Serving as Secretary Without Hesitation or Fear
Another time, the governing body of Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha received an offer to take over a maṭha situated in a place named Dumdum in Kolkata through Śrīmad Bhakti Saudha Āśrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja. Despite all the members of the governing body being in agreement, I was the only one to oppose the proposal. I said, “There is nothing to be contested if their trust members completely transfer everything to us legally. Otherwise, will it be befitting for our sannyāsīs and brahmacārīs to attend the board meetings, along with the two ladies who are among the members of their trust? Secondly, when the residents of their maṭha will have to serve alongside our maṭha residents, some perturbations will arise. Therefore I am not in agreement with this proposal.” Having heard me, one of the governing body members, Śrī Jagamohana Prabhu, a disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda, said, “O Brother! Now that eleven other members have already signed in agreement, why don’t you also just do the needful?” After hearing the proposition of the guru-varga, I replied to Śrī Jagamohana Prabhu, “On your insistence I can put my signature, however, I will also mention that I am only signing on the insistence of Śrī Jagamohana Prabhu, despite not being in agreement.” Then Śrī Jagamohana Prabhu said, “Do as you please.”
On his insistence I offered my signature against my wishes. A short while later, one person was murdered in that place, and upon experiencing that discomfort, we had to backdate the agreement and resign. Thereafter, we had to pass a resolution to leave everything behind.
The gist of the matter is that, since childhood, I have never been a ‘Yes Man’. During the time of my upanayana, despite some guests becoming upset due to the hindrance caused by my delay in saying, ‘bāḍham bāḍham’ [during the upanayana (sacred thread) ceremony, where there are specific vows to be taken e.g. ‘I will never sleep during the day’, and the one receiving upanayana has to agree to each one of the vows by uttering ‘bāḍham bāḍham’ which means ‘I accept’. But instead of ritualistically saying ‘I accept’, Śrīla Mahārāja was taking his own time to assess whether he could give his word - see Endnote 1], seeing that I was honoring the teachings awarded by them – my parents, uncle, aunt, and others became extremely delighted and felt immense pride.
In the Vṛndāvana maṭha, during the time of the electronic exhibition, when I had arranged for three queues instead of two, some of my god-brothers had addressed me as someone who doesn’t follow his Guru Mahārāja’s orders despite every day singing, ‘guru mukha padma vākya cittete koriyā aikya – my only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from the lotus mouth of Śrī Guru’. However, acknowledging that I had rendered that service with good intentions, my Guru Mahārāja blessed me, affirming, ‘Wise work! Wise work!’ Although on account of a difference of opinion in the above-mentioned episode, gradually a few persons became dissatisfied and displeased with me and did not even hesitate in declaring me as a rival of the contemporary ācārya, Śrīla Bhakti Vallabha Tīrtha Gosvāmī Mahārāja; notwithstanding, I gave more precedence to upholding the reputation of the institution founded by my Guru Mahārāja and to the responsibility of my role as its secretary rather than their dissatisfaction.
DEVOID OF ANY SENSE OF DUALITY IN THE COURSE OF EXECUTING GURU-SEVĀ
After the departure of Śrīla Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrīla Mahārāja served as the secretary of Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha for approximately twenty-five years. One specialty of Śrīla Mahārāja’s personality was how he always remained exceedingly enthusiastic to speak hari-kathā daily in the maṭha and to engage in kīrtana, hari-kathā, question & answer sessions, loving exchanges and so on with the visiting devotees.
Śrīla Mahārāja used to express, “Soon after shouldering the responsibility of being appointed as ‘Secretary’, I realized that it is impossible to please everyone. Many whose word was not approved, or personal interest or verdict not sanctioned by me, accused me of scandal as well as loudly hurled abuses at me. However, I never hesitated in executing my responsibilities for fear of such individuals.
See article https://www.visuddhacaitanyavani.com/single-post/2019/06/17/Upanayana-Samskara-at-eight
The ‘Remembrance in Separation’ series, dedicated to Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, was first published in Sri Sri Bhagavata Patrika in Hindi in the year 2018. The series unfolded over three volumes (Year 14, Volume 9-10, 10-11, 11-12).
Now, we are presenting the English translation of this in the form of a series of articles released in www.vcvani.com.
Since it covers a brief sketch of Śrīla Mahārāja’s life and precepts from childhood to his final pastimes, this series will be unfolded from now until his tirobhava tithi.