Tag Archive | Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda

For the Dissapearance Day of His Divine Grace Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Srila Prabhupada

The Pearls of Instruction by His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahansa Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada: 

1. We are constantly put to test and trial in this world. Only those who attend and participate in the kirtana of the devotees can succeed.

2. Every spot on earth where pure discourses on God are held is a place of pilgrimage.

3. Possession of objects not related to Krishna is our main malady.

4. Let me not desire anything but the highest good for my worst enemies.

5. As dalliance with the body in luxury increases, so wanes the spirit of service of the Lord.

6. Those favored by God find their paths set by thorns.

7. There is no peace or happiness in our worldly life. Circumstances create turmoil and annoyance.

8. Chant the Holy Names loudly and with attachment. This will drive away inertia, worldly evils and pests.

9. Be indifferent to bazaar gossips, stick firmly to your cherished goals, no lack or impediments of the world will ever stand in your way.

10. Pay due respects to the extroverts of the world, but do not be appreciative of their manners and conduct. They are to be shaken off from your mind.

11. A devotee feels the presence of God everywhere, but one averse to the Lord denies His existence anywhere.

12. You cannot appreciate transcendental matters with the reasoning of the world. It is sheer nonsense to decry them with the measuring stick of your intellect.

13. To recite the Holy Names of Shri Krishna and Shri Krishna Chaitanya is Bhakti.

14. Life is for the glorification of topics on Hari. If that is stopped, then what need is there to carry on life.

15. Physical illness with Hari-bhajana is preferred to physical fitness without Hari-bhajana.

16. Our span of life on earth is short. Our life will be crowned with success if the body wears out with constant discourses on Hari.

17. We are here on earth not to work as artisans for making big buildings with wood and stone but to work only as messengers for the teachings of Shri Gauranga Deva.

18. A sycophant is neither a guru or a preacher.

19. To transform the adverse desires of the jivas is the supreme duty of the most merciful. To rescue one person from the stronghold of Mahamaya is an act of superb benevolence, far superior to opening innumerable hospitals.

20. Unless we are devoted to God, secularism shall not leave us.

21. Look within. Amend yourself, rather than pry into the frailities of others.

22. In this world of Maya, averse to the Lord, full of trials and tribulations, only patience, humility and respect for others are our friends for Hari-bhajana.

23. The Lord, Gaurasundara, puts His devotees in various difficulties and associations to test their patience and strength of mind. Success depends on their good fortune.

24. When faults in others misguide and delude you – have patience, introspect, find faults in yourself. Know that others cannot harm you unless you harm yourself.

25. I wish that every selfless, tender-hearted person of Gaudiya Math (Gauranga’s followers) will be prepared to shed two hundred gallons of blood for the nourishment of the spiritual corpus of every individual of this world.

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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 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Appearance Day

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was born in the holy pilgrimage place of Jagannatha Puri to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a great Vaisnava acarya in the line of succession coming from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Although employed as a government magistrate, Srila Bhaktivinoda worked tirelessly to establish the teachings of Lord Chaitanya in India. He envisioned a worldwide spiritual movement and prayed for a son to help him achieve his dream. On February 6, 1874, in the sacred pilgrimage town of Jagannath Puri, where Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura served as superintendent of the famous Jagannatha temple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta appeared in this world. He was given the name Bimala Prasada. At the age of seven, Bimala Prasada had memorized the more than seven hundred Sanskrit verses of the Bhagavad-gita and could speak illuminating commentaries upon them. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the author of many important books and other writings on Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy, trained his son in printing and proofreading. By the time he was twenty-five years old, Bimala Prasada had acquired an impressive reputation as a scholar of Sanskrit, mathematics, and astronomy. His astronomical treatise, Surya-siddhanta, won him the title Siddhanta Sarasvati in recognition of his immense learning. In 1905, following the advice of his father, Siddhanta Sarasvati accepted spiritual initiation from Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji. Although Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji was illiterate, he was renowned throughout the continent as a great saint and Vaisnava acarya. Siddhanta Sarasvati, although a great scholar, exhibited humility and dedication in the presence of Srila Gaurakishora. Satisfied with such humility and dedication of his highly educated disciple, Srila Gaurakishora gave Siddhanta Sarasvati his full blessings and requested him to “preach the Absolute Truth and keep aside all other work.” Upon the disappearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in 1914, Siddhanta Sarasvati became editor of his father’s journal, Sajjana-tosani, and founded the Bhagawat Press for the publication of Gaudiya Vaisnava literature. In 1918 Siddhanta Sarasvati accepted the renounced order of spiritual life, assuming the title Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja. For purposes of propagating Gaudiya Vaisnavism throughout India, he organized the Gaudiya Math, with sixty-four branches throughout the country. The headquarters of his mission, the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, is located in Sridhama Mayapura, the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta adjusted ancient traditions to conform with technological and social conditions of the twentieth century. He considered the printing press a most effective means of spreading this message throughout the world and was himself the author of many important translations, commentaries, and philosophical essays. He was the first spiritual teacher in this line to allow his renounced preachers (sannyasis) to wear Western clothes and travel in modern conveyances rather that on foot. Throughout the 1930s, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta expanded and increased his missionary work and succeeded in reestablishing Gaudiya Vaisnavism as the leading force in Indian spiritual life. On January 1, 1937, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura passed from this world.

Original article from BVML.org read more

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For the Dissapearance Day of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Srila Prabhupada

The Pearls of Instruction by His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahansa Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada: 

1. We are constantly put to test and trial in this world. Only those who attend and participate in the kirtana of the devotees can succeed.

2. Every spot on earth where pure discourses on God are held is a place of pilgrimage.

3. Possession of objects not related to Krishna is our main malady.

4. Let me not desire anything but the highest good for my worst enemies.

5. As dalliance with the body in luxury increases, so wanes the spirit of service of the Lord.

6. Those favored by God find their paths set by thorns.

7. There is no peace or happiness in our worldly life. Circumstances create turmoil and annoyance.

8. Chant the Holy Names loudly and with attachment. This will drive away inertia, worldly evils and pests.

9. Be indifferent to bazaar gossips, stick firmly to your cherished goals, no lack or impediments of the world will ever stand in your way.

10. Pay due respects to the extroverts of the world, but do not be appreciative of their manners and conduct. They are to be shaken off from your mind.

11. A devotee feels the presence of God everywhere, but one averse to the Lord denies His existence anywhere.

12. You cannot appreciate transcendental matters with the reasoning of the world. It is sheer nonsense to decry them with the measuring stick of your intellect.

13. To recite the Holy Names of Shri Krishna and Shri Krishna Chaitanya is Bhakti.

14. Life is for the glorification of topics on Hari. If that is stopped, then what need is there to carry on life.

15. Physical illness with Hari-bhajana is preferred to physical fitness without Hari-bhajana.

16. Our span of life on earth is short. Our life will be crowned with success if the body wears out with constant discourses on Hari.

17. We are here on earth not to work as artisans for making big buildings with wood and stone but to work only as messengers for the teachings of Shri Gauranga Deva.

18. A sycophant is neither a guru or a preacher.

19. To transform the adverse desires of the jivas is the supreme duty of the most merciful. To rescue one person from the stronghold of Mahamaya is an act of superb benevolence, far superior to opening innumerable hospitals.

20. Unless we are devoted to God, secularism shall not leave us.

21. Look within. Amend yourself, rather than pry into the frailities of others.

22. In this world of Maya, averse to the Lord, full of trials and tribulations, only patience, humility and respect for others are our friends for Hari-bhajana.

23. The Lord, Gaurasundara, puts His devotees in various difficulties and associations to test their patience and strength of mind. Success depends on their good fortune.

24. When faults in others misguide and delude you – have patience, introspect, find faults in yourself. Know that others cannot harm you unless you harm yourself.

25. I wish that every selfless, tender-hearted person of Gaudiya Math (Gauranga’s followers) will be prepared to shed two hundred gallons of blood for the nourishment of the spiritual corpus of every individual of this world.

For His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaj Dissapearance 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 Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaja’s appearance day

A Brief Account of His Holy Life

by His Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja President/Acharya of the Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, India and devoted disciple of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaja

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaja, one of His Divine Grace Om 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada’s favorite disciples, is the tenth Acharya in the preceptorial channel from Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and is the Founder/Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, Registered Institution. His auspicious appearance occurred in the village of Kanchanpara, Subdivision Madaripur, District Faridpur in East Bengal (now in Bangladesh) on Friday, November 18th – Utthan Ekadasi Tithi – in the year 1904 AD at 0800 AM. As the pastime of the Awakening of the All-Merciful, All-Good, All-Blissful Supreme Lord, Sri Hari, on Utthan Ekadasi Tithi (Utthan awakening) is for the eternal good of all the living beings of the world, the pastime of the Advent-Awakening of His Personal Associate, His Absolute Counterpart Gurudev (Madhava Goswami Maharaja), on Utthan Ekadasi Tithi is also for the eternal benefit of all. Param Pujyapad Most Revered Srimad Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaja used to comment, “It is profoundly significant that the Advent Day of Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaja falls on the Disappearance day of Srimad Gaur Kishore Das Babaji Maharaja on Utthan Ekadasi Tithi and His Disappearance Day falls on the Disappearance day of Vaishnav-Sarvabhauma Srimad Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaja on Sukla Pratipad Tithi (the first lunar day of bright fortnight).”

The Holy Birthplace of Srimad Madhava Goswami Maharaja is situated at the bank of the Padma River, which is near Premtoli where Srila Narottama Thakur experienced ecstatic feelings of Divine Love while bathing as per the direction given by Srimad Nityananda Prabhu in a dream. Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu kept Divine Love in the custody of Padmavati Devi (the Presiding Deity of the Padma River) to offer it to Narottama Thakur when he would come there to take bath.

Revered Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja was born of a high caste Brahmin family. His Grandfather, Sri Chandi Prasad Deva Sarma Bandyopadhyaya, was a well-reputed prominent person of Vikrampur, Dacca (Bangladesh). His father’s name was Sri Nishikanta Deva Sarma Bandyopadhyaya; His mother’s name was Srimati Saibalini Devi. His mother was of a highly dignified, sober temperament, a wise woman endowed with many good qualities, and as such, an object of reverence to all. His father passed away in His childhood. His parents named Him Sri Heramba Bandyopadhyaya. His pet name was Ganesh.

Extraordinary saintly qualities were manifested in Him from boyhood. He was adored by all and was a universally accepted leader in every sphere. He strictly observed ethical rules and celibacy (Brahmacharya) and taught others to observe celibacy and moral rules. His guardians and teachers were astonished to hear profound words of wisdom from the boy. At the age of eleven years, He memorized the complete Gita, merely by hearing it from his mother. He practiced severe penance by taking only boiled food once in a day in his home at Calcutta. At that time while He was invoking Sri Krishna for His Grace and was weeping severely in the grief of separation from Krishna, He was blessed by seeing Sri Narada Goswami in a dream and received Mantra from Him. However, He could not remember the Mantra completely after waking from the dream. He became disappointed, and out of persistent solicitousness, left the house and went to the Himalayan Mountains beyond Haridwar where He stayed at a stretch without food for three days, continuously wailing and praying for the Grace of Sri Krishna. At last, He heard a prophetic, divine message directing Him, “Go back to your place. Don’t be disheartened. Your Gurudev has appeared there– take absolute shelter of His Lotus Feet.” He then came down from the mountains, remained for sometime at Haridwar and later returned to Calcutta.

sbdm.jpg - 16777 BytesHe went with friends to Sri Mayapur, the Holy Birth-Place of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and met His Gurudeva, His Divine Grace Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada at Sri Chaitanya Math in the year 1925 AD. He was attracted to Him upon seeing His Divine Spiritual Personality. Taking absolute shelter at His Lotus Feet, He took initiation from Him at Sri Gaudiya Math, at 1, Ultadanga Junction Road, Calcutta on November 1, 1927 AD. He joined the Sri Gaudiya Math Institution immediately after taking initiation and also made His devout vow of celibacy, even though young of age. Within a very short time, He was regarded as one of the favorite disciples among the entourage of Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada. This was due to His devout devotion to Guru, His competence in rendering all kinds of service, and His untiring enthusiasm and diligence to serve Vishnu and the Vaishnavas. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, seeing His undaunted spirit to contribute to the objective of the Institution by way of practicing and propagating the Gospel of Divine Love of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, used to commend Him by saying, “His energy is volcanic energy”. Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada never hesitated to send Him to perform any important task or to send Him out as an advance party because He was confident and sure that the task at hand would be successfully completed in due course. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada had so much confidence in Srimad Hayagriva Das Brahmachari (Madhava Goswami Maharaja), that He first selected Him to be sent to foreign countries for preaching, for which purpose His Passport and all necessities were ready. But Rajarshi Sri Saradindu Narayan Ray, one important household devotee, objected to this proposal saying that Sri Hayagriva Das Brahmachari was young and very beautiful, “There may be difficulty in sending such a beautiful, young Brahmachari to foreign countries. Instead an old Sannyasi should be sent there.” At his suggestion, Param Pujyapad Srimad Bhakti Pradeep Tirtha Maharaja was sent instead. Srimad Hayagriva Das Brahmachari resembled His Divine Grace Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada in appearance so much, that many outside people wrongly thought Him to be the son of Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami.

Srimad Madhava Maharaja took Tridanda Sannyas at the age of forty from his God-brother, His Divine Grace Srimad Bhakti Gourav Vaikhanas Maharaja (a Sannyas disciple of Srila Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta), at Sri Tota-Gopinath Temple, Purushottam Dham on Gaura-purnima in the year 1944. He became renowned in the Gaudiya Math as His Divine Grace Parivrajaka Acharya Tridandi Swami Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaja. As per the direct instruction of His Divine Grace Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, His Divine Grace Madhava Goswami Maharaja started His preaching in Assam and established three Maths at: [1] Tezpur, [2] Guwahati and [3] Goalpara. He also managed the seva-puja of Sorbhog Sri Gaudiya Math (in Assam), founded by Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur. He founded the Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math Institution in 1953 and established many large preaching centers in various parts of India.

This article can be found at bvml.org and http://www.sreecgmath.org/

For Srila Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja Dissapearance

The Disappearance of Srila Gaura-Kisora das Babaji

On 17 Nov 1915, on Utthana Ekadasi in the Kartika-vrata, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja re-entered into his eternal loving pastimes with the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. After Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja had heard of his disappearance, he went to the place where Srila Gaura-kisora lived. At that time different persons from different temples in the area began to fiercely argued to claim the spiritual body of Srila Babaji Maharaja. But Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja obstructed them from doing so. The inspector of the police of Navadvipa arrived at the scene.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in a voice as deep as thunder said, “I am the only disciple of Paramahamsa Babaji Maharaja. Even though I have not accepted sannyasa, I am a celibate brahmacari and by the grace of Babaji Maharaja I am not secretly addicted to abominable habits or involved in fornication as some monkey-like people are. If there is someone amongst the people here present who is a renunciate of stainless character, then he can have Babaji Maharaja’s samadhi. We have no objection to that. He, who within the last year, or the last six months, three months, one month or at least within the last three days, has not had illicit connection with a woman will be able to touch this spiritual blissful body. If anyone else touches it he will be completely ruined.”

Hearing this, the superintendent of police said, “How is it that he can prove this?”

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura replied, “I have faith in their word”.

At this, one-by-one all the bogus babajis slipped away without a word. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati then claimed the samadhi.

After this, several persons approached Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja and said, “Before Srila Gaura-kisora disappeared, he requested that his body be bound with ropes and be dragged through the streets of Navadvipa Dham, and thus, be bathed in the dust of the Dham. Therefore, we should follow these instructions of Srila Babaji Maharaja.”

Then Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja spoke up and said, “My spiritual master, on whose shoulders reside the Supreme Lord Krishnacandra, has said this in a very, very deep mood of humility in order to destroy the pride of those persons who are opposing the Supreme Lord. Even though we are inexperienced, foolish and offensive, still, I will not let his instruction be misinterpreted. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took the spiritual body of Srila Haridasa Thakura, when he disappeared, on His lap and began to dance. Just see how his glories have been described. So therefore, we are also following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya. Place the transcendental body of Srila Gaura-kisora above our heads.”

According to the regulations from the Samakara Dipika, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja with his own hands prepared the samadhi of his spiritual master. Later on, by the desire of Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, the place of his samadhi gradually became engulfed by the changing current of the Ganga. When the samadhi was within very close proximity to Ganga Devi, in 1932, his samadhi was moved under the instructions of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja, from that place to a place in Sri Mayapur Dham where the Caitanya Math is presently situated.

Excerpted from BVML for full article click here