Preface First Edition
‘The Son of the Chief of Vraja Bhagavan Krishna dwelling in His Own transcendental Abode Vrindavana is our only object of worship according to the example of the most glorious mode of devotion of the Gopis of Vraja; the purest and the most authentic source of knowledge of this Truth is the Shrimad Bhagavatam, the stainless Puranarn; the highest attainment in man’s life is unalloyed devotion (Prema) to the Lord - this is the doctrine disseminated by Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Which is our only reverent guide and nothing else.’
Srimad Bhagavatam is the only unadulterated genuine Purana which is the source of Sri man Mahaprabhu’s Divine Religion contained with Sambandha (Relationship), Abhidheya (Means) and Prayojana (End).
Thakur Srila Bhakti Vinode who is the Eternally associated devotee of the Supreme Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu showed who Srimad Bhagavatam is composed with the Trinity of Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana and accordingly he compiled this Srimad Bhagavatam Arka Marichimala to us, fallenjivas. He named them after “Ray” as the material sun ray gives light and life to the jivas, Srimad Bhagavata Arka Ray will bestow unto us the Spiritual Light and Life and bless us with Divine Love.
In the 1st Ray Evidential Indications, 2nd Ray deals with Rising of the Spiritual Sun Bhagavatam, in 3rd Ray the Summary of Bhagavatam and 4th Ray deals with the Principles of Divine Nature, in 5th Ray the Principles of Divine Sweetness, the 6th Ray deals with Divine Sweetness, the 7th Ray explains the Principles of Individual Entity, in 8th Ray the Trait of bound jivas, the 9th Ray explains the Symptoms of fortunate souls, the l O” one shows the Glimpses of simultaneous distinction and identity, in the 11th Ray the Consideration of highest means, the 12th Ray explains the Devotional performance, the 13th Ray deals with Single minded devotion for Divine Name, the 14th Ray shows Anti devotional traits, the 15th Ray describes the Matters favourable for devotion, the 16th Ray explains the Dawning of Divine sentiments, the 17th Ray deals with Deliberation of the final goal, the 18th one with the Greatness of transcendental Divine Love, the 19th Ray shows the Uniqueness of Transcendental Divine Love and ultimately the 20th Ray ends with explaining the Bliss of Ultimate Divine Sweetness.
The Rays from 1 to 10 deals with the knowledge of Relationship, from 11 to 16 explains Means and from 17 to 20 the End, the highest summum bonum, the Krishna Prema. In this 3rd edition we added transliteration in English to those who do not know Sanskrit. It has been orderly designed.
Our God-brothers H.H. Tridandiswami Sripad Bhakti Pramod Janardan Maharaj and Sripad Lalit Krishna Brahmachari took keen interest to get this book printed in this present form and took great pains to go through the proofs. And we invoke the Supreme Lord to shower His Blessings on our younger god brother Sriman Pararneswar Brahrnacha.
ri despite his health did the composing of the English portion on his newly got computer and worked hard using his excellent talents.
We are also thankful to the United Bind Graphics who took interest in getting the book printed in time.
Preface Second Edition
At the behest of my Spiritual Master His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Goswami Maharaj, who was the President- Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Math and its branches Sri Gaudiya Maths, I, a fool of fools, ventured to translate this holy book into English. Surely it is a pride for such an unworthy person to complete it entirely depending upon the unreserved Blessings of my Divine Master. It so happened that Sri Yadhuvar Dasadhikari, M.A., B.T., Headmaster of Institute of’Thakur Bhakti Vinode at Sree Mayapur, who is also an initiated disciple of my Divine Master, started translating this book and was contributing the same to the columns of The Gaudiya. But somehow, when he proceeded upto Chapter VI of the book, my Divine Master ordered and commanded me that I should take up this task; and on his asking I took up the work from Chapter VII. My Divine Master appreciated my humble rendering and desired me to retranslate the first six chapters also. Accordingly, I with my bowed-head taking into account his Blessings, the sole impression and source of energy could get translation of the book completed.
But today my heart breaks through for, by whose behest I ventured to translate this book and whose Grace was the source of inspiration, he is no more before my mortal eyes; and after his disappearance although the ship of my life was tossing on the bed of high sea and I had to pass through very difficult days, yet I could moor the ship of my spiritual life in quiet calmness while I looked to the benedictions of my Divine Master upon this poorself, that,
“my advice to you, even though if there is crash of thunderbolt on your head or, the Pralaya of the whole world takes place before your eyes yet knowing all these as the Will of Sri Krishna, be calm and unperturbed.”
During these difficult days of my life again I gave more attention to the building up of my life by realising that if all the philosophical declarations cannot be practically lived, philosophy itself becomes an utopian idealism. The INTRODUCTION to this volume-” The Bhagavata, Its Philosophy, its Ethics and its theology is a reproduction of a lecture by Thakur Bhakti Vinode delivered at Dinajpur in late 19th century and which was already published in the form of a book. I have reproduced the same in original.
I have got practically no literary competency nor have I any good disposition. It is the Grace and Grace alone which worked in me to render this service. With craving for the Blessings of Thakur Bhakti Vinode I completed the English rendering of this holy of holy books on Sri Nityananda Troyodashi Day-the Advent day of Sri Sri Nityananda Prabhu, the Other-self of Sriman Mahaprabhu.
I am really beholdened to our present President-Acharyadev of Sri Chaitanya Math Tridandiswarni Sri Srimad B. H. Bon Maharaj who was so gracious to bless me with giving a short note of his appreciation, although, so poor is my English rendering of this book. To speak the truth, that it is His Holiness Srila Bon Maharaj who has given me much encouragement for writing in English, and it is he who asked me to get some of the valuable books of Gaudiya Vaishnavism translated into English.
My god-brothers Tridandiswami Srimad B. P. Sadhu Maharaj, Sripad Nityananda Brahmachari and Sripad Narasimha Brahmachari took keen interest to get this book printed in this present-form. But for them, it was not possible to publish this book, particularly at the present time when I had to be away for long for other responsible missionary works. Sripad Narasimha Brahmachari took great pains to go through the proofs.
As the book was hastily printed and I could not be present here to go through the proofs, there may be many printirig mistakes which our devotees may kindly overlook and pardon me.
We love to read a book which we never read before. We
are anxious to gather whatever information is contained in it
and with such' acquirement our curiosity stops. This mode of
study prevails amongst a great number of readers, who are
great men in their own estimation as well as in the estimation
of those, who are of their own stamp. In fact, most readers are
mere repositories of facts and statements made by other
people. But this is not study. The-student is to read the facts
with a view to create, and not with the object of fruitless retention.
Students like satellites should reflect whatever light they receive
from authors and not imprison the facts and thoughts just as
the Magistrates imprison the convicts in the jail! Thought is
progressive. The author's thought must have progress in the
reader in the shape of correction or development. He is the
best critic, who can show the further development of an old
thought; but a mere denouncer is the enemy of progress and
consequently of Nature. "Begin a new," says the critic, because
the old masonry does not answer at present. Let the old author
be buried because his time is gone. These are shallow
expressions. Progress certainly is the law of nature and there
must be corrections and developments with the progress of
time. But progress means going further or rising higher. Now, if
we are to follow our foolish critic, we are to go back to our
former terminus and make a new race, and when - we have
run half the race another critic of his stamp will cry out: "Begin
a new, because the wrong road has been taken!" In this way
our stupid critics will never allow us to go over the whole road
and see what is in the other terminus. Thus the shallow critic
and the fruitless reader are the two great enemies of progress.
We must shun them.
The true critic, on the other hand, advises us to preserve
what we have already obtained, and to adjust our race from
that point where we have arrived in the heat of our progress.
He will never advise us to go back to the point whence we
started, as he fully knows that in that case there will be a fruitless
loss of our valuable time and labour. He will direct the
adjustment of the angle of the race at the point where we are.
This is also the characteristic of the useful student. He will read
an old author and will find out his exact position in the progress
of thought. He will never propose to burn the book on the ground
that it contains thoughts which are useless. No thought is
useless. Thoughts are means by which we attain our objects.
The reader, who denounces a bad thought, does not know that
a bad road is even capable of improvement and conversion
into a good one. One thought is a road leading to another. Thus
the reader will find that one thought which is the object to-day
will be the means of a further object to-morrow. Thoughts will
necessarily continue to be an endless series of means and
objects in the progress of humanity. The great reformers will
always assert that they have come out not to destroy the old
law, but to fulfil it, Valmiki, vyasa, Plato, Jesus, Mahomed,
Confucius and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu assert the fact either
expressly or by their conduct.
The Bhagavata like all religious works and philosophical
performances and writings of great men has suffered from the
imprudent conduct of useless readers and stupid critics. The
former have done so much injury to the work that they have
surpassed the latter in their evil consequence. Men of brilliant
thoughts have passed by the work in quest of truth and
philosophy, but the prejudice which they imbibed from its useless
readers and their conduct, prevented them from making a
candid investigation. Not to say of other people, the great genius
of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the founder of the sect of Brahmoism,
did not think it worth his while to study this ornament of the
religious library. He crossed the gate of the Vedanta, as set up
by the Mayavada construction of the designing Shankaracharya, the
chosen enemy of the Jains, and chalked his way out to the
unitarian form of the Christian faith, converted into an Indian
appearance. Ram Mohan Roy was an able man. He could not
be satisfied with the theory of illusion contained in the Mayavada
philosophy of Shankar. His heart was full of love to Nature. He
saw through the eye of his mind that he could not believe in his
identity with God. He ran furious from the bounds of Shankar to
those of the Koran. There even he was not satisfied. He then
'studied the pre-eminently beautiful precepts and history of
Jesus, first in the English translations and at last in the original
Greek, and took shelter under the holy banners of the Jewish
Reformer. But Ram Mohan Roy was also a patriot. He wanted
to reform his country in the same way as he reformed himself.
He knew it fully that truth does not belong exclusively to any
individual man or to any nation or particular race. It belongs to
God, and man whether in the Poles or on the Equator, has a
right to claim it as the property of his Father. On these grounds
he claimed the truths inculcated by the Western Saviour as
also the property of himself and his countrymen, and thus he
established the Samaja of the Brahmos independently of what
was in his own country in the Beautiful Bhagavata. His noble
deeds will certainly procure him a high position in the history of
reformers. But then, to speak the' truth, he would have done
more if he had commenced his work of reformation from the
point where the last reformer in India left it. It is not our business
to go further on. this subject. Suffice it to say, that the
Bhagavatam did not attract the genius of Ram Mohan Roy. His
thought, mighty though it was, unfortunately branched like the
Ranigunj line of the Railway, from the barren station of
Shankaracharya, and did not attempt to be an extension from
the Delhi Terminus of the great Bhagavata expounder of Nadia.
We do not doubt that the progress of time will correct the error,
and by a further extension, the branch line will lose itself
somewhere in the main line of progress'. We expect these
attempts in abler reformer of the followers of Ram Mohan Roy.
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