Book excerpts Acarya Kesari Śrīla Gurupāda-padma’s Supra-mundane Character and Steadfast Guru-niṣṭhā

Śrīla Gurupāda-padma’s Supra-mundane Character and Steadfast Guru-niṣṭhā

(Written by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Mahārāja)

While paramārādhyatama Śrīla Keśava Gosvāmīpāda was commenting on vairāgya-yukta bhakti-rasa, he explained that vairāgya, renunciation, is the intense feeling of separation from Kṛṣṇa which consists of the desire to please His senses (kṛṣṇendriya prīti-vāñchā-maya vipralambha). The knowledge of vairāgya that consists of the desire to give happiness to Kṛṣṇa (kṛṣṇa-sukha-vāñchā-mayī vairāgya-vidyā) is actual vairāgya brahma-jñāna, and it displays contempt, fear and disrespect towards worthless āna, sāyujya-mukti and other forms of liberation. Generally, sādhaka jīvas think that vairāgya means the renunciation of all enjoyment for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa. However, the mukta-puruṣas, liberated personalities, accept only dedication to kṛṣṇa-sevā as vairāgya. Śrīla Dāsa Gosvāmī has pointed out that vairāgya-yukta bhakti-rasa consists of detachment, knowledge and devotional activities performed for Kṛṣṇa’s service. The māyāvāda conception excludes the existence of transcendental pastimes (cid-vilāsa), but this can never be called vairāgya.

The word vairāgya is used to describe one of the six opulences of Bhagavān. This Bhagavān is Māyādhīśa, the Lord of māyā. Bhakti can never be attained by artificial endeavours to practise renunciation in solitary meditation (nirjana-bhajana). People who are not spiritually inclined think that vairāgya means material renunciation, but we find in the śāstras that vairāgya is simply the topmost stage of longing for kṛṣṇa-vilāsa, Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure pastimes. Prākṛta-sahajiyās and those who renounce material enjoyment practise so-called vairāgya to satisfy their desires, but this is merely a temporary, deceitful sādhana. Only through the eyes of bhakti can one see or realize the eternally perfect renunciation of the eternally perfect mahātmās, who are intent on Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s happiness.

Detachment and omniscience are naturally evident in the lives of mahāpuruṣas. Residing in the heart of the sādhaka in the form of the Supersoul (antaryāmī), these mahāpuruṣas can easily say who is attached to satisfying his own senses in the name of service to Śrī Hari. They also give favourable opportunities for the sādhaka to become liberated from the clutches of this hypocrisy. Moreover, being very affectionate towards the sevakas, and seeing their service tendency, they bestow on them the enthusiasm to serve Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas.

Keśarīva sva-potānām anyeṣām ugra-vikramaḥ – the lioness shows her prowess towards her enemy but is very affectionate towards her offspring.” [This verse was composed by Śrīdhara Svāmī in his commentary on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.9.1).] Similarly, for atheistic hypocrites, Śrīla Gurupāda-padma was the direct personification of time (Yama), the enforcher of punishment, but he was full of loving, parental affection for his disciples and those who had taken shelter of him. He would purify them of their hundreds of faults and mistakes, give them the chance to do sevā and engage them in hari-bhajana. If anyone came to his maṭha or missions for hari-bhajana, he would provide them shelter and the golden opportunity to perform hari-bhajana, even if they were old, diseased or devoid of any worldly qualifications. This is undoubtedly an ideal to look up to and a brilliant example of his complete surrender to Kṛṣṇa, his mercy and magnanimity, his compassionate nature and quality of helping all, and his sorrow upon seeing others suffering.

Adherents to morality say, “satyaṁ bruyāt priyaṁ bruyāt, mā bruyāt satyam apriyam – one should speak true and palatable words, but the truth should not be spoken if it is unpalatable.” However, Gurupāda-padma would always announce loudly that it is right to speak the truth even if unpalatable. If we do not speak the truth, then many of śāstras’ secrets will not be revealed and broadcast in this world. Sādhu, guru and Vaiṣṇavas give real welfare to the people of the world, and even if their heart-touching words are not materially pleasing, they are nonetheless the cause of complete auspiciousness.

In this connection, paramārādhya Śrīla Gurudeva has written, “Nowadays we see the publication of many religious magazines that are gradually deviating from the rules and regulations established and preached by ācārya kesarī jagad-guru Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda. The main cause for this is the desire for worldly gain, name and fame. We should always remember the teaching of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta: ‘Dharma cannot be protected unless one is detached.’ One should set an ideal example to the whole world by embracing even the toughest adversity and by maintaining complete detachment.” The sharp words and criticism spoken by sādhu, guru and Vaiṣṇavas bring about one’s good fortune and remove the difficulties and obstacles related to bhajana. Their detached morality, along with the disciplinary words and unpleasant truths that they administer, have the same function as chanting medicinal mantras, and the result is that one obtain a taste for chanting śrī nāma.

Śrīla Guru Mahārāja showed incomparable love and sympathy towards his peer godbrothers. Sometimes, a godbrother would not directly ask him for anything, but simply by his affectionately addressing him as Vinoda Dā or Keśava Mahārāja, he would understand their situation and help them as much as he could, financially and in other ways. But he never expected financial help for himself. In this way he generously and selflessly gave thousands of rupees to help others. This was undoubtedly because of his parental affection for his godbrothers.

All sorts of people used to come in great numbers to take his darśana: scholars, people who were proud of their so-called devotion, ignorant people, skilled people, children, young men and elderly. Everyone would forget their own desires and questions when they heard his grave and authoritative voice and saw his mild and peaceful figure and his gently smiling lotus face. Even when defeating māyāvādī logicians, he would always protect their dignity. Many people who had separate motives would come and listen to various kinds of advice, but they could not accept the potency of this ekāntika sādhu and mahāpuruṣa who was so devoted to Kṛṣṇa. How can ordinary people truly understand the transcendental behaviour of eternally perfected great souls? Ordinary people do not and cannot understand their mercy or their deception. Śrī Gurudeva’s view was, “No one in this world is an object for my attachment (anurāga) or indifference (virāga). All are means for serving guru and Kṛṣṇa.” This is the transcendental viewpoint of the mahā-bhāgavatas.

It has already been mentioned that Śrīla Guru Mahārāja’s fresh outlook and unique speciality was evident in every engagement and action that he performed. He used the figures of pāṣaṇḍa-gajaika-siṁha (the lion-like person who destroys the elephant of heresy) on the wall of Narahari Toraṇa, the main gate of Śrī Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha, Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti’s main preaching centre in Navadvīpa. Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura glorified Murāri Bhagavān Śrī Caitanya-candra as pāṣaṇḍa-gajaika-siṁha. Śrīla Gurudeva’s intimate godbrother, Śrīla Bhakti Sāraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja, also decorated him with this same name, for it was as if he was always holding a sword in his hand to defeat māyāvādīs and others opposed to śuddha-bhakti. Knowing such people to be his eternal enemies, he made an unshakeable vow to uproot Śrī Śaṅkara’s advaitavāda, or māyāvāda, from this world. He clearly expressed this determination in his letters, essays, articles, commentaries, explanations, statements, lectures and so on. Parama-pūjyapāda Śrīla Bhakti Sāraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja would say to Śrīla Gurupāda-padma, “When I see you, the memory of Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda comes into my mind. Anyone whose darśana makes the memory of Śrīla Gurudeva appear in the mind is guru-svarūpa, the embodiment of guru, and he is the greatest of all mahā-bhāgavatas.”

It is said, “All of Kṛṣṇa’s qualities appear in His devotees.” Śrīla Ācāryadeva had not passed exams in law or engineering, but he would give legal advice to lawyers and barristers, and he would also advise engineers. Many expert engineers were amazed to learn that the tilaka-marked, sky-high temple of the main maṭha was constructed according to Śrīla Guru Mahārāja’s instructions and design. Jagad-guru Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura had said, “It is quite essential to protect the sevā of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in order to protect the sampradāya.” By this he meant that he aimed to protect Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s sevā by instigating lawsuits to save maṭhas and temples from the hands of sense enjoyers and wicked people. Śrīla Gurupāda-padma followed the instructions of his ārādhyadeva Śrīla Prabhupāda and accepted the responsibility of protecting the mission by legal means. Even Prabhupāda would be amazed by his astonishing talent and power of memory. Once, during an argument with some lawyers, Śrīla Guru Mahārāja’s godbrother, Śrīla Mādhava Mahārāja, asked him, “When did you study law in such a way that in argument, even lawyers are obliged to accept your words?”

Śrīla Guru Mahārāja made an unparalleled contribution in composing Vaiṣṇava literature and revealing ever-fresh deep meanings of the principles of bhakti. The speciality of his writings is that he kept an unbroken flow of bhāva, or inner meaning, contained in the main tattva-siddhāntas. At the same time, he maintained his own position and point of view and did not follow the general masses. “Protecting the sampradāya is the topmost service to Śrīman Mahāprabhu,” he used to think, and only after carefully considering this did he take up his most powerful pen. His main goal was to establish tattva-siddhāntas directly and indirectly through the medium of debates, and he exhibited a remarkable and transcendental creativity in doing this. His ever-fresh and transcendental genius has been illuminated in his songs such as Śrīla Prabhupāda āratī, Śrī Tulasī-āratī and Maṅgala-āratī. In the wake of Gīta-govinda by the transcendental poet Śrī Jayadeva, Śrīla Guru Mahārāja in his Maṅgala-āratī song gives an introduction to the supreme and unequalled, sweet transcendental pastimes of the eternally youthful Divine Couple of Vraja.

Sometimes an unexpected guest would arrive when Śrīla Gurupāda-padma was dictating an article for Śrī Patrikā. At such a time, he would converse with the guest, not showing the slightest indifference towards him, and at the same time he would retain complete focus on his presentation of the principal subject matter of the article. There is no doubt that this was also one of his unique and supra-mundane characteristics.

It was Śrīla Ācāryadeva’s undivided niṣṭhā towards his own śrī guru mahārāja that most clearly established his superior position among Śrīla Prabhupāda’s disciples and followers. Śrīla Gurupāda-padma gave good advice to his godbrothers on legal matters and all kinds of other concerns. In doing so, he revealed his generous and moral disposition. The Sārasvata Gauḍīya community accepted him as a lawyer and also as a learned expert in management and politics. This was because, when complex questions arose concerning spiritual knowledge and pseudo-logic, he would give good answers that were in accordance with the conclusions of śāstra.

Śrīla Ācāryadeva displayed the ideal standards for observing fasting days. On Śrī Janmāṣṭamī, Śrī Ekādaśī, Śrī Gaura-jayantī, Śrī Rāma-navamī, Śrī Nṛsiṁha-caturdaśī, Śrī Advaita-saptamī, Śrī Nityānanda-trayodaśī and other fast days, he firmly rejected fasting on days which overlapped with the previous day. He gave the fullest protection to the observance of Cāturmāsya and ūrjā-vrata (kārtika-vrata) in Śrī Vedānta Samiti, completely following the rules practised and preached by Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Śrīman Mahāprabhu. He never supported reluctance to follow the Cāturmasya vow or laxity in honouring ūrjā-vrata.

Śrīla Gurudeva especially manifested guru-niṣṭhā during a discussion on tattva-siddhānta with the most worshipable yatirāja Śrīla Śrīdhara Gosvāmī Mahārāja. On that occasion, he said, “I do not know or recognize the path of the previous Gosvāmīs. I simply accept jagad-guru Śrīla Prabhupāda’s line of thought as unerring truth, and I will try to know and understand the previous Gosvāmīs through Śrīla Prabhupāda’s vision. I will first accept the excellence of his explanations and commentaries. ‘Ācāryera mata jeī, seī mata sāra / anya āra jata mata jāuka chārakhāra – the opinion of the ācārya is the most important; any other opinions should be rejected.’ This is my conception.” This single-pointed niṣṭ he showed towards Śrīla Prabhupāda is certainly unequalled.

Śrīla Gurupāda-padma, the dear-most associate of Śrī Gaurasundara, has written Māyāvāda kī Jīvanī for the eternal benefit of the conditioned souls. After refuting materialists, mistaken yogīs and other people holding faulty doctrines, he showed them the path of real spiritual knowledge and the ultimate spiritual benefit. As an ideal tridaṇḍi gosvāmī, he wanted to bestow true auspiciousness even upon antagonistic hypocrites. We have many times witnessed his fearlessness and steadfastness in protecting the truth. He never once supported those who said that spirit and matter are non-different. To expose the enjoying tendencies and selfish mentality of the prākṛta-sahajiyās, he published Sahajiyā-dalana, which was based on a compilation of articles, etc., written by Śrīla Prabhupāda and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. He demonstrated the ideal of a faultless way of life by preaching from this book and by devoting himself to pure Vaiṣṇava standards of behaviour.

Śrīla Ācāryadeva established spiritual dispensaries and also a Vedānta college. The central government and various missions were introducing initiatives to try to relieve the sufferings of the perishable body and mind in the name of social service. Śrīla Gurudeva’s purpose was to show that these endeavours were practically useless. He was stronger than a thunderbolt in rejecting bad association, and softer than a lotus flower in the face of endeavours favourable for the cultivation of bhakti. He never supported the karma-kāṇḍīya principles of the materialistic smārta society, who simply follow ritualistic customs and principles.1 Śrīla Gurupāda-padma instead gave the pure instructions to follow vows such as śrī puruṣottama-vrata by engaging in śrī nāma-bhajana only. He spent his life as a surrendered soul who had no possessions and was completely dependent on Kṛṣṇa’s will. His attitude was always ‘May the desire of Bhagavān be fulfilled’ and ‘By the will of Bhagavān, everything is possible’. All his disciples were amazed to see this. Everyone was attracted to his affection towards all living entities, and his simple and compassionate behaviour to all – young and old, even to birds like pigeons and sparrows. All were attracted to his intimate love and affection (mamatā) and his practice of non-violence.

Śrīla Gurupāda-padma’s simple, sweet and profound inner sentiments would never be disturbed, even while he was strongly refuting the degraded, devious and cheating beliefs of those who consider that the living being is brahma; of those who respect all kinds of gods (ñcamiśālīs); worshipers of the five deities Sūrya, Gaṇeśa, Durgā, Śiva and Viṣṇu (pañcopāsakas); of people who believe that there are many gods (bahu-īśvara-vādīs); of voidists (śūnya-vādīs); of impersonalistic pantheists (nirviśeṣa brahmavādīs) and others. He never supported laziness in the name of performing solitary bhajana. On the contrary, he instructed everyone to cultivate kṛṣṇa-bhakti in the association of sādhus by body, mind and words. He taught by his own exemplary practice that one attains all perfection and absorption in kṛṣṇa-prema only by śrī harināma. To his disciples, he demonstrated by his own perfect example that one can conquer hunger, thirst and the inimical tendencies of the senses by performing regulated or unregulated loud kīrtana of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, consisting of sixteen names, day and night.

Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī said, ‘I am lower than a worm in stool’ and Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura said, ‘I will kick the head of such people [averse to Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas]’, but the purport of these two statements is one and the same. One should understand the real humility in these words, for it is beneficial for the real self. The spiritual instruction in these statements is to chant kṛṣṇa-nāma after being initiated into the dharma of offering respect to one and all without expecting any honour in return. The exalted and profound sentiments of Śrīla Gurudeva’s bhajana concerning his object and method of worship (upāsya-tattva) established him as both a bhajanānandī and a goṣṭhānandī at the same time.

His mercy in acting to liberate jīvas from their burden of anarthas was causeless. The doors of his temples and maṭhas were always open for the benefit of people trying to perform hari-bhajana. His endeavours to serve his peer Vaiṣṇavas were without limit, and his service satisfied them in all respects. The best introduction to his supra-mundane character is given in the books that he wrote to destroy māyāvāda; in his poems, philosophical articles and so on; and in the profound lectures based on tattva-siddhānta he delivered at various assemblies. He remained immersed in the pleasure of serving Śrī Śrī Gaura-Rādhā-Vinoda-bihārījī. He took full shelter of Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda’s instructions, was eternally established in the conception of Śrī Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, and always relished the concepts preached by Śrī Rūpa and Raghunātha. He would always try to engage his disciples in hari-kathā and hari-kīrtana, and, he instructed them to avoid mundane conversation, or ‘the urge of speech’ mentioned in Upadeśāmṛta.

No one could give Śrīla Gurupāda-padma any foodstuffs or clothes, no matter how hard they tried. He never accepted any donations or deeds of properties from his widowed followers, and he would not allow his disciples to accept such charity either. On the other hand, he would hardly ever refrain from giving mercy even when it was not asked for. To inspire enthusiasm to serve guru and Vaiṣṇavas, he sometimes accepted people’s ordinary things. He was anxious about the condition of people who were attached to their families, and he would always warn his renunciant disciples by describing the prākṛta-sahajiyās as ghara-pāgāla, madly attached to home, and gṛhī-bāulā, staying at home but making a show of being renunciants. He used to quote the statement from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Antya-līlā 6.278):

viṣayīra anna khāile malina haya mana
malina mana haile, nahe kṛṣṇera smaraṇa

If one eats food given by materialists, the mind becomes contaminated, and when the mind is contaminated one cannot remember Kṛṣṇa.

Following this principle, he strictly forbade any exchange or contact with the sampradāyas of those who try to enjoy guru (guru-bhogīs) and those who renounce guru (guru-tyāgīs). By his own example he taught his disciples to practise the renunciation of enjoyment for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa. During śrī ūrjā-vrata, śrī puruṣottama-vrata and other vratas, he would instruct his disciples to practise renunciation by sleeping on the ground and by eating like a cow [i.e., without using one’s hands]. In regards to accepting what is favourable for service, he instructed the devotees going for bhikṣa to properly consider the verse by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, “tomāra sevāya duḥkha haya jata, se o ta’ parama sukha – troubles encountered in Your service shall be the cause of great happiness.” He told them that they should not seek to live a comfortable life, but should tolerate difficulties for the service of Śrī Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. Some people living in the maṭha had large enough bank balances to maintain themselves for the rest of their lives. He called those so-called disciples hypocrites disguised as Vaiṣṇavas, sense enjoyers devoid of faith in Bhagavān, and atheists.

Śrīla Gurupāda-padma was the ideal guru and was expert in kṛṣṇa-tattva. He forbade followers with anarthas to meditate on aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā and imagine their siddha-deha, their spiritual form. He particularly attracted the attention of everyone by quoting jagad-guru Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructive words: “Smaraṇa will take place by the influence of kīrtana, and then it is possible to perform solitary bhajana.” He pointed out that the improper imitation of śrī guru and Vaiṣṇavas is not service or worship, but rather hypocrisy. He asked his disciples to write the following verse by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura on the main door of his Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Catuṣpāṭhī:

jaḍa-vidyā jata, māyāra vaibhava,
tomāra bhajane bādhā
moha janamiyā, anitya saṁsāre,
jīvake karaye gādhā

The knowledge of this material world is knowledge born of Your illusory energy (māyā). It creates obstacles in devotional service and makes an ass of the eternal living entity by increasing his infatuation with this temporary world.

In other words, the goal of studying the śāstras, grammar and so forth is not to collect money, beautiful women and prestige. “Everyone will respect that knowledge which, when discussed, causes kṛṣṇa-rati to manifest in the heart. You must sincerely kick out whatever knowledge causes obstacles to bhakti. Sarasvatī, the goddess of learning, is dear to Kṛṣṇa, and kṛṣṇa-bhakti resides in her heart. This knowledge in devotion is Bhaktivinoda’s wealth.” Śrīla Gurudeva always liked to explain these statements and moods of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura.

Śrīla Gurupāda-padma never tolerated those who imitated bhakti, or those who were duplicitous while pretending to offer service. Once he established a maṭha that one of his gṛhastha disciples had donated to him. Later on, when this disciple tried to make guru and Vaiṣṇavas his servants, Śrīla Gurudeva called back the maṭha residents and showed indifference towards his so-called disciple. He would be strict in instructing his personal servants or so-called disciples to abandon duplicity. He was careful to protect the honour of the guru’s senior servants so that they could co-operate and live together on good terms. He condemned the behaviour of people who falsely pretended to maintain their lives by begging alms (madhukarī) in Vraja-maṇḍala or other holy places. He would also remind us that people who are attached to sense gratification have to accept birth in Vraja as monkeys, turtles and other lower species. He would say that no one is qualified to beg for nirguṇa-madhukarī until their heart has become free from material qualities.

On one occasion, one of Śrīla Guru Mahārāja’s godbrothers wrote in his magazine, “Those who are outside Māyāpura or who are far from there are deprived of service to Śrīla Prabhupāda.” Śrīla Ācāryadeva objected to this and announced in a voice as deep as a thunderbolt, “Those who are guru-bhogīs or guru-tyāgīs are situated millions of miles away from Prabhupāda. Such people may apparently have lived in Māyāpura for ten or twelve years, but actually they have deserted Māyāpura and have been living in the kingdom of Kali the whole time. Outwardly they pretended to serve Śrīla Prabhupāda and Śrī Dhāma, but they were not really serving them at all. Śrī Gurupāda-padma, who is non-different from Nityānanda Prabhu, always deceives those people who are duplicitous about wealth. However, those servants who are fixed in guru-sevā and whose lives are surrendered to guru can always remain absorbed in the service of Śrī Gurudeva’s innermost desires, regardless of where they are staying.” Śrīla Gurupāda-padma tried from the core of his heart to serve any person related to Śrīla Prabhupāda. In this respect he was equal to all, whether they were renunciant residents of the maṭha, gṛhasthas or ordinary people who approached him. This is the special transcendental quality of a disciple who has offered his ātmā, his very self, to Śrī Gurudeva.

Śrī Gurupāda-padma was many times seen to be very particular about the way he kept even five and ten rupee notes in his purse. This sometimes caused doubts regarding his detachment from money. When asked about this, he would reply in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s words, “Āsakti-rahit sambandha-sahit viṣaya-samūha sakali mādhava – we should be detached from material things and at the same time see them in relation to Mādhava, as everything is meant for His pleasure.” In other words, that money would be used for serving Śrīman Mahāprabhu. With this transcendental attitude one will derive the happiness of loving service based on the desire to satisfy Kṛṣṇa’s senses. Those who try to imitate Śrīla Gurupāda-padma’s divine character will inevitably fall down from bhajana. However, accepting the instructions he gives out of love to benefit the soul will bring auspiciousness. He said that śrī guru becomes unhappy upon witnessing the misery of others, but even though śrī guru’s heart is distressed when he sees duplicitous people, it still does not bring them auspiciousness.

One day a devotee was studying the commentaries on rāsa-līlā, Bhramara-gīta, etc., and Śrīla Gurudeva said, “The qualification to hear topics such as rāsa-līlā will come when śrī nāma-kīrtana has freed the heart from anarthas, and śuddha-sattva has appeared there. Otherwise, the transcendental pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda will appear to be the activities of a worldly hero and heroine and will only give rise to false ideas. The conception of rasa is only possible in the siddha-deha, the state of perfection. It is impossible to perceive sṛṅgāra-rasa in the material body. Only a person who is free from the lower types of enjoyment and is in the stage of bhāva is qualified to discuss sambhoga-rasa, the mellow of amorous love.”

To understand śrī guru and Vaiṣṇavas in truth, it is essential to have the mercy and inspiration of Bhagavān. Sometimes Vaiṣṇavas honour a person who is averse to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, in an endeavour to be free of his bad association. Moreover, they sometimes hide their svarūpa, their real form, out of fear of associating with worldly and sensualistic persons (jana-saṅga). Sometimes they appear to accept disciples and falsely maintain the disguise of acting as if they are accepting service and advice from their disciples. Nevertheless, in all respects they protect their dependence and independence. This is the speciality of their inconceivable, divine character.

Śrīla Ācāryadeva always led his life in such a way as to protect Śrīla Prabhupāda’s innermost desire. He would constantly be engaged in establishing daiva-varnāśrama-dharma, reaching the conclusions of bhakti which he himself fully practised, establishing Śrī Dhāma parikramā, setting up printing presses to publish bhakti literature, śrī nāma-haṭṭa preaching and other such services.

Some months before Śrīla Paramārādhyadeva entered aprakaṭa-līlā, he acted as if he were accepting medical treatment in the big city of Kolkata, the capital of Kali. At that time, he was staying in a house of a very faithful devotee in Ṭyāṇrā. Many people may doubt why he left Śrī Dhāma to stay in the capital of Kali. “Yathāya vaiṣṇava-gaṇa seī sthāna vṛndāvana, seī sthāne ānanda aśeṣa – wherever mahā-bhāgavata śrī gurus go, they make transcendental Goloka Vṛndāvana appear, and they are themselves absorbed in the aṣṭa-kālīya-sevā of the youthful Divine Couple of Vraja.”

The eternally liberated, topmost mahāpuruṣas relish the sweetness of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda’s transcendental pastimes and the magnanimity of Śrī Gaurasundara, who came to bestow the ultimate goal of life, which is kṛṣṇa-prema. Ordinary people who yearn to perform hari-bhajana, and especially the servants of Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti, are exceptionally fortunate and blessed to attain the shelter of the lotus feet of such mahā-bhāgavatas. The śrī rūpānuga-sārasvata Vaiṣṇavas are and will always remain indebted in all respects to this transcendental mahāpuruṣa. There is no doubt in this regard.

1Editor: These regulations dictate, for example, that a certain number of days after someone’s birth or death are impure, and that the Puruṣottama leap month is an impure month when no religious activities should take place.

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