SEPARATION FROM GURUDEVA ONLY IN PROPORTION TO ONE’S ENDEAVOR TO NICELY UNDERSTAND HIS CONCEPTIONS, IDEAL AND WORDS.
After Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja entered the eternal pastimes, Śrīla Mahārāja said the following while offering his spoken glorification at his lotus feet: “The meaning of samādhi is to become absorbed in the service of nitya-vastu (the eternal object) in fixed mind and consciousness. This is referred to as entering the eternal pastimes of Bhagavān.
“Following the disappearance of Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, who factually experiences separation from him? One will experience separation from Gurudeva to the extent one has endeavored to nicely understand Gurudeva’s conceptions, ideal and words. Viraha means vipralambha, in other words, having remembrance of Gurudeva at every moment. Whether or not one is experiencing separation from Gurudeva is not known by words, but by that individual’s conduct following the departure of Gurudeva; It is not that everyone will experience the same degree of separation. Humility may manifest in someone’s heart upon singing the kīrtana of Śrīla Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura — ‘je ānilo prema dhana karuṇā pracura.’— lamenting, ‘O! What should be the state in separation and what is my actual state? I am not even experiencing an iota of separation after my Gurudeva’s departure.’ Someone else will recall how, in separation from Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna was not able to hold even his Gāṇḍīva bow, yet every day I am doing the same thing, which I was doing before, and will continue to do. In reality, only someone who is following the conceptions of Gurudeva experiences factual separation. The separation mood that the people of this world exhibit by wailing is only temporary, because factually, viraha-tattva is eternal and must be maintained eternally, in other words, one will have to become strongly determined and very enthusiastic in following the ideal Gurudeva followed during his lifetime. The conception of Gurudeva is non-different from that of Śrī Rūpa-Raghunātha and Śrīla Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura; it is not independent of them.
“In this world of fruitive activities, one is always endeavoring for religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation and upon leaving his body all his sons equally inherit his wealth. However in the realm of bhakti, especially in the Gauḍīya sampradāya, by completely abandoning the four goals of religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation, the devotees accept the topmost goal of Kṛṣṇa prema to be their only goal of life. When they leave this world, their only wealth is their ideal, their precepts and teachings connected to the topmost goal – kṛṣṇa-prema. That is why one can only acquire the unlimited transcendental wealth of his Gurudeva to the extent that he is surrendered to him.
“Śrīla Mahārāja was the follower of the precepts and teachings of pure bhakti personified by the verse, ‘anyābhilāṣitā śūnyam’. Following in the footsteps of the intimate servants of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and remaining fixed in the conceptions of Śrīman Mahāprabhu, he was aware of how the gopīs were prepared to offer their foot dust to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, even at the expense of having to reside in hell eternally. Furthermore, he understood how those gopīs, who did not follow in the footsteps of anukūla-śakti Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, but instead went ahead in search of Sri Kṛṣṇa, found only Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s four handed form at Paiṭhāgrāma, whereas, those gopīs who followed behind Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, were fortunate to obtain the darśana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s two-handed form. Therefore, the ideal of pure bhakti that Śrīla Mahārāja has left, is his factual wealth and however much one wishes to draw from this wealth, one can do so — no one will object or create any kind of obstacle.”
ONE MEANING OF SAMĀDHI – TO TAKE UP COMPLETE SILENCE
In the year 2016, during the Vṛaja-maṇḍala parikramā, at Śrī Giridhāri Gauḍīya Maṭha situated at Govardhana, on the occasion of the grand festival of the inauguration of the puṣpa-samādhi mandira and Śrī Prakāṣa vigraha [manifestation in the form of Deity] of Nityalīla Praviśta Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Aṣṭottaraśata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrīla Mahārāja awarded us his holy association, and in his offering, he said the following: “Śrī Gurudeva is eternal; an eternal object was there yesterday and is not there today — such a proposition is never ever possible. Therefore, Śrī Gurudeva was there yesterday, is present today, and will forever remain — this is the transcendental conception. However, due to our lack of qualification we cannot see his form or his beauty by our eyes, because he has entered the eternal pastimes. One meaning of samādhi is to take up complete silence. Just as Bhagavān Mukesh, by becoming Mūka-īśvara, accepts the service offered by his devotees, in the same way, when Śrī Gurudeva accepts silence, he accepts the service of those who have taken shelter of him. At that time, his state of samādhi and the place of his samādhi is called samādhi mandira.”
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.