Srila Prabhupad: Universal Benefactor
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Today is our Param Gurudev Om Vishnupad Bhagavan Sri Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur's appearance day. Every year we celebrate this day in honour of Bhagavan Sri Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupad in a grand way. Actually, if he had not come to this world, we would not have been able to get our Guru Maharaj, our Gurupadpadma—we do not know to whom we would have surrendered, where we would be staying.
After Mahaprabhu finished His pastimes (lila), there were Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Sanatan Goswami, and after that Srila Narottam Das Thakur, Acharya Srivinas, Shyamananda Prabhu, Srila Jiva Goswami Prahbu were expanding and running Mahaprabhu's line and preaching Mahaprabhu's conception properly. After them however so much misconception came to this world—aul, baul, kartabhaja, neda, darvesh, sani, sahajiya, sakhibekhi, smarta, jata gosai.. So many apa-sampradayas came to this world.
Then, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur appeared in Birnagar, Nadia district, in a village called Ula. He was a district magistrate in Krishnanagar and other places and he started searching what Mahaprabhu's actual conception was. He saw that instead of Mahaprabhu's conception numerous apa-sampradayas, sahajiyas, were spreading so much misconception in this world. Through his prayers, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur searched and discovered Mahaprabhu's birthplace and made so much contribution to the revival of Mahaprabhu's line. He tried to preach Mahaprabhu's real conception. One time, he and his wife Srimati Bhagavatai Devi prayed to Lord Jagannathdev and Bimala Devi (this is the name of Laksmi Devi within Jagannath Temple), "Please, send someone who can preach Mahaprabhu's conception in this world." After that, Srimati Bhagavati Devi and Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur got a son—they named him Bimala Prasad because he came as prasad (mercy) from Bimala Devi.
Later, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur stayed in Godrumdwip, Svananda-sukhada-kunja (you know this place—we visit it during the parikrama of Sri Nabadwip Dham). Bimala Prasad also stayed there, and Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur taught him the proper conception. One day, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur sent him to take initiation from Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj. At first Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj did not want to give him initiation, but eventually he agreed. In this way, Bimala Prasad got initiation from Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj and later, when he took sannyas, he became known as Bhagavan Sri Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
At some point, he promised that he would complete chanting one hundred crores Holy Names and after that start preaching Mahaprabhu's proper conception, but as he was chanting the Holy Name, one day Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharva Giridhari came in front of him and Srimati Radharani said, "You must preach pure conception of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, the combined form of Radha-Krishna." Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, "I am alone, how will I preach?" After that so many great scholars (dig-pals) came to help him—our Param Gurudev Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Prajnan Keshav Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Kamal Madhusudan Goswami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Vichar Jajavar Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Kumud Shanta Maharaj and many others. This is how Prabhupad started preaching the proper conception in this world, and it is owing to him that we are here now, that we can preach now. That is why we must glorify Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
During his lifetime, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur accepted Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj as the next preacher of Srila Rupa-Raghunath's line. We know that Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj sang Sri Rupa-manjari kirtan in front of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur when he was very sick, and after he finished singing Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur left his body. Even before that, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj pleased Srila Prabhupad with his Srimad Bhaktivinod-viraha Dasakam where he wrote
srigauranumatam svarupaviditam rupagrajenadrtam
"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."
He wrote so many things, actually. He also wrote song prayers in glorification of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur ('Sujanarvuda-radhita-pada-yugam yuga-dharma-dhurandhara-patra-varam...'). This song is now very famous and is sung in every temple of Gaudiya Mission all over the world. Everybody loves this song. Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj also wrote Sri Gaura Saraswati Arati:
jayare jayare jaya gaura-sarasvati
"All glory to the voice of Sri Gauranga, the embodiment of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur's mercy, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur!"
prakasile gaura-sevabhuvana mangala
"He manifested Sri Gauranga's service for the upliftment of the world. His teaching of devotion is pure, brilliant, and enlightening."
If we realise the meaning of this song, we can remember that Srila Prabhupad was present in this world for sixty-four years and he established sixty-four temples in India during this time. He preached proper conception and demolished all misconceptions. Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj composed this sloka,
"With his first step, he vigorously cut asunder the whole plane of exploitation, and with his second, he put a stop to all the calculations of the different scholars with their different conceptions of liberation. With his third step, he eased the hard rules and regulations by a touch of the Divine Love: he gave us the worship of Sri Sri Radha and Govinda. The real existence of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad is in his divine teachings. May those teachings dance eternally within the core of your heart."
Srila Prabhupad declared a totalitarian war against maya. It is also written,
শ্রীগৌরাঙ্গ-পারিষদ ঠাকুর ভক্তিবিনোদ
sri-gauranga-parisada thakura bhakti-vinoda
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 is an associate of Sriman Mahaprabhu and he appeared in this world through Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur. Today is his holy appearance day, and on this day we pray to him, "Prabhu, wherever you are staying, wherever your pastimes are now, be it Goloka Vrindavan or anywhere else—please forgive my offence; please, give us some mercy so that we can preach your proper conception in this world." That is our hope and that is our prayer to him.
Jay Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad ki jay.
Devotee: Jay Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa Jaga-Guru Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj ki jay
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