divya-tanum suchanda-vadanam balarka-celancitam
sandrananda-puram sad-eka-varanam vairagya-vidyambudhim
sri-siddhanta-nidhim subhakti-lasitam sarasvatanam-varam
vande tam subhadam mad-eka-saranam nyasisvaram sridharam
fall at the feet of Srila Sridhar Dev, who with charming expression
sings his songs of sweet nectar. Dressed in fine garments like the
newly-risen sun, he is the true saint, the devotees have chosen.
His detachment and knowledge are just like an ocean, the treasure-house
of complete, perfect conclusions. Radiant in pastimes of loving
devotion, the abode of pure ecstasy, bestower of good fortune; foremost
true follower of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta, foremost great general
of the whole renounced order, my lord and my master, my only shelter,
I worship his feet, Srila Sridhar Dev."
[Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj]
Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is
the Founder-Acharya of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Nabadwip,
West Bengal, India. He appeared in the world in 1895 at Hapaniya,
Burdwan, West Bengal.
his childhood he had inner faith in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu,
with a natural attraction and affinity for nama-sankirtan;
his scholarship and worldly detachment was formidable. His first
contact with Sri Gaudiya Math was in 1923, and he fully commited
himself to this Mission of his Guru, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati
Goswami Prabhupad, in 1926. In 1930 his Guru gave him sannyasa,
giving him his transcendental name, Bhakti Rakshak [Guardian of
Devotion]. He took a prominent part in the founding, organizing
and preaching of many of the Sri Gaudiya Maths all over India.
Sridhar Maharaj composed many unique spiritual prayers and commentaries
in Sanskrit and Bengali, revealing a devotional stature in common
with that of the famed Goswamis of Vrindavan. Often thought even
more amazing was his special ability to represent those thoughts
in the international language of English. In this way, many of
his Holy Teachings have been published in the form of books.
Sridhar Maharaj departed from the eyes of the mortal world in
1988. Thousands from all over the globe had by this time taken
shelter in him as disciples. Prior to his departure, publicly,
and in his Last Will and Testament, he named his beloved Divine
Servitor Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj as his successor.
Divine Grace Sri Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj,
the founder of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, was born in India
in 1895, in a respected Brahmana family of the Bhattacarya order,
at Hapaniya, District Burdwan, West Bengal. He received his education
at Baharamapur University.
taken his pious birth in Sri Gauda-Mandal, the holy lands where
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His divine pastimes on this earth,
Srila Sridhar Maharaj, from his very childhood, had a natural affinity
for the mission of Sri Chaitanya Sankirtan -- the Grand Congregational
Chanting of the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord.
1926, Srila Sridhar Maharaj joined the Sri Gaudiya Math, and became
an initiated disciple of its founder, the illustrious Srila Bhakti
Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Goswami Prabhupad (1874-1937). He later
accepted the holy order of sannyasa
[monkhood] in 1930. Recognizing him as a faithful stalwart preacher
of the perfect precepts of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta
Saraswati Prabhupad conferred upon him the name "Sri Bhakti Rakshak,"
which means "Guardian of Devotion." And further echoing the statement
of the great Vaishnava Preceptor, Srila Jiva Goswami -- who referred
in his Sanskrit writings to the renowned Srimad
Bhagavatam commentator, Sri Sridhar Swami, as bhakti
eka raksaka [Supreme Guardian of Devotion] -- Srila Bhakti
Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad gave him the Tridandi-Sannyasa title
of "Sridhar." Thus, he became Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaj.
a prominent preacher in the Sri Gaudiya Math mission, he travelled
extensively throughout India and preached fluently in Bengali, Hindi,
Sanskrit, and English, spreading the teachings of Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu on many levels in universities, public seminars, and
Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad also expressed high appreciation
of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Sanskrit composition, Sri
Bhaktivinoda Viraha Dasakam, considering it an omen of assurance
that the grand ideals and dignity of the Sri Gaudiya Sampradaya
would be perfectly upheld and preached by such a learned and sensitive
devotee as Srila Sridhar Maharaj.
a testimony to this fact, just prior to Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati
Thakur Prabhupad's departure from this mortal world, Srila Prabhupad
had Srila Sridhar Maharaj sing, in his presence, the holy prayer
most venerated by the entire Sri Gaudiya Vaishnava community, Sri
Rupa Manjari Pada.
the passing of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Goswami Prabhupad,
Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Godbrothers, associates, and the public,
naturally revered him as the senior-most representative of the Sri
Gaudiya Sampradaya, although Srila Sridhar Maharaj himself was more
inclined to anonymity as a humble Vaishnava. Nonetheless, by the
call of divine duty and divine inspiration, he established the Sri
Chaitanya Saraswat Math at Sri Nabadwip Dham, hinting in a short
Sanskrit poem that the
Math -- as a sanctuary where the holy message of his Gurudev, Sri
Rupa, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was preached -- would inevitably
become renowned throughout the world amongst the sincere and pious
seekers of Unalloyed Truth and Divinity.
Sridhar Maharaj is the composer of numerous classical prayers and
commentaries in Sanskrit and Bengali. His works are hailed as gems
of pure Vaishnavism by scholars, philosophers, and devotees worldwide.
He authored Sri Sri Prapanna Jivanamrtam,
a Sanskrit devotional treatise on the subject of divine surrender,
which has become a standard text-book for devotees everywhere.
reaching his eighties, not only Indians, but persons from America,
Europe, and the world over, became attracted by Srila Sridhar Maharaj's
teachings and personality. He was known as a pure saint of the most
simple living habits. He was respected and loved for his saintly
simplicity, and his affectionate nature and dealings. He was revered
by his Godbrothers, disciples, other devotees, and the general public,
and was unanimously venerated for his formidable encyclopedic command
of the revealed scriptures, and his unique and unprecedented style
of casting newer and newer light upon the most internal philosophical
and revelatory purports of pure Sri Gaudiya Vaishnava Siddhanta.
vast library of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's taped discourses has been
compiled by his disciples, and from such recordings, the exquisite
English books -- Search for Sri Krishna, Sri Guru and His Grace,
The Golden Volcano of Divine Love, Loving Search for the Lost Servant,
and Srila Sridhar Maharaj's unique commentary and interpretation
of "Srimad Bhagavad Gita: The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute"
-- and many other books have been published. Many more publications
are also anticipated.
August 12th, 1988, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar
Dev-Goswami Maharaj departed from this world, to enter into his
eternal pastimes. His departure did not herald the departure of
one of the great stars of the Sri Gaudiya Vaishnava firmament, but
that of the moon itself. Even the Earth herself trembled on two
occasions, forecasting and punctuating the event. A divine temple,
"The Temple of Union in Separation," was erected at his holy shrine
at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip, and worship will continue
throughout the generations.
Sridhar Maharaj selected his most intimate and senior Sannyasi disciple,
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj, as his successor,
blessing him with the position of Acharya-President of Sri Chaitanya
Saraswat Math and its affiliated branches