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Remembering Srila Guru Maharaj (1)

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sripat Hapaniya Dham, Anniversary Festival,
2 April 2021, part 1, translated from Bengali


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, I am offering my full obeisance at the lotus feet of my Divine Master Om Vishnupad Jagad-guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj begging him for his causeless mercy, aspiring to serve him; after that, I am offering my full obeisance at the holy feet of all guru-varga, godbrothers, all the sannyasis, brahmacharis and devotees, praying for your mercy to this lowly soul.

As each year, we have come today to the holy appearance place of Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj in Sri Hapaniya Dham, where our Gurudev made this beautiful Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Ashram. Many of Srila Sridhar Maharaj’s godbrothers came here, and they also installed the Deities of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Gopinath. It is said in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (1.1.19): ‘Three Deities (Madan-mohan, Govinda and Gopinath) have stolen the heart and soul of Gaudiya Vaishnavs (followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu).’ Mostly, there are Gopinath Deities installed (the descendants of Nityananda Prabhu always installed Gopinath Deities). These Deities here were installed by Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj and other guru-varga on this day. On this occasion, we come here every year after Gaura Purnima (on the pancham dol day).

Pujyapad Jajavar Maharaj said that this place is non-different from Sri Varshana. This is a very high place. Even when there was a very big flood in 2000, there was no water in Hapaniya. The word ‘Hapaniya’ means ‘sweet water’, and water, especially coconut water, is indeed very sweet here. The place where the Deities are situated is the place where Srila Sridhar Maharaj was born. His family gave this place to the temple along with the Deities. Later, his sister Rama Didi and other family members gave all property to the temple. Gurudev took care of the land, and later, I started taking care of it. This is how this familial temple was established. This whole village used to be a place of brahmans, but in the course of time most of them left for big cities in search for jobs. In the olden days, brahmans spoke Sanskrit. In the family of Srila Sridhar Maharaj, family members did not speak Bengali at home – they always spoke Sanskrit. So, Srila Sridhar Maharaj was a very scholarly person and an expert in Sanskrit.

There is a lot we can learn from Srila Sridhar Maharaj’s life.


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Service Target
Question: It is said in the scriptures we cannot attain anything without the mercy of the spiritual master, how can we know that our service or our intention is reaching the heart of Gurudev.


Krsna haite chatur-mukha
'Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is nondifferent from Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and is the very life of Sri Rupa's followers. Srila Svarup Damodar Goswami, Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu, and Srila Sanatan Goswami Prabhu are most dear to Visvambhar.'
কৃষ্ণ হৈতে চতুর্ম্মুখ

Krishna is waiting for us, waiting to take our service, but we cannot understand it
because we are covered by illusory environment.