Srila Gurudeva always served with the moods of the Vraja-devīs. Someone once brought mahā-prasāda from the Dvārakādīśa Temple to Śrīla Gurudeva. Gurudeva respectfully accepted and distributed to others, but refused to personally eat the remnants of Rukmiṇī.
The person was offended and said, “You accept alms given by low-castes but will not take the mahā-prasāda of Dvārakādīśa!”
“We are the resolute servants of the Vraja-devīs,” Gurudeva replied, “and will only accept their remnants. We collect raw ingredients that we prepare and offer to Śrī Śrī Radha-Vinoda Bihārī and we subsist only on Their mahā-prasāda.”
Śrīla Gurudeva thus taught his followers how to be uncompromising. Gurudeva advised, “Follow in the anugatya of the Vaiṣṇavas. In an emergency, or to enable your guru-sevā, you can take the prasāda from Lord Rāma or at a Viṣṇu temple. However, you should always strive to be fully committed to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Vraja.”
Śrīla Gurudeva recounted a story in this regard:
“An old Bābājī Mahārāja once lived in a village called Raṇavāḍī in Vraja-maṇḍala more than a hundred years ago. At one point, the desire awakened in him to have darśana of Dvārakā. A brāhmaṇa family came who were going to Dvārakā and offered to take the Bābājī along, paying the full cost of travel. The Bābājī agreed and they took him along with them. When this Bābājī Mahārāja returned to Vraja, all the sādhus neglected him. He could no longer remember the eight-fold daily pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and suffered immensely.
“This Bābājī had a friend named Siddha Kṛṣṇadāsa Babaji, who was always absorbed in service to harināma and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Bābājī Mahārāja visited his friend, but when Siddha Kṛṣṇadāsa saw him come he refused to associate with him, saying; Srimati Radhika would be angered with someone who had taken the brand of Dvāraka and had eaten the remnants of Rukmiṇī’s cooking.’
“That Bābājī Mahārāja became greatly distressed and thought,
‘This life is useless if the pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa do not appear in my heart!’ He went back to his cottage and, locking himself inside, repented and prayed for forgiveness from Śrīmatī Rādhikā. After three days a fire rang from within his body and consumed him. The villagers forced open the door days later and found only a pile of ashes.”
Śrīla Gurudeva fearlessly preached the message of Mahāprabhu, the aspiration for mañjarī-bhāva—the service of Śrīmatī Rādhikā as Her confidential maidservant. He continuously read the glories of the Vraja-devīs and explained how this is the line and mood of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. Many reputed Gauḍīyas reserve or hide this mood without explaining to anyone. A dedicated disciple should endeavor to emulate Śrīla Gurudeva’s sentiment. Simultaneously, he should offer respect from a distance to anyone who does not adhere to Śrīla Gurudeva’s mood.
Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Guru Darshan”. Available from: [email protected] )