sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Issue 24, Fortnightly Centennial Edition
Posted: 4 October 2022
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
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja – Part 2
Appearing in English for the first time
“I will personally take care of you”
[The following incident took place four to five years before the disappearance of parama pūjyapāda Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Mahārāja.]
Once, when I (Rasika-rañjana dāsādhikārī) was in Navadvīpa, I went to offer praṇāmas to pūjyapāda Trivikrama Mahārāja in his bhajana-kuṭīra. As we discussed various topics, pūjyapāda Trivikrama Mahārāja said, “Once, in a conversation with Vāmana Mahārāja, I said to him, ‘Mahārāja when I will grow old, who will take care of me and make efforts to help me? I am getting worried about this even now.’ Vāmana Mahārāja replied, ‘You should not worry about this. If nobody will be there, I will personally take care of you and will personally clean your urine and stool. In this regard you need have no worry or anxiety.’ The way Vāmana Mahārāja said this to me actually made me free from any anxiety or worry. And he did not speak mere words. He has actually been very conscientious about this.”
While speaking this incident, tears began to roll down from the eyes of pūjyapāda Trivikrama Mahārāja.
[Memory by Rasika-rañjana prabhu, a householder disciple of Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja]
“Go and Accept Harināma and Dīkṣā from Śrīla Janārdana Gosvāmī Mahārāja”
Once, Guru Mahārāja – Śrīla Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja – was present at the annual festival of Śrī Gaura-vāṇī-vinoda Āśrama, established by Śrīla Bhakti Jīvana Janārdana Gosvāmī Mahārāja [a disciple of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda] in Khadagpur, West Bengal. Śrīla Guru Mahārāja had a very profound friendship with Śrīla Janārdana Gosvāmī Mahārāja.
A disciple of Śrīla Guru Mahārāja who also lived in Khadagpur had recently married. Knowing that Śrīla Guru Mahārāja was visiting Khadagpur, he came to Śrīla Guru Mahārāja’s room on the third floor of the āśrama. He brought with him his newly wedded wife, so she could receive the darśana and blessings of Śrīla Guru Mahārāja and also receive mantras from him. He and his wife offered praṇāma to Guru Mahārāja and the disciple introduced his wife to him. Guru Mahārāja understood why he had brought his wife and spoke directly to his wife: “You want to do harināma? Very good! Go and accept harināma and dīkṣā from Śrīla Janārdana Gosvāmī Mahārāja.”
Having received this order from Śrīla Guru Mahārāja, that disciple, along with his wife, went to the room of Śrīla Janārdana Gosvāmī Mahārāja on the second floor of the āśrama. He offered praṇāma to him and, informing him of the instruction that Śrīla Guru Mahārāja had just given him, requested him to bestow harināma and dīkṣā upon his wife.
Śrīla Janārdana Gosvāmī Mahārāja said to him, “Bābā, you should again go to your Guru Mahārāja, Śrīla Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, and have your wife take harināma and dīkṣā only from him. It is always best if both husband and wife are initiated by the same guru. Also, tell him that I am asking this: Does he not consider this maṭha his own? Is that why he does not want to give harināma-dīkṣā here? And also, if he makes anyone his disciple, does that person not become my disciple also? Does he consider us separate? Go and tell him that I am requesting him to grant harināma and dīkṣā to your wife.”
That concerned disciple again went to the third floor, to the room of Guru Mahārāja, and told him all that Śrīla Janārdana Gosvāmī Mahārāja had said to him. Śrīla Guru Mahārāja said, with a mild smile on his face, “Hari hari! Kabe mui vaiṣṇava cinibo? – O Hari, when I will be able to understand a Vaiṣṇava?” He gave harināma-dīkṣā to that disciple’s wife and told them, “Now go and offer praṇāma to pūjyapāda Janārdana Gosvāmī Mahārāja and inform him that I have obeyed his order.”
Such a wonderful relationship was there between them.
In truth, narrowmindedness does not exist in the hearts of śuddha Vaiṣṇavas, nor do they have a conception of “mine” and “not mine”. In their vision, every jīva is part and parcel of Bhagavān. They fully realize that we are all in the line [paramparā] of Śrīman Mahāprabhu and a display of any kind of discrimination towards another maṭha or towards the residents of another maṭha shows a lack of tattva-jñāna and transcendental realization.
[Memory by Śrīpāda B. V. Siddhāntī Mahārāja from Śrī Devanānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha, Navadvīpa. Śrīpāda B. V Siddhāntī Mahārāja, previously Patita-pāvana dasa, is a disciple of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja.]
“That Swāmījī came for darśana of Gopālajī a few days ago”
For a long time Śrī Guru Mahārāja – Śrīla Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja – nourished a desire to have the darśana of dadhi-manthana-daṇḍa-dhāri Śrī Bāla-gopālajī [child Kṛṣṇa who holds the churning stick in His hand]. This deity in Udupi was established by Śrī Madhvācārya, the principal ācārya of the Brahmā-Mādhva-Gauḍīya sampradāya. For various reasons, however, Śrīla Guru Mahārāja’s visit to Udupi never seemed to happen.
Once, while staying at the house of a devotee in Bhubaneshwar, Guru Mahārāja decided to take four sevakas with him to Udupi, and he arranged for the air tickets. Two days before they were due to leave, however, Guru Mahārāja became unwell and had to return to Kolkata and cancel his trip. He was a little saddened by this.
In Kolkata, some household devotees and brahmacārīs came for darśana of Guru Mahārāja and came to know of his desire and his inability to go to Udupi because of ill health. Two of those brahmacārīs decided to take a photo of Guru Mahārāja to Udupi, and through that photo, give him darśana of Gopālajī. They booked their tickets, and upon arriving in Udupi, they went to the temple for darśana. When the darśana doors opened, they held up the picture of Guru Mahārāja, so that Guru Mahārāja could have Gopālajī’s darśana.
When the pujārī came out and saw the two brahmacārīs holding up a photo of a sannyāsī before Gopālajī, so that the person in the photo could take darśana of Gopālajī, he came closer and saw the picture of Guru Mahārāja. To the brahmacārīs surprise, he said, “This swāmījī came for darśana of Gopālajī, just recently, a few days ago. I placed a prasādī garland around his neck and gave him some laḍḍu prasāda from Gopālajī. That swāmījī offered daṇḍavata-praṇāma to Gopālajī and offered some praṇāmī (donation) for His sevā. At that time, Swāmījī was alone; no one was with him.”
The two brahmacārīs couldn’t believe the words of the pujārī, as they had seen Guru Mahārāja in Kolkata in ill-health and completely resting, as per the advice of the doctor. Still, they did not mention anything about Guru Mahārāja’s illness to the pujārī.
When they returned to Kolkata, they informed the sevaka of Guru Mahārāja of everything they had heard from the pujārīof the Udupi temple. The sevaka then asked Guru Mahārāja, “Guru Mahārāja! Did you go to Udupi for darśana of Gopālajī?”
Guru Mahārāja did not say a word in response, but smiling, nodded his head in affirmation. Thus he indirectly confirmed that while staying near his sevakas in one svarūpa, he had certainly gone to have the darśana of Gopālajī in another svarūpa. This incident is just one example of his supra-mundane (atimārtya) character.
Memory by Śrīpāda Dvijā-kṛṣṇa prabhu
(Śrīpāda Dvijā-kṛṣṇa prabhu is a dīkṣā disciple of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja and śikṣā disciple of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, whom he served as a personal servant until the end of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja's manifest presence. Dvijā-kṛṣṇa prabhu heard this pastime from the late Śrī Vaiṣṇava dāsa brahmacārī, a dīkṣā disciple of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, who was one of the two brahmacārīs who visited Udupi).
Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team
from Śrī Śrī Bhāgavata Patrikā, Year-18, Issues 1-9 & 10-12
Śrīla Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja Centennial Special Edition-1 & 2