om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
First of all, I want to pay my countless pranams to my diksa guru, Nityalila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottarasata Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja. Same as my guru, I offer my countless pranams siksa guru, Nityalila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottarasata Sri Srimad Bhakti Vijnana Bharati Gosvami Maharaja and to all Nitya-parikara of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada and to all vaisnavas and all vaisnavis.
O my dear Srila Maharaja, I feel honoured to have received the rare opportunity to share my heart on this auspicious celebration of your Vyasapuja. By trying to find one way to remember you between the unlimited thoughts of my mind, unavoidably my memories are going towards the lotus feet of my diksa guru Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja. It happens so, because only by his causeless mercy, I could come in contact with you.
On the occasion of my Guru-maharaja’s centennial (2012) in Puri, while I was approaching the gate of the temple, suddenly I saw a wide, brilliant, golden aura walking towards me. I looked carefully and I saw a tall and magnificent vaisnava walking out with his followers. His saffron dress was shining and I felt astonished. Spontaneously, I fell to the ground and paid my pranams with all my heart. Then I thought: "Such a high class vaisnava will never give me the chance to approach him. I'm so insignificant." I felt him very far and very unreachable. I did not know who he was, or his name and I did not even enquire because I was feeling overwhelmed by the feeling of humility born from one moment of association with his greatness. Despite this, my heart felt a tremendous feeling of attraction and faith in him.
Three years later, I was travelling along with my family to many holy places in India and I felt them all empty, without the powerful presence of an Uttama vaisnava. My Guru-maharaj disappeared in 2009 and before him and after him many exalted vaisnavas left. I was feeling desperate. To be in the Dham was a great opportunity for me. Many vaisnavas were around me, but I was missing the strong spiritual support of a pure devotee. I felt alone, but my Guru-maharaj’s words were resounding in my heart. He had once uttered in Italy: "Pure vaisnavas will be always on the planet. If you are sincere you will find him. If you think that there are no more pure devotees, that means that you are a rascal and you did not understand that this Earth Planet is standing only to give an opportunity to the Lord and His pure devotes to perform Their pastimes!"
I deeply prayed for five months and continued my travelling. Approaching Gaura Purnima festival in Mayapur, I came to know that a great vaisnava called Bharati Maharaja would soon arrive in Mayapur. I felt a tremble in my heart and along with my family members, organized a garland and some fruits, hoping to receive his darsana. I introduced myself to the sevaka and when I said the name of my Guru-maharaja, he immediately allowed us to enter. When my eyes came in contact with his eyes then I got my Guru-maharaja’s darsana! Really! After ten long years from our last meeting, I again got the opportunity to see him! Then after a while, through the tears streaming from my eyes, I saw the lotus face of my dear Srila Maharaja, smiling at me. In that moment, by my Guru-maharaj’s mercy, I felt him very near to me and very accessible to me. In this way he gave me the opportunity to acquire a vijnana, practical knowledge of understanding the akhanda guru tattva, that guru is an undivided truth, an undivided spiritual power of the principle of guru, which is manifesting through many pure devotees.
kabe mui vaisnava cinibo hari hari
vaisnava carana, kalyanera khani, matibo hrdaye dhori
(kabe mui vaisnava cinibo (1), Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)
"O Hari! When will I recognise who is a vaisnava? The lotus feet of the vaisnava are my of all auspiciousness. I will become maddened by holding then within my heart."
Then, looking around his room I thought: "How is it possible that a vaisnava of this calibre is here, sitting in this simple, tiny, hidden room instead of being outside and giving mercy to the entire world? He is the most qualified to be an Acarya."
My dear Srila Maharaja, I am unable to explain your qualities. As Srila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Maharaja once said:" If I would have a piece of paper as big as the entire Earth Planet; if I would have the Himalayas Mountain as a pen; if I would have the Oceans as a ink, still I could not complete my glorification of you, my dear Gurudev!" Words also are so limited. How many times I should use the words "thank you."? I prefer to express my feeling with the words of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
thakura vaisnava gana, kori ei nivedana
mo bado adhama duracara
carana samsara nidhi, tahe dubailo vidhi
kese dhori more karo para
(Thakura vaisnava gana (1), Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura)
"O worshipful vaisnavas, I humbly submit this prayer to you. I am an extremely fallen and wicked soul, and my fate is causing me to drown in the terrible ocean of material existence. Take hold of the hair on my head and rescue me from this ocean."
Thank you for having fulfilled one of most dear spiritual desire, (not only one, but I could not write them all, otherwise this letter would become a booklet) by revealing to me the glories of many of my Guru-maharaj’s god-brothers. I was sure that there must have been many and all very special, but you were the only one merciful enough to speak about them.
Thanks to have fulfilled each and every desire of your Guru-maharaj till the last breath you took. This Earth Planet and our guru varga has become more glorious since the day you started to distribute the seeds of pure bhakti all around the world in the role of an Acarya.
I conclude my attempt to speak about your glories by offering this verse from Hari Bhakti Sudhodaya(13.2):
aksnoh phalam tvadrsa darsanam ho
tanoh phalam tvadrsa gatra sangah
jihva phalam tvadrsa kirtanam hi
su durlabha bhagavata hi ke
"O vaisnava! To see a person like you is the real perfection of having eyes. To touch the body of a person like you is the real perfection of having a body. To glorify a person such as yourself is the purpose of having a tongue, for in this world association with an uttama-bhagavata is extremely rare."
My beloved Srila Maharaja, please forgive all my offenses and all my shortcomings. May you always will be victorious on them.
prati janme kori asa caranera dhuli
narottame karo daya apanara boli
(Ei bara karuna karo (6), Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura)
"In every birth,I aspire for the dust of your lotus feet. Be compassionate to this Narottama dasa and consider me your own.