Śrī Bhakti Vaibhava Mādhava Mahārāja
[April 23, 2023 is the appearance day of Śrīpāda Bhakti Vaibhava Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja in Vṛndāvana, India. The following is an excerpt from a bhāva anuvāda of the kathā given by Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja on the same tithi on April 25, 2013 and April 4, 2015. Editors’ input: Additional text has been included in square brackets to facilitate the flow of content.]
Today is the appearance day of my satīrtha (god-brother), Śrīpāda Bhakti Vaibhava Mādhava Mahārāja. Prior to coming to Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, he was a 'śākta' (worshiper of Devī or Śakti). He wore red clothes and carried a trident in his hand. He would reside in a crematorium subsisting on neem leaves, such were his practices. He was not even afraid of the snakes being around his āsana. By some good fortune, one day he came to the Gauḍīya Maṭha. Upon seeing him, Śrīla Bhakti Sāraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja remarked, “A sādhu mahātmā (great saint) has come.” Later Śrīla Bhakti Sāraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja preached to him, and as a result, he gave up his matted hair to become clean shaven, and accepted a Vaiṣṇava dress. [He is the disciple of Śrīla Bhakti Sārañga Gosvāmī Mahārāja]
Since the beginning, Śrīpāda Bhakti Vaibhava Mādhava Mahārāja possessed great inclination for sevā. One time Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Mahārāja was recovering from a car accident at our Delhi maṭha and at that time Śrīla Mādhava Mahārāja wholeheartedly served him.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Swami Mahārāja, who later became a great preacher the world over, used to publish a four-page Back to Godhead magazine. He would often approach donors in Delhi to raise funds for the publication of that magazine and there he would reside at Śrīla Sāraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja’s maṭha. One sunny day as Śrīla Swami Mahārāja was leaving to visit the place of a donor who had promised to give him five rupees for the magazine, Śrīla Bhakti Vaibhava Mādhava Mahārāja stopped him exclaiming that it was too hot to go outside. Śrīla Swami Mahārāja replied, “Even the five rupees which I collect will be of great help in publishing this magazine.” He implored, “Mahārāja! I will give you ten rupees! You please do not go out for that donation. If you suffer from a heat stroke then it will be a cause of concern.” He had such great taste in Vaiṣṇava sevā. Today is his appearance day.
I take shelter of his lotus feet and pray for his causeless mercy and pray that I may attain a life of service like him.