(translated from the Publisher’s Note of the first Bengali edition)
The best introduction to the author of this book is given by the work itself. Pujyapad Parivrajakacharya Tridandi Swami Srimad Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaj is the fit recipient of the grace bestowed upon him by that great universal Guru who shines like the sun among the Gaudiya Acharyas: Om Visnupad Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupad. Srila Prabhupad, now left this world to join the eternal Divine Pastimes, is the divine agent to flood the world with the nectarean universal preaching of the glory of the Supreme Lord, in the divine succession of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Although the devotional community is well-acquainted with the illustrious personality of His Holiness B. R. Sridhar Maharaj, I may nonetheless take the opportunity to enumerate some of his glories herein for my self-purification.
The brilliance of his unprecedented scholarship is found in the artful compilation and harmony of Sri Prapanna-jivanamrtam, Life-Nectar of the Surrendered Souls, accurately drawn from the axiomatic teachings of pure devotion (bhakti-siddhanta-vani) as evolved by the Vaisnava preceptors in the line of the bona fide scriptures. We have already seen the extraordinary competence of His Holiness in preaching the beautiful, illuminating conceptions of the kings of transcendental scholars — the Vaisnava preceptors headed by Sri Rupa, Sri Sanatan, and Sri Jiva — in various languages throughout the whole of India. Upon reading the first Sanskrit poem composed by His Holiness, Sri Bhakti Vinoda Viraha Dasakam, our Divine Master commented that the writing was of a happy style. Srila Prabhupad profusely praised the devotional gravity of the presentation, revealing his deep satisfaction and joyful confidence that in times to come the message of Sri Chaitanyadev would be befittingly upheld and preached by the author. Just prior to his entrance into his eternal Pastimes, Srila Prabhupad, in preference to hearing devotional prayer (kirtan) performed by devotees recognised for expertise, called for His Holiness’ pure rendering of Sri-Rupa-Manjari pada, sei mora sampada, the worshipful prayer of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas’ most cherished ideal.
The theme of Life-Nectar of the Surrendered Souls is described in the introductory first chapter, ‘Prelude to Approaching Nectar’. In some instances throughout the work, the Bengali verse interpretation of the venerated pure devotees has been fittingly given for the translation of the authentic stanzas quoted. In ‘Words of Nectar from the Devotees’, statements of the Supreme Lord have occasionally been quoted in conformation with the development of the theme. In his explanatory aphorisms that precede each stanza, the author reveals the unique axiomatic truths (siddhanta) of his divine succession. Doubtlessly, the good readers who know the super-eminence of the Gaudiya-siddhanta — the axiomatic devotional teachings in the line of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu — will be overjoyed with His Holiness’ novel illuminations. In the epilogue, the author has mentioned his line of divine succession and the time and place of the writing of the book.
It has been vividly illustrated herein that a life without surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Krishna is utterly futile, and the most treasured perfection achieved through exclusive surrender has been revealed. This will especially encourage those who are aspiring to enter the land of devotion, drawing them onward to the lotus feet of Sri Hari. And it will infuse spiritual joy and exhilaration in the hearts of the established devotees. This book is the supreme wealth of the surrendered souls. Devotion for the Supreme Lord, Sri Hari-bhakti, is the singular quintessence in this world, and only by exclusive surrender, saranagati, is it happily attained. May this Life-Nectar of the Surrendered Souls graciously appear all the world over, distributing the ever-increasing aspiration to reach the abode of divine ecstasy — the lotus feet of Sri Hari. Just as the repeated rubbing of sandalwood produces more and more charming fragrance, we remain confident that the faithful devotees, whose only pleasure is in conclusive theological truth (sat-siddhanta), will experience the ambrosial devotional fragrance of this holy treatise in their spiritual discussions, and thus relish transcendental delight. We shall consider ourselves blessed when this book inevitably comes to be treasured by the august assembly of the fortunate souls.
A Vaisnava’s servant’s servant,
All glory to the Divine Master
and the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya