By Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Pramoda Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Our most worshipful Śrīla Prabhupāda noted Śrī Narottamānanda Prabhu’s sincere inclination toward serving Śrī Hari, guru and Vaiṣṇavas, especially his particular attachment toward hearing and speaking hari-kathā. For this reason, Śrīla Prabhupāda sent him along with numerous veteran tridaṇḍi sannyāsīs to preach all over India the principles of pure bhakti as issued from the lotus mouth of Śrīman Mahāprabhu. There were many occasions where Śrīla Prabhupāda personally observed the indomitable enthusiasm and expertise with which Śrī Narottamānanda Prabhu delivered lectures and performed kīrtana in assemblies graced with the presence of distinguished intellectuals, and he also noted the way he took on numerous responsibilities related to establishing maṭhas and temples. Śrīla Prabhupāda was highly pleased to see that Śrī Narottamānanda Brahmacārī was always ready and eager to render all types of services with a peaceful mind and while wearing a sweet smile. On behalf of Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma Pracāriṇī Sabhā, Śrīla Prabhupāda conferred upon him profuse, affectionate blessings by awarding him with the devotionally significant title ‘Bhakti Kamala,’ which means ‘the lotus of bhakti.’
Nityā-līlā-praviṣṭa pūjyāpāda Śrīmad Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja, pūjyapāda Śrīmad Bhakti Vicāra Yāyāvara Mahārāja, pūjyapāda nāma-bhajanānandī Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, pūjyapāda Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Mahāraja and other prominent, intimate disciples of Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda would always experience great delight upon hearing pūjyapāda Madhusūdana Mahārāja’s classes on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
All of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s qualities manifest in His devotees, and Śrīpāda Madhusūdana Mahārāja was gifted with endless Vaiṣṇava qualities. Today, we are acutely experiencing the absence of this Vaiṣṇava sannyāsī, who was a treasury of all virtues. The sorrow of being unable to see him any longer is becoming utterly intolerable for us.
Devotees who are truly committed to perform the kīrtana—that is, propagating the message and conclusive truths regarding pure bhakti as expounded by Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga—are very rare in this world. The absence of such devotees from the frame of our vision brings profound torment to the heart, so much so that it could never possibly be expressed through words. However, the desires of the sovereign Supreme Person, Puruṣottama Kṛṣṇa, who controls all by His own free will, are completely independent and indisputable. He retrieves from this world those who are dear to Him and gives them a place at His feet, thus immersing us in an ocean of separation. He causes us to remember these words: “vaiṣṇavera guṇa-gāna karile jīvera trāṇa—singing the glories of the Vaiṣṇavas delivers the living entities.” Thus, He teaches us to follow the ideals exemplified by His devotees’ bhajana. This alone constitutes the waters that may console our hearts, which are burning in a fire of anguish.
Excerpts from an article published in Śrī Caitanya-vāṇī (Year 31, Volume 8)