During his stay at the maṭha, Śrīla Mahārāja not only had the topmost opportunity of getting personal association and rendering service to his Gurudeva, but alongside that, he also received the greatest fortune of rendering intimate service to many of the stalwart disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda. As a result of such service, he received their spontaneous affection and profuse blessings to realize the deep truths of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava siddhānta.
In this process, he gradually also received priceless śikṣā mantras (which naturally fortified the dīkṣā mantras) from his Gurudeva’s god-brothers; in other words, from his śikṣā gurus: Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vicāra Yāyāvara Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Sāraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Pramoda Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja and Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Kumuda Santa Gosvāmī Mahārāja. Receiving those śikṣā mantras with great prudence, assiduity and gravity, Śrīla Mahārāja followed them impeccably throughout his life, thereby proving his calibre of being a remarkably qualified disciple. His dīkṣā as well as śikṣā gurus would be overcome with delight and deep spiritual sentiments time and again, seeing him always engaged with ardent commitment in services, such as the acquisition of land for the maṭhas, construction of maṭhas, preaching, serving the cows, monthly fund raising, organising Śrī Vraja mandala-Śrī Gauḍa-maṇḍala-Śrī Kṣetra maṇḍala dhāma parikramās as well as pilgrimages to South India, North India and so on, organising and managing various festivals, rendering personal service to the Vaiṣṇavas; in other words, taking advantage of whichever service opportunity presented itself.
As a result, Śrīla Mahārāja’s Gurupādapadma, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja awarded him with the title ‘Upadeśaka’ (Mentor) and later with the title, ‘Sevā-vigraha’ (Embodiment of Service) through the medium of Śrī Caitanya-vāṇī Pracāriṇī-sabhā; Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vicāra Yāyāvara Gosvāmī Mahārāja conferred upon him the title ‘Nirmatsara Vaiṣṇava’ (Non-envious devotee), while Śrī Madana-mohan Seṭha, another disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda, ornamented him with the title ‘Mukta-puruṣa’ (liberated personality).
Śrī Gaura Āśīrvāda Pātra:
Śrī Śrī Māyāpuracandro Vijayatetamam
Awarded by Śrī Śrī Caitanya-vāṇī Pracāriṇī-sabhā
Śrī Śrī Gaura Āśīrvāda Pātra
Pure and expert in all undertakings, Śrī Narottama Brahmacārī is knowledgeable in the subject of medicine, devoid of laziness and forbearing.
He is always endeavoring to discharge (fulfill) any service related responsibility, and besides being expert in many other services, he is also skilled at various services related to the construction of Śrī Mandira.
Śrī Narottama Brahmacārī, who is possessed with such exalted qualities, was previously awarded the title, ‘Upadeśaka’ (Mentor) by the committee of saints, and now he is being ornamented with the title, ‘Sevā-vigraha’ (Embodiment of Service)
He is being awarded this title in Śrī Gaura-dhāma, on the auspicious appearance tithi of Śrī Gaura, Phālguna-pūrṇimā, March 7, 1966 E.
Besides the aforementioned mahā-bhāgavata disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīla Mahārāja also received various, extraordinary mantras from other exalted disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda such as: Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Sarvasva Giri Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prakāśa Araṇya Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Hṛdaya Vana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhānasa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja, Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Kamala Madhusūdana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Saurabha Bhaktisāra Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Śrīrūpa Siddhāntī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktyāloka Paramahaṁsa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Mayūkha Bhāgavata Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Jīvana Janārdana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrīla Kṛṣṇa Keśava Brahmacārī, Śrīla Jagamohana Brahmacārī, Śrīla Uddhāraṇa Brahmacārī and so on. For the fear of this essay becoming exceedingly voluminous, at this juncture we are refraining from expounding the subject in detail, despite our desire to do so.
By the virtue of his supremely pure personal precept, Śrīla Mahārāja is awarding the teaching that those who desire to progress in their spiritual lives, must consider service unto, and glorification of the illustrious Vaiṣṇavas as their principal wealth, even above rendering service unto Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa and chanting His glories. They should regard service rendered unto the Vaiṣṇavas as non-different from service rendered unto Śrī Guru.
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.