Auspicious invocation - I make my obeisance unto the lotus
feet of my Divine Master, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Sri Gandharva-Giridhari
(Sri Sri Radha and Krsna), and Their associates. By Their grace, all endeavors
I make my obeisance unto the Deity, Gaura-Saraswati
- the personified message of the Golden Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu - whose
bodily luster is of a beautiful golden hue, like that of the selfsame Lord
Gaurasundara; who is the personal expansion of that Supreme Lord Gaurahari;
who is always intoxicated by preaching the message of that Golden Lord; and
whose divine beauty blooms in the revelation of Lord Gauranga's mercy potency.
(This is the fundamental meaning of the verse. Within the scope of the
Sanskrit language, various expanded purports may be drawn from the original.)
Perpetually do I sing the glories of Lord Gauranga,
who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Hari, embraced by the heart
and halo of Sri Radhika, and who has descended as the Divine Master. In this
holy abode of Sri Navadvipa Dhama, He is absorbed in the pastimes of profusely
chanting the holy names, dancing in ecstasy. (As with verse two, expanded purports may be drawn from this verse.)
1.4 srimat-prabhu-padambhoja-, madhupebhyo namo namah
trpyantu krpaya te 'tra, prapanna-jivanamrte
Again and again I make my obeisance unto the eternal
personal servitors of my Divine Master, who drink the nectar of his lotus
feet. I pray they may be graciously pleased in tasting this Life-Nectar of
the Surrendered Souls.
"Even if every stanza is imperfectly composed, that
is, unlucidly expressed, the sins of the people are totally vanquished by
those expressions or books in which the glorious holy names of the Infinite
Supreme Lord are described - since the pure devotees hear those holy names
(from a qualified preacher), they solitarily sing those holy names (even
in the absence of others), and they chant the unending glories of those holy
names (in the presence of a deserving listener)."
1.7 abhivyakta mattah prakrti-laghu-rupad api budha
vidhatri siddharthan hari-gunamayi vah krtir iyam
pulindenapy agnih kim u samidham unmathya janito
hiranya-sreninam apaharati nantah kalusatam
"O learned personalities, this treatise, composed
of the divine qualities of Lord Hari, will fulfill your cherished wishes
despite the fact that it is presented by me, a very insignificant person.
Does not the fire ignited from pieces of wood rubbed together by a low-born
barbarian dissipate the impurities in gold?"
As Srila Rupa Goswamipada has (in his humility) expressed
that gold can be purified with fire lit by a barbarian, similarly, the pure
devotees' grief born of their separation from the Lord may also be dispelled
by this book (which will light the lamp of their divine love for the Lord).
O saintly devotees, please purify this wrongdoer who
on the pretext of saintliness desires in his heart the prestige of a poet,
and who is thus afflicted with the practically incurable disease of insincerity.
Tidings of Lord Krsna are naturally very dear to the
devotees, and tidings of the Lord's devotees are also dear to Him. Since
narratives of both the Supreme Lord and His devotees can be found within
this book, I have hope, O pure devotees, that you may be propitiated hereby.
1.11 svabhava-krpaya santo, mad uddesya-malinatam
samsodhyangikurudhvam bho, hy ahaituka krpabdhayah
O pure devotees, by your natural divine grace, kindly
purify me of ill motives (offenses) and accept this treatise. Certainly you
will do so, because you are the ocean of causeless mercy.
Introduction to the book - The substance expressed within
the ten chapters of this holy book called Prapanna-jivanamrtam gives life
to the surrendered souls, effecting their eternal growth and nourishment.
It is the panacea of the heart and spiritual senses, bestowing those dedicated
devotees' mutual happiness by the ever-increasingly newer and newer play
of supramundane joy (aprakrta-rasa). Lord Krsna and His associates are portrayed
in their natural pastimes of separation and union, and the line of unconditional
surrender as established by Scriptures and saints has been elucidated.
Carefully compiled in this book is the nectar of the deep, heartrevealing
transcendental messages of those devotees whose hearts are unalloyed; who
are servitors of the dust of the lotus feet of Krsna; who perform their every
act for Krsna; who are filled with insatiable desire exclusively in love
of Krsna and sustain their lives on Krsna's remnants alone; who desire only
Krsna's pleasure and serve the servants of Krsna; whose hearts burn in separation
of Krsna and overflow with ecstasy in the association of Krsna; whose relative
and friend is Krsna; and whose one and only beloved is Krsna. Along
with these expressions of the devotees are carefully collected the words
of supreme nectar - springing directly from the lotus mouth of Lord Govinda
- which vanquish the heartbreak of the devotees; which fulfill the devotee's
hopes and earnest aspirations; which destroy all doubt and sever the knot
of ignorance; which are dazzling with transcendental wisdom and astonish
the heart by miraculous waves of divine rapture, which are the great panacea
for the devotee's heart afflicted with the piercing pangs of separation;
which are incited wholly for the devotee irrespective of his qualification
or disqualification, so much so, that the Lord is bound by His pledge to
give Himself to His devotee; and which openly proclaim with great ecstasy
that His very nature is to be subjugated solely by the affection of His devotee,
reassuring His devotees in all circumstances.
O pure and spotless devotees, may you drink deeply the quintessence of these divine elixirs.
Chapter summary - An auspicious invocation, a humble petition,
an introduction to the book and its chapters, and the theme of the philosophy
of the book have, to the best of my ability, all been entered within this
first chapter named Upakramamrtam or Prelude to Approaching Nectar.
Chapters three to eight inclusive are entitled Sri
Bhakta-vacanamrtam, Words of Nectar from the Devotees. Beautifully expressed
by the lotus lips of the pure devotees of the Lord, many stanzas describing
the six limbs of exclusive surrender are quoted therein.
These six chapters have been compiled, each consecutively dealing with the six limbs of surrender, which are as follows:
1. To accept everything favorable for devotion to Krsna
2. To reject everything unfavorable for devotion to Krsna
3. To be confident that Krsna will grant His protection
4. To embrace Krsna's guardianship
5. To offer oneself unto Him
6. To consider oneself lowly and bereft
Absorbed in thought of the Divine Master and Lord
Sri Krsna, the tenth and final chapter entitled Sri Avasesamrtam, The Divine
Remnants of Nectar, was composed as the epilogue of the book.
1.30 uddhrta-sloka-purve tu, tad artha-suprakasakam
vakyan ca yatnatas tatra, yatha-jnanam nivesitam
Prior to each stanza quoted, an aphorism illuminating its inner purport has been carefully entered according to my best insight.
1.31 bhagavad-gauracandranam, vadanendu-sudhatmika
bhaktoktair vesita sloka, bhakta-bhavodita yatah Being revealed by the Lord Himself adopting the heart of a
devotee, the stanzas of pure nectar emanating from the moon of Sri Gauracandra
have been entered along with the stanzas of the devotees.
1.32 prapattya saha cananya-, bhakter naikatya-hetutah
ananya-bhakti-sambandham, bahu-vakyam ihoddhrtam
Many expressions of exclusive devotion (ananya-bhakti)
have been recorded herein, since exclusive devotion is most intimately related
1.33 bhagavad-bhakta-sastranam, sambandho 'sti parasparam
tat tat pradhanyato namnam, prabbeda-karanam smrtam
Actually, Words of Nectar from the Supreme Lord, Words
of Nectar from the Devotees, and The Nectar of Scriptural Word are all seen
to be interrelated. Still, they have been portrayed separately due to their
1.34 praty-adhyaya-visesas tu, tatra tatraiva vaksyate
mahajana-vicarasya, kincid alocyate 'dhuna
The unique characteristic of each chapter will be accordingly
expressed therein. Now (in this respect), we may have some general deliberation,
in the line of the great devotees of the Lord.
Theme of the work - Being governed by the faith that all
success is achieved by serving the Supreme Lord, to abandon servitude to
even scriptural injunctions and take exclusive refuge in the lotus feet of
Sri Krsna in every time, place, and circumstance, is known as saranagati
- unconditional surrender.
Some consider saranagati to be that God consciousness
which is realization of the one non-differentiated nature in all beings and
objects, by seeing the Supreme Lord as the indwelling Supersoul of everything.
However, such a conception falls within the category of calculative devotion
(jnana-bhakti). It is not in the line of unadulterated pure devotion (suddha-bhakti).
By scriptural reference, the learned know of the eternality of
surrender to the Lord, since the futility of human life without that surrender
is elucidated therein. In this way, the eternal constitution of surrender
1.38 nanyad icchanti tat pada-, rajah-prapanna-vaisnavah
kincid apiti tat tasyah, sadhyatvam ucyate budhaih
Because the devotees who have surrendered unto the dust of the
lotus feet of the Lord never aspire for anything else whatsoever, the learned
affirm that surrender is the attainable goal of all endeavors.
1.39 bhava-duhkha-vinasas ca, para-nistara-yogyata
param padam prapattyaiva, krsna-sampraptir eva ca
Only by surrender to the Lord can one gain freedom from the miseries
of birth, death, disease, and infirmity; fitness to deliver others from those
miseries; the holy abode of Lord Visnu; and the devotional service of Lord
1.40 sravana-kirtanadinam, bhakty-anganam hi yajane
aksamasyapi sarvaptih, prapattyaiva harav iti
Everything is accomplished by surrendering unto the lotus feet
of Sri Hari, even for one who is unable to execute the integral practices
of devotional service based on hearing and chanting.
1.41 sakhya-rasasrita-praya, seti kecit vadanti tu
madhuryadau prapannanam, praveso nasti ceti na
Some claim that surrender is generally in the relationship of
friendship (sakhya-rasa). But it is complete fallacy to think that surrendered
souls have no entrance into divine relationships headed by consorthood (madhura-rasa).
1.42 sakrt pravrtti-matrena, prapattih sidhyatiti yat
lobhotpadana-hetos tad, alocana-prayojanam Since surrender is achieved by turning to the refuge
of the Lord just once, we should earnestly discuss the subject to enable
the longing for surrender to be born in us.
1.43 api tad anakulyadi-, sankalpady-anga-laksanat
tad anusilaniyatvam, ucyate hi mahajanaih Furthermore, since the constituent parts of surrender
- based on acceptance of the favorable and rejection of the unfavorable -
have been referred to by authorities and cited in the Scriptures, the great
devotees of the Lord teach us the necessity of studying and culturing the
art of surrender.
1.44 bhavarti-pidyamano va, bhakti-matrabhilasy api
vaimukhya-badhyamano 'nya-, gatis tac charanam vrajet One who is severely afflicted by fear of living
in the material world, or, one who, despite having an aspiration for the
Lord's service is nonetheless bound with adversity - such persons, finding
no alternative, surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
1.45 asrayantara-rahitye, vanyasraya-visarjane
ananya-gati-bhedas tu, dvi-vidhah parikirtitah The state of finding no other alternative occurs
in two ways: in the event of having no other shelter, or in the event of
abandoning one's existing shelter.
1.46 mano-vak-kaya-bhedac ca, tri-vidha saranagatih
tasam sarvanga-sampanna, sighram purna-phala-prada
nyunadhikyena caitasam, taratamyam phale 'pi ca One surrenders by thought, word, and deed. Complete
surrender in all these aspects promptly affords full success. Otherwise,
the fruit attained will be proportionate to the degree of one's surrender.
1.47 apurva-phalatvam -
vinasya sarva-duhkhani, nija-madhurya-varsanam
karoti bhagavan bhakte, saranagata-palakah
The unprecedented, gracious reward of surrenderÑ Being
most affectionate toward His surrendered souls, the Supreme Lord totally
dispels their unhappiness, graciously filling their hearts with His sweet
1.48 apy asiddham tadiyatvam, vine ca saranagatim
ity apurva-phalatvam hi, tasyah samsanti panditah Without unconditional surrender (saranagati), one cannot
conceive of oneself as 'belonging to Him.' And this is why the learned sing
(par excellence) the glories of surrender's ability to yield her unprecedented,
Otherwise, what would have been the need for so abundantly singing
her praises? Only by unconditional surrender unto the lotus feet of Govinda
is all perfection attained - nothing remains to be attained.
1.50 sri-sanatana-jivadi-, mahajana-samahrtam .
api cen nica-samsprstam, piyusam piyatam budhah
Even though touched by one as lowly as me, please, O learned devotees,
drink this nectar gathered by the great souls headed by Srila Sanatana and
upakramamrtam nama prathamo 'dhyayah
thus ends the first chapter
Prelude to Approaching Nectar in Life-Nectar of the Surrendered Souls
Positive and Progressive Immortality