sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year 3, Issue 1, Amāvasyā Special Edition
Posted: 10 February 2021
Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja
A Bengali class given by
Appearing in English for the first time
By the mercy of this mahāpuruṣa [Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja], in the time spanning the past twenty-six years, Kali has not yet been able to exert any influence over me. I offer my śraddhā-puṣpāñjali unto the lotus feet of this mahāpuruṣa.
Here, in this very place, in Koladvīpa, smārta-brāhmaṇas, sahajiyās and other such persons attacked Śrīla Prabhupāda – there was absolutely no scope whatsoever to preach here. But this mahāpuruṣa solidly established Koladvīpa in the face of those very same people. I surrender unto this mahāpuruṣa.
During the time of Śrīla Prabhupāda, all the prominent scholars of Bangladesh, such as Bompendu, Tarka Vidyānidhi, Vedānta Śekhara and Vidyā Varidhi, severely opposed him. Years, later, after Śrīla Prabhupāda had entered nitya-līlā, Guru Mahārāja invited all of them on the occasion of the installation of the deities [at Śrī Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha]. The temple hall [nāṭya-mandira] had not yet been built. He seated them, his chief guests, on chairs with tables before them. In that assembly, they spoke words of confession. “We could not understand Prabhupāda and that he was a mahāpuruṣa. None of us could recognize him then, and we opposed him strongly. We are gradually realizing now, however, that he was truly a mahāpuruṣa. During his manifest presence, we could not understand his glory and we opposed him.”
Why did they say this? Who made them realize it? Causing such adversaries to understand Śrīla Prabhupāda’s glory was this mahāpuruṣa’s guru-sevā.
In just a few days, Mahāprabhu ‘caught’ Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and others. He made them completely inclined to His lotus feet, manifesting His glory to them. Similarly, after Śrīla Prabhupāda’s disappearance, my guru-pādapadma made all the highly esteemed so-called scholars touch [recognize] the glory of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s lotus-feet.
They further said, “What Sarasvatī-deva [Śrīla Prabhupāda] was unable do at that time because of everyone’s [our] opposition – oh, by his mercy, you have totally done by establishing Koladvīpa here. It is permanent now!”*
* Even after Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura confirmed that Śrī Māyāpura, the birthplace of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, is on the eastern bank of the Ganges, still it was a popularly held belief that Śrī Koladvīpa was actually the original Māyāpura.
How else is he glorious?
Guru Mahārāja brought Asutosh Mukharjee, a leading Sanskrit scholar and a dig-vijaya paṇḍita, as well as all other stalwart, scholars – gold medalists... [and made them bow at Śrīla Prabhupāda’s lotus feet].
Once, when Guru Mahārāja was not here, I, also, invited them. They came, quickly spoke something and ran back to their places. They did not even stay to hear my kathā. But when Guru Mahārāja was present, he would be surrounded by these persons, just as a lion roams about surrounded by asses. Such a mahāpuruṣa was my guru-pādapadma.
It was here [at Devānanda Maṭha] that he would unequivocally and in a thunderous voice shatter their philosophies. He, also, was attacked, but not as Śrīla Prabhupāda was. A few times, some tried to thwart him in ordinary ways.
It is unto such a mahāpuruṣa that, first of all, we offer ourselves and our puṣpāñjali. Sometimes we, the members of Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti – men, ladies, youths, sannyāsīs, and everyone else – hold divergent opinions, but despite this, we have remained together until now – by his mercy only. We have seen others separate.
No hari-kathā, therefore, can be spoken at this place without extolling the glories of this mahāpuruṣa. By speaking of him, topics about Śrīla Prabhupāda will [naturally] arise, and by speaking about Śrīla Prabhupāda, topics about Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura will arise. Both preached the inner heart’s desire (mano’bhīṣṭa) of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura.
We surrender, therefore, unto the lotus feet of this mahāpuruṣa.