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He Leaves No Room for Conflict

Srila Gurudev always liked to be very prepared and often planned his lectures ahead of time and requested the name of the institution we are going to. He and I went to some strange places in Phoenix (Arizona, USA.) We went to wherever we could go, since not so many devotees lived there.

Once we went to some place called "Center for Expanding Consciousness."As he spoke on some verse of Gita, one lady held up her hand while He was giving commentary.

He stopped and said, "Yes, you have a question?"

She replied, "Well, I have Bhagavad Gita. I heard this verse many times, but it doesn't seem to me what you are telling me it means. What you are saying seems to have a different meaning."

He just said, "I am so happy that you are reading Bhagavad Gita," and smiled.

She sat down. There was no conflict, no room for it at all. People have different interpretations, but there is no argument. He has no sense of conflict, free of animosity, condescens…
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His Truthfulness Since Birth

One time Guru Maharaj's mother or father asked him, "Kokha," go and bring some things from the grocery shop.  He was given some coins and asked to go and bring some items. After he returned with those things to the house, they asked, did you give the coin?  "Yes," he said, but explained this coin was old and was not in circulation,  but the shop keeper had kept the coin with him. 

When he came to know this, he took a new coin from his father and went and gave it to the shopkeeper and took back the old coin saying it is not a valid coin.  

People like us think OK, I got rid of it.  But he is so honest, right from his childhood, honest in whatever he was doing.  No cheating tendency ever in his life, from birth and on. All these things are the ornaments of the Sadhu.

—Prahlad Das

(As told by relatives who knew Srila Gurudev in early life. Transcribed from a recording made on Vyasa Puja, 2019)


His Sweet Simplicity

Our Guru Maharaj used to say that in Assam, in Bengal people are used to eat a lot of leafy vegetables. One day Guru Maharaj was eating one of these.

One of his sisters told us that they asked him, "Eh, Khoka!" (Khoka is addressing a small child with love, a nickname.) "What are you eating?"

Guru Maharaj did not know what it was called, but only knew that it was a leafy vegetable, so he told her, "I am eating grass."

 So simple. Then everyone started laughing at him calling him 'cow cow..'  Actually he was a cow.  A cow is so sweet, so simple.  Guru Maharaj said, "I did not know what to say, I just kept quiet."  This shows his simplicity, even from childhood.  

—Prahlad Das

transcribed from a recording taken on Vyasa puja, 2019 (Sri Dham Mayapur.) As told to Srila Gurudev's sevaks by those who knew him in childhood










He Respects Whatever is Given

Once in wintertime, Guru Maharaj's father gave him an overcoat.  He wore it and went to school. Without checking to see how it looked, he just wore it and went.  When he entered the school everyone started laughing at him, but he couldn't understand why.

Actually, the coat he was wearing went down to his knees because it was such a big coat that had belonged to some elder gentleman of the family.  The hands of the coat were drooping, and it was so long. Yet,  Guru Maharaj did not find any fault with that coat.  Everybody was teasing him, asking,  "Eh! What are you wearing?  What is this?"  He simply said, "My father gave me."

See how he respected whatever had father had given or anything that anyone has given. He thought, my father has given this, so how can I see any defect in it?  It is out of love that he has given, even though others are laughing.  So simple he was.

He had no hostility to anyone right from his childhood.  Other brothers, sisters used t…

He Always Listens to Elders

During Summer vacations, all the children in Guru Maharaj 's family came together. They had a big family.  His father had 3 or 4 brothers and their children played there too, with their own family including 8 or 10 children. With all of them together it was like a school in the house, about 30-35 kids representing all different age groups.  With so many children together, it usually means they are going to make some nuisance, some mischief.  During Summer vacations when all children are at home, it is very difficult for parents to control the children.

One day after lunch, Guru Maharaj's paternal uncle called all the children to come and sit before him. Then he said, "You should all count backward one by one, starting from a hundred and back to one. After you finish counting you can go to play."

Near Guru Maharaj's house there is a pond.  The elders feared that the children will fall in the pond and may hurt themselves.  So this plan was devised in order to sto…

His Spiritual Intelligence

Tamal Prabhu told us an incidence that illustrates the special way that Srila Gurudev applied his intelligence in service even when he was apparently displaying the pastimes of forgetfulness. During that time some observers may have thought that Srila Gurudev was forgetting things and that he is an old person.  Material intelligence is the wrong term, he has nothing material, but still in the material world what we call this intelligence.  For example, we do not want to accept the root cause, we want only symptomatic treatment; therefore, allopathy as more popular than any of the ancient medicines.

So he told us that once he reported to Srila Gurudev that there is a flood in some of the cities of Assam from Brahmaputra river. including Srila Gurudev's janmasthan village, Goalpara. After he reported this, he left Gurudev's room.  After some time, Gurudev rang the bell.  So Tamal Prabhu went inside and then Gurudev spoke to him.  He told, "See, if there is flood in Brahmap…

He Goes to the Heart of the Problem

I remember one senior god-brother of ours approached Guru Maharaj, long back and explained that he was not able to get along with his god-brothers, and asked what should be done.  He explained the reply Gurudev had given.  He repeated what Gurudev had said, that even he had this problem in the beginning.  But then, he continued," I completely surrendered myself to the lotus feet of my Gurudev and then all my problems were solved." And this god-brother of mine said that he still I hadn't understood what, how it is done; what it means.  It is a fact, complete surrender, probably till that happens, will not be understood by any of us.  

Different devotees recollect how his answers are so unique and something which is irrefutable.  It is complete in itself and which is direct.  And sometimes this also happened to us.  In fact, I remember there was a sort of a complaint against Guru Maharaj that people would ask him some question and the reply would be something else.  But whe…

His Sound Vibration Emanates Directly From Transcendental Reality

The effect of Srila Gurudev’s sound is unlike anything I have ever heard. Even today when a recording of the same mangalacharan prayers is being played, there is a deep kind of seriousness that is conveyed. That sound is out of the world.
In fact, I remember there was one senior sanyassi, a disciple of Srila Bhakti Pramod Puri Goswami Maharaj told us about when Srila Gurudev was going on Kshetra mandal and Vraj mandal parikrama. He said when our Guru Maharaj describes anything in Vraj mandal—about the place, about the pastimes; it appears as if he is giving live commentary.He is seeing it and he is telling us what he sees in reality. I have practically experienced the difference in the speech of Gurudev and how it affects me—completely different than when I hear from others.
If I am calling out the holy names or repeating pastimes that we have heard, or singing mangalacharan, it is not at all the same feeling than when we hear from Guru Maharaj.He is a person who has all the faith com…

He Is the One We Have Always Been Searching For

One thing I witnessed that is very touching to my heart is an event  I recall that took place in Mayapur. There was an acarya from Sri Vaisnava mission that came with his disciples. He was much younger to Srila Gurudev. When Srila Gurudev came from his bhajan kutir to see him, he walked all the way. I remember Srila Gurudev paid prostrated obeisances to someone that could be the age of his son. He was shaken and could not reciprocate.

I was not feeling good to see that, thinking it should be the other way around. But we saw that Srila Gurudev was so blissful. The reciprocation was not sufficient, but he was happy anyway. Maybe even happier than if those respects had been paid to him. Even when he was sitting in car to leave, Gurudev paid obeisances again outside the car. The humility he was expressing and the bliss on his face is the opposite of an ordinary person. At an advanced age and having so many big positions in World Vaishnava Association and GOKUL, he taught this by his own ex…

Does He Take Our Karma at the Time of Initiation?

Sometimes I have heard that Gurudev takes karma at the time of initiation. I was in doubt about that, so I asked him about it.

Guru Maharaj said, "In a few rare occasions, the guru can do so like with Jagai and Madai. But what you can get from guru is faith. You can get faith from guru. If you chant with faith, all that karma will go."

I felt so happy to know that definitely, I can get faith from Guru Maharaj. He was also instructing me that deep from within by one's own endeavor, this will go. So casually it will disappear just because of Harinam. No. It needs my sincere endeavor, to keep trying. I prayed to Guru Maharaj to give me faith in the holy name. If I chant with faith, everything will fall into place. If you chant with faith, all that karma will go.

—Urmila Dasi