to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
my humble dandavat pranams.
Attached herewith are photos
of Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj meeting with Prabhu
Nitai Das Raya yesterday. Srila Maharaj spoke to us a little about
his association with Prabhu Nitai Das Raya over many years from the
time when Srila Maharaj was seventeen years old and Prabhu Nitai Das
was twenty-seven ten years older. Here's what I remember
from yesterday morning when Srila Maharaj was speaking about their
long time association.
Prabhu Nitai Das is the son of Sriman Sakhi Charan Raya (Sakhi Babu)
who was one of the stalwart supporters of the Gaudiya Math during
the time of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Srila Govinda
Maharaj told us that Sakhi Babu was only educated up to class four
but became involved with a salt merchant who was controlling most
of the salt supply in India. After some time, that merchant wanted
to leave the Bengal part of his business and gave it to Sripad Sakhi
Babu. Srila Maharaj said, "Then he became so great!"
In his shop people would come to buy one bag or five bags or twenty
bags of salt, like that. Sakhi Babu kept a large hollow ball and when
people would come to purchase salt he would request them, "You
please give some donation for my Guru Maharaj. You can give ten paisa
or char annas (twenty-five paisa) or one rupee or more as you like."
In this way he financed so many projects for Srila Saraswati Thakur.
Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur began a program named 'Nabadwip Dham Pracharini
Sabha' for spreading the glories of Sri Nabadwip Dham. The permanent
head of that Sabha is the Maharaja of Tripura and that is continuing
until today. Each year they meet at Sri Chaitanya Math. Sakhi Babu
was named the first Secretary of that society and his son, Nitai Das,
was made the Secretary after him and is still holding that post.
Nitai Das had two other brothers. All the brothers were successful
barristers and held other high positions. Nitai Das became a high
One time Srila Sridhar Maharaj was staying in the house of Sakhi Babu
who gave him his bed to sleep on. While Srila Sridhar Maharaj was
lying down, he would dictate to Srila Govinda Maharaj, who would carefully
write down his words which were to be used in the printing of Sri
Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu. Sakhi Babu read what Srila Govinda Maharaj
had written and was very surprised that Srila Sridhar Maharaj could
compose such high standard expressions of Gaudiya theism while lying
on the bed and speaking his thoughts. He was also surprised to see
that the young Srila Govinda Maharaj had very correct spelling and
also wrote very nicely. Seeing this he proposed that Srila Govinda
Maharaj write his (Sakhi Babu's) life's story. Srila Govinda Maharaj
said it is for this reason that Sakhi Babu told him so much history.
History continues in the making, and in February this year Prabhu
Nitai Das Raya's son, Prabir Dasa, prayed to Srila Govinda Maharaj's
lotus feet, and Srila Gurudev has since graced him with Harinama and
After fifty-seven years of association between Srila Gurudev and Prabhu
Nitai Das Raya and his family, all of us here feel nourished and honored
to have met them together at this beautiful Temple in Dum Dum Park,