by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words
The Bhajana-rahasya (including commentary): a compilation of verses describing the mercy of the eight pairs of names (Yugala-nama) of the Maha-mantra. It is considered a supplement to the Shri Harinama-cintamani. The author, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, has selected verses that serve to guide the Sadhaka in awakening his eternal identity as a servan...
Foreword (translated from the Hindi edition)
Just as the sage Bhagīratha brought the Bhāgīrathī (Gaṅgā) to this earth, oṃ viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Saccidānanda Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura Mahāśaya brought the present flow of the Bhāgīrathī of pure bhakti to this world and therefore is also [known as] Bhagīratha. In his book Śrī Harināma-cintāmaṇi, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has presented an extensive deliberation on the glories of the holy name, on the distinctions between nāma, nāma-ābhāsa and nāmaaparādha, and on the method of chanting the holy name. He has compiled Śrī Bhajana-rahasya as a supplement to Śrī Harināmacintāmaṇi. There are eight pairs of names (yugala-nāma) in the mahā-mantra. In this small book, Ṭhākura Mahāśaya describes the mercy of these eight pairs of names and provides a wonderfully beautiful glimpse of how to cultivate and contemplate aṣṭa-kālīyalīlā through the kīrtana of the mahā-mantra.
Several years ago, at the request of the sincere devotees of Mathurā and Vṛndāvana, I continuously spoke on this book for some time. The listeners gave rapt attention and I also felt boundless joy. When I had completed my classes, the faithful listeners repeatedly requested me to publish a Hindi edition of this book. At that time, however, I was busy publishing some books by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura–in particular his commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā–and I was also engaged in preaching pure bhakti, as practised and propagated by Śrīman Mahāprabhu, around the world. Therefore, I was unable to give this project my attention.
Some time ago during Kārtika, after I had returned to Śrī Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha in Mathurā from preaching in the West, daughter Kumārī Savitā gave me a manuscript of Śrī Bhajana-rahasya in Hindi with my commentary, Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti. I was so pleased and asked her how she had prepared it. She humbly replied that she had compiled it from notes she had carefully taken during my lectures and from the brahmacārīs’ cassette recordings of those lectures. I kept the manuscript with me and after kārtika-vrata, took it with me when I again went abroad to preach.
We arrived at the very beautiful island of Cebu, which, being part of the Philippines, is situated in the Pacific Ocean. When, in that favourable atmosphere, I looked at the manuscript of Bhajanarahasya to edit it, I became astonished and could not believe that I had actually spoken it. I felt sure that Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura Mahāśaya himself had inspired me to speak this commentary. To compile the manuscript, daughter Savitā had also meticulously searched through many authoritative books on rāgānuga-bhakti, thus further enriching the Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti.
The guardian of the Śrī Gauḍīya sampradāya and the founder of Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti, my most worshipable gurudeva, ācāryakeśarī aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, used to mercifully encourage and inspire me, his servant, to publish Hindi editions of the books of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura Mahāśaya. Today, offering this book into his lotus hands, I feel unbounded joy. All glories unto him! All glories unto him!
The services and great endeavours of daughter Kumārī Savitā in preparing the manuscript of this book, daughter Śrīmatī Jānakīdevī in helping her, Śrī Oṃ Prakāśa Brijabāsī ‘Sahitya-ratna’, Śrīmatī Vṛnda-devī, Śrīmatī Śānti-devī, Śrīman Purandara dāsa Brahmacārī, Śrīman Subhānanda Brahmacārī ‘Bhāgavata-bhūṣaṇa’, Śrīman
Navīna-kṛṣṇa Brahmacārī ‘Vidyālaṅkāra’, Śrīman Parameśvarī dāsa Brahmacārī and others who were involved in composing it on the computer, proofreading and performing other services, are all greatly praiseworthy and notable. My heartfelt prayer at the lotus feet of Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga-Gāndharvikā-Giridhārī is that They bestow an abundance of merciful blessings upon them.
I am confident that persons eager for bhakti, and in particular sādhakas of rāgānuga-bhakti, who are eagerly desirous of vrajarasa, will greatly honour this book, and that by studying it, faithful persons will attain the eligibility to enter the prema-dharma of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Finally, may the condensed personification of Śrī Bhagavān’s compassion, my most worshipable śrī guru-pādapadma, shower me with profuse mercy so that I may attain the eligibility to fulfil his inner-most desire. This is my submissive prayer at his crimson lotus feet.
An aspirant for a particle of mercy
from Śrī Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas,
humble and insignificant,
Śrī Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa
20 March, 2000