Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
BY HIS MERCY
Disappearance day of Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja
Vrndavana, India: October 7, 2006 am
Today is the disappearance day (tirobhava-tithi) of our Gurudeva, nitya-lila pravista Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja.
Where was I? I was born in the place of the demon Jarasandha [*See Endnote 1]. By the infinite mercy of my Guru Maharaja, he attracted this unqualified person and gave me a place at his lotus feet. By his mercy he made me qualified to understand the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and to preach it all around the world.
I had the good fortune to be able to perform his service without any duplicity. Once, the personal servant of my Gurudeva named Ananga-mohana prabhu was afflicted with tuberculosis. At that time I approached my Gurudeva and said, “You go and preach. I will take the responsibility to look after Ananga-mohana prabhu.” Years later, Srila Trivikrama Maharaja told me, “The reason you are preaching so successfully all around the world is because you gave your life for the service of the servant of your Gurudeva. Therefore our Gurudeva has completely empowered you in every way.”
It is only by my Gurudeva’s mercy that I was able to translate Jaiva-dharma from Bengali to Hindi. Now, by his mercy only, Jaiva-dharma and other books of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, like Sri Bhajana-rahasya, are being translated in so many languages, like English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese. This is all his mercy.
By his mercy so many hundreds of Bengalis, Delhi devotees and foreigners have come here, and by his mercy some of them are even becoming qualified to take sannyasa.
It is our good fortune that Sri Ananda prabhu, the personal cook of my Gurudeva, is here today. He was so dear to Gurudeva. He knew when Gurudeva was hungry or thirsty, and according to Gurudeva's desire he would manifest whatever was necessary. It is our good fortune that of all my god-brothers, Ananda prabhu could come here.
How my Gurudeva was prepared to give his life for the service of his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada! Once, when Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta was performing Sri Navadvipa-dhama parikrama, the sahajiyas and the Jata-gosais,* [SEE ENDNOTE 1] those who are against the preaching of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura) assembled at Praudhamaya to kill him. They gathered in large groups, throwing soda bottles, glass and rocks.
Everybody ran to save their own lives, including even the sannyasis and the main disciples of Srila Prabhupada. But, our Gurudeva took Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada into one room, and begged with great concern, “Please, give me your sannyasa-cloth. I will wear it, and you can wear my white cloth.”
Srila Prabhupada gave his sannyasa cloth and danda to my Gurudeva. We think this was his real sannyasa initiation.
Many years after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada disappeared from this world, he appeared to my Gurudeva in a dream and gave him sannyasa. This happened three times. He would say, “Oh Vinoda, you have not taken sannyasa, and therefore my preaching has completely stopped.” He gave Gurudeva sannyasa three times in dream. Later, that sannyasa was formalized by Sri Srimad Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja in Katva.
What was the speciality of my Gurudeva? He was very philosophical, with complete knowledge of all the sastra, and at the same time he was also a great rasika (relisher of ecstatic love of Krsna, and knower of all rasas) Vaisnava. Without these two qualities he could not have composed astakams (devotional poetry consisting of eight verses) like this one:
radha-cinta-nivesena yasya kantir vilopita
sri-krsna-caranam vande radhalingita-vigraham
[“I worship the lotus feet of that form of Sri Krsna, when, due to being thoroughly immersed in separation from Srimati Radhika (who is displaying mana, her mood of jealous anger), His own dark complexion vanishes and He assumes Her bright, golden luster; or, I worship the lotus feet of Sri Krsna as He is embraced by Srimati Radhika (after Her mana has broken)” (Sri Radha-Vinoda-Vihari-Tattvastakam, verse 1)]
All his writings were very poetic, and completely in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami. He reveals here how after Krsna took Srimati Radhika to Srngara-vata, He then disappeared due to fear of the other gopis. In separation from Srimati Radhika, He then came to Imlitala where, being completely absorbed in Her, He manifested the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Although Sri Krsna's form remained, His complexion and the moods were completely Radhika’s.
How wonderful is my Gurudeva’s mangala-arati song: “mangala sri guru-gaura mangala murati – Glories to the auspicious forms of Sri Guru and Gaura.” (Mangala Arati, verse 1)
This song is the essence of the books Sri Govinda-lilamrta and Sri Krsna-bhavanamrta. In essence, the mangala-arati pastime is described there.
When my Gurudeva wrote this mangala-arati song, I was very new. I did not know anything. Therefore, when he showed me that composition and asked, “Do you like it?” I said, “Oh it seems very long. The poems of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura are very short.” At that time none of the devotees in the matha knew very much about the pastimes of Radha and Krsna. Still, my Gurudeva gave Radha-Krsna’s asta-kaliya-lila. At that time, at the end of the night, Lalita, Visakha and the other gopis are looking to see: “Are They awake yet?” And Vrnda-devi is making all arrangements for the pastimes of the Divine Couple.
Despite his being very rasika, if someone would say anything against his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, my Gurudeva would become like a thunderbolt. Once someone (from the group of sahajiya babajis) *[See endnote 2] wrote an article and made some propaganda, saying, “Oh, members of the Gaudiya Matha don’t know anything. They only suck on the dry skin of the mango, while we babajis are drinking the rasa of Krsna’s pastimes.”
When my Gurudeva became very angry and accused these babajis of disrespecting his Guru Maharaja, they made a case of five hundred thousand rupees [equivalent to eleven thousand dollars] court case against him. At that time, Gurudeva sent me, along with pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja, pujyapada Vamana Maharaja and pujyapada Nrsinga Maharaja, to Medinapur. Gurudeva told us, “This is a big case. We should not get any ordinary, ten-rupee (twenty-cent) lawyer.” We therefore got the best lawyer in Calcutta, and with five people we presented our case in court: Gurudeva, Pujyapada Vamana Maharaja, Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja, Pujyapada Nrsmha Maharaja and myself.
My Gurudeva used very strong language, saying, “They are sahajiyas! They have no siddhanta and no purity!” My Gurudeva completely destroyed the arguments of their case. When the judge was giving his verdict he requested Gurudeva to use softer, more polite language.” My Gurudeva replied, “I have not come into this world to speak polite language. I am a sannyasi. We preachers alone have the right to speak strongly. It is our responsibility to speak for the purification of society. No one else can do it.”
Another time, when my Gurudeva was visiting us in Mathura, some followers of the Nimbarka-sampradaya wrote an article in a magazine called Sri Sudarsana [* See Endnote 2], saying that when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu met with Kesava Kasmiri, Kesava Kasmiri defeated Him and gave Him the gopala-mantra. Sriman Mahaprabhu was thus the disciple of Kesava Kasmiri.
This publication came to my attention and I showed it to my Gurudeva. His face at once became red, he became angry, and he ordered me to get a piece of paper. He then dictated, and I wrote, that there was no Nimbarka in our history and no books of Nimbarka. He said that Srila Jiva Gosvami and our other Gosvamis, Sri Madhavacarya, Sri Ramanuja, Srila Gopal Bhatta Gosvami and all other previous acaryas never wrote about anyone named Nimbarka acarya. The followers of this false person used to say that Nimbarka Acarya lived at the time of Krsna. If that were true, why have none of the acaryas written about him? Sankacarya never wrote about him and Srila Jiva Gosvami never wrote about him in his Sandarbhas. Thus there was no person named Nimbarka – this false person’s followers had invented a story.
Guru Maharaja explained from the evidence in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta that Kesava Kasmiri came to Navadvipa and was defeated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and then he received some teaching from the Lord. Gurudeva wrote: “The mentality ‘I will conquer the whole world’ is not the teaching of vidya, knowledge.” Our paper was sent to those persons involved in writing the misinformed article, after which they became quite furious. “Oh, there is no Nimbarka?!” They challenged, and they filed a case in court for defamation. Our Guru Maharaja replied, “I will prove my statements, so you should file a suit for one million rupees for defamation. You should go to court, and I am also coming. I am ready and will prove my points.” He proved all his points and the opponents apologized. They promised, “In the future we will never write like this.”
My Gurudeva once went to the son of Thakura Bhaktivinoda, Lalit Prasada, and requested from him all the books of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura that were kept in storage by Lalit Prasada. He then printed all the books and other literature of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
[*Endnote 1 – Jarasandha was a very powerful king of Magadha, and the history of his birth and activities is also very interesting. His father, King Brhadratha, was also a very prosperous and powerful king of Magadha, but he had no son, although he married two daughters of the King of Kasi. Being disappointed in not getting a son from either of the two queens, the King, along with his wives, left home to live in the forest for austerities, but in the forest he was blessed by one great rsi to have a son, and the rsi gave him the king one mango to be eaten by his two queens. The queens did so and very soon became pregnant. The King was very happy to see the queens bearing children, but when the right time approached, the queens delivered one child in two parts, one from each of the queens' wombs. The two parts were thrown in the forest, where a great she-demon used to live, and she was glad to have some delicate flesh and blood from the newly born child. Out of curiosity she joined the two parts, and the child became complete and regained life. The she-demon was known as Jara, and being compassionate on the childless King, she went to the King and presented him with the nice child, The King was very pleased with the she-demon and wanted to reward her according to her desire. The she-demon expressed her desire that the child be named after her, and thus the child was surnamed Jarasandha, or one who was joined by Jara, the she-demon. In fact, this Jarasandha was born as one of the parts and parcels of the demon Vipracitti. The saint by whose benedictions the queens bore the child was called Candra Kausika, who foretold of the child before his father Brhadratha. (Srimad-Bhagavatam, purport, 1.15.9)
*Endnote 2 – "Some time in 1956, Srila Gurudeva came to Mathura to Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha. At that time followers of the Nimbarka sampradaya in Vrndavana used to publish a spiritual journal called Sri Sudarsana. In one issue they cast aspersions on Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, saying that He was a disciple of Kesava Kasmiri. In other editions they insolently dared to claim that Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas such as Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura were in the Nimbarka sampradaya. When I showed these editions to Srila Gurudeva, he became extremely angry and immediately had a short essay written for Sri Bhagavata Patrika. The headline was ‘Sri Nimbaditya and Nimbarka are not the same person.’ The purport of his headline is as follows.
"'Nowhere in the scriptures is there any mention of a Nimbarka sampradaya. The Puranas mention a vaisnava-acarya called Sri Nimbaditya, and the Catuhsana (the four Kumaras) have accepted this Nimbaditya Acarya as their sampradaya-acarya in the age of Kali. However, Nimbarka Svami is a completely different person. Nimbaditya was a disciple of Naradaji at the end of Dvapara-yuga, but Nimbarka Acarya appeared much more recently. Great and eminent authors of scripture such as Srila Jiva Gosvami have mentioned the names of the prominent acaryas of all the other sampradayas, but they have not mentioned the name of Nimbarka Acarya anywhere.
"'The Nimbarka sampradaya currently uses the Parijata-bhasya which was written, not by Nimbaditya Acarya, but rather by Srinivasa Acarya and Kesava Kasmiri. These two wrote this scripture and then preached that it had been written by their guru. The scriptures of the Six Gosvamis mention the names of acaryas such as Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madhva, Sri Visnu Svami, Sri Nimbaditya and Sri Vallabha Acarya. If the Nimbarka sampradaya had existed even to a slight extent at that time, then they would most certainly have mentioned the name of Nimbarka Acarya as well. None of the other sampradaya acaryas, such as Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madhva, Sri Visnu Svami and so on have mentioned Nimbarka Acarya’s name in any of the scriptures that they have written.'
"When this essay was published in Sri Bhagavata Patrika, the office directors of the Sudarsana journal announced that they were making arrangements to prosecute for slander. Srila Gurudeva replied firmly, “We will prove each and every word that we have written on the basis of evidence supported by sastra.” When the prosecution party heard about Srila Gurudeva’s immense scriptural knowledge and his profound personality, they became absolutely silent, and from that day onwards they did not dare to write any more nonsense.]