I always feel great pleasure writing the preface to the books I publish, especially when I spent many hours of the day and night working on them, correcting them, arranging them, writing philosophical and historical explanatory notes.
As a lover of this transcendental literature, I say all the times: this is my favorite book. For Sri Camatkara Candrika of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura would certainly be the case. I deeply love this book.
Then, in reality, I realize that they are all my favorites, each one in their own particular way, pleasant and spiritually satisfying.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, one of the most important saints and teachers of the Gaudiya Vaisnava school, wrote the “Sri Camatkara Candrika” while residing in Radhakunda and is composed of four stories that took place over five thousand years ago between Yavata and Nandagrama, two villages a few kilometers away. At that time Radharani lived in Yavata and Krishna in Nandagrama.
An important key to understanding Sri Camatkara Candrika is that these are not stories of flirtations between boys and girls, but they are stories that must be understood within the concept of transcendence. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the creator of all that exists, and Srimati Radharani is His eternal companion. All others personalities playing a part in these stories are Their eternal companions.
After saying such a strong thing, the question that obviously arises is: but why God (because this means Supreme Personality of Godhead) should play in this way and why he should do and say things that are so similar to what young boys do?
The answer is that in the spiritual world one lives forever, and eternity is a very very long time frame. To want to live there it is necessary that pleasant things happen and that there is a continuous variety. It would be the worst nightmare to live for eternity in a unpleasant and boring place.
The spiritual world called Goloka Vrindavana, and its neighboring places like Vaikuntha, are places of eternal happiness, which involves a continuous variety of things to say and to do.
Books like Sri Camatkara Candrika are open windows to the spiritual world.
By reading them we can understand what happens there, and there is no doubt that in this way we can feel in our hearts the desire to go there, to live there for eternity.
I am the author of the footnotes, which I wrote with the idea of clarifying the logic of the stories and also giving few short theological explanations. As for more philosophical clarifications, I refer you to my other books.
What does “Bhaktivedanta explanation” mean?
On the cover of this book you find the wording “with the Bhaktivedanta explanations”.
What does it mean?
At the end of each chapter of the books written by my spiritual teacher, Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, we find the note “Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to etc.”
Several times I found myself discussing the meaning of this. Does it simply mean “Bhaktivedanta Swami’s purports”? So why not say “Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Swami purports to etc…”?
I believe that the Bhaktivedanta purports are a philosophical perspective pertaining to a specific school.
The Bhaktivedanta school establishes that Bhakti, the pure love for Sri Sri Radha Krishna, is the ultimate end (anta) of all knowledge (veda).
As I am, unworthily, a member of this school, I like the honor of signing my explanations with the term “Bhaktivedanta explanations”.
My attempt is to write things that do not deviate from the siddhanta established by my spiritual master Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
February 15, 2018
This is a section of the book “Camatkara Candrika”.
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