This morning I forgot that I was meant to give Srimad-Bhagavatam class. I was completely absorbed in Verse 6 of Vilapa-kusumanjali (VK) when Syama-bihari came upstairs, incredulous that I was in the same state as when I rose some four hours earlier. I had to postpone my talk till tomorrow. Yes! I’m absorbed in VK and I may have found both the momentum and mood with which to proceed. I say “may have” because the first six verses are introductory and don’t fully reflect the pastime mood of the rest of the book. But I am feeling comfortable, and even if I’m not spot on, I’m getting close.
One obvious, but not surprising revelation, is that I won’t finish this writing by spring of this year. Considering November 2020 was battling with Covid; December, battling with Covid fallout while serving the marathon; January 2021 was the beginning of serious writing. I have written seventy pages to date, which is not a record, but it’s a good start for one beginning a new title.
Another not so obvious, but equally unsurprising revelation, is that adding to the existing 300 pages of VK from Nava-vraja-mahima is not the way of this edition. I am more or less writing from scratch, and whatever was written will be a good compass, but I wrote those 300 pages in a month. That was a record. But it also meant that the first edition is a low bar for me, a bar I want to raise in quality and content. So fingers crossed to finish in October 2021.
An integral aspect of this composition, which isn’t practised while facing the computer, is the cultivation of my own Krsna consciousness. I am keenly aware that VK is an exalted book, dealing with sublime aspects of Krsna consciousness, composed by a most exalted author—Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami. And it is an important book, an essential book, for seasoned sadhakas well-versed in our philosophy. Therefore, to do justice to this undertaking I require empowerment from Srila Prabhupada, Dasa Gosvami, the holy names, and pure devotional service—Bhakti-devi. And I need empowerment and blessings from those for whom I write, my readers. Dear devotees, please keep me and this undertaking in your thoughts and prayers. Although I am like a dwarf trying to touch the moon, I take comfort in the knowledge that our acaryas wanted such transcendental literature. For example, Rupa Gosvami wrote,
“Preparing the divine couple’s couch, food, drink, and betel; swinging Them, and decorating Them with tilaka, are among the many services rendered by the gopis. Learned devotees may research and enumerate these devotions in their writings.” (Radha-krsna-ganoddesa-dipika 251)