– The Destructive Fruit of Imitating the Mahājanas

By discussing the unprecedented, transcendental life of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, we come to realize that a person who hypocritically associates with a mahā-bhāgavata on the pretext of serving him, will have to face dire consequences. Rather than listening and following the instructions of real sādhus, the ignorant person will associate with the dharma-dvajīs (persons who artificially follow dharma). A person may duplicitously accept the dress of renounced Vaiṣṇavas and imitate their behavior, but by such actions he will never achieve his auspiciousness. Conversely, he will only attain an inauspicious result. As a result of behaving hypocritically with Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, many became attached to gratifying the objects of their senses. They found themselves to be greatly attached to the association of women. They met such an unfortunate end because of the fruit of their offenses. A sādhaka is utterly ruined by offenses committed to the holy name and vaiṣṇava-aparādha offenses
to the Vaiṣṇavas.

– Completely Give up Bad Association

Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja would tell everyone, “Those who desire to do hari-bhajana should never engage in bad association. A person may think, ‘I will engage in asat-saṅga while also artificially associating with devotees (sat-saṅga). I will secretly associate with the dharma-dvajīs.’ A person who thinks like this will only see his anarthas increase. I have seen with my own eyes how the lives of thousands of such hypocrites have become utterly inauspicious. By tolerating great difficulties, a sincere sādhaka should continuously be in the association of the devotees who always chant śuddha-nāma. Thus, by engaging in the limbs of hearing and  chanting in such association, the pure service of śrī harināma can be protected.”

– Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s Instructions to Those Who Sincerely Want to Do Bhajana

Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja always instructed everyone to completely give up vaiṣṇava-aparādha, nāma-aparādha, sevā-aparādha, dhāma-aparādha, and to thus continuously chant harināma. It is very offensive to recite the Bhāgavat while intending to collect wealth, women, and followers. It is greatly sinful to illicitly associate with women. Therefore, it is forbidden to do so. But it is millions of times more sinful and offensive to hypocritically express oneself as being a sādhu and to secretly engage in debauchery.

Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja could never tolerate hypocrisy in the name of ‘sevā.’ Because of being hypocritical, a conditioned soul will imitate Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes and become a follower of the ‘Baul’ philosophy. Hari-bhajana can never be observed to any degree by being in the association of hypocrites.

– Śrī Harināma is the Only Shelter

Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja would always tell everyone that śrī harināma is the only shelter for all the jīvas. He would also forbid the devotees from artificially remembering the pastimes of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, because such artificial remembrance only signifies the devotees’ unripe understanding. By remembering the syllables of śrī nāma, all the pastimes are revealed. By the medium of the syllables of the Holy Name, bhagavat-svarūpa and the relationship of the jīvas is manifested. He didn’t give special importance to arcana.

– Entrance into Nitya-līlā

On 16 November 1914, the day of Utthāna Ekādaśī, during the month of Kārtika, the manifestation of Dāmodardvaita-sakhī Śrī Kārtikotkīrtideśvarī-Mukunda-dayita, oṁ viṣṇupāda paramahaṁsa ṭhākura Śrī Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, the eternally worshipable spiritual master of Śrīla Prabhupāda, departed to engage in the eternal service of his Divine Goddess, Śrī Kārtika-devī. On this day, he entered the eternal pastimes of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa during the time of brāhma-muhūrta. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura was residing in Māyāpura when Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja entered the eternal pastimes of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. After receiving the news of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s departure, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura immediately came to Rānī Dharmaśālā in Kuliyā during the early morning.

– The Ill-directed Efforts of the Hypocrites, Businessmen, and Imitationists

Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja used to mostly live in Kuliyā’s Rānī Dharmaśālā. The authorities of many of Navadvīpa’s temples started to fight and argue among themselves to secure the right to give samādhi to Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s transcendental body. They intended to secure the samādhi of this siddha-mahā-puruṣa to acquire wealth in the future. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura silenced all these ‘authorities’ who lacked proper conduct and values. Fearing disruption of peace, Daroga Bābū Rāya Bahadur Śrīyukta Yatindranatha Singh Mahāśaya, who was later given the position of Assistant Commissioner in the Detective department, was present there.

– The Carrier of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s shoes, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s Transcendental
Pride, and Revealing the Intentions of the Hypocrites

After many arguments had taken place, the Bābājīs said, “Śrī Sarasvatī Ṭhākura is not a sannyāsī. He doesn’t have the right to give samādhi to Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, who is a renunciant.”

Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura then replied with a voice as grave as thunder, “I am the only disciple of paramahaṁsa Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. Although I have not taken sannyāsa, I am a naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī (a perfect, lifelong celibate). By the causeless mercy of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, I am not a hypocrite who secretly engages in debauchery. I am not a markaṭa-vairagi (a monkey like renunciant). Because of being the carrier of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s shoes, I can say this with great pride. Among all of you, if there is one person who has a spotless character, then he can give Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja samādhi—I have no objection. Only a person who has not associated with a woman since a year, or six months, or three months, or a month, or since at least three days—can touch the transcendental body of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. If anyone deceitfully touches the body of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, then he will be completely ruined.”

Upon listening to these words, Śrī Yatindra Bābū said, “Where can we get evidence for this?”

Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, “I will believe the words of the claimant.”

After Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura had thunderously spoken these words, the assembled Bābājīs left one by one. Seeing this scene, Daroga Bābū was left speechless.

– Deciding the Place for Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s Samādhi

During this time, a proposal was made to give Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja samādhi in a portion of Ananta Poddar’s land, who claimed to be Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s follower. Howerver, he was far from accepting Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s teachings, and was only busily engaged in collecting the objects of the senses.

Ananta Poddar said, “From today, this land of mine, which is situated in Kuliyā Navadvīpa, has been offered as a place for Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi. This land is now no longer under my control.”

– The Last Desire of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja

Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja was exhibiting his pastime of illness some months before his disappearance. During this time, he had a person named Hiralala Gosvāmī call Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura to see him in Kuliyā. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja had told Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura that he wished to be placed in samādhi in either Māyāpura or Godruma. He had also said that if he was to be placed in samādhi in Godruma, then his samādhi should not be within the precincts of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s samādhi—rather, his samādhi should be given in a place that lies outside the four walls of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s samādhi area.

He also said, “If you cannot find a place in Māyāpura or Godruma, then my body should be dragged in Kuliyā and thrown in the Gaṅgā.”

According to the desire of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja, on the day of his disappearance, he was given samādhi in Koladvīpa because of not being able to place his transcendental body in samādhi in either Māyāpura or Godruma.

– The Real Meaning of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s Last Desire

Some people who had assembled on the day of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s departure told Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, “During his manifest stay, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja expressed his desire to you that his body should be dragged on the streets of Śrīdhāma Navadvīpa. After thus having his body bathed in the dust of Navadvīpa, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja desired that his body be thrown in the Gaṅgā. Therefore, we should definitely follow Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s order.”

Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura replied, “Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra Himself feels that His life is successful when He carries my Gurudeva on His shoulders and head. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja humbly spoke these words only to destroy the arrogance of the conditioned souls. Although we are foolish, ignorant, and offensive, we should not deprive ourselves of the real intention behind Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s words. After Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s disappearance, Śrī Gaurasundara took his transcendental body and placing it in His arms, danced ecstatically. The Lord Himself then placed Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura in samādhi with great respect. Therefore, following in the footsteps of Śrīman Mahāprabhu, we will also carry the transcendental body of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja on our head.”

– Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja Is Placed in Samādhi

On the day of Utthāna Ekādaśī, during the afternoon, and according to the process delineated by Śrīla Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī in his Saṁskāra-dīpikā, Śrīla Prabhupāda placed Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja in samādhi by his own hands in Kuliyā’s Nuthan-chada.

– Disappearance Festival

After two days, Śrīyukta Vanamālī Poddar invited Śrīla Prabhupāda to attend a disappearance festival that would take place in honor of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja at the temple of Śrīman Mahāprabhu in Māyāpura. After listening to the invitation, Śrīla Prabhupāda spoke the following words:

“I am an animal that is sold at the lotus feet of Śrī Gurupāda-padma. I have no independence of my own. I don’t know where I will honor prasāda. Wherever Śrī Kṛṣṇa arranges that I can honor His remnants, I will duly be present in such a place.”

– The Servant of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s Samādhi

The services and other arrangements for the samādhi-kuñja of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja that Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura established in Kuliyā were made according to Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s orders and instructions. Every year, on the day of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s disappearance, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura would be present at Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi-kuñja with thousands of devotees. He would lead all the devotees in arranging a festival of saṅkīrtana for this divine occasion. Many devotees who were under the guidance of Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura took turns in serving Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi. Some of them were Śrī Lalitā-priya dāsa Bābājī, Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava dāsa Bābājī, Śrī Vaiṣṇava dāsa Bābājī, and Śrī Rādhā-ramaṇa Caraṇa Śaraṇa dāsa Brahmacārī.

– Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s Sannyāsa and Preaching, and the Offering of Śrī Vanamālī Poddar’s Service

Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura accepted sannyāsa in the year 1918. He became gradually absorbed in his preaching services. After establishing the Śrī Madhva Gauḍīya Maṭha in Ḍhāka, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura arranged that the disappearance festival of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja be especially celebrated here. Because of being busy in his preaching, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura could not be present in Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi-kuñja for some years. Śrī Vanamālī Poddar was the brother of Ananta Poddar. Previously, he had made the following promise in the presence of Śrīla Prabhupāda, “Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi-sevā will only be performed according to the desire and instructions of Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.”

Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura then offered the entire responsibility of serving Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi to Vanamālī Poddar.

– The Wicked Endeavors of the Envious

When Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s preaching was conducted in many areas of Yaśohara District, Hiralala Gosvāmī Mahāśaya[1] became very sorrowful on the inside. The samādhi of Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja was established on the land in Kuliyā that was offered by Ananta Poddar. Dissatisfied, Hiralala Gosvāmī and Ananta Poddar quarrelled with Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and those who had taken his shelter.

– Those Engrossed in Sense Enjoyment Cannot Understand the Actions of Pure Vaiṣṇavas

Every year, many people would attend Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s disappearance day festival. During those times, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura would give many discourses on pure devotion. Hiralala Gosvāmī, Ananta Poddar, and some others who were opposed to Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, formed a group against him. They started creating many problems during Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s disappearance festival. Their main intention was that Śrīla Prabhupāda and his followers would not take part in the festival in any way. They felt that the service of speaking hari-kathā was similar to the act of collecting the objects of the senses.

“May the truth be preached by Śrīla Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in this world.” The necessity of following the ideal mood of this statement that was completely untainted by envy and hypocrisy, could not be understood even a little by Hiralala Gosvāmī, Ananta Poddar, and some others, because of being intoxicated by material enjoyment.

During the occasion of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s disappearance festival, Ananta Poddar and some others tried disrupting the spotless, non-envious teachings of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. They tried to do so with the help of others, for they were completely overcome by the pride of their opulence. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura became very sorrowful upon witnessing their offensive actions towards
the Vaiṣṇavas.

He then said, “All of you consider the transcendental abode of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi to be a place of enjoyment. While displaying your pride of possessing material wealth, you are committing many atrocities and causing great trouble. It is very difficult for all of you to attain your eternal auspiciousness.”

From then on, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura didn’t go to attend the samādhi festival in Kuliyā.

– The Fruit of Vaiṣṇava-aparādha

Just some days after behaving in such a wicked way with Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, Ananta Poddar’s vast wealth and fortune started to dwindle. He gradually lost all his possessions and was then afflicted with many miseries. He spent the rest of his days
in poverty.

Because of committing many offenses at the lotus feet of Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja and Śrīla Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, Ananta Poddar’s flourishing saṁsāra and tranquil life was completely destroyed, and he became bound to taste the fruits of the offenses committed by his followers as well. His vast fortune disappeared without a trace, for the government acquired all his wealth. He considered Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi to be his personal property, and thus even tried handing over the samādhi of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja to others by auctioning it.

On October 2nd, 1931, Śrī Nakuleśvara Rāya, whose initiated name was Śrī Nityānanda dāsa Brahmacārī, and who was the surrendered servitor of Śrī Vasanta Kumāra Bhaktayasrama, made the highest bid to acquire Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi.

– The Disappearance of the Samādhi in the Womb of Gaṅgā

“Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi cannot remain in a place that is suited for the enjoyment of the materialists !” To proclaim the truth of this statement, by the desire of Bhagavān, Gaṅgā-devī started to gradually take Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi on her lap. Śrī Nityānanda Brahmacārī registered the samādhi in the name of Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, who was the best of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s followers and his successor, for his very life centered around fulfilling the innermost heart’s desire of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja. When Gaṅgā-devī completely covered the samādhi of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja by her water, then, by the desire of Bhagavān, the tran­scendental samādhi of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja was handed over to
Śrīla Prabhupāda.

– Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s Samādhi Is Established Again on the Banks of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa in Śrī Caitanya Maṭha

Despite the obstacles and troubles that were created in the samādhi-sevā, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda was the samādhi’s actual servant and savior. Therefore, Śrīla Prabhupāda was the rightful successor of the service of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi. My most worshipable spiritual master, nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, was the most prominent of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s followers. Along with the other sevakas of Śrī Caitanya Maṭha, my Guru Mahārāja worked day and night to have wells dug on all four sides of Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi. He then arranged to transfer the samādhi to Māyāpura. According to the desire that Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja had expressed during his manifest stay, his samādhi was placed in Śrīdhāma Māyāpura on
August 21st, 1932.

Thus, Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi was established again on the banks of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa in Śrī Caitanya Maṭha. Śrīyukta Nivaranacandra Bada Mahāśaya, who was a dedicated, simple-hearted follower of Śrīla Prabhupāda, built a beautiful temple for Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi. Nivaranacandra Mahāśaya was entirely devoid of any trace of pride that was born from possessing wealth and fortune.

 

Srila Gaura Kishora das Babaji ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandhav book publication: “Four Rupanuga Vaisnava Acaryas of the Sri Gaudiya Sampradaya”, for future availability contact: rasik@bhatabandhav.org )

[1] Hiralala Gosvāmī externally displayed much devotion for Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda. He would proclaim that there was no mahā-bhāgavata like Śrīla Prabhupāda and no Vaiṣṇava scholar as vastly learned as him in present times. However, when some people he knew took shelter of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s lotus feet, he became very unhappy.