THE DIVINE SERVITOR : PART ONE (GLORIFICATION BY THE DEVOTEES)
Dr Dolgobinda Shastri,
Director, Jagannath Research Centre, Orissa,
M.A. Ph.D. (Utkal), M.A. (Sanskrit), M.A. (Journalism) (Cal),
Kavya-Vyakaran-Puran Tirtha (Cal),
Bhaktishastri (Nabadwip). Retd. O.E.S. Principal.
4th December 1990
Towards the last quarter of 1947, I was directed by His Divine Grace Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj to start a Sanskrit school at 7 Sitakanta Banerjee Lane, Kolkata, the old ancestral house of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, the founder of the worldwide organisation 'ISKCON'. By then, that house was rented as the second branch of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Kolerganj, Nabadwip.
Srila Guru Maharaj, my Siksa-guru, asked me to teach Harinamamrta vyakarana, kavya, alankar, and chanda to his brahmacharis, amongst whom was Sri Gaurendu and Sri Hari Charan.
I found Sri Gaurendu, now our Sri Govinda Maharaj, to be extraordinary, most intelligent, and endowed with exceptional memory power. He could reproduce every lesson the next day without mistake. I taught him some metres of Chanda Manjari, like tunak, totak, mandakranta, etc., but to my utter astonishment, he composed Sanskrit verses in those metres within a few days. One day he narrated before me that he had addressed a gathering of more than two thousand people to whom he explained the feeling, thinking, and willing faculties relating to devotional practice. I asked him to explain it elaborately and he did so, nicely. Generally this is a topic to be taught to graduate students of philosophy. This was my second astonishment: that a boy of eighteen, without a general school education, could grasp and explain intricate psychological terms so correctly, so nicely!
I had to change my attitude and approach towards him. Such qualities as he displayed cannot be manifest in anyone without sadhana of a previous life or the special krpa of a siddha guru. At that time my vision changed and from then onwards I saw him as the embodiment of service to his beloved Guru Maharaj.
Gradually our intimacy was transformed to a level of friendship, and when we both were alone we would chant bhajans. Mostly there were three songs—badasi yadi kinchidapi; madhava! bahuta minati kari toya and tatala saikate—that, from his sweet tone, would drench us both with tears. The element of the divine love of the highest stage was his natural instinct.
From the very beginning I understood that Srila Guru Maharaj was trying to shape Gaurendu according to his own image and he wished to make him his successor. I could also understand that as Srila Guru Maharaj liked me much, it was my divine obligation to contribute the best I could towards the fulfilment of his cherished desire. From 1947 until the last day of my stay in Calcutta in 1961, I was in closest touch with both of them. Then, after nearly thirty years, by Srila Guru Maharaj's divine will I was compelled to return to Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math; and found to my utmost satisfaction that Srila Guru Maharaj had fulfilled his wish to his heart's content and then departed to his eternal abode. He transmitted whatever treasure he had—mental, intellectual and spiritual—to his most beloved disciple, Govinda Maharaj, and merged in him. This is "Union in Separation." His Samadhi Mandir now stands there at the Math as the embodiment of "Union in Separation." Anyone who wants to see Govinda Maharaj and Guru Maharaj united in one whole can stand before the Samadhi Mandir, observe it from top to plinth floor, once read the verses inscribed on the marble plaques, stand again in front of the Deity of Srila Guru Maharaj, and read the Sanskrit verses composed and inscribed below the Deity—and he will find what Govinda Maharaj is.
At last, to all devotees of Srila Guru Maharaj, I assure them that they will receive everything from Govinda Maharaj that they ever expected from Guru Maharaj. Amrta, Govinda and sundar were very much liked by Srila Guru Maharaj and were solace of his life-breath. He has combined these three into one, in Govinda Maharaj, and left for his eternal abode keeping him here for you all. His Govinda is amrta, his Govinda is sundar: let all of you taste the ecstasy of his Govinda Sundar.
— : CONTENTS : —
Part Two: DISCOURSES by His Divine Grace Srila B.S. Govinda Maharaj
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