All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

The Big Green Gathering, Sussex, UK, the devotees honour the

Disappearance Festival of

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Page One | Page Two

Friday 5th August 2005
Webpages by Damayanti Dasi

Despite the unusual surroundings, a happy programme was held on the Holy Disappearance Day of our Srila Param Guru Maharaj, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, with a sizable gathering of devotees and guests in attendance. After morning bhajans and arati, Sri Govinda Prabhu spoke for some time, briefly sharing some of his own personal experiences with Srila Sridhar Maharaj before expressing appreciation for Srila Param Guru Maharaj's teachings. He also expressed his feeling that although this day is a day of sadness because it marks the day Srila Sridhar Maharaj left our vision, it is also a happy one because it is the anniversary of the day His Divine Grace rejoined his spiritual Pastimes in the Lord's own abode.

Srila Gurudev, His Divine Grace Srila Govinda Maharaj, explained this in a talk given on this holy day some years ago (see 'The Jewel of the Garland'), while relating his memories of the day Srila Sridhar Maharaj left this world, on the 12th August 1988:

When I came to the Deities for paying dandavats and I stood to see the Deities' faces; very effulgent, very glorified, extremely glorified and very effulgent, and smiling like man, eyes like man's eyes especially Radharani and Krishna and Mahaprabhu. It was beyond my thinking, and I could not understand why on this day the Deities were very happy and They cannot hide Their heart's expression. And after seeing that I thought that Guru Maharaj has joined his Nitya-lila, eternal Pastimes of Krishna, Radharani and Mahaprabhu, and this symptom coming out from the form of our Deities. My heart was very sad, but looking at the form of the Deities I was stunned and I could not imagine that form, and I could feel some peace in my mind. Oh, Guru Maharaj was with us and the Deities were suffering because of that, and now Guru Maharaj has gone to join the Pastimes of Radha-Krishna and Mahaprabhu, and They are happy.

Srila Gurudev continued to express that this day, a happy day for Sri-Sri Radha-Krishna and Mahaprabhu, is an opportunity to offer our service "in a more glorifying way:"

We need that and we shall try to make the Deities happy. And like a man, but it is very effulgent, I cannot speak it, never have I seen in my whole life such beauty in the Deities.

This is Madhava tithi. When Krishna, Radharani, and His associates are appearing in this mundane world, and when disappearing, all these days are very auspicious for the devotee - that is called Madhava tithi. That is, Madhava is getting the happiness. That day we must try in a more glorifying way to give our service to our Lordship and with great care we shall try to give honour to that date.

Sri Govinda Prabhu also spoke of the extreme necessity of taking shelter of Sri Guru, and concluded his talk by reading Srila Raghunath Das Goswami's prayer to his Guru, in an excerpt from Sri Guru and His Grace, by Srila Sridhar Maharaj:

Srila Raghunath Das Goswami prays, "I only aspire after one thing. I cherish the hope that one day I may be welcomed into the plane where Radhika and Madhava are in Their glory, sitting and playing." That should be our prospect. This is found in Raghunath Das Goswami's prayer to his Guru. He says:

nama-srestham manum api sachi-putram atra svarupam
rupam tasyagrajam uru-purim mathurim gostavatim
radha-kundam giri-varam aho radhika-madhavasam
prapto yasya prathita-krpaya sri gurum tam nato 'smi

"I am fully indebted to Sri Gurudev. Why? He has given me so many things. He has given me the highest conception of the Holy Name of Krishna, the highest form of sound which contains the highest form of thought, aspiration, ideal, everything. And next he has given me the mantra."

The Name is there within the mantra. Without the Name, the mantra is nothing. If the Name of Krishna is withdrawn and replaced with another name, the mantra will give the opposite result. The Name of Krishna is all in all. And within the mantra, the Name is couched in a particular way as a sort of prayer.

And then he says, "He has given me the service of that great saviour, the son of Mother Sachi, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is like a golden mountain standing to show the direction of Krishna-lila. And Gurudev has brought me to the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu's most favourite personal assistant, Svarup Damodar, who is the representation of Lalita Devi, the most favourite friend of Radhika.

"Then he has brought me in connection with Sri Rupa, who was ordered to distribute the highest kinds of devotional love, rasa." Vaidhi-bhakti, the worship of the Lord in awe and reverence, is of a lower order. But raganuga-bhakti, spontaneous love, the heart's innermost dealings, was distributed through Srila Rupa Goswami. Mahaprabhu considered Sri Rupa the best to deal with raganuga-bhakti.

Das Goswami says, "Then, by his grace, I have achieved the association of Srila Sanatan Goswami, who adjusts our position in relation to raganuga-bhakti. He explains the path of vaidhi-bhakti, and gives us sambandha-jnana: the knowledge of what is what, a proper acquaintance with the environment." Then he says, "Gurudev has given me Mathura Mandal, where Radha and Govinda have Their Pastimes; where the forest, the hills, every creeper, shrub, and grain of sand, everyone is bearing the acquaintance of Radha-Krishna lila, and wherever I shall cast my glance they will help me in my remembrance of Radha and Govinda. I have received all these things from my Gurudev: Vrndavan, where the cows and the milkmen have their village constructed. I am becoming acquainted with their association, their nature, and their feelings of love for Krishna.

"By the grace of Gurudev, I have become acquainted with Radha-kunda, the favourite place of Radha and Govinda for Their Pastimes, and this great Govardhan. And lastly he has given me the hope that one day I can get the service of Sri Sri Radhika and Madhava. I have been given all these assurances by my Gurudev, so I bow my head with all my respects to his lotus feet."

Sri Govinda Prabhu also emphasised our great fortune: to have had the revolutionary and glorious introduction of Krishna consciousness to the West by His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; the unparalleled teachings and high realisations of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, and to now have the affectionate guardianship and guidance of the embodiment of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's teachings, our dearmost Srila Gurudev, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj.


Earlier on: morning bhajans, followed by arati, led by Rohini Kumar Prabhu (pictured playing the mrdanga), visiting London for some time on his way back to Mexico after pilgrimage in India.

Some kitchen helpers: Lavanya Mayi Didi rolls samosas while Gaurasundar Prabhu chops vegetables and Radhika Priya Devi Dasi, visiting from Ireland, cleans dishes.
Devotees and guests honour the feast prepared in remembrance of Srila Sridhar Maharaj.
Discussion continues during prasadam.
After prasadam, Sri Govinda Prabhu spoke with guests from Iskcon for over an hour about the history and glories of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math and Iskcon, and the divine relationship between Srila Sridhar Maharaj, Srila Govinda Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada. Later on in the afternoon, a group of Iskcon devotees led by Sripad Mahavisnu Maharaj came to offer respects and flower offerings at the lotus feet of His Divine Grace Srila Sridhar Maharaj.
Offering puspanjali.
Sripad Tridandi Maharaj speaks to a curious individual about the nature of the Krishna conscious conception of Divinity.
A special event on a special day: in the evening Sripad Tridandi Maharaj gives ritvik initiation to a sincere seeker who has been associating with the devotees of the London Math for several months. Under the gracious glance of our Divine Guardians, 'Maureen' receives her japa mala, guidance on the significance of taking initiation, a booklet describing the ten offences to the Holy Name, and the new name of Mano Rama Devi Dasi.

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
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