Extraordinary Glories of
Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Speaking online with devotees in Brazil
7 September 2014

 

I am very happy to see you all. I can see you very nicely and perfectly.

Today is a very auspicious day because today is the appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur. Param Guru Maharaj Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj wrote,

গুরুদং গ্রন্থদং গৈরধামদং নামদং মুদা
ভক্তিদং ভূরিদং বন্দে ভক্তিবিনোদকং সদা

guru-dam grantha-dam gaura-dhama-dam nama-dam muda
bhakti-dam bhuri-dam vande bhakti-vinodakam sada

"I perpetually offer my obeisance unto Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. Guru-dam: he is the bestower of Sri Guru (Bhagavan Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur). Grantha-dam: he is the author of numerous commentaries, treatises, articles, novels and songbooks. Gaura-dhama-dam: he is the revealer of the abode of Sriman Mahaprabhu. Nama-dam: he is the giver of the Name. Bhakti-dam: he is the granter of pure devotion. Bhuri-dam: he is the bestower of an abundance of divine fortune."

(Sri Laghu-chandrika-bhasya, 1.8)

What did Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur give us? Sachchidananda Bhaktivinod Thakur fulfilled Mahaprabhu's desire and gave us very nice things. What was main among those? Devotion is akinchana-guhya-vidya (sacred education, para-vidya, suddha-saraswati), and he who enhances devotion, its beauty and charm and distributes it to us is called Bhaktivinod Thakur. It is his appearance day that we are celebrating today.

He is sach-chid-ananda (full of eternity, knowledge, and bliss), non-different from Gauranga-svarupa-sakti (embodied potency of Gauranga), he is lila-maya vigraha (personification of pastimes), and he is rupanuga-vara (dear follower of Srila Rupa Goswami's footsteps).

You know and understand that when Mahaprabhu's teaching was going down by the influence of Kali, so many obstacles appeared at that time, and as Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur writes nicely, Bhaktivinod Thakur distributed pure devotion through his kirtan. You can read Saranagati and you will understand this.

সর্ব্বস্ব তোমার চরণে সঁপিয়া
পড়েছি তোমার ঘরে ।
তুমি ত' ঠাকুর, তোমার কুকুর
বলিয়া জানহ মোরে ॥

sarvasva tomara, charane sapiya,
padechhi tomara ghare
tumi ta' thakura, tomara kukura,
baliya janaha more

I have offered everything at Your feet and taken shelter in Your home. You are my Master; please consider me Your dog.

Saranagati, 19.1

বাঁধিয়া নিকটে আমারে পালিবে,
রহিব তোমার দ্বারে ।
প্রতীপ-জনেরে আসিতে না দিব,
রাখিব গড়ের পারে ॥

bandhiya nikate amare palibe
rahiba tomara dvara
pratipa-janere asite na diba
rakhiba gadera pare

"Tie me up nearby and maintain me. I will remain at Your doorstep. I will not allow anyone who is against You to enter, I will keep them outside."

"Tie me, bind me near your door like a dog, and if anyone who is against you, who does not have devotion comes, I will not allow them to come to you, I will keep them outside."

Bhaktivinod Thakur he is Nama-chintamani-jahari (jeweller, lapidary of the Holy Name)—he separated what is pearl from what is broken glass. He showed that there is a difference between pearls and broken glass. He was also the Nama-hatter parimarjik, sweeper (scourer) of the market of the Holy Name.

নড়ীয়-গোদ্রুমে নিত্যানন্দ মহাজন ।
পতিয়াছে নামহট্ট জীবের কারণ ॥

nadiya godrume nityananda mahajana
patiyache nama-hatta jivera karana

"In the land of Nadiya, on the island of Godruma, Nityananda opened a marketplace of the Holy Name for the deliverance of all fallen souls."

(Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)

He is distributing door to door what Nityananda Prabhu is giving to us! So many obstacles, so many aul, baul, kartabhaja, etc., so many sahajiyas and so many other people came and are disturbing pure devotion, but Bhaktivinod Thakur was like a sweeper—a sweeper of the Nama-hatta.

Bhaktivinod Thakur was manabhista-sthapak—it means that he fulfilled the desire (manabhista) of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He did so much bhajan, he had so many good qualities—his character is beyond our thinking capacity. We can sing,

sri-gauranga-parisada thakura bhakti-vinoda
dina-hina patitera bandhu
kali-tamah vinasite anilena avanite
toma' akalanka purna indu

Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur is an associate of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu and a friend of all low and fallen souls—to dispel all darkness of this dark age, he brought to this earth you, a spotless full moon.

He also gave Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur to us! Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj wrote,

গুরুদং গ্রন্থদং গৈরধামদং নামদং মুদা
ভক্তিদং ভূরিদং বন্দে ভক্তিবিনোদকং সদা

guru-dam grantha-dam gaura-dhama-dam nama-dam muda
bhakti-dam bhuri-dam vande bhakti-vinodakam sada

"I perpetually offer my obeisance unto Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. Guru-dam: he is the bestower of Sri Guru (Bhagavan Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur). Grantha-dam: he is the author of numerous commentaries, treatises, articles, novels and songbooks. Gaura-dhama-dam: he is the revealer of the abode of Sriman Mahaprabhu. Nama-dam: he is the giver of the Name. Bhakti-dam: he is the granter of pure devotion. Bhuri-dam: he is the bestower of an abundance of divine fortune."

(Sri Laghu-chandrika-bhasya, 1.8)

One time, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur wanted to go to Vrindavan but when he came to Tarakeshwar on the way, he visited the temple of Lord Siva, and Sivji Maharaj (Taraknath) said, "What are you going to Vrindavan for? Everything is here now! And what are you doing about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's birthplace?" After that, he did not go to Vrindavan—he came to Godrumdwip and discovered the birthplace of Mahaprabhu.

Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj wrote in his Bhaktivinod-viraha-dasakam,

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."

"What Jiva Goswami protected, what Suka, Siva, Brahma and others give respect to—that kind of Radha-pada-seva (that kind of exclusive service) you are distributing and engaging others in." Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur is so great. He is also called the saptam-goswami (the seventh goswami).

If he gives us some mercy, then we can glorify him. Srila Visvanath Chakravarti Thakur wrote one sloka in Srimad Bhagavatam, I read it the day before yesterday. He said in that sloka:

Many karmis, yogis, jnanis—everybody—reads Srimad Bhagavatam, but they are not getting the gist, the main things (pure devotion). Why is it so? Suppose there is a pure (sati, chaste) lady. She gives her love, her everything to her husband only—she may talk to everybody else, but she gives her internal things, her love and affection to her husband, not anybody else. In the same way, Srimad Bhagavatam also gives the gist, the main things, the pure things to those who have pure devotion. So, without mercy of Bhagavatam, we cannot explain Bhagavatam. You can see there are so many sadhus on TV explaining Bhagavatam, but they belong to the apa-sampradaya, they are telling apa-siddhanta (wrong conception, mayavadi conception), they are giving wrong interpretation. If Bhagavatam itself expresses itself to somebody, then they can understand Srimad Bhagavatam.

In the same way, only those whom Bhaktivinod Thakur gives his mercy can explain Bhaktivinod Thakur because Bhaktivinod Thakur's character is an ordinary character like ours—his character is so great, it is impossible for us to explain his glories...

Bhaktivinod Thakur did also one great job. When he was deputy magistrate in Puri, there was one yogi there called Bishkishan who pretended to be God. He would say, "I am Bhagavan andI will show my chaturbhuj murti (four-handed form)!" He declared that on the 14th of chaitra (chaitra is a Bengali month, corresponds to March-April) he would show Narayan murti with the sankha, chakra, gada, padma (holding the conchshell, wheel, club, and lotus flower). Actually, he preached again devotion. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur tricked him very cleverly. He arrested him and put into jail. Bishkishan had very big jata (matted dreadlocks), and Bhaktivinod Thakur and the prison officers cut it off his head. Then there was the trial and the sentence was one and a half years in prison. After that, Bishkishan tried to give some problem to Bhaktivinod Thakur's family, but he could not do that. You can see that through the Holy Name all kinds of bad things are removed: that man tried to harm the Lord's devotee but could not do it.

What more did Bhaktivinod Thakur give us?

কবে নিত্যানন্দ মোরে করি' দয়া ।
ছাড়াইবে মোর বিষয়ের মায়া ॥

kabe nityananda more kari' daya
chhadaibe mora visayera maya

"When will Nityananda be compassionate to me and relieve me from the mundane illusion?"

("Kabe habe bolo se dina amar" by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

How beautifully it is written.

সর্ব্বস্ব তোমার চরণে সঁপিয়া
পড়েছি তোমার ঘরে ।
তুমি ত' ঠাকুর, তোমার কুকুর
বলিয়া জানহ মোরে ॥

sarvasva tomara, charane sapiya,
padechhi tomara ghare
tumi ta' thakura, tomara kukura,
baliya janaha more

I have offered everything at Your feet and taken shelter in Your home. You are my Master; please consider me Your dog.

That is a song from Saranagati (19), it is very nice, you can sing it every day.

তব নিজ-জন প্রসাদ সেবিয়া
উচ্ছিষ্ট রাখিবে যাহা ।
আমার ভোজন পরম-আনন্দে
প্রতিদিন হবে তাহা ॥

taba nija-jana prasada seviya
uchchhistha rakhibe yaha
amara bhojana parama-anande
pratidina habe taha

"Whatever remnants your devotees leave behind after honouring Your prasad, I will eat that every day in great ecstasy."

"Your nija-jan (your associate, your own person) will take prasadam, and whatever remnants he keeps, I will take that every day and I will be happy." He writes and expresses things so nicely.

ki jani ki bale tomare dhamete
ha-inu saranagata

"I do not know by what force I have taken shelter within Your abode..."

Everything is there in his writings.

কবে হবে বল, সে দিন আমার ।
অপরাধ ঘুচি' শুদ্ধ নামে রুচি
কৃপা-বলে হবে হৃদয়ে সঞ্চার ॥
কবে হবে বল, সে দিন আমার ।

kabe habe bala se dina amara
aparadha ghuchi suddha name ruchi
krpa-bale ha'be hrdaye sanchara
kabe habe bala se dina amara

"Please tell me, when will that day be mine? When will my offences be removed? When will the taste for the pure Name arise in my heart by the power of mercy?"

('Kabe habe bolo, se dina amar?' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

It is written and expressed very nicely.

As I said, Bhaktivinod Thakur fulfilled Mahaprabhu's desire! "Pran achhe yar, sei hetu prachar (প্রাণ আছে যার সেই হেতু প্রচার): as long as you have life in the body, you must preach." He fulfilled Mahaprabhu's desire—he is "Chaitanyer manabhista sthapak"—he established himself as the fulfiller of Mahaprabhu's desire. We must see it in this way...

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur explains what is bhakti, and what is vinod. Bhakti means "akinchana-guhya-vidya," hidden, sacred education, para-vidya, or suddha-saraswati, and he who gives it in a very gorgeous, very glorious way, his name is Bhakti-vinod. Bhaktivinod is he who gives such kind of devotion and not only ordinary devotion, not only pure devotion, but with beauty, charm, everything. All glories are present in Bhaktivinod.

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay!
Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur ki jay!

 

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