RECEIVING MANTRAS REPLETE WITH PRICELESS TEACHINGS
Śrīla Mahārāja used to say, “Although I received my dīkṣā mantras from my Gurupādapadma, I received various mantras from the many disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda. In other words, I received mantras in the form of the many teachings from them.” Among those, we are presenting a few mantras here, from the very words of Śrīla Mahārāja.
THE MANTRA RECEIVED FROM ŚRĪ ŚRĪMAD BHAKTI VICĀRA YĀYĀVARA GOSVĀMĪ MAHĀRĀJA
Once, in connection to something we were discussing, Śrīla Yāyāvara Gosvāmī Mahārāja told me, “An eminent astrologer informed me, ‘You are most certain to get married and enter household life. No one can avoid it.’ For this reason, despite Śrīla Prabhupāda’s desire to award me sannyāsa, I was fearful of accepting it. However, when Śrīla Prabhupāda explained, ‘Sannyāsa means to completely surrender at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. What is the fear in taking shelter of abhaya-caraṇāravinda Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the one whose lotus feet bestow fearlessness?’ Upon hearing this, I gathered the courage to accept sannyāsa. According to the words of Śrīla Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura:
kṛṣṇa bhakta ĵadi haya balavān,
vidhira kalama kāṭi kare khāna khāna
By the spiritual strength acquired due to the influence of Kṛṣṇa bhakti, the devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa cuts to pieces the will of providence scribed by the pen of his destiny.
As said in this verse, the lines on my palms changed, and consequently, I was not obligated to be bound in wedlock.”
In this way, I received the mantra from Śrīla Yāyāvara Gosvāmī Mahārāja that a devotee should never pay much attention to the predictions made by any astrologer from examining the horoscope, lines on the palms, signs on the feet and so on; one must instead give more credence to the words of Śrīla Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura.
Once, during the Deity installation at Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha, many disciples of Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura, including Śrīla Yāyāvara Gosvāmī Mahārāja arrived. I was given the responsibility of serving prasāda to all those disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda. Guru Mahārāja had organized a five-day dharma-sabhā (religious convention). One day, a very attractive young sannyāsi disciple of Śrīla Bhakti Sāraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja, spoke hari-kathā in English. The next morning while honoring prasāda, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vikāsa Hṛṣīkeśa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, a sannyāsī disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda, began praising that young sannyāsī who had spoken the previous day. Hearing this praise, Śrīla Yāyāvara Gosvāmī Mahārāja immediately interrupted Śrīla Hṛṣīkeśa Gosvāmī Mahārāja in a thundering voice, exhorting, “First, let him live his life at least! There will be enough time for glorification later. And before glorifying anyone, one should contemplate on this Bengali proverb: morile ĵadi uḍale chāi tabe satīra guṇa gāi, which means one should not glorify any chaste woman as ‘chaste’ until her body is cremated and the ashes disperse into thin air; as well as the words of Śrīla Gaura Kiśora Dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, ‘khāiyā dekhichosa’— one must thoroughly assess the behavior of an individual whom he is glorifying through various dealings.”
I accepted the above-mentioned principle of Śrīla Yāyāvara Gosvāmī Mahārāja as a mantra.
On another occasion, Śrīla Yāyāvara Gosvāmī Mahārāja came to our Purī maṭha upon receiving an invite sent by Guru Mahārāja for Śrīla Prabhupāda’s appearance day festival. Upon arriving, he placed his bedding and baggage on one side and joined the kīrtana. As soon as I reached there, the sound of his kīrtana fell upon my ears and upon seeing him with his bedding and baggage at a distance, I could not understand why Śrīla Mahārāja chose to participate in the kīrtana without worrying about any arrangement for his accommodation and luggage, or taking time to bathe, honour prasāda and rest. Following the kīrtana, I inquired from him about this, Śrīla Mahārāja replied, “What is the rationale behind expecting an accommodation or even a place to keep my luggage, until I render some service upon arriving at the maṭha?”
I accepted this precept of his as a mantra 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.