Reporting in from Mayapur in the midst of GBC meetings and the ISKCON Leadership Sanga:
Today saw the completion of the first volume of the English edition of Varnasrama Compendium, a series of publications written together with the Hungarian VAD team. That was sent to Sundara-rupa prabhu last night for layout. It was meant to be published in time for the ILS, where I’m speaking on varnasrama, but taking a month off to do the book marathon in London delayed the schedule. We did have it done in time, but at the last minute it was decided it really did need an index, and it was a little rushed. It’s unfortunate: it’s the perfect environment here for distributing the first volume. C’est la vie.
I have one chapter left to write for Sri Damodara-janani and that too will be ready to send to Braja Sevaki for editing. Ananda Caitanya from London has joined the team as the proofreader; he helped with the completion of Varnasrama Compendium, too. Join me in welcoming him to Lal Publishing. The art department, meaning Nitya-sakhi and Akrsna das, has finished the artwork for Sri Damodara-janani and it will be released in time for Kartika.
The third book is Vilapa-kusumanjali. It was originally an appendix for Nava-vraja-mahima, but so extensive an appendix that it was in fact a stand-alone book. Braja started working on it again last year, smoothing it over and refining the commentaries, but I wanted to do the same to the verses. Of course, you don’t “rewrite” Raghunatha dasa Goswami’s poetry…but in the same way I give my work to my editor to rewrite or refine, so I worked on the verse translations. On the first read, Braja Sevaki said it “flows like a river of velvet.” It will be produced as a book by Lal, maybe by the end of this year—depending again on artwork. Here is a sample
padabjayos tava vina vara-dasyam eva
nanyat kadapi samaye kila devi yace
sakhyaya te mama namo ’stu namo ’stu nityam
dasyaya te mama raso ’stu raso ’stu satyam
“Oh Devi! I shall never, never, ask You for anything other than the peerless service of Your lotus feet. Over and over again I offer my respects to the chance of becoming Your girlfriend, but I shall only ever aspire for the honour of being Your maidservant.” (Verse 16)