PREACHING SERVICE FREE FROM INDOLENCE AND AN IDEAL PERSONIFIED FOR THE CONTEMPORARY SĀRASVATA GAUḌĪYA VAIṢṆAVAS
Mostly Śrīla Mahārāja remained exceedingly busy engaged in preaching either with Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha’s preaching party or independently with a few devotees across many locations namely Purī, Māyāpura, Vṛndāvana, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Delhi, Faridabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Jalandhara, Manasa, Jammu, Jaipur, etc. He did not let his old age obstruct his preaching and always remained blissfully and enthusiastically engrossed in this service. Even young sannyāsīs and brahmacārīs would be amazed upon observing his tight travel schedule and daily routine. Śrīla Mahārāja’s transcendental qualities were showcased by his sharp memory, intimate dealings with everyone and equanimity. It was not that Śrīla Mahārāja was only honored by Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha devotees; his stellar reputation spread across almost all the Gauḍīya Maṭhas as well as among many senior sannyāsīs of ISKCON. Śrī Jayapatākā Mahārāja would often address Śrīla Mahārāja as his śikṣā-guru. Observing Śrīla Mahārāja’s Vaiṣṇava dealings, expertise in service, lucidity in siddhānta, sweet and straightforward childlike demeanor, and his ability to execute and uphold Vaiṣṇava etiquette, mostly all the senior Vaiṣṇavas across various Gauḍīya Maṭhas would repeatedly offer obeisances to Śrīla Mahārāja’s Vaiṣṇavatā – his quality of being a Vaiṣṇava. Even mahā-bhāgavatas like Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Pramoda Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja and Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vallabha Tīrtha Gosvāmī Mahārāja would sometimes solicit Śrīla Mahārāja’s inputs on siddhānta, and on many occasions they would encourage their disciples to approach Śrīla Mahārāja to obtain a deeper perspective and hone their own understanding of siddhānta. Sometimes Śrīla Mahārāja’s deeds would exemplify his profound solemnity, which was simultaneously more elevated than the peaks of the Himalayas and deeper than the ocean. Sometimes in casual, jovial interactions with Śrīla Mahārāja, even outright newcomers would feel as if they were interacting with a friend, father or a grandfather.
Most of Śrīla Mahārāja’s god-brothers would hear his hari-kathā with utmost respect, accepting every word as bona fide. What to speak of others, the former ācārya of Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vallabha Tīrtha Gosvāmī Mahārāja would become jubilant upon hearing his hari-kathā and encourage other devotees to also hear from Śrīla Mahārāja. Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vallabha Tīrtha Gosvāmī Mahārāja always evinced deep respect, regard and extreme affection for Śrīla Mahārāja. For this reason, most of the disciples of Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vallabha Tīrtha Gosvāmī Mahārāja would associate with Śrīla Mahārāja and serve him, considering him to be non-different to their guru. Receiving his affection, they would consider themselves blessed and earnestly hear Śrīla Mahārāja’s hari-kathā.
The ‘Remembrance in Separation’ series, dedicated to Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, was first published in Sri Sri Bhagavata Patrika in Hindi in the year 2018. The series unfolded over three volumes (Year 14, Volume 9-10, 10-11, 11-12).
Now, we are presenting the English translation of this in the form of a series of articles released in www.vcvani.com.
Since it covers a brief sketch of Śrīla Mahārāja’s life and precepts from childhood to his final pastimes, this series will be unfolded from now until his tirobhava tithi.