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.