Shiksha Patra: 41 Letters of Spiritual Counsel, by Shyamdas
Shri Harirayaji (1590-1711) composed this series of Sanskrit letters sometime in the 17th century and mailed them to his younger brother, Gopeshwarji. When his wife suddenly passed away, Shri Gopeshwarji was plunged into grief and became unable to focus his mind on his Beloved’s worship. As he reviewed and wholeheartedly embraced the teachings found in Harirayaji’s letters, Gopeshwarji’s grief was sundered. He decided to compose a commentary on his brother’s Sanskrit letters in the vernacular Brajbhasha—a mystic, poetic language still spoken today in Braj and considered to be Lord Krishna’s own mother tongue. The 41 Letters cover a vast array of spiritual subjects, but recurring themes are how to live a devotional lifestyle that will transform our lives and consciousness towards God, how to live the lila of life, the play of reality with consciousness, and also how to make the necessary adjustments to the various situations that arise in the course of the embodied soul’s personal journey.
This English edition of the Shiksha Patra is the fruit of Shyamdasji’s lifelong engagement with sacred literature and is the last fully completed translation he has left us with. It includes the most extensive and personal introduction of any of his books.
2013. Hardcover, 332 pp