Straight to the Heart, A River of Tears
In Homage to the Auspicious Occasion of the 2020 Vyasa-puja of Srila Bhakti Vijnana Bharati Gosvami Maharaja:
I write so many things for so many other purposes, and yet at the opportunity to write something for Sri Guru, somehow, I always struggle to adequately describe and honor these exceptional personalities.
Such is my condition. Of course, the tendency is to write about oneself, that being the only perspective I think I know anything about. Therefore, please mercifully excuse the faulty perspective of a bonded soul like me, and consider that I am just ignorant and extremely conditioned.
When planning to go to Kolkata to the lotus feet of Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Gosvami Maharaja, sometime before that in 2012, some devotees who had recently been to the Holy Dham told me about Srila Maharaja, and I was hoping I’d be so fortunate as to find myself in his presence someday. Upon arriving to Kolkata matha in 2013, it was like ascending into another realm. Such is the blessed atmosphere when pure Guru-Vaisnava is present. I was astounded daily with what good fortune had come upon me - so much hari-katha all day, including class from several exalted Vaisnavas, Gurumaharaja darshans, and just a remarkable opportunity to absorb oneself. This was the month preceding Gaura Purnima. So, it was there in the matha where I first found myself in that tiny little room with a handful or two of other devotees at the lotus feet of our most beloved Srila Bhakti Vijnana Bharati Gosvami Maharaja.
I knew in an instant; no formal announcements were necessary in the sunbeam of bhakti-sakti that penetrated through all my layers like an exquisite transcendental arrow. Straight to the heart. A river of tears. A kind of Love I can only read about but can’t really access properly. He radiated that Love and it captured my wounded heart.
Such comprehensive siddhanta he would present in a brilliant nectarean nutshell, only to find that the layers were always going deeper, and never leaving room for any lingering doubt. The prasad of his hari-katha was supremely sublime.
Then we’d take his maha-prasadam, and that was a whole other experience – again, it’s beyond the capacity of the English language to attempt to articulate it – but it felt like he was distributing a most precious jewel, and he was completely absorbed in it.
We can never forget his loving gaze. There is nothing, absolutely nothing in this world, that compares with this. Srila Maharaja was akhanda-guru-tattva manifest before me and it was an incomparable rain cloud of mercy. Since the years were so short between my meeting Guru Maharaja and Srila Maharaja and their disappearance from our mortal vision, I basically regret my entire life. Most of the time, I truly feel like a very stupid excuse for a disciple of Sri Guru, but I will never stop trying until I take my last breath. I should know that Gurumaharaja, Srila Maharaja, and the entire Guru-Varga is completely transcendental to this matter in front of me and all of my material conceptions, therefore I should really deeply understand that they are always there with me; this should actually serve as constant inspiration. It’s essentially mind-blowing, but yet, I fall far from true realization of this tattva.
So when will I be able to offer you the flower of my 100% submission? It seems practically criminal to squander this opportunity. Why not in this very life, THIS VERY LIFE?! I should completely surrender to you.
There are so many things.
I’m in love with how he would recite,
śūnyāyitaḿ jagat sarvaḿ govinda-viraheṇa me’
‘bhaktyā vihīnā aparādha-lakṣaiḥ
kṣiptāś ca kāmādi-tarańga-madhye
kṛpāmayi! tvāḿ śaraṇaḿ prapannā
vṛnde! namas te caraṇāravindam’
and I hope to keep those forever like a transcendental audio track on repeat in my mind.
I’m never really sure if any seva I do is correct or good enough but I sincerely only want to please Guru-Vaisnavas. Also, if somehow I’ve committed any offenses to any of Srila Maharaja’s sevakas, or any devotees, please forgive me! I can’t afford further hindrance to my process.
Srila Maharaja’s glories are unlimited and I am praying to someday understand myself as a dust particle at his Lotus Feet!
vaiṣṇava sańgete mana, ānandita anukṣaṇa,
sadā hoy kṛṣṇa parasańga
dīna narottama kānde, hiyā dhairya nāhi bāndhe
mora daśā keno hoilo bhańga
In the association of the Vaisnavas, where topics of Krsna are always spoken, one feels bliss at every moment. With an agitated heart, Narottama dasa Thakura weeps, “Why have I been separated from the Vaisnavas?” (Sri Prarthana, Song 17)