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Remembering Guru-Varga

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Bankura Anniversary Festival,
26 January 2021, part 1


মূকং করোতি বাচালং পঙ্গুং লঙ্ঘয়তে গিরিম্ ।
যৎকৃপা তমহং বন্দে শ্রীগুরুং দীনতারণম্ ॥

mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim
yat krpa tam aham vande sri-gurum dina-taranam

"The dumb can speak, the lame can climb a hill—all it takes is mercy from Gurudev."

(Bhavartha Dipika)

First of all, I am offering my full obeisance at the holy lotus feet of Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, begging him for his causeless mercy, after that I am offering my obeisance to all Guru-varga, to all my God-brothers and sisters, to all the listeners, to all the motherly lady devotees, to all devotees, and I am praying to you all for your mercy to this low soul.

Today is a grand annual festival in honour of establishing the temple and inauguration anniversary of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharva Radha-Raman.

Many of you know that our Guru-varga Pujyapad Srila Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj stayed at the house of Sripad Ramanath Prabhu (he works as a school teacher). Srila Giri Maharaj was a surrendered disciple of Pujyapad Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj, but he took sannyas from our temple, from our Guru Maharaj Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. He was a very senior preacher. He was a very strong-built and he cultivated the land himself. When he was young he would eat three kilograms of rice every day—one kilogram in the morning, one kilogram at noon, and one kilogram in the evening. He was very strong. I heard from him that even bulls and cows would be scared of him—when the cows grazed or roamed around, they would always keep close to him, and nobody could understand that.

Later, Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj got a land in Mayapur, and Srila Giri Maharaj stayed there. After Srila Goswami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Suhrid Akinchan Maharaj became the acharya of the temple. Srila Giri Maharaj came from there and took sannyas from Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. He had a family before that, but he left everything.

Patrasayer (Bankura) is also the birthplace of Srila Giri Maharaj's guru, Pujyapad Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj. After Srila Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur left this world, he came back to this area. His name was Sri Aprakrita Prabhu at that time. Later, when he took sannyas, his name became Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj. Srila Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur gave him shelter, but when Srila Prabhupad left, he was devastated and came back to his home seeing all the fighting and problems at the temple. Soon after that, Srila Sridhar Maharaj came to his house. [Opening Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya-mukta-mala, His Divine Grace remarks, "Srila Giri Maharaj's photograph is included in our book Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya-mukta-mala, there is a short article in his memory there."] When Srila Sridhar Maharaj came here in Patrasayer, he told Srila Goswami Maharaj, "Prabhu, you are a senior preacher. You must preach Prabhupad's teaching, but what will happen if you stay in your family? Will you be following Mahaprabhu's teaching? We all came in Prabhupad's time, and we must continue Prabhupad's line."

You know, in his youth, Srila Prabhupad vowed to chant 'sata-koti nama-yajna'—he made a promise to chant a billion Holy Names (a hundred koti, or crores; one crore is ten million). During this time, Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharva Govindasundar came to him and told him to preach Mahaprabhu's teaching. Srila Prabhupad said, "I am alone, how will I preach?" The Lordships replied, "You do not need to worry about that. I will send My own associates." This is how so many big, great acharyas came to this world, including the Founder Acharya of ISKCON (Srila A.C. Bhaktivendanta Swami Maharaj Prabhupad), our Param Guru Maharaj Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj (Kunja Babu), Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Prakash Aranya Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Sambal Bhagavat Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Gaurav Vaikhanas Maharaj, later Srila Bhakti Srirup Puri Maharaj also came...


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Srila Gaura Kishor Das
Babaji Maharaj
The transcendental pastimes and character of a great Vaishnav of our sampradaya: 'Why are you staying here in Radha Kunda? You must come to Nabadwip. My Lila is not in Vrindavan, now My Lila is going on in Nabadwip, so you must come here.' And he came here..


Sri Sri Damodarastakam
'O Supreme Godhead, I offer my obeisances unto You. O Damodara! O Ananta! O Visnu! O Master! O my Lord, be pleased upon me. By showering Your glance of mercy upon me, deliver this poor ignorant fool who is immersed in an ocean of worldly sorrows, and become visible to my eyes.'

Actually, devotees do not leave service—service leaves them.