BOOK IS HARDCOVER AND NOT PAPERBACK. ORIGINAL UNEDITED 1972 VERSION “O Supreme Lord, I know that young girls have natural affection for young boys and that young boys have natural affection far young girls. I am praying at Your lotus feet that my mind may become attracted to You in the same spontaneous way.” The Nectar of Devotion Chapter 9. This book is especially intended for those who are engaged in the Krsna consciousness movement. The text is flooded with nectarean stories, philosophy and poetic verses about Krsna and His pure devotees—all taken directly from the Vedic literatures. It is a summary study of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Srila Rupa Gosvami, the chief of the six disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya, who appeared in India 500 years ago, is revealed by Vedic scriptures to be an incarnation of God in the role of His own devotee. He and His followers are thus most authorized to teach us how to become perfect in spiritual life. The subject matter is love of God. The basic principle of the living condition is that we have a general propensity to love someone. At 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. That missing point is God, or Krsna. The Nectar of Devotion teaches us how to stimulate our original love for Krsna and how to be situated in that position where we can enjoy our blissful life. The presentation of this authoritative information about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and our relationship to Him is simply the mercy of His pure devotee, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the acarya for the present age, who is coming in disciplic succession from Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself.
Our unique personality manifests in our relationships with others. The Supreme Person is no exception; however, His personality is unlimited. The variety of spiritual relationships one can have with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the subject of Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, the spiritual masterpiece composed by Rupa Goswami, one of the prominent disciples of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Nectar of Devotion is Srila Prabhupada’s English translation and commentary on Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, presented in the form of a summary study. “Summary study,” Prabhupada once quipped, “means I can do what I want.”
Srila Prabhupada published Nectar of Devotion in 1969 to clearly describe for his students the variety of relationships (rasas) one can have with Krishna and the various stages of progress one can hope to reach on the spiritual path. For those on that path, he also wished to caution of the many pitfalls to be avoided. Of all the books Srila Prabhupada translated and commented on, Nectar of Devotion gives the most clear and concise presentation of the specific practices of Krishna consciousness.
He subtitled Nectar of Devotion “The Complete Science Of Bhakti-Yoga,” to stress the scientific nature of Krishna conscious practice. The bhakti-yoga practitioner regularly employs observation and experiment, not in Petri dishes or using electron microscopes, but on his own state of consciousness. Bhakti-yoga’s ultimate goal is pure love for the Supreme Person, minus any selfishness or agenda other than unceasing devotional service. To achieve that goal—as in any scientific experiment—there are things one should do and things one should not do.
Citing many, many case studies found in Vedic writings, as well as lists of principles to be observed and symptoms by which to evaluate ones progress, Nectar of Devotion guides the reader from the very beginnings of sadhana-bhakti—devotional service in practice—all the way to the highest limits of prema-bhakti, spontaneous devotional service in pure love of God.