It has been a long time since I wrote a book club newsletter. My apologies! Somehow with travel and re-entry into Hungary it slipped by me—not that there is nothing to write about.
I began the second volume of the Varnasrama Compendium, which is about the asramas.
Very engrossing. However, something unusual happened! I got inspired by a theme during my personal reading of Brhad-bhagavatamrta and with permission from the VAD committee, I have taken a few months off to write a book called Sadhana-sara-dipika. It is not about all the aspects of sadhana bhakti, but rather about two important ones that I found would be of great value to devotees. What are they? Determination and attentiveness! In his lengthy journey from earth to Goloka, Gopa-kumara repeatedly reaffirms his determination for higher stages of devotion, and is himself reminded by his guru of the importance of attentively chanting his mantra. In one such instance, Gopa Kumara becomes the king of Puri and gets the opportunity of such intimate service to Jagannatha that he becomes lax in chanting his mantra. But then his guru Jayanta says, “This chanting, please understand, is another form of service to Lord Sri Jagannath. Have faith in this and never give up your japa.” And Sanatana comments, “Even if Gopa-kumara has no other desire than to render personal service to Lord Jagannatha, he is here told to understand that chanting his mantra is intimate service to the Lord. Gopa-kumara may not have seen this for himself, but he should accept it out of confidence in the words of his guru. Aware of Gopa-kumara’s intense desire to serve Jagannatha, the all-knowing guru also perceives that Gopa-kumara is neglecting his mantra and so is helping him achieve his desire by correcting his neglect.” Does that remind the readers of their own inattentiveness? I am confident this new book—100 pages or so—will help devotees increase their determination and attentiveness in Krishna consciousness. Jaya Radha-Syama.