Today is the appearance day of nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, our beloved Param Gurudeva. We all know of his life and teachings by the mercy of Śrīla Gurudeva. Why are we repeating them on this day? Everyday we worship Gurudeva, with guru-pūjā. Today why do we follow any special program? Everyday we should worship the guru-paramparā, Gurudeva, Param Gurudeva, paratpara-guru, paramesthi-guru and so forth. This is the rule of Vaiṣṇavas. What is special about the appearance day?
The guru-varga have explained why this day is worshipable, and why many people are invited and a festival is celebrated. This is not like a mundane birthday party. This celebration is for achieving spiritual bliss and enlivening our spiritual lifestyle. The mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇavas are always happy wherever they may find themselves. As when Śrīla Gurudeva and Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja went to the west, the devotees there waited to welcome them when they arrived from different countries and arrange a festival. In this way, we especially honor our guru-varga on their appearance days.
If anyone continuously follows, remembers and worships the guru-varga, he will be with the guru-varga and will never be unhappy. The guru-varga do not come alone. They come with the family of God and with all of God’s personal nectar to distribute it to the living entities. The day they come is fixed. On that day they bring many special things to distribute. How can we understand?
Anywhere the mahā-bhāgavatas, family members of God, appear, everyone in that home and area will automatically become happy without knowing the cause.
The family of Param Gurudeva were followers of the dynasty of Advaita Prabhu, and Vijaya Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī. He would preach all over India and had many disciples. He spoke on the Śrīmad-bhāgavatam and Caitanya-caritāmṛta. He was a very famous kula-guru ācārya. He was respected very much by society.
He said, “If people pray to Guru for anything, he can bestow that. But if anyone desires sat-saṅga, a relation with God’s family members, and entrance into the spiritual world, a bona fide Guru can certainly give this. Ordinary conditioned souls who worship Guru and God for mundane things will achieve their desires, but they will never be satisfied.”
He distributed the essence of all scriptures. If Guru doesn’t give the essence of śāstra to his disciples, they will be dry. This is nectar. He would distribute this nectar. He would stay for a month with the landlord family and all would come there. They had a nice temple and distributed prasādam, and all people were happy and pleased. This program took place in this month.
Param Gurudeva’s mother and father prayed to their Gurudeva, “Gurudeva, you come here every year, and you always give nice classes, speaking on the Caitanya-caritāmṛta or Śrīmad-bhāgavatam.”
Now, Param Gurudeva’s parents prayed, “Gurudeva, you come for one month, and after you go, we feel sad. We continue saṅkīrtana, hari-kathā and all, but there is not so much happiness.” When you are here, the classes are very sweet, and when you offer bhoga, it is like nectar.”
When the kula-guru came, he cooked for himself, because he was a brāhmaṇa. He or his brāhmaṇa followers would cook and take prasādam and distribute it, they would not touch the offering of anyone.
They asked, “Gurudeva, give us your blessings that we can continuously stay in sat-saṅga.”
They prayed with the mood—
kīṭa-janma hau jathā tuwā dāsa
bahir-mukha brahma-janme nāhi āśa
“May I be born again even as a worm, as long as I remain Your devotee. I have no desire to be born as a Brahmā averse to You.”
Wherever the devotees are, they perform kīrtana and class, and all limbs of bhakti go on naturally. That is the nature of devotees. A karmī will always run to do business. But the nature of bhaktas is that they always perform bhakti.
When Param Gurudeva’s mother, Bhuvana Mohinī, prayed to their Gurudeva, he said, “I have come. Now my program here is successful.”
Param Gurudeva’s mother was very clever. She prayed, “I have hope for this life. Anywhere the bhaktas are present, may I be there.”
Then her Gurudeva said, “I will pray to Mahāprabhu and Advaita Prabhu. They will bestow this on you.”
Her elder son Pramoda Bihārī had taken birth. He was very grave and proud. He went to school and college, and did not talk with anyone much, like a yogī.
By the mercy and desire of Param Gurudeva, he later took shelter of Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and took sannyāsa, and his name became Bhakti Kevala Audolomi Mahārāja.
Bhuvana Mohinī was not happy with her first son. She said, “He doesn’t like sat-saṅga, he doesn’t talk with us. He keeps to himself, but he is not so helpful to the family.”
“Gurudeva,” she said, “I desire another son.”
“Wait sometime,” he said, “Then any mahā-bhāgavata will come to you.”
“I heard,” she said, “that Aditī, the wife of Kaśyapa, performed payo vrata, only drinking milk at the end of the day after offering bhoga. Should I follow this vrata?”
“Follow ekādaśī and Janmasthami and so forth, but this payo-vrata is very good.”
She would do all official work day and night. Param Gurudeva’s father would not attend to the office and court so much, but his wife was very strong. She maintained the clerks, office and everything. But she would also worship, chant and do everything.
She then started this payo vrata. For forty days she would take a little milk in the evening after chanting throughout the day and not speaking with others. She would worship and chant. She would arrange everything for the family, sending servants to buy groceries and cook, but she herself would only take milk at the day’s end. But she was very pleased. By following the payo vrata in the month of Keśava vrata, she became very joyful.
Today, Param Gurudeva was born. As she had performed a vrata only taking milk, it was like Param Gurudeva appeared out of the milk ocean and his form was creamy white like milk. If you heard from Śrīla Gurudeva you could believe, or if you asked any of his disciples that are now still present.
He was not white skinned like westerners. His body was like butter and milk, his body was very soft and sweet. Also, he was very big and healthy when born. The family was very happy.
His parents called their Gurudeva. He had aśramas in Śāntipura, Jagannātha Purī, Vṛndāvana and other places. He told them, “Name him Jyotsnā, Jona.” Meaning, the full moon. As on the full moon day all places are light and bright and everyone feels satisfied and peaceful, Param Gurudeva was like that, therefore they named him Jyotsnā. But then, his Gurudeva said, “His name should be Vinoda Bihārī. He will give everyone Vinoda, happiness. Whoever meets with him, talks, stays or makes relation with him will achieve eternal happiness.”
His parents were very happy.
Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura was performing sata koti nāma vrata. He was reaching the end of his vrata of chanting one hundred crores harināma. Mahāprabhu and His associates appeared before Prabhupāda and ordered him, “Don’t remain silent anymore. Spread Mahāprabhu’s movement. Distribute the nectar of vraja-rasa.”
“How is it possible?” Prabhupāda said. “I have no resources or followers, no books or anything. How can I preach?”
“There is no problem. We will bring many to help you.”
Śrīla Gurudeva told us years back that by the desire of Prabhupāda, Garuḍa, the eagle-carrier of Viṣṇu, came to collect followers for helping Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura spread Mahāprabhu’s movement.
It is similar to Pūtanā coming and stealing newborns. She went to the Himālayas and saw that Vrndachala had eight newborn daughters lying out in the sun. She came, picked up the babies and flew off. When babies are born, if they are massaged with oil and placed in the sun, their bodies become very strong and they will not get sick. The sun shine is very healthy.
Vrndachala put his eight daughters out in the sun and Pūtanā snatcjed them all. Being very unhappy at this, he chanted a mantra and prayed to his Gurudeva Agastya Ṛṣi, “A witch has kidnapped my daughters.”
By the chanting of protective mantras against Pūtanā, Pūtanā became bewildered and all the daughters fell out of her arms into different villages.
But Garuḍa was not like Pūtanā. He came and picked up Param Gurudeva who was laying out in the sun in the mid-morning, and flew off to take him to Prabhupāda. Bhuvana Mohinī began weeping and chanted the Nṛsiṁhadeva Kavaca. She saw the eagle carrying off her large baby son in the sky. It would not be possible for an ordinary bird to carry such a big baby. His mother and all the villagers ran behind the eagle in great distress. They all had great affection for Jona. They had received him by the mercy of Mahāprabhu and were very attached. Then Bhuvana Mohinī said, “Today I offer my son to Nṛsiṁhadeva, please protect him. I will have no more relation with him.”
He was flying in the sky, how could he come down? But after she prayed to Nṛsiṁhadeva, the eagle understood, “It is not yet time for Vinoda to meet with Bimala Prasāda.”
The eagle flew down and placed Jona in a village pond where wood was floating. The villagers would place dry bamboo and betel nut wood in the water to make them strong and then they would use this wood to build their homes.
Jona was brought back to the bank of the pond. Bhuvana Mohinī saw that his body was unharmed and was surprised. How would it be possible for an eagle to carry off her son without harming him?
When her Gurudeva next came, he said, “Pūtanā came and tried to kill Kṛṣṇa, but it was not possible. Don’t think your son is anyone ordinary.”
Vijaya Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī had some feeling, “Someone came to take him away to his own place. This was not an ordinary incident. But your bhakti was strong and you brought him back by your prayers.”
Jona would only drink his mother’s milk. No cow milk, no water, no grains, nothing. Sometimes his mother would give him caraṇāmṛta and he would take a little bit, otherwise he would take nothing. As he grew up his mother became more and more worried for him. He went from one to two, three, four, five, six and seven years of age. He had a big body and went everywhere, played and did everything, except, he would not talk or eat anything other than his mother’s breast milk.
She gave charity to sages, brāhmaṇas and yogīs and prayed to them all, “Please excuse me. Please help me! My son doesn’t eat or speak anything. But he is not sick and weak. He swims, plays and does anything, but he doesn’t talk or eat.”
She was very unhappy. She also prayed to her Gurudeva, but he gave no solution.
One day, a Vaiṣṇava came while singing saṅkīrtana. Bhuvana Mohinī welcomed him and gave him alms. Then she asked him, “Please help me. My son will not eat.”
“Bring your son,” he said.
Bhuvana Mohinī brought Jona and seeing him, the Vaiṣṇava said, “Don’t worry, I know what to do.”
Bhuvana Mohinī owned a large estate where many families lived, among them were many Vaiṣṇava families.
The Vaiṣṇava said, “Go to the family of cobblers.” And he described the area they lived in. He said, “They chant harināma and worship Mahāprabhu. Go bring the remnants of these Vaiṣṇavas and give them to your son. Then your son will begin to eat and speak.”
They had business with leather, collecting leather of dead animals and used it to make bags, shoes and so forth, but they had love for Mahāprabhu and worshipped Him.
Bhuvana Mohinī thought, “How can I go to this lower caste family? If I go there, everyone will insult me.”
But the Vaiṣṇava had said, “They worship Mahāprabhu and take only mahā-prasāda. You must bring their remnants.”
At night, around nine, when it was dark and all the villagers were inside their homes getting ready for bed, she went out accompanied by a servant to go to the cobbler’s house. She would sometimes travel in her estate and help anyone who had problems and also would collect tax.
Arriving at their house, Bhuvana Mohinī saw that the childless husband and wife were singing kīrtana before Deities of Gaura-Nitāi in a simple room lighted up by a kerosene lamp. As they sang kīrtana, tears flowed from their eyes. They wept, “Ha Gaura! Ha Nitāi! We are poor and of a low caste, how can we worship You? You are very kind to all. You have come to us. Please accept our service.”
They sang with tears in their eyes while worshipping Their Deities. Seeing Bhuvana Mohinī, the couple became startled and showed her respect, humbly saying, “How is it you have come here? Why didn’t you send a servant to summon us to your presence? Why have you come here yourself to the home of us fallen cobblers? We are very low class. No brāhmaṇas or high caste families come to our home. If they touch me by any reason, they go take a bath. But now you have come to our home!”
How could they give her a seat? If they touched her, they would feel so bad. She sat down without asking for anything and told them, “Please offer some bhoga and take prasādam. I came with some purpose. I will tell you after you have eaten.”
“Please tell us. How can we eat before you?”
“I desire a little portion of your remnants.”
“Our remnants! Surancandra Guhata Ṭhākura will kill us! This is never possible.”
She humbly requested again and again and finally, she convinced them to give her a little of their remnants and she returned home with it.
That very night, she gave the remnants of prasāda to her son Vinoda and taking it, he immediately began to speak.
Why? Vaiṣṇavas have no caste. They are beyond this.
nīca-jāti nahe kṛṣṇa-bhajane ayogya
sat-kula-vipra nahe bhajanera yogya
jei bhaje sei baṛa abhakta hīna chāra
kṛṣṇa-bhajane nāhi jāti-kulādi-vicāra
“A person born in a low family is not unfit for discharging devotional service to Kṛṣṇa, nor is one fit for devotional service simply because he is born in an aristocratic family of brāhmaṇas. Anyone who takes to devotional service is exalted, whereas a non-devotee is always condemned and abominable. Therefore in the discharge of devotional service to the Lord, there is no consideration of one’s family status.”
One may be born in a royal family or brāhmaṇa caste, butVaiṣṇavas are beyond all such material designations. Now Vinoda Bihārī’s parents gave up all pride in their high birth. By enacting this pastime, Param Gurudeva showed that anywhere bhaktas are born, they are exalted and have no mundane caste. One should never insult them. A brāhmaṇa shouldn’t insult those of lower castes. This is bogus!
Bhuvana Mohinī’s kula-guru instructed others like this. He was a brāhmaṇa and would not touch the cooking of any caste below his, nor would he accept the offerings from any of his disciples. Param Gurudeva changed this. His parents and family were all surprised.
kibā varṇī, kibā śramī, kibā varṇāśrama hīna
kṛṣṇa tattva yei, sei ācārya pravīṇa
āsala kathā chādi’ bhāi varṇe ye kare ādara
asad-guru kari’ tā ‘ra vinaṣṭa pūrvāpara
“One who is expert in the science of Kṛṣṇa, whatever social order he may belong to, including śūdra and outcaste, is to be accepted as an ācārya. One who ignores this principle and accepts a Guru solely on the basis of social position will be ruined.”
Param Gurudeva followed this from his youth. He showed how helpful and powerful the remnants of the Vaiṣṇavas are.
From then on he began to speak with eloquence and full of knowledge, and he ate. But how would he eat? He would only take what was offered with Tulasī and then distributed to the Vaiṣṇavas. He would only take after his parents had daily distributed charity to devotees. Otherwise he would not eat.
Śrīla Gurudeva would said to me many times, “Whenever we had a program or feast, my Gurudeva would tell me, ‘Cook forty or fifty kilos extra rice and other preparations.’ I asked, ‘Why?’ ‘You feed so many big rich people and others, but the poor people have no helpers. Cook extra and I myself will make sure it is properly distributed.’”
Param Gurudeva would sit on a chair and watch as Śrīla Gurudeva and all the devotees distributed prasādam freely. Many poor people would come and fight over the prasāda, taking and collecting it joyfully and Param Gurudeva would become very happy. He said, “I like this. No one gives them. They will take this prasāda and save it for more than one day. By their karma they have taken birth in poor families but if we only arrange for rich people and our own followers and don’t give anything to the poor, this is cruelty.”
Param Gurudeva was not miserly. He was always very kind and soft. His heart, mind and nature were very soft and sweet.
From the time he began eating and speaking, Bhuvana Mohinī saw the exalted nature of her son and said, “Truly, my austerity has been successful.”
Without invitation, many people began coming to their house. Before they would be very scared, no beggars or poor could come. Now, in the morning, afternoon and evening, many poor people would come, as if Param Gurudeva’s house was a charity center or temple where food is distributed. People came line by line, sat there, offered obeisances, performed kīrtana and took prasāda. Param Gurudeva would be very happy and would distribute prasāda to many people. Not only this. If he saw anyone had no cloth, he would distribute this as well. They were a rich landlord family and had nothing short. So he would give everything freely.
Bhuvana Mohinī said to her son, “Now you are a boy, when you grow up, what will you do? Will you give everything we possess in charity?”
He only smiled without saying anything. He never disobeyed or disrespected his mother.
vajrād api kaṭhorāṇi mṛdūni kusumād api
lokottarāṇāṁ cetāṁsi ko nu vijñātum īśvaraḥ
Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 7.73
“Who can comprehend the heart of exalted, transcendental personalities, whose natures are harder than thunderbolts and more tender than lotus flowers?”
Param Gurudeva was very strong, like a thunderbolt, to preserve all rules and regulations of bhakti, but his heart was softer and sweeter than a rose.
He went to school from college. Śrīla Gurudeva told many times. When Param Gurudeva went to college he argued with the professors who lectured on Caitanya-caritāmṛta. The professor gave māyāvādī purports and Param Gurudeva would cut his argument. Param Gurudeva would give class and all the students would follow Param Gurudeva. They did not listen to the professor. They said, “Vinoda should give class, the professor has no intelligence.”
Param Gurudeva organized a committee where all the members vowed to remain celibate for life and use all their energy in the service of humanity. Param Gurudeva was only fourteen or fifteen at that time, but he was very strong. He wrote down the rules of his committee and the names of the members. They started charities and went house to house helping the poor and sick everywhere.
Śrīla Gurudeva told this story many times. One day, at nine p.m. Param Gurudeva had not yet returned and his mother took a stick and stood outside the gate of her house to punish her son who was staying out late. She was very strict. Like Yaśodā Mātā was very soft and full of love for Kṛṣṇa, but sometimes she could be very strong and hard as well. Bhuvana Mohinī was ready to beat her son when he arrived. By that time, Param Gurudeva was tall and healthy. He came and touched the feet of his mother. She shouted, “Stop! First answer me and then you can go inside.”
“What happened?” he asked with a humble mood.
“Where have you been all evening? The college finishes at five p.m. Where did you go after that?”
“Mother, I heard that there was a poor lady in a nearby village who is homeless and without any family. She had cholera.”
In those days in India, if anyone had cholera, it was like their last days. They did not have good medicine for it.
“I went there and arranged medicine for her. We bathed her and gave fresh cloth and treatment. Only when she was a little relieved could I return now.”
“Who gave you money to help her?”
“You give money everyday for me to use at college for snacks. I never use that money. I save it to help the poor.”
Then the stick fell from Bhuvana Mohinī’s hand and she began to weep, saying, “I now understand.” From that day she never reprimanded or spoke harshly to her son.
How will people be strong? From that day, Param Gurudeva started many programs. He joined the underground revolution movement of Subhasa Candra Bose against the British.
But one time, Vinoda Bihārī’s aunt, Sarojavāsinī, told him, “Don’t go in this direction. It is wrong. Come with me. I will show you an exalted sādhu in Māyāpura thousands of times superior to Subhasa Candra Bose.”
She used to go to Māyāpura and had taken harināma and dīkṣā from Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. Paramānanda Prabhu and Narahari Sevā Vigraha Prabhu were the only two sevakas with Prabhupāda at the time. Sarojavāsinī was very qualified. She took notes onPrabhupāda’s lectures and would then write prose, poetry and songs and distribute them. She was a first class preacher who traveled to the big towns in Bangladesh. She did not follow their kula-guru. She took Vinoda Bihārī, “Come to Māyāpura with me.”
Seeing him, Prabhupāda said, “Oh! My Vinoda has come!” Meaning, ‘Vinoda, happiness, has finally come to me.
Just as Rāmacandra waited a long time for Hanumān, Prabhupāda was waiting for Vinoda.
Sarojavāsinī asked, “Why were you waiting for him?”
“He is mine. He has been far away from me for a long time. This is not good.”
Vinoda smiled and offered praṇāma, and he addressed Prabhupāda as Gurudeva.
He said, “Gurudeva, what is my service?”
“Your service is everything.”
Then Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura said to Sarojavāsinī, “I desire to open nine temples in the nine islands of Navadvīpa. These nine islands are the nine limbs of Bhakti-devī, and the kuñjas of Rādhārānī and the eight sakhīs. Vraja-pathana will be here in Caitanya Maṭha, along with Girirāja Govardhana, Rādhā-kuṇḍa, Śyāma-kuṇḍa and so forth, and I will open branch offices of Rādhārānī on all these islands. From here, I will distribute this nectar of vraja-prema all over the world.”
“You have no sevakas and no money, no one even to ring the bell in ārati. Who will do all this?”
“Vinoda will do everything.”
“Vinoda will do everything? He is tied up with his family. His mother will not give him to you.”
“Who will take my property? This is not possible. Ask Vinoda.”
Vinoda Bihārī was surprised. No one had told him, “You are mine, how can you stay without me? Everything here is your responsibility.”
He was surprised. From that day, he could not forget Prabhupāda. He returned once to his parents, but told them, “Now, I cannot stay here longer.”
“I know,” his mother said. “I offered you to Nṛsiṁhadeva. I remember that day. You were flying in the sky. Do you remember? You were like Kṛṣṇa flying with Tṛṇāvarta in the sky. I knew you were gone. I offered you to God then, but you came back. Now, your aunt took you and offered you to Prabhupāda, no problem. But there is one condition. Please give me darśana before I leave this world.”
Like Śrīla Gurudeva’s parents also begged him to give them darśana before they left this world.
Bhuvana Mohinī had heartfelt attachment to her son. She knew he was very exalted and respected. She knew she had done great austerity to attain the fortune to have such a son. She also knew that a sādhu or mahā-bhāgavata would not stay long with his blood family, the whole world was his family.
Vinoda Bihārī’s younger brother was Pulina Bihārī. He was a great poet and writer. He wrote about the early life of Param Gurudeva, how he was born and of his activities up to when he was nineteen. Śrīla Gurudeva collected many stories from Param Gurudeva’s brother and showed them to us.
When Param Gurudeva came and took shelter of Prabhupāda in Māyāpura, Prabhupāda said, “Vinoda, now you know how to develop Māyāpura and do everything. You should take all responsibility. Care for those who come. Everything will be by your arrangement.”
Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura would be absorbed in his own harināma, hari-kathā and internal service. He was very busy and had no time. But Param Gurudeva served incessantly. He did not think, “When to eat, when to sleep, where to stay.” He would be busy from day’s start to end, going to court, printing books, overseeing the three hundred acres of land in Māyāpura and so forth.
Many people had acquired the land in Māyāpura and would not pay any tax or anything. But Vinoda went and fought with all of them. He would not only defeat and smash them, He made relation with them and brought them to Prabhupāda. Kicking and rejecting people is very easy, but changing peoples’ heart is no easy task. Vinoda Bihārī changed all peoples’ hearts. Then they would not be against Prabhupāda. They came to Prabhupāda and understood his glories.
This is the duty of disciples. If disciples become angry and upset, and disturb all others, they are not proper disciples. How will others’ hearts and bad natures change and how can others come to Śrī Guru and make relation with him, how can they understand Gurudeva’s qualities and specialties?—this is the bhajana of pure disciples.
When Svāmī Prabhupāda went to the western countries many young ladies came to him, like Yamunā Mataji, Āditya, Vṛndāvana Vilasini, and many other matajis went everywhere, house to house preaching, distributing books and bringing people to Prabhupāda and giving them a relationship with Prabhupāda. This is the duty of disciples.
Now, Param Gurudeva alone changed the bad nature of the mlecchas and other castes there in Māyāpura. He knew how to change people. Fighting and hating is very easy, neglecting and insulting is the nature of conditioned souls. Collecting the guilt and faults of others is very easy. But changing, cleaning, purifying, washing the hearts of others and making them sweet and nice, and bringing them to Gurudeva and God—how many people have this personality and ability? This will please Gurudeva. A disciple should take the mercy of Śrīla Gurudeva and distribute it to all and bring everyone to his Gurudeva.
When Mahāprabhu had come to Māyāpura, even in that time there were so many against, a student complained when He chanted, ‘gopī, gopī.’ And the Kāzī broke mṛdaṅgas in the saṅkīrtana party. Mahāprabhu finally took sannyāsa and left that place and everything was gradually destroyed, until four hundred years later when Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura came and reinstated this gauḍīya line with Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. In the meantime, everything had been hidden, Mahāprabhu’s birthplace was lost.
To discover Mahāprabhu’s birthplace, and to start the preaching, increasing it beyond even the time of Mahāprabhu Himself, this requires such power and energy.
In Mahāprabhu’s time, the pañca-tattva, Nityānanda Prabhu and all came. They changed Jagāi and Mādhāi and so many others, but after, kali-yuga destroyed and covered all.
By the desire of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Prabhupāda came, and then Vinoda came to Prabhupāda. Now Vinoda started everything. He brought all people close to Prabhupāda. Many young men came. Aprākṛta Bhakti Saranga Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Bhakti Rakṣaka Sridhara Mahārāja, Bon Mahārāja, Śrauti Mahārāja, Bhakti Pradipa Tīrtha Mahārāja, Bhakti Viveka Bhāratī Mahārāja and so many came and took dīkṣā and sannyāsa from Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.
Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura sent his own disciples to serve Prabhupāda, like Bhakti Pradipa Tīrtha Mahārāja and Bhakti Viveka Bhāratī Mahārāja. They were the disciples of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. He sent them to Prabhupāda for sannyāsa.
But Vinoda Bihārī managed everything. He helped and served all, arranging everything. All hearts were cooled by the nectar of Prabhupāda’s hari-kathā. Vinoda Bihārī maintained the Maṭha. How? By his spiritual power, energy and relation. Otherwise this would never have been possible. Param Gurudeva had two horses. He wore a suit and boots, kept a whip and sword and rode around the Māyāpura estate. He once brought Sir John Anderson to meet with Prabhupāda. After he heard Prabhupāda’s class, Param Gurudeva asked Sir John Anderson, “What did you think of the lecture?”
“It was very sweet,” the governor replied. “I never heard any class like that before.”
“What did you understand?”
“I could not understand anything.”
“How did you feel?”
“It touched my heart and I felt so much sweetness, but his English is very lofty, I could not fathom the meaning of his words.”
Then Sir John Anderson gave permission for Prabhupāda to send preachers all over India and overseas as well. This was due to the efforts of Param Gurudeva. Param Gurudeva knew the desire of Prabhupāda and he arranged everything, he did everything. Other people would announce any small thing they did, but Param Gurudeva would never broadcast his glories and activities. Therefore all became famous, and Param Gurudeva was unknown, like a small sparrow. But people don’t know his glories. Prabhupāda knew, as well as the guru-varga, Rūpa, Raghunātha and God.
If Param Gurudeva had not made this contact with the British government, it would not have been possible to preach so widely in India, town-to-town, village-to-village and to send preachers to the west.
Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura had desire to give his heart fully to someone. He gave his heart fully to Param Gurudeva and this line has continued on through Param Gurudeva. Likewise, Param Gurudeva gave his heart fully to Śrīla Gurudeva, and the line of Prabhupāda has run on through him.
Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja, Bhaktivedānta Abhaya Bābū, would meet Param Gurudeva. Once, Param Gurudeva said to him, “I want to give you sannyāsa. Not only sannyāsa, I want to give you something. I have something to fulfill Prabhupāda’s desire.”
He forcibly gave Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja sannyāsa. Therefore Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja prayed to Param Gurudeva—
vairāgya-yug bhakti-rasaṁ prayatnair
apāyayan mām anabhīpsum andham
kṛpāmbudhir yaḥ para-duḥkha-duḥkhī
śrī keśava mahārāja taṁ prabhum āśrayāmi
He wrote a letter of condolence after the disappearance of Param Gurudeva, saying how he did not know bhakti-rasa, and had no desire for this, but Param Gurudeva gave it to him by force and now he was distributing that everywhere.
Śrī Guru gives everything to that person who is humble, trnad api sunicena, and follows the footsteps of his Gurudeva. But those who are straight and strong, proud, rough and dry, never get anything.
On one side there is Mahāmāyā, the destroyer, who kicks, throws, smashes and breaks one, and the other side there is Yogamāyā. Anyone who comes to her is connected to God and is given a nectar drink and is cleaned with softness and sweetness. Param Gurudeva had this special power of Yogamāyā from his first to his last day in this world. He did everything for Prabhupāda’s service.
This is not possible for any ordinary person. No sādhaka could do this. All think, “I am great.” But Param Gurudeva was always very humble. He never wrote his name on any deed. He never put property in his own name. If people gave anything to him, he offered everything to his Gurudeva, and gave to his godbrothers, keeping nothing for himself. How would he respect his godbrothers? If any godbrothers were small and fallen, having left Prabhupāda, he would go house to house and bring them back. How?
After Prabhupāda disappeared, many brahmacārīs went to family life for bogus enjoyment having lost their heart and faith. Param Gurudeva went and spoke affectionately with them. He would bring them for programs, saying, “Today is vyāsa-pūjā, please come.” When they came, Param Gurudeva started saṅkīrtana. Param Gurudeva would give their fare and all facility to them.
Param Gurudeva would dance hour after hour in kīrtana. He again offered everyone to the lotus feet of Prabhupāda in this saṅkīrtana movement. The first time they had come and met Prabhupāda, Vinoda Bihārī had cared for them. He is Vinoda. The nature of his svarūpa is to give happiness, joy. He has all the active and blissful potency of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī present with him.
When they went far away, back into māyā, he would bring them all back and connect them to nāma-saṅkīrtana and parikramā. He took them on Vraja-maṇḍala Parikramā, Gaura-maṇḍala Parikramā, Kṣetra-maṇḍala Parikramā and the other holy places of India, like the Himālayas, Avantikā, Kanci, Ayodhyā, Dvārakā and so forth¬. He worked so hard to give them a relation with Prabhupāda and God.
Now, many Vaiṣṇavas will be coming from ten a.m. The brahmacārīs should arrange all programs for serving the Vaiṣṇavas. By this, Param Gurudeva and Śrīla Gurudeva will be very pleased. How will Śrīla Gurudeva be pleased with us? If anyone follows and respects his beloved Gurudeva, Śrīla Gurudeva will be so happy.
Offered in remembrance of Śrīla Gurudeva
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja