Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Saudha Āśrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja
[April 23, 2023 is the appearance day of Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Saudha Āśrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja, in Vṛndāvana, India. The following is an excerpt of a bhāva anuvāda of the kathā given by Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja on his disappearance day on April 18, 2017. Editors’ input: Additional text has been included in square brackets to facilitate the flow of content.]
Today is the disappearance day of Śrīmad Bhakti Saudha Āśrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja, who is amongst the last of my śikṣā guru-varga. He is an eternal associate of the Lord whom Mahāprabhu personally sent to help Śrīla Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura in his preaching.
Born in a high-caste gosvāmī* family, his previous name was Bhāven Chaṭṭopādhyāya. He was very handsome and engaged in studying at the college of Ramakrishna Mission.
Just after completing his graduation, Gauḍīya Maṭha's words fell on his ears. His first darśana of Śrīla Prabhupāda occurred as Śrīla Prabhupāda was walking with someone. Bhāven Chaṭṭopādhyāya was incidentally walking alongside. Although he could only recall two words from overhearing Śrīla Prabhupāda's conversation, [as he was unfamiliar with the Gauḍīya Maṭha terminology at that time], he remembered: 1) sutaran (therefore) and 2) parantu (but); regardless, he found himself so attracted to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s effulgent personality, that he followed him directly to the maṭha.
Despite being the eldest son of his father, a gosāi (an initiating guru), and therefore being expected to carry on the family legacy as his successor, he took shelter of Śrīla Prabhupāda and was initiated as Bhutavita dāsa. Later, after sannyāsa, he came to be known as Śrī Bhakti Saudha Āśrama Mahārāja. He preached widely in Madras (present-day Chennai).
He had so much affection for Śrī Māyāpura-dhāma that in the latter part of his life, he hardly ever left to go elsewhere. In 1960, he travelled to Vṛndāvana to attend the installation ceremony of the deities at Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha. Although he had seen most of Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha branches, there were a few he had not seen, including the maṭha in Guwahati, Assam, as he rarely left Māyāpura.
Today is his disappearance day therefore taking shelter of his lotus feet, I pray for his divine mercy.
*A traditional caste-gosvāmī family, where the disciplic succession is based on the family lineage.