Our Disciplic Succession:
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Bhagavan Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad
"The Sun Never Sets on Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math":
Worldwide Affiliate Branches and Centres


SRI ANTARDWIP (Atma-nivedan)


Sri Nandan Acharya's Bhavan



By the mercy of Sri Gurupadpadma, we have now come to our next stop. You must all know where we have come and why we have come here. This is a very important place. This is the house (bhavan) of Sri Nandan Acharya.

As you all know, Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu appeared in this world in Sri Mayapur Dham, and Sri Nityananda Prabhu appeared in Sri Ekachakra Dham (its contemporary, official name is Birchandrapur). Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu is a combined form of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, and Sri Nityananda Prabhu is Lord Balaram Himself (we also sing in one of the kirtans, 'Balarama haila Nitai: Balaram became Nitai'). Although They assume two different forms, Krishna and Balaram or Gaura and Nityananda, They are in fact one, but They only manifest Themselves in two forms ('dui dehe eka-i rupa').

When Sriman Nityananda Prabhu was a youth of twelve years old, He left Sri Ekachakra Dham in the company of a mendicant monk (sannyasi) and travelled all over India, eventually reaching Vrindavan. There, overcome with transcendental mellows of divine love (Sri-Krishna-prema), He kept on looking for Krishna. One day, He received a divine message from the sky, saying, 'Krishna has now appeared as Gauranga and lives in Nadia. Go there, and You will find Krishna.' Sri Nityananda Prabhu immediately left Vrindavan and started off for Nabadwip. He ran there as if mad. Sometimes He would take some milk on the way, sometimes He fasted. In this fervent state, He entered Sri Mayapur Dham. Where did He first come? He came at the house of Sri Nandan Acharya where we are present now.

Sri Nandan Acharya Prabhu was a great, exalted devotee living on the bank of the Ganges in Nabadwip together with his spouse, Sri Sudevi Mata. Seeing Sri Nityananda Prabhu's sun-like radiance, although he could not recognise who He was, he worshipped Sri Nityananda Prabhu out of his natural devotion and humbly asked Him to stay at his house. This is how Sri Nityananda Prabhu came to stay at the house of Sri Nandan Acharya Prabhu. He spent here several days.

In the meantime, Mahaprabhu felt that Nityananda Prabhu had come. Not being able to tell devotees about it openly, He had to make up some excuse. At first, He told devotees, 'A great soul will come to Mayapur in a few days.' Devotees could not really understand what Mahaprabhu meant, so they did not say anything in reply. Later, Mahaprabhu said again, 'I had a strange dream today. I saw a chariot adorned with the flag of Balaram (featuring a palm tree) come to My house – a great soul got off the chariot and kept asking, "Where is the house of Nimai Pandit?" He must have certainly come to Mayapur. Please go and find Him, bring Him here.'

In those days, Mayapur was not what you can see now – there were not many houses, there were no grand temples or anything like that. Mayapur was a small village with, perhaps, only ten–twelve houses. Moreover, there were not so many houses between Yogapith (Mahaprabhu's home) and Nandan Acharya's house. However, when devotees went to look for that great soul, who was Nityananda Prabhu Himself, they could not find Him anywhere. They came back to Mahaprabhu and said that nobody had come to Mayapur. Then, Mahaprabhu said, 'Have you not found Him? All right, then I will go Myself!'

Such was the pastime of Gaura-Nitai. On the one hand, Sriman Nityananda Prabhu thought, 'My Lord must come Himself for Me – He must come Himself to bring Me!' On the other hand, Nityananda Prabhu is so hidden and esoteric that who is actually able to find Him? Do you think that anyone and everyone can so easily get Nityananda Prabhu's darshan? Can anyone and everyone attain Nityananda Prabhu's mercy? No. It is not so easy to find Him.

When Mahaprabhu personally went to look for Nityananda Prabhu, He went straight to the house of Sri Nandan Acharya Prabhu. Curious to know who that great personality was and what was happening, all the devotees came there with Him. When Mahaprabhu entered the house of Sri Nandan Acharya Prabhu, He saw Nityananda Prabhu sitting on the veranda. Seeing Gaura Hari, the Lord of His life (His 'Pranesvar'), Nityananda Prabhu looked at Him intently and, becoming overwhelmed with divine love for Him, fell unconscious. This was Their first meeting. Then, becoming overwhelmed with divine love, too, Mahaprabhu pulled Nityananda Prabhu up, seated Him on His lap and embraced Him. Both began to roll on the ground, swooning with divine love and crying. All the devotees (Haridas Thakur, Srivas Pandit, Chandrasekhara Acharya and others) were astonished to see this meeting – everyone began to chant kirtan out of great joy.

After that, Mahaprabhu took Sri Nityananda Prabhu and all the devotees to Srivas Pandit Prabhu's house; and from then on, Nityananda Prabhu mostly stayed there, together with Srivas Pandit and his spouse, Sri Malini Devi. He was very much like a son to them.

We should understand that when you stay within strict adherence to Vaishnavs (when you devotedly follow their instructions, with all sincerity and chastity), you can see everything; otherwise, without making any effort, without hearing anything, you will not see anything, you will not get any result.


This temple here at Sri Nandan Acharya's Bhavan was established by a most worshippable great Vaishnav and a godbrother of our Param Guru Maharaj, Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj – Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj. You should know who Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj is and what is our connection and relationship with him. You must remember this connection because without the knowledge of the relationship (sambandha-jnana), you will develop neither the knowledge of abhidheya (goal) nor the knowledge of prayojana (means to the goal).

Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj (his brahmachari name was Sri Aprakrta Prabhu) was a prominent disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. When Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur entered his eternal pastimes, Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj (Aprakrta Prabhu at the time), although a very senior brahmachari preacher, left the brahmacharya asram and went back to his house in great distress. His was born in a village called Patrasayer (our Betur temple is situated nearby). After some time, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj come to Sri Aprakrta Prabhu and said, 'Prabhu, you are living a family life now, let it be, but if you stay here, who will preach the conception of Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupad in this world? You have so much qualification for service and preaching – you must come back.' Then, Srila Aprakrta Prabhu said, 'If you give me sannyas, I will leave my home and family and come back.' Srila Sridhar Maharaj agreed and gave him sannyas and the name Sri Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj. From that time, he came back to his preaching services.

Srila Goswami Maharaj began to preach in various places. Trying to fulfil the earnest desire of Srila Prabhupad to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world, Srila Goswami Maharaj even went to London, where he kept preaching and, eventually, after much effort and having tolerated much austerity, managed to open a small centre. He also has temples in Kolkata, Jalpaiguri and other places. In his lifetime, he established twenty-four centres in various places, among which is the temple in Imlitala, Vrindavan, where Krishna was sitting when He decided that He would steal Radharani's heart and halo and come as Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj always helped our Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in various ways, especially during parikramas and with collection. Later, he finally established this temple here, at the place where the first meeting of Sri Sri Gaura Nityananda Prabhu took place. Srila Sridhar Maharaj had come here together with Srila Goswami Maharaj to see the land, and he gave Srila Goswami Maharaj much advice on what kind of temple to make, on the size of the nat-mandir and other aspects.

There is much that can be said about Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj. After taking sannyas in 1940, he always kept in touch with Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Our Srila Gurudev, Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, said:

'Once, Srila Goswami Maharaj gave a very special lecture. He explained that he and other great preachers were active in all directions, but they all waited to see what Srila Sridhar Maharaj thought about the quality of their preaching style. He used the phrase simha avalokana (a lion's glance), saying, "We are preaching over the whole world, but from time to time we look back to see whether Srila Sridhar Maharaj is happy with our preaching activities." "Simha avalokana" means when a lion goes some distance, it stops and looks behind to check the environment, then proceeds further, then again looks behind, and so on. In this way, Srila Goswami Maharaj described how all the preachers again and again looked towards Srila Guru Maharaj to see if their preaching had his approval.

'Srila Goswami Maharaj was the dearmost disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur – Srila Saraswati Thakur depended on his service. At the same time, although Srila Goswami Maharaj takes a unique position in Gaudiya Mission, he was very affectionate to our Srila Guru Maharaj. I have never seen him go against any decision of our Guru Maharaj; we can say he almost blindly followed whatever Guru Maharaj decided, but he was not a blind man – he had much faith in Guru Maharaj.'

Moreover, one year, during the circumambulation of Vrindavan, Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj personally worshipped Srila Sridhar Maharaj with one hundred and eight lamps, incense and other paraphernalia on the occasion of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's appearance day. Srila Goswami Maharaj performed this function, joined by many of his disciples and other godbrothers.

Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj was Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj's godbrother and sannyas-guru, but it is remarkable what kind of respect he had for Srila Guru Maharaj. Every year, Srila Goswami Maharaj's disciples would arrange a very fine Vyasa-puja celebration on the appearance day of Srila Goswami Maharaj, and Srila Goswami Maharaj would personally go to Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math to invite Srila Sridhar Maharaj to come to his temple on that day. Srila Sridhar Maharaj usually did not go to other temples, but he would always come to the temple of Srila Goswami Maharaj (this very temple where we are sitting now). Srila Goswami Maharaj not only invited Srila Guru Maharaj – he would give whatever presentations, whatever donations or gifts he had received from his disciples on that day to his sannyas-guru, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj.

One year, showing a pastime of feeling unwell, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj could not come to the festival in honour of Srila Goswami Maharaj's appearance, and that day Srila Goswami Maharaj said, 'Srila Sridhar Maharaj has been coming every year, and I have been getting one more year of life, but since he could not come this year, I think I will not be alive next year.' And this is what happened – a few months later, on 26 May 1964, Srila Goswami Maharaj entered his eternal pastimes.

After him, the acharya of the temple was Srila Bhakti Suhrd Akinchan Goswami Maharaj. He loved my Srila Gurudev very much. In 1995, when we were celebrating a grand festival in honour of Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's centenary anniversary, Srila Gurudev ordered me, 'Srila Bhakti Suhrd Akinchan Goswami Maharaj and Srila Bhakti Kumud Shanta Goswami Maharaj wanted to come, so go to Mayapur and bring them here.' I took a driver and brought Srila Shanta Maharaj and Srila Akinchan Maharaj to our temple in the Ambassador car (the one that is still kept in our temple in Nabadwip).

Also, my Gurupadpadma, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, composed the pranam-mantra of Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj:

divyam dirgha-bhujaravinda-nayanam sarasvatam sundaram
tejo-dipta-vapubudhaika-suhrdam karbura-garvapaham
pasandasura-chanda-danda dalanam dambhadri-dambholikam
vande vandya-kulabja-bhaskara-vibhum saranga-gosvaminam

'I offer my obeisance unto the beautiful follower of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Srimad Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj. He possesses a radiant form, long arms and lotus eyes. He crushes the pride of the wicked and squashes the cruel oppression of the heretics and demons. He is like a thunderbolt striking the mountain of hypocrisy. He is the sole friend of the intelligentsia and a shining sun above the lotus of the aristocracy.'


* * *


Coming to this temple, we must also speak about one more great Vaishnav, Srila Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj. Every year, he would lead our Math's parikramas of Sri Nabadwip and Sri Vrindavan Dham. In the end, he spent his last days living here, at this Sri Nandan Acharya Bhavan. Srila Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj took sannyas from Srila Sridhar Maharaj although was a prominent disciple of Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj.

Our Gurudev, Om Vishnupad Jagad-guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, told about him:

'Srimad Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj is my very old friend and a very close servitor of Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj. He is also an affectionate sannyas disciple of Srila Guru Maharaj. He knows me very well and has been very affectionate to me since my childhood. When I prayed to him, "I have no other way unless you join our mission for the parikrama," Srila Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj replied, "It is my duty to do it, so I must come". From that, you can understand what relationship he has with our Mission.

'Srimad Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj is actually the leader of our sankirtan party of Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama. He gives us much enthusiasm with his service mood, and he is very affectionate to me. He always makes us remember Srila Guru Maharaj's mercy. Although he is a disciple of Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj, he took sannyas from our beloved Guru Maharaj because he knows the mood of his gurudev (he distributes his mercy all over the world) and he knows how much affection and respect his gurudev had for our Guru Maharaj.

'Every year, Srimad Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj joins our temple for the service of Srila Guru Maharaj during Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama and comes at other times, too. He inspires me a lot in the service to my Guru Maharaj, and he is my very good friend. People here like to say, "He is my friend", "He is my friend", but what does a real friend mean?

sei se parama bandhu sei pita-mata
sri-krsna-charane yei prema-bhakti-data
aneka janme pita-mata sabe paya
krsna-guru nahi mile bhajaha hiyaya

'Those who give divine love for the holy lotus feet of Sri Krishna are my greatest friends – they are my father and my mother. Everybody gets a father and a mother in many births, but it is not in every birth that you can worship Sri Krishna and Sri Guru in your heart.'

(Sri Chaitanya-mangala, Madhya)

'Our real friends are those who give us real inspiration to serve the Lord, to serve our guru and Vaishnavs. In this way, I can say that Srimad Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj is my real friend: he always gives me enthusiasm to serve Srila Guru Maharaj. He is very humble and always tries to satisfy Srila Guru Maharaj. Bowing down at his holy lotus feet, I always pray to him, "Please give me your mercy so that I can serve my Lord, Srila Guru Maharaj." I bow down at his lotus feet and pray that he must be merciful to me, that he must always be with me until my death.'

Sripad Giri Maharaj fulfilled this desire of our Sri Gurupadpadma – he came to our Nabadwip Temple (in Koladwip) at the time when Srila Gurudev showed the pastime of leaving this world. Six years later, in 2016, he himself left us all and entered his eternal pastimes...


Coming to this supremely worshippable place, we humbly pray that wherever these exalted great Vaishnavs are now, may they mercifully cast a glance upon the fallen, lowly souls like us, may they give us the right to do service and always keep us engaged in any small service to our Sri Gurupadpadma.

Jay Sri Nandan Acharya's Bhavan ki jay.
Sri Nandan Acharya Prabhu ki jay.
Sri Sri Gaura Nityananda Prabhu ki jay.
Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj ki jay.
Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Suhrd Akinchan Goswami Maharaj ki jay.
Parama-pujyapad Sri Srimad Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj ki jay.


— • : • —




⇐ Sri Gaura-Dham and Sri Bhaktivinod

Sri Nandan Acharya's Bhavan ⇒



1 Appeal on Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama
2 Sri Gaura-Dham and Sri Bhaktivinod
3 About Dham Parikrama




(PDF, 25 Mb)