IT IS OUR GREAT, GOOD FORTUNE to present to Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja the first English edition of his translation of Srila Sanatana Gosvamipada’s Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta, with commentary by Srila Sanatana Gosvamipada. Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta is the first, and the foundation, of the famous Gosvami granthas, or literature produced approximately 500 years ago in Vrndavana by the followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This translation has come about only by Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s ardent desire. Whenever he has had time in the course of his travelling, preaching, and writing, he has affectionately inquired into the book’s progress and has given valuable guidance and insights into the profound nature of this incomparable treatise. It is our prayer that this translation conveys the beauty and depth of Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s realized understanding that suffuses the Hindi edition.
The particular purva-paksa style of Srila Sanatana Gosvamipada’s writing has already been explained in the author’s Preface. In pursuance of the mood of this question-and-answer format, which is expressed in the Sanskrit with the word nanu and in the Hindi with the term yadi kaho ki, we have presented the purva-paksa as a dialogue between the various personalities of this story.
Srila Narayana Gosvarnl Maharaja has written a bhavanuvada of Srila Sanataria Gosvamipada’s commentary that is entitled Dig-darsini–tika. Because the Sanskrit is often very concise, explanatory terms make it more accessible. Bhavanuvada is translated as an ‘expanded commentary,’ or ‘translation in essence.’
It also bears mention that Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta is Simultaneously both the transcendental story of Sri Gopa-kumara’s attaining the perfection of his heart’s desire – his loving relationship with Sri Krsna – and a presentation of fundamental spiritual truths, or sambandha jnana. To preserve the accuracy of the sometimes complex aspects of the book, we have used many of the original Sanskrit terms along with their translated meanings. We hope this aids the reader in a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
Where verses have not been fully referenced, it is because Srila Sanatana Gosvamipada did not include their details. In these cases, we have simply left them as they are.
The production of Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta has been a service of many years, and it is impossible to properly acknowledge all those who have contributed their time and talents. Out of humility, some have asked that their names be withheld, but we are indebted to everyone. The following persons are especially appreciated:
The English translation was done by Sripada B.V. Visnudaivata Maharaja. Our editorial consultants were Sripada B.V. Madhava Maharaja, Amala-krsna dasa, Madhava-priya dasa, Vijaya-krsna dasa, Prema-prayojana dasa, and Gaura-priva dasi. English editors were Manjari dasi, Sarvabhavana dasa, and Kundalata dasi, Contributing editors were Vaijayanti-mala dasi, Bhadra dasi, and Madhavendra Puri dasa, Hindi editors were Sripada BV. Visnudaivata Maharaja, Visnu dasa, janaki dasi, Akhilesa dasa, Mukunda Datta dasa, and Pankaja dasa. Sanskrit Editors were Sripada BV. Bhagavata Maharaja, Sripada B.Y. Visnudaivata Maharaja, Giridhari dasa, and Paramesvari dasa. Proofreading was done by Syamarani dasi, Vaijavanti-mala dasi, Santi dasi, Sulata dasi, Bernie, and Vamsidhara dasa, Jaya-gopala dasa provided technical support. Additional help was given by Mukunda dasa. Brajanatha dasa has consistently supported and encouraged the publication.
Our art director, designer, and print production coordinator was Krsna– prema dasa. Layout was done by Krsna-karunva dasa, who was assisted by Jayadeva dasa and Ananga-mohan dasa, The art director was Svamarani dasi, who was assisted by Premavati dasi and Silpa-kari ni dasi, Vidhi-bhakti dasi was a contributor. The cover painting artist is Sarasvati dasi, The back cover is from the British Library Oriental Office Collection, and used with permission.
In addition, our translation endeavor has greatly benefited from the meticulously edited BBT edition of Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta by Sri Gopiparanadhana dasa.
We hope our readers take transcendental pleasure in Sri Brhad– bhagavatamrta. If there are mistakes, may they kindly overlook them. In this Karatika month of 2010, may Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja mercifully accept this offering.