Today is Mauni-amavasyā, the appearance day of Śrī Śrīla Guru-pāda-padma. I will try to remember his life and glories. If the Vaiṣṇavas bestow their causeless mercy then this is possible. His līlā and character is mahā-prasāda. If we accept and distribute this, it will be his mano-bhīṣṭa-pūjā, and very pleasing to God. By the order and desire of God, the guru-varga come into this world. When they come, anyone who waits to welcome them and prays to them will realize their unlimited glories and mercy.

janmādy asya yato ‘nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijṣaḥ svarāṭ

tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ

tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ‘mṛṣā

dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 1.1.1

The appearance place of God and His associates will be in that place free from the contaminations of material nature.

dharmaḥ projjhita kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsarāṇām sataṁ

Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 1.1.2

That place where there is no kapaṭatā, no desire to cheat others or one’s own soul; that place that is free from dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa; that place that is situated in nirguṇa-tattva—in such a place God or God’s associates will appear.

sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditaṁ

yad īyate tatra pumān apāvṛtaḥ

sattve ca tasmin bhagavān vāsudevo

hy adhokṣajo me namasā vidhīyate

Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 4.3.23

“The state of viśuddha-sattva, purely transcendental goodness, is also known as vasudeva, for in the same way that Mahārāja Vasudeva gave birth to Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa, practice in unadulterated, pure goodness will pull the curtain of māyā away and reveal the transcendental svarūpa of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s amorous pastimes in one’s heart. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is always pure consciousness, in which Kṛṣṇa, known as Vāsudeva, is revealed without any covering. I offer my obeisance to Adhokṣaja Kṛṣṇa. Although He is beyond the range of my imperfect senses, let Him be the object of my worship and bhajana.”

Vasudeva Mahārāja’s heart was pure, and transcendental to the modes of material nature, therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself appeared in his heart.

nandas tv ātmaja utpanne

jātāhlādo mahā-manāḥ

āhūya viprān veda-jṣān

snātaḥ śucir alaṅkṛtaḥ

Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 10.5.1

The hearts of Nanda Bābā and Yaśodā Mātā were supremely pure, therefore Kṛṣṇa appeared as their son.

This principle is even more applicable for the beloved associates of God. They only appear in that place, or heart, which is nirguṇa. Therefore, janmādy asya—their birth is not possible in any ordinary place near any ordinary person.

I pray to the lotus feet of that person in whose heart Gurudeva is present. They are lucky and very qualified. From within the heart of his pure disciples, Śrīla Gurudeva will travel all over the world, purifying and collecting the hearts of the living entities. He will make a center in their hearts and invite the Vrajavāsīs, Kṛṣṇa and the Vraja-devīs to all come there. Therefore, Vyāsadeva writes janmādy asya.

After appearing in any heart, the guru-varga begin their program to serve God. The guru-varga are sat-svarūpa, sandhinī śakti, the expansions of akhaṇḍa-guru-tattva. They endeavor to bring us to Kṛṣṇa, the Vrajavāsīs and Vraja, where they establish us in our souls’ eternal service.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu would go to the birthplace of Īśvara Purī and collect the dust at the holy site. He would eat a small part of this dust daily and smear some on His body. He revered this deeply, knowing how the appearance place of the guru-varga is more auspicious than any other location.

Śrīla Guru-pāda-padma appeared on this dark moon night. Scripture explains: tamaso mā jyotir gamayaḥ, how the living entities can go from the darkness into light. God sends His own rays of light into the dense darkness of this world to help the living entities. He sends His near and dearest loveful associates to this world to save souls suffering in māyā.

If God directly sent His own expansions, it would not be so helpful to the conditioned souls. Therefore He prays to svarūpa-śakti, “If Your expansions go to the material world, they will liberate the entire universe. Please send them. They are very powerful and are more than capable to bring the lost souls to Me.”

Tamaso mā jyotir gamayaḥ—how to bring the jīvas out of darkness into the light? This is only possible by the power of svarūpa-śakti. Hence, by the desire of Kṛṣṇa, Śrīla Gurudeva appeared in this world today, on the dark moon night. In the month known as Māgha, Kumbha Melā takes place. Millions of people come and bathe in the conjunction of Gaṅgā, Yamunā and Sarasvatī at this time, hoping to receive nectar.

Narottama Däsa Öhākura sings, glorifying the pure devotees:

gaṅgāra paraśa hoile paścate pāvana

darśane pavitra koro—ei tomāra guṇa

“After bathing in the waters of the sacred Ganges many times, one becomes purified, but just by the sight of you, the fallen souls are purified. This is your great power.”

hari-sthāne aparādhe tāre hari-nāma

tomā sthāne aparādhe nāhiko eḍāna

“The holy name delivers one who has committed an offense to Lord Hari, but if one commits an offense to you, there is no means of deliverance.”

tomāra hṛdoye sadā govinda-viśrāma

govinda kohena—mama vaiṣṇava parāṇa

“Your heart is always the resting place of Lord Govinda, and Lord Govinda says, “The Vaiṣṇavas are in My heart. (Prārthanā)”

How are the pure Vaiṣṇavas, God’s beloved associates? By bathing in the Gaṅgā, one will gradually be cleansed, but when? There is no guarantee. Simply by darśana of mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇavas, one becomes purified from the sins accumulated in millions of lives.

When Mahāprabhu appeared, it was the time of a lunar eclipse, and millions of people came to bathe in the Gaṅgā being afraid of the inauspicious effects of Rāhu and Ketu, who come to spread poison and destroy previous pious merit. At such times people go take shelter of Gaṅgā Devī for protection and they chant harināma. Similarly, when Śrīla Gurudeva appeared it was during the time of year of Kumbha Melā. He did not bring any mundane nectar that helps one eat, drink and be merry. He brought the nectar of vraja-rasa and bhakti-rasa.

Millions of people bathe in the Gaṅgā during Kumbha Melā. From North, South, East and West, they come to the bank of the Gaṅgā to bathe, and of these millions of people, many thousands would assemble in Buxar, Bihar, where the Gaṅgā is especially revered.

Many sādhus would stay in the village of Tiwaripura, where Śrīla Gurudeva was born. Śrīla Gurudeva’s father would give charity to the poor and distribute prasādam daily. Every evening there would be a saṅkīrtana festival and hari-kathā in the Tiwari’s house.

Daily, Śrīla Gurudeva’s parents went to the Gaṅgā with a saṅkīrtana party. After bathing in Gaṅgā, they returned home, applied tilaka on their bodies and worshipped the Lord. If any sādhus or brāhmaṇas came to the Tiwari’s house, Śrīla Gurudeva’s parents gave them prasādam and lodging.

Today, on Maunī Amāvasyā, from morning to evening many people fast and observe a vow of silence. In the evening after performing this vrata, people break silence by speaking the names of God.

Lord Śiva cleans the living entities sins and wicked desires, but then again they commit sin. Living entities are enjoyers. They can’t stop or change their nature. Śiva’s duty is to take away the weight of the universe by purifying the living entities. This task can only be accomplished by hari-kathā and hari-kirtana.

Śrīla Gurudeva appeared in this world in the midst of hari-saṅkīrtana. How can we cast of darkness and enter into light and, how can this change be permanent? How can we attain svarūpa-siddhi or realization of the soul’s constitutional position and how can we learn to serve God eternally? Śrīla Gurudeva arranged this program.

At the time of his appearance, everyone was chanting “Srīman nārāyaṇa hari hari! Govinda nārāyaṇa hari hari! Kṛṣṇa nārāyaṇa hari hari!”

The Tiwaris were worshipers of Lord Nārāyaṇa in the Rāmānuja sampradāya. They all chanted the glories of Nārāyaṇa. Sometimes they would chant mahā-mantrā, but they would first start with “hare rāma,” and then “hare kṛṣṇa.”

They had no knowledge of Vraja-bhakti. Until people meet with God’s associates, they will not have any idea of the highest transcendental knowledge. Anything they do will be their own speculation or worldly conception.

Even by doing nāma-kīrtana for millions of lives, one does not change. Why?

hena kṛṣṇa-nāma yadi laya bahu-bāra

tabu yadi prema nahe, nahe aśrudhāra

tabe jāni, aparādha tāhāte pracura

kṛṣṇa-nāma-bīja tāhe nā kare aṅkura

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 8.29-30

“If one chants the exalted holy name of the Lord again and again and yet his love for the Supreme Lord does not develop and tears do not appear in his eyes, it is evident that because of his offenses in chanting, the seed of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa does not sprout.”

bahu janma kare yadi śravaṇa, kīrtana

tabu ta’ nā pāya kṛṣṇa-pade prema-dhana

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 8.16

“If one is infested with the ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, despite his endeavor to chant the holy name for many births, he will not get the love of Godhead that is the ultimate goal of this chanting.”

A person can do nāma-saṅkīrtana and hear hari-kathā for millions of lives, but not change. Why? As long as one has a relationship with the illusory potency Māyā he cannot cross beyond her.

The guru-varga comes from the spiritual world, and they make relationship with the living entities. By trickery and cheating they bring them back to God’s lotus feet. They give knowledge, and the idea that this world is not enough for us and that it is not permanent. When the jīvas receive this knowledge they can begin their escape. However, they need help for they do not have any strength because they are weak from accepting the objects of māyā. Therefore, the guru-varga also give spiritual strength by connecting them to Kåñëa’s internal potency, svarūpa-śakti.

The day before Śrīla Gurudeva’s birth, the people of the village were very happy and said, “We will stay here and do kīrtana day and night.” They danced and sang and forgot, “Today is Maunī Amāvasyā; we are not meant to speak.”

The next day Gurudeva was born, and they saw him after returning from bathing in the Gaṅgā. He was a bright golden infant and very large for a newborn. He was given the name Śréman Nārāyaṇa. “He has come to help us,” the villagers said. “Lord Nārāyaṇa is certainly present within him.”

Māyāvādīs believe the living entity is indistinct from God. Following such a foolish conception, ignorant people see any baby child and say, “This is Gopāla. This is Kṛṣṇa, this is Kanhaiyā.” This is due to their ignorant nature and they cannot go beyond it. However, they don’t know that if you go near a snake, it bites you. In this way, if anyone comes near a mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇava, even if they have no respect or faith, they will make sukṛti unknowingly. The pure devotee captures peoples’ hearts and takes them beyond māyā to the eternal holy dhāma. People do not have this knowledge, but this meeting with a mahā-bhāgavata is very powerful and makes one’s life successful.

When Śrīla Gurudeva was six months old, his parents noticed that if they tried to bathe him with ordinary water, he would be very unhappy and not want to touch it; he would cry and cry. I met with his family members many times and they told me, “He used to become very sick and would suffer when he bathed in ordinary water. But when we brought Gaṅgā water and bathed him, he would be very happy. He could not be pleased without Gaṅgā water and would not bathe with any other water.”

If they tried to give him any food, he would not take it unless it was mahā-prasāda. He was very stubborn and would not eat or drink without mahā-prasāda or caraṇāmṛta. The family had śālagrāma and Deities of Lakṣmī Nārāyaṇa. They worshipped Them in the morning and then gave Gurudeva caraṇāmṛta. Before this he would not eat or drink anything. From his childhood his parents thought, “He must be an associate of God.”

As time went by, more and more people were attracted to their home. They said, “This house has some mystic power. By doing kīrtana here we feel such sweetness.” Without invitation, men, women, brāhmaṇas, government officers, and many other kinds of people would come, and when they came, they always brought gifts like rice, wheat, fruits, or flowers. They would receive this feeling like they had come to God temple.

“We are householders,” Gurudeva’s parents said, “Taking donations from others is not good for us.” By then Śrīla Gurudeva was already beginning to talk. He said to his family, “No, no. Everyone is serving Lord Nārāyaṇa. This is good. Accept these things and offer them to Lord Nārāyaṇa. Then distribute to everyone His mahā-prasāda.” His father and grandfather then arranged a nice daily program. Every day they would offer bhoga and distribute it to many people.

If someone is miserly and crazy, and does not give God’s praśādam to anyone, then his next life will definitely be that of a stone. How cruel are they? They only take, eat, and sell praśādam but do not distribute freely. Because they are like rocks in this life, they will certainly become rocks in their next life. Gurudeva never taught us this kind of miserly behavior.

I would meet with him daily from 1968 in Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha when I was twelve or thirteen. Every day he saved me some mahā-prasāda and gave this to me when I came to him. I remember those days so clearly. He would hide a little sweet rice and give it to me when I came in the evening. Śrīla Gurudeva would tell me stories of his life and how on his advice his parents started daily distributing mahā-prasāda freely to many guests. Śrīla Gurudeva was very happy. People took praśādam at his house and stayed there for a while.

At a very young age Gurudeva began to read Gītā and Rāmāyaṇa with his parents. In the Gītā it is said:

prasāde sarva-duḥkhānāṁ

hānir asyopajāyate

prasanna-cetaso hy āśu

buddhiḥ paryavatiṣṭhate

Bhagavad-gītā 2.6

If anyone takes mahā-prasāda they will not suffer in this world and they will never be sad and crazy. The prasāda offered to God is very powerful and also very helpful. This is God mercy. Otherwise, how can the jīvas come and be nearby him? How can they meet with him and understand His blessings?

Śrīla Gurudeva would go to the Gaṅgā every day with his grandparents and come back to sit with his father while he did arcana of their Deities. Brāhmaṇas have a rule that without brāhmaṇa-dīkṣā no one can worship, go in the temple for arcana, or cook for the Deity. Śrīla Gurudeva would sit by the temple room and watch his parents worship the Lord.

They told him, “Remember daily the advice of God. If you do so, God will be very happy and pleased.” Therefore brāhmaṇas memorize all verses of the Gītā. The advice of God is his mahā-prasāda. If anyone wants to make his life successful, he will read Bhagavad-gītā, put this to memory and keep this as his own. Otherwise without Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-bhāgavatam’s presence in the heart, the brain will never be clean nor will the heart. Rather, the desire for māyā will prevail.

Therefore, to purify the self, one must collect and keep Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-bhāgavatam, Rāmāyaṇa and other scriptures in the heart. Then all dirty things will flee from there. When the sun rises all darkness dissipates and inauspicious elements like thieves, bed bugs, mosquitoes, and snakes all run and hide.

The topmost way for advancing in bhakti is to daily collect and remember the glories of Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, rūpa, guṇa and līlā. If they come in the heart, then all cheaters, dacoits, anarthas, prārabdha and aprārabdha karma will run away. They will no longer come, stay, attack and disturb us. We will not experience any tension.

If a person is lazy, crazy, mad and completely useless, then he will not collect and keep śāstra in his heart. This collection of śāstra is necessary. By this collection, people will become spiritually wealthy. Mundane wealth is transitory; it will not stay long with anyone.

Śrīla Gurudeva would study in the morning, but not by himself. Many of his school friends would come and Śrīla Gurudeva would give them advice from śāstra. He would sit with his parents and grandparents and would teach the verses of Bhagavad-gītā.

During Rāma Navami, the villages of Tiwaripura would recite Tulasī Dāsa’s account of Lord Rāma all day and night without cessation while fasting.

Śrīla Gurudeva asked his grandfather, Dhyanacandra Tiwari, “Tell me, why do we fast and recite the entire Rāmāyaṇa on Rāma’s birthday?”

“If we do so,” his grandfather replied, “Rāma will come and be pleased with us. This is His pūjā. Only physical articles of worship are not everything. If one doesn’t remember Rāma’s glories and bring them in his heart, Rāma will not come in the heart. And if Rāma doesn’t come in the heart, all nonsense will be in the heart and one will remain useless and lost.”

“Why don’t we read this daily then? Thus Rāma will always stay with us.”

“Yes, everyday reading is good, but it is so long and there is no time.”

“Why is there no time? Isn’t all one’s time and life meant for Rāma?”

“This is good. But twenty-four hours are required to recite the entire epic. You should memorize Tulasī dāsa’s Sundara-kāṇḍa; this is good for you and will not take too long.”

Śrīla Gurudeva very quickly memorized the Sundara-kāṇḍa and recited it along with the verses of Bhagavad-gītā.

When he began going to school, boys would come from village-to-village to accompany him. The school was around eight or nine kilometers from Gurudeva’s house. There was no road. It was a forested area scattered with fields. In the rainy season, the path would be flooded and difficult to cross.

Anyhow, all the boys would meet together in Gurudeva’s house and go from there to school. But first they prayed by the verses of Bhagavad-gītā and Rāmāyaṇa, took caranamṛta and a little prasādam, and then went.

His parents were very happy that their son organized all the village boys into a group and that he was a group leader. Many other boys came from other villages as well. All boys were his dear friends. They all went to school together. The school had no room and the boys studied outside under a tree.

The tutor used to come a little after the boys arrived. When he came he would see that Gurudeva was leading the boys in reciting scripture.

“You are not properly studying your actual lessons but are only reading Rāmāyaṇa,” the tutor chastened the boys.

Rāma will give us a good brain,” Gurudeva replied, “and then these lessons will be very easy to remember. How can we learn anything from you? You are forty or fifty years old, and we are mere boys; how can we understand your lectures? We cannot be equal to you.”

“You have a very sharp brain,” the professor replied unhappily, “Yes, Rāma will give you a good brain; this is the truth.”

Then the tutor told, “You all pray and I will pray as well. Then you will understand my lectures and also I will understand your desire and what you want to ask.” Then this school completely changed.

In the morning time, before lessons began, the twelfth chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, dealing with bhakti-yoga, would be daily recited. When the twenty verses were finished, they chanted the names of Rāma and Hari.

Wherever Rāmāyaṇa was recited in any house, Śrīla Gurudeva would stay there day and night, not going to school, eating, or doing anything. When Rāmāyaṇa was complete, then Śrīla Gurudeva would stay for the completing fire sacrifice and then come back.

In the school, one boy was very naughty and always disturbed the class. He did not follow instructions and would not change when the teacher tried to calm his mischievous nature. Unlike the other students who were composed in Gurudeva’s presence, this boy was always restless, and taunted the other boys while they studied or performed any religious activities.

One day, this boy caused so much mischief that the teacher locked him alone in the school shed. After sometime, the boy began to scream, “Master! Master! Open the door! There is a snake attacking me! It’s wrapping me up in its coils to suck my blood! Open the door! Save me! Help, Help!”

The other students looked up from their assignments in concern, but the teacher dismissed his cries, saying, “How could a snake have gotten in there? He’s just making it up.”

The boy continued screaming for a few minutes while the teacher ignored him and the students tried to concentrate on their work. Then he fell silent. In the afternoon when school was finished for the day, the teacher went to let the naughty boy out. The teacher opened the shed door and gasped.

“What happened?” the students clustered around the shed door and screamed in horror. A huge snake was coiled around the body of the naughty boy from head to toe and was sucking blood from his neck. His lifeless eyes stared out helplessly, foam driveled from his mouth, and his skin had turned a poisonous blue color.

“Oh my God! The teacher exclaimed, “Now his family will come and dig my grave.”

News spread to nearby villages, and by twilight, a crowd of hundreds had gathered. Everyone was afraid to go near the snake.

Observing the situation, Gurudeva addressed the crowd in a loud voice, “The boy is dead, now we must get the snake to go away. Have faith in the holy names of Lord Rāma. Rāmāyaṇa is the supreme truth. When Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa were bound by the snake weapon of Rāvaṇa’s son Indrajīta, Garuḍa appeared. Seeing him, the snakes immediately fled in fear. Therefore, let us pray to Garuḍa for help with verses from the Rāmāyaṇa, and by his power the snake will leave.”

Although Gurudeva was only a young boy, the villagers, moved by his conviction, accepted his advice and began praying to Garuòa. Gurudeva recited verses from the Rāmāyaṇa and soon the snake uncoiled and slithered away. The boy’s stiff body was placed on a table. Seeing their dead son, his parents wept uncontrollably. Hearing the cause of the accident, the villagers became furious with the teacher and were ready to kill him.

Śrīla Gurudeva intervened, “What is the use of killing the teacher? Be peaceful and pray to God for the boy’s soul. If God desires it, the boy can come back to life. If not, at least by prayer his soul will attain a higher destination. Otherwise, a person who dies horribly may wander in the subtle body of a ghost. Therefore, we must pray for his benefit. Later we can go to the Gaṅgā and perform his last rites. Śrī Rāma is non-different from His names, so if we pray to Him by calling out His names, He will surely be merciful. The personification of death himself runs in fear upon hearing the name of Rāma.”

Everyone began to sing Rāmāyaṇa and the recitation continued all night. In the early morning, while kīrtana was being loudly sung, Śrīman Nārāyaṇa worshipped the śalagrāma form of Lord Näräyaëa by bathing Him with Ganga water and offering Tulasī leaves dipped in sandalwood paste. Afterwards, he sprinkled the holy water in the boy’s mouth.

To the amazement of all present, the boy slowly sat up and looked around in wonder. “Haribol! Haribol!” loud shouts of jubilation filled the countryside. By Lord Rāma’s grace the boy had come back to life. The villagers picked up Śrīman Nārāyaṇa in joy and danced around with him on their shoulders, chanting, “Jaya ho! Jaya Sītā Rāma! Jaya ho!”

“Śrīman Nārāyaṇa is no ordinary boy,” they said to each other. “This boy is like the sun of our village.” They talked about the miracle he performed for a long time and concluded that he was a great devotee blessed by God. “

The revived boy was no longer restless or naughty. From then on he followed Gurudeva everywhere. But a short while later he went into the jungle, took initation from a yogī guru, and performed intense austerities. Twelve years later he returned to Tiwaripura and announced to the villagers, “I have mystic power. I know yoga. Without a boat or anything, I shall cross the Gaṅgā.”

As he performed this magic of crossing the Gaṅgā and coming back, many villagers gathered to see. But Śrīla Gurudeva was not interested and did not go.

After this, the boy who had now become a yogī came to see Śrīla Gurudeva and said, “My friend, you didn’t you come to see? I have gained yogic power from worshipping Lord Siva.”

The wise village leader, who too was not interested in the new yogis show said to him, “With only one coin I could cross the Gaṅgā by boat and come back with another coin. But you have wasted twelve years learning a two-coin trick. This is useless. You did not learn how to cross this world and go near God. Do you have knowledge of the soul and Supreme Soul?”

“Yes,” Śrīla Gurudeva agreed sternly. “You are bogus. This yoga vidyā is nothing.”

Then realizing his mistakes, this old friend of Śrīla Gurudeva began to practice bhakti-yoga. He studied the Rāmāyaṇa, Gītā, and Bhāgavata under the guidance of Śrīla Gurudeva.

This boy-turned-yogī later took initiation from a Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Guru and for the rest of his life he chanted three lakhs of harināma daily, performing his bhajana in Uttara Kāśī in the Himālayas. Sometimes he came to Vraja-maṇḍala and met with Śrīla Gurudeva. He always chanted and preached and helped many jīvas in the area that he stayed. Only a few years back he left this world, just before Śrīla Gurudeva entered nitya-līlā. This is a living proof that if any conditioned soul meets with a mahā-bhāgavata his life automatically changes and a taste for spiritual life comes.

When he graduated from high school Gurudeva became a police officer and was well loved and quickly promoted.

Once, a few years after he became an officer, Gurudeva was assigned to check the activities of a group of devotees preaching in Bihar. Śrīla Gurudeva went to investigate. He used to attend the sādhus’ hari-kathā and sat in front. Śrīpāda Narottamānanda Prabhu was the speaker there. Gurudeva asked him many questions and he answered them in English as he didn’t know much Hindi.

“How many days is the program?” asked Śrīla Gurudeva.

“Seven days.”

Śrīla Gurudeva then went to his headquarters.

“Give me duty there for seven days and nights,” asked Śrīla Gurudeva. “I will check on these sādhus. I can’t do so if I don’t have enough time.”

He was granted the permission.

He met with the sādhus and respectfully followed all Vaiṣṇava-etiquette and humbly inquired into different subject matters.

“Did Māyā create this world, or God?” Śrīla Gurudeva first asked Śrīpāda Narottamānanda Prabhu. “If God created the world, why do the living entities follow māyā? Are the living entities parts and parcels of God, or of Māyā?”

Śrīla Gurudeva gave classes on this topic in Mathurā many times, asking great scholars this very question.

“There are three types of śakti viz. cit-śakti, jīva-śakti and taṭastha-śakti,” replied Narottamānanda Prabhu. “The jīvas do not come directly from God.” He then gave him Jaiva-dharma. It was in Bengali.

“Can you read this?” he asked Śrīla Gurudeva.

“I can understand something.”

“In Jaiva-dharma, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura explains all the truths of the soul.”

Their discussions continued for seven days. Narottamānanda Prabhu spoke on many topics, but mostly about taṭastha-śakti, cit-śakti and jīva-śakti.

If a new person joined the temple, Śrīla Gurudeva would first give them strong lectures. Meaning, he answered the questions: “Where did you come from?” or “What is your duty?” and “How can you cross māyā and go from taṭastha-śakti to God’s side?”

Śrīpāda Narottamānanda Prabhu continued¬:

sādhu-saṅga, sādhu-saṅga—sarva-śāstre kaya

lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya

“The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.”

“You are meeting with sādhus,” he said. “If you stay with a mahā-bhāgavata Guru, he will give you spiritual strength. Living entities have no taste, energy or power; they are very small and weak. When sādhus give energy, then the jīvas become strong, get willpower and go towards God. Otherwise, looking at māyā, who is nearby, the living entities become greedy and run towards it, thinking that this is very good and tasteful. Actually, it is very dangerous. Crossing māyā is not so easy. People have no desire to cross it. They cry and weep, ‘How can I leave my family? How can I leave my wife and children?’ It is best for the jīva to be in sādhu-saṅga before strong attachment to things in this world swallows him.

“You have good knowledge. You know Rāmāyaṇa, Gītā, the Upaniśads, Veda, Vedānta, Bhāgavatam and everything. Know that you are of taṭasthā-śakti, the middle plain. Now will you go to māyā’s side or God’s?”

“Yes,” thought Śrīla Gurudeva. “This is my chance. If I don’t come to the side of sādhus, I will be arrested by māyā and will lose everything.”

Narottamānanda Prabhu and the devotees with him were very happy. “Today we have caught a nice one,” they agreed silently.

They were all attracted to him. Why? This is the nature of Śrīla Gurudeva’s heart. In the police station everyone was also happy with him. Anywhere he went people were attracted to him.

Once, a very long time before, while I was massaging him in the afternoon, he told me how he found the file lost in the police headquarters and received a promotion. Then he was given a promotion making him one of the chief officers in Odisha, Bengal, Bihar and so forth.

“I could not forget thinking about that,” Śrīla Gurudeva told me. “Day and night it was pinching my heart: Which way to go? On one side are sādhus and one side family.”

That time he was already married and had two children. He was the most beloved in his family. He thought, “What to do?” He could not forget the sādhus. Sādhus have mystic power. They are the authorities of God; not ordinary personalities. Real sādhus do not go around begging and cheating people, taking their blood and saving it in a bank. Anything they collect they offer to God as it is. Thus Narottamānanda Prabhu offered Śrīla Gurudeva to Param Gurudeva.

How did Param Gurudeva serve Prabhupāda? Now people only make jokes and perform dramas. Their lives are like a joke. They do not want to follow anything as it is. Guru-mantra, harināma, guru-sevā and vaiṣṇava-sevā are not any joke or drama.

“Mahārāja served his Gurudeva without any duplicity, Pujypada Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja would always say, “he served giving his life. Therefore the entire world is following his footsteps.”

Kapata haile dura pravesera premera pura, if one is a hypocrite, he can never enter the path of bhakti, nor can he ever understand anything. When one gives up all duplicity, he can enter Vraja, the abode of prema. Because of duplicity the heart is not clear and open; it is like something is hidden in a corner of the heart, locked away in a chest we don’t want to open.

Śrīla Gurudeva’s heart is not like this. He resigned his government service, rejecting the promotion that came, and surrendered his life to Param Gurudeva.

He said, “I will not stay here one day longer. I do not like anything without sādhu-saṅga. I asked the Vaiṣṇavas so many questions and everything they answered is present in my heart. I will not leave them for one moment.”

The Vaiṣṇavas had told him the glories of Param Gurudeva, Śrīla Bhakti Prajïāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja. They said, “He was of a landlord family and has served Prabhupāda with his life and soul. And he continues to serve him now.”

Without telling anything to his family, Gurudeva took a train from Gayā to Howrah connecting to Navadvīpa.

He had previously sent a letter to Ācārya Keśarī Śrīla Bhakti Prajïāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, saying, “I heard your glories and desire to come and meet with you in the holy dhāma of Navadvīpa.”

But he did not tell when he would come.

Param Gurudeva heard about him from Narottamānanda Prabhu and was very pleased. But when? They did not know.

When Śrīla Gurudeva came from his house to Navadvīpa on a train, Param Gurudeva was very happy on that day.

“Today you are very pleased,” My Guru Mahārāja asked him.

“Yes, someone is coming. Save some prasādam.”

Param Gurudeva knew in his heart that Śrīla Gurudeva was on his way.

But no one came in the evening. At night, Sajjana asked, “What to do with this prasādam?”

“No, save this. Also, go to the railway station, someone is coming.”

“Who is coming?”

“Don’t you know? One letter came from Buxar. An officer is coming from Tiwaripura on the train from Gayā.”

How did Param Gurudeva know? This is called eternal relation. There were no phones or way to call at that time. But if sādhus remember any person, they can understand his whereabouts and activities. Why? Their hearts are pure, devoid of any darkness or spot. If anyone remembers the sādhus and offers them anything in their heart, the sādhus will accept that and offer it to God.

Many times in my life, Śrīla Gurudeva would tell me, “Today someone is coming. Save this prasādam.” And indeed, someone would come. But Gurudeva would always know beforehand.

Param Gurudeva sent my Guru Mahārāja with a kerosene lamp. The path to the station from Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha was through a thick jungle. The town was far away. There were no houses or rooms near Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha then. The municipality used that area to throw the town’s rubbish.

Sajjana Sevaka went to the station and waited for the train to arrive. When it reached the station, he called out through the big crowd of people, “Who is Tiwariji, who is Tiwariji?”

Hearing his name being called, Śrīla Gurudeva came out of the station office and saw Sajjana Sevaka.

“I am Tiwariji,” he replied. “How do you know my name?”

Sajjana Sevaka looked at him with wonder. Śrīla Gurudeva was tall and had a golden complexion. He had beautiful blue eyes, a large moustache, and was wearing a spotless white suit.

“My Guru Maharaja sent me to bring you to our temple,” Sajjana Sevaka explained.

“Who is your Guru Maharaja?”

“Śrila Bhakti Prajïāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja.”

“How did he know I was coming?” Gurudeva was amazed. “I sent no letter announcing my arrival.”

“Guru Maharaja knows past, present, and future. He told me you were coming and to bring you to the temple since Navadvīpa is a big town and it is late now.”

Sajjana Sevaka then led Śrīla Gurudeva to Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha.

Param Gurudeva was pacing outside his room, waiting to meet Gurudeva. Upon arriving, Śrīla Gurudeva offered prostrated obeisance to Param Gurudeva, who lifted him up and embraced him. Param Gurudeva was tall, with a grave temperament. His body was golden and soft like butter. Śrīla Gurudeva was also strong and grave, but upon seeing each other their hearts melted with affection and both began weeping profusely, as if they were meeting their own family member after thousands of years.

Param Gurudeva took Gurudeva in his lap and wept, as if he had been missing someone for a very long time.

“How much are the guru-varga kind for us? Śrīla Gurudeva was surprised. “He is crying for me?”

In the morning he went to bathe in the Gaṅgā with Param Gurudeva. Soon after, he prayed to Param Gurudeva to accept him.

“You are mine,” Param Gurudeva replied, “How can I accept or reject you? You are not the property of any other. The property of sādhus will come to sādhus, the property of God will come to God. It is not possible that it stays away.”

“Then will you give me harināma?”

“Yes, but the condition is you must shave your head?”

“Okay, but I won’t cut my moustache.”

Why? His brāhmaṇa family had a rule that if you cut your moustache it means your father and mother is dead. If anyone dies in the family, the man would cut his moustache.

“Then you cannot take harināma,” intervened Narottamānanda Prabhu.

“I shall consider this.”

Later, he talked with the other Vaiṣṇavas.

“Is this moustache very dear to you?” they asked. “More than your Gurudeva?”

“No, this is not dear to me. I don’t like it but this is the custom of my family.”

“Which family are you in? Our family or another family?” asked Narottamānanda Prabhu.

“No, I am in your family.”

“Then what is the problem? Follow the rules of our family.”

The next day Śrīla Gurudeva shaved and Param Gurudeva gave him harināma.

From that day Gurudeva took responsibility for maintaining Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha. There was no need to order him, “Do this, do that.” No. How did the devotees work in those days? Now no one can even imagine that.

Oh! How did Anaṅga Mohana Prabhu serve? He would go for bhikṣā with a Bābājī Mahārāja every day, sometimes in Calcutta, Barampura, Kālnā, or Vardhamāna. They would leave in the morning and return in the evening. If the brahmacārīs did not collect any bhikṣā, then they would go and collect cow dung or dry wood for cooking in the Maṭha.

Śrīla Gurudeva had such strong vairāgya. He neglected his body, not taking water or eating properly. One day, feeling intense pain in his stomach, Śrīla Gurudeva consulted Param Gurudeva.

“Don’t worry.” Param Gurudeva assured him. “God is protecting you. You won’t be disturbed in this life. God has accepted you. Therefore He has given you some trouble. Otherwise the body will disturb. The body is a network of nonsense, and when strong and healthy it will give bad instructions. Don’t be worried. This will not be painful for you.”

Śrīla Gurudeva tolerated everything and continued chanting, reading, writing and serving Param Gurudeva.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja, who was then Rādhānātha Brahmacārī, and Śrīla Gurudeva, Gaura Nārāyaṇa Brahmacārī, would go with Param Gurudeva preaching throughout most of the year. Param Gurudeva left my Guru Mahārāja, whose name was then Sajjana Sevaka Brahmacārī, to manage the temple.

Śrīla Gurudeva would cook and personally serve Param Gurudeva, while Śrīla Trivikrama Mahārāja arranged programs, collected and so forth.

Param Gurudeva had given an order that no brahmacārīs go alone for bhikṣā; at least two brahmacārīs must go. If there is one old Bābājī or a senior brahmacārī with a young brahmacārī, Param Gurudeva said it would be best.

Śrīla Gurudeva traveled from village to village with Mukunda Vinoda Bābāji, a disciple of Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. Once while preaching in the Vardhamāna district, they came to the village of Kurmona. Upon seeing Śrīla Gurudeva, the local villagers gossiped amongst themselves, “This young sādhu is very strong and healthy; it is doubtful that he is an honest renunciate. These sādhus are probably thieves who have come in the guise of monks. They must be a scouting party. Let’s catch these bogus sādhus and have them arrested.”

Dacoits had recently visited this village and thus many of the locals were suspicious of every stranger. Surrounding Śrīla Gurudeva and Mukunda dāsa Bābājī they shouted, “Dacoits! Thieves! Catch them!”

“We are not thieves!” Mukunda dāsa Bābājī replied. “Please let us go in peace.”

Gurudeva and the Bābājīwere locked in a room.

Bābājī Mahārāja worried, “They are going to beat us! What should we do? Oh Kṛṣṇa, hey Gauranga! Please save us!”

“Don’t worry so much, everything will be fine,” Gurudeva said.

Many people from neighboring villages gathered to see the two dacoits dressed as sādhus.

Bābājī Mahārāja begged, “Please let us go. We came from Navadvīpa Dhāma and mean no harm.”

A police van soon arrived. Moving the crowds aside, the officers entered the room where Śrīla Gurudeva and the elderly sadhu were waiting. The villagers pressed against the windows to see what was happening.

Gurudeva spoke to the officers in English, “We have only come to invite people to our annual Navadvīpa Dhāma parikrama.”

The officers were surprised, “You know English?”

“Yes.”

The head officer said, “What is your name?”

“My name is Narayana Tiwari.”

“Narayana Tiwari!?!” The officers said in amazement, “The Narayana Tiwari?”

“Yes.”

Having heard the glories of Narayana Tiwari, the officers gave him a respectful salute. They spoke with him in English for sometime, and then chastised the villagers, “Do you know who this is? He is not an ordinary man. Respect him properly. He used to be a high ranking officer in Bengal and Bihar. Now has given up his prestigious position to beg door to door. He is a great soul like Svami Vivekananda. It is your good fortune to serve these exalted devotees. They have left their families and all material possessions, and came here to spread the message of God. If you make any offense to them, your life will be ruined.”

The villagers begged forgiveness and requested Śrīla Gurudeva and the babaji to stay in their village and speak hari-katha. In the evening the whole village gathered to hear Śrīla Gurudeva speak. After inspiring them to follow bhakti in their homes, Śrīla Gurudeva invited them to the annual pilgrimage of Navadvīpa Dhāma.

Many of the villagers gave generous donations of rice, dahl and various ingredients for temple. Back in Navadvīpa as night settled in, Param Gurudeva was worried because Gurudeva and the babaji had still not returned. Gurudeva and the babaji returned late at night, having collected the most of anyone. The babaji happily told Param Gurudeva, “Today we have brought back so much! I will take this Gaura Narayana with me on bhiksa every day. When he speaks in English everyone offers him respect.”

Param Gurudeva asked, “Gaura Narayana, what happened, how did you collect so much?”

Gurudeva told, “When we went to Kurmona, the villagers thought that we were thieves and locked us in a room. When the police found out I was previously an officer, they let us go, chastising the villagers for disturbing us. The villagers then gave us all of this.”

Param Gurudeva said, “This has happened by God’s desire. If you wanted to speak to that many people, you would have had to move through many towns and villages. But by God’s will, so many villagers came automatically and gave bhikṣā to you, thus making a relationship with you and God’s temple. Now they will come to Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā.”

“Yes, I invited everyone.”

“You have great faith in the guru-varga. I see that you are strong and never defeated or disturbed by anyone. A disciple must never become hopeless or leave his service. Sense enjoyers run from the field of duty as soon as any small disturbance arises. Because you tolerate everything for the service of Mahāprabhu and the Vaisnavas, myself and the guru-varga will always protect you.”

That year the parikramā was very large.

Hundreds of people came from the towns and villages in the area where Gurudeva had been, and they became attracted to Param Gurudeva and the parikramā.

The householders who had accosted Śrīla Gurudeva and the Bābājī Mahārāja also came to Param Gurudeva. They were very rich and gave so much bhikṣā and naturally changed.

From then on, whenever there was an important or difficult task to perform, Param Gurudeva would call upon Śrīla Gurudeva.

If Gurudeva had preached without any obstacle, preaching would have been less. Similarly, Haridas Thakura became widely known after the beating incident, and was able to preach extensively.

Now, everyone knows how Śrīla Gurudeva served Anaṅga Mohana. But there is something secret here. Anaṅga Mohan was the nearest and dearest sevaka of Param Gurudeva. He was continuously with Param Gurudeva. He sang very nicely. His color was enchantingly fair. He was a beautiful young boy, and cooked very well. His character and behavior was very nice, but his vairāgya was very strong. He did not have any attraction to food, lodge, or any comfortable facilities.

Gradually so many brahmacārīs came to the temple, but there were no rooms to stay in. They had enormous woks to cook with for Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā, and when these were not in use, the woks would be turned upside down, and the brahmacārīs slept underneath them at night. There were no rooms.

Do you know how was Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha built? The brahmacārīs built the temple with bricks that came from far away by boat and were delivered onto the bank of the Gaṅgā.

All the brahmacārīs and sannyāsīs carried the bricks on their heads from the Gaṅgā to the temple. After, they carried sand from the Gaṅgā and arranged clay. They carried this all on their heads as they worked all day long.

They made the building with clay, not cement. When you first enter Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha, on the left side there is a building. It is the first constructed building of the maṭha. Śrīla Gurudeva would stay there. When it was first built, Param Gurudeva stayed there with the brahmacārīs.

After years of continuous hard work, Anaṅga Mohana became very sick. He had tuberculosis and was vomiting blood.

Param Gurudeva asked, “Someone must take care of him constantly, who will help?”

But no one was ready to help. Only Śrīla Gurudeva said, “Gurudeva, whether you give me order or not, I will serve him, for I know this is your desire.”

All were reluctant to take care of Anaṅga Mohana. Why? He was terminally ill. He was very contagious and repeatedly vomiting blood. If anyone got infected, they would also die because there was no medicine for tuberculosis in India at that time.

Param Gurudeva took Anaṅga Mohana to Madras accompanied by Śrīla Gurudeva. Param Gurudeva left Anaṅga Mohana in Śrīla Gurudeva’s care and came back Navadvīpa.

Anaṅga Mohana continued to vomit blood and was unable to eat. He was very thin and had an extremely high fever. Śrīla Gurudeva cleaned body and serve him. He would be senseless most of the time.

After the doctor gave medicine and some sense came back to him, Anaṅga Mohana asked, “Where is my Bābā?” He called Param Gurudeva Bābā, father. “Where is he? Who brought me here? Why have I been taken away from him?” He was crying and shouting.

Śrīla Gurudeva tried to console him. “When you are a little better I will take you to him.”

“No! I must go now.’

Śrīla Gurudeva gave Anaṅga Mohana a picture of Param Gurudeva and put it on his chest, saying, “He is here.”

Anaṅga Mohana said, “He is calling me. I am going.”

Anaṅga Mohana was very restless and cried even more. He said, “If you don’t send me to Bābā, then I will go to Vṛndāvana. I am going to Vṛndāvana, Rādhārānī and Kṛṣṇa are calling me. I am going there. How will you stop me?”

Then Śrīla Gurudeva caught his feet and said, “Yes. If you are going, how can I stop you? But please pray for me also, I also want to go to Vṛndāvana.”

“Yes, Bābā is there in Vṛndāvana, I am going to him.”

Anaṅga Mohana was shouting very loud. Śrīla Gurudeva held his feet and prayed to him.

“I can’t stay here, I am running now,” Anaṅga Mohana repeated. Then he left.

Śrīla Gurudeva sent a letter to Param Gurudeva, “You gave me your property to care for,” he wrote. “But I could not protect him. He has left. I lost him. He is gone.”

Param Gurudeva responded with a letter that read, “Yes, but don’t worry. I am with you. You are with me and he whom you speak of is also with me. There is a special relationship between Guru and disciple. This relationship is permanent. He is not distance to me. He is here.”

Caitanya Mahāprabhu left Choṭā Haridāsa. But once, after one year, Mahāprabhu was on the bank of the ocean and said to Svarūpa Dāmodara, “I can hear the singing of Haridāsa. O Svarūpa Dāmodara can you hear it?”

“Yes, yes. It is the melody of Haridāsa?”

“Where is Haridāsa?”

“Prabhu, you left him one year before. He went to Prayāga and gave up his life. Some say he has become a brahma-rākṣasa.”

Mahāprabhu became very angry and shouted, “Brahma-rākṣasa? This is not possible! He stayed with the Vaiṣṇavas, lived in Jagannātha Purī, and accepted Jagannātha’s mahā-prasāda. How can he be a Brahma-rākṣasa? He left this body, but with his spiritual body he is with us.”

Param Gurudeva told Śrīla Gurudeva, “Anaṅga Mohana has not left us. He is with me in Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha, continuing his service. Come here and you will be able to meet with him. Learn everything from him, he will teach you how to serve Guru and Vaiṣṇavas.”

The sevaka has love. Gurudeva accepts this love. Where does this love come from?

Param Gurudeva explained:

śuddha-sattva-viśeṣātmā

prema-sūryāṁśu-sāmya-bhāk

rucibhiś citta-masṛṇya-

kṛd asau bhāva ucyate

Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.3.1

When the Vrajavāsīs’ hearts melt, then śuddha-sattva comes to the hearts of the living entities, then eternal service can be attained, otherwise it is not possible.

Śrīla Gurudeva told us, “After Anaṅga Mohana’s departure, when I returned to Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha, I felt a great potency come inside me. From that day I served my Gurudeva continuously.”

Gurudeva was always with Param Gurudeva and performed all services, such as cooking, cleaning, washing cloth, and writing down Param Gurudeva’s articles for publishing. When Param Gurudeva laid down to rest, he would tell Śrīla Gurudeva, “Read to me, I will listen.” Then Śrīla Gurudeva would read to Param Gurudeva. Param Gurudeva was very happy with him.

Once, my Guru Mahārāja became very sick. He also got tuberculosis, and there was a hole as big as a finger’s width in his chest. He became very skinny and weak.

Then Param Gurudeva showed us his love for his sevaka. He went to Sidhāvāḍī Gauḍīya Maṭha with my Guru Mahārāja, who was Sajjana Sevaka Brahmacārī, Gurudeva, who was Gaura Nārāyaṇa Brahmacārī at the time, and Triguṇatita Bābāji Mahārāja.

Śrīla Gurudeva cooked, went to the market, cleaned everything and did all the service. Bābājī Mahārāja was old, and my Guru Mahārāja was sick. So Śrīla Gurudeva did all service alone.

One night Śrīla Gurudeva saw in a dream that Anaṅga Mohana was with Param Gurudeva. Śrīla Gurudeva asked, “Gurudeva, Anaṅga Mohana is with you? He is massaging and serving you?”

“Yes, I never left him. This relation is eternal.”

Don’t think Gurudeva is far away to us. This is never possible. If anyone has a little love for Gurudeva, he will never leave. He accepts our service. He is with us.

Param Gurudeva said, “Anaṅga Mohana has not left me. He is with you. He helps you while you cook and serve me. How can you do everything alone? Therefore he does everything with you.”

One time, in the 1980s, when the Nīlācala Gauḍīya Maṭha was being opened in Puri, my Guru Mahārāja, Śrīla Trivikrama Mahārāja and Śrīla Gurudeva all went to make arrangements. After some time, Śrīla Trivikrama Mahārāja and Śrīla Gurudeva came back, and my Guru Mahārāja was there working very hard. After a while however, my Guru Mahārāja became very sick with bronchitis. But he would never spend one coin of temple money for his sickness.

His sevaka was named Sundarānanda and was illiterate. He could not write, and everyone there from Odisha origin. Somehow he wrote a small note on a postcard and sent it to Mathurā. This letter came to Mathurā and as soon as Śrīla Gurudeva saw it he boarded a train without any reserved ticket, without delaying in the slightest, and without telling anyone.

Śrīla Gurudeva went on a general class ticket to Jagannātha Purī. When he arrived he saw that my Guru Mahārāja’s condition was not good. It was like he was ready to leave his body and was having a hard time breathing.

Śrīla Gurudeva sat nearby his head and fanned him in the small room.

“Why didn’t you spend any money for your treatment?” Gurudeva asked.

“This money is Gurudeva’s money, God’s money, how can I use it for myself?” replied my Guru Mahārāja.

Śrīla Gurudeva called Banaharlal Sinhaniya who made all arrangements for my Guru Mahārāja’s treatment.

One night, Śrīla Gurudeva was sitting by the bed where my Guru Mahārāja lay ill. Neither were sleeping. Just then Param Gurudeva came into the room with a walking stick, just as Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja would walk with a cane. What did he say?

“Hey Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja, don’t be worried. Vāmana Mahārāja will be well soon. There is a doctor Pallik in Calcutta. Go to him. After sometime he will become his follower. I will go ahead to tell him. He will give treatment to Vāmana Mahārāja. There is no need for any other doctor.”

Don’t think that Guru-pāda-padma doesn’t consider the welfare of his disciples.

He is always with his own disciples.

Śrīla Gurudeva called Sinhaniya in the morning and he arranged a ticket for Calcutta. For six months Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Mahārāja took treatment from doctor Pallik.

Śrīla Gurudeva sent me for a week and I met with Guru Mahārāja. He was cured and after his sickness was gone, doctor Pallik took dīkṣā from him.

Anywhere Vaiṣṇavas go, they change the hearts of all. Guru Mahārāja then told how Param Gurudeva had come and helped.

Once, when Navadvīpa-dhāma Parikramā was beginning in the new temple, Śrīla Gurudeva woke at midnight, and called, “Hey Mādhava Mahārāja, your Guru Mahārāja has come and said, ‘you have opened this new temple and I have left for two years, but no one gives me any prasadama, and you also don’t care for me now. Before you were my beloved friend and my all and all, and now you have also left me.”

Śrīla Gurudeva told Mādhava Mahārāja, “Go cook immediately and offer it to your Guru Mahārāja.”

Mādhava Mahārāja cooked and offered. From that time, whenever they cooked for Śrīla Gurudeva, they made two plates and offered one to Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja.

Don’t think the guru-varga is mundane. This is not a joke and drama. Spiritual life and spiritual relation is permanent. We are not orphans. We have not lost Śrīla Gurudeva. Śrīla Gurudeva comes and looks, he watches everything, and checks, “Are they following all rules and regulations of bhakti or not?” If we follow everything, then he will certainly help us. He is with us. He is not far from us. Therefore on his appearance day, may he appear in all our hearts.

I said earlier, janmādy asya yataḥ. How will our heart be Śrīla Gurudeva’s birthplace? How will he be present in our heart? Janma, birth, adi asya, always he will be present.

He only come to distribute adi rasa, mādhurya-rasa, śṛṅgāra-rasa. Adi rasa gives potency to the soul. Only this rasa is helpful to nourish the soul and develop the soul’s eternal form in Vraja. Mundane rasa, or vaidhī marga does not help. Therefore Śrīla Gurudeva came and distributed—

prema-rasa-niryāsa karite āsvādana

rāga-mārga bhakti loke karite pracāraṇa

rasika-śekhara kṛṣṇa parama-karuṇa

ei dui hetu haite icchāra udgama

Caitanya-caritamrta Ādi 4.15-16

“The Lord’s desire to appear was born from two reasons: He wanted to taste the sweet essence of the mellows of love of God, and He wanted to propagate devotional service in the world on the platform of spontaneous attraction. Thus He is known as supremely jubilant and as the most merciful of all.”

Those who do not follow this rāga-mārga are not in our Gauḍīya-paramparā. If they teach anything else they are cheaters and destroyers in this world. They are not followers of Mahāprabhu’s movement! Those in Mahāprabhu’s movement follow and preach: rāga-mārga bhakti loke karite pracāraṇa.

Śrīla Gurudeva came in this world to spread this rāga-mārga bhakti-yoga. He is glorified on this day, and he will always be glorified. He has saved all the gosvāmīs’ granthas for us. If we don’t look at these, don’t touch them and read them with reverence, then we will be akrtajna, ungrateful. This property of the gosvāmīs’ has been reserved for us by Śrīla Gurudeva. Therefore I request you all, “Don’t go one minute here and there from our Guru-pāda-padma.” Cheaters are everywhere, trying to check, stroke, hold and kill us! What are these?

asac-ceṣṭā-kaṣṭa-prada-vikaṭa-pāśālibhir iha

prakāmaṁ kāmādi-prakaṭa-pathapāti-vyatikaraiḥ

gale baddhvā hanye ‘ham iti bakabhid vartmapa-gaṇe

kuru tvaṁ phutkārān avati sa yathā tvāṁ mana itaḥ

Manaḥ-śikṣā 5

“Lust, anger and so on are a band of dacoits who assail one suddenly on the open road of material life. They have bound my neck licentiously with the torturous, dreadful ropes of wicked deeds and are thus killing me.” O mind, speaking in this way, you must grievously cry out to the powerful and merciful devotees who are the protectors of the path of devotion leading to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the killer of Bakāsura. Hearing your piteous cry, they will surely protect you from such a condition.”

Loudly cry out, “Where is Rūpa-Sanātana! Where is my Guru-pāda-padma? May they come and save me!”

Then our life will be protected. Otherwise we will lose everything.

Offered in remembrance of Śrīla Gurudeva

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

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Śrīla Gurudeva’s Vyāsa-pūjā

Today is Mauni-amavasyā, the appearance day of Śrī Śrīla Guru-pāda-padma. I will try to remember his life and glories. If the Vaiṣṇavas bestow their causeless mercy then this is possible. His līlā and character is mahā-prasāda. If we accept and distribute this, it will be his mano-bhīṣṭa-pūjā, and very pleasing to God. By the order and desire of God, the guru-varga come into this world. When they come, anyone who waits to welcome them and prays to them will realize their unlimited glories and mercy.

janmādy asya yato ‘nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijṣaḥ svarāṭ

tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ

tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ‘mṛṣā

dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 1.1.1

The appearance place of God and His associates will be in that place free from the contaminations of material nature.

dharmaḥ projjhita kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsarāṇām sataṁ

Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 1.1.2

That place where there is no kapaṭatā, no desire to cheat others or one’s own soul; that place that is free from dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa; that place that is situated in nirguṇa-tattva—in such a place God or God’s associates will appear.

sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditaṁ

yad īyate tatra pumān apāvṛtaḥ

sattve ca tasmin bhagavān vāsudevo

hy adhokṣajo me namasā vidhīyate

Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 4.3.23

“The state of viśuddha-sattva, purely transcendental goodness, is also known as vasudeva, for in the same way that Mahārāja Vasudeva gave birth to Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa, practice in unadulterated, pure goodness will pull the curtain of māyā away and reveal the transcendental svarūpa of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s amorous pastimes in one’s heart. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is always pure consciousness, in which Kṛṣṇa, known as Vāsudeva, is revealed without any covering. I offer my obeisance to Adhokṣaja Kṛṣṇa. Although He is beyond the range of my imperfect senses, let Him be the object of my worship and bhajana.”

Vasudeva Mahārāja’s heart was pure, and transcendental to the modes of material nature, therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself appeared in his heart.

nandas tv ātmaja utpanne

jātāhlādo mahā-manāḥ

āhūya viprān veda-jṣān

snātaḥ śucir alaṅkṛtaḥ

Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 10.5.1

The hearts of Nanda and Yaśodā Mātā were supremely pure, therefore Kṛṣṇa appeared as their son.

This principle is even more applicable for the beloved associates of God. They only appear in that place, or heart, which is nirguṇa. Therefore, janmādy asya—their birth is not possible in any ordinary place near any ordinary person.

I pray to the lotus feet of that person in whose heart Gurudeva is present. They are lucky and very qualified. From within the heart of his pure disciples, Śrīla Gurudeva will travel all over the world, purifying and collecting the hearts of the living entities. He will make a center in their hearts and invite the Vrajavāsīs, Kṛṣṇa and the Vraja-devīs to all come there. ThereforeVyāsadeva writes janmādy asya.

After appearing in any heart, the guru-varga begin their program to serve God. The guru-varga are sat-svarūpa, sandhinī śakti, the expansions of akhaṇḍa-guru-tattva. They endeavor to bring us to Kṛṣṇa, the Vrajavāsīs and Vraja, where they establish us in our souls’ eternal service.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu would go to the birthplace of Īśvara Purī and collect the dust at the holy site. He would eat a small part of this dust daily and smear some on His body. He revered this deeply, knowing how the appearance place of the guru-varga is more auspicious than any other location.

Śrīla Guru-pāda-padma appeared on this dark moon night.

Scripture explains: tamaso mā jyotir gamayaḥ, how the living entities can go from the darkness into light. God sends His own rays of light into the dense darkness of this world to help the living entities. He sends His near and dearest loveful associates to this world to save souls suffering in māyā.

If God directly sent His own expansions, it would not be so helpful to the conditioned souls. Therefore He prays to svarūpa-śakti, “If Your expansions go to the material world, they will liberate the entire universe. Please send them. They are very powerful and are more than capable to bring the lost souls to Me.”

Tamaso mā jyotir gamayaḥ—how to bring the jīvas out of darkness into the light? This is only possible by the power of svarūpa-śakti. Hence, by the desire of Kṛṣṇa, Śrīla Gurudeva appeared in this world today, on the dark moon night. In the month known as Māgha, Kumbha Melā takes place. Millions of people come and bathe in the conjunction of Gaṅgā, Yamunā and Sarasvatī at this time, hoping to receive nectar.

Narottama Thakura sings, glorifying the pure devotees:

gaṅgāra paraśa hoile paścate pāvana

darśane pavitra koro—ei tomāra guṇa

“After bathing in the waters of the sacred Ganges many times, one becomes purified, but just by the sight of you, the fallen souls are purified. This is your great power.”

hari-sthāne aparādhe tāre hari-nāma

tomā sthāne aparādhe nāhi paritrāṇa

“The holy name delivers one who has committed an offense to Lord Hari, but if one commits an offense to you, there is no means of deliverance.”

tomāra hṛdoye sadā govinda-viśrāma

govinda kohena—mora vaiṣṇava parāṇa

“Your heart is always the resting place of Lord Govinda, and Lord Govinda says, “The Vaiṣṇavas are in My heart.”

How are the pure Vaiṣṇavas, God’s beloved associates? By bathing in the Gaṅgā, one will gradually be cleansed, but when? There is no guarantee. Simply by darśana of mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇavas, one becomes purified from the sins accumulated in millions of lives.

Millions and millions of people come to bathe in the Gaṅgā during Kumbha Melā.

When Mahāprabhu appeared, it was the time of a lunar eclipse, and millions of people came to bathe in the Gaṅgā being afraid of the inauspicious effects of Rāhu and Ketu, who come to spread poison and destroy previous pious merit. At such times people go take shelter of Gaṅgā Devī for protection and they chant harināma.

Similarly, when Śrīla Gurudeva appeared it was during the time of year of Kumbha Melā. He did not bring any mundane nectar that helps one eat, drink and be merry. He brought the nectar of vraja-rasa and bhakti-rasa.

Millions of people bathe in the Gaṅgā during Kumbha Melā. From North, South, East and West, they come to the bank of the Gaṅgā to bathe, and of these millions of people, many thousands would assemble in Buxar, Bihar, where the Gaṅgā is especially revered.

Many sādhus would stay in the village of Tiwaripura, where Śrīla Gurudeva was born. Śrīla Gurudeva’s father would give charity to the poor and distribute prasādam daily. Every evening there would be a saṅkīrtana festival and hari-kathā in the Tiwari’s house.

Daily, Śrīla Gurudeva’s parents went to the Gaṅgā with a saṅkīrtana party. After bathing in Gaṅgā, they returned home, applied tilaka on their bodies and worshipped the Lord. If any sādhus or brāhmaṇas came to the Tiwari’s house, Śrīla Gurudeva’s parents gave them prasādam and lodging.

Today, on Maunī Amāvasyā, from morning to evening many people fast and observe a vow of silence. In the evening after performing this vrata, people break silence by speaking the names of God.

Lord Śiva cleans the living entities sins and wicked desires, but then again they do wrong. Living entities are enjoyers. They can’t stop or change their nature. Śiva’s duty is to take away the weight of the universe by purifying the living entities. This task can only be accomplished by hari-kathā and hari-kirtana.

While saṅkīrtana was going on, Śrīla Gurudeva appeared in this world. How can darkness be casted off and light received, and how will this be permanent? How to get svarūpa-siddhi and how to serve God eternally? Śrīla Gurudeva arranged this program.

At the time of his appearance, everyone was chanting “Srīman nārāyaṇa hari hari! Govinda nārāyaṇa hari hari! Kṛṣṇa nārāyaṇa hari hari!”

The Tiwaris were worshipers of Lord Nārāyaṇa in the Rāmānuja sampradāya. They all chanted the glories of Nārāyaṇa. Sometimes they chant mahā-mantrā, but first “hare rāma,” and then “hare kṛṣṇa.”

They had no knowledge of Vraja-bhakti. Until people meet with God’s associates, they will not have idea of the highest transcendental knowledge. Anything they do will be out of their own speculation or the conceptions of worldly people.

By doing nāma-kīrtana for millions of lives, one does not change. Why?

hena kṛṣṇa-nāma yadi laya bahu-bāra

tabu yadi prema nahe, nahe aśrudhāra

tabe jāni, aparādha tāhāte pracura

kṛṣṇa-nāma-bīja tāhe nā kare aṅkura

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 8.29-30

“If one chants the exalted holy name of the Lord again and again and yet his love for the Supreme Lord does not develop and tears do not appear in his eyes, it is evident that because of his offenses in chanting, the seed of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa does not sprout.”

bahu janma kare yadi śravaṇa, kīrtana

tabu ta’ nā pāya kṛṣṇa-pade prema-dhana

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 8.16

“If one is infested with the ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, despite his endeavor to chant the holy name for many births, he will not get the love of Godhead that is the ultimate goal of this chanting.”

A person can do nāma-saṅkīrtana and hear hari-kathā for crores and crores of lives, but he will not change. Why? As long as one has relation with Māyāhe cannot cross beyond her.

The guru-varga comes from the spiritual world, and they make relationship with the living entities. By trickery and cheating they bring back the living entities. Where? To God’s lotus feet.

They give knowledge, and the idea that this world is not enough for us. That it is not permanent. When the jīvas have this knowledge they can start to escape. But they need help, they do not have strength because they are weak from accepting the objects of māyā. Therefore the guru-varga also give spiritual strength, making them connected to svarūpa-śakti.

The day before Śrīla Gurudeva’s birth, the people of the village were very happy and they said, “We will stay here and do kīrtana day and night.”

They danced and sang and forgot, “Today is Maunī Amāvasyā; we are not meant to speak.

The next day Gurudeva was born, and they saw him after returning from bathing in the Gaṅgā. He was a bright golden infant and very large for a newborn.

He was given the name Śriman Nārāyaṇa. “He has come to help us,” the villagers said. “Lord Nārāyaṇa is certainly present within him.”

Māyāvādīs believe the living entity is indistinct from God. Following such a foolish conception, ignorant people see any baby and say, “This is Gopāla. This is Kṛṣṇa, this is Kanhaiyā. This is their nature. They cannot cross this. But they don’t know that if you go near a snake, it bites you.

In this way, if anyone comes near a mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇava, even if they have no respect or faith, they will make sukṛti unknowingly. The pure devotee captures peoples’ hearts and takes them beyond māyā to the eternal holy dhāma. People do not have this knowledge, but this meeting with a mahā-bhāgavata is very powerful and makes one’s life successful.

When Śrīla Gurudeva was six months old, his parents noticed that if they tried to bathe him with any ordinary water, he would be very unhappy and wish to not touch it; he would cry and cry. I met with his family members many times and they told me, “He used to become very sick and would suffer when he bathed in ordinary water. But when we brought Gaṅgā water and bathed him, he would be very happy. He could not be pleased without Gaṅgā water and would not bathe with any other water.”

If they tried to give him any food, he would not take it unless it was mahā-prasāda. He was very stubborn and would not eat or drink without mahā-prasāda or caraṇāmṛta. The family had śālagrāma and Deities of Lakṣmī Nārāyaṇa. They worshipped Them in the morning and then give Gurudeva caraṇāmṛta. Before this he would not eat or drink anything.

From his childhood his parents thought, “He must be an associate of God.”

As time went by, more and more people were attracted to their home. They said, “This house has some mystic power. By doing kīrtana here we feel such sweetness.”

Without invitation, men, women, brāhmaṇas, government officers, and many other kinds of people would come, and when they came, they always brought gifts like rice, wheat, fruits, or flowers. They would give this feeling like they had come to the temple of God.

“We are householders,” Gurudeva’s parents said, “Taking donations from others is not good for us.”

Now Śrīla Gurudeva was already beginning to talk. He said to his family, “No, no. Everyone is serving Lord Nārāyaṇa. This is good. Accept these things and offer bhoga to Lord Nārāyaṇa. Then give everyone His mahā-prasāda.”

Then his father and grandfather arranged a nice daily program. Every day they offered bhoga and distributed it to many people.

If someone is miserly and crazy, and does not give God’s praśādam to anyone, then his next life will definitely be that of a stone. How cruel they are? They only take, eat, and sell praśādam but do not distribute freely. Because they are like rocks in this life, they will certainly become rocks in their next life. Gurudeva never taught us this.

I would meet with him daily from 1968 in Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha when I was twelve or thirteen. Every day he saved me some mahā-prasāda and gave this to me when I came to him. I remember those days so clearly. He would hide a little sweet rice and give it to me when I came in the evening.

Śrīla Gurudeva would tell me stories of his life and how on his advice his parents started daily distributing mahā-prasāda freely to many guests.

Śrīla Gurudeva was very happy. People took praśādam at his house and stayed there for a while.

At a very young age Gurudeva began to read Gītā and Rāmāyaṇa with his parents. In the Gītā it is said:

prasāde sarva-duḥkhānāṁ

hānir asyopajāyate

prasanna-cetaso hy āśu

buddhiḥ paryavatiṣṭhate

Bhagavad-gītā 2.6

If anyone takes mahā-prasāda they will not suffer in this world. They will never be sad and crazy. The prasāda offered to God is very powerful. It is very helpful. This is the mercy of God. Otherwise how can the jīvas come nearby him, how can they meet with him and understand His blessings?

Śrīla Gurudeva would go to the Gaṅgā every day with his grandparents and come back to sit with his father while he did arcana of their Deities. Brāhmaṇas have a rule that without brāhmaṇa-dīkṣā no one can worship, go in the temple for arcana, or cook for the Deity. Śrīla Gurudeva would sit by the temple room and watch his parents worship the Lord.

They told him, “Remember daily the advice of God. If you do so, God will be very happy and pleased.” Therefore brāhmaṇas memorize all verses of the Gītā. The advice of God is his mahā-prasāda. If anyone wants to make his life successful, he will read Bhagavad-gītā, reserving this in their brain. They will keep this as theirs. Otherwise without this, without Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-bhāgavatam’s presence in the heart, the brain will never be clean nor will the heart. The desire for māyā will prevail.

To purify the self, one must collect Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-bhāgavatam, Rāmāyaṇa and other scriptures in the heart. Then all dirty things will flee from there. When the sun rises all darkness dissipates and the thieves, bed bugs, mosquitoes, and snakes all run and hide.

The most prominent way for advancing in bhakti is to daily collect the glories of Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, rūpa, guṇa and līlāin the heart. If that comes in the heart, all cheaters, dacoits, anarthas, prārabdha and aprārabdha karma will all run away. They will no longer come, stay, attack, or disturb. No tension will come.

If a person is lazy, crazy, mad and completely useless, then he will not collect śāstra. This collection of śāstra is necessary. By this collection, people will become spiritually wealthy. Mundane wealth is transitory; it will not stay long with anyone.

Śrīla Gurudeva would study in the morning, but not by himself. Many of his school friends would come and Śrīla Gurudeva would give them advice from śāstra. He would sit with his parents and grandparents and would teach the verses of Bhagavad-gītā.

During Rāma Navami, the villages of Tiwaripura would recite Tulasī Dāsa’saccount of Lord Rāma all day and night without cessation while fasting.

Śrīla Gurudeva asked his grandfather, Dhyanacandra Tiwari, “Tell me, why do we fast and recite the entire Rāmāyaṇa on Rāma’s birthday?”

“If we do so,” his grandfather replied, “Rāma will come and be pleased with us. This is His pūjā. Only physical articles of worship are not everything. If one doesn’t remember Rāma’s glories and bring them in his heart, Rāma will not come in the heart. And if Rāma doesn’t come in the heart, all nonsense will be in the heart and one will remain useless and lost.”

“Why don’t we read this daily then? Thus Rāma will always stay with us.”

“Yes, this is good. Everyday reading is good, but it is so long, there is no time.”

“Why is there no time? Isn’t all one’s time and life meant for Rāma?”

“This is good. But twenty-four hours are required to recite the entire epic. You should memorize Tulasī dāsa’s Sundara-kāṇḍa; this is good for you and will not take a long time.”

Śrīla Gurudeva very quickly memorized the Sundara-kāṇḍa and recited it along with the verses of Bhagavad-gītā.

When he began going to school, boys would come from village-to-village to accompany him. The school was around eight or nine kilometers from Gurudeva’s house. There was no road. It was a forested area scattered with fields. In the rainy season, the path would be flooded and difficult to cross.

Anyhow, all the boys would meet together in Gurudeva’s house and go from there to school. But first they prayed by the verses of Bhagavad-gītā and Rāmāyaṇa, took caranamrta and a little prasādam, and then went.

His parents were very happy that their son organized all the village boys into a group and that he was a group leader. Many other boys came from other villages as well. All boys were his dear friends. They all went to school together. The school had no room and the boys studied outside under a tree.

The tutor used to come a little after the boys arrived. When he came he would see that Gurudeva was leading the boys in reciting scripture.

“You are not properly studying your actual lessons but are only reading Rāmāyaṇa,” the tutor chastened the boys.

Rāma will give us a good brain,” Gurudeva replied, “and then these lessons will be very easy to remember. How can we learn anything from you? You are forty or fifty years old, and we are mere five-year-old boys; how can we understand your lectures? We cannot be equal to you.”

“You have a very sharp brain,” the professor replied unhappily, “Yes, Rāma will give you a good brain; this is the truth.”

Then the tutor told, “You all pray and I will pray as well. Then you will understand my lectures and also I will understand your desire and what you want to ask.” Then this school completely changed.

In the morning time, before lessons began, the twelfth chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, dealing with bhakti-yoga, would be daily recited. When the twenty verses were finished, they chanted the names of Rāma and Hari.

Wherever Rāmāyaṇa was recited in any house, Śrīla Gurudeva would stay there day and night, not going to school, eating, or doing anything. When Rāmāyaṇa was complete, then Śrīla Gurudeva would stay for the completing yajṣa and then come back.

In the school, one boy was very naughty and always disturbed the class. He did not follow instructions and would not change when the teacher tried to calm his mischievous nature. Unlike the other students who were composed in Gurudeva’s presence, this boy was always restless, and taunted the other boys while they studied or performed any religious activities.

One day, this boy caused so much mischief that the teacher locked him alone in the school shed. After sometime, the boy began to scream, “Master! Master! Open the door! There is a snake attacking me! It’s wrapping me up in its coils to suck my blood! Open the door! Save me! Help, Help!”

The other students looked up from their assignments in concern, but the teacher dismissed his cries, saying, “How could a snake have gotten in there? He’s just making it up.”

The boy continued screaming for a few minutes while the teacher ignored him and the students tried to concentrate on their work. Then he fell silent. In the afternoon when school was finished for the day, the teacher went to let the naughty boy out. The teacher opened the shed door and gasped.

“What happened?” the students clustered around the shed door and screamed in horror. A huge snake was coiled around the body of the naughty boy from head to toe and was sucking blood from his neck. His lifeless eyes stared out helplessly, foam driveled from his mouth, and his skin had turned a poisonous blue color.

“Oh my God! The teacher exclaimed, “Now his family will come and dig my grave.”

News spread to nearby villages, and by twilight, a crowd of hundreds had gathered. Everyone was afraid to go near the snake.

Observing the situation, Gurudeva addressed the crowd in a loud voice, “The boy is dead, now we must get the snake to go away. Have faith in the holy names of Lord Rāma. Rāmāyaṇa is the supreme truth. When Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa were bound by the snake weapon of Rāvaṇa’s son Indrajīta, Garuḍa appeared. Seeing him, the snakes immediately fled in fear. Therefore, let us pray to Garuḍa for help with verses from the Rāmāyaṇa, and by his power the snake will leave.”

Although Gurudeva was only nine years old, the villagers, moved by his conviction, accepted his advice and began praying to Garuda. Gurudeva recited verses from theRāmāyaṇa and soon the snake uncoiled and slithered away. The boy’s stiff body was placed on a table. Seeing their dead son, his parents wept uncontrollably. Hearing the cause of the accident, the villagers became furious with the teacher and were ready to kill him.

Śrīla Gurudeva intervened, “What is the use of killing the teacher? Be peaceful and pray to God for the boy’s soul. If God desires it, the boy can come back to life. If not, at least by prayer his soul will attain a higher destination. Otherwise, a person who dies horribly may wander in the subtle body of a ghost. Therefore, we must pray for his benefit. Later we can go to the Gaṅgā and perform his last rites. Śrī Rāma is non-different from His names, so if we pray to Him by calling out His names, He will surely be merciful. The personification of death himself runs in fear upon hearing the name of Rāma.”

Everyone began to sing Rāmāyaṇa and the recitation continued all night. In the early morning, while kīrtana was being loudly sung, Śrīman Nārāyaṇa worshipped the śalagrāma form of Lord Narayana by bathing Him with Ganga water and offering Tulasī leaves dipped in sandalwood paste. Afterwards, he sprinkled the holy water in the boy’s mouth.

To the amazement of all present, the boy slowly sat up and looked around in wonder.

“Haribol! Haribol!” loud shouts of jubilation filled the countryside. By Lord Rāma’s grace the boy had come back to life. The villagers picked up Śrīman Nārāyaṇa in joy and danced around with him on their shoulders, chanting, “Jaya ho! Jaya Sītā Rāma! Jaya ho!”

The villagers took Gurudeva on their shoulders and began to dance.

“Śrīman Nārāyaṇa is no ordinary boy,” they said to each other. “This boy is like the sun of our village.” They talked about the miracle he performed for a long time and concluded that he was a great devotee blessed by God. “

The revived boy was no longer restless or naughty. From then on he followed Gurudeva everywhere. But a short while later he went into the jungle, took initation from a yogī guru, and performed intense austerities.Twelve years later he returned to Tiwaripura and announced to the villagers, “I have mystic power. I know yoga. Without a boat or anything, I shall cross the Gaṅgā.”

As he performed this magic of crossing the Gaṅgā and coming back, many villagers gathered to see. But Śrīla Gurudeva was not interested and did not go.

After this, the boy who had now become a yogī came to see Śrīla Gurudeva and said, “My friend, you didn’t you come to see? I have gained yogic power from worshipping Lord Siva.”

The wise village leader, who too was not interested in the new yogis show said to him, “With only one coin I could cross the Gaṅgā by boat and come back with another coin. But you have wasted twelve years learning a two-coin trick. This is useless. You did not learn how to cross this world and go near God. Do you have knowledge of the soul and Supreme Soul?”

“Yes,” Śrīla Gurudeva agreed sternly. “You are bogus. This yoga vidyā is nothing.”

Then realizing his mistakes this old friend of Śrīla Gurudeva practiced bhakti-yoga. He studied the Rāmāyaṇa, Gītā, and Bhāgavata under the guidance of Śrīla Gurudeva.

This boy-turned-yogī later took initiation from a Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Guru and for the rest of his life he chanted three lakhs of harināma daily, performing his bhajana in Uttara Kāśī in the Himālayas. Sometimes he came to Vraja-maṇḍala and met with Śrīla Gurudeva. He always chanted and preached and helped many jīvas in the area that he stayed. Only a few years back he left this world, just before Śrīla Gurudeva entered nitya-līlā.

This is a living proof that if any conditioned soul meets with a mahā-bhāgavata his life automatically changes and a taste for spiritual life comes.

When he graduated from high school Gurudeva became a police officer and was well loved and quickly promoted.

Once, a few years after he became an officer, Gurudeva was assigned to check the activities of a group of devotees preaching in Bihar.

Śrīla Gurudeva went to investigate. He used to attend the sādhus’ hari-kathā and sat in front. Śrīpāda Narottamānanda Prabhu was the speaker there. Gurudeva asked him many questions and he answered them in English as he didn’t know much Hindi.

“How many days is the program?” asked Śrīla Gurudeva.

“Seven days.”

Śrīla Gurudeva then went to his headquarters.

“Give me duty there for seven days and nights,” asked Śrīla Gurudeva. “I will check on these sādhus. I can’t do so if I don’t have enough time.”

He was granted the permission.

He met with the sādhus and respectfully followed all Vaiṣṇava-etiquette and humbly inquired into different subject matters.

“Did Māyā create this world, or God?” Śrīla Gurudeva first asked Śrīpāda Narottamānanda Prabhu. “If God created the world, why do the living entities follow māyā? Are the living entities parts and parcels of God, or of Māyā?”

Śrīla Gurudeva gave classes on this topic in Mathurā many times, asking great scholarsthis very question.

“There are three types of śakti viz. cit-śakti, jīva-śakti and taṭastha-śakti,” replied Narottamānanda Prabhu. “The jīvas do not come directly from God.” He then gave him Jaiva-dharma. It was in Bengali.

“Can you read this?” he asked Śrīla Gurudeva.

“I can understand something.”

“In Jaiva-dharma, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura explains all the truths of the soul.”

Their discussions continued for seven days. Narottamānanda Prabhu spoke on many topics, but mostly about taṭastha-śakti, cit-śakti and jīva-śakti.

If a new person joined the temple, Śrīla Gurudeva would first give them strong lectures. Meaning, he answered the questions: “Where did you come from?” or “What is your duty?” and “How can you cross māyā and go from taṭastha-śakti to God’s side?”

Śrīpāda Narottamānanda Prabhu continued¬:

sādhu-saṅga, sādhu-saṅga—sarva-śāstre kaya

lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya

“The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.”

“You are meeting with sādhus,” he said. “If you stay with a mahā-bhāgavata Guru, he will give you spiritual strength. Living entities have no taste, energy or power; they are very small and weak. When sādhus give energy, then the jīvas become strong, get willpower and go towards God. Otherwise, looking at māyā, who is nearby, the living entities become greedy and run towardsit, thinking that this is very good and tasteful. Actually, it is very dangerous. Crossing māyā is not so easy. People have no desire to cross it. They cry and weep, ‘How can I leave my family? How can I leave my wife and children?’ It is best for the jīva to be in sādhu-saṅga before strong attachment to things in this world swallows him.

“You have good knowledge. You know Rāmāyaṇa, Gītā, the Upaniśads, Veda, Vedānta, Bhāgavatam and everything. Know that you are of taṭasthā-śakti, the middle plain. Now will you go to māyā’s side or God’s?”

“Yes,” thought Śrīla Gurudeva. “This is my chance. If I don’t come to the side of sādhus, I will be arrested by māyā and will lose everything.”

Narottamānanda Prabhu and the devotees with him were very happy. “Today we have caught a nice one,” they agreed silently.

They were all attracted to him. Why? This is the nature of Śrīla Gurudeva’s heart. In the police station everyone was also happy with him. Anywhere he went people were attracted to him.

Once, a very long time before, while I was massaging him in the afternoon, he told me how he found the file lost in the police headquarters and received a promotion. Then he was given a promotion making him one of the chief officers in Odisha, Bengal, Bihar and so forth.

“I could not forget thinking about that,” Śrīla Gurudeva told me. “Day and night it was pinching my heart: Which way to go? On one side are sādhus and one side family.”

That time he was already married and had two children. He was the most beloved in his family. He thought, “What to do?” He could not forget the sādhus. Sādhus have mystic power. They are the authorities of God; not ordinary personalities. Real sādhus do not go around begging and cheating people, taking their blood and saving it in a bank. Anything they collect they offer to God as it is. Thus Narottamānanda Prabhu offered Śrīla Gurudeva to Param Gurudeva.

How did Param Gurudeva serve Prabhupāda? Now people only make jokes and perform dramas. Their lives are like a joke. They do not want to follow anything as it is. Guru-mantra, harināma, guru-sevā and vaiṣṇava-sevā are not any joke or drama.

“Mahārāja served his Gurudeva without any duplicity, Pujypada Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja would always say, “giving his life. Therefore the entire world is following his footsteps.”

Kapata haile dura pravesera premera pura, if one is a hypocrite, he can never enter the path of bhakti, nor can he ever understand anything. When one gives up all duplicity, he can enter Vraja, the abode of prema. Because of duplicity the heart is not clear and open; it is like something is hidden in a corner of the heart, locked away in a chest we don’t want to open.

Śrīla Gurudeva’s heart is not like this. He resigned his government service, rejecting the promotion that came, and surrendered his life to Param Gurudeva.

He said, “I will not stay here one day longer. I do not like anything without sādhu-saṅga. I asked the Vaiṣṇavas so many questions and everything they answered is present in my heart. I will not leave them for one moment.”

The Vaiṣṇavas had told him the glories of Param Gurudeva, Śrīla Bhakti Prajïāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja. They said, “He was of a landlord family and has served Prabhupāda with his life and soul. And he continues to serve him now.”

Without telling anything to his family, Gurudeva took a train from Gayā to Howrah connecting to Navadvīpa.

He had previously sent a letter to Ācārya Keśarī Śrīla Bhakti Prajïāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, saying, “I heard your glories and desire to come and meet with you in the holy dhāma of Navadvīpa.”

But he did not tell when he would come.

Param Gurudeva heard about him from Narottamānanda Prabhu and was very pleased. But when? They did not know.

When Śrīla Gurudeva came from his house to Navadvīpa on a train, Param Gurudeva was very happy on that day.

“Today you are very pleased,” My Guru Mahārāja asked him.

“Yes, someone is coming. Save some prasādam.”

Param Gurudeva knew in his heart that Śrīla Gurudeva was on his way.

But no one came in the evening. At night, Sajjana asked, “What to do with this prasādam?”

“No, save this. Also, go to the railway station, someone is coming.”

“Who is coming?”

“Don’t you know? One letter came from Buxar. An officer is coming from Tiwaripura on the train from Gayā.”

How did Param Gurudeva know? This is called eternal relation. There were no phones or way to call at that time. But if sādhus remember any person, they can understand his whereabouts and activities. Why? Their hearts are pure, devoid of any darkness or spot. If anyone remembers the sādhus and offers them anything in their heart, the sādhus will accept that and offer it to God.

Many times in my life, Śrīla Gurudeva would tell me, “Today someone is coming. Save this prasādam.” And indeed, someone would come. But Gurudeva would always know beforehand.

Param Gurudeva sent my Guru Mahārāja with a kerosene lamp. The path to the station from Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha was through a thick jungle. The town was far away. There were no houses or rooms near Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha then. The municipality used that area to throw the town’s rubbish.

Sajjana Sevaka went to the station and waited for the train to arrive. When it reached the station, he called out through the big crowd of people, “Who is Tiwariji, who is Tiwariji?”

Hearing his name being called, Śrīla Gurudeva came out of the station office where he had been enquiring as to the whereabouts of Devänanda Gauòéya Maöha and saw Sajjana Sevaka.

“I am Tiwariji,” he replied. “How do you know my name?”

Sajjana Sevaka looked at him with wonder. Śrīla Gurudeva was tall and had a golden complexion. He had beautiful blue eyes, a large moustache, and was wearing a spotless white suit.

“My Guru Maharaja sent me to bring you to our temple,” Sajjana Sevaka explained.

“Who is your Guru Maharaja?”

“Śréla Bhakti Prajïāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja.”

“How did he know I was coming?” Gurudeva was amazed. “I sent no letter announcing my arrival.”

“Guru Maharaja knows past, present, and future. He told me you were coming and to bring you to the temple since Navadvīpa is a big town and it is late now.”

Sajjana Sevaka then led Śrīla Gurudeva to Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha.

Param Gurudeva was pacing outside his room, waiting to meet Gurudeva. Upon arriving, Śrīla Gurudeva offered prostrated obeisance to Param Gurudeva, who lifted him up and embraced him. Param Gurudeva was tall, with a grave temperament. His body was golden and soft like butter. Śrīla Gurudeva was also strong and grave, but upon seeing each other their hearts melted with affection and both began weeping profusely, as if they were meeting their own family member after thousands of years.

Param Gurudeva took Gurudeva in his lap and wept, as if he had been missing someone for a very long time.

“How much are the guru-varga kind for us? Śrīla Gurudeva was surprised. “He is crying for me?”

In the morning he went to bathe in the Gaṅgā with Param Gurudeva. Soon after, he prayed to Param Gurudeva to accept him.

“You are mine,” Param Gurudeva replied, “How can I accept or reject you? You are not the property of any other. The property of sādhus will come to sādhus, the property of God will come to God. It is not possible that it stays away.”

“Then will you give me harināma?”

“Yes, but the condition is you must shave your head etc.?”

“Okay, but I won’t cut my moustache.”

Why? His brāhmaṇa family had a rule that if you cut your moustache it means your father and mother is dead. If anyone dies in the family, the man would cut his moustache.

“Then you cannot take harināma,” intervened Narottamānanda Prabhu.

“I shall consider this.”

Later, he talked with the other Vaiṣṇavas.

“Is this moustache very dear to you?” they asked. “More than your Gurudeva?”

“No, this is not dear to me. I don’t like it but this is the custom of my family.”

“Which family are you in? Our family or another family?” asked Narottamānanda Prabhu.

“No, I am in your family.”

“Then what is the problem? Follow the rules of our family.”

The next day Śrīla Gurudeva shaved and Param Gurudeva gave him harināma.

From that day Gurudeva took responsibility for maintaining Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha. There was no need to order him, “Do this, do that.” No. How did the devotees work in those days? Now no one can even imagine that.

Oh! How did Anaṅga Mohana Prabhu serve? He would go for bhikṣā with a Bābājī Mahārāja every day, sometimes in Calcutta, Barampura, Kālnā, or Vardhamāna. They would leave in the morning and return in the evening. If the brahmacārīs did not collect any bhikṣā, then they would go and collect cow dung or dry wood for cooking in the Maṭha.

Śrīla Gurudeva had such strong vairāgya. He neglected his body, not taking water or eating properly. One day, feeling intense pain in his stomach, Śrīla Gurudeva consulted Param Gurudeva.

“Don’t worry.” Param Gurudeva assured him. “God is protecting you. You won’t be disturbed in this life. God has accepted you and therefore given you some trouble. Otherwise the body will disturb you. This body is a network of nonsense, and when strong and healthy it gives us bad advice. Don’t be worried. This will not be painful for you.”

Śrīla Gurudeva tolerated everything and continued chanting, reading, writing and serving Param Gurudeva.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja, who was then Rādhānātha Brahmacārī, and Śrīla Gurudeva, Gaura Nārāyaṇa Brahmacārī, would go with Param Gurudeva preaching throughout most of the year. Param Gurudeva left my Guru Mahārāja, whose name was then Sajjana Sevaka Brahmacārī, to manage the temple.

Śrīla Gurudeva would cook and personally serve Param Gurudeva, while Śrīla Trivikrama Mahārāja arranged programs, collected and so forth.

Param Gurudeva had given an order that no brahmacārīs go alone for bhikṣā; at least two brahmacārīs must go. If there is one old Bābājī or a senior brahmacārī with a young brahmacārī, Param Gurudeva said it would be best.

Śrīla Gurudeva traveled from village to village with Mukunda Vinoda Bābāji, a disciple of Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. Once while preaching in the Vardhamāna district, they came to the village of Kurmona. Upon seeing Śrīla Gurudeva, the local villagers gossiped amongst themselves, “This young sādhu is very strong and healthy; it is doubtful that he is an honest renunciate. These sādhus are probably thieves who have come in the guise of monks. They must be a scouting party. Let’s catch these bogus sādhus and have them arrested.”

Dacoits had recently visited this village and thus many of the locals were suspicious of every stranger. Surrounding Śrīla Gurudeva and Mukunda dāsa Bābājī they shouted, “Dacoits! Thieves! Catch them!”

“We are not thieves!” Mukunda dāsa Bābājī replied. “Please let us go in peace.”

Gurudeva and Bābājī Mahäräja were locked in a room.

Bābājī Mahārāja worried, “They are going to beat us! What should we do? Oh Kṛṣṇa, hey Gauranga! Please save us!”

“Don’t worry so much, everything will be fine,” Gurudeva said.

Many people from neighboring villages gathered to see the two dacoits dressed as sādhus.

Bābājī Mahārāja begged, “Please let us go. We came from Navadvīpa Dhāma and mean no harm.”

A police van soon arrived. Moving the crowds aside, the officers entered the room where Śrīla Gurudeva and the elderly sadhu were waiting. The villagers pressed against the windows to see what was happening.

Gurudeva spoke to the officers in English, “We have only come to invite people to our annual Navadvīpa Dhāma parikrama.”

The officers were surprised, “You know English?”

“Yes.”

The head officer said, “What is your name?”

“My name is Narayana Tiwari.”

“Narayana Tiwari!?!” The officers said in amazement, “The Narayana Tiwari?”

“Yes.”

Having heard the glories of Narayana Tiwari, the officers gave him a respectful salute. They spoke with him in English for sometime, and then chastised the villagers, “Do you know who this is? He is not an ordinary man. Respect him properly. He used to be a high ranking officer in Bengal and Bihar. Now has given up his prestigious position to beg door to door. He is a great soul like Svami Vivekananda. It is your good fortune to serve these exalted devotees. They have left their families and all material possessions, and came here to spread the message of God. If you make any offense to them, your life will be ruined.”

The villagers begged forgiveness and requested Śrīla Gurudeva and Babaji Mahäräja to stay in their village and speak hari-katha. In the evening the whole village gathered to hear Śrīla Gurudeva speak. After inspiring them to follow bhakti in their homes, Śrīla Gurudeva invited them to the annual pilgrimage of Navadvīpa Dhāma.

Many of the villagers gave generous donations of rice, dahl and various ingredients for temple. Back in Navadvīpa as night settled in, Param Gurudeva was worried because Gurudeva and Babaji Mahäräja had still not returned. That night, very late, they returned having collected the most of anyone. Babaji Mahäräja happily told Param Gurudeva, “Today we have brought back so much! I will take this Gaura Narayana with me on bhiksa every day. When he speaks in English everyone offers him respect.”

Param Gurudeva asked, “Gaura Narayana, what happened, how did you collect so much?”

Gurudeva told, “When we went to Kurmona, the villagers thought that we were thieves and locked us in a room. When the police found out I was previously an officer, they let us go, chastising the villagers for disturbing us. The villagers then gave us all of this.”

Param Gurudeva said, “This has happened by God’s desire. If you wanted to speak to that many people, you would have had to move through many towns and villages. But by God’s will, so many villagers came automatically and gave bhikṣā to you, thus making a relationship with you and God’s temple. Now they will come to Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā.”

“Yes, I invited everyone.”

“You have great faith in the guru-varga. I see that you are strong and never defeated or disturbed by anyone. A disciple must never become hopeless or leave his service. Sense enjoyers run from the field of duty as soon as any small disturbance arises. Because you tolerate everything for the service of Mahāprabhu and the Vaisnavas, myself and the guru-varga will always protect you.”

That year the parikramā was very large. Hundreds of people came from the towns and villages in the area where Gurudeva had been, and they became attracted to Param Gurudeva and the parikramā.

The householders who had accosted Śrīla Gurudeva and Bābājī Mahārāja also came to Param Gurudeva. They were very rich and gave so much bhikṣā and naturally changed.

From then on, whenever there was an important or difficult task to perform, Param Gurudeva would call upon Śrīla Gurudeva. If Gurudeva had preached without any obstacle, preaching would have been less. Similarly, Haridäsa Öhäkura became widely known after the beating incident, and was able to preach extensively.

Now, everyone knows how Śrīla Gurudeva served Anaṅga Mohana. But there is something secret here. Anaṅga Mohan was the nearest and dearest sevaka of Param Gurudeva. He was continuously with Param Gurudeva. He sang very nicely. His color was enchantingly fair. He was a beautiful young boy, and cooked very well. His character and behavior was very nice, but his vairāgya was very strong. He did not have any attraction to food, lodge, or any comfortable facilities.

Gradually so many brahmacārīs came to the temple, but there were no rooms to stay in. They had enormous woks to cook with for Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā, and when these were not in use, the woks would be turned upside down, and the brahmacārīs slept underneath them at night. There were no rooms.

Do you know how was Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha built? The brahmacārīs built the temple with bricks that came from far away by boat and were delivered onto the bank of the Gaṅgā.

All the brahmacārīs and sannyāsīs carried the bricks on their heads from the Gaṅgā to the temple. After, they carried sand from the Gaṅgā and arranged clay. They carried this all on their heads as they worked all day long.

They made the building with clay, not cement. When you first enter Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha, on the left side there is a building. It is the first constructed building of the maṭha. Śrīla Gurudeva would stay there. When it was first built, Param Gurudeva stayed there with the brahmacārīs.

After years of continuous hard work, Anaṅga Mohana became very sick. He had tuberculosis and was vomiting blood.

Param Gurudeva asked, “Someone must take care of him constantly, who will help?”

But no one was ready to help. Only Śrīla Gurudeva said, “Gurudeva, whether you give me order or not, I will serve him, for I know this is your desire.”

All were reluctant to take care of Anaṅga Mohana. Why? He was terminally ill. He was very contagious and repeatedly vomiting blood. If anyone got infected, they would also die because there was no medicine for tuberculosis in India at that time.

Param Gurudeva took Anaṅga Mohana to Madras accompanied by Śrīla Gurudeva. Param Gurudeva left Anaṅga Mohana in Śrīla Gurudeva’s care and came back Navadvīpa.

Anaṅga Mohana continued to vomit blood and was unable to eat. He was very thin and had an extremely high fever. Śrīla Gurudeva cleaned body and serve him. He would be senseless most of the time.

After the doctor gave medicine and some sense came back to him, Anaṅga Mohana asked, “Where is my Bābā?” He called Param Gurudeva, Bābā, father. “Where is he? Who brought me here? Why have I been taken away from him?” He was crying and shouting.

Śrīla Gurudeva tried to console him. “When you are a little better I will take you to him.”

“No! I must go now.’

Śrīla Gurudeva gave Anaṅga Mohana a picture of Param Gurudeva and put it on his chest, saying, “He is here.”

Anaṅga Mohana said, “He is calling me. I am going.”

Anaṅga Mohana was very restless and cried even more. He said, “If you don’t send me to Bābā, then I will go to Vṛndāvana. I am going to Vṛndāvana, Rādhārānī and Kṛṣṇa are calling me. I am going there. How will you stop me?”

Then Śrīla Gurudeva caught his feet and said, “Yes. If you are going, how can I stop you? But please pray for me also, I also want to go to Vṛndāvana.”

“Yes, Bābā is there in Vṛndāvana, I am going to him.”

Anaṅga Mohana was shouting very loud. Śrīla Gurudeva held his feet and prayed to him.

“I can’t stay here, I am running now,” Anaṅga Mohana repeated. Then he left.

Śrīla Gurudeva sent a letter to Param Gurudeva, “You gave me your property to care for,” he wrote. “But I could not protect him. He has left. I lost him. He is gone.”

Param Gurudeva responded with a letter that read, “Yes, but don’t worry. I am with you. You are with me and he whom you speak of is also with me. There is a special relationship between Guru and disciple. This relationship is permanent. He is not distance to me. He is here.”

Caitanya Mahāprabhu left Choṭā Haridāsa. But once, after one year, Mahāprabhu was on the bank of the ocean and said to Svarūpa Dāmodara, “I can hear the singing of Haridāsa. O Svarūpa Dāmodara can you hear it?”

“Yes, yes. It is the melody of Haridāsa?”

“Where is Haridāsa?”

“Prabhu, you left him one year before. He went to Prayāga and gave up his life. Some say he has become a brahma-rākṣasa.”

Mahāprabhu became very angry and shouted, “Brahma-rākṣasa? This is not possible! He stayed with the Vaiṣṇavas, lived in Jagannātha Purī, and accepted Jagannātha’s mahā-prasāda. How can he be a Brahma-rākṣasa? He left this body, but with his spiritual body he is with us.”

Param Gurudeva told Śrīla Gurudeva, “Anaṅga Mohana has not left us. He is with me in Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha, continuing his service. Come here and you will be able to meet with him. Learn everything from him, he will teach you how to serve Guru and Vaiṣṇavas.”

The sevaka has love. Gurudeva accepts this love. Where does this love come from?

Param Gurudeva explained:

śuddha-sattva-viśeṣātmā

prema-sūryāṁśu-sāmya-bhāk

rucibhiś citta-masṛṇya-

kṛd asau bhāva ucyate

Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.3.1

When the Vrajavāsīs’ hearts melt, then śuddha-sattva comes to the hearts of the living entities, then eternal service can be attained, otherwise it is not possible.

Śrīla Gurudeva told us, “After Anaṅga Mohana’s departure, when I returned to Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha, I felt a great potency come inside me. From that day I served my Gurudeva continuously.”

Gurudeva was always with Param Gurudeva and performed all services, such as cooking, cleaning, washing cloth, and writing down Param Gurudeva’s articles for publishing. When Param Gurudeva laid down to rest, he would tell Śrīla Gurudeva, “Read to me, I will listen.” Then Śrīla Gurudeva would read to Param Gurudeva. Param Gurudeva was very happy with him.

Once, my Guru Mahārāja became very sick. He also got tuberculosis, and there was a hole as big as a finger’s width in his chest. He became very skinny and weak.

Then Param Gurudeva showed us his love for his sevaka. He went to Sidhāvāḍī Gauḍīya Maṭha with my Guru Mahārāja, who was Sajjana Sevaka Brahmacārī, Gurudeva, who was Gaura Nārāyaṇa Brahmacārī at the time, and Triguṇatita Bābāji Mahārāja.

Śrīla Gurudeva cooked, went to the market, cleaned everything and did all the service. Bābājī Mahārāja was old, and my Guru Mahārāja was sick. So, Śrīla Gurudeva did all service alone.

One night Śrīla Gurudeva saw in a dream that Anaṅga Mohana was with Param Gurudeva. Śrīla Gurudeva asked, “Gurudeva, Anaṅga Mohana is with you? He is massaging and serving you?”

“Yes, I never left him. This relation is eternal.”

Don’t think Gurudeva is far away to us. This is never possible. If anyone has a little love for Gurudeva, he will never leave. He accepts our service. He is with us.

Param Gurudeva said, “Anaṅga Mohana has not left me. He is with you. He helps you while you cook and serve me. How can you do everything alone? Therefore he does everything with you.”

One time, in the 1980s, when the Nīlācala Gauḍīya Maṭha was being opened in Puri, my Guru Mahārāja, Śrīla Trivikrama Mahārāja and Śrīla Gurudeva all went to make arrangements. After some time, Śrīla Trivikrama Mahārāja and Śrīla Gurudeva came back, and my Guru Mahārāja was there working very hard. After a while however, my Guru Mahārāja became very sick with bronchitis. But he would never spend one coin of temple money for his sickness.

His sevaka was named Sundarānanda and was illiterate. He could not write, and everyone there from Odisha origin. Somehow he wrote a small note on a postcard and sent it to Mathurā. This letter came to Mathurā and as soon as Śrīla Gurudeva saw it he boarded a train without any reserved ticket, without delaying in the slightest, and without telling anyone.

Śrīla Gurudeva went on a general class ticket to Jagannātha Purī. When he arrived he saw that my Guru Mahārāja’s condition was very poor. He was having a hard time breathing as if ready to leave his body. Śrīla Gurudeva sat nearby his head and fanned him in the small room.

“Why didn’t you spend any money for your treatment?” Gurudeva asked.

“This money is Gurudeva’s money, God’s money, how can I use it for myself?” replied my Guru Mahārāja.

Śrīla Gurudeva called Banaharlal Sinhaniya who made all arrangements for my Guru Mahārāja’s treatment.

One night, Śrīla Gurudeva was sitting by the bed where my Guru Mahārāja lay ill. Neither were sleeping. Just then Param Gurudeva came into the room with a walking stick, just as Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja would walk with a cane. What did he say?

“Hey Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja, don’t be worried. Vāmana Mahārāja will be well soon. There is a doctor Pallik in Calcutta. Go to him. After sometime he will become his follower. I will go ahead to tell him. He will give treatment to Vāmana Mahārāja. There is no need for any other doctor.”

Don’t think that Guru-pāda-padma doesn’t consider the welfare of his disciples. He is always with his own disciples.

Śrīla Gurudeva called Sinhaniya in the morning and he arranged a ticket for Calcutta. For six months Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Mahārāja took treatment from doctor Pallik. Śrīla Gurudeva sent me for a week and I met with Guru Mahārāja. He was cured and after his sickness was gone, doctor Pallik took dīkṣā from him. Anywhere Vaiṣṇavas go, they change the hearts of all. Guru Mahārāja then told how Param Gurudeva had come and helped.

Once, when Navadvīpa-dhāma Parikramā was beginning in the new temple, Śrīla Gurudeva woke at midnight, and called, “Hey Mādhava Mahārāja, your Guru Mahārāja has come and said, ‘you have opened this new temple and I have left for two years, but no one gives me any prasadama, and you also don’t care for me now. Before you were my beloved friend and my all and all, and now you have also left me.”

Śrīla Gurudeva told Mādhava Mahārāja, “Go cook immediately and offer it to your Guru Mahārāja.”

Mādhava Mahārāja cooked and offered. From that time, whenever they cooked for Śrīla Gurudeva, they made two plates and offered one to Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja.

Don’t think the guru-varga is mundane. This is not a joke and drama. Spiritual life and spiritual relation is permanent. We are not orphans. We have not lost Śrīla Gurudeva. Śrīla Gurudeva comes and looks, he watches everything, and checks, “Are they following all rules and regulations of bhakti or not?” If we follow everything, then he will certainly help us. He is with us. He is not far from us. Therefore on his appearance day, may he appear in all our hearts.

I said earlier, janmādy asya yataḥ. How will our heart be Śrīla Gurudeva’s birthplace? How will he be present in our heart? Janma, birth, adi asya, always he will be present.

He only comes to distribute adi rasa, mādhurya-rasa, śṛṅgāra-rasa. Adi rasa gives potency to the soul. Only this rasa is helpful to nourish the soul and develop the soul’s eternal form in Vraja. Mundane rasa, or vaidhī marga does not help. Therefore Śrīla Gurudeva came and distributed—

prema-rasa-niryāsa karite āsvādana

rāga-mārga bhakti loke karite pracāraṇa

rasika-śekhara kṛṣṇa parama-karuṇa

ei dui hetu haite icchāra udgama

Caitanya-caritamrta Ādi 4.15-16

“The Lord’s desire to appear was born from two reasons: He wanted to taste the sweet essence of the mellows of love of God, and He wanted to propagate devotional service in the world on the platform of spontaneous attraction. Thus He is known as supremely jubilant and as the most merciful of all.”

Those who do not follow this rāga-mārga are not in our Gauḍīya-paramparā. If they teach anything else they are cheaters and destroyers in this world. They are not followers of Mahāprabhu’s movement! Those in Mahāprabhu’s movement follow and preach: rāga-mārga bhakti loke karite pracāraṇa.

Śrīla Gurudeva came in this world to spread this rāga-mārga bhakti-yoga. He is glorified on this day, and he will always be glorified. He has saved all the gosvāmīs’ granthas for us. If we don’t look at these, don’t touch them and read them with reverence, then we will be akṛtajña, ungrateful. This property of the gosvāmīs’ has been reserved for us by Śrīla Gurudeva. Therefore, I request you all, “Don’t go one minute here and there from our Guru-pāda-padma.” Cheaters are everywhere, trying to check, stroke, hold and kill us! What are these?

asac-ceṣṭā-kaṣṭa-prada-vikaṭa-pāśālibhir iha

prakāmaṁ kāmādi-prakaṭa-pathapāti-vyatikaraiḥ

gale baddhvā hanye ‘ham iti bakabhid vartmapa-gaṇe

kuru tvaṁ phutkārān avati sa yathā tvāṁ mana itaḥ

Manaḥ-śikṣā 5

“Lust, anger and so on are a band of dacoits who assail one suddenly on the open road of material life. They have bound my neck licentiously with the torturous, dreadful ropes of wicked deeds and are thus killing me.” O mind, speaking in this way, you must grievously cry out to the powerful and merciful devotees who are the protectors of the path of devotion leading to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the killer of Bakāsura. Hearing your piteous cry, they will surely protect you from such a condition.”

Loudly cry out, “Where is Rūpa-Sanātana! Where is my Guru-pāda-padma? May they come and save me!”

Then our life will be protected. Otherwise we will lose everything.
Offered in remembrance of Śrīla Gurudeva
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

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