[December 23, 2019 is the disappearance day of Śrīla Bhakti Mayukh Bhāgavata Gosvāmī Mahārāja in Vṛndāvana, India. The following is the bhāva anuvāda of the kathā given by Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja for the same tithi, on December 19, 2014 and December 25, 2016. Editors’ input: Additional text has been included in square brackets to facilitate the flow of content.]
Today is a special tithī. It is the disappearance day of Śrīla Bhakti Mayukh Bhāgavata Gosvāmī Mahārāja. His name was Rūpa Vilāsa dāsa prior to taking sannyāsa from Śrīla Bhakti Bhūdeva Śrautī Gosvāmī Mahārāja.
HIS LITERARY CONTRIBUTION
After joining the maṭha, Śrī Rūpa Vilāsa dāsa served in the editorial department. He edited and published Śrīla Prabhupāda’s ‘Upadeśāmṛta - Questions and Answers’ in two volumes, posthumously. One will get answers to all their [bhakti-related] questions if they read this book. He published Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura’s commentary on Śrīla Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura’s Prārthanā and Śrī Prema-bhakti Candrikā. He also published Mantrārtha dipikā (elucidation of the mantras), Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Vedānta sutra, Guru sevā and many other books. He also wrote many series of articles for our ‘Caitanya Vāṇī.’
NIṢṬHĀ IN ŚRĪLA PRABHUPĀDA
During the manifest presence of Śrīla Prabhupāda, if any family members of the brahmacarīs would come to the maṭha to take them back home, they would be directed to Śrī Rūpa Vilāsa dāsa, who would convincingly make them understand [that it was beneficial for their sons to stay in the maṭha]. When his own family members came to take him, the others said, “If Prabhupāda says, then he can go back.” At that time, he said, “I will accept Prabhupāda’s decision, but I cannot accept any verdict that keeps me away from his service.” This was his specialty. I found his stance extremely remarkable.
Later, [when he established his own maṭha] Śrīla Bhakti Mayukh Bhāgavata Gosvāmī Mahārāja, would also unfailingly send some donation for the service of Śrīla Prabhupāda at his birth place, Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha in Purī. Such was his niṣṭhā in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s service.
IMPECCABLE ĀCĀRA DISSIPATES MISUNDERSTANDING IN EKACAKRA
In Ekacakra, the birthplace of Nityānanda Prabhu, there was a propaganda that the Gauḍīya Maṭha was averse to the worship of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and hence acts against siddhānta (established scriptural tenets). But when Śrīla Bhāgavata Mahārāja, a brāhmaṇa by birth from Ekacakra itself, visited the temple, he paid śāṣṭāṅga praṇāms (prostrated obeisances) to the Deity after removing his upper cloth and glorifying Nityānanda Prabhu by saying his praṇāma mantra. The pujārī was baffled seeing this [affectionate and reverential mood]. He considered, “Even those who worship Śrī Nityānanda here, don’t pay obeisances like this! How can it be said that the Gauḍīya Maṭha does not regard Nityānanda Prabhu?” Śrīla Bhāgavata Mahārāja also established a maṭha close to Ekacakra. Gradually, this misconception was dissipated by the impeccable precept (ācāra) of Śrīla Bhāgavata Mahārāja and other disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda.
A SERVICE OPPORTUNITY
I got the opportunity to serve Śrīla Bhāgavata Mahārāja only on one occasion. He stayed at our maṭha on his visit to Māyāpura in his advanced age. He went to Yogapīṭha, Śrī Caitanya Maṭha, etc for darśana. Śrīla Bhakti Kusum Sravaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja was working in the patrikā department in Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha, so Śrīla Bhāgavata Mahārāja honoured prasādam with him. It was his niyama to taste everything that was offered. We had also prepared one variety of rice from Assam for him, which was very delectable and of excellent quality. He praised it very much and asked, “Where did you get this from? I have never tasted rice like this before!”
On his visit to Vṛndāvana, he had stayed in our maṭha, going for darśanas from there everyday.
The appearance and disappearance days of Vaiṣṇavas are both equally important. Even simply remembering a Vaiṣṇava’s name constitutes serving him. And this becomes the cause of our auspiciousness. That is why it is an offense not to glorify them on their tithīs. If you do not know anything about them, then even by taking their name, all auspiciousness is achieved.