While analyzing the mindset of the spiritual seeker while living in the holiest of places, Sri Vrindavan, I began to develop the chapters of this book. It is a book about just how different sexuality is from spirituality and how, ironically, the two, sex and the soul, are at the same time inseparable. Pure sexuality is the purest spirituality. The nine chapters of this book qualify this statement, distinguishing spirit from matter while establishing the novel idea that the soul has emotions and a sexuality of its own separate from the flesh. This is the precious gift of Sri Caitanya to the world.
The self-evident nature of the teaching of Sri Caitanya is its beauty. This book culminates in what appears in the mundane sense to be lawless (and thereby irreligious and nonspiritual) love. This revolutionary concept is called parakiya bhava. In human society to date, nothing higher has been told about the possibilities for loving relationships with Godhead. In this teaching lies the truth of the sexuality of the soul.
We live in postmodern times, and the religion of divine love of Sri Caitanya is the fulfillment of these times. It can save us from the frustration arising from the fact that we are now, after more than two centuries of so-called reason and enlightenment, morally and spiritually bankrupt. This frustration, although leading us away from senseless sense indulgence to a new and nonmaterial life, does not contain the potential to deliver a life of spiritual love. Sri Caitanya’s prema-dharma does. This book, Rasa, explores how this is so.
—from the Introduction
“It is perhaps the most helpful exposition of the Bhakti religion that has come my way. Thank you for writing it.”
Huston Smith. Author of the best-seller The World’s Religions. Professor at UC Berkeley.
“Tripurari Swami, perhaps the most noted Western exponent of the philosophical tradition of Bhakti, brings the deep perception of the devotional mind to the modern age and unravels the problems of contemporary living through its insight. Such a contribution brings a new dimension to the spiritual life which all serious seekers should examine, at the very least to broaden their horizons.”
David Frawley, Vedacarya. Author of Gods, Kings and Sages
“Rasa helps us to face and formulate critical issues of life in personal and religious terms, and thus bespeaks hope and offers explicit possibilities for living and loving in ways that are both humane and devout.”
Professor Joseph T. O’Connell, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
“This book is an absolute treasure, and it is delightful to read. You have given the world a prize jewel, a book that will teach people to love each other and the Lord as well.”
Steven Rosen. Author of Food for the Spirit. Editor of Journal for Vaishnava Studies.