One day, a brahmacārī came to Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja to obtain instructions on hari-bhajana. As soon as Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja saw him, he told him, “You should stop committing offenses at the feet of the Vaiṣṇavas and continuously chant harināma in the association of the śuddha-bhaktas.” The brahmacārī didn’t like this instruction of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. He departed to Rāḍhadeśa without informing Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. He then started speaking on the Bhāgavatam after introducing himself as a disciple of Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. Thus, on the pretext of speaking on the Bhāgavatam, he started earning much wealth. After returning from there, he started learning grammar from a scholar.
The brahmacārī thought, “I am a fool. By learning how to read and write, I will be greatly respected.”
He also thought that Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja didn’t do anything special in his life because he didn’t know how to read and write.
One day, when the brahmacārī came to see Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja told him, “You are studying grammar to earn women, wealth, and prestige.”
The brahmacārī replied, “I have no such inclination. I only desire to learn grammar to understand the meaning of the verses of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja then said, “You have become greedy by seeing how Rāḍhadeśa’s scholars earn money by speaking on the Bhāgavatam. Therefore, your intelligence has been destroyed. If you desire your auspiciousness, then you should stop committing such offenses and continuously chant harināma in the association of the śuddha-bhaktas.”
On another day, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja fell silent upon seeing the brahmacārī. After sometime, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja said, “You should not fulfil the desire you are fostering in your mind.”
No one could understand these words of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. After the brahmacārī left, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja told some close followers, “The brahmacārī is illicitly associating with a widow. Such behavior is very sinful and offensive.”
And then, while aiming his words at his close followers, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja said, “You should never encourage another person to tread the path of sin. If any desire separate from engaging in kṛṣṇa-bhakti arises in your mind, you should mercifully come to see me at that very moment, for such desires may transform your mind.”
Once, Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja had given Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura a hundred rupees for safekeeping. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura then deposited that money in a bank. One day, Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja came to see Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and requested for the sum of money to be returned.
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura told Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, “Vimalā Prasāda (Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura) has deposited the money in a bank. He is not here now. The money can only be taken out of the bank when he is present.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja replied, “But I am in urgent need of money.”
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura himself then arranged that a hundred rupees be given to Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, who handed that money over to a Vaiṣṇava and told him about how the money should be used in the service of the Vaiṣṇavas in Vṛndāvana.
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja then told Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, “Considering me to be a Vaiṣṇava, people gave me this money for my enjoyment—but I am not a Vaiṣṇava. I have heard however that there are Vaiṣṇavas in Vraja. Therefore, I have sent this money for their service.”
Considering Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja to be a great Vaiṣṇava, many people would give him money and other things, but Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja would never accept their offerings for himself. Rather, he would offer whatever he had received for the service of other Vaiṣṇavas.
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja used to say, “The ingredients of mādhukarī-bhikṣā are transcendental to the three modes of material nature. But if the recipient uses whatever he has received for his own enjoyment, then his mind will become polluted and many obstacles will present themselves in his hari-bhajana. Therefore, the sādhaka should be careful to use these offerings as much as they help him maintain his life—a life meant only for engaging in hari-bhajana.”
The Attachment of a Mahā-bhāgavata
One day, a householder Vaiṣṇava came to give Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja an expensive shawl. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja accepted the shawl, carefully kept it aside, and then praised the householder Vaiṣṇava who had given him the shawl. On another day, another householder Vaiṣṇava came to give money to Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja respectfully extended his hand and accepted the money. He then tied some knots in his upper cloth and kept the money within these knots. He would also touch his knots to see if the money was safely there. A prominent materialist of Kolkata especially fixed his gaze at this act of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. After seeing this act of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, whatever little faith he had towards Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja went away.
After some days, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja offered that shawl and money in the service of the Vaiṣṇavas.
When this materialist met Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in Kolkata, he said, “I once went for the darśana of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, but I saw that after carefully accepting a shawl and money, he praised the landlord who had given him these things. I cannot understand how he is a sādhu.”
After listening to these words from the wealthy materialist, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura told him, “You have been bewildered by his first act. In reality, he has only shown his attachment towards objects that are meant for Kṛṣṇa’s enjoyment and service. But we only show our attachment towards those objects that are used for our enjoyment and service. Only a foolish person who himself desires wealth thinks that Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja has a greed towards acquiring wealth. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja praised a person who had a favorable disposition towards vaiṣṇava-sevā. Conversely, we flatter a person who arranges for our sense enjoyment. Just as a lusty person thinks that the entire world is lusty, similarly the non-devotee enjoyer and renunciant think that the mahā-bhāgavata’s attachment (towards the objects that bring happiness and pleasure to Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s senses) is similar to the attachment that the conditioned soul has towards mundane objects.”
The Abandonment of Yāyāvara-dharma
In 1908, Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja completely withdrew his external sight. He stopped moving about like a mendicant in 1909 and confined himself to a kuṭīra that was made in a corner of Svānanda-sukhada-kuñja. He would continuously chant harināma in the courtyard of the kuñja, and at times, he even was unaware of his external body. He did not take notice if his bahirvāsa and kaupīna were covering his transcendental body or not. On some days, he would bathe in the Sarasvatī River, and return naked to his bhajana-kuṭīra. He would then become restless, and loudly call out to the Vraja-gopīs, while beseeching them for their mercy.
Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja’s Residence in Śrīdhāma Māyāpura
When Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura was doing bhajana in Śrīdhāma Māyāpura’s Yogapīṭha in the years 1907–1908, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja was also doing bhajana at the same time at the Yogapīṭha. He spent many days under a jackfruit tree that was present there. At that time, the confidential bhajana performed by the ideal guru and disciple, and their ideal behavior which instructs the entire world, manifested a new, unprecedented chapter of extraordinary devotion in the pure Vaiṣṇava world. Although Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja had completely withdrawn his external sight by now, he had travelled alone from Kuliyā Navadvīpa to Śrīdhāma Māyāpura’s Yogapīṭha when it was two o’clock at night.
On the next day, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura was greatly surprised to see his Gurudeva. He then inquired, “When did you place your lotus feet here?”
“I came yesterday, at two in the night,” Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja replied.
Becoming all the more surprised, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura asked, “Who brought you here? And how did you find someone to accompany you here while it was so dark in the night?”
“Someone showed me the way.”
Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura humbly said, “We used to think that you had completely withdrawn your external eyesight. Who held your hand and brought you here from so far?”
Hearing these words, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja smiled. His internal associate, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, had now understood the message that came from his heart. Unlike today, there was no proper way to come from Kuliyā Navadvīpa to Śrīdhāma Māyāpura.
Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura then again inquired, “Who helped you cross the river during this time?”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja again replied as he did the first time. He said, “One Person had me cross the river.” Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura clearly understood that this ‘One Person’ was none other than Śrīman Mahāprabhu Himself.
Return Ticket and Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s Instructions
One day, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura accompanied by Śrīpāda Paramānanda Prabhu, Prabodhacandra Bābū, Nakula Bābū, and some others, to have the darśana of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s lotus feet. When they introduced Śrīyukta Prabodhacandra Bandopādhyāya (a resident of Kolkata) to Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja told Prabodha Bābū, “It is very commendable that you have come here. Now you should stay here and do hari-bhajana.”
Upon listening to these words of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, Prabodha Bābū said, “I have just booked my return ticket.”
Greatly surprised, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja said, “You have just booked your return ticket! Then why have you come to me? Your visit here is in vain if you desire to return. Only those who desire to always do hari-bhajana come to Śrīdhāma—I only know this.”
By this incident, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja gives us the instruction that if we only come to see the sādhu to satisfy our curiosity and approach him with a heart full of desires separate from practicing devotion, or if we go to a pilgrimage place only to ‘see’ the different sites there, then such endeavors will not yield the actual fruit of sādhu-saṅga or of having visited the pilgrimage place. The main fruit of going to a pilgrimage place is the association of the sādhus (sādhu-saṅga). Without causelessly surrendering oneself at the lotus feet of the sādhu for all of eternity, sādhu-saṅga is never had. After surrendering everything (including oneself) at the lotus feet of the sādhu, the sincere sādhaka should humbly inquire, question, and serve the sādhu in all respects. To follow the sādhu’s ideal highlights the true meaning of sādhu-saṅga. Indeed, sādhu-saṅga is only had in the following way. The meaning of saṅga, or association, is to entirely devote oneself to the sādhu.
We have not really surrendered ourselves at the lotus feet of a sādhu if we come to see him with a return ticket in hand, that is, if we desire to return and engage ourselves in satisfying the objects of our senses. By such actions, the nectarean instructions of the sādhu on how to engage in hari-bhajana will not enter our ears. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura would also repeat this instruction of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja to everyone. He would say, “A person who buys a return ticket and comes to receive initiation will never have the instructions on how to perform hari-bhajana enter his ears.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s Instructions to a Married Person
After his marriage ceremony, Śrīyukta Śambu Bābū immediately came to see Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and humbly requested him to give some instructions on how a married person can do hari-bhajana. When Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura told him that many obstacles will present themselves in his endeavors to do hari-bhajana (while being married), Śambu Bābū became very sad.
Then, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, Śrī Paramānanda Prabhu, Śambu Bābū, and a few others went to have the darśana of Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja’s lotus feet. After Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja gave many instructions, the topic of Śambu Bābū’s marriage arose. In reply, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja said, “It is very nice that Śambu Bābū has married. He will now cook bhoga-prasāda everyday and offer it to Śrī Viṣṇu. And after having his wife honor prasāda, he will respectfully honor his wife’s remnants. Śambu Bābū will be benefited if he will never look at his wife as an object of his enjoyment. Rather, he will only look at her as his object of devotion, and he will always serve her in this mood. The entire world, consisting of all its wealth, jewels, women, men, and so forth, are only objects meant for Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s enjoyment. Śambu Bābū will only engage Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s paraphernalia in Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s service. Rather than making his wife his maidservant, he will consider his wife to be a maidservant of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Thus, he will accordingly respect and serve her.”
After listening to these instructions of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, Śambu Bābū became very sorrowful. He told Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura while they were on their way back, “Bābājī Mahārāja has given me very perplexing instructions!”
Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja’s Life
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja was the effulgent deity of renunciation—renunciation that arose from spontaneous love and affection for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He would soak rice and dāl on one day, and then eat a little of that soaked rice and dahl for five or seven days. Sometimes he would also add a chili to the rice and dāl.
One day, according to the instruction of Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrī Paramānanda Prabhu brought some green chillies when he went for the darśana of oṁ viṣṇupāda Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. Knowing that he had come from Śrī Māyāpura, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja asked, “How is my Prabhu? Offer my daṇḍavat praṇāma to him and tell him that he should leave everything aside and preach the Ṣaṭ-sandarbhas (philosophical treatises, written by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, that delineate the path of devotion).”
Many people would come every evening to have the darśana of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s lotus feet. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja would also sit outside his kuṭīra during this time and mercifully give his darśana to everyone. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja would loudly chant harināma for sometime and instruct everyone to do the same. According to his instruction, everyone would loudly chant the harināma mahā-mantra with prema.
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s Bhāva
Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja would have darśana of the forests of Vraja in Śrī Gaura-vana and become overwhelmed by bhāva. Śrīla Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has described his state of divyonmāda (transcendental madness) in the following way:
One day, while residing in Rānī Dharmaśālā, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja was repeatedly calling out, “Ha Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya !” from his bhajana-kuṭīra. Four devotees from Śrīkhaṇḍa, called Śrī Sarvānanda Ṭhākura, Śrī Rākhālānanda Ṭhākura, and a couple of others, came for the darśana of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja during this time. They then only desired to listen to Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja calling out to Śrīman Caitanya Mahāprabhu. For many hours, they only heard Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja say, “Ha Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya !” They thought that if Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja doesn’t change the mood of the rasa he is experiencing, his throat may split open and profusely bleed.
With the intention of bringing about a change in Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s mood, the four residents of Śrīkhaṇḍa started to also loudly call out to Śrīman Mahāprabhu. Although they effected a change in Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s mood, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja was still largely absorbed in a particular mood.
He then said, “Raghunandana! Raghunandana! Why have you come so late?” Saying these words, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja immediately came out of his kuṭīra and started to converse with the devotees.
On another occasion, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja locked himself inside a room for thirteen days and called out, “Ha Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya !” in a mood of intense separation. Weeping bitterly, he would beat his chest, and even try pulling his hair out.
To obtain the grace of his Lord, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja exhibited intense restlessness, eagerness, distress, and humility. Seeing him in this condition, many people were reminded of Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s associate, Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.
The Various Forms of Māyā
During the rainy season, Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja would reside under a boat that had been turned upside down. Once, he stopped residing under the boat and started to stay in the courtyard of a dharmaśālā that was situated in Kuliyā Navadvīpa. A little rice prasāda was kept for Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja in a pot that was hung from above. One day, a poisonous snake was seen writhing down from the pot. An elderly lady present in the dharmaśālā loudly started to shout and say, “The snake is going to eat Bābājī Mahārāja. Someone must do something, or it will eat Bābājī Mahārāja.”
While the lady shouted in this way, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja (who had concealed his external sight) swung his hands in both directions and said, “Where did the snake go? Where did it go?”
Seeing Bābājī Mahārāja swinging his hands in either direction, the elderly lady said, “Bābā, have you become mad? You were very near to the snake when it left. If you had stretched your hand a little further, the snake would have surely bitten you. We will not let you live in the courtyard anymore; we will give you a room.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja then told the elderly lady, “Mother, you should not stand here any longer. You have been standing here since sometime now; you must be experiencing some difficulty.”
The lady replied, “I will not move from here unless you move into a room.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja said, “I am going to honor prasāda now; I will go to a room after sometime.”
The lady said, “Don’t eat this prasāda. The snake went near it; the snake may have tasted it. I will bring prasāda for you immediately.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja replied, “I don’t eat prasāda that is cooked in a temple run by materialistic people. Except what I have procured from mādhukarī-bhikṣā, I don’t accept rice or any form of food offered by materialists.”
The lady then told one of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s servants, “You should cook rice again for Bābājī Mahārāja.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja then said, “Mother, I will not listen to anyone unless you leave.”
The lady was then bound to leave. After sometime, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja asked a sevaka, “Has the Mātājī left or not?”
“She has left.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja then cautiously said, “Did you see how Māyā works? Just see! On the excuse of offering help, Māyā wanted to slowly enter among us. Māyā has many forms. She knows how to deceive one in many ways. She will not let the jīva do hari-bhajana. Māyā was pleading and saying, ‘I will not let you stay here. Don’t eat the prasāda that has been touched by a snake; you will die.’ I can only be saved by dying. If I cannot do kṛṣṇa-bhajana, what is the use of saving this body?”
Saying these words, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja started to sing the following kīrtana:
gaura pahū nā bhajiyā mainu
prem-ratana-dhana helāya hārāinu
By not worshiping my Lord Gaurasundara, I have invited death; and by neglecting the precious jewel of prema, I have lost it.
The Festival of Niṣkiñcanas
One day before Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī Prabhu’s disappearance day, Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja told a devotee, “Tomorrow is the disappearance day of Śrī Gosvāmīpāda. We will arrange a festival for this occasion. Navadvīpa’s Gosvāmīs don’t arrange for a festival to honor Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī’s disappearance day.”
The devotee said, “Bābājī ! Where will we get the necessary things to arrange for a festival? How can we honor this occasion without anything?”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja replied, “Don’t say anything to anyone. We will avoid at least one meal and only engage ourselves in śrī harināma-saṅkīrtana. This is the festival suitable for us destitutes.”
The Pond of Stool and Rādhā-kuṇḍa
One day, Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja spoke the following words to some devotees, “Hari-bhajana can never be done in a bathroom.” The people sitting around Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja could not understand these words. Seeing the expression on their faces, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja again said, “There are those who reside in a place and only desire to eat, drink, and make merry. In such places, they do everything to only satisfy their lusty desires. Such a place may even be seen as a temple externally, but such a place is full of the stool of sense gratification. Therefore, such a place can never be a suitable residence for the sādhus. Although lusty people externally portray themselves as being the residents of a temple, they factually reside in the pond of stool.
And regardless of where they are externally staying—any place where those who sincerely serve the aprākṛta-āśraya-vigraha (the abode of devotion) are present is indeed ‘Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa.’
The Pastime of Residing in a Bathroom
One day, a landlord named Girish Bābū, who was the owner of a dharmaśālā in Navadvīpa, came with his wife to have the darśana of Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. Girish Bābū’s wife was very concerned about Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s residence. She told him, “Bābājī Mahāśaya, you should give us the order to have a bhajana-kuṭīra built for you. You must be experiencing great difficulty here during the winter and rainy season. My heart is greatly pained upon seeing your condition.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja replied, “I don’t experience the slightest difficulty by staying here. I do have one difficulty; I can tell you what it is if you can help me. Many people come and hypocritically tell me, ‘You should bestow your mercy upon me; you should bestow your mercy upon me.’ While speaking these words, they don’t let me do bhajana. They don’t desire their own auspiciousness and also create obstacles in the bhajana of others. If you give your latrine to me, then that place will be very favorable for my bhajana. I will be able to chant harināma day and night in that place. People will detest this place and they will not enter inside. If you cannot give the latrine-kuṭīra to me, then do refrain from talking to me, or else you will be wasting the time I have obtained in this extremely rare human form of life.”
After listening to these words from the lotus-like mouth of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, Girish Bābū’s wife said, “Bābājī Mahārāja, we will carry whatever you have said on our heads. But we will incur great sin by having a sādhu such as you reside in a latrine.”
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja said, “I am not a sādhu. The authority of the temple is a sādhu; the person having matted locks is a sādhu. I am not able to do hari-bhajana. The bathroom is an ideal place for me. You should talk to me only if you can give a bathroom to me. Or else, I will not listen to anything that you have to say.”
The desire for women, wealth, and prestige is more repulsive than the foul odor of stool itself. This desire conceals itself in the so-called observance of bhagavat-bhakti-dharma. Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja wanted to proclaim this truth to the residents of this world. Therefore, he stayed for six months in the public latrine of the dharmaśālā.
The Hypocrisy of Imitating a Mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇava
When Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja was performing the pastime of doing bhajana in the dharmaśālā’s latrine, a novice Vaiṣṇava started to imitate Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. He started to reside in a broken kuṭīra that was adjacent to Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s residence. In this kuṭīra, the ‘Vaiṣṇava’ started to do his bhajana.
One day, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja asked him, “What are you doing in the kuṭīra while locking yourself from inside? And what are you thinking? A person should chant harināma in sādhu-saṅga while not committing any offenses. By not doing so, you will not see anything except the four walls of the kuṭīra. Are you only sitting and looking at the four walls? Or are you thinking of women, wealth, and prestige? By staying in this kuṭīra, many problems will come to you.”
Although Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja was exhibiting the pastime of concealing his sight, he was the indwelling witness of everyone’s actions. He told this person how hypocritical he was. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja told the person how he was stealing all the money and things that people were offering to Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. And then, on the pretext of doing bhajana, this person would enjoy whatever he had stolen. He would then go to various places of Navadvīpa to illicitly associate with women. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja related all these details to this person. After some days, this person became very diseased. A relative of his came and took him back to Māyā’s kingdom.
By imitating a mahā-bhāgavata, the jīva becomes degraded as a result of his offense. He then finds himself entangled in Māyā’s quagmire. In the name of dharma, a conditioned soul resides in the dhāma, but the conditioned soul soon finds himself to be living in the pit of stool that bears the foul odor of the desire for sense gratification. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja opened everyone’s eyes and had them see the real intentions of such pretenders. Regardless of the place they stay in, the eternal associates of Śrīmatī Rādhikā are always engaged in rendering their services in Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa’s nitya-kuñja. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja performed the pastime of doing bhajana in a public latrine only to make everyone realize this fact.
Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja and Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
When Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja was performing the pastime of doing bhajana in a latrine, my most worshipable Gurudeva, nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, at that time known as Vinoda-bihārī Brahmacārī, came to Kuliyā Navadvīpa for the darśana of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. Having received the instruction to do so from his spiritual master, Śrīla Prabhupāda, Vinoda-bihārī Brahmacārī set off, together with his aunts, Śrīmatī Sarojinī-devī and Śrīmatī Priyatamā-devī. Śrī Gaura-govinda Vidyābhūṣaṇa, who later became known as Tridaṇḍisvāmī Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Gabhasta Nemi Gosvāmī Mahārāja, also accompanied them.
Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja would never open the door, even though devotees repeatedly requested him to do so. He would make one excuse after another. Seeing this, Śrī Gaura-govinda Prabhu spoke the following words in great humility, “Bābājī Mahārāja! We are the disciples of Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. Following his instruction, we have come with great hope for your darśana. We will be greatly pained if we cannot have your darśana.” Hearing these words, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja became very pleased and affectionately said, “Come, come! You are the recipients of Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s grace.” He immediately opened the door.
At that time, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja was deeply absorbed in chanting harināma, while counting the knots he had made on his cloth. Noticing Śrī Vinoda-bihārī Brahmacārī’s effulgent youthful form, his sincere desire to do bhajana, his yukta-vairāgya, and his unflinching guru-niṣṭhā, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja conferred his blessings upon him. He said, “I have taken away all your life’s obstacles and troubles. You should fearlessly do bhajana and preach Mahāprabhu’s instructions all over the world.”
Śrī Vinoda-bihārī Brahmacārī’s eyes lit up upon hearing Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s blessing. He tearfully fell at Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s lotus feet and smeared Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s foot dust on his head. After listening to hari-kathā for sometime, the devotees offered their obeisances to Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s lotus feet and returned to Śrī Māyāpura.
Whenever Śrīla Gurupāda-padma would speak of how he received Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s blessings, he would become restless and weep like a small boy. He would then tell us, “It is only by Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s causeless mercy that I am fearlessly preaching pure bhakti in this world. Many disturbances and obstacles presented themselves in the course of our preaching. Our lives were also in danger, but even the hair on our head could not be plucked out because of Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja’s causeless mercy. The clouds of trouble were scattered by the strong wind of his blessings.”
A Letter Dictated by Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja
All Glories to Śrī Rādhā Madana-Gopāla
All of you are the servants of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. I am your servant. All of you have named me as ‘Śrī Gaura Kiśora dāsa.’ Please bestow such mercy upon me that no spot of infamy will ever blemish this name that you have causelessly bestowed upon me. If any infamy is incurred, then you will feel ashamed of yourselves in Śrī Vraja-maṇḍala and Śrī Gauda-maṇḍala.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has bestowed the thirty-two syllable, sixteen name mahā-mantra to the residents of this world. You should write this mahā-mantra clearly on a paper, and then, while seeing these names, you should chant the mahā-mantra and the other mantras (which you received at the time of initiation). May you not look at any object of this world of Māyā. The letters of the nāma-mantra have such potency that you will attain the darśana and service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates. You will also attain the darśana and service of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and Their servants and maidservants. If you cannot leave your job, then you should use your salary in the service of the devotees who are always chanting harināma. You should make a favorable environment for such devotees.
You should wear a small black cloth and collect mādhukarī-bhikṣā from the homes of strangers. You should offer whatever you obtain in bhikṣā to Ṭhākurajī. Thus, you should honor Ṭhākurajī’s remnants. You should divide the bhoga into parts—you should offer one part to Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu and the other part to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. You should first offer the prasāda of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu to your guru and to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s devotees. After that, you should honor the prasāda yourself.
You should first give Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s prasāda to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, and then offer Her prasāda to Her sakhīs and mañjarīs. After that, offer the prasāda to your guru, who is also in the form of a sakhī. When you will come to Navadvīpa, I will personally instruct you how to chant the necessary mantras while offering bhoga, and I will also tell you about the rules which you must follow while offering bhoga.
You should avail yourself of the association of Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura if you are going to associate with the householders. You should follow in the footsteps of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrī Lokanātha Gosvāmī, and Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. You should try to do sādhana like these eight Gosvāmīs did. Your sādhana-bhakti should entirely depend on their mercy. You cannot advance in your sādhana-bhakti if you are in the presence of the objects of your senses. I will speak to you about sādhana-bhakti in detail when you can come to Śrīdhāma Navadvīpa someday.
Nowadays, there are not many who can write letters on behalf of others. I am degraded and bereft of sight; I cannot write anything. Your king of Agartala is the king of prema-bhakti as well. All you residents of Agartala are the kings of prema-bhakti. By giving me prema-bhakti, you should make me reside in Navadvīpa. None can escape from the desire of enjoying the objects of the senses. This desire is present even in the post of Śrī Mahādeva. Mahādeva obtained happiness when he renounced Golden Laṅkā and decided to reside in a crematorium under a bilva tree. You will find yourself to be continuously sorrowful as long as you are in the presence of the objects of the senses.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is sitting in my heart, is dictating every word of this letter. You should not be hopeful of fulfilling any desire in this world of Māyā. Indeed, you should renounce all such desires, and surrendering your body at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu, you should continuously chant the mahā-mantra on your beads. As a result, you will transcend the cycle of repeated birth, death, and its concomitant sorrows. After leaving this material body in due course of time, you will attain your eternal spiritual body. That is, you will become an associate of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and Śrīman Mahāprabhu, for your only possession will be prema-bhakti. Such an inconceivably good attainment is possible even in this very life. You should give prema-bhakti to Śrī Gaura Kiśora dāsa, who is a fallen, blind servant of the residents of Agartala. Thus, you should nourish me this way.
Srila Gaura Kishora das Babaji ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Four Rupanuga Vaisnava Acaryas of the Sri Gaurdiya Sampradaya”, for future availability contact: [email protected] )