sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year 15, Special Issue
Posted: 8 February 2022
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Special Online Edition for the 125th appearance day of
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
śrī śrī guru-gaurāṅgau jayataḥ
Heralding auspiciousness for the entire world on the occasion of
oṁ viṣṇupāda paramahaṁsa parivrājakācārya-varya aṣṭottara-śata-śrī
Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja’s 67th Appearance Day
A Collection of Flowers
The Speciality of Śrīla Ācāryadeva's Mercy
(śrīla ācāryadeva ki kṛpā-vaiśiṣṭya-kusuma cayanikā)
by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
namo oṁ viṣṇupāda śrī-bhakti-prajñāna keśava
śrī prabhupāda preṣṭhāya gaura-pārṣada rūpiṇe
I offer obeisances unto oṁ viṣṇupāda Śrī Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava, dearly beloved of Śrī Prabhupāda, and associate of Gaurahari.
śrī caitanya-mano’bhīṣṭa pari-pūraka mūrtaye
gaura-sārasvatāmnāya ācāryāya namo namaḥ
You are the personified fulfilment of Śrī Caitanya’s innermost desires, teacher of the divine Gaura-Sārasvata message. I bow repeatedly unto you.
gūḍānurāgiṇe tubhyaṁ śrī-siddhānta-sarasvatī
śrī-gaura-karuṇā-śakti-svarūpāya namo namaḥ
You are possessed of profound attachment for Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī and you are the personification of Śrī Gaura’s compassion potency. I bow unto you.
kṛṣṇa-tattvajña-samrāje kṛti-ratnāya te namaḥ
You subdue and rectify those who are antagonistic toward the conclusions of the rūpānugas, you are the sovereign of those acquainted with the truth of Kṛṣṇa, and you are kṛti-ratna, which means “each of your accomplishments is an exquisite jewel”. I bow unto you.
🌸 1st Flower 🌸
I address you, who fulfilled the heartfelt ambitions of Śrīla Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. You are his beloved companion and foremost of his heirs!
Following jagad-guru Śrīla Prabhupāda’s disappearance pastime, the Rūpānuga-Sārasvata Gauḍīya current was forced to progress along a treacherous path, rife with innumerable obstacles. Śrī Prabhupāda’s genuine servants were severely tested. The stories about this are heart-rending.
In that period, the preaching centres Śrīla Prabhupāda had established began closing down one by one. The publications of the spiritual periodicals in Bengali, Hindi, English, and Sanskrit, namely, the Gauḍīya, Bhāgavata, The Harmonist, and Sajjana-toṣaṇī, stopped. The worldwide reverberations of the bṛhad-mṛdaṅga, or printing press that published literature concerning pure devotion, also ceased. Pilgrimages to Śrī Dhāma Navadvīpa, Vraja-maṇḍala, Kṣetra-maṇḍala and other places dwindled into obscurity.
Those brahmacārīs and others living in the maṭha whose faith was too tender gave up the maṭha lifestyle. Without shelter, they returned to their previous āśramas (stations in life). Some of the brahmacārīs and sannyāsīs scattered here and there, and began performing bhajana in solitude, idly passing their lives somehow or other. Everyone became passive and bewildered, through and through.
During these dark days of Sārasvata-Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, you established the Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti. On Śrīla Prabhupāda’s order, received in a dream, you accepted tridaṇḍa-sannyāsa in Śrī Kaṭwā, the sacred spot where Śrīman Mahāprabhu enacted his sannyāsa-līlā.
Taking a firm vow to fulfil Śrīla Prabhupāda’s innermost desire and preach the message of Śrī Gaurahari (gaura-vāṇī), you freed the checked flow of the Sārasvata current and spread it not only throughout all of Bengal, but also Bihar, Assam, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and other places all over India.
You were the first to revive Śrī Navadvīpa parikramā and to start publishing a monthly spiritual magazine, Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā, once again. You were even the first to revive pilgrimages to Vraja-maṇḍala, Kṣetra-maṇḍala, Dvārakā-dhāma, Badrī-Nārāyaṇa-dhāma, Naimiṣāraṇya, and the holy places of South India, by which you reinitiated the preaching of gaura-vāṇī everywhere.
Revived and enthused by these actions you took to preach bhakti. Your godbrothers followed your example. The Sārasvata Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava family is and always will be in your debt for restoring momentum to the virtually extinct current of Sārasvata-Vaiṣṇavism. I offer repeated obeisances unto your lotus feet, which are more soothing than millions of moons and which inspire fearlessness.
🌸 2nd Flower 🌸
Śrīla Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura was a direct associate of Śrī Gaura. Once you heard his message of pure devotion, you could not bear to be separated from him, and though still in your tender teenage years, you gave up, as if they were bits of straw, the love of your doting mother, the infatuation of friends, grand opulence and wealth befitting a king, the desire for prestige and the thrills of an upper-class education, and offered yourself wholeheartedly at the feet of your śrī guru, thereby becoming supremely dear to him.
In the early days of preaching Śrī Gaura’s message, when there were only three or four people living in the maṭha with Śrīla Prabhupāda and he was conceiving of his wide-reaching plan to establish centres around the world to preach pure devotion, he would say with firm conviction: “This Vinoda will manage all of these centres.”
Śrīla Prabhupāda would engage you in intimate and confidential services. He was so pleased with you that he adorned you with the title Kṛti-ratna, “he whose achievements are veritable jewels”, which was a divine utterance (vāṇī) of blessing, indicative of devotion.
When the rogues of Kuliyā – antagonists of pure religion – made their atrocious attack, you repeated the ideal of guru-sevā, as shown once before by Śrī Rāmānujācārya’s prominent disciple, Śrī Kureśa, who is the exemplar of a guru-sevaka.
By subduing various disruptive individuals and factions who opposed the practice of devotion, you served Śrī Gaura’s divine name (śrīgaura-nāma), Śrī Gaura’s holy abode (śrī gaura-dhāma) and Śrī Gaura’s heartfelt desires (śrī gaura-kāma) in so many ways, which was the cherished desire (mano’bhīṣṭa) of your śrī guru, and you continue to do so. O you who are the dearly beloved of your guru and foremost of ācāryas, I offer my respects millions and millions of times unto your lotus feet.
🌸 3rd Flower 🌸
The first time you led Śrī Dhāma parikramā after Śrīla Prabhupāda orchestrated his pastime of disappearance, you were victimized by the kulāṅgāras (those who brought disgrace to the Sārasvata Vaiṣṇava family), who are antagonistic to guru and Vaiṣṇavas, yet you nevertheless exemplified the model of tolerance, that is, taror iva sahiṣṇutā – being more tolerant than a tree.
Despite an onslaught of unwarranted cutting remarks of ——, you displayed the pinnacle of humility – tṛṇād api sunīca (being more humble than a blade of grass), mānada (deference), and amānī (modesty) – resulting in the palpable bewilderment and astonishment of your godbrothers in recounting the said events.
Satisfied by the modest service of your surrendered and exclusively devoted disciple Anaṅga-mohana Brahmacārī, you blessed him with the attainment of love for Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa’s divine abode, thereby establishing the blazing ideal of protecting and nurturing one’s dependents.
Hearts as dry as wood or stone melt upon remembering you. Seeing your disciples experience even the slightest difficulty causes you great distress, and you are always endeavouring to fortify them with the realized knowledge of their relationship with Kṛṣṇa. You are the concentration of Śrī Gaura’s compassion. You are the personified form and preceptor of the statement: “kīrtanīya sadā hariḥ – constantly sing and chant the glories and names of Hari.”
I surrender my all unto your lotus feet!
🌸 4th Flower 🌸
You encompass the specialities of your predecessor ācāryas while remaining luminous in your own speciality and originality.
You established Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti to correct the common erroneous notions that the purport of Vedānta-sūtra is nirviśeṣa-jñāna (monism) and that the followers of Śaṅkara’s doctrine are ‘Vedantists’. You established it to propagate the fact that Vedānta-sūtra’s true and only purport is kṛṣṇa-bhakti and that Vaiṣṇavas, specifically Sārasvata Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, are the true Vedantists.
Preserving the distinction of your own bona fide tridaṇḍi lineage and, at the same time, preserving the special contributions of previous ācāryas, you manifested the tradition of the “Bhaktivedānta” name.
You are non-different from Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, Śrī Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa and Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in the way you devise ever-new, wondrous, and unassailable arguments that refute Māyāvāda and various misguided anti-bhakti sects and complement your svapakṣa (family). We repeatedly perform ārati to your lotus feet!
🌸 5th Flower 🌸
Armed with the resolute evidence from scripture and wielding the razor-sharp weapons of your invincible arguments, you shattered the foundations of Sahajiyāism, thereby delighting Śrīla Prabhupāda and his dear associates.
In Māyāvāda kī Jīvanī, you pulverized the fortress of Māyāvāda by the force of your innovative arguments and scriptural evidence, proving that it is really covert Buddhism.
You have displayed your dedication to following in the footsteps of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and your wondrous power of creativity in the following articles: Śrī Janmāṣṭamīr Dārśanik Ālocanā – A Philosophical Study of Śrī Janmāṣṭamī, Pradīpa-śikhā – The Lamp’s Flame (the introduction to Prema-pradīpa), Āmāra Vaktavya (the introduction to Śrī Rūpānuga-bhajana-sampat), Cālanī Au Sūca – The Sieve and the Needle. With one profound little article, “Nimbāditya and Nimbārka are Not the Same Person”, you silenced all the misguided, baseless chatter of those relishing “Nimba rasa” [which also means “bitter neem juice”].
Your book Acintya-bhedābheda served as a razor-sharp trident to dismember the three-headed demon of those who betrayed your guru– Vāsudeva, Sundarānanda and the prominent sahajiyā Haridāsa – and their philosophies, which were opposed to the current of Śrī Sārasvata-Gauḍīya conceptions. Thus you served Śrīla Prabhupāda’s cherished ambitions and accomplished the grand task of protecting the sampradāya.
In Assam, within the most formidable fortress of the Haṅkara sampradāya, in a huge assembly, you refuted all of their unfounded arguments like a fearless lion, establishing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as Bhagavān Himself and the pre-eminence of pure devotion. At the Akhila Baṅgīya Saṅskṛta Sammelana (Bengal-wide Sanskrit Conference) in Chuchura, you showed no concern for public opinion by refuting the karma and jñāna that are opposed to the Lord, as well as Māyāvada and other misguided philosophies. You then established pure devotion to Kṛṣṇa, thus highlighting your role as ācārya in preaching the uncompromising truth. I offer my repeated obeisances unto your lotus feet, O Ācārya Keśarī (lion-like teacher).
🌸 6th Flower 🌸
When you read the description of Śrī Ratha-yātrā from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta during the grand festival of Śrī Ratha-yātrā, you became submerged in the ocean of vipralambha-rasa and began to weep, causing all the listeners to weep. You display such humility when extolling Śrīla Prabhupāda’s glories in front of his samādhi temple in Śrī Dhāma Māyāpura that even hearts as hard as thunderbolts melt and seep out through the channels of the eyes. O foremost of acāryas ! You are the personification of the ocean of vipralambha-rasa and you hold the message of Śrī Rūpa and Raghunātha so dear. I offer millions upon millions of obeisances unto your lotus feet, which are venerated by the hosts of demigods.
🌸 7th Flower 🌸
In Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma (which is Vraja), on the island of Śrī Koladvīpa (which is Śrī Govardhana), in the region of the island that corresponds to the rāsa-sthalī, you established the presiding deity of that part of the dhāma, Śrī Śrī Kola-deva, in the Samiti’s main temple. There, you manifested the wondrous Śrī Śrī Rādhā Vinoda-bihārī, Kṛṣṇa embraced by Śrī Rādhā, who is absorbed in the infinite ocean of vipralambha-rasa and imbued with the exalted state of divine love referred to as adhirūḍha-mahābhāva. On the one hand, in a splendorous and unprecedented manner, you demonstrated your role as an ācārya in the line of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, and on the other, you revealed your own magnificent speciality and originality. O Rūpānuga Ācārya! May you be forever victorious!
🌸 8th Flower 🌸
In an astonishing way, you have revealed the ideal of guru-niṣṭhā and the most sublime principles of guru-tattva in the verses of Śrīla Prabhupāda-āratī; conviction in Śrī Gaura-Kṛṣṇa in the verses of Śrī Śrī Gaura-Govinda Maṅgala-ārati; conviction in Śrī Vṛndā-devī in the verses of Śrī Tulasī-ārati, and guru-niṣṭhā, upāsya-tattva (the truth of the deity), upāsya-niṣṭhā (faith in the deity) and acintya-bhedābheda-tattva (the truth of simultaneous oneness and difference), all together, in Śrī Śrī Rādhā Vinoda-bihārī-tattvāṣṭaka. These songs are great, invaluable and immortal gems of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava literature and contain the most sublime illustrations of confidential philosophical truths, profound scholarship, peerless esoteric expertise (rasikatā), and that fathomless flavour of love called vipralambha (longing in separation).
In order to spread the message of Śrī Caitanya all over this Planet Earth, you convened the grand sacrifice (mahā-yajña) of saṅkīrtana.
O most exalted of the teachers in the line of Śrī Vyāsa, on the occasion of your appearance and its celebration, my sole fervent prayer at your lotus feet is that I, too, may be able to offer my life as mere kindling in fulfilling this great sacrifice, which is your cherished ambition.
O ocean of compassion and foremost of ācāryas! The specialities of your mercy are blossoms of divinity – infinite and innumerable. Never could they be counted! I have plucked but a few petals from them and, in a childish effort, attempted to worship your feet in the way that one makes oblations of Gaṅgā water to the Gaṅgā herself. Kindly reveal a glimpse of your transcendental message within my heart and grant me the eligibility to serve your dearest ambitions.
Praying for mercy,
Tridaṇḍi-svāmī Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa
From Śrī Bhāgavata-patrikā, Year 9 Issue 12 (1963)
Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist