- Remembrance in Separation - Bhagavata Patrikā
After the disappearance of Śrīla Gurudeva in 2010 and manifestation of a confidential, or in other words, esoteric sickness pastime by Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vallabha Tīrtha Gosvāmī Mahārāja in 2013, many devotees around the world started hankering to take shelter of a highly advanced mahā-bhāgavata like them. Many devotees repeatedly requested Śrīla Mahārāja to give shelter. Although Śrīla Mahārāja initially dissuaded such proposals, in the course of time, seeing the rising apasiddhānta in the society of Gauḍīya-Sārasvata-Vaiṣṇavas, Śrīla Mahārāja began awarding harināma in 2015.
Prior to awarding harināma-dīkṣā to anyone, Śrīla Mahārāja expressed his contemplations, “As I was considering this subject within my conscience for many months, many thoughts gradually manifested in my heart. The principle ones that I remember among them are as follows:
Śrīla Mādhavendra Purī had taken a vow to desist from approaching anyone for the sake of his sustenance, and to only accept milk, even if things are obtained of their own accord by ajācaka-vṛtti. However, for the sake of the service and pleasure of Bhagavān, he broke his vow and accepted amṛtakeli-kṣīra. In this way, for the sake of my Gurudeva’s service, and to protect the sanctity of his words that Pūjyapāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vallabha Tīrtha Gosvāmī Mahārāja would remain the sole ācārya of Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha, I had taken a solemn vow to never award dīkṣā. However, due to the present circumstances, I will have to forsake my vow solely for the service of my Gurudeva and Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha.
Śrīla Prabhupāda accepted the implicit meaning of the words of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, namely, ‘do not establish maṭha-mandira’ and those of Śrīla Gaura Kiśora Dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, namely, ‘never go to Kolkata and never award dīkṣā to anyone’. Śrīla Prabhupāda did not limit himself to the external meaning of these words. In the same way, I am also feeling compelled to act like Śrīla Prabhupāda by grasping the implicit meaning of the words of my Guru Mahārāja.
My Guru Mahārāja Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Pramoda Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja and the many disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda, who are our guru-varga, also began awarding harināma and dīkṣā solely as a service to Śrīla Prabhupāda, although not having received the direct order from him to assume the position of ‘Guru’. In the same way, for the sole purpose of my Guru Mahārāja’s service, I have also become compelled to follow in the footsteps of the above-mentioned ideal manifested by my guru-varga in the present scenario.
In this ripe, old age, I am not in any kind of frenzy or desparation to accumulate disciples, like a woman suffering the pangs of labor is desperate to deliver her child as soon as possible. Although I feel that I am completely unqualified to carry out this duty and realizing by doing so, I may have to tread the path to hell, for the sole purpose of Guru Mahārāja’s service, for the dignity of the maṭha (institution) established by him, to protect the esteem of the sampradāya (disciplic succession) and to serve all the devotees who have beseeched me time and again to initiate, I have taken upon myself this arduous yet essential task of awarding harināma and dīkṣā, and I will continue to do so in the days to come as well.
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.