Book excerpts Acarya Kesari Inauguration of Sri Goloka-ganj Gaudiya Matha

Inauguration of Sri Goloka-ganj Gaudiya Matha

Inauguration of Sri Goloka-ganj Gaudiya Matha (Assam)

Jagad-guru Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura preached suddha-bhakti strongly outside West Bengal, in Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Chennai (Madras), Uttara Pradesh and elsewhere. There were many grhastha devotees in these different states who were very expert in the philosophical conclusions of suddha-bhakti and who preached in their own local languages. One of the foremost of these was Sripada Nimananda Seva-tirtha Prabhu from Dhubadi in Assam, who preached Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message in Assamese all over Assam, under Srila Prabhupada’s guidance. But very shortly after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada entered aprakata-lila, Sripada Seva-tirtha Prabhu also left this world. Before he left, he instructed his disciples to continue their spiritual life under the guidance of the most worshipful Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja.

Sripada Seva-tirtha Prabhu had one very outstanding grhastha disciple, Srimati Sucitrabala-devi, who was greatly intelligent and able to understand the subtle concepts of bhakti-dharma. In the scriptures (Raghuvamsa 14.46) it is stated, “ajna gurunam hy avicaraniya – the guru’s orders should be followed without consideration.” Sucitra-devi, therefore, was most insistent in her invitation to acarya Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja to come to Assam to preach suddha-bhakti. On her repeated requests, Srila Gurudeva arrived in Goloka-ganja with twelve followers, and preached bhakti strongly in various places. The public was very impressed to see the special quality of Srila Guru Maharaja’s preaching and to hear the hidden siddhantas of bhakti, and they resolved to take up spiritual life and follow his teachings.

The devoted Sucitra-devi unconditionally donated her land and newly built residence for the purpose of establishing a Gaudiya Matha in Goloka-ganja. This donation was duly registered at the Registration Office in the main town of Gvalapada district, Dhubadi. Her husband, Sriyuta Devendracandra dasa (initiated as Sri Divya-jnana dasa Adhikari), stood by his wife’s side in this transcendental task.

At Sri Surendranatha dasa’s request, Srila Gurudeva came with his preaching party to Devan village in Gvalapada district on 11–12 February 1957. An extensive festival took place here for Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s appearance day and for Sri Nimananda Seva-tirtha Prabhu’s disappearance day. At the local religious assembly, Srila Acaryadeva gave a brilliant lecture on the life history of Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Nimananda Prabhu. Tridandi-svami Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja [the author] explained gaura-lila with the aid of a slide-show. Pandita Sri Sanat Kumara dasa Adhikari and pandita Sri Vrndavana dasa Adhikari also delivered lectures displaying a brilliant command of language. Honourable Sri Suren dasa met all the expenses for the festival.

Sri vyasa-puja celebration in Sri Goloka-ganja Gaudiya Matha

On 17–19 February 1957, there was a great celebration of sri vyasa-puja at Sri Goloka-ganja Gaudiya Matha for three days, while Srila Acaryadeva was present there with his disciples. Sri vyasa-puja was carried out under his guidance with puja-pancaka according to Srila Sarasvati Prabhupada’s paddhati. An extensive religious assembly was held in the courtyard of the matha, and Srila Gurupada-padma submitted an analytical and philosophical lecture on following Sri Vyasadeva and sri vyasa-puja. Afterwards, maha-prasada was distributed to two to three thousand guests, both invited and uninvited. Srimati Sucitrabala-devi and her family aided greatly in facilitating the festival, as did Sri Sudama Sakha Brahmacari and Dhanyatidhanya Brahmacari, who worked tirelessly.

Sri Acarya Kesari at the ‘All-Bengal Vaisnava Conference’

Sripata Mahesa is a well-known place adjacent to Sri Ramapura in Hoogly district in Bengal. The ratha-yatra that is held there is like the one in Jagannatha Puri. Previously, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s associate Sri Kamalakara Pippallai stayed there and performed sadhana-bhajana. On the occasion of the anniversary of his disappearance day an ‘All-Bengal Vaisnava Conference’ was organized for three days, 12–14 March 1957, under the auspices of the Sinthi Vaisnava Society and the Sri Ramapura Dharma-sabha. Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti’s founder-acarya, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami, was selected as the chairman of this conference. Sri Gopendrabhusana (sankhya-tirtha), pandita Surendranatha (panca-tirtha), Sri Nagendranatha Sastri (teacher), pandita Sri Phanindranatha Sastri (MABL) and other famous scholars of Navadvipa were all present there.

Sri Vinoda-Kisora Gosvami (purana-tirtha) addressed the assembly. The main guest, advocate Sri Patita-pavana Cattopadhyaya, gave a speech on Sri Kamalakara Pippallai’s life history, and the scholars mentioned earlier also spoke. Tridandi-svami Sripada Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja made some critical comments about Sri Phanindranatha Sastri’s statements. After that, the chairman, Srila Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, gave a lecture with many references from sastra on Sri Kamalakara Pippallai. In a serious voice, he strongly opposed to views contrary to sastra that prakrta-sahajiyas had written in unauthentic literature. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta mentions Sri Pippallaiji, whose life was actually full of pure bhakti. However, the recorded life history about him includes some impure and avaisnava views, which are actually against bhakti. At the end of the assembly, the audience brought up many questions regarding Sri Pippallai, which Srila Gurudeva resolved.

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HOW CAN WE COLLECT ANURAGA?

By sincerely chanting the holy names, while respecting all according to their position, and not being eager for respect from others, the tendency to serve Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Vraja shall arise. As a result of pure chanting, the Lord’s form shall appear in the heart, followed by His qualities and pastimes. At that stage, absorption of the mind in Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes will be natural, not artificial. Kṛṣṇa and His names are non-different. When one purely chants these, He will come in the heart and perform His loving pastimes with all His associates. His līlā-śakti, pastime potency, is always with Him. She gives the tendency and qualification to serve Kṛṣṇa. When greed comes to serve Kṛṣṇa in one’s eternal spiritual form, in time, that greed shall reveal one’s eternal loving mood towards Kṛṣṇa. Then one begins to serve Kṛṣṇa under the guidance of His associates. This love matures sequentially through higher and higher degrees up to mahābhāva. Nourished by transcendental nectar, or rasa, the soul develops its spiritual form and nature and becomes related to God. Bhakti with a feeling of loving intimacy is dear to Kṛṣṇa. That is the only kind of worship present in Vraja. Caitanya Mahāprabhu manifested this process in the heart of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, and through him, distributed it to the world. Dāsa Gosvāmī showed by his own example how to pray for the attainment of that intimate loving mood. This Vilāpa-kusumāñjali is a collection of the prayers of Dāsa Gosvāmī offered like flowers to the lotus feet of the Divine Potency of Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. By offering the heart to any mundane person, one becomes devoid of all potency and goodness. However, surrendering to Her, one attains all knowledge of Kṛṣṇa’s service and becomes related to Him and His associates without any extraneous effort. The masses emphasize more on Dāsa Gosvāmī’s intense renunciation than his intimate loving mood. Indeed, evidence of the validity of Mahāprabhu’s highest conception was shown in the life of Dāsa Gosvāmī as he engaged in mānasī-sevā in Vraja. To take Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī’s guidance, taking shelter of his writings is essential. Then one can experience the transcendental nectar that flows through our line. If one takes shelter of this book, he will become firmly fixed in the conception and line of Mahāprabhu. This is our Guru-varga’s instruction and conception. There are two types of anurāga—dakṣiṇa-bhāva and vāmya-bhāva, right-sided and left-sided. On the left side are our Guru-varga, the followers of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. But how can we collect this anurāga and continuously be present with it? Therefore very strong sādhana is necessary. If there is no strong sādhana, then it will not be possible to keep and preserve in your heart anything you try to catch. It will come and go; nothing will be sweet and present near you for long. chapānna daṇḍa rātri dine jāne nā rādhā-govinda bine tāra para cāri daṇḍa suti thāke svapne radhe govinda dekhe He knows nothing but Rādhā-Govinda throughout the day and night (56 daṇḍas: 1 daṇḍa is 24 minutes). He takes rest for only 4 daṇḍas (1 hr. 36 min.). At that time in his dreams he receives darśana of Rādhā-Govinda. The Guru-varga are serving all day long. Within the day they only take rest for one or two hours, and even as they rest they are serving in kṛṣṇa-līlā. To attain such a state of spiritual rapture, we must follow the Gosvāmīs’ example. This is described in the prayer: saṅkhā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ kālāvasānī-kṛtau nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau cātyanta-dīnau ca yau rādhā-kṛṣṇa-guṇa-smṛter madhurimānandena sammohitau vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau Ṣaḍ-gosvāmyaṣṭakam 6 I worship the Six Gosvāmīs, who passed all their time in chanting the holy names, singing songs, and offering daṇḍavat-praṇāma, thereby humbly fulfilling their vow to complete a fixed number daily. In this way they utilized their valuable lives and conquered over eating and sleeping. Always seeing themselves as completely worthless, they became enchanted in divine rapture by remembering Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s sweet qualities. They don’t have taste or relation with the body and senses. One by one they follow the process for attaining that anurāga. Also, if they are late for one minute in any service, then they suffer so much and repent, “Why have I lost one minute?’’ They are always ready to help us attain Kṛṣṇa’s mercy and the Vraja-devīs’ association. Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī resided in Jagannātha Purī under the guidance of Svarūpa Dāmodara, by the order of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. What did he take from Svarūpa Dāmodara? He daily collected the process of unnata-ujjvala-rasa. To practice this, he followed Svarūpa Dāmodara’s footsteps at every moment. He memorized and practiced what he collected from Mahāprabhu, and chanted harināma with intense anurāga. After Mahāprabhu and Svarūpa Dāmodara disappeared, Dāsa Gosvāmī went to Vraja. He stayed in Vṛndāvana and moved about there for sometime, but later he permanently resided at Rādhā-kuṇḍa. From morning to evening he was engaged in chanting harināma, while internally praying for the mercy of the Vraja-devīs and Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. This book is his offerings of puṣpāñjali to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Puṣpāñjali is an offering of flowers, but this book is kusumāñjalī, meaning, offering one’s desires like heartfelt flowers. He offered his desires like this every day and at every moment. He was never disturbed, nor did he think like many others, “Is this line true?” or “Will Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa accept my prayers or not?” His dīkṣā-guru is Yadunandana Ācārya, Balarāma Ācārya is his priest, and his śikṣā-guru is Svarūpa Dāmodara Prabhu. Yadunandana Ācārya loved Raghunātha more than his own heart. He gave him dīkṣā-mantra. Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Advaita Ācārya, Nityānanda Prabhu—everyone was pleased with Raghunātha. By everyone’s great mercy he followed the rules and regulations of strong vairāgya. His mind was never disturbed. He never followed his senses and did not give them even a little bit of time, always being busy for service of Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. In Jagannātha Purī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī was bestowed with a special gift by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī said, “I am a very fallen soul devoid of goodness. Nevertheless, Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu were very kind and merciful upon me. They offered me at the lotus feet of Svarūpa Dāmodara. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself gave me a Govardhana-śilā and guñjā-mālā.” Guñjā-mālā is Rādhārānī’s svarūpa, and Śrī Govardhana is Kṛṣṇa’s svarūpa. Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī is vairāgya-mūrti, a personification of renunciation. It was told about him, “Raghunāthera niyama yena pāṣāṇera rekhā —Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī’s vairāgya is as firm and resolute as lines etched in stone.” It was not like one day following bhakti’s rules, forsaking any enjoyment, and the next day thinking, “I am a great ācārya; taking everything is not bad for me.” Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī did not think like this. Until his last day in this world, he followed bhakti strongly. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said: vairāgī hañā kare jihvāra lālasa paramārtha yāya, āra haya rasera vaśa vairāgīra kṛtya—sadā nāma-saṅkīrtana śāka-patra-phala-mūle udara-bharaṇa jihvāra lālase yei iti-uti dhāya śiśnodara-parāyaṇa kṛṣṇa nāhi pāya Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 6.225–227 If a renunciate is eager for his tongue to taste different foods, his spiritual life will be lost, and he will be subservient to the tastes of his tongue. The duty of a person in the renounced order is to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra always. He should satisfy his belly with whatever vegetables, leaves, fruits and roots are available. One who is subservient to the tongue and who thus goes here and there, devoted to the genitals and the belly, cannot attain Kṛṣṇa. One should fill his belly with whatever is easily available. By offering Kṛṣṇa foods in the mode of goodness and honoring them as prasāda, the tongue is satisfied and service to Kṛṣṇa is cultivated. If palatable prasāda is easily available, then the tongue’s greed will gradually be controlled rather than increased. Vairāgīs continuously chant harināma and maintain their body with anything simple. Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī never went here and there, wasting his time. He never thought, “How does salt, lemon, pickle, and chili taste?” He had deep faith and attachment. Therefore other things could never come and disturb him. His teachings and his practice were very strong. He had bhajana-niṣṭhā and vairāgya. Therefore he was always very close to the Guru-varga. People think, “I have no fault, but the Guru-varga don’t give me mercy or shelter.” But they don’t look at their own faults. How was Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī? He stayed with Svarūpa Dāmodara for sixteen years continuously, and never thought, “I will go away.” Why? Vairāgya and bhajana-niṣṭhā were always alive in him. Then how could he be any distance from bhajana and the Guru-varga? Other desires will call me and throw me out if they come, but Dāsa Gosvāmī was not like that. He could not stay in Jagannātha Purī after Gaurahari and others disappeared—it was dry there. While there, he prayed, worshiped his Govardhana-śilā and guñjā-mālā. He thought, “I shall climb on top of Govardhana and jump down, giving up my body. My separation will be finished and my heart will cool.’’ He was crying and weeping to Jagannātha. Jagannātha gave His prasādī-mālā and ordered him, “Raghunātha, you are My nearest and dearest. Go to Vṛndāvana. Go to Rūpa and Sanātana and stay there.” Then he went to Vṛndāvana and wrote many prayers and instructions to the mind. In the third verse of Manah-śikṣā, he prays: yadīccher āvāsaṁ vraja-bhuvi sa-rāgaṁprati-janur yuva-dvandvaṁ tac cet paricaritum ārād abhilaṣe svarūpaṁ śrī-rūpaṁ sa-gaṇam iha tasyāgrajam api sphuṭaṁ premṇā nityaṁ smara nama tadā tvaṁ śṛṇu manaḥ O Mind, just listen to me! If you desire to reside in Vraja birth after birth, and if you desire to directly serve the eternally youthful Divine Couple there with great attraction, then with intense love always remember and bow down to Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara; to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and his elder brother, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī; and to all their associates and followers. He instructed, “If you desire residence in Vraja and the service of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, then continuously remember and stay under the guidance of Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī. They have this anurāga. Follow the footsteps of their anurāga and stay in Vraja-dhāma. Then Govardhana, Rādhā-kuṇḍa—everyone will accept you because you followed the footsteps of the anurāgī devotees. Vṛndāvana-dhāma will give you all facility and chance.” He wrote Sva-niyama Daśakam, and there he also wrote: gurau mantre nāmni prabhuvara-śacīgarbhaja-pade svarūpe śrī-rūpe gaṇa-yuji tadīya-prathamaje girīndre gāndharvā-sarasi madhu-puryāṁvraja-vane vraje bhakte goṣthālayiṣu param āstāṁ mama ratiḥ May my anurāga be always with my spiritual master, the gāyatrī-mantra, the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s feet, Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, his associates, his elder brother (Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī), Govardhana Hill, Rādhā-kuṇḍa, Mathurā City, Vṛndāvana Forest, the land of Vraja, the devotees of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the residents of Vraja. We come for bhajana, but gradually many other persons come nearby and we make a relationship with them, talk sweetly, give something and take something. They steal my heart and take me away from Vraja-maṇḍala and the Vrajavāsīs. Therefore Dāsa Gosvāmī made a strong promise, “I will not meet, talk, accept, look, pray, or watch anything or anyone other than devotees.’’ This was his strong vairāgya, naturally springing forth from his anurāga. He was the personification of vairāgya and anurāga. First control your own senses, your mind, and then your soul. Carefully use everything for your Gurudeva; otherwise, if you give a little share to others, they will steal you away. First they want you to be their friend, and then their slave. Then you will go very far away from transcendental līlā; mundane līlā and nature will come, and you will run for mundane tastes. Therefore Dāsa Gosvāmī continuously followed the footsteps of Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī. He did not go any distance from them for one minute. Earlier, he knew nothing but Svarūpa Dāmodara and Mahāprabhu. He respected everyone, and did not talk, walk, look, watch or go to anyone. Then in Vraja-maṇḍala, on the bank of Rādhā-kuṇḍa, he followed Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmī. He paid obeisance to other Vaiṣṇavas and begged them, “How can I make a sweet and strong faithful relationship with my śikṣā-gurus, Sanātana Gosvāmī, and Rūpa Gosvāmī.” May no doubt come. Deep faith and respect for the Vaiṣṇavas is the backbone of bhakti. If there is no faith in Vaiṣṇavas, then after sometime faith in guru and God will go away and everything will be lost. Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī practiced this in his life. His heart melted and tears fell, always showering his body. Why? He was not near mundane persons; otherwise the heart will become dry like a rock. If other people steal the heart, then everything will be lost. Then no flow of love will come. (click on the title to see more)

Kesavadeva Takes Shelter of the Gopis

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A Preview of the Gita – Holland, May 1996

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SRILA GURUDEVA was BHAKTABANDHAV – "Friend to All"

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