Tag Archive | Maha Mantra

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.

 

10383583_721376364622170_7215692622129951945_n

 

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

For Christmas Day

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

Srila PrabhupadaDear Devotees,

Dandavat Pranams,

According to His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada Christianity is an extended form of Vaisnavism So as this day is very dear to the Christians; and we are trying to be Vaisnavas we will gain spiritual benefit if we observe this day by chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra.

HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
Haribol.
Yours in the Service of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Mission.
B.B.Bodhayan.
Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math(President).

A Humble Request for a successful Gaura Purnima Festival 2016

Dear Devotees and Well-Wishers,

All glories to Sri Brahman Madhva Gaudiya Saraswat Sampradaya (lineage). All glories to my beloved Grand Spiritual Master His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Swaraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupada, and my beloved Spiritual Master His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj.

I would like to share my concern about the upcoming Gaura-Purnima festival with you.  During the festival we will be hosting mostly economically poor but spiritually sincere devotees. For the most part, these devotees are unable to afford the cost of their food and lodging during the ten days (March 15th to March 24th, 2016) of the festival. This year the program adds a special Nagar Samkirtan program at Kolkata on March 25th. We are expecting even more devotees than last year, an average approximately 2,500 devotees each day.  We are therefore also expecting an increase in the quantity of bhoga/ingredients that will be required for the duration of the Gaura-Purnima festival.

The price of all ingredients has increased significantly, more than anticipated, and therefore we are humbly begging for your help (financially, physically, and mentally) in order to maintain the festival as we have maintained it over the last few years.  I hope you do not hesitate to become involved, and will help us to collect ingredients or donate financially towards the purchase of ingredients in order to serve the Vaisnavas who will attend the Gaura-Purnima festival this March, 2016.

This year an average of 2,500 devotees will gather daily to participate in Navadwipdham Parikrama and the Gaura-Purnima festival activities under the guidance of Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math.

In order to cater to an average of 2,500 devotees daily, offering them Prasad three times each day, and for other arrangements for the festival, the following items will be needed

Description Indian Rupee USD (60R/$)
Deity’s outfits: INR 70 000.00 $1166.66
Flower decoration and Deities’ garlands for festival period (10-days) INR 90 000.00 $1500.00
Pandal and lighting for the entire festival INR 130 000.00 $2166.66
Miscellaneous expenses for preparing prasadam for 2500 devotees (Remuneration of cooks and assistants) INR 90 000.00 $1500.00
Rice (5,000 kilograms @Rs.40 per kilogram) INR 200 000.00 $3300.00
Dal (1,200 kilograms @ Rs. 120 per kilogram) INR 144 000.00 $2400.00
Potato (7,000 kilograms @ Rs. 15 per Kilogram)  INR 105 000.00 $1750.00
Wheat flour (500 kilograms @Rs.30 per Kilogram) INR 15 000.00 $250.00
Paneer  (5kg x10days plus 130kg Festival) Rs. 220 per kg INR 39 600.00 $660.00
Milk (10 litre x 10 days plus 130 litre festival) Rs.40 per litre INR  9 200.00 $153.33
Dahi Yogurt (3kgx10days plus 300kg festival)Rs. 125 per kg INR 41 250.00 $687.50
Rasgulla (100x10days plus 6000 pieces for festival) Rs. 6each INR 42 000.00 $700.00
Vegetable Oils (500 kilograms@ Rs.120 per Kilogram) INR 60 000.00 $1000.00
Ghee (clarified butter) 60 kilograms @Rs.400 per Kilogram INR 24 000.00 $400.00
Spices (salt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger etc.) INR 85 000.00 $1416.66
Vegetables (cabbage, pumpkin, tomato, spinach, others) INR 110 000.00 $1833.33
 Fruits for every days and Ekadasi& Gaur-Purnima’s day INR 90 000.00 $1500.00
Mahaprabhu’s bathing ceremony (Mahabhisekh);  RajBhog after Mahabhisekh INR 25,000.00 $416.66
Sannyasa cloth Rs.300 x80 INR 24 000.00 $400.00
Sannyasa Donation Rs. 101 x 80 INR  8 080.00 $134.66
Brahmacari Dhoti Rs.350x 250 INR 87,500.00 $1458.34
Brahmacari Donation Rs.51x 250 INR 12,750.00 $212.50
Bengali (1000 pieces), Hindi (500 pieces) Magazine 1500 copies @ Rs.35 INR 52,000.00 $866.66
Fuel (Fire wood @ Rs.7.50kg for  20,000 Kg.) INR 150,000.00 $2500.00
Total for the festival INR 1 704 330.00
$28 405.50

Please let us know of your financial capacity to help with this Gaura-Purnima festival as you will have the opportunity to serve many Vaisnavas, for Krishna’s pleasure. Your spiritual life will surely blossom by the blessings of the Vaisnavas.

 

Yours in the service of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Mission,

 

B.B.Bodhayan

President,

Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math

 

www.gopinathmath.wordpress.com

www.gopinathmath.org

www.gopinathmath.com.ua

 

You can choose to support and serve the Vaisnavas in any of these ways.

When using the Pay Pal link please select Gift.

Even a dollar will help.

Or directly deposit into any of the following accounts:

1)   Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math Indian Account 

  This bank will accept only foreign currency (US Dollars or Euro)

Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math. Post Office : Sri-Mayapur; District : Nadia (West Bengal);

Pin code- 741313; India.
SWIFT CODE: IOBAINBB001
Account Number: A/C. SB 21547
INDIAN OVERSEAS BANK
195/4, Rash Behari Avenue
BALYGUNJ BRANCH
KOLKATA. – 700019
(WEST-BENGAL), INDIA
BRANCH CODE: 013

2)      US Bank Account

     ( This bank accepts only US Dollars)

Name: Asim Kumar Sau (Bodhayan Maharaj’s legal name)
Account # 01820-02328
Routing # 121000358
Bank of America
San Rafael Main Branch
CA4-114-01-01
1000 Fourth Street
San Rafael, CA
94901

3)      Canadian Bank Account
Name: Association TerraNation

(Bodhayan Maharaj’s association in Canada)
Account #: 05-65636
Routing #: 00696010
Bank information:
CIBC
275 Main Street, Box 394
Hawkesbury, ON
J6A 2S2, Canada

Thank you for your support!

17th Disappearance Ceremony Invitation letter

Dear Devotees, Friends and Well-Wishers,

All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupada and Guru-Parampara (disciplic succession).

Please accept the blessing of my beloved Srila Gurudeva, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj, and convey the same to all members in your congregation.

Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaj

On the 25th of November, 2015 we will be celebrating our Srila Gurudeva’s 17th disappearance festival at our Sri Mayapur Temple, Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math; Ishodyan, Nadia (W.B), India.  It is my humble request that you attend the programs along with all your family members and friends so that we may serve our friends, the Vaisnavas.

 Our programs will start from the day before the anniversary, the 24th of November, with Mangal Arati and Temple/Tulsi Parikram at 4:00 A.M, then will continue through the evening of the next day. 

I was hoping to be able to invite you personally, but my present Kartik-Vrata schedule only allows for sending this invitation letter. Therefore, I am humbly requesting you to please excuse any offence, and graciously attend the programs as per the following schedule to the best of your ability.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

4:00a.m Mangal Arati and Temple/Tulsi Parikrama.

6:00a.m Morning prayer then discourses

11:00a:m Lunch Bhog offering and Bhog Arati

12:30p:m Prasadam distribution

5:30p.m Evening Arati, then in front of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath temple discourses on the Glories of Guru and Vaisnavas

7.30p.m non-stop Hare Krishna Mahamantra congregational chanting at Srila Gurudeva’s Samadhi temple.

9:00p.m Honor Prasadam.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

4:00a.m Mangal Arati, then Temple/Tulsi Parikrama

7:35a.m Special Puja ceremony of Srila Gurudeva at his Samadhi temple, then Srila Gurudeva’s Arati and Puspanjali (offering a handful of flowers to Srila Gurudeva’s Lotus Feet)

9:00a.m Mahajan Padavali Kirtan, then discourses on the glories of Guru and Vaisnavas.

11:00a.m Lunch Bhog offering and Bhog Arati

12:30p.m Prasadam distribution

5:30p.m Evening Arati, then discourses on the Glories of Guru and Vaisnavas

 End of Festival activities.

Sincerely yours in the services of the Supreme Lord and His associates,

B.B.Bodhayan

President of Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math.

For His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaj Appearance Day

Originally posted on Gosai.com

In the early years of this century, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakura set into motion a devotional revival that rapidly spread through Bengal, India, and eventually the world. He put into question the very foundations of present-day theistic thought in a way that has little comparison anywhere in the spiritual record, East or West. Through him, the world was awakened to the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the movement of pure devotion, suddha bhakti.

In orchestrating this modern bhakti revolution, Srila Prabhupada gathered some of the greatest spiritual luminaries in contemporary history into his circle. Such a convergence of exalted spiritual personalities can only be compared to the coming together of Sri Chaitanya’s direct followers in the sixteenth century. One of the devotional giants who entered Srila Prabhupada’s orbit was His Divine Grace Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaja.

We cannot describe the life of Srila Puri Goswami Maharaja without emphasizing his contribution to the spiritual movement in which he was so integrally involved. The depth of his accomplishments cannot be fathomed outside the context of Sri Gaudiya Math. With his fellow godbrothers, he shared an indomitable faith in the service of his Guru and the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This service was the sole purpose and highest aspiration of his being. This conviction led him to spend his entire life in the pursuit of Srila Prabhupada and Mahaprabhu’s pleasure and the fulfillment of their desires. If we examine his life in this setting, we will see more than just numbers, dates, places and names. We will see how he embodied the very life current that his spiritual preceptors came to give the world.

Srila Puri Goswami Maharaja took birth in the village of Ganganandapur in Jessore district (in present-day Bangla Desh), on October 8, 1898. His parents, Tarini Charan Chakravarti and Srimati Ram Rangini Devi, named him Sri Promode Bhushan Chakravarti. During his childhood, he met his vartma-pradarsaka guru (“one who opens the door to the path of devotion”), Srila Bhakti Ratna Thakura, a godbrother and siksha disciple of Thakura Bhaktivinoda, the legendary architect of the present Gaudiya Vaishnava movement. Through Bhakti Ratna Thakura he was introduced to Sajjana-tosani, Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s own Vaishnava periodical, which was filled with Bhaktivinoda’s commentaries and holy teachings. In this way Srila Puri Maharaja became familiar with the seminal works of the suddha bhakti tradition, such as Chaitanya Charitamrita, Chaitanya Bhagavata and the Srimad Bhagavatam. It was also through Bhakti Ratna Thakura that he first learned of his future guru, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada.

Srila Puri Maharaja was still a young university student when he first came before Srila Prabhupada at the Yoga Pith in Sri Mayapur in 1915. It was a significant occasion, for Srila Prabhupada’s diksha guru, Paramahamsa Thakura Srimad Gaura Kishor Das Babaji, had entered his eternal abode only the day before. Srila Puri Maharaja often recounted that as soon as he saw Srila Prabhupada and paid his obeisances to him for the first time, he knew in his heart that this was his spiritual master. Some years later, on the auspicious day of Sri Krishna Janmastami in 1923, he accepted both Harinam and mantra diksha from Srila Prabhupada and was given the name Pranavananda Brahmachari.

At the time, Sri Gaudiya Math was rapidly establishing itself as a bona fide manifestation of Indian religious culture and transforming the caste-conscious socio-religious world of Hinduism. Srila Prabhupada Saraswati Thakura was bringing together his intimate associates to share the wealth of Sri Krishna sankirtana. He had accepted tridandi sannyasa in 1918 and by the early 1920’s had already assumed a formidable position in the Bengali spiritual firmament. He was fearless when it came to upholding true religious principles. The students and practitioners of the Gaudiya Math aligned themselves with this attitude and led most exemplary lives of devotion, imbued with austerity, discipline and in-depth scriptural learning. This high standard of religious life was the hallmark of Sri Gaudiya Math and would be the thread that guided all of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, including Srimad Puri Goswami Maharaja.

The keystone of success in devotion is to perfectly hear the holy words spoken by one’s spiritual preceptor. Srila Prabhupada would often say, “All that is required of you is that you lend me your ears.” Srila Puri Maharaja was fully committed to this maxim. He had the great good fortune to associate closely with Srila Prabhupada for thirteen years and during that time he served him personally by recording his lectures and conversations, which were later published. The greater part of Srila Prabhupada’s spoken words we are left with today come from the transcriptions of these notes. At the same time, Srila Puri Maharaja cultivated a deep knowledge of the Vaishnava scriptures, with the result that he became a veritable storehouse of the wealth of the preceptorial line coming from Sri Chaitanya and his followers. This led him to become one of the most prolific writers and influential teachers in all of Gaudiya Vaishnava history. His writings reflect the disciplined eye of a scholar who expresses with grace and directness the purest scriptural conclusions supported by his own uncommonly profound realization.

Following Srila Prabhupada’s directives, our Gurudeva edited, wrote for, published and helped distribute countless spiritual publications. He was initially inspired and directed by Srila Prabhupada to start writing and contributing articles to the Gaudiya magazine, the backbone of the Gaudiya Math’s missionary work. For seven years he served as a proofreader and as one of its primary editors. In 1926, he was charged with running the world’s only daily Vaishnava newspaper, Dainika Nadiya Prakasa. He held this service for two years, publishing all of his preceptor’s daily discourses along with articles by fellow students and other contemporaries. His service and learning did not pass unnoticed by Srila Prabhupada who awarded him the titles of maha-mahopadesaka (“great instructor”) and pratna-vidyalankara (“keeper of the wisdom of the ancient scriptural lore”).

After the disappearance of his Gurudeva in 1937, Srila Puri Maharaja continued his vocation of spreading the teachings of Sri Chaitanya through the Gaudiya magazine, first out of the Bagh Bazaar Gaudiya Math and then later the Sri Chaitanya Math in Mayapur. After he founded the Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, Srila Puri Goswami Maharaja’s godbrother, Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja, invited him to head the editorial board of Chaitanya Vani magazine in 1964. Puri Maharaja served in this capacity for thirty-three years, furthering his life’s work of preserving the teachings of his spiritual lineage. Through Chaitanya Vani, he continued to make a deep impact on the devotional world.

In all, our venerable teacher’s wisdom is embodied in over sixty years of writings on Vaishnava philosophy and theology. He penned a rich variety of texts, bringing the Bhagavata dharma to life through hundreds of poems, essays, narratives, diaries, editorials and personal letters, thus creating a storehouse of the wealth of pure devotion for his disciples and the world at large.

In 1942, Srila Prabhupada appeared to Srila Puri Maharaja in a dream vision and imparted to him the sannyasa mantra, ordering him to accept the renounced order. After accepting tridandi-sannyasa from his godbrother Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhanasa Maharaja in Champahati in August of 1946, he toured parts of India with other godbrothers such as Bhakti Hridoy Bon Maharaja and Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja. In the meantime, he continued to write and lecture with dedication. At the behest of his godbrother Tridandi Swami Bhakti Vilasa Tirtha Maharaja, he also served for seven years as chief pujari for the Yoga Pitha temple, the birthsite of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srila Puri Maharaja took up a more solitary life of worship in the 1950’s. He moved to a humble cottage on the banks of the Ganges in Ambika Kalna. The king of Burdwan was extremely impressed by his saintly ascetic character and, on the appearance day of Srimati Radharani in 1958, presented him with the ancient Ananta Vasudeva temple in Kalna.

In 1989, at the age of 91, Srila Puri Goswami Maharaja established the Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Math in Ishodyan, Sri Mayapur, for the service of their divine lordships, Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhara, Jagannatha Deva, Radha-Gopinatha and Lakshmi-Narasingha Deva. In the following years, he established other temples in Jagannatha Puri, Vrindavana, Calcutta and Midnapore.

Srila Puri Maharaja taught through his every action. He excelled in all aspects of devotional practice and there was perhaps no area in which he did not exhibit utmost expertise, diligence and foresight. This ranged from his encyclopedic knowledge of scripture, to maintaining the printing press, to his beautiful singing of kirtan. He was especially recognized for his sensitivity and attention to detail in the performance of deity worship and devotional rites and was thus widely called upon to be the head priest in most of the Gaudiya Matha’s deity installations and ceremonial functions. He was rarely known to rest; his service was an uninterrupted flow. Even in his later years, he would remain awake, writing and chanting through the night while all his youthful disciples were still asleep. When his personal servants came in the morning, they would inevitably find him awake and chanting the Holy Name, arisen before everyone else in the ashrama.

Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja had outstanding love for his godbrothers and was inspired in his glorification of others. He found richness in everyone he met. He had the quality of making one feel so much wanted and their life so much valued. At the same time, he paid the least attention to himself. He was an emblem of humility and simplicity, and his generosity of spirit and kindness touched the hearts of the whole Vaishnava community. Among his lifetime, intimate companions were Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnan Keshava Maharaja, and Srila Akinchan Krishna Das Babaji Maharaja. Toward the end of his sojourn in this world, he was honored by the Gaudiya Vaishnava community for his learning, long life of service and devotion and made president of the World Vaishnava Association in 1995.

“He has love for his Guru; and let it be known that his life is one with his words.” This tribute, coming from Srila Prabhupada himself, is the most revealing statement about Srila Puri Goswami Maharaja’s personality and qualities. He gave credit for all of his accomplishments to the mercy of his Gurudeva alone. Through the blessings of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakura, Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja attracted the hearts of so many to the Bhagavata religion. People from so many different backgrounds and countries found in him a true spiritual guide and shelter. He upheld the principles of pure Vaishnavism and delineated the path of saranagati. He so embodied pure devotion and service to his spiritual master that one of his disciples once remarked that he was able to “silently lay down Srila Prabhupada’s entire siddhanta.”

We are greatly indebted to His Divine Grace for his gift–a lifetime of pure devotion, spanning over a century, which we can aspire for, learn from, and discuss about for our own spiritual nourishment. Srila Puri Maharaja departed this world for the eternal abode in the predawn hours of Narayana Chaturdasi, October 21, 1999, one day before the Rasa Purnima. His divine body was transported from Jagannatha Puri to the Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha in Ishodyan and there placed in his eternal samadhi shrine. Prior to his departure from this world, Srila Puri Goswami Maharaja appointed his intimate disciple, Sripada Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan Maharaja as his successor and President-acharya of Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha.

In years to come as more of his words and vision are translated, the world outside of Bengal and India will come to know the spirit of the true Vaishnava religion that he tirelessly shared. May the gentle rain of nectar of his perfect teachings continue to bring auspiciousness into this world. [From Of Love & Separation]

For Nama Acarya Srila Hari Das Thakur Disappearance Day

The Loud Chanting of the Holy Names

Hari Das Thakur constantly chanted the Holy Name and called to the Lord in a loud voice. At that time, not many people were able to understand the value of this practice. Prior to Gauranga-sundara’s appearance, most people were simply interested in sense gratification and were inimical to devotion for Krishna and the chanting of his holy names. Advaita Acharya and Hari Das Thakur were saddened by this terrible situation. When the non-devotees heard them chanting loudly, they would say, “The Lord sleeps during the four months of the rainy season. If you call him out loud in this way, you will wake him up and that will be a grave offense. There will be famine in the country if you keep on with it. Some Brahmins have taken up this chanting business as a way of worshiping their own bellies, no doubt.” They would criticize Hari Das and Advaita by joking in this way. Even though such criticism pained Hari Das, he never stopped chanting Hare Krishna in a loud voice.

One day, a Brahmin from a village named Harinadi (in Jessore district) started a debate with Hari Das on this subject. He argued that the names of the Lord should be meditated upon and that there was no reason to chant them aloud. He wanted to know in which scripture it was stated that one should chant aloud. In answer to these questions, Hari Das Thakur gave a detailed account of the glories of the Holy Name. He said that loud chanting of the Holy Names was a hundred times more powerful than japa. Through the loud chanting of the Names, even the birds, animals and other creatures are also saved.

Animals, birds, insects and other creatures are unable to speak, but if they just hear the Holy Name, they can all cross over. If you chant the Holy Names silently, then you yourself will be saved, but if you chant aloud, then you will benefit others. Therefore, all the scriptures state that by the loud chanting of the Name, a hundred times greater result can be obtained.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 1.16.280-2)

japato harinamani sthane shata-gunadhikah
atmanam ca punaty uccair japan shrotnn punati ca

(Naradiya Purana)

Someone who chants the Holy Names aloud is a hundred times better than one who performs japa, because the one who chanting japa simply benefits himself, while the person who chants japa aloud not only does good for himself, but for all those who hear him as well.

Who is better, the person who earns money and spends it all on himself, or the one who uses his money to support a thousand others? Through japa, one takes care of his own spiritual life, while through ucca-sankirtan, all living beings are benefited. This is the reason for its being considered superior.

Even though he heard Hari Das quote scripture in support of his idea, the Brahmin from Harinadi village was unconvinced. Indeed, he became angry and began to verbally abuse Hari Das by bringing up his low birth. He said, “If everything that you say about the Holy Name is not found in scripture, then I will publicly cut off your nose and ear as a punishment.” As a result of this offensive behavior, the Brahmin contracted smallpox not long afterward and his own nose and ear fell off.

Hari Das Comes to Nabadwip

After this, Hari Das Thakur then went to live in Nabadwip out of a desire to be with pure devotees like Advaita Acharya. There he was a participant in the Lord’s sankirtan pastimes in the houses of Srivasa Pandit and Chandrasekhara Acharya. Mahaprabhu sent Hari Das and Nityananda Prabhu to go from door to door to beg people to chant the names of Krishna, to worship him and to study the Vaishnava scriptures.

One day, the Lord suddenly had an idea and he called Nityananda and Hari Das to tell them: “Listen, listen, Nityananda. Listen, Hari Das. I wish you to go and communicate my order to everyone. Go to every house and beg people to chant the names of Krishna, worship Krishna, study about Krishna. Other than this, say nothing and make others say nothing. At the end of the day, come here and tell me the results of your preaching. You will beg people in this way, and I will come and destroy those who do not comply with my discus in my hand.”
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.13.7-11)

Nityananda Prabhu and Hari Das Thakur followed the Lord’s order and began preaching everywhere in Nabadwip. One day they went up to two feared drunken bandits named Jagai and Madhai, and asked them to chant the Holy Name as the Lord had instructed them. Seeing their fallen condition, Nityananda became merciful toward them, but Jagai and Madhai were in such a state of intoxication that they simply became angry when they heard his appeal, and came forward to beat him and Hari Das up. Nityananda started to run away, but Hari Das being already quite advanced in age (58) was unable to keep up with him. Nevertheless, he somehow managed to escape with his life. Hari Das told Advaita Acharya about the day’s events, saying that he would not go out preaching with Nityananda any more, since his behavior was rash and unpredictable. The all-powerful Lord Nityananda’s running away is certainly a mysterious pastime, but it is to be remembered that he later went out on his own and managed to deliver the two rascals, Jagai and Madhai.

Hari Das Thakur also engaged in water sports with the Lord in Nabadwip. One day, overcome by a mood of love, the Lord tried to drown himself in the Ganges, and Hari Das and Nityananda jumped in to save him. They hid Mahaprabhu in the house of Nandana Acharya because of his wish for seclusion. When Advaita Acharya and the other devotees were feeling the distress of separation, they went and brought Srivasa there and reunited the devotees with the Lord.

When Mahaprabhu put on a play about Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes in the house of Chandrasekhara Acharya, Hari Das played the part of the town constable. He came onto the scene, dressed as a policeman, carrying a stick in his hand. The other actors in the play were Mahaprabhu as Adya shakti, Nityananda as an old cowherd woman, Advaita as the clown, Gadadhara Pandit as a cowherd girl, and Srivasa Pandit as Narada Muni. Hari Das’s duty in the play was to awaken everyone to the service of Krishna. He cried out, “Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Srivasa will dance dressed as Narada Muni.” (Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.18.100)

When the Lord took his sankirtan party along the banks of the Bhagirathi, Hari Das joined him. Then Hari Das, the ocean of Krishna-rasa, on Mahaprabhu’s order, danced beautifully.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.23.204)

The night before Mahaprabhu left to take sannyas, Hari Das was staying at his house. He and all the other devotees were desolated by the Lord’s intention to take the renounced order. When the Lord went to Puri. Hari Das went there not long afterwards to see the Rathayatra and never left.

Hari Das Thakur in Puri

When in Puri, though Hari Das was not officially banned from going into the Jagannath temple or the house of Kashi Mishra (where Mahaprabhu was staying), out of humility at his lowly birth, never went there. Rupa and Sanatan Goswamis also demonstrated a similar humility, even though they were born in a very high-caste Brahmin family. They considered themselves to be no better than mlecchas because of their long association with the Muslim court. They would stay with Hari Das when in Puri and not go for darshan of Jagannath or Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu himself would go to meet them.

Neither Hari Das, Rupa, nor Sanatan would go to the Jagannath temple. Mahaprabhu would go there to see the Upala-bhoga in the morning. He would then go to the place where they were staying and would visit them there. It was thus the Lord’s regular practice to meet whichever one of these three was staying in Puri at the time.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.1.63-65)

During Lord Jagannath’s absence from the temple (anavasara-kala), Mahaprabhu would feel separation so intensely that he would go to stay in Alalanath. When he heard the that more than 200 devotees had come from Bengal, he returned to Puri to meet them. When he did not see Hari Das Thakur, he inquired after him. Hari Das was there, but paying his obeisances at the side of the highway. The devotees went to Hari Das and told him that Mahaprabhu wanted to see him. Hari Das said,

”I am a low-born person who has no good qualities. I have no right to go near the temple. If I can find a solitary place to stay in some garden somewhere, then I will pass my time there alone. That way there is no danger that the servants of Jagannath will accidentally touch me. This is my wish.”
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.11.165-7)

The devotees came back to Mahaprabhu to report what Hari Das had said, and his wish pleased him. He arranged for a house in a solitary garden not far from his own place of worship at Kashi Mishra’s house. Kashi Mishra was happy to have the chance to serve the Lord by making these arrangements according to his order. The Lord went to talk to Hari Das and when he saw him paying his dandavats, lifted him from the ground and embraced him. When Hari Das said, “I am an untouchable. Lord, you should not touch me”, the Lord answered:

”I touch you just to become purified, for your standard of purification is non-existent in me. At every moment you are bathing in the water of every holy place; at every moment you are performing all sacrifices, penances and charity. You constantly are performing the pious activity of studying the Veda. You are more purifying than any Brahmin or sannyasi.”

After saying this, the Lord took him to the flower garden and gave him the solitary room there as a place to stay. “Stay here and chant the Holy Names. I will come every day to visit you here. You can see the discus on the pinnacle of the temple tower from here. When you see it, pay your obeisances to it. I will arrange for Jagannath’s prasad to be brought to you here.”
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.11.189-95)

This flower garden is now known by the name, Siddha Bakula. Previously it was named Mudra Math. There is a legend connected with the Siddha Bakula tree. The local pandas have a tradition of giving the twig that is used to clean Jagannath’s teeth as prasad to some special person. One day they gave a twig from a bakula tree that had so been used as a gift to Mahaprabhu. The Lord planted this twig in the ground at Hari Das’s place of bhajan. This twig eventually grew into a large tree. It is said that the Lord planted the twig on the first day of the month of Chaitra also known as Mahavishuva Sankranti, i.e. the day when the sun enters into the sign of Aries. For this reason, a festival named the Danta-kashtha-ropana Mahotsava is held on that day ever year to celebrate the occasion.

Srila Hari Das Thakur participated in the kirtan during the Rathayatra festival as the main dancer in one of the seven kirtan sampradayas. He was in the third group, which had Mukunda Datta as its lead singer.

Hari Das’s Teachings on the Holy Name

Mahaprabhu taught the glories of the Holy Name through Hari Das Thakur. One day, the Lord was feeling particularly unhappy about the lot of the conditioned souls. He came to Siddha Bakula and said to the Thakur: “Hari Das, in the age of Kali, the non-Hindus kill the cow and are inimical to the Brahmins. How will these Muslims ever be saved?” Hari Das answered, “Don’t be distressed at seeing the pitiable condition of the Muslims. They will be liberated by the namabhasa, the shadow of the Holy Name, whenever they say haram. In the Nrisingha-purana it is said, [1]

damshtri-dantahato mleccho harameti punah punah
uktvapi muktim apnoti kim punah shraddhaya grinan

When wounded by the tusks of a boar, the Muslim cries out “Harama, Harama!” again and again. If he attains liberation by so doing, then just think what will be the result if one chants the name of Rama with faith.

Bhaktivinoda Thakur says that if any Muslim dies while saying this word, he is immediately liberated. This is namabhasa or nama-sanketa because the speaker makes the correct sound but does not intend the Lord Rama. Therefore, it is impossible to say just what fruits await the sincere and faithful chanter. The example is given of Ajamila who called the name of his son Narayan as he was dying, and through this namabhasa he attained liberation.

When he heard this explanation, Mahaprabhu was very pleased, but again he asked Hari Das, “How will the dumb animals and the trees, etc., be delivered?” Hari Das answered:

”You yourself have instituted the loud chanting of the Holy Names which both the moving and non-moving creatures can hear. The mobile creatures are freed from their bondage to repeated birth and death by hearing the names. As for the immobile, they perform kirtan themselves by echoing the sounds. By your indescribable mercy, the entire universe is engaged in kirtan and the mobile and immobile beings dance when they hear it… You preached the loud chanting of the Holy Names by which the repeated births and deaths of all living beings come to an end.”
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.3.68-71, 75)

The Disappearance of Hari Das Thakur

Rupa and Sanatan Goswami first met Hari Das when he accompanied Mahaprabhu on his aborted first trip to Vrindavan, when he visited Ramakeli. They thus knew each others’ virtues quite well. One day in Puri, Hari Das recited the glories of Sanatan Goswami, then Sanatan returned the favor by praising him as follows:

”Who else is there who is your equal? You are the most fortunate amongst Mahaprabhu’s entourage. The purpose of the Lord’s incarnation is the preaching of the Holy Name; this personal work of the Lord was done through you. Every single day you chant three lakhs of Holy Names and you glorify the Holy Name to everyone you meet. Some people act properly but do not deliver the message of Krishna consciousness, while others preach but do not meet the behavioral standards. You, sir, both demonstrate ideal behavior as well as preaching. You are the guru of all and the perfect human being in this universe.”
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.4.99-103)

In the eleventh chapter of the Chaitanya Charitamrita’s Antya-lila, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami describes the disappearance of Hari Das Thakur in a most captivating way. It should be read in its entirety on the occasion of Hari Das’s disappearance day. A brief summary is given here:

namami hari dasam tam caitanyam tam ca tat-prabhum
samsthitam api yan-murtim skandhe kritva nanarta yah

I offer my obeisances to Hari Das as well as to his worshipable lord, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who placed his body on his shoulders and danced.

As Hari Das Thakur grew old, it became more and more difficult for him to maintain his vow of chanting three lakhs of names every day. Thus, he had no appetite when Govinda would come with Jagannath’s prasad and only to avoid disrespecting the holy food would he eat a single grain of rice. Out of his affection for Hari Das, Mahaprabhu told him that he was a perfected being and that there was no need for him to show such attachment for devotional service in practice; he could thus reduce the number of Holy Names that he chanted every day. Hari Das then revealed what was really bothering him.

He knew that Mahaprabhu would soon be ending his pastimes in this world and he wished to leave before him. The affectionate Lord granted him his wish, even though he felt desolate at the prospect of losing his company.

Hari Das Thakur sat in front of Mahaprabhu who was standing in front of him. Then, as the tears flowed from his eyes, he gazed at the Lord’s lotus face and took his lotus feet on his chest and, while chanting the names “Krishna Chaitanya”, voluntarily left his body like Bhishma.

The devotees became intoxicated by the kirtan which grew louder and louder, and the Lord lifted Hari Das’s body and started to dance around the courtyard. In the accompaniment of the loud singing of the Holy Names, he and the devotees took Hari Das’s remains to the beach. There they washed the body in the sea and then dug a hole in the sand where they placed it. Mahaprabhu was the first to throw sand into the samadhi. This is how the samadhi ritual of Hari Das Thakur was performed. By virtue of his presence, the seashore became a great place of pilgrimage.

Mahaprabhu circumambulated the burial place and then went personally to the Jagannath temple to beg for prasad for a feast in honor of Hari Das. Svarupa Damodar Goswami would not let Mahaprabhu carry the prasad himself, but took care of making all the arrangements himself. At the feast, all the devotees were given enough food to eat to their fill. In a mood of absorption in divine love, Mahaprabhu said to all the devotees:

”All those who witnessed the disappearance festival of Hari Das Thakur, who danced or sang the Holy Names there, who came to throw sand on his samadhi or took maha prasad on this occasion, will quickly attain Krishna. This is the fruit of seeing a great personality like Hari Das Thakur. The Supreme Lord was so merciful that he gave me his association, and now the independent Lord has wished to deprive me of it. When Hari Das decided that he wanted to leave, there was nothing I could do to keep him back. He left his body at the very moment that he desired to do so, just as we have heard that Bhishma did. Hari Das was the exemplar of humanity in this world, and now that he is gone, the world has lost a jewel. All glories to Hari Das Thakur! Chant the Lord’s names!” And having finished his eulogy, the Lord began once again to dance.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.11.91-98)

Hari Das Thakur’s tirodhana-lila took place on the fourteenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Bhadra.

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

FOR SRIMATE LALITA-DEVI’S APPEARANCE DAY

Lalita-sakhi.jpg

Sri Lalita-Astakam
composed by Srila Rupa Gosvami.

Radha-mukunda-pada-sambhava-gharma-bindu
nirmanchanopakarani-krta-deha-laksam
uttunga-sauhrda-visesa-vasat pragalbham
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi who is charmingly endowed with many beautiful, sweet qualities (sulalita). She has natural expertise in all arts (lalita), thus her seva self-manifests. She wipes away the glittering drops of perspiration which appear upon the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Madhava when They meet; and she is perpetually immersed in the most elevated mellow of sauhrda-rasa, or undivided absorption in fulfilling the heart’s desire of her intimate friend Srimati Radhika.

raka-sudha-kirana-mandala-kanti-dandi
vaktra-sriyam cakita-caru-camuru-netram
radha-prasadhana-vidhana-kala-prasiddham
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose beautiful face mocks the brilliance of the full moon, whose eyes are ever-restless like those of a startled doe, who is famous for her extraordinary expertise in the art of dressing Srimati Radhika, and who is the treasure-house of unlimited feminine qualities.

lasyollasad-bhujaga-satru-patatra-citra
pattamsukabharana-kanculikancitangim
gorocana-ruci-vigarhana-gaurimanam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose body is adorned with a splendid sari as brilliant as the multi-colored tail-feathers of an ecstatically dancing peacock, whose breast is covered with an exceedingly attractive blouse (kanculi), whose hair part is decorated with shimmering red vermilion, and who wears various necklaces and other jeweled ornaments. Her golden complexion defeats that of even gorocana and she possesses innumerable good qualities.

dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam
ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya
radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: “O Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don’t display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary.

radham abhi vraja-pateh krtam atmajena
kutam manag api vilokya vilohitaksim
vag-bhangibhis tam acirena vilajjayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam namami

I offer pranama unto the abode of all good qualities, the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who, upon hearing Sri Krsna speak even a few sly words to Srimati Radhika, immediately becomes furious and shames Krsna with her biting, sarcastic remarks, “You are so truthful and simple-hearted, and such a chaste lover!”

vatsalya-vrnda-vasatim pasupala-rajnyah
sakhyanusiksana-kalasu gurum sakhinam
radha-balavaraja-jivita-nirvisesam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who possesses all divine qualities; who is also the recipient of Yasoda-devi’s parental affection; the guru of all the sakhis, instructing them in the art of friendship; and the very life of both Srimati Radhika and the younger brother of Baladeva.

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (svapaksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden’s desires.

radha-vrajendra-suta-sangama-ranga-caryam
varyam viniscitavatim akhilotsavebhyah
tam gokula-priya-sakhi-nikuramba-mukhyam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the embodiment of all divine virtues and the foremost of all the favorite sakhis of Gokula. Her primary task is providing pleasure for Sri Radha-Govinda by arranging Their meetings – this delightful seva surpasses the enjoyment of all the best festivals combined together.

nandann amuni lalita-guna-lalitani
padyani yah pathati nirmala-drstir astau
pritya vikarsati janam nija-vrnda-madhye
tam kirtida-pati-kulojjvala-kalpa-valli

If a person with a cheerful and pure heart recites this astakam in praise of Lalita-devi, he will be affectionately brought into Srimati Radhika’s own group of sakhis. Lalita-devi is superbly ornamented with beauty, grace and charm, and, along with Srimati Radhika, is the effulgent wish-fulfilling creeper (kalpa-valli) of Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s family that winds around the kalpa-vrksa of Krsna.

Srimati Lalita-devi is the wish-fulfilling tree of the prema-seva (service in love) of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Whoever chants this Lalita-astakam will make Radha and Krsna happy.

Srimati Lalita Sakhi Ki Jai!