Śrīla Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja became blind by eating the sand of the Gaṅgā, but not internally blind. He used to constantly take darśana of Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Gaura Nityānanda Prabhu and our Guru-varga. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja was so learned, but from worldly perspective, it seemed as though he didn’t know how to sign his name. He was so learned in all śāstras. Śrī Bimala prasāda (Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda) made a vow that he would only be initiated by Śrīla Gaura kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, but Bābājī Mahārāja refused by saying, “I don’t want to initiate anyone, I am so foolish, I have not received any formal education, I am blind while you are a very learned person. Your father is Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, who is so learned and exalted. The whole world knows him, so I will not accept you as my disciple.”
Śrī Bimala prasāda again and again submitted his plea at the lotus feet of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, but Mahārāja refused every time. Then Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura came and told Śrīla Gaura kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, “What is our duty towards these unhappy persons, to all souls?”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja replied, “We should help them to advance in their Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”
The Ṭhākura replied, “Then why are you not helping this boy? You should help him, otherwise he will die. Are you not seeing how lean and thin this boy has become? He has given up eating and drinking and is always chanting harināma, so you should be merciful to this boy.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja smiled and accepted Śrī Bimala prasāda as his disciple and initiated him with the dīkṣā mantras. In India we don’t think of first and second initiation. We see, “Oh, harināma has been done, yes? Then that is first initiation.”
In India, harināma is given and then the dīkṣā mantras are given. Dīkṣā means second initiation. For an easy understanding Śrīla Svāmījī has classified initiation as first and second.
So Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda now being initiated began to preach from Śrī Māyāpura. Śrīla Prabhupāda preached all over Bengal. Śrīla Prabhupāda had only two or three sevakas at that time. One sevaka used to do ārati and arcana pūjana and Prabhupāda used to ring the bell. After that, our Gurudeva Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja came. At that time his name was Śrī Vinodabihārī Brahmacāri came. He was sixteen years of age and had just enrolled in college. He had come to take part in the circumambulation of Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma with his mother and aunt. Śrīmatī Sarojavāsinī Devī Dāsī was the first woman disciple of Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda. Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda had promised to not make any women-disciples, but Śrīmatī Sarojavāsinī Devī Dāsī with her exceptional intelligence and qualification made Śrīla Prabhupāda break the promise, after all Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda is śiṣya vātsalya.
She came to Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda and said, “Oh, you have no mercy towards ladies; you show mercy only to men? Is there any difference between men and women that you see, that you have only decided to initiate men and not women?” Śrīla Prabhupāda then decided to initiate ladies also.
So she took our Gurudeva to Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma to meet with Śrīla Prabhupāda. Our Gurudeva was so beautiful and intelligent. Śrīla Prabhupāda initiated our Gurudeva. He gave him harināma. Prabhupāda also decided to establish one maṭha in each of the nine islands of Śrī Navadvīpa and he also disclosed his sevā of establishing Maths all over India. Śrīla Prabhupāda established Maṭhas in Prayāga (Allahābāda), in Mathurā, Dvārakā, and several places. Prabhupāda also established Maṭhas in South India (Kovur and Chennai).
Then Śrīmatī Sarojavāsinī Devī Dāsī said, “You have such big plans, but you do not have enough Brahmacārīs.” Prabhupāda at once pointed to Śrī Vinodabihārī Brahmacārīs and said, “This very bona fide disciple of mine will help to open Maṭhas everywhere.” Gradually, centers were established everywhere; monthly magazines and books were printed and published in the Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, and English languages, and they were distributed everywhere.
A certain boy of eighteen or nineteen years of age came to meet Śrīla Prabhupāda and that certain boy who was exceptionally qualified and was very learned especially in the English language was Śrī Abhaya-caraṇa Bābū. You know Abhaya-caraṇa?
Devotees: Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda told Abhaya-Caraṇa Bābū to preach Mahāprabhu’s message in western countries and to write articles in the English language. Śrī Abhaya-Caraṇa Bābū took Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instruction very seriously and made his spiritual master’s order the most cherished ideal and goal of his life. In 1933 Śrīla Prabhupāda initiated Śrī Abhaya-Caraṇa Bābū, who became Śrī Abhaya Caraṇāravinda Dāsa. Śrī Abhaya Caraṇāravinda Dāsa began to preach with so much vigor. Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda was so bona fide. He gifted the world with his brilliant jewel-like disciples. Through his disciples and books Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda preached all over India and like magic attracted so many disciples from all over India to his lotus feet. Energetic, young disciples like Śrī Abhaya Caraṇāravinda Prabhu helped Śrīla Prabhupāda so much in his mission. Through Śrīla Svāmījī, Śrīla Prabhupāda also preached in the western countries and in a very short time the whole world bowed down to his lotus feet. Questions like: Who is God? Who am I? What is this world? Why am I suffering from the threefold miseries of life? All these questions were answered by Svāmījī. He preached Mahāprabhu’s message all over the world, as if by magic.
Gaura Premānande! Hari Haribol!
Devotee: Gurudeva, I want to ask you something. Today I asked a psychic boy as to why I keep getting a sickness in my ear and he said it is because of suppressed anger and I want to ask you how I can relieve myself of this anger which is affecting me?
Śrīla Gurudeva: You should have some anger inside you, don’t give it all up. If someone abuses your Gurudeva or Śrī Kṛṣṇa, you must make use of your anger. Otherwise we will end up like māyāvādīs, who deny the transcendental nature of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and who commit offenses to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa by saying He is formless, without shape and like a stone.