Śrī Gīta Govinda Introduction

(Translated by Sanātana Dāsa & Parameśvarī Dāsī)

This is a rare early work in Bengali prose written by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in 1868 which was included in a copy of Gīta Govinda. Bhaktivinoda uses the pen-name of Śacchidānanda Premālaṅkara as this was before he became known as ‘Bhaktivinoda’.

 

aprākṛta tattva yāra haya agocara
bhautika bhāvete yāra abaddha antara

Aprākṛta-tattva (spiritual principles) is not perceivable to those whose hearts are shackled by mundane sentiments.

adhyātma-nayana yāra unmilita naya
prema-tattve adhikāra tāhāra na haya

For those whose spiritual eyes have not been opened, such persons have no eligibility for prematattva (the principle of divine love).

samasta tattvera sāra madhura sādhana
pūrṇānanda lābha yāte kare sādhu-jana

 The essence of all spiritual truth is madhura-sādhana (the cultivation of conjugal rasa), by which the sādhus attain absolute bliss.

su-gīta-govinda granthe se padma prakāśa
adhikārī bhede tāra saskoca-vikāśa

That lotus (of mādhurya-rasa) has manifest as the wonderful book, Gīta Govinda, and based upon various kinds of eligibility, it either contracts or expands.

adhikārī premī jane mānasa-nayane
nityānanda jñāna-yoga dekhe vṛndāvane

With the mind’s eye, a qualified person, who possesses prema, perceives Vṛndāvana with the help of eternally blissful jñāna.

adhikārī nā haiyā yāhāra antara
rādhā-kṛṣṇa-prema-sudhā yāce nirantara
tāhāra ākāṅkṣā kabhu nā haya pūraṇa
māyā-prakalpita citra kare daraśana

 For one who has not become qualified, but incessantly yearns for the nectar of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa prema, his desire is never fulfilled. He only sees a picture created by the schemes of Māyā.

prākṛta kariya dekhe vṛndāvana-tattva
hīna bhāve laya parabrahmera mahatva

He views the spiritual reality of Vṛndāvana as material and considers the glories of the Supreme to be very trivial.

nāyaka-nayikā-bhāve baddha kari’mana
prākṛta carite ātmā kare samarpaṇa

With his mind bound to the concepts of hero and heroine, he surrenders himself to believing this book to be about mundane exploits.

ataeva sādhu-gaṇa e grantha-pathane
adhyātmika bhāva laha nija nija mane

Therefore O sādhus, while reading this book, take shelter of the spiritual bhāva within your mind.

padmāvati-nātha yāhā kaila āsvādana
sei se viśuddha prema karaha sādhana

 Whatever was relished by the husband of Padmāvatī (Jayadeva) – that is the pure prema that you should cultivate.

 brahma-tattva pari-śuddha sattva-guṇa-dhāma
sāragrāhī vaiṣṇavera yāhate viśrāma

 Transcendental principles are most pure and they are the abode of sattva-guṇa. They are the repose of the sāragrāhī Vaiṣṇavas (those who seek the essence).

se goloka-dhāma tyāji’ tamo-dharme rata
haibe yāhāra mana ye pāpī satata

Whoever rejects Goloka Dhāma to engage their mind in tamo-dharma (religions of ignorance) is always considered to be impious.

Under the shelter of those Vaiṣṇavas who understand transcendental principles –

Śrī Śacchidānanda Premālaṅkara

20th Phālguṇa, 1275 Baṅgābda (1868 CE)