His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
We know that there are six goswamis in Sri Vrindavan Dham,
জয় রূপ সনাতন ভট্ট রঘুনাথ ।
jaya rupa sanatana bhatta raghunatha
"All glory to Sri Rupa, Sanatan, Raghunath Bhatta, Sri Jiva, Gopal Bhatta, and Raghunath Das."
These are the six goswamis, and after that so many great personalities, Sishur Ghosh among them, told, "There were six goswamis, but after that we can see that there is only one person who is a goswami—the seventh goswami—and his name is Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur." So, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur is the seventh goswami in our line.
We also see and sometimes sing the glorification of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur where it is 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 [Srila Saraswati Thakur], a spotless full moon."
Sri-gauranga-parisada—Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur is an associate of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Kali-tamah vinasite—to demolish the darkness of Kali, he brought a spotless full moon (akalanka purna indu). Who is that moon? Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj also wrote Sri Bhaktivinod-viraha Dasakam, it is a very big poem consisting of ten slokas, but I want to recite one very important sloka from it. I want to say that.
শ্রীগৌরানুমতং স্বরূপবিদিতং রূপাগ্রজেনাদৃতং
sri-gauranumatam svarupa-viditam rupagrajenadrtam
"The internal purport is known to Sri Svarupa Damodara by the sanction of Sri Gaurachandra, of that which is adored by Sri Sanatana Goswami and distributed by the preceptors realized in transcendental mellows, headed by Sri Rupa Goswami; that which is tasted and enhanced by Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami and followers and carefully protected by the votaries headed by Sri Jiva Prabhu; and that which (from a respectful distance) is venerated by great personalities such as Sri Suka, Lord Siva, the chief of the demigods, and Lord Brahma, the grandfather of all beings—wonder of wonders! the nectarine rapture of servitude unto Sri Radhika—that, too, you can give us."
It means: Sri Svarup Damodar Prabhu knows its purport with the sanction of Sri Gaurachandra, Sri Sanatan Goswami worships it, Sri Rupa and other acharyas of rasa-tattva (transcendental loving relationship with the Lord) distributed it, Sri Raghunath Das Goswami and others tasted and become enriched by it, Sri Jiva Goswami and others protected it, and Sri Sukadev, Lord Siva (Primeval Lord of Lords, Devadideva), Lord Brahma (the Father of All Creation), and others give respect to it—what is it? It is the nectar (rasamrita) of the worship of the holy lotus feet of Sri Radha. And you, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, are a perfect person, you can give that kind of things! That is Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur.
At first, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur was a school teacher. Later, he got a job of a magistrate and served at Puri. When he was in Puri, he prayed and thought, "All this misconception has to be demolished! Please, Prabhu, bring, send someone who can distribute the proper teaching!" Then, he and his wife Bhagavati Devi went to Jagannath Temple and asked Bimala Devi (Laksmi Devi Deity installed at Jagannath Temple), "O Bimala Devi! Please give us a son, a personality who could preach proper teaching in this world!" Bimala Devi was pleased with their prayer and gave them a son whose name then became Sri Bimala Prasad (later, he took sannyas and became renowned as Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur).
After that, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur was transferred to many places in Bengal and Bangladesh area also, and during this time he collected many holy books. Having read those books, he thought, "Everything that is going on in this area is a misconception!" Later, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur discovered Mayapur and, having established everything within Sri Nabadwip Dham, he gave full charge to Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
I am telling you only a little bit from his biography. The biography of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur is very long. If you see and read his Bhajan-rahasya, you will get a very sweet taste. He wrote so many wonderful books—Jaiva-dharma, Saranagati songs. "Emana durmati samsara bhitare padiya achhinu ami", "Amara jivana sada pape rata nahika punyera lesa", "Sarvasva tomara, charane sapiya, padechhi tomara ghare, tumi ta' thakura, tomara kukura, baliya janaha more", etc. This is very nice! Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur composed and gave us very sweet songs. What he has given us has never been given by anybody in this world.
Today is the disappearance day of this Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur. In his final years, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur settled in Godrumdwip. When you go for Nabadwip Dham Parikrama, you can see Gaura Gadadhar, his worshippable Deities. He also often visited Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj, who was at that time an ancient and very powerful Vaishnav in Nabadwip. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur chose to stay in Gaura Mandal. Staying in Godrumdwip, he would sing,
Gurudev! Bestowing a great mercy on me, you have given me a place in Sri Godrumdwip amidst the forests of Gauda. You ordered me: "Reside in this abode which is non-different from Vraja and chant the Lord's Name."
কিন্তু কবে প্রভো, যোগ্যতা অর্পিবে,
kintu kabe prabho, yogyata arpibe,
But when, O master, will you mercifully grant this servant the qualification to do this? When will my heart become steadfast? When will I tolerate everything and serve the Lord exclusively?
"My mind is always fickle. When will my mind become very concentrated on Krishna consciousness? And when will I be able to tolerate everything and always think about and worship the Lord?"
In my childhood and youth, I always indulged in material happiness and I have become habituated to bad things. Because of my own sins, this body has become an impediment to spiritual practice.
"My life in my childhood and my youth was such that my habit became very bad and I cannot worship the Lord now, I cannot change my habits! I always live amidst bad habits! This body has become an obstacle to worshipping the Lord, and this is all my fault, it is not anyone else's fault!"
বার্দ্ধক্যে এখন, পঞ্চরোগে হত,
vardhakye ekhana, pancha-roge hata,
Now aged, I am afflicted by five-fold diseases. Tell me, how shall I serve? Crying incessantly, I have fallen at your feet, utterly bewildered.
I am suffering from five disease (pancha-roga)—avidya (ignorance), asmita (false identification), raga (misdirected love), dvesa (aversion to anything that goes against one's enjoyment), and abhinivesa (being unable to give up unfavourable habits). Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur cries, "Prabhu, I am very sad! I cannot worship You! My habit is very bad and I cannot worship You properly!" He has so much humility, so much tolerance...
There are so many things that can be said in glorification of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur! There are so many pastimes in his life, he also showed so many miracles in his life, especially when he was in Puri. The main thing, however, is that Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur brought to us the pure current of Mandakini, proper consciousness, and this current is still flowing in this world allowing us to get some taste of the nectar that was distributed by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur (the nectar of service to the holy feet of Sri Radha—Radha-pada-sevamrita). If we can get this kind of taste, then we will understand what for our life is—what for we have got this human body and what for we have come to this world. It is necessary to surrender properly. We always say saranagati, saranagati, saranagati, but it is necessary to know what surrender is and to surrender properly.
দৈন্য, আত্মনিবেদন, গোপ্তৃত্বে বরণ ।
dainya, atma-nivedana, goptrtve varana
"Humility, self-submission, embracing the Lord's guardianship, maintaining the faith that 'Krishna will certainly protect me', engaging only in activities that are favourable to devotion, rejecting everything unfavourable to devotion. These are the six types of saranagati, and if you can surrender in all the six ways, Krishna will hear you."
This song was also written by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur...
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