Jaya Rādhā-Śyāma. Let me begin by thanking those devotees who have sponsored or who will sponsor Nava-vraja-mahimās for those who can’t afford them or for distribution to libraries throughout Hungary. The significant response from the devotee community has taken a real burden off my mind—the books are not sitting in a warehouse collecting dust.
Furthermore, I am pleased to inform Hungarian devotees that the translation of The Awakening of Spontaneous Devotional Service is now available in their language. I believe it’s a timely publication and worth a careful read.
OK, let’s get back to the newsletter. For those of you who listen to podcasts, you will know that last week I spent quite some time going over every verse of Vilāpa-kusumāñjali with a new artist for Lāl Publications, Gāndharvikā Devī Dāsī. She lives in Alachua, so it’s a challenge having conferences with her, what to speak of when we connect with Akṛṣṇa, our art director in Australia. Going through Dāsa Gosvāmī’s masterpiece was very inspirational. Visualizing the verses or some pastimes relating to the verses is both a challenge and a meditation, the kind of meditation Vilāpa-kusumāñjali is meant to inspire. Those who listen to those sessions will get a sense of what I mean.
For devotees who don’t know why we are planning pictures for Vilāpa-kusumāñjali, let me explain. My current commentary on Vilāpa-kusumāñjali is an appendix for Volume 4 of Nava-vraja-mahimā. When I finish Sādhana-sāra-dīpikā and Volume 2 of Varṇāśrama Compendium, I will edit and expand on Vilāpa-kusumāñjali. I envisage that it will take two years at least. So that gives Gāndharvikā that much time to make drawings and paintings for Vilāpa-kusumāñjali. How many drawings and paintings? That will be worked out with Akṛṣṇa. But at least she now has a vision of the verses, the book as a whole and its underlying mood. So yes, that will be the project after I finish those pending. Vilāpa-kusumāñjali is currently 250 pages and I wrote it in a month. It was an unplanned and a very hurried inclusion into Nava-vraja-mahimā. Taking those things into consideration I would like to add some more content and also beautify the language. It would probably end up being 400-450 pages. After that, Kṛṣṇa willing, I will be back to the Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana series. That’s it for now. For devotees curious to see a sample of Gāndharvikā’s work, here are two, which I believe speak for themselves.