Srila Rupa Gosvami (1489-1564) wrote a literary masterpiece, The Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, a classic of devotional literature composed in Sanskrit and describing the complete science of bhakti-yoga, the transcendental devotion. The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, written in English by Srila Prabhupada.
A few words of wisdom from the book’s preface:[dropcap1]A[/dropcap1]t the present moment the human society teaches one to love his country or family or his personal self, but there is no information where to repose the loving propensity so that everyone can become happy.
The human civilization at the present moment is very much advanced in living comfortably, but still we are not happy, because we are missing the point. The material comforts of life alone are not sufficient to make us happy. The vivid example is America: the richest nation of the world, having all facilities for material comfort, is producing a class of men completely confused and frustrated in life. I am appealing herewith to such confused men to learn the art of devotional service as directed in The Nectar of Devotion, and I am sure that the fire of material existence burning within their hearts will be immediately extinguished. The root cause of our dissatisfaction is that our dormant loving propensity has not been fulfilled despite our great advancement in the materialistic way of life. The Nectar of Devotion will give us practical hints how we can live in this material world perfectly engaged in devotional service and thus fulfill all our desires in this life and the next. The Nectar of Devotion is not presented to condemn any way of materialistic life, but the attempt is to give information to religionists, philosophers and people in general how to love Krishna. One may live without material discomfiture, but at the same time he should learn the art of loving Krishna. At the present moment we are inventing so many ways to utilize our propensity to love, but factually we are missing the real point: Krishna. We are watering all parts of the tree, but missing the tree’s root. We are trying to keep our body fit by all means, but we are neglecting to supply foodstuffs to the stomach. Missing Krishna means missing one’s self also. Real self-realization and realization of Krishna go together simultaneously. For example, seeing oneself in the morning means seeing the sunrise also; without seeing the sunshine no one can see himself. Similarly, unless one has realized Krishna there is no question of self-realization.
The Nectar of Devotion book can be purchased at store.krishna.com.