Vraja Land of Devotion

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ISBN- 978-1-63316-195-5 SKU: VLOD Categories: ,

Description

For 60 years, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja led pilgrimages to all the holy sites of Vraja. He travelled the world for fourteen years, teaching about the wonders of Vraja and its eternal inhabitants, who possess the pinnacle of devotion. He also wrote extensively on this topic, including an authoritative and detailed guide to the region entitled Sri Vraja-mandala Parikrama, published by Gaudiya Vedanta Publications. Moreover, he funded the renovation of numerous holy sites in Vraja that had fallen into disrepair.

For many years Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja expressed a strong desire to publish ‘a first-class book with beautiful photographs’ of the holy places of Vraja. In 2005, his disciple Krishna Prema Dasa had the opportunity to present to him the structure and contents of this project. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja was very pleased and personally approved the project. It is therefore with great happiness that by his blessings we are able to present this offering to him in 2021, his centennial year.

The book is designed in a coffee-table artbook format, with 177 analogue black and white photographs taken by fine art photographer Rohini Devi Dasi, a graduate from the Glasgow School of Art. The project’s Art Director was Krishna Prema Dasa.

The photographs in this book intentionally focus on the natural elements of Vraja – its lakes and ponds, its trees, groves, forests and hills, its cows, and its Yamuna River – these being the natural playground of the Divine Couple and Their entourage. Some photographs capture local rural scenes in which time seems suspended and others portray bhakti-yoga practitioners. The medium of black-and-white photography helps convey a sense of timelessness and visual poetry that is beyond the scope of colour photographs. These images, together with enchanting descriptions by foremost bhakti masters, offer a glimpse into this concealed, supramundane realm of divine love and beauty. These images are windowing into a world that resonates with the flute-song of the Divine.

The book includes three essays: “A History of Vraja” by Manjari Allin, “The Sacred Identity of Vraja” by Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and “Krishna: The Protector of Vraja” by Krishna Prema Dasa. It also contains a selection of verses and poems by the transcendental personalities of our spiritual tradition, as well as some local historical manuscripts, made available for the very first time.

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