...As Srila Govinda Maharaja recalls, "Sometimes
Srila Guru Maharaja would share a sloka jewel the way a boy tosses you
one of his favorite marbles." Only these gems are consciousness
embodied (cintamanis carana bhusanam angananam). Srila Sridhar
Maharaja: "The scriptures (slokas) are an objective posing of the
subjective. Actually they want to be preached. We shall offer ourselves
as carriers to become their instruments (hrdaye pravesa)."
Srila Sridhar Maharaja would jest that he couldn't complete
the work [of condensing Srimad Bhagavatam to 300 slokas] because he was an "ease lover" (ananda lilamaya vigrahaya). He
later revealed the only person he felt qualified to complete this task,
in terms of spiritual heart and depth, is Srila Govinda Maharaja:
What Srila Guru Maharaja wanted, that I cannot do. In which way I shall
do this? That is the question. Srila Guru Maharaja wanted to make
Srimad Bhagavatam within three hundred slokas. And he gave me some
consciousness — a clue how to do it. That he has given me. He
told lastly, 'I cannot do it, but you will try to do.'
But I have become a businessman! [Laughter] And over the
whole world I make business! But my business is a good business —
distributing Krishna consciousness.
[The telephone rings with an order for Krishna consciousness.]
Hello, Govinda Maharaja speaking…
The call ends and Srila Govinda Maharaja connects it to his train of thought:
Actually in the world there are so many problems. And my nature is to
take the problem in my head. I have been doing this my whole life
— since my youth. Willingly or unwillingly, they involve me and I
also get involved with that.
Otherwise, if I shall get one clean bed… and it is my
desire also… for that I am making one small house in Govardhan
for me and my friends: like Ashram Maharaja, Goswami Maharaja and
others. We will stay there and relish slokas. I shall stay there in one
room and beside there will be another four rooms for my guests. When
they will come, they will stay there. And downstairs five rooms are
there for other devotees to stay.
In this way I am making one house in Govardhan at Sri Dayita
Das Seva Kuñja. In resonance with the mood of devotion of
Narottam Thakur, I have planted trees bearing champaka, bakula,
kadamba, and tamal flowers. I will drape them with madhavi, malati, and
jasmine creepers, creating a charming kuñja.
But my real bhajan is preaching. What is Krishna's plan I do
not know. He gave me a push and sent me to the hospital — stroke
happened. And the doctors revealed that I had suffered two strokes. One
had already happened before this one. "And now a third is waiting for
you — to send you to Goloka Vrindavan!" [Laughter]
Then Srila Govinda Maharaja became grave. As Mahaprabhu sang an
inexplicable song before the chariot of Jagannath, Srila Govinda
Maharaja paraphrased a poem of Rabindranath, anticipating the chariot
'Preme esechilo chole gelo… Love came into my life but quietly
departed… Now I have nothing to do but wait for that guest
(death) who will come one day, blow out the sunset of my life like a
lamp, and take me away in his chariot.
'I know not when, nor whether we shall go down or ascend…'
All is the will of Lord Krishna — I believe by his will everything is possible.
Having consecrated his entire life in service, in his final days, the
deepest sort of divine feeling rose up from the heart of Madhavendra
Puri. Paraphrasing Srila Govinda Maharaja: from the heart an offering
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajante kalevaram...