Jaya Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga, jaya Sri Radha Vinod Bihariji!
My Pushpanjali to the Lotus Feet of Srila Bhakti Vijnana Bharati Maharaj
For many years we witnessed at the time of the Navadvipa parikrama in Mayapur the affectionate exchanges between our Srila Gurudev (Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj), Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj and Srila Bhakti Vijnana Bharati Maharaj.
After our Gurudev entered nityalila, I began to associate with Srila Bhakti Vijnana Bharati Maharaj, because his childlike purity and profound scriptural knowledge reminded me of our Gurudev. Srila Gurudev had always emphasised svajatiya snigdha (likeminded and affectionate) sadhu sanga. When Srila Bharati Maharaj was speaking harikatha, he was always fully absorbed. A couple of times we saw in Kolkata, that although he had already gotten up from the chair, still he continued speaking with great enthusiasm. Also in Jagannath Puri the sevaka had to remind Maharaj again and again, that the harikatha time was over. He had that much ruci in the limbs of bhakti.
The tip of his tongue was always touching his upper palate. I always got the impression that he was continuously chanting. When he spoke about the power of the holy name, he liked to quote Srila Rupa Goswami from Vidagdha madhava: tunde tandavini ratimvitanute... “When the holy name of Krsna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many mouths… and when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, all senses become inert….” Sri Radha is in this condition. Krsna comes and speaks to Her, but She is not aware about His presence. He touches Her, but She doesn't feel anything. Once in Chandigarh, Maharaj concluded that we want to remember Sri Radha, being in this mood.
His answer to many of the questions which were asked to him was that saranagati, full self-surrender at the Lotus Feet of Hari, Guru and Vaishnava is the key for success in spiritual life. He himself was a personification of this selfless surrender. When he once visited Vrndavana, he was about to finish his translation of Caitanya Caritamrta, during a darshan, Maharaj mentioned that if the translation was completed, there is no need for me to stay any longer here in this world. Then I will have fulfilled the instructions of my Gurudev. It was so painful to hear him speaking like this.
I am extremely grateful that I received the opportunity to travel with Maharaj in India, rendering a little service to him and listening to his wonderful harikatha.
I pray to the Lotus Feet of Srila Maharaja to help me in the process of self-surrender.