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Your Best friend
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
"'The Spirituality for the Modern Youth is a well illustrated, easy to understand series of books and I know the author to have a genuine care for the well being of the young people of India, making him the true representative of the best friend of youths today. Using his years of experience in this field. Radheshyam Prabhu has managed to produce a systematic, highly effective study of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.
I strongly recommend that a serious study of these books be done
to discover India's ancient heritage and wealth of Vedic wisdom. I am confident
this study course will inspire and motivate
many to delve more deeply into the fathomless purports of Srila
His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj,
ISKCON Padayatra Minister
The Vedic texts are the panacea for all problems for all times; they give a crystal clear understanding of all the fundamental and essentia! truths of life including who we are, what the true goal of life is and how we can attain permanent happiness. Unfortunately however, in the modern times, the Vedas have generally been misunderstood to be books of sentiment, blind faith or a bunch of empty rituals. And due to such preconceived misconceptions, the scientifically minded youth have reservations in even approaching them. Also, these texts being in intricate Sanskrit are not easily accessible to them.
With these considerations in mind, a need was felt for a systematic and scientific presentation of the five essential themes of the Bhagavad-gita ishvara (the Lord), jiva (the living entity), prakriti (nature), kala (time) and karma (activity). A humble attempt towards making such a compilation was first made in 1994. These notes were based on the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, who is internationally acclaimed as an erudite Vedic scholar and as the greatest exponent of Krishna consciousness in the modern times. References were also taken from Back to Godhead magazine articles and from discourses by senior devotees of ISKCON like His Grace Devamrita Prabhu, His Grace Radha Gopinath Prabhu and His Grace Krishna Smaran Prabhu. Those notes were refined over the years as we came to know more about the nature of doubts and questions that youths generally have.
Now we are presenting those refined notes in a handy form as a series of five books, entitled the Spirituality for the Modern Youth (SMY) series. The books in this series are Discover Yourself Your Best Friend (the present volume), Your Secret Join ,,<. y; Victory Over Death and The Yoga for the Modern Age. We have been using these notes for vigorous youth preaching in ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF), Pune. IYF, Pune was started and is being run by the divine inspiration and blessings given by H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj, H.H.Gopalakrishna Goswami Maharaj, H.H. Lokanath swami maharaj, H.G Devamrita Prabhu, devotees of Shri Shri Radha Gopinath Mandir. Chowpatty, Bombay and Shri Shri Radha Kunjabihari Mandir, Pune.
The approach of having a systematic presentation of the Bhagavad-gita has produced amazing results in effectively conveying the message to the youth and inspiring them to take to Krishna consciousness seriously. IYF presently has hundreds of engineering students, who are chanting Hare Krishna and leading a pure life free from all bad habits like meat-eating, intoxication, illicit sex and gambling. We hope that this book will therefore act as a beacon light for every sincere seeker of the truth, especially among the youth and the young at heart. It is our hope that the book will also serve as a useful guide for all preachers throughout the world in their attempts to take Krishna consciousness to the youth in particular and to the masses at large.
This book is nothing but a systematic presentation of the remnants of the bold preacher, Srila Prabhupada, and my beloved spiritual master. It is therefore a humble offering at their lotus feet. We will consider our humble efforts successful if this endeavor can assist in fulfilling their pure desire to flood the entire world with Krishna consciousness.
PREFACE to the second edition
We are happy to note that the first edition of 'Discover Your Self and 'Your Best Friend' was received with great appreciation by all levels of educated community. This series presents the same knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita in a way suitable to the modern mind. Many people therefore like giving these books as gifts to their 'best friends' who may be superficially little averse to religion and then see them turning into devotees! In this second edition we have made some changes in layoutting and appendices in order to keep the cost of this book economical for the readers and to give them an opportunity to read Sri la Prabhupada's books. In the appendices we have given some references to Srila Prabhupada's books instead of reproducing the material from there as it is, as was done in the first editon. Also in the chapter 'The Most Confidential Knowledge', we had explained the different platforms of worshiping God: fear, duty, desire and love. Although this holds true from a material viewpoint, in this edition, we have presented Bhaktivinoda Thakur's explanation on different types of worship with their respective Sanskrit equivalents.
One of the main purposes of this publication is to provide the preachers with materials that would answer the most common questions asked by people from educated circles. Although the preacher may study this book, prepare some hints and give a presentation, it would also be equally, if not more, easy to take just one heading for a session, read it out and elaborate on it for a small audience. We were very happy to know that such an approach in using this book has been greatly successful in Bhaktivriksha programs. We hope and pray that this book will inspire the reader to del ve into the depths of the ocean ol wisdom given by Srila Prabhupada in his books.For this second edition I would like to thank Sankirtananand Das, Shrirang Kulkarni and Satish Ghenand for formatting the book. Also I would like to thank Shriman Deepak Agarwal and Shriman Mukesh Agarwal for partly sponsoring the printing of this edition.Your suggetion for the improvement of the book are most welcome. We pray that our insignificant efforts be of some use to the worldwide community of present and future Vaishnavas.
The book has come out successfully by dint of the untiring efforts
of many IYF members. Mr.Shekhar, Prema Nidhi das, Jai Gopal das and Vrajanand
das together conceived and designed the
fascinating front cover. Special thanks are due to Vrajanand das for his
unflinching dedication to this project in coordinating the entire publishing
work and for personally executing as well as
overseeing and guiding all the computer work. Sundarvar das did the
layout for the book and Sankirtananand das enhanced its appeal by adding many
attractive pictures. Just as the Shrimad
Bhagavatam became sweeter because it emanated from the lotus lips of
Srila Shukadeva Gosvami, similarly Your Best Friend has become more refined due
to the thorough proofreading and editing
of Chaitanya Charana das. All these devotees have toiled a lot to bring out
this book. Our heartfelt thanks to His Grace Jagat Purusha das for giving
invaluable guidance in editing to
improve the subject presentation. His Grace JayaNrsimha das and Shriman
Rajesh Bajaj also deserve special mention for their generous donations for
assisting in the publication of this book.
I also express my heartfelt gratitude to the many other devotees who assisted us in bringing out this book. I also thank all the IYF sector and core-group members who encouraged me to take up this task of bringing out the lessons in the form of a book. Their encouragement is their practical surrender and dedication to youth preaching and to usg these lessons effectively.