When their letters were read out to Śrīla Mahārāja, he said, “Śrī Bhaktyāloka Paramdvaiti Mahārāja and Śrī Bhaktivedānta Tīrtha Mahārāja are presenting their heartfelt thoughts as per their respective opinions, however, I firmly believe that whatever has transpired, is only an outcome of my previous karmas. No one is responsible or to be blamed for this. While lying on the bed of arrows, Śrī Bhīṣma Pitāmah had explained to Śrī Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, in the presence of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, through the pastime of Śrī Gautama Ṛṣi’s son being bitten by a snake [Published in Śrī Śrī Bhāgavata Patrikā, Year 14, Volume 5-6] – “Yudhiṣṭhira, just as the snake bit the son of Śrī Gautama Ṛṣi as a mere instrument of the fruit of his past karma, similarly my past karma alone is behind my current suffering; you are a mere instrument. Therefore, there is no need for you to become despondent”.
“Śrī Bhīṣma Pitāmah is the last among the twelve mahājanas (great personalities). My Guru-varga has always instructed me to only follow in the footsteps of great personalities – ‘mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ’.
Whenever they experienced any opposition, condemnation, false accusation and so on, they simply saw it as the fruit of their own karma, rather than blaming anyone as a culprit. In other words, while uttering and remembering the following verse -
‘tat te 'nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo,
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam|
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas,
te jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk||
["One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his own past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words and body, and who always offers obeisances unto You, is certainly a bona fide candidate for becoming Your unalloyed devotee."] GVP
The twelve mahājanas exhibited the ideal of focusing their mind (citta) on the end goal / subject at hand. Similarly, being the follower of their lotus feet, I consider the dealings that were meted out to me solely as the fruit of my previous karma. There is no other person to be held as the culprit or responsible for this.
I SEE NO ALLY OR ADVERSARY
I do not consider any small-minded individual, who gives topmost precedence to mundane subjects and concocts diverse meanings out of the words, ideals, value system and instructions of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas from time to time for the sake of mundane benefit, to be an ally or adversary. If I consider anyone my adversary, my consciousness (citta) will be pulled towards that individual and, amassing his faults, it will eventually deviate from the lotus feet of Bhagavān. And if I consider anyone favourable to me, then my consciousness will be attracted by them, thereby imbibing their thoughts, which are influenced by the three modes of nature, thus impeding my ability to become established in a role beyond the material modes. Therefore in this lifetime, I do not desire anything like this. I do not desire to see any personality from this world as my friend or enemy. I will only follow the perfected conceptions, demonstrated by the transcendental, divine mahājanas. No one has the right to stop me from doing this.
Neither is someone hurting or inconveniencing me by opposing me nor is anyone being supportive or benevolent by exhibiting sympathy. By the mercy of Bhagavān, I have the ability to rise above all such circumstances and lead my life by accepting only those thoughts or conceptions which are favourable to perform hari-bhajana. I desire to perform hari-kīrtana till my last breath. By the desire of Guru Mahārāja, I will perform offenseless hari-kīrtana as far as it is possible.
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.