Singapore, February 13, 2001, AM
Today is the birthday of jagad-guru Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. Prior to him no one went to distant western countries. No one ever crossed the ocean, nor did anyone want to. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, however, ordered Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, "Not only in Bengal; not only in India. I want that we should preach Krishna consciousness like Narada - crossing all the oceans and making the whole world as one." He predicted that so many western devotees - white, and Indian devotees - black, will very soon meet and dance together. Together they will perform kirtana here and there, and they will preach the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu throughout the whole world: harinama sankirtana. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. He said that very soon 500 western devotees will come. Along with them, we Indians will dance and sing and preach everywhere. Now it is going on.
But who did it? Srila Prabhupada. He wished for it, and he ordered Srila Swami Maharaja to do it. Before this he ordered his three disciples, Sripad Bhaktihrdaya Van Maharaja, Bhaktisaranga Gosvami Maharaja, and Bhaktipradipa Tirtha Maharaja, to go to England. They went there and met with Lord Jetland, who was perhaps at that time the minister of Indian affairs, and told him about this mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They also met with so many other highly cultured and highly ranked persons. By doing only this, however, bhakti was not preached widely.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura wished that it should be preached everywhere. He told Srila Swami Maharaja, "You should be ready to preach." My Guru Maharaja then gave him sannyasa and told him, "Now you can go and preach everywhere." After that Srila Swami Maharaja came to the western countries to fulfill the order of his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. In a 'new style', the style of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he performed nagara-sankirtana - chanting Hare Krishna, and also Sri Krishna Caitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasadi Gaura-bhakta-vrnda. He met with hippies and made them be happy.
He began by preaching to the lower class, and thus very soon, in a couple of years, he made so many disciples - mostly teenage girls and boys. If necessary, he was prepared to tell them, "If you like meat, I will arrange a boarding house and I will supply everything. But you should once chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare." He also called those who had come from India to make money, those who were studying advanced engineering, medicine, and so on, and thus he preached everywhere very quickly.
I think that his Gurudeva Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura must be very happy and pleased. By his efforts the mission of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami was fulfilled and preached everywhere. Unfortunately however, after his disappearance the western devotees became very weak because there was no strong personality to save them, to protect them, and to associate with them. Many became weak and gave up everything. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura never wanted this.
We should be very strong and preach everywhere. Don't fall down. Try to first become Krishna conscious householders, and then become renounced like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. It is not that we should go from the renounced order to household life. We should always remember this.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura took birth in Jagannatha Puri, and it was foretold about him, "Utkale purusottama. A high class of devotee will appear in a very exalted devotee family in Orissa, in Puri." And it so happened. When Prabhupada was born, there were some signs on his body of yajna-pavitra, sacred thread, tilaka, and other things. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura also said about him, "A mahapurusa has come, and he will preach throughout the world."
He was very bold. He never compromised with sahajijas, sakhibhekhis, mayavadis, or anyone. Even when he was alone - with the whole world one side and he on the other, he would never compromise with anyone. Our Guru Maharaja was also like this, and I also never want to compromise with anyone who is not in pure bhakti. Our disciplic line is like that. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana prabhu, Srila Jiva Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and all others in our line never compromised. Anyone who can follow them will have bhakti.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has said that to chant Krishna's name, the maha-mantra, is non-different from taking darsana of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You need not worry about when darsana will come. Try to take darsana of Radha and Krishna, Mahaprabhu, and Nityananda prabhu in Their names. The holy name is more powerful and merciful than Krishna himself. Then why worry? We worry because we have no faith. Otherwise we can see everything.
When he was a boy of 16 years, Srila Sarasvati Thakura was a master of astrology. He was the best astrologer in all of Bengal and all of India. At that time the governor of Bengal and all Bengal astrologers and high class of cultured learned persons gave him the title 'Siddhanta Sarasvati.' This title was only for astrology, however, not for bhakti, because those persons did not know anything about bhakti. Some time later he became Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. He was as that time one of the greatest philosophers in the world - in the four classes of Vaisnava thought and also that of the Mayavadis. The Mayavadis never came to discuss anything to him because they used to fear him so much. He published all the Vedic bhakti literature, and also the literature of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. If he was not there at that time, all the one hundred books of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura would have been lost.
Asutosa Mukarjee, governor of Bengal during the
British period, kept a seat - only for him - in
Calcutta University, which was the only university in
all of Bengal, Orissa, and Bihar. However, Srila
Sarasvati Thakura did not accept that seat. He told
them, "I have not come to this world to count
Today is also the disappearance day of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, who was a very bold and pure devotee. I know that he was so bold. He met with me and he liked all my books. That is why he told his devotees, "You can associate with Narayana Maharaja if you want bhakti." That is why almost all his disciples came to me and I am helping them. I must help them.
He was very brave and very bold. I heard him say on one of his cassette tapes that even if a guru or any other devotee is chanting on a big, big five-kilo mala, it will not do. If he is duplicitous, hypocritical, and political, and if he is criticizing Vaisnavas, then he is not even a Vaisnava, what to speak of a guru. He has boldly said everywhere that you should not follow all these so-called gurus and Vaisnavas. You should be in the association of a high class of Vaisnavas and gurus who are bhagavatas, who exemplify the qualifications of guru as given in Srimad Bhagavatam. In order to give this understanding he used to tell the truth, following our guru-parampara line.
For this reason almost all became against him. They warned him not to go here and there, to England or France or Australia - they banned him. They wanted to ban his tongue, but he was not such a cowardly person that he could be controlled by anyone. Also, what I have written, and what Srila Jiva Gosvami and others have written, he accepted: the jiva never came from Goloka Vrindavana - never. This idea is absurd. Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja made a booklet, with so many references from the books of Srila Swami Maharaja and other acaryas, proving that it is absurd to think that any jiva can fall down from that realm and forget Krishna. Those who think so are all wrong, and he used to tell this very boldly everywhere. They wanted to ban him from speaking about Radha, the gopis, vraja-prema and the sweet pastimes of Krishna in Vraja, but he was not controlled. He wrote down so many pastimes of Krishna, and he used to cite examples from Rasa-pancadyaya, Brahmara-gita, and other important scriptural references.
He did this because he was a Vaisnava from birth, and he practiced the principles of bhakti from his boyhood. He was totally in my line, or I may be in his line. Not only this - he was in the rupanuga Vaisnava line. I also very boldly relate hari-katha, the pastimes of Krishna. Otherwise, if we do not do this, hari-katha may leave the entire world, and the world will then be like zero. Vaidhi-bhakti cannot control Krishna. We should know what is raganuga-bhakti, and what is the love and affection had by the Vrajabasis for Krishna.
In the Caitanya Caritamrta, Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has written: "If I do not tell the confidential pastimes and truths about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then no one will understand them." He also wrote, "I am not writing for those who have no taste in these topics. And they will also not read this. On the other hand, those who have taste are like cookoo birds. They will come, and they will read, and they will taste all these things."
In this way, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja has explained so many truths. He has especially said that we should always associate with a high class of Vaisnavas who are not criticizing any other Vaisnavas, who are not committing offences to any Vaisnavas, and who are not engaged in politics and duplicity. We should try to follow all these things, and then we can have Krishna.
Gaura premanande, Hari Hari bol.
We will glorify Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura tonight, at the home of Taruni. Now we will offer puspanjali.
Typists: Sulata dasi and Kanaka Manjari dasi