A Practitioner’s Handbook

Universalist Radha-Krishnaism: The Way of Natural Devotion; A Practitioner’s Handbook is the full title of my forthcoming book. Let me break it down. It is:
  • universalist in the sense of being nonsectarian, pluralistic, and relativistic rather than exclusivist. It sees cultivation of divine love as the essence of spirituality. Since God-dess reciprocates in the manner people approach him-her, various paths lead to different manifestations of God-dess according to their understandings. Not all paths are equal, and some religious expressions are destructive. Practitioners seek to work cooperatively with people of other paths to create a better world here and now based on peace, justice, and protection of the environment for the common good of all.
  • Radha-Krishnaism in that it considers Radha-Krishna, the Divine Couple, as the highest form of God-dess and teaches devotion to them. It is an -ism as a systematic theology and devotional lifestyle. It is not an institutional religion, but an individual spiritual path adaptable to personal lifestyles and contexts. It is fluid and in process.
  • the way as in a method, style, or manner of devotion. It is also the path devotees travel to Radha-Krishna and the means of entering their spiritual world of Braj. It shares much with the way of Taoism in following the middle way, staying low, cultivating inner spiritual attitudes, and living in harmony with nature.
  • natural because it springs from the individual spirit’s innate being. It is not forced but spontaneous. It includes the needs of body, mind, and intellect as well as the needs of humanity and nature. Its non-dualistic approach to life spiritualizes everything and encourages practitioners to develop their full potential.
  • devotion meaning love and loyalty to Radha-Krishna. It focuses on the internal process of creating a spiritual identity to express that love eternally in the spiritual world. This is based on an esoteric practice taught by Lalita Prasad Thakur, Bhaktivinode Thakur, and others in Jahnava Thakurani’s line.
  • a practitioner’s handbook. I practiced this method of devotion for almost forty years. I wrote first of all to clarify my understanding of the process, and secondly, to teach it to others as Lalita Prasad Thakur directed me. It is addressed to spiritual seekers who may wish to take up this practice. It provides complete instructions for readers to become full practitioners themselves. It is a practical guide rather than an academic treatise.
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