Sowing the seed of our highest benefit...
By His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
...Continued excerpt from 'Heart and Halo'
"These two personalities,
Sri Gadadhar Pandit and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, are our
great Gurus, our guides, and by offering our worship to them
we can sow the seed of our highest benefit."
His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakur, a pioneer of exclusive devotion
Srila Sridhar Maharaj:
There was one Parvat Maharaj who lived next door to Bhaktivinoda
Thakur when he passed his old age in Godruma. Parvat Maharaj
said that there was only a partition wall between his
house and Bhaktivinoda Thakur's. That was at Surabhi Kunja.
From about three o'clock in the morning, Bhaktivinoda
Thakur would rise and take the Name of Krishna, the Mahamantra,
at the top of his voice. Parvat Maharaj described
it like this. As though calling someone from afar - with
this spirit Bhaktivinoda Thakur would chant the Holy Name.
That Maharaj was astonished to see such behavior. There
was a cement chair, and when Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
felt tired he took his seat and rested there awhile. And
then after some time he would again wander in the garden,
chanting at the top of his voice, "Hare Krishna,
Hare Krishna!" With such animation in his voice
he was calling - calling a person; with this spirit, and
not in a formal way, but with a material hankering, he
was calling for the Lord.
~From Sermons of the
Guardian of Devotion, Volume II, Chapter II
In the teachings of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, whose preaching was
inspired by Sri Gadadhar Pandit and Sriman Mahaprabhu, we also find
all the substance that is present in that plane of vibration. These
two personalities, Sri Gadadhar Pandit and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur,
are our great Gurus, our guides, and by offering our worship to them
we can sow the seed of our highest benefit. By the grace of that great
Guru-Maharaj Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, we have
been able to understand this.
And Bhaktivinoda Thakur, though generally
he has his own position, as understood from the consideration of the
disciple, Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur has seen Srimati
Radharani in him: a 'relative' vision. He once said that Radharani represents
the full play of asta-nayika, the eight characteristics of the
heroine; we see that they are all perfectly represented in Her. In other
places we may find partial representations of them, but we find them
fully manifest only in Her.
He said, "I see my Gurudeva as Guna-manjari,
and in that manjari form he has some partial representation of
Radharani. But if I attempt to look more deeply, I find him identified
fully with Her; the eight kinds of qualities displayed in the service
of Krishna (asta-nayika) are to be found there. If I look at
him with my head a little more erect, I can see that he is one with
Radharani. Acharya mam vijaniyat: 'know the Acharya as Myself.'
If I give more attention to this sastric rule and try to search
out the meaning, I find that Radharani comes to take Her place there,
in the position of my Gurudeva." In this way he has seen in Bhaktivinoda
Thakur the fullest representation of the cult of Sri Gauranga.
This realisation is expressed in his poem where he says
that he saw Svarupa Damodara Goswami in Gaura-kisor Dasa Babaji ,
and Sri Gadadhar Pandit in Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. In one place
he has written: Gadadhara din dhori paya acha Gaura-Hari, that
he has accepted the day of the disappearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
to be identified with that of Sri Gadadhar Pandit. In another place,
in his poem at the conclusion of his Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta
commentary, he has written: "Here, in Nabadwip Dhama, the eternal
Pastimes are going on continuously; only those who have got that deep
vision, they can perceive it."
gadadhara mitra-vara, sri svarupa damodara,
sada kala gaura-krsna yaje
jagatera dekhi' klesa, dhariya bhiksuka-vesa,
aharahah krsna-nama bhaje
sri gaura icchaya dui, mahima ki kava mui,
prakata haiya seve, krsna-gaurabhinna-deve,
aprakasya katha yatha tatha
He says, "It is very difficult to perceive the sweet
will of Sri Gauranga, but if we can bring ourselves to that level, we
see that Svarupa Damodar Goswami and Sri Gadadhar Pandit are always
engaged in their service here in Nabadwip. Sometimes it is suppressed
and sometimes it is appearing on the surface. In that plane all is going
on by the sweet will of Sri Gauranga, without any restriction. But now
I find that those two have appeared on the surface as Srila Gaura-kisora
Dasa Babaji and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. I have seen it with my own
eye of divine service but this is not to be advertised, not to be given
publicity anywhere and everywhere; people will laugh at it. But this
is my heartfelt conclusion." He has written this in his poem concluding
So Gadadhar Pandit was identified with Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakur. That was the vision of our Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati
Thakur. He could see in them the same identity. He considered Siksa-Guru
parampara to be the most substantial thing: "Eliminating the
sahajiya-vada which gives much importance to the outer cover,
try to look within, and see things more deeply. Try to understand the
deeper vibrations of the outside environment, and see within yourself
also. Dive deep, and you will find the plane of the finest vibration
which will carry that news to you, and you will see that truth."
Lotus Feet of Gadadhar Pandit are our sole treasure', an
extract from Divine Guidance, by His Divine Grace Srila
Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj:
'So Mahaprabhu, Sri Krishna Himself,
suffered intense separation from Krishna, and He was enlivened
by hearing topics about Lord Krishna from Gadadhar Pandit. When
a person is in intense grief, what does he do? He becomes blinded
by his grief, and he cannot decide how he will find some peace,
so he drinks alcohol. Sri Gadadhar Pandit provided such intoxication
for Mahaprabhu by enlivening Him with the intoxicating topics
of Srimad-Bhagavatam. This is how he served the Lord
of his heart.'
the Twilight', Chapter 2 of Sermons of the Guardian of
Devotion, Volume II, by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak
Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj:
'When Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
passed away, Srila Prabhupad (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad) arranged a condolence meeting
in a public hall and invited many respectable gentlemen....
They all spoke very highly about Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur,
recognising that he gave new thought to the society at large;
his writings were of original character, not stereotyped. His
investigations into Vaisnavism excelled that of all the modern
Acharyas. Shishir Ghosh also once said, "We have
heard of the Six Goswamis of the time of Mahaprabhu, but Bhaktivinoda
Thakur's writings prove that he holds the seventh position amongst
the Goswamis. He has left us such extensive and original writing
about the teachings of Sri Chaitanyadev." In this way,
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur left the world his literature - he
is in his literature, present forever. He has delivered his
writings about the Teachings of Mahaprabhu and Bhagavatam in
a systematic and scientific way, suitable to the modern age.
Our debt unto his Holy Feet has no end.'
Vaisnava', A poem by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, posted on
the Sri Guru Vandana website with a collection of his other
holy writings (also available on our local mirror):
'Forget the past that sleeps and ne'er
The future dream at all
But act in times that are with thee
And progress thee shall call.'