The Authorized Sri Caitanya Saraswata Parampara
It is perhaps the ultimate irony that the sublime process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is comprised of the deepest and most profound philosophical cohesiveness and which demands the greatest self-sacrifice and renunciation or self-denial, has once again fallen into a pit of misconception. This is in spite of, after having been many times clearly enunciated and painstakingly delineated by the Lord and His pure representatives. All practitioners will heartily agree that the process is faultless and the goal certain, but just what the attainment (prayojana) is and how to reach it (abhidheya) raises severe differences of opinion amongst the devotees. The entire process is perfect and pure, precisely engraved in the Vaiṣṇava literatures and precisely enunciated by the Lord’s pure agents. The fault lies entirely in the practitioners.
As a lens on a camera filters everything according to its capacity, we find in this troubled age that some of the neophyte devotees of the Lord have taken to filtering the process of bhakti and applying it according to their own desires and necessities. Real devotion is a life of divine slavery, śaraṇāgati—full surrender to that which is recognized as the highest necessity. Pure devotion—jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam, necessitates the abandonment of prior conceptions and necessities—sarva-dharmān-parityajya, otherwise we are guilty of karma-miśrā-bhakti (devotional service tainted with fruitiveness). So many divergent opinions and impure alternatives have arisen, due to our failing or inability to adhere strictly to the essential core necessities of the process. Māyāvāda arises out of our false ego—our impure desire to lord it over all as the supreme enjoyer, rather than surrender to the pure Lord. Sahajiyāism arises due to our desire to enjoy the result now, without paying the price of purity, thus cheapening the process. Materialism, or the spirit of enjoyment, must be sacrificed in the fire of surrender—in recognition of our factual constitutional position as eternal servants of Kṛṣṇa.
It matters not what our fertile brains may think, speculate or desire, the Absolute Truth remains unchanged, in spite of our fallen condition. Our greatest necessity remains to recognize properly and serve the Absolute Truth according to His desire. According to the intensity of our surrender to the unillusioned and full divine conception of the Supreme Absolute Truth, we validate for ourselves His substantial position and our relationship with Him. The Bhagavad-gītā warns us that the fruits of demigod worship are limited and temporary, yet many pursue this path. Similarly, the taste of immediate sense gratification—the desire to enjoy Kṛṣṇa consciousness now, or that now we must concentrate on our own advancement at the cost of the serving disposition, captures our intelligence and deflects us from the true path of śuddha–bhakti.
Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer, not ourselves, yet we put ourselves first, cheating ourselves of the ultimate fruits and husk empty paddy.
śrī-gaurānumataṁ svarūpa-viditaṁ rūpāgrajenādṛtaṁ
rūpādyaiḥ pariveśitaṁ raghu-gaṇair-āsvāditaṁ sevitam
jīvādyair abhirakṣitaṁ śuka-śiva-brahmādi-sammānitaṁ
śrī-rādhā-pada-sevanāmṛtam aho tad-dātum īśo bhavān
“What was sanctioned by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by His descent, was intimately known only to Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī. Sanātana Gosvāmī, the elder brother of Śrī Rūpa, was attentive to that divine truth, and Rūpa Gosvāmī himself served that very thing with his own hands to the devotees. Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī tasted its sweetness and also added something of his own to its flavour. What was distributed by Rūpa and tasted by Raghunātha Dāsa was protected by Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, who lent support to its divinity with scriptural evidence. The taste of that divine truth is aspired after by Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Lord Śiva, and Lord Brahmā, who regard it with the highest respect from a distance. What is that inconceivable ambrosia? O Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, within this world, you fully possess the ability to give us that extraordinary nectar.
The Authorized Śrī Caitanya-Sārasvata Paramparā completely focuses our conception, bringing us in line with the Lord’s desires. Swāmī B. G. Narasiṅgha Mahārāja has done an admirable job and most valuable service of pointing out the true path of devotion—clearly explaining the many constituent essential teachings and practices. The real value of this book is that the cheating of the deviant sects are exposed for what they are, so that the intelligent discerning devotees may more easily avoid their pitfalls and more clearly recognize the very precise line of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism—as enunciated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and brought to the contemporary world by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.
Most readers of this book are dedicated practitioners, so we heartily recommend that you drink deeply and contemplate the contents. We sincerely hope that it will help us tread the path of pure devotion.
Swāmī Bhakti Bhāvana Viṣṇu