Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja appeared in 1921, in Bihar, India, and at the age of twenty-five, he met his gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajfiana Keava Gosvami Maharaja, who initiated him into the practice of bhakti-yoga. He travelled the globe thirty times between 1996 and 2010, revealing the glories of devotion to Sri Krsna, often quoting the writings and illustrious life of Srila Bhakti-vinoda Thakura. On December 29, 2010, in Sri Jagannatha Puri-dhama, he concluded his pastimes in this world.
to the first English edition
we are delighted to present to the English readers
this translation of the compelling spiritual novel
by Srtla Bhaktivinoda Thakura. entitled Prema-pradipa;
which has been translated from the Hindi edition of
nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada astottara-sata sri
Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja (Srila
Gurudeva), We humbly offer this English edition into his
In his Bhagavad-gita (4.29) commentary. Sila Gurudeva
Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.15.1) explains. 'When a person
controls his senses and his breathing process and fully
absorbs his mind in Me [the Supreme Person] all the
mystic perfections naturally come under his control.'
For more information on this subject. readers should
study Prema-pradtpa by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
Written in Bengali in 1886. at a time when the people of
India were turning away from their own spiritual heritage
to embrace divergent philosophies, this book enchanted
its readers and inspired them to again cherish genuine
Sixty-five years later, Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana
Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, the author of this edition's first
introduction (entitled Pradipa-sikhas, championed the
mission of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, boldly denouncing
pseudo-spiritual influences, which are incongruent with
authentic Vedic scriptures. He again published this great
work, which is both delightful and profound and which
illuminates the means of attaining the true and ultimate
goal of yoga in accordance with the Vedic version.
WHAT IS BRAHMOISM?
Prema-pradipa contains extensive references to
a religious movement known as Brahmoism. While
this religion may seem obscure for Western readers,
it was prevalent during the time the book was written.
Founded by Raja Rama-mohana Raya in the 19th century,
Brahmoism was conceived as a Hindu reform movement
and monotheistic religion. The movement's philosophy
was steeped in rationalism and a modern scientific
approach. Brahmoist philosophy asserts that worship of
the Supreme Lord's form equates to idolatry, that the Vedic
scriptures are unworthy of faith, and that one should not
place faith in the avataras of Bhagavan (the Supreme
Lord). According to the Vedas and those who have
perfectly imbibed Vedic thought, such thinking prevents
a person from ever relishing the bliss inherent in the soul
and from tasting full freedom. It was with grave concern
For the spiritual well-being of all that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura penned this great literature.
The arst of March. 1951. was the anniversary of the
appearance of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. On that
day. in Chunchura (Hugh), West Bengal. the founder and
chairman of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, my most worship-
ful master jagad-guru nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada
Sri Srrmad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja.
published his first edition of Prema-pradtpa. a spiritual
novel by Sria Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In his introduction.
entitled Pradipa-sikha our sitla gurupada-padma has
elucidated and expanded on subjects concerning both the
contents of the book and the author himself.
Sria Bhaktivinoda Thakura succeeded in bringing to
print most of the philosophical devotional literature that
he desired to publish. He has thus broadcast the innermost
heart's desire of Sri Gaurahari and the Gaudiya gosvamis
and acaryas. In each and every one of his books. he has
encapsulated the essence of all the scriptures. Prema-
pradipa being no exception.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura published Prema-pradipa
in book form in 1886. He printed several other books at
this time, also: Sria Cakravarti Thakura's commentary on
Srtmad Bhagauad-gzUi, Srz Siksastakam; Dasopanisad-
curnika and Sri Visnu-sahasra-nama-stotram with Sria
Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu's commentary.
From the storehouse of his self-evident, exceptional
genius, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura disseminated the
ten chapters of Prema-pradipa at a time when Western
customs, values and ways of thinking were weaving
a net of illusion and causing a social and religious
revolution among the Bengali people-and indeed all
Indians. The modern educated class, carrying the banner
of that revolution, held a contemptuous and stigmatic
view of sanatana-dharma (i.e. Vaisnavism) - the form
of which was disfigured-a pretext they used to justify
their own hedonism. At such a time, Sria Bhaktivinoda
Thakura established once again the intensely brilliant
light of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Gaudtya Vaisnavism
and advanced the flow of the current of pure bhakti in
the present yuga. Thus, pure devotion and the light of
Vaisnavism were propagated among the Vaisnava society
and the educated public.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura made a comparative
study of scientific and Vedic principles, thus constructing
a channel of reconciliation, which checked the overflow
of unsettled religious and social dilemmas of the day.
Therefore, not only the Vaisnava sect, but all groups of
men, present and future, will remain forever indebted to
him Amidst the illusion stemming from society's imitation
of the West and its lack of faith in the antiquity of the East,
he empowered his non-different manifestation, the great
lion-like personality Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura, thus ushering in victory for Vraja.
Having been opposed to Bhagavan since, time immemorial, we often fail to recognize the great personalities
who are both the source of auspiciousness for the world
and our only true friends. Therefore, the enthusiasm
seen in Bengal to adore and remember mundane poets,
artists, teachers, authors and politicians, who can offer
fleeting benefits only, is not found even slightly for
greatly auspicious personalities. From now on, may their
benevolence and sincere, causeless compassion for the
human race be our only focus.
**Book's Contents and Sample Pages**
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