Śrīla Santa Gosvāmī Mahārāja used to say, “I am not the master of anything or anyone. I am only a servant. As long as my godbrothers accept my service, I will give it. Should they no longer be interested in receiving it, I will see who will give me shelter and stay over there.”
A few of his teachings
The following are a few of Śrīla Santa Gosvāmī Mahārāja’s teachings that left an indelible impression on my heart:
In order to taste bhakti-rasa, two components are indispensable: a realized speaker and a sincerely inquisitive listener. Our inability to experience this rasa is solely due...
Many wealthy people would give Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja money and expensive things, but he would never keep any of it for himself. Instead, he would distribute those items for the service of Bhagavān and the Vaiṣṇavas. He usually wore just a short knee-length garment around his waist, and he kept a simple bed mat and sheet. He gladly went through the harsh cold of winters with a simple blanket while wearing an ever-smiling face, always satisfied at heart. A person who is constantly immersed in contemplation of Bhagavān does not notice the goings-on around him.
By the mercy of Śrī Madana-mohana Seṭha, who was a pure devotee, all his family members and friends became firm followers of the principles of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism. All those who came in his contact and association were undoubtedly affected by his greatly influential personality. Even those who maintained a close, intimate relationship with him accepted him as belonging to the spiritual realm.
Śrīla Aranya Gosvāmī Mahārāja never took a break from chanting the names of Śrī Hari, speaking Śrī Hari’s glories and pastimes, or serving Śrī Hari. He was fully engaged in these activities for all twenty-four hours of the day. Without fail, he would ask all those who approached him a question pertaining to Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava philosophy. He spared no one in this. Somehow or other, he would always initiate a spiritual discussion.
When I first came to the maṭha, I received the good fortune of having his darśana. The moment he saw me, he asked, “What is the first verse of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam?...
Nāma prabhu Himself manifests on the tongue of that sādhaka who has become sevonmukha. He appears to the vision of a surrendered person, for whom ‘seeing’ Bhagavān is service, not sense enjoyment. Such a person wants to come in contact for service and not for any personal gain. Only then Bhagavān will reveal Himself [form, qualities and pastimes]
Śrīmat Svāmī Mahārāja attracted droves of pious people. In only twelve years, his preaching reached practically every corner of the Earth. Many educated and wealthy men and women took shelter of him. One by one, many preaching centers, temples and monasteries were established world- wide. The wind everywhere began to resonate with the chanting of mahā- mantra. Shortly after entrusting the responsibility of running his society and preaching to twelve disciples, he passed on to the Lord’s eternal abode.
Beyond this material sound, there exists another type of sound called śabda-brahma, which is the manifestation of Bhagavān in the form of sound. This śabda-brahma is the sound of Vaikuṇṭha, and is the subtlest of all the objects in that realm. The name ‘Kṛṣṇa’ is the subtlest of all transcendental sounds. In Kaṭhpaniṣad (1.2.20), Kṛṣṇa is described as being aṇor anīyān, or subtler than the subtlest. Kṛṣṇa is the subtlest personality, and the sound of His name is the subtlest transcendental sound. Thus, kṛṣṇa-nāma is most powerful and able to control everything.