My sincere Dandavats Pranams to all my god-sisters/brothers and to all those devotees who have been caught or will be caught in Srila Gurudeva´s loving net.
I can´t really express how he was, because every time I hear new things about him from the devotees, I feel like if I´m far far away from completely knowing Him. When the devotees state their amazing and heart-touching experiences, it sounds as if the sweetness of Srila Gurudeva was limitless. It was sweeping everyone like a big wave - whoever simply thought of it or felt a lack in his heart. He would know immediately what your suffering was and, therefore, which medicine you needed.
Even though I had never met Him physically, I could percieve his power. Some of the Vaisnavas give their mercy by preaching out in the West and meeting you by person. Some other Vaisnavas collected souls even though they have never gone out of India. How? Through their attractive Vani (books).
Thus, every Vaisnava have his own way to manifest his power. Despite His advanced age, the powerful preaching of Srila Gurudeva was such that He could reach us without having to come out of India. All devotees who were inspired by Him felt the urgency to introduce to everyone this high class exalted devotee that we were missing in our lives.
One of those grateful deliverers of Srila Gurudeva´s treasure is Srimati Syamarani Didi. She expanded the opportunity to come in contact with this rare and unique Vaisnava. Thanks a lot Didi, it seems like you are always prepared to receive the next seva… in the correct moment, place and time to catch the sadhu sanga.
LITTLE BY LITTLE
Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet Srila Gurudeva (most of my god-brothers/sisters did). He manifested in my life as the result of a desire to meet my spiritual master. Bhagavan Sri Krsna knows the heart of everyone, so He was sending signals in my life one by one.
First, I was trying to associate with anyone who had ever been in contact with Srila Narayana Goswami Maharaj. Some disciples of Pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaj told me that He (Pujyapada Narayana Maharaj) once said this, “Srila Bharati Maharaj has the same heart as me”. I was truly shocked with this statement, and it definitely awoke in me the interest to meet Him.
Then, as time passed, I heard, “Please, I request all devotees to focus on remembering all the Vaisnavas on their respective appearance and disappearance days, not doing this certainly is an offense” Curiously, I really wanted to know more about all those Vaisnavas that we do not hear so much. Then he published My Beloved Masters. I can´t really imagine how much Vaisnava seva He has performed and it´s amazing how He can remember every small detail about his Guru Varga. For this reason, he is recognized because of His vast knowledge in the Gaudiya Matha’s history.
ALWAYS FOLLOWING WHAT HE HAS HEARD
When there was some controversy among the devotees about the swarupa of Srila Swami Maharaj Ji, Srila Gurudeva stated “Speaking something which is beyond my adhikara (qualification)… I never ever do that. That is my principle.”
He really imbibed the mood of His paramārādhyatama Guru Maharaj. He just wanted to glorify and protect His Guru Varga.
Once, there was a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, who would go to the shoe-shelf, and put all the shoes of the devotees on his head, one by one, including junior devotees’ shoes, even though He was a sanyasi. So from the day he noticed this, Srila Gurudeva stopped putting His shoes on the shelf. He said, “Even if someone steals my shoes because I am leaving them outside I would prefer it, rather than letting Maharaja my shoes put on his head.”
He always served the Vaisnavas with the utmost attention and carefulness since his early days in the matha.
Therefore, when the senior Vaisnavas started to depart from this world and in their old age, generally meeting with devotees was restricted for them, but if they heard that Srila Gurudeva had come, immediately the senior Vaisnava would hear his voice and say, “Is that Bharati Maharaj? Oh great, come come please! Let Him access”.
This was one of the specialties of Srila Gurudeva, that all the senior Vaisnavas wanted Him to come and stay with them. He dedicated his life to encourage everyone in the service of Hari, Guru and specially the Vaisnavas until His last days.
LISTENING THROUGH THE WALLS
Sripada BV Tapasvi Maharaj (Srila Gurudeva´s Sannyasa disciple) told us a very heart-touching experience with Srila Gurudeva and again, this would be one of many that proves how Srila Gurudeva always knows our hearts. Sripada Tapasvi Maharaj told us, “Five years back, when I first met Srila Maharaj, I experienced something with Him that helped me to wake up and see the great compassion of the Vaisnavas”.
In one occasion, Sripada Tapasvi Maharaj was massaging Srila Gurudeva´s legs in His room when suddenly, Srila Gurudeva became worried and asked him,
“This (the name of the lady), how is she?”
Sripada Tapasvi Maharaj was very confused so he replied, “I don´t know who she is…”
Surprised, Srila Gurudeva responded, “Oh! So don´t you care?” In shock, Sripada Tapasvi Maharaj thought,
“Well, I don’t know even who is this lady so how I´m supposed to care?”
Then 5 minutes later he finished the massage and when he was walking out the door he saw a lady coming down the stairs. She was crying and crying uncontrollably. So astonished, Sripada Tapasvi Maharaj asked her,
“Oh! Are you (the name of the lady) that Srila Maharaj mentioned to me?” Then she said,
“Yes. I´m that person.” He responded,
“Well, Srila Maharaj has told me to ask how are you and why I don´t care about you” Hearing this, she started to cry more and more saying,
“I was about to leave this temple. I thought that no one was thinking or caring about me. I only had seen Srila Maharaj but not really met him. But now, I see that He really cares about me.”
Eventually, she stayed in the temple. Srila Gurudeva understood what was going on inside the heart of this lady and that something had to be done immediately. Although He never approached her personally He knew it and solved it from distance.
So, to think that – “How is it possible for Srila Gurudeva to hear us and help us if He is not present?” is nonsense. Clearly, this is not an obstacle for Him. He stated, “You are where your mind is”. How can one not fall in love with such a compassionate soul? His love doesn´t have limits. Definitely He´s going to reach you, no matter how far you are.
Jaya Srila Bhakti Vijñana Bharati Goswami Maharaj Ki!
Jaya Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj Ki!
All glories to the Vaisnavas and Guru Varga.