Newsletter: What Inspires Me

Jaya Radha-Syama!

I would like to briefly share with readers my inspiration for writing. As Srila Prabhupada said “it’s not mechanical.” Inspiration is the foundational momentum, guidance, and determination that keeps an author going, no matter what. 

Although my first writing ventures were The Siksa Guru and The Bhaktivedanta Purports, I did not see in those books that writing would become such an integral part of my life. But somehow I gained inspiration for what I am now writing from my readings, from living in Vraja, and from serving Radha-Syama. More to the point, and to be more open, I became inspired by Radha-Syama, and They continue to be my inspiration. I’ll try to explain.

For the first few years that Their Lordships were installed, I didn’t dress Them regularly; indeed I was rarely involved in Their dressing. However, in time They drew me to Them like iron fillings to a magnet. And being in close proximity to Them for hours a day, the goal of serving them in a similar way eternally, in Vrindavan, manifest within me as a compelling reality. Let me cite Srila Prabhupada’s words as a way to clarify how this desire awakened:

“This development of conjugal love [as gopi or manjari] can be possible only with those who are already engaged in following the regulative principles of devotional service, specifically in the worship of Radha and Krsna in the temple. Such devotees gradually develop a spontaneous love for the Deity, and by hearing of the Lord’s exchange of loving affairs with the gopis, they gradually become attracted to these pastimes. After this spontaneous attraction becomes highly developed, the devotee is placed in either of the abovementioned categories.” (NOD 16) 

As I relished Radha-Syama’s blessings, I thought of how to share my personal growth and vision. I couldn’t bring everyone to the altar to dress Their Lordships. But I could facilitate devotees’ hearing about Their pastimes, forms, and qualities. Such hearing is actually the primary factor in awakening a desire for vraja-bhakti. For an attentive devotee, hearing, accompanied by nama-sankirtana, would indisputably have the effect of awakening natural attraction. And if devotees could also worship Radha-Krsna deities locally, such attraction would only be nourished further. 

Thus I began the Krsna In Vrindavan series, and then later Nava Vraja-mahima. I saw those books as my service to the Vaisnava community and as my glorification of Radha-Syama. Wherever in my books I write about Radhaand Krsna, I am writing about New Vraja-dhama’s Radharani and Syamasundara. They are the Radha and Krsna whom I know. To this very day, even when I am writing Sadhana-sara-dipika, it is They who are my inspiration, the goal of my sadhana, and the worshipable deities to whom I see every written page as a flower petal of a literary puspanjali. 

Thus, as I sit here in Mayapur looking at Their picture, I long for the time when I shall return to New Vraja-dhama and directly engage in Their service. Then I will get fresh inspiration. That’s how it works for me.

Yours in Krishna’s service,
Sivarama Swami