Book excerpts Acarya Kesari Inauguration of Sri Vasudeva Gaudiya Matha in Vasugrama, Assam

Inauguration of Sri Vasudeva Gaudiya Matha in Vasugrama, Assam

Sri Parvaticarana Raya, a prominent gentleman from Vasugrama in the Gvalapada district, Assam, repeatedly requested Sri Gurupada-padma to establish a preaching centre of the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti in Vasugrama. For this purpose, he also donated some land near his residence in the centre of the market. On 21 May 1967, Srila Acaryadeva went there with Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja, Sri Mukunda Gopala Brahmacari and six other sevakas. A large assembly was organized on the second day, which was Sri Nimananda Seva-tirtha Prabhu’s appearance day. Srila Acaryadeva was the chairman, and on his request Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja, Srimad Bhaktivedanta Urddhavamanthi Maharaja, Sri Gajendra Moksana Brahmacari and others gave very heartfelt lectures on this mahapurusa’s great contribution to the preaching of sri gaura-vinoda-sarasvata-vani – the teachings of Sriman Mahaprabhu, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Afterwards Srila Guru Maharaja gave an attractive lecture full of siddhanta about Seva-tirtha Prabhu.

After preaching suddha-bhakti for some days in Goloka-ganja, Srila Acaryadeva came to Vasugrama with his followers. There Sri Vasudeva Gaudiya Matha was established on the land given by Sri Parvati Babu by the extraordinary endeavour of Sri Visvarupa Brahmacari (BA), the headmaster of the local high school. After seeing Sri Visvarupa Prabhu’s unwearying service endeavours and enthusiasm during the establishment of the matha, Srila Acaryadeva appointed him the matha president. Srimad Urddhvamanthi Maharaja and Sri Sarathi Krsna Brahmacari stayed in this new matha to carry on the preaching. Religious assemblies were organized for three days. Srila Acaryadeva lectured, as did Srimad Vamana Maharaja, Srimad Urddhvamanthi Maharaja and others. After some time, Sri Sri Gaura-Radha-Vinoda-bihariji were installed, with parama-pujyapada Srila Bhakti Bhudeva Srauti Maharaja as the officiating priest.

Lecture in the law court library and district library of Siudi

On 21 June 1967, Srila Gurudeva, along with his associates, made his auspicious arrival in Siudi and stayed for some days at Sriyuta Umapada Sadhu’s (Sri Urukrama dasa Adhikari’s) residence, where Srila Gurudeva preached suddha-bhakti. One day he lectured at the law court’s library and the next day at the local district library on ‘The modern situation and sanatana-dharma’. On the other days Sri Urukrama dasa Adhikari gave brilliant lectures on ‘Vaisnava literature and culture’ in sri mandira.

On 17 February 1968, a huge vyasa-puja festival took place in Ramanagara Abadagrama. Upon the special request of Srimati Narayani-devi, tridandi-svami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja came there with several sannyasis and brahmacaris and observed a great vyasa-puja celebration. Extensive religious assemblies went on for three days. Pujyapada Sri Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja, the chairman of these assemblies, delivered scholarly lectures on vyasa-puja and sanatana-dharma.

The vyasa-puja celebration observed for three days at Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha in Sri Dhama Navadvipa was particularly wonderful, because paramaradhyatama Srila Gurudeva was personally present.

Entering aprakata-lila

After vyasa-puja, Sri Dhama Navadvipa parikrama took place with great pomp and ceremony. It was at this time that paramaradhyatama Srila Gurudeva began his pastime of illness. He stayed for some days at the home of Sriyuta Radhesyama Saha and for a few more days with Sri Krsna-gopala Vasu Mahodaya in Kolkata for medical treatment. The service rendered by these two gentlemen during that time was most praiseworthy.

On 3 October 1968, Srila Acaryadeva was brought back from Kolkata to his bhajana-kuti at Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha. Finally, on Sunday, 6 October 1968 (19 Asvina 1375 Bangabda), the Saradiya-rasa Purnima, during sandhya-arati (6.15 p.m.), paramaradhyatama srila gurupada-padma om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja left us all drowning in an ocean of separation and entered Sri Yugala-Kisora’s sayana-nitya-lila, Their evening pastimes.

The following description was written by someone suffering pangs of separation from his master. It was published in Sri Gaudiya-patrika, Year 20, Issue 5:

“Acarya kesari om visnupada paramahamsa astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja is the founder of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. He is also the dear and intimate associate of Sri Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya’s guardian acarya-bhaskara paramahamsa mukuta-mani nitya-lila-pravista jagad-guru om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada. Sunday, 6 October 1968, was the auspicious day of Saradiya-purnima and the first day of sri damodara-vrata. That evening, at the time of the lunar eclipse, at Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha in Sri Dhama Navadvipa, acarya kesari Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja was surrounded by his servants who had taken shelter of his lotus feet, his sannyasi and acarya godbrothers, renunciant and householder devotees, and gentlemen who had become charmed by his qualities. Leaving them all drowning in an ocean of separation, he, of his own free will, entered nitya-dhama Sri Goloka Vrndavana and the sayana-lila of his worshipful Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda-bihari.

“Renunciant and householder devotees from all over India had assembled at Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha that day. From early morning, eminent sannyasis and sevakas had been tenderly singing kirtanas such as jaya radhe jaya krsna, je anila prema-dhana, sri-rupa-manjari-pada, and radhe jaya jaya madhava dayite by Sri Narottama Thakura, Bhaktivinoda Thakura and other mahajanas. Sandhya-arati was going on in the temple, and here, Gurudeva, together with the devotees, was thoroughly absorbed in performing kirtana in a faint voice. He then entered nitya-lila, uttering ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare’, holding the picture of his most worshipful gurudeva to his breast.

“Just as this happened, an astonishing event occurred. The head pujari of sri mandira came there with Srimati Radhika’s garland in his hands and tearfully said, ‘Right at the end of sandhya-arati, Srimati Radhika’s garland broke by itself and fell from Her neck. I have never seen this before.’ Everyone present understood this to mean that Srimati Radhika, out of mercy, had called Her beloved sahacari, companion and attendant, to sayana-lila-vilasa.
“In a moment the news that Srila Gurudeva had entered aprakata-lila spread to all the Gaudiya Mathas on both banks of Bhagavati Bhagirathi. Thousands of faithful people assembled to offer puspanjali to paramaradhyatama Sri Gurudeva’s lotus feet, and the samadhi ceremony was performed under the guidance of prapujya-carana Srimad Bhakti Srirupa Siddhanti Maharaja, according to the method of Samskara-dipika. As the assembled multitude performed hari-kirtana, Srila Acaryadeva was given samadhi in front of Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga-Radha-Vinoda-bihariji’s temple, whose high domes seemed to kiss the sky.”

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