Srila Narottam Das Thakur:
Our Guru, Our Protector, Our Shelter

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj,
Srila Narottam Das Thakur's disappearance day
Sri Nabadwip Dham, 4 November 2012, part 1

 

Today is Srila Narottam Das Thakur's tirobhav festival...

When Mahaprabhu went to Bangladesh, He came to the Padma River. He took some water in His hand and threw it back into the river, calling and shouting, "Narottam! Narottam! Narottam!" At that time Narottam Das Thakur was not yet born, but Mahaprabhu was shouting... Everybody was surprised, "Where is Narottam? There is no Narottam here."

After Narottam Das Thakur appeared, he preached so much: Jiva Goswami Prabhu, Acharya Srinivas, Narottam Das Thakur and to some extent Shyamananda Prabhu—they preached together. Mahaprabhu gave His power to Srila Rupa Goswami, and Rupa Goswami gave that power to Jiva Goswami and sent him preaching. Later, Narottam Das Thakur preached in Bangladesh, Jiva Goswami preached here, Shyamananda Prabhu in Midnapore, and Acharya Srinivas in the North. They preached and protected our line, Rupa Goswami's line, the main conception.

Narottam Das Thakur is our Guru-varga. If you think how much he tried to preach, you will wonder, "How is it possible?" Lokannath Goswami, his Guru, did not preach so much, but you can understand how much Narottam Das Thakur preached and how he protected our line if you think about his songs. Almost all songs are written by him: "Thakura Vaishnava gana", "Hari haraye", "Ei bara karuna koro", etc. These are the kinds of songs he wrote, and there he gave the conception of Vaishnavism.

Up until Narottam Das Thakur, Mahaprabhu's conception was present nicely, but after him some misconception started coming. Narottam Das Thakur tried so much in his time because even at that time nobody followed Mahaprabhu's conception. It was also he who started one-day nonstop kirtan. He said, "There are 365 days in a year. OK, you can enjoy 364 days, but at least one day do a whole-day, 24-hour kirtan." And he started kirtan days in all the houses.

It is still going on in some areas of Bangladesh and Bengal. Narottam Das Thakur started it, but what is happening now? They do some kirtan with harmonium, mridanga, fancy ornaments and instruments, but what is happening now is fully a misconception—they are making business with kirtan. Now, people who have money bring some musicians and pay them to do sahajiya kirtan. They go house to house doing such kirtans for money—they do kirtan for one day, and after that they do their own things. They do not practise properly. What Narottam Das Thakur wanted to do is going now in another way.

After Narottam Das Thakur came Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. He searched, "What is Mahaprabhu's lila? What is His real conception? What is going on with that conception?" He searched in this way, and he found the real thing. He started collecting books—he collected some books from Midnapore, some books from Ramkeli, some books from Malda. Then, he joined Krishna Nagar and stayed in his house, Svananda Sukhada Kunja. This is how our main and real conception came out again through Bhakti Vinod Thakur, through Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, and then through our Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. They protected and kept our line.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj wrote in his Bhakti Vinod viraha-dasakam very nicely:

srigauranumatam svarupaviditam rupagrajenadrtam
rupadyaih parivesitam raghuganairasvaditam sevitam
jivadyair abhiraksitam sukasivabrahmadi sammanitam
sriradhapadasevanamrtam aho tad datum iso bhavan

"What was sanctioned by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by His descent was intimately known only to Sri Svarupa Damodara Goswami. It was adored by Sanatan Goswami and served by Rupa Goswami and his followers. Raghunatha Das Goswami tasted that wonderful thing fully and enhanced it with his own realization. And Jiva Goswami supported and protected it by quoting the scriptures from different places. The taste of that divine truth is aspired for by Brahma, Siva, and Uddhava, who respect it as the supreme goal of life. What is this wonderful truth? Sri radhapadasevana: that the highest nectar of our life is the service of Srimati Radharani. This is most wonderful. O Bhakti Vinoda Thakur, you are our master. It is within your power to allow them to bestow their grace upon us. You are in a position to bestow the highest gift ever known to the world upon us all. It is at your disposal. O Bhakti Vinoda Thakur, please be kind to us and grant us your mercy."

Who wrote this? Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj—he who protects our main conception wrote it in this way.

So, today is a very nice day—the disappearance day of Srila Narottam Das Thakur, Vaishnav Thakur...

এইবার করুণা কর বৈষ্ণব গোসাঞি ।
পতিতপাবন তোমা বিনে কেহ নাই ॥

ei-bara karuna kara vaisnava gosai
patita-pavana toma vine keha nai [1]

O worshippable Vaisnava, be merciful to me this time. O saviour of the fallen, without you there is no one.

কাহার নিকটে গেলে পাপ দূরে যায় ।
এমন দয়াল প্রভু কেবা কোথা পায় ॥

kahara nikate gele papa dure yaya
emana dayala prabhu keba kotha paya [2]

If anyone comes to you, their sins go away. Where can such a merciful master be found?

গঙ্গার পরশ হৈলে পশ্চাতে পাবন ।
দর্শনে পবিত্র কর এই তোমার গুণ ॥

gangara-parasa ha-ile paschate pavana
darsane pavitra kara—ei tomara guna [3]

If the Ganges touches someone, he is later purified, but you purify souls simply by seeing them—such is your power.

হরিস্থানে অপরাধে তারে হরিনাম ।
তোমাস্থানে অপরাধে নাহিক এড়ান ॥

hari-sthane aparadhe tare hari-nama
toma-sthane aparadhe nahika edana [4]

If one offends the Lord, the Lord's Name delivers him, but if one offends you, one has no salvation.

তোমার হৃদয়ে সদা গোবিন্দ-বিশ্রাম ।
গোবিন্দ কহেন মম বৈষ্ণব পরান ॥

tomara hrdaye sada govinda-visrama
govinda kahena—mama vaisnava parana [5]

Govinda always resides in your heart, and He says, "My devotees are My heart."

It is a very nice song, we must sing it today.

It is written in Acharya-vandana Narottam Das Thakur appeared in Sripat Khetari Dham,

sripat khetari dhama thakura sri narottama
tomate tanhara guna dekhi

What is written about Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur? "Prabhu, I can see in you the virtue that Narottam Das Thakur had!"

It is an auspicious day today. Narottam Das Thakur came and tried so much to protect our Mahaprabhu's sampradaya, the real conception, the teachings of Mahaprabhu. Who can protect it? Who is able to protect our sampradaya? You must go, preach, and you must practise properly.

We must realise this song,

এইবার করুণা কর বৈষ্ণব গোসাঞি ।
পতিতপাবন তোমা বিনে কেহ নাই ॥

ei-bara karuna kara vaisnava gosai
patita-pavana toma vine keha nai [1]

O worshippable Vaisnava, be merciful to me this time. O saviour of the fallen, without you there is no one.

"He Vaishnav Thakur! Only you are patita pavan!" "Tomara nikate gele papa dure yaya"—"if anyone comes to you, their sins go away."

ভুক্তি-মুক্তি আদি-বাঞ্ছা যদি মনে হয় ।
সাধন করিলেও প্রেম উৎপন্ন না হয় ॥

bhukti-mukti adi-vancha yadi mane haya
sadhana karile prema utpanna na haya

"If you have material desires, if you want liberation, enjoyment, some mystic powers, and so on, then even if you practise all life, or life after life, prem, divine love, will not come."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.175)

If you chant and practise but have material desires in your heart, you will not get the result—you will not get that kind of love, that kind of happiness, that kind of pleasure—but if you go to a Vaishnav, if you hear some Vaishnav-katha, Krishna-katha, then you will get some benefit.

সাধুসঙ্গে কৃষ্ণনামে—এই মাত্র চাই ।

সংসার জিনিতে আর কোন বস্তু নাই ॥

sadhu-sange krsna-nama—ei matra chai
samsara jinite ara kona vastu nai

I desire only to chant the Name of Krishna in the association of the sadhus. There is no other way to conquer samsara.

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 6.13)

That is why we must always remember the Vaishnavs, their appearance and disappearance days...

 

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