"You Showed Us By Your Own Example"
All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga! Dandavat pranama to all Vaishnavas and Vaishnavis, I am sitting here in Mayapur- Dham and trying to write a few words about My Gurudev Srila Bhakti Vijana Bharati Gosvami Maharaj. I feel like Jagadananda who told after he was asked by Svarup Damodar, "What you are writing?" he answered, "I don’t know. I just write what is coming into my mind, there is no sequence." In some way I feel the same, because so many remembrances are coming, and I don’t know what to write and what not. A few days ago, I read that Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja once said, that rather to attempting to speak something about those great elevated Vaishnavas, one should take shelter of Siddhanta Vani. Only then we will be truly able to understand them completely. What our Gurudev has revealed in His book 'Volcanic energy' about the Vyasa Puja of Sri Srimad Bhakti Daitya Madhava Maharaja is most befitting in that case to really understand the heart of Sri Guru. So I am just putting a few lines from the Article “How to celebrate one's birthday” Srila Bhakti Daitya Madhava Gosvami is saying : “Since I consider my disciples as my gurus, it is my natural inclination to serve them. I am not a fool that I will sit on an elevated seat and accept the worship of my worshipful objects for my own sake. If I were to do this, there would be no pūjā. Instead, when I see that my gurus have a desire to worship me on the day of my birth, I am obliged by affection to serve them by accepting such adoration, for they are my worshipful objects, and it is my duty to serve them by abiding by their wishes. In this way, there is no difference between worship and blessings. By offering me worship, they bless me that I may serve them by pleasing them through the medium of accepting that worship. By performing kīrtana before me, they provide me with the opportunity to serve them by performing śravaṇa (hearing).
We personally witnessed the manner in which Śrīla Prabhupāda observed his appearance day by offering his gratitude and service to the Vaiṣṇavas. Today, I will take this opportunity to serve you all and express my gratitude for continuously showering your blessings upon me. Those who worshipped me today should know that in reality, they have worshipped my gurudeva, who is the real object of worship for the whole world. Service to śrī guru is as good a service to Bhagavān.”
At that time, Guru Mahārāja personally offered daṇḍavat-praṇāma, sandalwood paste, garlands, clothes and donations first to all his godbrothers present there, and then to all the paṇḍās (brāhmaṇa priests). When someone would say, “Today is your appearance day, please be merciful to me,” Guru Mahārāja would reply, “I do not pay attention to whether it is my birthday or some other day. Even so, it is one’s duty to serve sādhus on one’s birthday, and I do not want to pass up a single opportunity to serve the Vaiṣṇavas while I am still consciously aware. I am therefore using my birthday as an excuse to perform vaiṣṇava-sevā. Because Vaiṣṇavas do not wish to accept anything for themselves, they should be served on some pretext.” It was Guru Mahārāja’s specialty that he would invite and offer respect to even the Gosāis, who were principally against the Gauḍīya Maṭha, and give them the opportunity to listen to the pure, unadulterated teachings of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. So from that we can also have a glimpse in the heart of our Gurudev. I feel most fortunate that Gurudev has given me shelter, and I pray to all my Godbrothers and Godsisters that they may bless me so that I can be uninterruptedly engaged in the loving seva of my Gurupada-padma. I remember how Guru Maharaj would always speak Harikatha here in Mayapur, and how happy he was to have the darshan of all the different devotees around the world, he would say that to come to Mayapur is not only most auspicious because of Mahaprabhu, but also that one can have all the darshans of so many different devotees from around the world at once. That shows the love he had in his heart for all the Vaishnavas at different stages, like Devakinandan dasa, is telling : haiyāchena haibena prabhura jata dāsa sabāra caraṇa vandoń dante kari’ ghāsa Holding a straw between my teeth, I submit my glorification at the feet of all the servants of Mahaprabhu who ever were or will be. He would start to speak that this is the island called Antardvip, and it is the island of atma nivedana. He would say that Parikram cannot be performed without first surrendering oneself fully at the Lotus feet of Sri Guru and Gauranga. Only then it will be considered Parikram, otherwise it will be simple karma, and one will get some sukriti. So our Acaryas are so merciful that they every year established these parikrams, so that we every year have the chance to check our surrender. Am I really surrendered or are there some hidden motives?” It is easy to say that I am surrendered by words, but in practice what does it mean actually, we know all very well the many illustrious personalities which Gurudev introduced to us, and what kind of full Saranagati they had. The sat sisya can drink poison and it will fell like nectar, he can jump into fire for Gurudev and it will feel like ten thousands of moons. So I am very much grateful so that I could always deliberate more and more on this topic of completely self surrender. To really live only for what Gurudev wants, to make the heart completely one with Gurudev. I can only pray to our Guru-Parampara so that they keep me always in their prayers, so that such a day once will be mine. And after that he would say, Only when this step is done one actually can enter in the process of proper hearing, and one who is hearing properly can do Kirtan, this is called Anukirtan.
If we look at all these steps than we can see how our Gurudev is the embodiment of all this, and that’s why he was the perfect pot (Kripapatra) for his Gurudev's and all senior Vaishnavas' mercy. Our Gurudeva often said that he had never time to read so much, only once he had the opportunity (because of some accident) that he could read the whole Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita. But what does it mean? That he doesn’t know scriptures? Srila Gaura Kishor das Babaji Maharaja was illiterate, so does it mean he don’t know Srimad Bhagavatam? No, really he is the embodiment of Srimad Bhagavatam, all his walking, talking, sitting all is full of teachings. The same is with our Gurudeva, he served everyone his whole life, and that’s why he got all the blessings of his Gurudev and all the senior Vaishnavas. And in this way he is an ocean of Siddhanta, he is himself the embodiment of all these teachings, it is not only Knowledge, but the fully ripened fruit of the essence of Srimad Bhagavatam. All the time he was giving perfect answers to thousands of Devotees, and all were completely satisfied. Also in his classes he could explain the most elevated topics in such a simply way, where he used many times examples from our daily life.
He himself was the embodiment of trinad api sunicena, he would always serve others by accepting some difficulties for himself. If any opportunity for service came he immediately took it. In this way by your own example you showed us always the standard of Vaishnavas in the Line of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada. I can only eternally bow down to you and eagerly wait for one drop of your mercy. I know that I am full of offences, and have no good qualities, but if I stay in your divine sound vibration then for sure all my offences will fade away. Gurudeva, you have given me the best opportunity to became free from my offences, by giving me the chance to always hear, remember and speak the glories of Vaishnavas. As Sriman Mahaprabhu used to say to one Brahmin, "From now on, with the same mouth with which you have drank poison (the criticizing of Vaishnavas), you should drink nectar (by glorifying them), with the same tongue now glorify them, then I will personally absolve you of your offences so that you become neutralized”
Oh Gurudev, You have introduced me to this real well wishers, real friends. For so long time I have served only all kinds of Materialists, but now again you connected me with my real Family. So please Gurudev, let the message of the Lord and his devotees always enter my heart and appear on my tongue, so that I may sing eternally the glories of Sri Guru, Sri Gauranga, Sri Krsna and all his associates, that is what I am begging for. Yours aspiring servent of the servant vancha kalpa tarubhyas ca, kripa sindubhya eva ca patitanam pavanebhyo vaishnavebhyo namo namah