devotees in particular and by humanity in general.
Fifty percent of his accumulated wealth was distributed to the Kṛṣṇa conscious persons,
namely the brāhmaṇas and the Vaiṣṇavas; twenty-five percent was distributed to relatives; and
twenty-five percent was kept against emergency expenditures and personal difficulties. Later
on, when Sākara Mallika also proposed to retire, the Nawab was very much agitated and put him
into jail. But Sākara Mallika, who was later to become Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, took advantage
of his brother's personal money, which had been deposited with a village banker, and
escaped from the prison of Hussain Shah. In this way both brothers joined Lord Caitanya
Mahāprabhu. Rūpa Gosvāmī first met Lord Caitanya at Prayāga
(Allahabad, India), and on the Daśāśvamedha bathing ghāṭa of that holy city the Lord instructed
him continually for ten days. The Lord particularly instructed Rūpa Gosvāmī on the science of
Kṛṣṇa consciousness. These teachings of Lord Caitanya to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda
are narrated in our book Teachings of Lord Caitanya.
Later, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda elaborated the teachings of the Lord with profound knowledge
of revealed scriptures and authoritative references from various Vedic literatures. Śrīla Śrīnivāsa
Ācārya describes in his prayers to the six Gosvāmīs that they were all highly learned
scholars, not only in Sanskrit but also in foreign languages such as Persian and Arabic.
They very scrutinizingly studied all the Vedic scriptures in order to establish the cult
of Caitanya Mahāprabhu on the authorized principles of Vedic knowledge. The present Kṛṣṇa consciousness
movement is also based on the authority of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. We are therefore
generally known as rūpānugas, or followers in the footsteps of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda.
It is only for our guidance that Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī prepared his book Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu,
which is now presented in the form of The Nectar of Devotion. Persons engaged in the
Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement may take advantage of this great literature and be very solidly
situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Bhakti means "devotional service." Every service
has some attractive feature which drives the servitor progressively on and on. Every one
of us within this world is perpetually engaged in some sort of service, and the impetus for
such service is the pleasure we derive from it. Driven by affection for his wife and children,
a family man works day and night. A philanthropist works in the same way for love of the greater
family, and a nationalist for the cause of his country and countrymen. That force which
drives the philanthropist, the householder and the nationalist is called rasa, or a kind
of mellow (relationship) whose taste is very sweet. Bhakti-rasa is a mellow different from
the ordinary rasa enjoyed by mundane workers. Mundane workers labor very hard day and night
in order to relish a certain kind of rasa which is understood as sense gratification.
The relish or taste of the mundane rasa does not long endure, and therefore mundane workers
are always apt to change their position of enjoyment. A businessman is not satisfied
by working the whole week; therefore, wanting a change for the weekend, he goes to a place
where he tries to forget his business activities. Then, after the weekend is spent in forgetfulness,
he again changes his position and resumes his actual business activities. Material engagement
means accepting a particular status for some time and then changing it. This position of
changing back and forth is technically known as bhoga-tyāga, which means a position of
alternating sense enjoyment and renunciation. A living entity cannot steadily remain either
in sense enjoyment or in renunciation. Change is going on perpetually, and we cannot be
happy in either state, because of our eternal constitutional position. Sense gratification
does not endure for long, and it is therefore called capala-sukha, or flickering happiness.
For example, an ordinary family man who works very hard day and night and is successful
in giving comforts to the members of his family thereby relishes a kind of mellow, but his
whole advancement of material happiness immediately terminates along with his body as soon as
his life is over. Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic
class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the
atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death. At death everything is finished,
and one has to begin a new chapter of life in a new situation, perhaps higher or lower
than the last one. In any field of activity -- political, social, national or international
-- the result of our actions will be finished with the end of life. That is sure.
Bhakti-rasa, however, the mellow relished in the transcendental loving service of the
Lord, does not finish with the end of life. It continues perpetually and is therefore
called amṛta, that which does not die but exists eternally. This is confirmed in all
Vedic literatures. Bhagavad-gītā says that a little advancement in bhakti-rasa can save
the devotee from the greatest danger -- that of missing the opportunity for human life.
The rasas derived from our feelings in social life, in family life or in the greater family
life of altruism, philanthropy, nationalism, socialism, communism, etc., do not guarantee
that one's next life will be as a human being. We prepare our next life by our actual activities
in the present life. A living entity is offered a particular type of body as a result of his
action in the present body. These activities are taken into account by a superior authority
known as daiva, or the authority of God. This daiva is explained in Bhagavad-gītā as the
prime cause of everything, and in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that a man takes his next body
by daiva-netreṇa, which means by the supervision of the authority of the Supreme. In an ordinary
sense, daiva is explained as forms; the choice does not depend on our selection, but is awarded
to us according to our destiny. If our body at present is engaged in the activities of
Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then it is guaranteed that we will have at least a human body in
our next life. A human being engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even if unable to complete
the course of bhakti-yoga, takes birth in the higher divisions of human society so that
he can automatically further his advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore, all bona
fide activities in Kṛṣṇa consciousness are amṛta, or permanent. This is the subject matter
of The Nectar of Devotion. This eternal engagement in bhakti-rasa can
be understood by a serious student upon studying The Nectar of Devotion. Adoption of bhakti-rasa,
or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, will immediately bring one to an auspicious life free from anxieties
and will bless one with transcendental existence, thus minimizing the value of liberation. Bhakti-rasa
itself is sufficient to produce a feeling of liberation, because it attracts the attention
of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. Generally, neophyte devotees are anxious to see Kṛṣṇa, or God,
but God cannot be seen or known by our present materially blunt senses. The process of devotional
service as it is recommended in The Nectar of Devotion will gradually elevate one from
the material condition of life to the spiritual status, wherein the devotee becomes purified
of all designations. The senses can then become uncontaminated, being constantly in touch
with bhakti-rasa. When the purified senses are employed in the service of the Lord, one
becomes situated in bhakti-rasa life, and any action performed for the satisfaction
of Kṛṣṇa in this transcendental bhakti-rasa stage of life can be relished perpetually.
When one is thus engaged in devotional service, all varieties of rasas, or mellows, turn into
eternity. In the beginning one is trained according to the principles of regulation
under the guidance of the ācārya, or spiritual master, and gradually, when one is elevated,
devotional service becomes automatic and spontaneous eagerness to serve Kṛṣṇa. There are twelve
kinds of rasas, as will be explained in this book, and by renovating our relationship with
Kṛṣṇa in five primary rasas we can live eternally in full knowledge and bliss.
The basic principle of the living condition is that we have a general propensity to love
someone. No one can live without loving someone else. This propensity is present in every
living being. Even an animal like a tiger has this loving propensity at least in a dormant
stage, and it is certainly present in the human beings. The missing point, however,
is where to repose our love so that everyone can become happy. At the present moment the
human society teaches one to love his country or family or his personal self, but there
is no information where to repose the loving propensity so that everyone can become happy.
That missing point is Kṛṣṇa, and The Nectar of Devotion teaches us how to stimulate our
original love for Kṛṣṇa and how to be situated in that position where we can enjoy our blissful
life. In the primary stage a child loves his parents,
then his brothers and sisters, and as he daily grows up he begins to love his family, society,
community, country, nation, or even the whole human society. But the loving propensity is
not satisfied even by loving all human society; that loving propensity remains imperfectly
fulfilled until we know who is the supreme beloved. Our love can be fully satisfied only
when it is reposed in Kṛṣṇa. This theme is the sum and substance of The Nectar of Devotion,
which teaches us how to love Kṛṣṇa in five different transcendental mellows.
Our loving propensity expands just as a vibration of light or air expands, but we do not know
where it ends. The Nectar of Devotion teaches us the science of loving every one of the
living entities perfectly by the easy method of loving Kṛṣṇa. We have failed to create
peace and harmony in human society, even by such great attempts as the United Nations,
because we do not know the right method. The method is very simple, but one has to understand
it with a cool head. The Nectar of Devotion teaches all men how to perform the simple
and natural method of loving Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If we learn how to
love Kṛṣṇa, then it is very easy to immediately and simultaneously love every living being.
It is like pouring water on the root of a tree or supplying food to one's stomach. The
method of pouring water on the root of a tree or supplying foodstuffs to the stomach is
universally scientific and practical, as every one of us has experienced. Everyone knows
well that when we eat something, or in other words, when we put foodstuffs in the stomach,
the energy created by such action is immediately distributed throughout the whole body. Similarly,
when we pour water on the root, the energy thus created is immediately distributed throughout
the entirety of even the largest tree. It is not possible to water the tree part by
part, nor is it possible to feed the different parts of the body separately. The Nectar of
Devotion will teach us how to turn the one switch that will immediately brighten everything,
everywhere. One who does not know this method is missing the point of life.
As far as material necessities are concerned, the human civilization at the present moment
is very much advanced in living comfortably, but still we are not happy, because we are
missing the point. The material comforts of life alone are not sufficient to make us happy.
The vivid example is America: the richest nation of the world, having all facilities
for material comfort, is producing a class of men completely confused and frustrated
in life. I am appealing herewith to such confused men to learn the art of devotional service
as directed in The Nectar of Devotion, and I am sure that the fire of material existence
burning within their hearts will be immediately extinguished. The root cause of our dissatisfaction
is that our dormant loving propensity has not been fulfilled despite our great advancement
in the materialistic way of life. The Nectar of Devotion will give us practical hints how
we can live in this material world perfectly engaged in devotional service and thus fulfill
all our desires in this life and the next. The Nectar of Devotion is not presented to
condemn any way of materialistic life, but the attempt is to give information to religionists,
philosophers and people in general how to love Kṛṣṇa. One may live without material
discomfiture, but at the same time he should learn the art of loving Kṛṣṇa. At the present
moment we are inventing so many ways to utilize our propensity to love, but factually we are
missing the real point: Kṛṣṇa. We are watering all parts of the tree, but missing the tree's
root. We are trying to keep our body fit by all means, but we are neglecting to supply
foodstuffs to the stomach. Missing Kṛṣṇa means missing one's self also. Real self-realization
and realization of Kṛṣṇa go together simultaneously. For example, seeing oneself in the morning
means seeing the sunrise also; without seeing the sunshine no one can see himself. Similarly,
unless one has realized Kṛṣṇa there is no question of self-realization.
The Nectar of Devotion is specifically presented for persons who are now engaged in the Kṛṣṇa
consciousness movement. I beg to offer my sincere thanks to all my friends and disciples
who are helping me to push forward the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in the Western countries,
and I beg to acknowledge, with thanks, the contribution made by my beloved disciple Śrīmān
Jayānanda brahmacārī. My thanks are due as well to the directors of ISKCON Press, who
have taken so much care in publishing this great literature. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami ISKCON Headquarters
Los Angeles, California