The Bhaktirasamrtasindhu of Rupa Gosvamin

Translated with Indroduction and Notes by DAVID L. HABERMAN
2003, lxxiv+670pp., gloss., bibl., ISBN: 81-208-1861-x Rs. 1600 (HB)


Bhakti or devotional love is the way of directly encountering the rasa in human )experience. The aesthetic experience of rasa which is available to human beings was somehow not fully manifested and established from the ‘intellectual’ point of view. A glimpse of the rasa accomplished is available in the encounter of Uddhava and gopīs. Humans by nature are rational and logical beings. They prefer logical conclusions which have universal applicability. To logically establish the path of rasa was the endeavour of the seekers and thinkers of Vṛndāvana, which emerged as the seventeenth century intellectual, cultural and spiritual centre of the Vraja region. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmin, a direct disciple of Sri Caitanya, was a shining member of the team of six Gosvāmins. For him the emotionally experienced bhakti­prema-rasa is equally knowable and communicable. The human consciousness could reach the ocean of rasa through Sri Bhaktirasāmṛtasindhu. If there is an experience, it can be expressed and for an expression to be meaningful it has to be guided by a “grammar” or a Śāstra. The famous trilogy of Bhaktirasāmṛtasindhu, Ujjvalanīlamaṇi and Niitakacandrikia of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmin provided for the first time a total Śāstra of bhaktirasa.

It is felt that the Bhaktirasāmṛtasindhu be made available to the English-knowing world as well. David Haberman has fulfilled this need by undertaking the stupendous task of translating this definitive text on bhakti rasa into English. The present edition includes the original Sanskrit in Devanagar1, Haberman’s translation and exegetical notes explaining all the intricate points of the text. An exhaustive table of contents and elaborate introduction, glossary and bibliography have greatly enhanced the value of the edition.