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nirmito yena tasmai śrī-
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī, who, in his unwavering desire to please Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, disclosed the contents of his heart by composing this plaintive flower-offering of prayers, Śrī Vilāpa-kusumāñjali.
The service of Vṛndāvana’s residents is the ultimate teaching of the Vedas and the ultimate spiritual attainment. Devotees desirous of attaining this spontaneous loving service must both follow the inhabitants of Vraja and engage in service to the Vraja-vāsīs.
This jewel of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava literature, Śrī Vilāpa-kusumāñjali, represents Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī’s ultimate fulfilment of Lord Caitanya’s instruction to him to write books for future generations of devotees to teach them the process of attaining that goal, and ultimately service to the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.
anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ
May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacī-devī be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, he has appeared in the age of Kali by his causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.
In commenting on this verse, Śrīla Prabhupāda emphasised that the gift of conjugal love was never bestowed by any ācārya or incarnation previous to Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And the Lord not only made this form of prema accessible, but he also taught by his example how it should be practised.
Both Śrīla Prabhupāda and Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura taught that perfection in celestial Vṛndāvana was attainable only through spontaneous devotion, following either an eternally liberated gopī or gopa. In this mood Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī penned Vilāpa-kusumāñjali, revealing the contents of his heart in ardha-bāhya-daśā, half internal, half external consciousness—as both a gosvāmī-sādhaka, and as Rati-mañjarī.
Exquisitely presented with 4-colour, high-quality paper, gilt-edged and with original artwork, this book is truly literary and visual art, a unique and beautiful production that takes the reader on a magnificent journey with Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī and Rati-mañjarī into the intimate and longed-for world of service to the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.
All glories to the glistening touchstone seated in the crown of the personified Vedas, Śrī Vilāpa-kusumāñjali, the devotional radiance of which pierces the heart’s deepest recesses and awakens a desire to become the object of a gopī’s mercy.
150x230mm / 5.9x9in
Sample chapter from the book: