Reviving Srila Prabhupad's Preaching

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
12 May 2012

 

When we go on Vrindavan parikrama, we always go to Kadamba-khandi, it is a very good place, and there is also Srila Sridhar Maharaj's sloka written there...

Srila Sridhar Maharaj stayed at Pavan Sarovar. At that time, in 1937, there were many problems at the temple of Chaitanya Math, and two groups were fighting between each other. Srila Sridhar Maharaj did not want to stay with fighting people, so he decided to go to Vrindavan and do bhajan; but when he came to Vrindavan, he got some akash dhvani—a sound came as if from the sky, "What did I give you sannyas for? For your own self? So that you become a big Vaishnav? For your bhajan?" He was staying and chanting in Vrindavan like a sadhu, but when he heard that, he hurried away from Vrindavan. He remembered also, "বৃন্দাবনে গিয়া না থাকিয়া চির কাল, Vrndavane giya na thakiya chira kal: when you go to Vrindavan, do not stay there for a long time," and thought it was a bad idea to stay there.

He left and stayed at the bank of the Ganges, where he put up a long bamboo pole with a flag and made a thatched house. Once there was a snake living in his room and, when somebody brought it to Srila Sridhar Maharaj's notice, he replied, "What is the problem? It does not disturb me. I do not disturb the snake, why would the snake disturb me?" His bed was just some straw—not a cushioned mattress, but straw; and as a pillow he used bricks with some straw on it. This is how he slept. These were the first days in the history of the Math...

I heard from Gurudev that many Godbrothers would come to meet him, including even Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj. In those days, Goswami Maharaj was a householder. Because there were so many problems at the temple, he returned to his house and got married. Srila Sridhar Maharaj went to his house and asked him, "Prabhu, you got married, but who will preach Prabhupad's conception? What will you do now?" He said, "Maharaj, if you give sannyas to me, I can leave my wife and come back again." Then he came back, joined again. He was so powerful. He made Imlitala temple in Vrindavan, and a temple in Nabadwip, Nandan Acharya Bhavan. (When we go on parikrama, we first stop at Madhav Maharaj's temple, pay dandavat there, and then go to Nandan Acharya Bhavan. It is the place where Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu first meet.)

Every year when Goswami Maharaj had his birthday, he would invite his sannyas Guru, Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Even though Goswami Maharaj was senior to Sridhar Maharaj, he took sannyas from him, and he would say, "My Guru comes every year, and my age increases by one more year. I get one more year of life." Whatever pranami he would get for his birthday, he would give it all to Srila Sridhar Maharaj. One year, however, Srila Sridhar Maharaj could not come, and Goswami Maharaj said at that time, "This year my sannyas Guru, my siksa Guru, could not come—I will not live until my next birthday. I will die." And that happened...

 

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