Perfect Conclusions on Pure Devotion
Taught by Bhagavan Sri Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur
vilasatu hṛdi nityaṁ bhakti-siddhānta-vāṇī
(Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj)
“Oh demolisher of the illusion of the entire world,
Oh finisher of the mania of the various pursuits
of liberation made by intellectuals,
Oh abode of loving attachment (raga) for the Lord of Sri Radha
which is grounded loosely within Scriptural regulation (vidhi),
Oh message of Sri Bhakti Siddhanta (Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Vani),
May you play within my heart eternally.”
śuddha-bhakti-mandākinī, vimala pravāha āni,
śitala karilā tapta-prāṇa
deśe deśe niṣkiñchana, prerilā vaiṣṇava gaṇa,
vistārite hari-guṇa gāna
“Oh Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Vani! Drawing down and distributing the pure current of the Ganges of pure devotion, you soothe and cool the scorched hearts of the conditioned souls suffering the fire of material existence. Oh Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Vani! You forcefully inspire surrendered devotees to travel from place to place to spread the chanting of the glories of Lord Sri Hari.”
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math was founded by Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj on the basis of the teachings of his Gurudev, Bhagavan Sri Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. The Nat-mandir in the center of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math was named by Srila Sridhar Maharaj the Bhakti Siddhanta Sravan Sadan, the place where exclusively the conception of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur (Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Vani) is heard.
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj has commented that if we seek to understand how to practically apply in our personal lives and within our Missionary community the teachings of the earlier Acharyas of the Rupanuga Sampradaya and the Scriptures of pure devotion (Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srimad Bhagavad-gita and so forth), we should not look above Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, i.e., the teachings of Srila Saraswati Thakur are of foremost authority in this regard.
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj has strong personal appreciation for the teachings of Srila Saraswati Thakur and cites instructive stories, examples and principles taught by Srila Saraswati Thakur abundantly within his preaching. In particular the Upakhyane Upadesha and the question and answer anthologies assembled from the preaching of Srila Saraswati Thakur are especially dear to him and he has expressed his desire that these be translated and preached within the English language.
In an effort to fulfil the desire of Srila Acharya Maharaj, we are starting a series of posts which present English translations of these Bengali texts.
To begin the series we have chosen a widely known citation which Srila Acharya Maharaj frequently emphasises in his preaching.[Note: Just for clarification, the following text is an English translation of a question posed to Srila Saraswati Thakur and the answer he gave in Bengali.]
Question: Who is able to understand the secret of devotional service (bhajan-rahasya)?
Answer: An especially faithful servitor (visrambha-sevaka) of the lotus feet of Sri Guru—the best of the followers of Srila Svarup Damodar and Srila Rupa Goswami—is able to understand the secret of devotional service (bhajan-rahasya).
A devotee fixed (in devotion) to Sri Guru (Guru-nishtha bhakta) who has pleasing, affectionate love (priti) and extremely firm faith (sudridha-visvasa) in the lotus feet of Sri Guru is a ‘faithful servitor’ (visrambha-sevaka). The Sruti said—
yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
The meaning of the Scriptures is revealed to the great soul (mahatma) who has unwavering devotion for Sri Guru just as they do for the Lord.