Introduction to Sri Sri Prema-dhama-deva-stotram.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

The following in a translation of the introduction to the first complete edition of Sri Sri Prema-dhama-deva-stotram published in Bengali.


Sri Sri Prema-dhama-deva-stotram


This is the first effort to publish in book form Sri Sri Prema-dhama-deva-stotram with purport-based translations. Previously, a few editions gradually increasing in size were published in the monthly spiritual periodical Sri Gaudiya Darsan.

The author of this stotra (poetic eulogy) is the foremost follower and exalted associate of the universally worshippable Acharya Bhagavan Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur, our most revered and beloved divine master Srimad Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. His Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamrta and jewel-like poems composed in Sanskrit in various meters are highly adored by the wise and have become necklaces of the Saraswat Gaudiya Vaisnavas (Gaudiya Vaisnavas in the line of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur). His original explanation of Srimad Bhagavad-gita is also a highly valuable asset for the Sri Gaudiya sampradaya.

The present stotra is written in a meter known as Tunaka. Sri Rupa Prabhu and Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami Prabhu wrote very sweet poems in this meter about Sri Yamuna Devi and about Sri Radhika and Sri Krishnachandra.

The speciality of this stotra for Sri Sri Gaurasundar is that within it all of His Pastimes and His axiom of achintya-bhedabheda siddhanta (inconceivable difference and nondifference) have been concisely summarised. By virtue of the wonderful synthesis of sweetness and profundity that has been created herein by combination of poetry and philosophy, the wise naturally consider this stotra to be in the line of Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta.

Sriman Mahaprabhu’s original overview of abstruse sound theory (sphotavad) associated with the study of the meaning of words in connection with His preaching of the Holy Name during His Pastimes in Nabadwip, His proof of the nature of the king of rasa, the embodiment of all rasas, as the enjoyer of the Rasa Dance and the son of Maharaj Nanda for the establishment of the self-manifest playful nature of the fundamentally joyful Truth in order to ascertain the nature of non-dual Truth within the assembly of scholars in Varanasi studying the Vedanta-sutra during His explanation of the four essential verses (chatuh-sloki) of its commentary Srimad Bhagavatam, and the realisation in the embodiment of dancing and chanting Sri Gaura of the fundamental nondual joyfulness of the origin of all Avatars whose end is to serve and distribute Himself (Svabhajana-vibhajana-prayojanavatari)—there is no doubt that the wise and highly intelligent will be amazed and delighted by the perfect reasoning that has demonstrated even these conclusions regarding abstruse truths and simultaneously surveyed the insubstantial and deplorable nature of the illusionists’ (mayavadis’) consummation in nonduality (advaita-siddhi) and the supremacy of a life of love for the Lord given by the axiom of achintya-bhedabheda siddhanta. In the midst of discussion of these principles, I am unable to check my desire to quote the enigmatic verse from Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta written below:

krsna-lilamrta-sara tara sata sata dhara
dasa-dike vahe yaha haite
se chaitanya-lila haya sarovara aksaya
mano-hamsa charaha tahate

[“Krishna’s Pastimes are the essence of nectar, and Sri Chaitanya’s Pastimes are the inexhaustible reservoir from which hundreds of streams of that nectar flow in the ten directions. There, may the swan of your heart play.”]

The minds of poets are captivated by the sweetness of the nectar (rasa) in this stotra to the same extent [that they are by the verse quoted above]. As it is pleasing to recite, pleasing to hear, and heart-melting, so too it is heart-capturing and pleasing to taste. Be it Sriman Mahaprabhu’s appearance, or description of His divine form, or His childhood Pastimes, or His chanting and preaching, or His Pastime of accepting sannyas, or His Pastime of touring the South, of His conversation with Ramananda, or His journey to Sri Vrndavan on the path through Jhadakhanda, or His wonderful Pastime of touring Vrndavan, or His divine madness in Sri Jagannath Puri, or His Pastime of floating out into the ocean, or description of anything else—everywhere—it is like a grand festival of an elixir for the ear and heart is being celebrated. This stotra again and again bathes wise readers in the stream of nectar released by the author of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, who is completely devoted to Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunath, and blesses them. In fact, this sort of jewel-like stotra of extended length replete with a wonderful combination of the condensed nectar of all of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s Pastimes and the light of the principles taught by Him is extremely rare in this world. It truly, truly is an invaluable jewel in the treasure-house of Saraswat Gaudiya literature.

So that this stotra can be kept with you easily, it has been published in a light form. Needless to say, responsibility for mistakes and errors in the publication of this book is wholly that of this fallen soul. For this, I beg the pardon of the most worshippable author of this stotra and all its cordial readers.

Finally, our heartfelt prayer to all our wise readers is that they will properly study this stotra with faith, and thereby make a poor and fallen soul like me a recipient of the merciful glance of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and thus supremely fortunate.

Enough verbosity.


The editor