Sowing the seed of our highest benefit...

By His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

...Continued excerpt from 'Heart and Halo'

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"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,
aprakrta parisada-katha
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 Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta.

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."


Related Links:

'The 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.'

'Heralding 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.'

'Saragrahi 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.'


Webpages compiled by Damayanti Dasi, UK

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