Contents: I. Historical perspective: Foreword. Preface. 1. Vaisnavism in retrospect. 2. Socio-religious conditions of Bengal in the pre-Caitanya era. 3. Medieval Bengali literature and Vaisnavism. 4. Life of Caitanya. 5. Bengal Vaisnavism and Caitanya. 6. Cultic aspects of Bengal Vaisnavism. II. Vaisnava saints and their Sadhana: 7. Rupa Gosvamin : his life and thought. 8. Sanatana Gosvamin : his life and thought. 9. An outline of the philosophy of Jiva Gosvamin. 10. Gopala Bhatta : a Vrindavana Gosvamin. 11. Two Vrindavana Gosvamins : Raghunatha-Dasa and Raghunatha Bhatta. 12. Thakur Haridasa and his Sadhana. 13. Two Prabus (Lords) : Advaitacarya and Nityananda. 14. Bengal Vaisnavism : a conspectus. 15. Bibliography. 16. Index.
"The present work is an humble attempt at exhibiting the genesis and development of Bengal Vaisnavism focusing its distinctive features and abiding essentials in its historical perspective. Though an inalienable segment of mediaeval pan-Indian Bhakti movement, Bengal Vaisnavism is an area of fascinating study, unique in its articulation of Acintya-bheda-bhedavada, as a doctrine of philosophy and Kanta-Prema as the summum bonum of human life, the only way to God realization thus establishing the superiority of Bhakti over Karma and Jnana. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the fountain-head and leading personality of this religious creed and movement which was, however, vitalised and replenished by a host of outstanding religious luminaries especially the six Vrndavana Gosvamins who were interested in emotional enlightenment and emancipation of mankind. This treatise presents in a lucid and engrossing manner all these aspects of Bhakti movement in Bengal upto its recent development in ISKCON. It will serve as a dependable manual of Bengal Vaisnavism." (jacket)