Now in its fiftieth year, ISKCON continues to delve deeper and deeper into the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition members devote themselves to, finding new reservoirs of inspiration and wisdom.
The latest effort is a new two-volume edition of Sri Manah Siksha (Splendid Instructions to the Mind) by Raghunath dasa Goswami. Produced by Padma, Inc. and compiled by longtime ISKCON educator Urmila Dasi, it includes commentary in both prose and song by Bhaktivinode Thakur.
“Sri Manah Siksha is a guidebook written by Raghunath Das Goswami hundreds of years ago,” says Urmila Dasi. “It is a padhati, or a work that gives step-by-step guidance to awaken our natural spontaneous love for Krishna in Vrindavana. It goes very deep into the heart and the consciousness, removing everything that is false and pretentious, and bringing out our authentic self, and our authentic love for Krishna.”
Bhaktivinode Thakur himself further elucidates, “Sri Manah-siksa has laid down a systematic procedure for one to enter into and become absorbed in the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna; one should follow it without guile.”
In Sri Manah-Siksha, Raghunath Das Goswami uses metaphor, poetry and literary ornaments to unlock our full potential, delivering verses that are at once hopefully inspiring and blatantly honest.
“To read the book well entails an authentic appraisal of the state of one’s heart and mind, an experience of recognition and acceptance that is at once sweet and sour, comforting and uncompromising,” says Urmila. “To read it well entails receiving many glowing gifts to triumph over our lower nature and reveal our true spiritual essence, so that all struggles and illusion become a distant dream. In this book, we learn about affection and attachment so we can gain genuine love of ourselves and others. Through respect and integrity, we escape the pitfalls of arrogance and deceit.”
This new edition of Sri Manah-Siksa also includes commentaries by contemporary devotees such as Jayadvaita Swami, Sivarama Swami, Sacinandana Swami, Bhakti Vijnana Swami, and Urmila.
And it is brought to life with twelve new full-color illustrations and 120 black-and-white drawings by Italian artist Jnananjana Das, specially commissioned for the book.
“This book is an important contribution to all the society of the followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu,” Urmila concludes. “As Bhaktivinode Thakura says, ‘While Rupa Goswami tells us what to do [in his Nectar of Instruction], it’s Raghunath Das Goswami that tells us how to do it.’”
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For details on where to purchase Manah-Siksa internationally, visit http://urmiladevidasi.org/publications/ and scroll down to “Manah-Siksa.”
Jan 23, 2022
Anandini Tikunov (8th-grade student)
Jan 22, 2022
Sunanda Das, tovp.org