Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Posted February 23, 2004
On February 11, 2004 we celebrate the most auspicious 131st Sri Vyasapuja of His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja, the transcendental messenger of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Spiritual Master of His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
In the Holy dham of Sri Mayapur we had an extraordinary celebration of this transcendental event with many senior devotees from the world over, attending for the Installation ceremony of the Sri Panca Tattva Bhagavan life-size Deities, for the 108th birth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada and for the Gaurapurnima festival 2004, The day also marked the start of the GBC meeting in our Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir that will last for 10 days as well as the disappearance day of His Holiness Gaur Govinda Swami Maharaja, one of Srila Prabhupada's many dear disciples.
In the morning the Srimad Bhagavatam class was dedicated to the occasion and was given by HH Jayapataka Swami, who narrated part of the biography and pastimes of Sri Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada. The Vyasapuja Celebration started at noon, when all the devotees performed a puspanjali in the main temple hall and held an ecstatic kirtan led by Bhakti Caru Swami; the arati was performed by Gopal Krsna Goswami.
At 2:00 pm the main procession started from Mayapur Ghat, through the main road that has the name of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, to the Sri Caitanya Math (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's Samadhi Mandir), This procession and full program celebration is organized by the Sri Saraswata Gaudiya Vaishnava Association and included a glorification program with Vaishnava Bhajans and homages by devotee leaders from ISKCON and the various Gaudiya Maths, followed by arati and puspanjali.
At night there was a cultural program with dramas based on Upakhyane Upadesa (a story book for spiritual education), and finally devotees honored Mahaprasada.
Back to Godhead article by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, published in March 1952, Vol. 1, Part IX, entitled, "Paramahansa Sree Sreemad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj"
Om Vishnupada Sree Sreemad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami appeared in this mortal world in the year 1874 in February on the 6th as the third son of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, known as late Kedarnath Dutt in His early householder life. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati was known as Bimala Prasad Dutt in His early life and, from his very boyhood, inspired by his devotee father, lived a strict, pious and religious life.
One instance in His early life will prove how much he was rigid in His principle of a religious way of life. The instance may be cited here as a matter of course. Srila Kedar Nath Dutta, as an ideal Grihastha, used to worship Sree Sree Radha Govinda Vigraha at his house. As such, one day he purchased some good quality mangoes for the deity when Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati was a mere child. The child Bimala Prasad, pretending the childish nature, ate the mangoes, without the knowledge of his father.
The father, when he came to know that the mangoes, purchased for offering to the Deities at his house, were swallowed up by his child Bimala Prasad, mildly rebuked him and warned him also not to commit the mistake in the future. The child Bimala Prasad took this matter very seriously and, as the proverb goes that the child is the father of future men, so he proved himself then as the future Acharya of the human community.
From that day forward till his departure from this mortal world, he remembered that mistake which he had committed in his early life and, as a matter of self-imposed punishment, he never touched mangoes of any kind for his eating purpose. In his later life, he was so many times requested by his thousands and thousands of disciples to accept mangoes, but he always reminded them of his childish so-called mistake and always quoted the instruction from the Ishopanishad that everything belongs to the Almighty God. Nobody therefore should accept anything in this world unless the same has first been offered to Him (Almighty God).
Another instance of His early life may be stated here: when Bimala Prasada was on the lap of his beloved mother, his father the late Kedar Nath Dutta was posted as Magistrate of Puri. The Car festival of Sree Sree Jagannathji took place at that time. The house was situated just near the main road through which the Car used to pass. So when the Car was moving, it stopped all of a sudden in front of the house where Sri Bimala Prasad was on the lap of his mother. The Car of Jagannath stopped and did not move, even with utmost endeavour of the pulling devotees.
The mother of Bimala Prasad took this opportunity and was helped to get up on the Car for Darshan of the Deity with her saintly son. The baby Bimala Prasad was then placed upon the holy feet of Sree Sree Jagannathji and at once the baby was blessed by God as some flowers fell down on the baby from the hands of the Deity. After this incidence the Car began to move and every intelligent person present there could understand that the child Bimala Prasad was not an ordinary one.
There are many such small but very significant instances from his very childhood which indicated Bimala Prasad to be a future great personality and it so happened that in his later age, he became the most powerful Acharya in he line of the GaudIya Vaishnava Sampradaya in the disciplic succession from Sripada Madhvacharya, who was in the line of Brahma Sampradaya coming down from Brahma, the Creator of this Universe.
There are four Sattwata or transcendental, spiritual Acharya-Sampradayas or fundamental schools of Theism, such as the Brahma Sampradaya beginning with Brahma after his initiation from the Personality of Godhead; the Rudra Sampradaya beginning from Sankara or Mahadeva; the Shree Sampradaya beginning from Sreemati Luxmi Devi the Eternal Consort of Sree Narayana; and the Kumar Sampradaya beginning from the Kumaras namely Sanak Sanat Kumars. Sree Madhvacharya belonged to Brahma Sampradaya, Sree Ramanuja to the Sree Sampradaya, Sree Vishnuswami to the Rudra Sampradaya and Sree Nimbarka to the Kumar Sampradaya.
All these four Acharyas are bonafide preachers of the pure transcendental philosophy dealing with the problems of this world, the living entities and the Almighty God who is the Father of creation as well as the living entities who are falsely trying to dominate over the creation and the controlling energy known as the material Nature.
Sree Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj happened to be the tenth generation in the line of disciplic succession from Lord Chaitanya who accepted Srila Iswara Puri as His spiritual Master. Srila Madhabendra Puri was the spiritual Master of Srila Iswara Puri and he (Sri Madhabendra Puri) belonged in the disciplic succession from Madhvacharya who was a direct disciple of Sree Vyasadeva.
The Spiritual Master of Srila Vyasadeva was Srila Narada Muni, who was directly initiated by Brahma the originator of the Brahma Sampradaya and therefore my spiritual Master Sree Sreemad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj belonged to the transcendental school of philosophy of the Brahma Sampradaya linking Brahma to Vyasadeva; from him to Madhvacharya; from Madhyacharya to Lord Chaitanya and from Lord Chaitanya to himself in a systematic principle as stated in Bhagwat Geeta: "Ebam Parampara Praptam," etc. [Bg. 4.2]
As a bonafide Acharya of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, the mission of Sree Sreemad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami was to re-establish the pure form of theism as propounded by Lord Chaitanya in the line of His predecessors. Lord Chaitanya preached only the teachings of Bhagwat Geeta in the most practical way to suit the present environment created by the dark age of quarrel and fight.
In the latter-age, calculated to be two hundred years before the advent of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja, many pseudo-spiritualistic parties in the name of Lord Chaitanya grew up like mushrooms to exploit the noble sentiment of spiritualism of the innocent people of Earth. Such pseudo spiritualistic parties deviated poles asunder from the preaching of Lord Chaitanya because they were unfit to undergo the disciplic regulations and as such they had mitigated a via-media principle of rotten materialistic idea with pure spiritualism.
They misunderstood the highest form of worship contemplated by the Gopis of Brindaban in the spiritual process with a materialistic idea of erotic principle. As such the highest principle Rasa-lila stated in the Bhagwat to be understood and relished at the stage of Parahansas was made a plaything by such pseudo parties -- known as the Aul, Baul, Nera, Karta Bhaja, Sain, Darbesa, Sakhi-vekhi, Sahajiya, Caste Goswamins, Caste Brahmins and so on.
These pseudo parties passed as the disciples of Lord Chaitanya with their cheap nefarious activities and of all the above parties the Sahajiyas and the Caste Gosvamins became the most obstinate obstructors to the onward progress of the universal movement of Lord Chaitanya.
The Philosophy of Lord Chaitanya was that God is One without a second. He is known as Sree Krishna but His incarnations such as Rama and Nrisingha are all identical with Him. The living entities or Jivas are qualitatively one with Godhead but quantitatively are innumerable but eternal servitors of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The present materialistic activities of the Jivas are to be understood as the acts of maya or illusion, and therefore they are all a waste of energy of the human being. The energy of the human being -- as also of other living beings -- should therefore be directed under the bonafide regulation of the Acharya in the line of Lord Chaitanya; as such, he vehemently protested against the principles of those pseudo transcendentalists now passed in the name of Lord Chaitanya.
Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode initiated the reformatory movement by literary contributions while he was still engaged as a high Government Officer. During his householder life and serving as a Magistrate he wrote books of various descriptions in Bengali, English, Sanskrit, etc. to present an actual picture of pure devotional activities of Lord Chaitanya.
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj got inspiration from his very childhood about Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode's movement. As a matter of fact, out of all his other sons, Srila Saraswati Thakur practically worked as the private secretary of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur; as such Bhaktivinode Thakur gave him (Srila Saraswati Thakur) the transcendental Power of Attorney to espouse the cause of Lord Chaitanya and so, after Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur's departure, Srila Saraswati Thakur took up the reins of that reformatory movement.
The first and foremost task of Srila Saraswati Thakur was to excavate the holy birth-place of Lord Chaitanya at Sreedham Mayapur in the district of Nadia in West Bengal. To substantiate this preliminary act of his great future movement, Srila Saraswati Thakur had to face tremendous difficulties offered by the caste goswamins at Nabadwip -- because they apprehended a lawyer in the initial movement.
The caste goswamins were exploiting, and still are exploiting, the religious sentiments of the common people in the name of Lord Chaitanya, and presented themselves as so-called relatives and descendants of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda. Factually, Lord Chaitanya Ð or, for that matter, Lord Nityananda --accepted nobody as their relatives or kinsmen who were not devotees of the Lord. On the contrary Lord Chaitanya accepted Thakur Haridas, who happened to come out of a Mohammedan family, as the Namacharya, or the most powerful authority for preaching the sankirtan movement, which Lord Chaitanya inaugurated so arduously.
Lord Chaitanya, as it is stated in the Bhagwat Geeta or in other authentic scriptures, wanted to re-establish the Vaishnava Dharma on the real basis of spiritualism. He never deprecated the natural caste system but neither did He approve of the birthright caste system, which has degenerated into the slough of anachronism. Lord Chaitanya opined that anyone who is well conversant with the philosophy of the Absolute Truth Shree Krishna, never mind what he is -- either a born Brahmin or Sudra or in the Ashram of a Sannyasi or Grihastha -- is perfectly competent to act in the role of Spiritual Master, and He practically demonstrated this fact during His preaching work.
The caste gosvamins, assisted by the other pseudo-transcendentalists, made a clique to check the universal movement of Lord Chaitanya and made a business of despatching those foolish followers to the kingdom of heaven after having drawing a lumpsum amount for this priestcraft hooliganism.
Sree Sreemad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj wanted to check the pseudo-spiritualistic activities of the so-called followers of Lord Chaitanya and present the actual thing for acceptance by the general public religionists and modern philosophers for a critical study of the sublime gift of Lord Chaitanya. It is the honest belief of SrIla Saraswati Thakur that people in general, modern philosophers and thinkers -- as also the religionists -- will be struck with wonder when they seriously make a study of the gift of Lord Chaitanya.
What was thought by modern leaders like Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore was long before thought by Lord Chaitanya, not as a public leader of political sspiration, but as the Father of all living entities. The movement of Lord Chaitanya is generally known as the Sankirtan movement, which is a transcendental process of self-realisation by removing the dust of materialism on the mirror of human intelligence. The present problem confronting the human civilization is due to lack of a proper introspection of the goal of human knowledge.
My Lord and Master, His Divine Grace.
Poem written by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's Vyasa-puja.
Quoted from Srila-Prabhupada-Lilamrita by HH Satsvarupa das Goswami
February 25, 1935
It was the sixty-second birthday of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. At Jagannatha Puri, where he was residing, the devotees observed the day with ceremony. At the small Bombay center, the few disciples planned an evening observance and invited local people. For the occasion, Abhay wrote a poem:
Adore, adore ye all the happy day,
Blessed than heaven, sweeter than May,
When he appeared at Puri, the holy place,
My Lord and Master, His Divine Grace.
Oh! my Master, the evangelic angel,
Give us Thy light, light up the candle.
Struggle for existence a human race
The only hope, His Divine Grace.
Misled we are, all going astray,
Save us Lord, our fervent pray,
Wonder Thy ways to turn our face.
Adore Thy feet, Your Divine Grace.
Forgotten Krishna, we fallen souls,
Paying most heavy, the illusion's toll.
Darkness around all untrace,
The only hope, His Divine Grace.
Message of service thou hast brought.
A healthful life as Chaitanya wrought,
Unknown to all, it's full of brace,
That's your gift, Your Divine Grace.
Absolute is sentient thou hast proved,
Impersonal calamity thou hast moved.
This gives us a life - Anew and fresh.
Worship Thy feet, Your Divine Grace.
Had you not come, who had told
The message of Krishna, forceful and bold,
That's your right; you have the mace.
Save me a fallen, Your Divine Grace.
The line of service as drawn by you
Is pleasing and healthy like morning dew.
The oldest of all but in new dress.
Miracle done, Your Divine Grace.
-- Abhay Charan De
(His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)
The Upadesavali Of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
"Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam-supreme victory to the congregational chanting of Krsna's names" -- this is Sri Gaudiya Math's sole object of worship.
Sri Krsna, who is the visaya-vigraha or the object of the devotee's prema, is the sole enjoyer, and all others are to be enjoyed by Him.
Those who don't perform Hari-bhajana are ignorant and murderers of their own soul.
The acceptance of Harinama and direct realization of Bhagavan are one and the same.
Those who equate the demigods with Visnu are unable to serve Bhagavan.
Establishing a printing press to print devotional books and preaching by organizing Nama Hatta programs constitutes genuine service to Sri Mayapur.
We are not doers of good or bad deeds, nor are we scholars or illiterate. Carrying the shoes of Hari's pure devotees as our duty, we are initiates into the mantra "kirtaniya sada hari".
Preaching without following proper conduct falls within the category of karma, mundane activity. Without criticizing the nature of others, one should correct oneself -- this is my personal instruction.
Serving the Vrajavasis who felt great separation from Krsna when He left Vraja to reside in Mathura is our supreme constitutional occupation.
If we desire to follow an auspicious course in life, then disregarding the theories of even countless people we should hear instructions only from a transcendental source.
Life as an animal, bird, insect, or any other of the countless thousands of species is acceptable, but taking shelter of deceit is thoroughly improper. Only an honest person possesses real auspiciousness.
Simple heartedness is synonymous with Vaisnavism. Servants of paramahamsa Vaisnavas should be simple-hearted, a quality which makes them the topmost brahmanas.
Helping to draw conditioned souls away from their perverted attachment to this material energy is the greatest compassion. If even one soul is rescued from maha-maya's fortress, that compassionate act is infinitely more benevolent than the construction of unlimited hospitals.
We have not come to this world to be construction workers; we are the bearers of Sri Caitanyadeva's instructions.
We will not remain in this world for long, and by profusely performing Hari-kirtan, upon relinquishing these material bodies we will experience the ultimate reward of embodied life.
The foot-dust of Sri Rupa Goswami, the fulfiller of Sri Caitanyadeva's inner desires, is our life's sole desired object.
If I were to desist from lecturing about the Absolute Truth due to being fearful that some listeners may be displeased, I would be deviating from the path of Vedic truth and accepting the path of untruth. I would become one who is inimical to the Vedas, an atheist, and would no longer possess faith in Bhagavan, the very embodiment of Truth.
Krsna's darsan can only be attained through the medium of the ear as one hears Hari-katha from pure Vaisnavas; there is no other way.
Wherever Hari-katha is being spoken is a holy place.
Proper sravana, hearing, is accomplished through the medium of kirtan, and this will give one the good opportunity to practice smarana, remembrance. Then internal experience of rendering direct service to the astakaliya-lila, Sri Radha-Krsna's pastimes in each of the eight parts of the day, becomes possible.
We should understand that the loud calling out of Krsna's names is bhakti.
Bhagavan will not accept anything, that is offered by a person who doesn't chant Harinam one-hundred thousand times daily (1 lakh of names).
By sincerely endeavoring to chant Harinam without offences and remaining fixed in chanting constantly, one's offences will fade and pure Harinam will arise on the tongue.
As mundane thoughts arise while taking Harinam, one should not become discouraged. A secondary consequence of taking Harinam is that these useless, mundane thoughts will gradually dissipate; therefore one should not worry about this.
By dedicating one's mind, body and words to serving Sri Nama and continuing
to chant with great persistence, Sri Nama Prabhu will grant one darsan of
His supremely auspicious transcendental form, and -- by continuing to chant
until one's anarthas are fully eradicated by the power of Sri Nama --
realization of His form, qualities and pastimes will automatically arise.