Tomorrow, on April 15, the Pushtimarg world Shyamdas inhabited and loved will celebrate the appearance day of its founder, Shri Vallabhacharya. On this auspicious occasion, we are pleased to announce the impending release of the 3rd edition of Shyamdas’ book In Praise of Vallabh: The Vallabhakhyan of Gopaldas. The following excerpts from the introduction and text hint at what tomorrow’s celebration is all about and give a taste of what’s to come in this June 2015 book release:
“I have spent many years in this pilgrim guesthouse in Gokul, listening to the satsang of the bhaktas who live downstairs. The monkey bars in their windows and mine are the only barriers between us. The sweet fragrance of their bhakti-soaked voices wafts into my room at about 4:30 am and continues throughout the day and late into the night. Their voices have nourished me. They are my inspiration for undertaking this translation of Gopaldas’ sixteenth century Vallabhakhyan, originally composed in Gujarati. The bhaktas downstairs recite the Vallabhakhyan every evening, and while hearing their songs I look up towards the Vrindavan sky, where Shri Krishna resides as the moon, and I taste a bit of what they have been living. If a small portion of that essence appears in this work, then my efforts in this joyful undertaking have been well spent…”
In this second Akhyan, Gopaldas sings of Shri Vallabhacharya, the incarnation of Shri Krishna’s face and the founder of the Path of Grace. Gopaldas tells us how Shri Vallabhacharya appeared in order to connect grace-filled beings with the blissful lila.
The son of Shri Lakshman, Shri Vallabhacharya,
is the emperor of devotion.
Bad karmas dissipate simply by remembering him.
He provides the way for souls to get through
this age of struggle.
The Vedas continually praise his form and profile.
They contemplate his blissful being
and matchless beauty,
yet cannot ascertain his end.
Shri Vallabh’s face glows like Vrindavan’s full moon.
He is the incarnation of fire, the chief of the Brahmins,
and his name is known throughout the three worlds.
He has taken on an incomparable form.
Shri Vallabh is the replete being.
Nectars flow as he bestows his teachings on Vedanta.
He manifests upon this earth
with unmeasured brilliance and purity.
He is both the sun and the moon.
Shri Vallabh is the saffron tiger
who shattered the elephant-like pride
of Shankaracharya’s Mayavadian teachings.
On the pretense of pilgrimage,
Shri Vallabh was spiritually victorious in every direction.
He uplifted all the holy places
with the dust that touched his feet.
He set his souls firmly on the path
and awarded them the highest joy of worship.
He gave them Krishna mantra,
creating an auspicious sweetness in their mouths.
With his opulent, soft feet like a lotus,
he toured many lands,
showering grace upon numerous souls.
Blessed, I say, are the places he visited.
[copyright Sacred Woods, 2002]
Pratham Peeth Publications