All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Darshan Notebook

in Calcutta with
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Sripad Pusta Krishna Prabhu shares
His Divine Grace Srila Govinda Maharaj's words of encouragement

Introduction | June 30th, 2005 | July 1st | July 2nd | July 5th | July 6th | July 8th | July 10th and July 10th afternoon | July 12th | July 13th | July 14th | July 15th | July 18th | July 19th | July 21st and July 21st afternoon


Darshan Notebook - Dum Dum Park Temple, Calcutta.


Today, July 14, 2005. "Outpouring of loving expressions."


Dandavat and Hare Krishna. This morning Srila Govinda Maharaj had more breathing problems that took a number of hours and several respiratory treatments to improve. He says, "I am trying, Prabhu." And, try indeed, he is to maintain his fragile health for his service. Again, please do not be disappointed, or take it that Srila Govinda Maharaj might not care, if he politely turns down invitations to travel. His health is so very fragile and he is very conscientiously attending to that in order to simply go on. No advice needed on this regarding alternative therapies and the like. Srila Govinda Maharaj feels that he is simply going on living by the mercy of Srila Guru Maharaj and Lord Krishna.

This morning he gave one Hari Nama initiation to a new bhakta from Mauritius, now named Sumanasi dd, the recent wife of Sudarshan Krishna Prabhu from Mauritius. She is an incredible artist and last night showed Srila Govinda Maharaj one beautiful large painting of Sri Sri Radha Krishna that she painted. Wow!

All morning, otherwise, His Divine Grace was quiet. Then after noon prasadam, with Sripad Goswami Maharaj and myself, I mentioned to Srila Govinda Maharaj that I got up very early this morning to chant japa and possibly turn on the TV to see the space shuttle lift-off which was, as I later found out, postponed. It was scheduled for 3:21 am Calcutta time. However, I was enjoying the japa of the Holy Names when it dawned on me what Srila Govinda Maharaj had said yesterday about heliocentric, geocentric, and God-concentric approaches to life. So I chose to chant the Holy Names (God-centric) before Mangal Arotik and did not turn my attention any more to the lift-off of the Space Shuttle (what could be more geocentric).

That initiated a one hour long outpouring of loving expressions by Srila Govinda Maharaj that included many subjects. I shall simply list some of them because they were extensive. He noted that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur relished the wonderful writings of Yamunacharya. Even though Yamunacharya was in the Laksmi-Narayan Sampradaya and not the line coming down from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur so very much appreciated his sentiments and writings. This has carried on in our line since then.

Also, he spoke briefly about Vedavyasa writing the "Gopi Gita."

Srila Govinda Maharaj said that he once mentioned to Srila Guru Maharaj that Vedavyas was there like an elephant dancing. Vyasadev was such a grand, heavy philosopher (Janmadyasyatah, etc.), and he also wrote the Gopi Gita, i.e. like an elephant dancing (please see note below).

He quoted verses of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that have been attributed to Him having composed them that are not part of the Sri Siksastakam or eight slokas universally attributed to Mahaprabhu. There were only two or three like that and Srila Rupa Goswami has recorded some of these expressions in his works.

And, Srila Govinda Maharaj used his transcendental psychology, as he often does, to discuss management of his Mission. We all thoroughly enjoyed, as did he, the flow of nectar that came out. He had been feeling very much different earlier this morning as mentioned above. In this afternoon conversation he said he feels like he is only thirty-two years old and cannot believe that he is seventy-six. He jokingly spoke, but not so jokingly, about retirement from management, and he is praying to Krishna to help reveal His plan so that this might someday be possible. I cannot believe how fortunate we all are. But, it genuinely is a very heavy responsibility to manage this Mission. We must all try to help by cooperating and doing our share and then some.

We all pray and hope that Sri Krishna, the Cause of all causes, the Master Director of this world (daivi hy esa guna mayi) will grace Srila Govinda Maharaj with very long, and hopefully, healthier life.

Your servant,
Pusta Krishna das

Darshan Notebook


This morning, July 15th, 2005. "Wonderful qualities."


Dandavat and Hare Krishna. One point that I made regarding Vyasadeva yesterday, the greatest "heavy" philosopher writing the Gopi Gita, was that it was Vyasadeva who may have been alluded to like an elephant dancing in his Gopi Gita. The meaning, as Sripad Goswami Maharaj elucidated, is that the slokas in the Gopi Gita are alluded to by Srila Govinda Maharaj like the dancing of an elephant. We, of course, are not referring to Vyasadeva as an elephant, but only mention this to clarify that the greatest philosopher capable of presenting the Vedanta Sutras and the Srimad Bhagavatam, etc. was the author also of the Gopi Gita and the sounds are thus uniquely appreciated by Srila Govinda Maharaj.

In addition, one long held desire of Srila Govinda Maharaj may come to fruition. He has long wanted a Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Cart Festival. He has given the dimensions he would like the cart to be with precision, and Urmila dd, our wonderful Chinese devotee is using her brilliant artistic talent to make a drawing of this. The festival would take place around the time of Mahaprabhu's Appearance Day but not so as to interfere with the Nabadwip festival. At this time Maharaj envisions a parade here in Calcutta from the Dum Dum Park Math to the Kaikhali Math. We shall see!

I am so impressed personally, as we all are, with the extraordinary qualities of Urmila dd. She has never been outside of China before, has never seen the ocean. One would think that the opportunity to see and experience new things would lead one to have a "tourist mentality." Far from it! When she visited Nabadwip for three days, and being a very skilled artist, she did an amazing drawing of the Main Temple building as looking from the viewing area of the Samadhi Mandir. She presented this to Srila Govinda Maharaj upon return to Calcutta as a gift, and so sweetly said, "I hope that my teacher is happy with this." Just wonderful qualities, spontaneous affectionate service, despite all the language barriers. What more can I say? Maharaj is doing better healthwise today. Let us pray that he continues on this way.... Hare Krishna.
Your servant,
Pusta Krishna das

Darshan Notebook - Dum Dum Park Temple, Calcutta.


Today, July 18, 2005. "My big family."


Dandavat pranams and Hare Krishna. This is the last day of the visit of our new dear friend and Godsister, Urmila DD. Tonight, she, along with Yudhamanyu Prabhu, and his good wife Jivana DD will leave India for their respective destinations. I wanted to give this opportunity to Urmila DD to share her thoughts and feelings with our family of devotees throughout the world. Here is what she has to say:

"It is so hard to say good-bye to everyone. I like India and I like the Temple. I like everybody very much. Here it is like my family, big family. I have mother, father, uncle, aunt as well as brother and sister. I love them. They are very sweet, and they look after me in China. I hope you all can come to China, and I hope that we will have a temple in China soon."

With folded hands, she says she looks forward to coming back to India again.
That's all for now. Hare Krishna.

  Your servant,
Pusta Krishna das

Darshan Notebook


This morning, July 19th, 2005. "Praising, praising."


Today is Tuesday July 19. Srila Govinda Maharaj began speaking informally about how wonderful a food moori (puffed rice) is. Srila Govinda Maharaj had some difficulty swallowing the moori this morning as it was getting stuck in his throat. He was reminded of Shankari Devi Dasi, a wonderful elderly bhakta of the Nabadwip Math. He praised her as a great servitor. She did so much, like cut up the straw for the cows, feed the cows, make dung cakes for cooking fuel, and, most pertinent here, was her cooking. She would cook urad dahl with some vegetable, like eggplant, etc. and they would serve this with moori. Srila Maharaj said that this was a favorite food for Nityananda Prabhu (a pretty high endorsement!).

Then this led to Srila Govinda Maharaj remarking how Srila Guru Maharaj gave so much to the Westerners who came to him. He used the word "mlecchas." Srila Guru Maharaj was from such a high Saraswat Brahmin family line in Hapaniya. Srila Govinda Maharaj jokingly said, "I have made Guru Maharaj's mission into 'mleccha.'" He explained that on urging Srila Guru Maharaj to give nourishment to the Western devotees, Srila Guru Maharaj gave so much of what had been inside of himself for so many years, like his explanation of the Gayatri Mantra. The books which then came forth, like Search for Sri Krishna, Golden Volcano of Divine Love, etc., Srila Govinda Maharaj said that he looked upon these books like Deities, really.

How could the Westerners have gotten this great fortune?

nitya-siddha krishna-prema 'sadhya' kabhu naya,
sravanadi-suddha-chitte karaye udaya

(CC Madhya 22.107)

It is already there within the jiva soul, it is not being imposed upon the jiva. Simply by this association, it is coming out. Just like the wonderful young Chinese bhakta, Urmila dd. She never had even met Yudhamanyu Prabhu yet. She simply saw a photograph of the Soquel Deities, and she painted her painting of the Deities of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Giridhari-jiu. Spontaneously, it came out with that contact!

Then Srila Govinda Maharaj relates that there was a lady disciple of Srila Prabhupad named Kulangana dd. She was from Malaysia and she stayed at the Math. Anyway, she used to make pizza for Jayatirtha Prabhu who was staying at the Math then. Kulangana dd very much wanted to, with great humility, offer some of this to Srila Guru Maharaj. So, Srila Govinda Maharaj brought a plate of her pizza to Srila Guru Maharaj. Srila Govinda Maharaj said to him, that she is a disciple of Srila Prabhupad Swami Maharaj, so Srila Guru Maharaj sampled a small taste. In this way she came up and paid her dandavat pranam to Srila Guru Maharaj and went off satisfied. Srila Govinda Maharaj pondered where Kulangana dd might be nowadays.

Srila Govinda Maharaj remarked how fortunate the people of Bengal are. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, used the Bengali language to teach us. Still, the Bengalis generally do not accept, whereas the Westerners they are accepting, despite the language difference. He recalled a Bengali saying to exemplify the situation of the Bengalis in this regard: "Dure keshe ghana lage." A cow has got its nose in lush green grass, but the cow is thinking the grass is better over there.

Later, Srila Govinda Maharaj sang a bhajan softly to himself while we sat not wanting to disturb his ecstasy. His health is fragile but he is maintaining. I am here for three more days, and it is my privilege and joy to share all of this with you.

Yours in service,
Pusta Krishna das

This afternoon after taking lunch prasadam, Srila Govinda Maharaj was contemplating whether to go to Russia or the USA, but he said, "I will go to the USA to die." At that, I added, "Yes, we will keep you there for twenty years happily!" His thoughts turned to the wonderful and simple-hearted devotees of both places. He gave much praise to His Holiness Janardan Maharaj and to Rsabdev Prabhu in USA. And Srila Govinda Maharaja gave much affectionate praise for Vijay Raman Prabhu in Russia. He described him as having a clear view of the target and used the term vyavasayatmika buddhi, "resolute intelligence in Krishna consciousness."

A picture of our dear friend Rsabdev Prabhu from Soquel who passed on several years ago hangs directly in front of a pillar just to the left of Srila Govinda Maharaj's desk in Calcutta. "Which way I am giving a garland every day to Rsabdev Prabhu. He told me something in confidence and that I am not telling, but how he had obtained what even Lord Brahma and Lord Siva cannot get?" were the words of His Divine Grace.

We both praised the wonderful qualities of Rsabdev Prabhu. He stayed at my house in Santa Cruz for 4-5 months before he made his final journey to Nabadwip to be with Srila Govinda Maharaj. Rsabdev Prabhu had no desire for liberation or moksha. In fact, he did not want to be a disturbance to Srila Govinda Maharaj at all. Although Rsabdev Prabhu was suffering terrible physical pain from the final effects of stomach cancer, he lived and suffered with great and exemplary dignity. Finally, his health was barely good enough for him to make the trip to India, and I practically had to force him to go then - again not wanting to be a burden to the devotees. He went only because his dear daughter, Mandakini dd, accompanied him to care for his needs, and as he expressed to me, he wanted her to have a strong connection with Srila Govinda Maharaj. She performed beautifully and with great love in Rsabdev's last days. He said to me, "I have no worries to Bharat, his son. He is resilient."

Rsabdev told me he simply wanted to go be near Srila Govinda Maharaj and sit on the floor before him. He said he did not care if His Divine Grace was watching television or reading a newspaper, he only aspired for the occasional glance and priceless smile that would come from Srila Govinda Maharaj to Rsabdev Prabhu. Yes, Srila Govinda Maharaj had, and has, ongoing great affection for Rsabdev Prabhu. In fact, his affection for the devotees around the world was expressed in this way today: "They are all my servitors and I am very satisfied with them."

Then he noted that Krishna is a thief, 'chora.' Not only Krishna, but the Vraja-Gopis also. The Gopis will steal your mind and use it for their service. His Divine Grace said that when others try to compare their religion with Krishna consciousness, Srila Govinda Maharaj tells them, "but can you play football with your Lord." You may worship Allah, etc. but you cannot play with your Lord as we can play with Krishna."

Well, just two more days here for me with Srila Govinda Maharaj's direct association. I do not know if I will have the opportunity to write further any such notes from these informal darshans or not. One good thing, I understand that Sruta Srava Prabhu is coming to Calcutta in early August. He is always able to extract nectar from the "Source" and perhaps we can appeal to His Grace Sruta Srava Prabhu to take such service upon himself for the benefit of the devotees suffering love in separation from Srila Govinda Maharaj. As always, I remain...,

  Yours in service,
Pusta Krishna das

Darshan Notebook - Dum Dum Park Temple, Calcutta.


Today, July 21, 2005. "The seed slokas."


No darshan info from me this morning, but Srila Govinda Maharaj spoke for over one hour in Bengali with the devotees of the Math and quoted the seed slokas of the Bhagavad Gita. (Mach chitta mad gata prana, etc.) and sloka 1.7.23 from Srimad Bhagavatam. Those interested might like to read those 3-4 verses in Bhagavad Gita and that sloka in Srimad Bhagavatam. He was feeling much better this morning, and some adjustments have been made to facilitate his condition successfully here in Calcutta.

  Your servant,
Pusta Krishna das

Afternoon, July 21, 2005. "Conclusion."


Dandavat and Hare Krishna. I want to personally thank Mahananda Prabhu, always the bhakta 'behind the scene' for helping me keep up this small service in the form of the "Darshan Journal" for the past three weeks. He has so many responsibilities and attends to each and every one of them with affectionate and thoughtful care.

So now I have one last message. Srila Govinda Maharaj says that, "Our land is Goloka Vrindavan." May all the disciples, friends, servitors and well-wishers keep this always in mind as they pass joyfully through this life of practicing service to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga. Rest assured that Sri Krishna is always watching us and enjoys every sacrifice that we make for Him: "bhoktaram yajna-tapasam" (BG).

I conclude my Darshan Journal from Calcutta glancing at the Lotus Feet of His Divine Grace. I would be remiss if I also did not acknowledge the close association which I have enjoyed here with Sripad Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Maharaj. He is a storehouse of nectar from the siksha or instructions of Srila Guru Maharaj.

I return tomorrow to California where Kum Kum dd has arranged a wonderful meeting on July 31st in San Jose which hopefully will be the first of many public programs aimed at serving our large Indian Community in the Bay Area. I offer my dandavat pranams to all the devotees around the world actively and sincerely trying with heart and soul to serve Srila Govinda Maharaj. Your service is being always passed transparently through the Guru Parampara to the Lotus Feet of Sri Sri Radha Krishna. Hare Krishna!

Yours in service,
Pusta Krishna das

P.S. In my notebook entry yesterday Srila Govinda Maharaj is trying to dramatize what he is trying to get across; that is, that Srila Guru Maharaj's Lotus of transcendental wisdom opened fully in the time of need, when desperate seekers came for answers. He gave them answers, and so, so much more. The deep understanding of the Rupanuga Sampradaya finds fulfillment in Srila Guru Maharaj's divine and expert instruction. Srila Govinda Maharaj is a Paramahamsa Vaishnava Acharya and he is illustrating how the topmost wisdom can be given to non-brahmana born individuals who demonstrate the capacity to sincerely serve and question with humility.

His great compassion for the world's devotees, both present and future, regardless of their sectarian affiliation, gave him the opportunity to rise to the necessity of the time, that is, to present the substance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's lila. Srila Govinda Maharaj is extreme in his humility and he always gives preference for substance over form. He always had great camaraderie with the seekers from outside India who came to Srila Guru Maharaj and thus they were able to be a part of the lila of revelation that was Srila Guru Maharaj.

  Your servant,
Pusta Krishna das

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip.
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