The Translation of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata
Śrīla Mahārāja’s god-brother, Śrī Bhakti Prasāda Purī Mahārāja, had commenced the Hindi translation of Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata along with some brahmacārīs, and for the service of editing and proof reading, Paṇḍita Śrī Sūryakānta Gosvāmī (professor Śrī Govinda Sharma), Dr. Yogeśvara Dayāla Sharma (vyakāraṇa-ācārya – doctorate in grammar) and Paṇḍita Śrī Omprakāśa Vrajavāsī (sāhityaratna – a literary honor) were appointed. However, despite so many being involved in the project, they could not easily decipher the factual meaning of the transcendental language used by Śrīla Prabhupāda. For this reason, Śrī Bhakti Prasāda Purī Mahārāja involved Śrīla Mahārāja in this service by requesting him to translate and edit, and only then the publication of the translation became possible. All the above-mentioned scholars along with Śrī Bhakti Prasāda Purī Mahārāja said in unison, “If Śrīla Mahārāja had not spared his invaluable time then this particular service wouldn’t have ever been possible for us.” In the dedication and introduction to Ādi-khaṇḍa of Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Śrīla Bhakti Vallabha Tīrtha Gosvāmī Mahārāja, personally penned, “The secretary of Śrī Maṭha, Tridaṇḍi Swami Śrīmad Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja has rendered an extraordinary contribution towards the Hindi translation of Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata by translating the Bengali payāra and the Gauḍīya-bhāśya commentary as-it-is under his guardianship.”
After the completion of the Hindi translation of Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Śrī Bhakti Prasāda Purī Mahārāja requested Śrīla Mahārāja to also translate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta in Hindi, and subsequently, he himself became very unwell. Nevertheless, as per the request of Śrī Bhakti Prasāda Purī Mahārāja, Śrīla Mahārāja commenced work on the Hindi translation. After publishing one khaṇḍa of Ādi-līlā and Madhya-līlā, Śrīla Mahārāja himself enacted the pastime of being extremely unwell in Agartala’s Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha and consequently he was brought to the Apollo Hospital in Kolkata. For seven days, Śrīla Mahārāja remained in coma and later he gradually recovered.
After this incident Śrīla Mahārāja would repeat one thing over and over again, “My Gurudeva has kept me in this world only to complete the task of translating Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.” Śrīla Mahārāja would repeatedly urge the devotees who were involved in the service of translating Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta with him, “Kindly do not resort to indolence of any sort in this service. Finish it as soon as possible. Only after the completion of this service, will I be factually at peace.” The sheer delight and exhilaration which Śrīla Mahārāja exhibited when Antya-līlā of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta was published cannot be possibly expressed in words. Thenceforth, Śrīla Mahārāja began saying, “I have fulfilled all the orders that I received from my Gurudeva and the Vaiṣṇavas. Now I am ready to depart from this world, whenever the mandate comes, I will leave. The objective of my life has been attained.”
Śrīla Mahārāja: “When I was engaged in the service of translating Madhya khaṇḍa [second volume] of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, at that time, upon becoming unwell, I was brought to Kolkata from Agartala. Upon recovering a little, for the first time in my life, I developed the disposition to ask something of Guru Mahārāja, as per my own desire. So, I prayed to Guru Mahārāja, “Please accept this service, in other words, the service of completing the translation of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta in Hindi as my last service unto you. Award me some more time so as to see this task to completion.” Now that this service has been accomplished, I am completely satisfied.”
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.