Suddha Bhakti is a book about pure (Suddha) devotion (Bhakti). Such a book should be of great value on the threshold of the third millennium when the world is overburdened more than ever before with war, intolerance, hatred and atheism.
Bhakti-yoga is the spiritual practice by which the soul can reunite (yoga) in love (Bhakti), with Supreme Lord, for onlydivine love kakes life worth living. This reunion should not however be misunderstood as the merging of the individual soul (Jivatma) with the formless, all-pervading aspect of the Absolute, the Brahman. Love is a relationship between creator and created, sustainer and sustained, lover and beloved, or God and the soul.
The immortal Bhagavad-gita, probably the cost celebrated and widely-read sacred text of ancient India, stresses the importance of acaryopasana, or adherence to the spiritual guide, for all those who wish to reconnect with the Divinity. Elevated and self-realized souls who can awaken one's spiritual nature are, as the Gita states, very rare. We therefore feel fortunate to present this book of selected discourses by Srila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Maharaja, in whom we recognize all the characteristics of pure devotion. He is a humble but powerful practitioner and teacher of the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition of divine love propagated by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the 15th century master of devotional ecstasy. This book is compiled from lectures given on his second visit to Europe in 1999.
The first part of this book, entitled Sambandha, delineates the foundation of knowledge necessary to enter a life of devotion. Part two, entitled Abhidheya, discusses the means of practice, Sadhana, in which a sadhaka must engage to attain the desired result (sadhya). For the followers of Sri Chaitanya this goal is Prema Bhakti: spontaneous, unalloyed loving devotion to Vrajendranandana Sri Krishna, the divine Gopala (cowherd boy) of the beautiful transcendental pasture grounds of Vrndavana, Whom the Gaudiya Vaishnavas accept as God Himself. This ultimate aim is also known as Prayojana, the title and focus of the last chapter of this book.
We hope that all practitioners- aspiring, novice and advanced-will relish this book. We pray to Srila Tirtha Maharaja for his continuous blessings upon all sincere sadhakas pursuing the path of devotion. May Sri Krishna be pleased with this attempt to serve the lotus feet of His pure devotee.
About the Author
Swami Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Maharaja was born in 1924 in India.
After competing his MA in philosophy at Calcutta University in 1947, he came in contact with his spiritual master, Sri Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja.
He was then initiated into the Gaudiya Vaishnava school of Bhakti-yoga propagated by Sri Chaitanya, the 15th century master of devotional ecstasy.
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