Saturday, September 21, 2013

Shiksha Patra of Hariraya


Harirai Goswami

Another book I picked up since my return to Vrindavan and which I read from beginning to end, all 650 pages of it, is Śikṣā-patra. 41 letters by fourth generation Vallabhi guru Harirayji Mahaprabhu. I first read it in the English translation by Krishna Kinkari, a disciple of Prathamesh Goswami and godsister of the famous bhajan singer Shyamdasji, who passed away not so long ago. Despite the numerous flaws in the edition, such as spelling and layout, etc., on the whole it is a very readable translation and an illuminating book, understandably one of the important works in the Vallabha sampradaya.

http://www.pushtibhakti.org/abc/h.htm

The commentary by Gopeshwar, to whom the letters were written, is also very illuminating with plenty of verses quoted mainly from Vallabha's Sixteen Treatises. Anyway, there are several themes running through the book, mainly to give up anxiety and lamentation as a big impediment to spiritual life, sadhu-sanga, separation, etc. But the idea of grace, puṣṭi, seems to be the most important. śrī kṛṣṇa śaraṇaṁ mama.

I quite enjoyed it. It truly put me in the mood of bhakti again. I would like to have commented further, and if I get the chance, I will do so later, time permitting. The Vallabha sampradaya is one with which I have less than adequate familiarity and I rather liked the mood of this book.

Here is the website for this book, which I do recommend, for a bit of a different bhakti flavor:




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for posting this article as I have ordered and read this book. I was very impressed by this beautiful book.