Srīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja is an eternal associate of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in the transcendental realm of Vraja and was sent by them to spread vraja-bhakti (dine love of the residents of Vraja) in the material world. He led an ideal life as a self-realized ācārya (preceptor) in the unbroken succession of divine masters of the Brahmā-Madhva-Gauḍīya-sampradāya (a disciplic lineage). He is a scion of Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself. This is his true family lineage. Śrīla Gurudeva’s birth in a certain location with familial ties is an act of mercy to those people; however, he has no mundane birth.
na karma-bandhanaṁ janma vaiṣṇavānāṁ ca vidyate
viṣṇor anucaratvaṁ hi mokṣam āhur manīṣiṇaḥ
A Vaiṣṇava (servitor of Lord Viṣṇu) does not take birth under the jurisdiction of karmic law. His birth and disappearance are transcendental. The wise have declared that the servants of Viṣṇu are eternally engaged in the liberated service of the Lord and hence are free from the laws of material nature.
Sri Guru is transcendental and has a direct relationship with the transcendental world. The duty of a disciple is to glorify the transcendental nature of the Guru-varga. A person cheats himself when he considers Sri Guru in relation with the mundane world—or merely considers the spiritual master’s apparently ordinary activities, neglecting his spiritual character and ideology. To properly understand Śrī Guru, one must observe his supra-mundane teachings through the eyes of scripture, under the guidance of Vaiṣṇavas who are his close followers.
Śrī Guru does not desire any object of the material world, for he has no relationship with this world other than to read the glories of the Divine Couple, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Because Śrī Guru is free from attainment to temporary objects, he will not mislead anyone by glorifying the qualities of mundane existence. He does not preach the path of fruitive action, austerity, or speculative knowledge. As he is immersed in blissful service to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, his ambrosial speech describing Their glories is the tonic that cures a living entity’s disease of repeated birth and death. Śrī Guru thereby connects souls suffering in material bondage with the Supreme Whole—fully satisfying their innermost need for a loving relationship.
Kṛṣṇa sends His dearest associates, who are expansions of His Divine Potency, into this world to save souls suffering in māya (material energy in contrast to God’s spiritual energy). If Kṛṣṇa directly sent His own expansions, it would not be as helpful for the conditioned souls. Hence, He prays to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, “If Your powerful expansions go to the material world, they will liberate the entire universe. Please send them. They are more than capable of bringing the lost souls home to Me.”
At the dawn of this material creation, Śrī Kṛṣṇa bestowed transcendental knowledge and potency to Brahmā, the universal architect. Empowered by the Divine Potency, the Brahmā-Madhva-Gauḍīya disciplic succession descends in an unbroken current of pure devotion from Śrī Brahmā to Śrī Nārada, Śrī Vedavyāsa, Śrī Madhvācarya,
Śrī Padmanābha, Śrī Nṛhari, Śrī Mādhava, Śrī Akṣobhya, Śrī Jaya-tīrtha, Śrī Jñāna-sindhu, Śrī Dayānidhi, Śrī Vidyānidhi, Śrī Rājendra,
Śrī Jayadharma, Sri Purusottama-tirtha, Śrī Brahmaṇya-tīrtha, Śrī Vyāsa-
tīrtha, Śrī Lakṣmīpa-tīrtha, Madhavendra Purī, and Śrī Īśvara Purī, as well as Nityānanda Prabhu and Ādvaita Acarya.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu brought about Śrī Īśvara Purī’s great fortune by accepting initiation from him. From Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the lineage descended through Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara and the Six Gosvāmīs (Śrī Rūpa, Sanātana, Bhaṭṭa Raghunātha, Śrī Jīva,
Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, and Raghunātha dāsa). From them, came to Śrī Kṛṣṇa-dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, Śrī Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Śrī Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Śrī Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī, and Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, who flooded the world with the current of pure love as was practiced and taught by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Amongst Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s many beloved disciples, two of the foremost are Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja and Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja. The foremost disciples of Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja are Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja and
Śrīla Bhaktedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja.
Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from a Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Guru Darshan”. Available from: [email protected] )