Festival of Solemn Service

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
28 July 2011, part 2

 

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's disappearance festival is coming soon and all over the world devotees are making some ceremony on this day. I heard also that the Malaysian devotees are making a Jagannath Ratha-yatra festival, I am also happy with that. I started that festival last year—I took Lord Baladev, Subhadra, Jagannath from Puri to Malaysia and they made a Jagannath festival, some Singapore devotees also came. Gurudev told me, "You can do it in Malaysia, no problem." I am not able to go there this time, but all my love and affection, all my heart and soul, everything is with them.

You know that when Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was going to disappear, he wanted to hear 'Sri Rupa Manjari pada' kirtan from Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, and through this kirtan Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur indicated who would preach the Rupanuga sampradaya's line, who would preach about Rupa-Raghunath after him—only Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. He showed in that way, "I am giving this flag to him." Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur gave all transcendental power to Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. This is called power transmission, and it is very rare actually.

You know also that Srila Sridhar Maharaj wrote Bhakti Vinod Viraha Dasakam, and when Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur saw it, he said, "Happy style." Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj made him happy with that poem. He also composed Sri Sri Prema-dhama-deva Stotram,

কৃষ্ণ-কৃষ্ণ-কৃষ্ণ-কৃষ্ণ-কৃষ্ণনাম-কীর্ত্তনং
রাম-রাম-গান-রম্য-দিব্য-ছন্দ-নর্তনম্ ।
যত্র তত্র কৃষ্ণনাম-দান-লোক-নিস্তরং
প্রেম-ধাম-দেবমেব নৌমি গৌর-সুন্দরম্ ॥

krsna-krsna-krsna-krsna-krsna-nama-kirtanam
rama-rama-gana-ramya-divya chhanda-nartanam
yatra-tatra-krsna-nama-dana-loka-nistaram
prema-dhama-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram

"Later, the Supreme Lord travelled to the holy places of pilgrimage in South India with the clever intention of delivering the fallen souls. Appearing as a beautiful young renunciate, He distributed the sweet Names of the Lord, singing: 'Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna he,' as He strolled down the different pathways, entered temples, and visited homesteads during the sacred pilgrimage. Infused with an inconceivable type of divine inspiration, the Lord freely chanted "Rama Rama" and joyfully danced with the most charming gestures. Irrespective of time or personal qualification, the assembled bystanders were delivered by the Lord, who inspired them to chant Krishna's Holy Names. I offer my obeisances to that beautiful Golden Lord, Gauranga Sundar, the divine form of Krishna prema."

(Prema-dhama-deva Stotram, 22)

I heard also that when Srila Bhakti Prajnan Keshav Maharaj read it, he said, "We cannot copy this." Actually he said that there were two things that nobody could copy or compete with—the domes of Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's Chaitanya Saraswat Math temple and his Prema-dhama-deva Stotram.

There was also one disciple of Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur—Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj (who later took sannyas from Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj). After Prabhupad's disappearance, he left the mission and went back to his birthplace house (he thought, "My Guru has left, I will go back to my previous life..."). But Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj came to his house (his purva-asram, the place where he was born) and said, "Prabhu, you have come here leaving the ashram, but who will preach now?" At that time Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj was a brahmachari (not a sannyasi), he said, "Maharaj, I can come back to the temple, I can again join Krishna consciousness, but only if you give me sannyas." So, he came back and took sannyas from Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj and his name became Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj.

This Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Mahaaj used to invite Srila Sridhar Maharaj every year to his temple on his birth day. His temple is in Mayapur—Gaura Nityananda mandir in Nandan Acharya Bhavan where Mahaprabhu found Nityananda Prabhu (where Nityananda Prabhu first met with Mahaprabhu). Mahaprabhu knew that a big man had come and He sent somebody to find Him, but they could not find Him, so Mahaprabhu Himself came to Nandan Acharya Bhavan to meet with Nityananda Prabhu. This place is in Mayapur and there is a temple of Srila Goswami Maharaj there now. So, every year, accepting his invitation, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj came there on the birth day of Srila Goswami Maharaj. And Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj's mood was, "Whatever presentation, whatever pranami (donation) I get on this day, it is all for my siksa Guru, my sannyas Guru Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. I am giving everything to him." And he would say, "Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj comes here every year on my birth day, and in this way I get one more year of life," but when one year Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj could not come, Srila Goswami Maharaj said to all his disciples sadly, "This year, my siksa Guru, my sannyas Guru could not come on my birth day, so I will probably not be alive next year." And it happened—he disappeared that year...

There are so many pastimes of Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj... You know that his samadhi is there in Nabadwip—Srila Gurudev made that samadhi for his Guru Maharaj. At first, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj did not want his samadhi, he would say, "Throw my body into the Ganges," but Gurudev would say jokingly, "I will see when time comes, and you will see too..." One day, Srila Gurudev was showing a Tulasi garden to Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj [in the place where the samadhi mandir stands now, there used to be a Tulasi garden and a mango tree], and, understanding Srila Gurudev's plan, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj said, "OK, that place is a good choice, no problem..." There was a mango tree at that place before, and neither Gurudev nor Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj wanted to cut any trees, but when Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj disappeared, that same very day, the leaves of the mango tree all dried up and the tree died giving an opportunity to make this temple of Union in Separation...

Gurudev never wanted to go to Nabadwip on the disappearance day of his Guru Maharaj. In all my temple life, over perhaps twenty years, I saw him in Nabadwip joining this kind of festival only one or two times. I cannot remember now if it was one or two times, but not more than two times for sure. When Gurudev was in India, he often stayed in Kolkata on this day. He told me, "I do not want to come for this kind of festival because I cannot tolerate it. It is a very sad and unhappy day in my life. I cannot tolerate it, that is why I do not like to come to Nabadwip for that day." He always said it on Srila Guru Maharaj's disappearance festival... And who would like it? No actual disciple wants to see their Gurudev's disappearance day—it is about the love and affection, about a good connection between the Guru and the disciple...

Gurudev always told me to make a good Vaishnav seva on this day—to invite Vaishnavs and give them some good mango. Param Guru Maharaj liked a sort of mango called chaunsa mango (চোষা আম). He always ordered me to buy that mango and distribute it to Vaishnavs on that day.

So, this disappearance festival is coming the day after tomorrow and I am also telling the devotees, I am advising them: offer bhog and give prasadam to Vaishnavs on this day, it will be good for our spiritual life in this life...

 

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Regulated Life
'We are blinded by the illusory dust. How will we then see the transcendental abode? Those who eat regularly, who work regularly, who sleep regularly, can practise properly. Regular sleeping, regular prasadam is also part of service. If you cannot do it, you will not be able to practise.'

 

Namo namah tulasi maharani
'Your leaves and soft manjaris are twined around the lotus feet of Laksmi's Lord.'
নমো নমঃ তুলসী মহারাণি

If someone does not consider it necessary to faithfully follow their Guru and the Vaishnavs, their endeavour to serve the Lord is not service to the Lord—it is service to maya.

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"