Hari-katha Articles ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVINODA ṬHĀKURA’S FIRST MEETING WITH ŚRĪLA JAGANNĀTHA DĀSA BĀBĀJĪ MAHĀRĀJA

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVINODA ṬHĀKURA’S FIRST MEETING WITH ŚRĪLA JAGANNĀTHA DĀSA BĀBĀJĪ MAHĀRĀJA

In the month of Śravaṇa 1880, when Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja was staying in the kuñja of Śrī Rūpa dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura arrived at the kuñja of Śrī Rādhā-ramaṇa Vasu with the intent of having darśana of Śrīdhāma Vṛndāvana. At that time, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was searching for certain lost scriptural texts. When he came to the kuñja of Śrī Rūpa dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, he had his first darśana of Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja and thus manifested the meeting pastime of the eternal Vrajavāsī guru and disciple in the Vraja of this world. It was here that Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura received a copy of the ‘Dāsa śloki’ of Śrī Nimbāditya, which he later published in Bengali.

Hearing the powerful hari-kathā of Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura understood that Bābājī Mahārāja was a great bhajanānandi-mahāpuruṣa, and thus he surrendered himself forever at Bābājī Mahārāja’s lotus feet. He realized that the actual result of his pilgrimage had been obtained:

tīrtha-phala sādhu-saṅga, sādhu saṅge antaraṅga,
śrī kṛṣṇa-bhajana manohāra

The actual result of going to the holy places is to obtain sādhu-saṅga, because in saintly association one attains ‘antaraṅga,’ or the opportunity of receiving confidential instructions for kṛṣṇa-bhajana, which steal the mind. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s travel to Śrīdhāma Vṛndāvana was successful. Śrīman Mahāprabhu, in the same way, expressed the feelings of His heart upon having darśana of Śrī Īśvara Purī in Gayā:

prabhu bale gayā yatra saphala amara
yatra ksane dekhilan caraṇa tomāra
saṁsāra-samudra haite uddharaha more
ei ami deha samarpilan tomare
kṛṣṇa-pada-padmera amrta-rasa pana
amare karao tumi ei cahi dāna
Caitanya-Bhāgavata, Ādi 17.50–52

Receiving the darśana of Śrī Īśvara Purī’s lotus feet, Śrī Gaurasundara said, “That moment I obtained the darśana of your beautiful lotus feet, My pilgrimage to Gayā became successful. Please save Me from the ocean of material existence, I have offered My body unto you! Please make Me drink the transcendental nectar of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet; this is all I beg from you!”

In this same way, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s mind became restless in love, and many prayers befitting an ideal disciple appeared on his tongue. Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahāśaya was pleased, seeing that a person so learned and well versed in the scriptures possessed such powerful and natural enthusiasm to preach nāma-saṅkīrtana as practiced and preached by Śrīman Mahāprabhu. He thus encouraged Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura to preach even more broadly śrī gaura-nāma, śrī gaura-dhāma, and śrī gaura-kāma (Śrī Gaura’s name, abode, and desires)throughout the world.

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura returned from Śrī Vṛndāvana and began preaching extensively to fulfill the heart’s desire of Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahāśaya. By reading the autobiography of Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda, one will see that from that time onwards, he preached with even more force about the holy name and the precepts of pure bhakti. He began giving many eloquent lectures on the subject of dharma in many places throughout Bengal.

MEETING AGAIN AT THE PLACE CALLED AMLAJODA

After this first meeting, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura had the great happiness to obtain the association and instructions of Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja many times. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura himself wrote about some of the prominent meetings. Once, Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja was staying in a place called Amlajoda within the district of Vardhamāna, preaching the spotlessly pure rūpānuga-bhakti. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, who at that time was planning to go to Vṛndāvana to obtain sādhu-saṅga and take up residence in the dhāma, was traveling from place to place, also preaching hari-kathā and hari-kīrtana. On the Ekādaśī of the month of Phālguna (February-March), on Wednesday the 23 rd , in 1891,Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura decided to stop in Amlajoda, where he had the good fortune of again receiving darśana of Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was also highly respected and greatly honored by the residents of Amlajoda. By the combined efforts of the protectors of the śrī-nāma-haṭṭa, Śrī Yukta Ksetranatha Bhaktinidhi, and Vipanipati Śrī Yukta Vipin Vihari Bhaktiratna, the āśrama named ‘Prapanna Āśrama’ was constructed in the midst of a garden in the village of Amlajoda.

Previous articleVerse 5: Sevāparādha
Next articleO Ocean of Kindness

Must Read

REMEMBERING SRILA A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA

I received your letter, dated 20.9.66, on time. Our relation­ship is certainly based on spontaneous love. That is why there is no chance of us forgetting one another. By the mercy of Guru and Gaurāṅga, may everything be auspicious for you. This is my constant prayer. From the first time I saw you I have been your constant well-wisher. At his first sight of me, Śrīla Prabhupāda also saw me with such love. It was in my very first darśana of Śrīla Prabhupāda that I learned how to love. It is his boundless mercy that he has engaged an unworthy person like me in fulfilling some of his desires. It is his causeless mercy to engage me in preaching the message of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha. In all the Gauḍīya-Maṭhas, I think that you are the real guru-sevaka, so I always correspond with you, and I always give my full love and affection to you. On July 25, 1967, Śrīla Bhaktivedanta Svāmī Mahārāja returned from his first preaching tour in America with his disciple Kirtanānanda dasa. Srila Gurudeva met him at the airport and stayed with him in Delhi for six days at the Radha-Kṛṣṇa Chippiwada Temple. Śrīla Bhakivedanta Swami, also referred to by his disciples as Srila Prabhupada, told Srila Gurudeva how he began his preaching in the bower of New York, one of the most degraded places in America. He prayed to his Gurudeva and began to chant the pañca-tattva mantra and mahāmantra in Tompkins Square Park. He kept his eyes closed and became absorbed in his chanting while many hippies began to dance around him joyously. They offered him drugs and alcoholic drinks, not knowing the regulations of devotional life. People became attracted to the path of bhakti and began coming to his discourses at a storefront shop called Matchless Gifts. He incorporated ISKCON, the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, opened a center in San Francisco and New York, and continued his translation of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—before returning to India. In the coming years, by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s desire, the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Movement spread rapidly around the world. Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svami Mahārāja arrived at Rādhā-Dāmodara in Vṛndāvana on August 1. A few weeks later, another disciple of Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja, Acyutānanda dāsa, arrived from America. Śrīla Gurudeva often went to see Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja in Vṛndāvana. He defended Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja’s disciples and partook of their cooking—a unique gesture because most of Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja’s godbrothers, as well as all the caste Gosvāmīs, would not accept the cooking of Westerners, who had previously been meat-eaters. Śrīla Gurudeva quoted Kṛṣṇa: na me ‘bhaktaś catur-vedī mad-bhaktaḥ śva-pacaḥ priyaḥ tasmai deyaṁ tato grāhyaṁ sa ca pūjyo yathā hy aham Hari-bhakti-vilasa 10.91 A non-devotee brāhmaṇa who knows the four Vedas is not actually dear to Me. However, a devotee, even if born in a family of outcastes, is certainly very dear to Me. Everything should be offered to him, and whatever he offers should be accepted. He is as worshippable as Myself.

Lectures on Prema Vivarta

Now, Prema-vivarta. If anyone is sincerely trying to follow the instructions of Sri Jagadananda Pandit Prabhu, it is sure that he will receive suddha-bhakti very soon. One should not have any doubt about this. In this book...

Papamocani Ekadasi – “Please Save Me!”

It is easy for a conditioned soul to be ill-behaved and acquire bad habits, but very difficult for him to form good habits and behavior. If someone takes shelter of Ekādaśī-devī however, she will help that person engage his eleven senses, which were given to him by Bhagavān, in service of Divinity. What is the meaning of bhakti? The meaning of bhakti is to engage all of one's senses in the service of He who is the master of the senses. Conditioned jīvas engage...

Mind Dedication – Bhagavad Gita

If we do not follow Vraja bhakti, and vraja-rasa does not come to us, then one is not really called a devotee or follower of devotion. It is only so-called, like a showroom. Externally one might think, "I am a devotee." Kṛṣṇa reveals this in the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna said, "O Kṛṣṇa, Govinda, I require no house or servants. If I killed all the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, what benefit would I actually achieve? What will I gain?" Arjuna did not think that the Kurus were always disturbing and tormenting others, that Duryodhana and his followers were criminals with bad mentalities. Arjuna did not think that their association was detrimental; that those same bad qualities could come to him. If one associates with wicked people, one's good character will also be lost. He would even join them to destroy the world. Nonsense people, rascals will not change. Kṛṣṇa Himself had tried again and again to change them for the better. Now, as he ventured near them with an empathetic mind, Arjuna also lost his steadiness and good intelligence...

Unnata-ujjvala-rasa – 11 Feb 1997 Australia

I want to make a vivid explanation so that you should know what is the difference between the two. Up to now I have explained that the mood of dāsya, the mood of sakhya, even the mood of vātsalya is not unnata-ujjvala-rasa. Even the svakīya-bhāva of Rukmiṇī and Satyabhāmā or of Sītā-devī to Rāmacandra is not unnata-ujjvala-rasa. I am trying to explain these things, so that you may have some idea of unnata-ujjvala-rasa. You cannot take that rasa, so I will give so many explanations. But those whose hearts are pure, who served the vaiṣṇavas and have come into the association of high class vaiṣṇavas, they may take it. Even Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa himself, could not give to all. So I cannot give, but I believe, that those who have come to hear surely have some past impressions of Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s philosophy. And that is why they have come and joined from different parts of the world, from England, America and so forth. From Sydney and here and there. And they are roaming with me here and there, so they must have some impression of Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s family. [laughter]

More Articles Like This