pranamami ca caranantika-paricaraka-sahitam
It is from this transcendental domain that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada descended into this world. An eternally liberated associate of the Supreme Guru, Srimati Radharani, he descended into this plane to capture souls lost in forgetfulness of Her divine service to Sri Krishna, Reality the Beautiful.
In the beginning, his followers were astounded by the depth and intensity of his devotion. His lectures were so philosophically deep that afterwards a few of his intimate disciples would have to explain to the audience what they had just heard. Sometimes pounding his fist upon a table, raving about the Krishna conception of divinity, his face would blush like a red lotus (kuvalaya).
After coming out of nirjana bhajana,secluded devotion, on the order of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he began the revolutionary preaching activities of Sri Gaudiya Math. As his mission grew he acknowledged, "I was alone in my bhajana--now I have five hundred men who represent me, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's creed of divine love is rapidly expanding everywhere."
Rather than hide from the modern world and its allurement, he embraced technology in the spirit of service (yukta-vairagya) with a willingness to employ everything in the service of Sri Guru and Gauranga. His philosophy of service is condensed in these words: pujala raga patha gorava bhange, matala harijana visaya range--keep the path of raga-margahigh above, don't try to bring the higher plane down, but worship it by doing whatever is necessary for their divine service. At the same time his vision of service was unlimited. He wanted to reveal the entire spiritual domain to the world. When asked where the money would come from for his innumerable spiritual projects he replied, "I will take one brick from a temple in Vaikuntha and that should more than cover the cost."
His Krishna conception was so high that he felt if anyone failed to serve Krishna, even for millions of years, He is so attractive and irresistible, that one would never give up the attempt. Having initiated a disciple with mantra-diksa,he overheard the new initiate discussing the meaning of the verse, klim krsnaya govindaya gopijanavallabhaya svaha.A look of intense sorrow came over his face and he spoke sadly, "I have been trying to offer a flower to the holy feet of Krishna for so long, and yet I am unsuccessful." His mood revealed the depth of the pain of separation from Krishna that he felt.
But Srila Saraswati Thakura had zero tolerance for superficial devotion. After circumambulating Vrndavana with his disciples (Vraja Mandala Parikrama), he thrust his palm to his forehead saying, "I am so unfortunate; I couldn't find a single Vaisnava in Vrndavana!" His followers were astounded. After all, Vrndavana is the land of self-realized soulds. So, they inquired about the local renowned devotees who were chanting three hundred thousand names daily, reading, and speaking the works of the Goswamis. He replied, "Oh, they are all kanistha-adhikaris(neophytes)." Having descended from the highest quarter in the spiritual domain, he deplored those who deceived the public by imitating the behavior of his worshipable lord, Sri Rupa Goswami Prabhu, and his entourage. To him Krishna consciousness was not a cheap thing, but the most valuable substance conceivable.
His devotion to Srimati Radharani was extraordinary. Once someone in his presence was speaking of the beauty of Laksmi Devi. An overwhelming desire in his heart to describe the beauty of Sri Radha collided with his normally strict external silence on esoteric spiritual subjects. It reached such intensity that he fainted in ecstasy.
So it is not with timidity, but the greatest confidence that we present the life and precepts of Prabhupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. His divine words are superconcentrated with the highest spiritual potency. The sincere, attentive reader will be impregnated with the depth of his Krishna conception of Divinity.
In the absence of bhakti-siddhantawe are incessantly bombarded with spiritual misconceptions (kalera dosa nidhe rajan asti hy eko mahagunah kirtnad eva krsnasya mukta-sanga paramam vrajet). The inspiration for this publication was born out of the necessity to save ourselves, as well as to preserve the divine teachings. After an endless sojourn in the realm of ignorance, by his mercy we have been brought to the shore of the bhakti-siddhanta-sindhu,the ocean of the pure conclusions of devotion. May we forever dive deep in its purifying waters.
As we approach the millennium, practically all of the direct disciples of Srila Saraswati Thakura have gone to Krishna's abode to join in his divine pastimes. It is their combined devotion (sankirtana) to his holy lotus feet that is the source of all of our wealth and has manifested in the form of this book. Srila Prabhupada taught by his own example that in the Kali Yuga it is not possible to progress spiritually--alone. Only by combining our efforts to serve the lotus feet of Sri Guru and Gauranga do we have any hope for success.
We bow down
to the holy lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada, our param guru,in whom all our spiritual preceptors have
found their only shelter (asraya vigraha).