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Bhakti - The Art of Eternal Love

Bhakti - The Art of Eternal Love
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Bhakti - The Art of Eternal Love

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Item Code: NAU974
Author: Swami Prabhupada
Publisher: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Language: English
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 9789382716457
Pages: 72
Cover: PAPERBACK
Other Details: 7.00 X 5.00 inch
weight of the book: 0.06 kg
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About the Book

What we call love in the material world is all too temporary, but in the kingdom of God the profound loving exchanges Lord Krishna enjoys with His dearest devotees are eternal. Bhakti-yoga teaches us how to enter into that realm of eternal love.

The basic principles of Bhakti-yoga are presented in this introductory book.

Introduction

Love is one of the words we use most and understand least. The problem is that there are many kinds of love. One of the distinctions we can make between different kinds of love has to do with time, duration—how long love lasts. Some love lasts a few days, some lasts a lifetime, and some lasts forever. Most lovers aspire for the latter, but in vain.

Love between bodies is bound to be temporary, because the lovers’ bodies are temporary. Ah, but what about the soul? Will the lovers not meet in the eternal spiritual world, and there enjoy deathless love?

Perhaps. But the question is, "How do we get to the spiritual world?" That requires a special kind of love, the love between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul, God. Actually, we are caught in a web of temporary, unsatisfying loving relationships because we have forgotten how to love God. So the spiritual love between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul is the most important kind of love. It is the only love that is truly eternal. Actually, every other kind of love we experience is just a reflection of the original loving exchange between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul. This special love is called, in Sanskrit, bhakti. And the process for awakening that love is called bhakti-yoga, the art of eternal love.

Bhakti involves three things: the lover, the beloved, and the loving relationship. In bhakti, all three are eternal. The lover, the individual soul, is eternal; the beloved, the Supreme Soul, is eternal; and the loving relationship, bhakti, is also eternal.

In the sixteenth century, an extremely advanced expert in bhakti-yoga named Srila Rupa Gosvami wrote a handbook on its theory and practice. He called his book Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, "The Ocean of the Nectar of Divine Love." For a long time its secrets remained locked in the ancient Sanskrit language. Fortunately for us, a modern master of the knowledge and techniques of bhakti-yoga, His Divine Grace Srila A. C.

Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, translated the book into English and began training his students in its mysteries. Srila Prabhupada titled his translation The Nectar of Devotion.

Love, in its material manifestation, is usually associated with places—a city like Paris in the springtime, or a beach where one walked with one’s beloved. In the same way, spiritual love is also associated with places. The highest such place is Vrndavana, an earthly manifestation of the eternal Spiritual place where God enjoys loving pastimes with His eternal associates in the spiritual sky. In Vrndavana there are many temples, and one of them, the Radha-Damodara temple, is forever associated with Rupa Gosvami because his physical form is interred there. A small memorial to him (called a samadhi) rises in one of the temple courtyards.

Before he came to America in 1965, Srila Prabhupada lived in a quiet room in_ the Radha-Damodara temple, and through his window he could see and draw inspiration from the samadhi of Ripa Gosvami. Seven years later, Srila Prabhupada returned to the Radha-Damodara temple. And in the courtyard, near Rupa Gosvami’s samadhi, he gave for his disciples a series of lectures on The Nectar of Devotion. Selections from those lectures, full of deep Spiritual insight into bhakti, have been interwoven with excerpts from The Nectar of Devotion to form the substance of this book.

We invite you to share in Rupa Gosvami's teachings on bhakti-yoga, the art of eternal love, as they have come down to us from his foremost modern follower in disciple succession. If we can learn to love God through bhakti-yoga, then we can learn to love everything and everyone else in the proper way, in the way that will bring us the most happiness, the best happiness, the happiness of eternal love.

**Contents and Sample Pages**





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