sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!

Rays of The Harmonist Fortnightly Edition

Issue 3, Fortnightly Centennial Edition
Posted: 2 August 2021

In honour of the centennial appearance year of
nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja

Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja

The Multifaceted Glories of Śrī Guru-pādapadma

Excerpts from the writings of

by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja 


Presented in English for the first time

SBVVGM for Fortnightly posting

A vow to worship the father of saṅkīrtana, Śrī Gaurasundara, under the guidance of Śrīla Saccidānanda Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura

Saṅkīrtana is our eternal occupation. When many people come together to perform kīrtana, that is saṅkīrtana. Śrī Gaurasundara is the father of saṅkīrtanasaṅkīrtana is Śrī Gaurāṅga’s son. It is our anxious prayer to everyone that we may take a vow from this day forth to engage in the main aspect of navadhā-bhakti, namely bhakti in the form kīrtana, while living in Śrī Navadvīpa, begging for the mercy of Śrī Gaurasundara, the Lord of Navadvīpa, and His intimate associates, the guru-varga, forever singing the glories of their qualities by their mercy. When many pure kīrtana performers come together in saṅkīrtana, it becomes more festive and enthusiastic. That is why we are conveying to our godbrothers the request to assemble in this saṅkīrtana and make our meager attempt at service festive and full of enthusiasm, and we are begging for their mercy in the words of Śrīla Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda:

ekākī āmāra nāhi pāya bala, harināma saṅkīrtane
tumi kṛpā kari, śraddhā-bindu diyādeha kṛṣṇa-nāma-dhane

“Alone I do not find strength in chanting the names of Hari. Mercifully give me a drop of transcendental faith and bestow upon me the treasure of Kṛṣṇa’s name.”

Surrendering to Śrī Hari, guru, and Vaiṣṇavas is the supreme good that destroys all obstacles

Although the path of bhakti alone is the right one, the granter of auspiciousness and happiness and of freedom from sorrow, fear and death, and even though one is not deprived of attaining results even if one takes shelter of the path of bhakti and runs with one’s eyes closed, there are still many obstacles seen on that path. All of these obstacles on the path of bhakti simply serve to reinforce the staunchness of bhakti. That which is an obstacle for others is, for the devotees, something that increases and nourishes bhakti. Brahmā has said: “O Mādhava! Those devotees who are attached to You never tread the wrong path. You protect them in every way. Thus protected by You, they roam fearlessly. They make obstacles the staircase to auspiciousness and thus ascend to Vaikuṇṭha. Hence, to destroy obstacles to bhakti, it is essential to take exclusive shelter of śrī guru, Vaiṣṇavas, and Bhagavān. Śrī gurudeva is the prakāśa-vigraha, or manifest form, of Śrī Bhagavān. He is non-different from Bhagavān. We venerate Him along with His associates:

nāma-śreṣṭhaṁ manum api śacī-putram atra svarūpaṁ
rūpaṁ tasyāgrajam-uru-purīṁ māthurīṁ goṣṭhavāṭīm
rādhā-kuṇḍaṁ girivaram aho rādhikā-mādhavāśāṁ
prāpto yasya prathita-kṛpayā śrī gurum taṁ nato smi

[I am fully indebted to Śrī Gurudeva. Why? He has given me so many things: the highest conception of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, the highest form of sound which contains the highest form of thought, aspiration, ideal, everything. And he has given me the service of our great savior, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and His dearmost assistant, Svarūpa Dāmodara. He has brought me in connection with Śrī Rūpa, who was ordered to distribute the heart’s innermost dealings, the highest devotional love, rāgānugā-bhakti. Gurudeva has given me Śrī Rūpa’s elder brother Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, who imparts sambandha-jñāna, a proper understanding of our relationship with Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and he has gifted me with Mathurā Maṇḍala, which will help me in my remembrance of Rādhā and Govinda wherever I shall cast my glance. By his grace Gurudeva has revealed the superexcellent position of Rādhā-kuṇḍa, the favorite place of Rādhā and Govinda for Their pastimes, and this Girirāja Govardhana. Lastly, he has instilled in me the hope that one day I can attain the service of Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Mādhava. My Gurudeva has given me all these assurances, so I bow my head with all respect to his lotus feet. (Translation by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Gosvāmī Mahārāja)] 

The multifaceted glories of āśraya-vigraha Śrī Guru-pāda-padma

Śrī gurudeva does nothing except kṛṣṇa-kīrtana at every moment. He is the embodiment of kīrtana ofhari-kathā and is supremely dear to Śrī Hari. His words are indeed Śruti [Veda]. By his mercy alone, we can know Bhagavān’s true nature, name, form, qualities, and pastimes. By his mercy, even the dumb become talkative. By his mercy, Śuddhā Sarasvatī, the pure Goddess of Knowledge, or Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta-vāṇī, manifests on the tongue of the living entity. By his mercy alone does the living entity become qualified to perform kīrtana of Hari’s qualities. In his mouth is the treasure-house of the gems of Śrī Hari’s glories. Śrī Hari has entrusted only his beloved (śrī gurudeva) with these invaluable gems. Śrī Gurudeva is not any ordinary devotee. He is the most beloved of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He is an eternally perfect inhabitant of Vraja. In madhura-rasa, he is a gopī, or maiden of Vraja. Śrī gurudevais Bhagavān in the form of an ācārya. He is āśraya-vigraha, the abode of love. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is bound by his love. His desires are Kṛṣṇa’s desires. His mercy is Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Darśana of guru is darśana of Kṛṣṇa. Love for guru is love for Kṛṣṇa. Śrī gurudeva is the eternal companion of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī Prabhu has said:

yadyapi āmāra guru caitanyera dāsa
tathāpi jāniye āmi tāhāra prakāśa

guru kṛṣṇa-rūpa hana śāstrera pramāṇe
guru-rūpe kṛṣṇa kṛpā karena bhakta-gaṇe

śikṣā-guruke ta jāni kṛṣṇera svarūpa
antaryāmi, bhakta-śreṣṭha—ei dui rūpa

“Although my guru is the servant of Śrī Caitanya, I know him to be a manifestation of Him. Scripture confirms that guru is the form of Kṛṣṇa. In the form of guru, Kṛṣṇa shows His mercy to the devotees. I know śikṣā-guru to be Kṛṣṇa’s true nature. As the Supersoul and the best of the devotees, He thus has two forms.”

Translated from Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja’s Prabandhāvalī

By the Rays of The Harmonist team

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