Tag Archive | devotional service

For Guru-Puja (Purnima)

Today is the appearance day of Srila Vyasadeva, or VedaVyasa, who composed the major portion of Vedic literature.

Today we are celebrating Guru-puja, because we are very indebted to our Gurudeva, the guru-parampara and Srila Vyasadeva. In India, all the various sampradayas –Vaisnava and Mayavadi as well – accept Sri Vyasadeva as Guru, and all worship him on the day of Guru-puja without hesitation.

“This Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Srila Vyasadeva, the incarnation of God. It is meant for the ultimate good of all people, and it is all-successful, all-blissful and all-perfect.” (Bhag.1.3.40)

This is a day of remembrance of all gurus, through whom God grants the Divine grace of Spiritual knowledge to His disciples.

Guru Purnima is an opportunity for disciples to recommit themselves to following their Guru’s guidance and teachings.

May we all accept the teachings and blessings of Srila Gurudeva and apply them in our daily lives.

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Unequalled Contribution: Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur

For the disappearance day of Sat Chit Ananda Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur:

The following is an excerpt from the book “Sri Chaitanya: His Life and Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj

namo bhaktivinodaya saccidananda-murtaye |
gaura-sakti-svarupaya rupanuga-varaya te ||

I offer my obeisances to you, O Bhaktivinoda, the form of eternity, knowledge and bliss, the incarnation of Gaura’s potency and the best of the followers of Rupa Goswami.

The sampradaya’s debt to Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur is the root of the daily activities in the Chaitanya Math, the Gaudiya Math, the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, the Gaudiya Missions, etc. The Gaudiya Math institutions cannot be separated from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. These institutions are entirely indebted to his sublime contributions. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur has written, “Devotees in the line of Srila Rupa Goswami do not preach faith in their own powers, but rather direct attention to the source of their spiritual strength. We also do everything for the sake of Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Rupa, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and our divine spiritual master.” (From Patravali, Srila Prabhupada’s letters, vol. 3, p. 89.) Devotees of the Brahma-Madhva-Sarasvata-Gaudiya sampradaya pay their respects daily to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur as follows:

suddha-bhakti-pracarasya mulibhuta ihottamah |
sri-bhaktivinodo devas tat-priyatvena visrutah ||

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur is a transcendental personality who is the root of the preaching movement of pure devotion. He is renowned as one who is dear to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Bhaktivinoda’s unequalled contribution
Vedavyasa and the scriptures he wrote are the foundation of all those who claim to follow the Sanatan Dharma. He himself practiced and preached the means by which humankind can attain the supreme peace. Vedavyasa compiled and divided the Veda, wrote the eighteen puranas and the Mahabharata including the Bhagavad-gita, but remained unsatisfied. Finally, while at Badarikasrama, Narada Muni instructed him to glorify the activities of Sri Krishna in order to attain his pleasure. After writing the twelve cantos of the Srimad Bhagavatam, Vedavyasa finally found the peace he had been looking for. Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya preached the Bhagavat religion which is found in this text. After the disappearance of Mahaprabhu and his associates, however, the path of pure devotion became covered with thorns until Bhaktivinoda Thakur appeared to write many books and to preach the pure doctrine of devotional service to Krishna. Through his tireless efforts, all the heretical doctrines were ! shown to be empty, the path of supreme auspiciousness and compasision was shown to all the world. These efforts can only be said to constitute an unequalled and certainly unsurpassed contribution. Without being empowered by Krishna himself, the message of pure devotion cannot be spread. Such a display of empowerment could not be possible were he not a direct associate of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Sri Krishna.

Externally he was a householder with family obligations, a government servant engaged in the administrative service, but despite these responsibilities he was still able to write over a hundred books in several different languages. One cannot fail to be impressed by this monumental achievement. Every word of his writing is scripture; every word awakens the spirit of devotion to him who is beyond the grasp of the material senses and mind. Mundane scholars would never be able to achieve the kind of synthesis that he did. His every thought was perfectly reasonable and never far-fetched. His writings are a permanent display of compassion to the fallen souls. His Divine Grace Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaj used to say to his disciples, “You need do nothing else other than translate Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s books into the world’s various languages and you will have done the greatest act of welfare for the people of the world.” In fact, everything that is done in the Gaudiya Maths throughout the world has come from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur.

Read the full article here

For Sri Gadadhara Pandit Goswami Dissapearance Day

The following is an excerpt from the book “Sri Chaitanya: His Life and Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj.

shri-radha-prema-rupa ya pura vrindavandeshvari
sa shri-gadadharo gaura-vallabhah panditakhyakah
nirnitah shri-Svarupair yo vraja-lakshmitaya yatha
pura vrindavane lakshmih shyamasundara-vallabha
sadya gaura-prema-lakshmih shri-gadadhara-panditah
radham anugata yat tal lalitapy anuradhika
atah pravishad esha tam gaura-candrodaye yatha

The incarnation of love who previously was the queen of Vrindavan, Radha, is now the beloved of Gaura named Srila Gadadhara Pandit. Svarupa Damodar himself indicated that he was Vraja’s goddess of fortune, the Lakshmi who was previously the beloved of Shyamasundara in Vrindavan. She today has become the goddess of fortune of love for Gaura and is known as Srila Gadadhara Pandit. Lalita, who is also known as Anuradha, is Radha’s closest friend and confidante. She has also entered into Gadadhara, as was shown in the play Chaitanya-candrodaya.
(Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 147-150)

Gadadhara-tattva

gadadhara panditadi prabhura nija-shakti
tan sabhara carane mora sahasra pranati

Gadadhara Pandit and others are the lord’s own energies. I pay thousands of obeisances to their feet. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.1.41)

“Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appears in six features, namely as the two types of guru, the devotees of the lord, the lord himself, his incarnation, his expansion and his energy. According to the principle of simultaneous oneness and difference, they are all identified with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself.”
(Anubhashya to Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.1.37-45)

She who was Radha in Krishna’s pastimes became Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami in Gaura’s lila. When Gaura manifests his identity with Narayan, his shaktis are his wives Lakshmipriya and Vishnupriya. When identifying with Krishna, his shakti is Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami.

païcatattvatmakam krishnam
bhakta-rupa-Svarupakam
bhaktavataram bhaktakhyam
namami bhaktashaktikam

I offer my obeisances to Krishna who appears in five features, as a devotee, as the expansion of a devotee, as an incarnation of a devotee, as the pure devotee and as the devotional energy.

These five features all appeared with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in his incarnation, and in their association, he joyfully performed the congregational chanting of the Holy Names. Though he appears in these five forms, there is in fact no difference between them. The distinctions arise due to his desire to relish different devotional flavors.

Sri Gauranga, Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara and Srivasa, etc., make up the Pancha Tattva and there is spiritually no difference between them. The supreme truth has unlimited different pastimes in order to relish the different tastes of transcendental relationship and thus he separates into these five forms as the form of devotee, the devotional manifestation, the devotional incarnation, the devotional energy and the pure devotee.

jaya jaya nityananda-gadadharera jivana
jaya jaya advaitadi bhaktera sharana

All glories, all glories, to the life of Nityananda and Gadadhara!
All glories, all glories, to the shelter of all the devotees, headed by Advaita!

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur comments on words “the life of Gadadhara” as follows: “Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami is chief amongst the most intimate devotees of Sri Chaitanya. He is the fountainhead of the entire shakti-tattva and is thus present equally in Mahaprabhu’s lilas in Nabadwip and in Nilachala. His childhood home was in Nabadwip; later when he took sannyas, he went to live in Jagannath Puri, in a garden or tota by the seashore. Pure devotees who wish to enter into the madhura-rasa of worship to Radha and Govinda take shelter of Gadadhara Pandit and are known as Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s intimate devotees. Those devotees who are not so inclined take shelter of Nityananda Prabhu and engage in pure devotional service in his mood. Some of Mahaprabhu’s devotees, such as Narahari, were followers of Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami. They took refuge in him because they knew him to be his dearest associate and thus worthy of their service. Some devotees therefore call Chaitanya ‘the life of Nityananda’ while others called him ‘the life of Gadadhara.’”

Read the full article here:

For Sri Syamananda Prabhu’s Disapearance Day

srilasyamanandaprabhu

Sri Shyamananda Prabhu was a servant of a servant of Subala in Krishna-lila. He was the disciple of Hridayananda or Hriday Chaitanya, who was a disciple of Gauri Das Pandit. Gauri Das was Subala in Krishna-lila.

yam loka bhuvi kirtayanti hridayanandasya shishyam priyam
sakhye shri-subalasya yam bhagavatah preshthanushishyam tatha
sa shriman rasikendra-mastaka-manish citte mamaharnisham
shri-radhapriya-narma-marmasu rucim sampadayan bhasatam

Sri Shyamananda was known in this world as Hridayananda’s dear disciple; he was the grand-disciple of Subala sakha, the most dear friend of the Supreme Lord; he was the crest-jewel of the enjoyers of sacred rapture. May he appear day and night in my mind, bringing an appreciation for the essence of the joys of the beloved of Sri Radha.
(Shyamananda-shataka)

While in Vrindavan, he was given the name Shyamananda because he brought great joy to Shyamasundar. When Jiva saw his charming activities, he kept him nearby and instructed him in the Vaishnava scriptures.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 1.401-2)

Radharani’s Special Mercy on Shyamananda

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Even though Shyamananda Prabhu was Hriday Chaitanya’s initiated disciple, his guru had entrusted him to the care of Jiva Goswami Prabhu. Through the association of Jiva and service to him, Shyamananda developed a taste for serving Radha and Krishna in the conjugal mood. Hriday Chaitanya Prabhu himself was a disciple of Gauri Das Pandit, who was one of the twelve Gopals, Subala sakha. He worshiped Gaura-Nitai in the mood of friendship. Those who think that Shyamananda committed an offense to his initiating spiritual master by abandoning his mood and trying to directly serve Krishna in a higher mood, are wrong. The mood of friendship is contained within the conjugal mood. If a disciple makes further progress in spiritual life it enhances the reputation of his teacher.

An extraordinary incident, which took place in Vrindavan prior to his being ordered by Jiva to return to Orissa, demonstrates how dear Shyamananda was to Radharani. One day, Shyamananda Prabhu was sweeping the Rasa-mandala in Vrindavan, absorbed in ecstatic trance. Suddenly, by Radharani’s transcendental mercy, he found her ankle bracelet lying on the ground. In his excitement, he touched the ankle bracelet to his forehead, where it left a mark which is preserved to this day as the tilaka marking of the disciple descendants of Shyamananda. It is known as nupura-tilaka.

 

Shyamananda Prabhu’s Preaching

Narottama Thakur and Shyamananda primarily preached the message of Mahaprabhu through kirtan. Srinivas sang kirtan in a style called Manohara-sahi, Narottama in Gariana-hati, and Shyamananda in Reneti. He would enchant the listeners with his heartfelt singing of kirtan. These styles of kirtan are no longer extant.

As a result of his preaching in Orissa, many Muslims also became Shyamananda’s disciples. The most important of his innumerable disciples was Rasika Murari. Rasikananda was the son of Achyutananda, the zamindar of Rohini village. He had another name, Murari, and was thus most commonly known as Rasika Murari. He was a very powerful preacher and his fame is still widespread through the villages of Orissa. A list of some of Shyamananda’s prominent disciples is given in the Bhakti-ratnakara:

Shyamananda made disciples all over the place. A person can be purified by hearing their names: Radhananda, Purushottam, Manohara, Cintamani, Balabhadra, Jagadishvara, Uddhava, Akrura, Madhuvana, Govinda, Jagannath, Gadadhara, Anandananda, and Radhamohana. Shyamananda was constantly immersed in the joys of kirtan in the association of these disciples. Poets have described his wonderful pastimes for the pleasure of everyone.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 15.62-66)

Other than these disciples, Shyamananda converted a yogi named Damodar. Narahari Chakravarti has written the following account of that conversion:

There was a practitioner of yoga named Damodar. Shyamananda mercifully flooded him with devotional rasa. After becoming Shyamananda’s disciple, Damodar cried and chanted the names of Nitai-Chaitanya. Who could remain untouched by his ecstatic absorption. He danced, crying out “bhakti is the best of all!” After delivering Damodar, Shyamananda continued to travel about, distributing the jewel of devotion to all.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 15.55-8)

Shyamananda put on a large festival at Dharenda with Rasika Murari and Damodar which is still remembered today. When he left the world, Shyamananda turned over the service of Govinda at Gopivallabhapura. Shyamananda’s disciples and their descendants still worship his deity Radha-Shyamasundar in Vrindavan. This temple is still one of the principle pilgrimage sites in Vrindavan.

Shyamananda Prabhu lived the last part of his life in Nrisinghapura in Orissa where he continued preaching Vaishnavism. His earthly pastimes came to an end on the first day of the waning moon in the month of Asharh in 1552 of the Shaka era (1630 AD).

—-Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj

 

 

 

For Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana ~ Disappearance

The exact time and place of Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushana’s birth are unknown. Perhaps one day historians will be able to establish these facts beyond any doubt. From the little information that we do have about his life, we can conjecture that he was born in the 17th century of the modern era. Though we do not know the name of the exact village where he took birth, it was likely in the Balesore (Baleshvara) district of Orissa, somewhere near Remuna. From the date given in his commentary on Rupa Goswami’s Stavamala, it is clear that Baladeva was still living after the Battle of Plassey in 1757.

We know that Baladeva studied in one of the villages of the Chilka Lake area in southern Orissa. There he learned grammar, poetics and logic, achieving expertise in all these subjects. He began his studies of Vedanta there, but in order to study the commentaries in greater depth, he went to Mysore. He was there particularly impressed by the logical consistency of the Madhva shuddha-dvaita commentary on the Vedanta sutras and became a disciple of that school and began living in a Tattvavadi monastery. After taking sannyas, he moved to Purushottam Kshetra where he engaged many of the local scholars in debate, demonstrating the depth of his scholarship. His fame soon spread throughout the area.

Later, however, he met Radha Damodar Goswami, a scholar from Kanyakubja, under whose direction he studied Jiva Goswami’s Nat-sandarbha in great detail. When he was convinced of the supremacy of the Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy, he took initiation from Radha Damodar Goswami. He was thus initiated in Nityananda Prabhu’s line. The following is his disciplic succession: (1) Gauri Das Pandit, (2) Hriday Chaitanya Prabhu, (3) Shyamananda Prabhu, (4) Rasikananda Deva Goswami, (5) Nayanananda Goswami, (6) Radha Damodar Goswami, (7) Baladeva Vidyabhushana.

Baladeva then continued his studies of the Gaudiya literature under Pitambara Das and later studied the Bhagavata Purana under Vishvanath Chakravarti. He also took the Vaishnava vairagi’s dress, at which time he was given the name Ekanti Govinda Das. Baladeva’s written works

He was ordered by Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur to go to Jaipur where he prayed to Rupa Goswami’s Govindaji murti for the authorization to write a commentary on the Vedanta-sutra. He then composed the Govinda-bhashya and took it to Galta where he defeated the other sampradayas in debate, preserving the reputation of the Gaudiya school. After this episode, he was given the title Vidyabhushana. This story has been told in greater detail in this volume in the chapter on Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur.

Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: HisLife & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj

Available here from Mandala Publishing

For Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura Appearance Day

vedavyaso ya evasid daso vrindavano’dhuna
sakha yah kusumapidah karyatas tam samavishat

Vedavyasa became Vrindavan Das Thakur. Krishna’s friend Kusumapida also entered into him for special purposes. (Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 109)

Vedavyasa described Krishna-lila in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Non-different from Vyasa, Vrindavan Das described Mahaprabhu’s lila in his Chaitanya Bhagavat. His book was first called Chaitanya Mangala, but when Locana Das gave the same name to his biography of the Lord, it was dubbed “Chaitanya Bhagavat”.

Vrindavan Das’s Mother, Narayani

Vrindavan Das was born on the Krishna-dvadashi of the month of Vaishakh in 1429 of the Shaka era (1507 AD). Some say he was born in Mamgachi in the Nabadwip area, others say his birthplace was in Kumarahatta. His father was Vaikunthanatha Vipra, who originally came from Sylhet (Sylhet), his mother Narayani Devi. Narayani was the daughter of Srivasa Pandit’s elder brother, Shrinalina Pandit. Kavi Karnapura has also mentioned her name in his Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika:

ambikayah svasa yasin namna shrila-kilimbika
krishnocchishtam prabhuïjana seyam narayani mata

Kilimbika, who used to eat Krishna’s remnants, was the younger sister of Krishna’s nurse Ambika (Srivasa’s wife, Malini). In Mahaprabhu’s lila, she became Narayani.

Narayani also achieved fame because she received Gaurasundara’s mercy when he gave her his remnants. When the Lord displayed his divine form in the Mahaprakasha in Srivasa Angan, Narayani was only a small child of four, but the Lord made her intoxicated with the ecstasy of prema. Whether born in Mamagachi or in Kumarahatta, Vrindavan Das later lived in the village of Denuria, within the Matreshvara precinct of Burdwan district. Thus Denuria is considered to be his Shripata. He spent some of his childhood with his mother in Mamagachi, at the home of his maternal grandparents where Narayani was married. Vrindavan Das’s Gaura-Nitai deities are still worshiped at the Mamagachi home. When his father died, he and his mother moved to Srivasa’s house where he received Mahaprabhu’s special blessings.

Vrindavan Das Writes Chaitanya Bhagavat

Because of the copious blessings he received from Nityananda Prabhu, Vrindavan Das is said to have been his initiated disciple.

Vrindavan Das is the recipient of Nityananda’s blessings. He is the original Vyasa of Chaitanya’s pastimes. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.20.82)

He wrote Chaitanya Bhagavat in 1535 AD. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, the author of Chaitanya Charitamrita, has written the following in praise of Vrindavan Das Thakur:

Vrindavan Das, the son of Narayani, wrote the Chaitanya Mangala. Vedavyasa described Krishna’s life in the Srimad Bhagavatam and Vrindavan Das is the Vyasa of Chaitanya-lila. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.11.54-5)

Just as Vyasadeva compiled Lord Krishna’s pastimes in Srimad Bhagavatam, Thakur Vrindavan Das depicted Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes. His Chaitanya Mangala annihilates all misfortune. From it, I learned the wonders of Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda and came to know all the most subtle doctrines of devotional service to Krishna. Vrindavan Das Thakur has summarized the essence of the teachings of the Srimad Bhagavatam in his Chaitanya Mangala. If even a Muslim or an atheist should listen to Chaitanya Mangala, he immediately becomes a great Vaishnava. An ordinary human being could not have composed such a sublime work; Lord Chaitanya himself has spoken through the mouth of Vrindavan Das. I offer millions of obeisances unto the lotus feet of Vrindavan Das Thakur who has delivered the entire universe through his book. He was born in the womb of Narayani who eternally enjoys Sri Chaitanya’s remnants. How wonderful is his description of the activites of the Lord, simply by hearing which the three worlds have become sanctified! (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.8.34-42)

Vrindavan Das became so absorbed in the description of Nityananda Prabhu’s lila that he did not elaborately relate all of Mahaprabhu’s activities, only summarizing them in abbreviated form. Krishnadas then elaborated on these undescribed activities in his Chaitanya Charitamrita.

Vrindavan Das the authorized biographer of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and equal to Srila Vyasadeva. He has described the Lord’s pastimes in such a way as to make them sweeter and sweeter. I shall try as far as possible to fill in the accounts he left out out of fear of excessively enlarging his book. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.13.48-9)

The original Deities Srila Vrindavana Das
Thakur worshiped at the village of Denur

Vrindavan Das’s Criticisms of Vaishnava Aparadha

Vrindavan Das primarily Mahaprabhu’s early activities such as his pastimes as a student, his childhood, his chastisement of the Qazi, his departure from Nabadwip, as well as some aspects of his life in Puri. Vrindavan Das Thakur demonstrated infinite mercy on the fallen souls by warning them:

eta parihare-o je papi ninda kare
tabe lathi maron tar shirera upare

Even after being told how objectionable it is, if someone still blasphemes the Vaishnavas, then I will kick him in the head.

These same words are repeated in the Adi, Madhya and Antya-khandas of the Chaitanya Bhagavat. Some foolish and arrogant persons misunderstand such statements and criticize Vrindavan Das for having made them. Such criticism leads them into the mud of offensiveness. In this connection, the remarks of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur, the founder of the Sri Chaitanya Math and all the Gaudiya Maths, are well worth studying: “‘I am ready to kick the heads of those envious and hellish persons who blaspheme Nityananda Prabhu, if by so doing I will be able to forever prevent them from repeating their attempts to show disrespect for the Supreme Lord. Not only that, but if by so doing I can bring about a clear conception of the truth, I will be performing them the greatest service.’

“So says Vrindavan Das, the incarnation of Vyasa and acharya of the Vaishnava faith. If even a single fleck of dust should fall from his foot on the head of a sinful blasphemer, then that person will be blessed and all his sinful conditioning will inevitably be eradicated. In words which embody the Goddess of Learning and a flood of pure devotion, the Thakur reveals compassion for even the most atheistic blasphemer with the unswerving faith appropriate to a servant of Nityananda Prabhu, the supreme guru. He tells them that though they should be the object of indifference due to their foolishness, nevertheless, because of their ignorance of the truth of Nityananda, their insistence on rushing headlong on the path to hell, and their reluctance to act in their own real self-interest, he and other compassionate Vaishnavas like him who practice and preach the Lord’s doctrines unselfishly and disinterestedly act for their welfare. The compassion which is manifested in Vrindavan Das’s statement is beyond the comprehension of those who have no understanding of what is truly in their own self interest. Anyone who follows in the footsteps of Vrindavan Das, the incarnation of Vyasa, and both practices and preaches the Vaishnava religion is always engaged in an effort to bring about the ultimate well-being of everyone. Though he may make a superficial show of wishing to punish the enemies of the Lord, in fact he harbors a compassion toward them which knows no limit.”

Vrindavan Das Thakur’s disappearance day is the Krishna Dashami of Vaishakh. There is some dispute the exact year of his disappearance which was likely 1511 Shaka (1589 AD).

[Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj]

A message from Srila Bodhayan Maharaj on His Appearance Day

All Glories to Sri Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Saraswata Sampradaya (lineage). All Glories to my beloved Grand Spiritual Master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Siddhanata Saraswati Goswami Thakur PRABHUPADA, and my beloved Spiritual Master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj.

 

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The ultimate controller of the entire universe(s), the eternally worshipable forms for all Gods and Goddesses (the Devas and Devis), and the ultimate Guru (Spiritual Master) of our lineage (Parampara) is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. In order to deliver people from the influence of this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, known as Kali-Yuga, Lord Sri Krishna appeared in the form of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with His intimate associates and abode here in this material world in order to spread the glories of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra throughout every town and village. The Hare Krishna Mahamantra is the one and only mantra which exists here in this world that can transport all living entities from the material world to the eternally blissful spiritual abode, GolakaVrindavan.

 

Each of us are actively engaging every moment of our lives in trying to achieve the taste of eternal bliss. However, due to the influence of illusion (maya) we are attacked in every conceivable way, and consequently we then give in to laziness and intentionally convince ourselves with so many excuses to avoid chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Instead of focusing on chanting throughout our day we all dedicate ourselves to chasing after material name, fame, and distinction. The influence of illusion(maya) tells us again and again that material name, fame, and distinction are the pathway to reaching eternal bliss. As a result of this influence, we are wholeheartedly engaging all of our endeavors to satisfy these materialistic ambitions.

 

A traveler in the desert becomes extremely thirsty and finds himself running towards a distant mirage in hopes of drinking water only to discover that in fact there is no water and that he is running towards an illusion. In this way, eventually due to lack of water he is at risk of suffering the loss of this invaluable life, which is a rare and precious opportunity for each and every one of us. Similarly, almost all of us are in this desert of illusion (maya) and we are all chasing the fleeting mirage of name, fame, and distinction.

 

The Hare Krishna Mahamantra preaching movement of Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is intended to inundate our dry and desert-like heart with a flood of transcendental nectar. The mellow of this nectar is only available to a person who has the tendencies of a Chaatak bird (Pied Crested cuckoo bird). The Chaatak is a peculiar Indian bird who is known by the fact that it will only drink rainwater which decends from the heavens. This is analogous to one who is connected with the Gaudiya lineage and is dedicated exclusively, without any hidden agenda for material gain (name, fame, and distinction), to continuing to chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, by which he can reach the spiritual world.

 

Such a devout soul who is optimistic about returning to the spiritual abode, Sri Goloka-Vrindavan, by maintaining extreme tolerance with respect to the varieties of material obstacles is much like the Chaatak bird who is always waiting for rainwater exclusively despite being surrounded by so many terrestrial sources of water such as rivers, lakes and ponds.

The founder of the entire Gaudiya Math and all of its branches, my Grand Spiritual Master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupada, and one of his dearest and most affectionate disciples, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Thakur, established Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math in 1989 in Mayapur. As soon as we are able to serve all the members of our lineage with complete enthusiasm then we can achieve the mellow of Harinam Nectar. In this way we should pray to our Gurudeva, and by extension Lord Sri Krishna, from the bottom of our heart, then soon Lord Sri Krishna will appear to us in the form of Guru and scriptures (Shastra) and inform us as to how to recieve the mellow of Harinam Nectar into our hearts.

 

guru krsnarupa hana sastrera pramane guru-rupe krsna krpa karena bhakta-gane. Cc. Adi 1.45

 

 

The literal meaning of the above sloka/verse is: As per scriptures, Krishna will appear to us in the form of Guru, and that form of Krishna bestows His mercy onto all of us.

According to the above instruction from the Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, we can understand that we should keep a clear understanding that Guru is non-different from Krishna, and is in fact a direct manifestation of Krishna. The importance of Guru as described in the above verse is that he is showing us by example that he is the servant of the servant of our lineage. If he is not, then Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupada said that the word Guru’s second syllable, ‘u,’ should be replaced with‘a’ and spelled ‘Garu.’ In the Bengali language ‘Garu’ means cow. This indicates the inferior quality of consciousness of such a person.

Today is the fourteeth waxing moon cycle day (Gour-Chaturdasi). Whoever assembles to offer due respect towards me and is praying for my spiritual well being and observing my birth day ceremony, I am humbly requesting that you all please remain on schedule to worship all the members of the Guadiya lineage, which is called ‘Vyasa-Puja’. Also, on my behalf, please pray to all members of our lineage that they allow me to be a real servant of my Guru, the real servant of Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Thakur, as well as the entire parampara.

The Founder of Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math, my Spiritual Master, has an exemplary quality – humility, the ornament of all Vaisnava qualities. Nowadays, the entire Gaudiya world shows deep respect for my Spiritual Master as an embodiment of the third sloka of Sikshastakam, which is composed by Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The Present Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti BallabhaTirtha Goswami Maharaj, as well as all other Vaisnava-Acharyas agree that the rare and bright Vaisnava quality of my Spiritual Master is the above opinion about his deep sense of humility.

Third Sloka of Sikshastaka is as follows:

trinad api sunicena

taror api sahishnuna

amanina manadena

kirtaniyah sada harihi

 

Translation: One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.

The four most prominent Vaisnava qualities are humility, tolerance, respect for all (even to people not deserving of respect from others), and blissfully chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra constantly.

Whoever is representing that they are followers of Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math should demonstrate these four qualities in every aspect of their life. This was taught and shown to us by my Spiritual Master in his life. As soon as we are able to establish these principles in our lives, only at that time can we be qualified as the real followers or servants of Srila Gurudeva, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Thakur.

Due to the influence of the present age, Kali-Yuga, we are all more or less unable to maintain the principles which our Srila Gurudeva showed to us by his example. We know from the instruction of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupada that as much as we distance ourselves from the lotus feet of Srila Gurudeva, that same level of material attraction will disturb us.

Today my humble prayer to all of you is to see that your main goal for observing the ceremony is to satisfy Sri Sri Radha Krishna only, and make me happy.

Please excuse me for any mistakes you may see in my writingm and bless me to carry the loving Mission of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with purity for the rest of my life.

Haribol

Yours in the service of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

B.B.Bodhayan

Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math (President)

www.GopinathGaudiyaMath.com