The Sri Upadesamrta is highly revered in the Sri Gaudiya Vaisnava spiritual community (sampradaya). Resplendent with the inner sentiments (bhava) and outer complexion of Srimati Radhika, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the inaugurator of the congregational chanting of Sri Krsna's holy names (sri-nama-sankirtana) and the bestower of that most elevated, radiant divine love for Sri Krsna which had never been given before. For the benefit of all living beings, Srila Rupa Gosvami churned the' ocean of Sriman Mahaprabhu's instructions and extracted the essence in the form of the Sri Upedesamrta. The instructions given in this book are indispensable for practitioners (sadhakas) of the devotional path (bhakti). Without following these instructions, entering the realm of pure devotion and especially following the intricate and elevated path of spontaneous devotion (raganuga-bhakti) is not only difficult, but impossible.
We learn from the diary of Govinda dasa, the personal servant of the prema-avatara (incarnation of divine love), Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that prior to returning to His eternal, unmanifest pastimes, Mahaprabhu remained constantly overwhelmed, highly inflamed (sudipta) mood of divine separation (vipralambha). At that time Mahaprabhu's two intimate eternal servitors, Sri Svarupa Damodara and Sri Ramananda, would try to pacify Him by singing which were relevant to His mood. On one occasion Mahaprabhu was sitting with His devotees on the of the ocean engaged in hearing narrations concerning Krsna (krsna-katha). Seeing the dense grove of tree lining the shore of the blue ocean and the tall sand dunes, remembrance of Govardhana Hill and the Yamuna River with the many beautiful gardens and groves (kunjas) situated on her banks suddenly sprang up inside Him. Then He began bitterly weeping in separation from Krsna. When after sometime His excitement subsided and He became peaceful, He gave the assembled devotees some instructions in a soft and sweet voice. Those instructions comprise the verses of this Sri Upadesamrta.
From the very beginning it is compulsory for shadakas desirous of entering the realm of bhakti to renounce activities which are unfavourable for progress in spiritual life. These include the urges of speech, anger, tongue, stomach and genitals, as well as avoiding overeating, unnecessary endeavours, useless conversation, improper compliance with the rules and regulations of devotion, bad association, and greed or the restlessness of the mind to adopt worthless opinions. Simultaneously it is imperative to adopt those things which nourish one's bhakti, such as enthusiasm, determination, patience, the good behaviour associated with bhakti and the ideals for devotional life which have been established by pure devotees.
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