The rendering of the Shreemad Bhaagavatam by Sri W. Radhakrishnayya is admirably well done and has a style of its own. This great textbook of Devotion could not have been better dealt with, within the limited canvas that was, available for the author. The success of Dr. Radhakrishnayya is essentially due to his own sincere devotion to the Lord and his devoted sincerity in all his undertakings.
Not only the main personalities have been brilliantly taken up and presented as clear characters but he has given as footnotes the philosophical symbolism of very many of the incidents and characters of Bhaagavatam. Very many of them are gathered from the Chinmaya Yagan-shalas which he had attended for the last so many years.
Sri Vyasa, the great scholar of Vedanta, the philosopher of the Brahma Sutras, himself a dynamic man of realization, when he takes up his pen to write the Puranas, it cannot be for writing the history of India or the story of the Aryan conquest of the Dravidian land! His theme can only be the Spark of Reality that dwells in the hearts of all creatures and whose expressions constitute the vibrant world of vivid activities and variegated names and forms.
In all Puranas, and much more so in the Play of Lord Krishna, the Paramatman, there is a vivid dramatization in words of the subjective theme of Self-discovery. As such in every aspect of Lord Krishn's personality, relationships and in His divine play - be it on the Jamuna banks, or on the shores of Dwaraka, or at the capital, Hastinapur, or on the battle-field of Kurukshetra - there is a spiritual significance beautifully veiled for the student to explore. The philosophical truths that have been thus displayed in Bhaagavatam, packed in the attractive stories, is only to provide for the student the joy of discovery which should add an extra tone of satisfaction to the joyous experience of the Infinite Revelation.
Ordinarily, the devotees ply only on the surface enchantment of the stories as such. But to the modern educated youth the stories themselves may not be sufficient enchantment without some deeper pith in them for recognition and silent assimilation. The footnotes of the author unveil these significant under current of brilliant truths that lie hidden in the folds of this marvelous book of the Stories of the Lord.
Dr. Radhakrishnayya had translated more than one book of mine into Telugu, and honestly it was a pleasant surprise for me to discover that the author could wield English also very efficiently. His style has a pale beauty of delicate strength and extraordinary pliability. His style is fully efficient to express his theme.
Dr. Radhakrishnayya had been our Chinmaya Mission Secretary at Pakala in Chittoor District, and therefore his Bhaagavatam is rendered with a distinct "Chinmaya-flavour". I do not hesitate to recommend this book to all our members everywhere.
It is the bounden duty of all parents to hand over the cultural inspiration of the country to the growing children of the nation. This can never be done by any agents, by the Government, or by any other private institution, as efficiently as the parents could. Unfortunately, we are today, in India, a community so totally ignorant of our culture that we are helpless in conveying to our children the values-of-Life that our national culture stands for. I confidently say that this handy volume of scarcely 250 pages can give the parents a sufficient bird's eye-view of the entire Bhaagavatam. They shall not thereafter feel that they have no ideas to impart to their children. Parents who have children between ages of 6 and 10 must read this book and retell these stories to their children with all the sincerity they can command.
I must congratulate the author of having supplied the Mission with this volume which would be a great help to the thousands that are organizing and conducting our Bala-vihars.
May more and more such books come out of the author's pen and help the cultural re-education of our community.
We worship Sree Ganapati. He is the darling of Goddess Parvati. He has the face of an elephant with one tusk, (the other tusk having been sacrificed for writing the Maha Bharata Purana). Day in and day out he is keen at bestowing great benefits to his devotees.
We worship the Preceptor of all Preceptors, the Great Teacher (Shree Dhakshinaamoorti). He is seated at the foot of the sacred banyan tree. By symbolic expression of his hand he is indicating the Supreme Knowledge. By his silence he is excelling the eloquence of speech. By himself he is in the state of Wakeful sleep (or sleeping wakefulness).
May Goddess Saraswati protect me (us). She is spotless white in complexion. She wears clean white dress. Her seat is the white lotus. She is ever worshipped by the creator, sustainer and destroyer (in the form of the discharge of their duties). She holds the Veena, the musical instrument per excellence. She eradicates ignorance without leaving even a trace of it.
Salutations to that Goddess who is manifest as Knowledge in every being; Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, and again salutations to Her.
Salutations to shree Krishna, who is the personification of supreme joy. By His grace even the dumb can become eloquent in speech, and the lame can cross over mountains (of obstacles in life).
We salute Shree Krishna. He is Truth, Knowledge and Bliss. He is the cause of all creation, sustenance and desolution. He destroys the three kinds of tortures (physical, mental and phenomental).
Salutations to Sri Krishna, who is known as the son of Vasudeva, as the son of Devaki, as the son of Nandagopala and also as Govinda. Salutation.
Salutation to You O All Mighty! I remember You as Vasudeva; You are Pradyumna and Aniruddha. You are Balaraama. I salute to you, in all your forms.
Having saluted Shree Naaraayana, and Nara, the supreme among men, and the Goddess Saraswati, we salute Veda Vyaasa, (the author of Sreemad Bhaagavatam). May be he ever glorious and victorious.
We salute Sage Suka Deva, son of Veda Vyaasa. When Suka Deva renounced the house ad went wandering, vyaasa followed him unable to bear the agony of the loss of a son and called out his name in the forest, "O my son suka!" The trees having identified themselves with suka, responded to the call by echoing back the voice of Vyaasa. To such a great sage, who has a place for all beings in his heart, to Suka Deva, we salute. He is a sage of ceaseless contemplation.
We salute Sreemad Bhaagavatam. It is a fruit dropped from the wish-yielding tree called the Vedas. It is full with the nectrine juice flowing from the mouth of the parrot called Suka Deva. Ye People of the world! Drink from this storehouse of Nector, again and again, if you are anxious to enjoy the supreme essence. That store house is this Sreemad Bhagavatam.
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