In Praise of Vallabh: The Vallabhakhyan of Gopaldas, by Shyamdas
Vallabhakhyan, the “Beloved Ballads” sung by Gopaldas in the 16th century, form a poetic praise of Radha Krishna and the bhakti masters Shri Vallabhacharya and son Shri Vitthalnathji. Born mute, Gopaldas was transformed by the grace of his guru’s chewed betel. He burst into song, producing nine impromptu ecstatic praises, each one attesting to his divine insight. Recited daily by innumerable Vaishnava devotees, these poems have been sensitively translated into English by the American-born Shyamdas, a forty-year practitioner and recognized commentator of the Pushtimarga (Path of Grace). Shyamdas’s translation is accompanied here by the original Vallabhakhyan text in Devanagari script and Roman transliteration.
Shyamdas (1953-2013), author, teacher, kirtan singer and beloved friend to so many, traveled to India in 1972 to meet the saint Maharaji Neem Karoli Baba and fell in love with Braj, the land of Radha Krishna lila. Shyamdas’s devotional life further blossomed under the guidance of his guru, Goswami Shri Prathameshji, head of the Pushtimarga Pratham Peeth. Since the 1980s, Shyamdas’s insightful translations have brought the spiritual writings of the Pushti bhakti masters to life for English readers around the world.
2nd edition 2017. Paperback, 117 pp.