It's a beautiful day in Nabadwip Dham and all our devotees and respectable guests by nine o'clock have already gathered in Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's Samadhi Mandir, The Temple of Union in Separation. After the kirttan some of our respectable guests gave a lecture in Bengali that Sripad Bhakti Amal Paramahamsa Maharaj translated into English for the Western devotees. Every single one of them began by praising our Param Guru Maharaj and expressing how wonderful and outstanding was the relationship of our Srila Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, and Srila Sridhar Maharaj.
Sripad Bhakti Premik Siddhanti Maharaj gave a beautiful lecture on how almost all we know about Srila Sridhar Maharaj we have got from our Srila Gurudev, how he is honouring him every day and describing his beautiful qualities. Then Sripad Sarvabhavana Prabhu also told us how when Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad disappeared from this world his disciples were very sad and void but were so immensely relieved to take shelter of Srila Sridhar Maharaj and, in due course, Srila Govinda Maharaj.
For people like me who never met Srila Sridhar Maharaj, the most beautiful and extraordinary testimony of his teachings and his benevolence lies in Srila Govinda Maharaj. There is not one single day when Srila Gurudev is not honouring his Guru, and in so doing he sets the perfect example of service and chastity to the Guru, and in such an affectionate way.
In the introduction of the book Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion Srila Sridhar Maharaj says:
"Here in Koladwip, Nabadwip, we find a happy place where the Absolute is the most generous in His benevolence.... At Koladwip - the Govardhana Hill of Vrindavana, concealed in Sri Navadwip Dhama - the Most Generous Absolute expressed Himself in His maximum generosity. Without considering any crime, He absolved whoever He found. He accepted them all."
So here in Koladwip the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math stands glorious, giving shelter to all the sincere, faithful seekers. That great task was started by Srila Sridhar Maharaj. He gave us not only the facilities of the Math and his teachings, but also he gave the continuation of the spiritual shelter for the devotees: his Sevaite Successor Acharyya, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. We are all so fortunate to be sheltered by their mercy.
It is said that there is no better temple for the Lord than the pure heart of His devotees, and this beautiful Temple of Union in Separation was built under the guidance of our Srila Gurudev and it bears all the signs of his affection for Srila Sridhar Maharaj, the Guardian of Devotion.
The grand festival held here today was a testament to the great appreciation for Srila Sridhar Maharaj by the overflowing assembly of senior Vaisnavas. Devotees arrived from the many Temples of Sri Nabadwip Dham and Sri Mayapur as well as from around the world. After kirttans, speeches and arati, all observed a truly grand feast which included Srila Sridhar Maharaj's favourite mangoes brought especially from a distant place.
As the crowds thinned in the afternoon, we heard repeated comments of how nourished and satisfied all the devotees felt. "It is the most glorious festival I've ever attended." "Extremely beautiful." "I can't do justice through words...."
Myself, also unable to do proper justice through this short article, I pay my obeisances to all the devotee readers, praying you may not take any offence in my trying to share a little of today with you.
~Vrinda Devi Dasi
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math,
Nabadwip, 25 July 2006