Some readers may wonder about the necessity of a book like this one. Does it really matter if bhakti is innate in the jīva or conferred upon it? More than one person asked me this very question, and I have always replied that without a proper conceptual orientation—sambandha— concerning fundamental aspects of our sampradāya, such as the nature of the self and bhakti, our practice will not be properly informed and nourished. Indeed, this practice—abhidheya—is nothing more than the result of a particular type of sambandha, which in turn fosters a distinct goal—prayojana. In other words, since our ultimate devotional aim depends on how we conduct ourselves in practice, and this in turn depends on the knowledge guiding our actions, such knowledge is pivotal to our final attainment. As such, this is the main reason I have written this book: to reach a proper Gauḍīya conception as to the nature of the self and bhakti such that one’s devotional enterprise is best informed and unobstructed by misconception in pursuit of the goal.
Swāmī Bhakti Praṇaya Padmanābha