śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition

Year 11, Special Online Edition
Posted: 30 December  2018

Dedicated to
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

A genuine guru never hankers for profit, adoration, or prestige

a letter from Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Srila Bhaktivedanta Vaman Maharaja

All Glories to Śrī Śrī Guru and Gaurāṅga

Śrī Keśava Gosvāmī Gauḍīya Maṭha
Shaktigarh, P.O. Siliguri (Darjeeling)

Recipient of my affection, Umā,

bhramibo dvādaśa vane,
rasa-keli je je sthāne,
premāveśe gaḍāgaḍi diyā |
śudhāibo jane jane,
vraja-vāsi-gaṇa sthāne,
nivedibo caraṇe dhariyā ||

“I will roam the twelve forests, and wherever the Lord’s loving pastimes took place, I will roll in the dust in the rapture of divine love. I will entreat each and every person who lives in Vraja and supplicate myself, clutching their feet.”

Though this is the humble prayer of exalted, eternally perfected souls who have no hankering, they pray in this manner so that conditioned souls may be liberated from bondage. [In the matter of spiritual advancement] the potency and influence of place and time must be taken into account, as well as the candidate’s worthiness. In preliminary stages, although one cannot appreciate the pure transcendence of the Lord’s pastimes, a person of pure heart will obtain a glimpse of the divine Śrī Dhāma’s true form. The speciality of the cinmaya-dhāma, the realm of pure spirit, is such that it firmly establishes even those who are unworthy and ineligible in their respective spiritual qualification. 

As one understands the forests of Gauḍa and Vraja to be identical, one gains the eligibility to live within the Śrī Dhāma and comes to realize its transcendent, true form. To attain the service of the youthful couple of Vraja – Śrī Śrī Rādhā Govinda – under the guidance of Their beloved maidservants is the pinnacle of all achievement.

Prior to last year’s Dola festival, I saw several proofs of the annual Śrī Caitanya-pañjikā calendar. None of the proofs for the month of Agrahāyaṇa (December–January) and onwards were shown to me.*


* Śrīla Mahārāja’s disciples avoided showing him any of the drafts for the Agrahāyaṇaperiod (December–January), because they had secretly included his appearance day.

All of a sudden one day, Śrīpāda Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja said, “Your appearance day has been included in the calendar this time.” When I heard about this and came to know it, I was not able to be very pleased, because in my heart, I never crave profit, adoration, or prestige for myself, whether in front of my guru-varga or in their physical absence. Many people think it seems like I asked for this inclusion to be made. But I am completely opposed to advertising my date of birth like this. 

āmi to vaiṣṇava, ei buddhi hoile, amānī nā ha’bo āmī |
pratiṣṭhāśā āsi’, hṛdaya dūṣibe, haibo nirayagāmī ||

nija śreṣṭha jāni’, ucchiṣṭādi-dāne, ha’be abhimāna bhāra |
tāi śiṣya tava thākiyā sarvadā, nā laibo pūjā kāra ||

“If I think ‘I am a Vaiṣṇava’, I will never stop hankering for pratiṣṭhā (prestige). That desire for prestige will soil my heart and I will be set on the path to hell. If I think myself superior and allow others to take my remnants, I will become weighted down by arrogance. Therefore, I seek to remain your disciple forever and not accept worship from anyone.

”It is that last form of pratiṣṭhā, or ego, [of being a devoted disciple] that I shall surely have the good sense and courage to preserve, by Śrī Guru-pāda-padma’s causeless mercy.

Though you all feel a great deal of pride in connection with me, personally I find it embarrassing. I will not be able to make you understand this. However, surely it is necessary that I, too, have some freedom of thought.

May the Lord bless you with auspiciousness. May He grant you enthusiasm in bhajana and faith in bhakti. Your forbearance and tolerance will surely situate you at the height of honor. Routine study of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Jaiva-dharma, Śrī Harināma-cintāmaṇi and other such holy literatures is essential. Do not forget to always take advantage of the opportunity to hear hari-kathā. Perform pūjārcana (deity worship) according to your capacity. Chanting a lakh of Śrī Nāma is certainly the proper standard. I know that you are very committed in this regard. But do keep in mind one thing – it is also necessary for you to get adequate rest. Otherwise, if that does not happen, your sādhana-bhajana will be crippled by poor health.

 Your eternal well-wisher,
Śrī Bhaktivedānta Vāmana

Translated and presented
by the Rays of The Harmonist Team

Rays of The Harmonist On-line, Year 11, Special Edition, "A genuine guru never hankers for profit, adoration, or prestige", is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License to ensure that it is always freely available. You may redistribute this article if you include this license and attribute it to Rays of The Harmonist. Please ask for permission before using the Rays of The Harmonist banner-logo.