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The Importance of Sadhu Sanga During Parikrama

The 1979 Braj Mandal Parikrama was led by our most revered Gurudeva and I was part of that Parikrama. While we were in Goverdhan, my health was not well. Gurudev sent me to Vrindavan Math for rest. After resting for 2-3 days, I rejoined them in Barsana. I had missed few darsans and I contacted one pandaji who told me that he can show all of them in one day.

I asked Pujyapad Tirtha Goswami Maharaj, “Maharaj! Due to my bad health I missed few darsans and Pandaji will help me visit those places in a day. Shall I go?”

Then Maharaj told me the importance of sadhu sanga. “You see! The benefit of listening and singing the glories of the Lord in the association of devotees is more. There are many saints here, there is harikatha and kirtan, leaving all these you want to go alone to visit those places? Which one is better?” 

Maharaj spoke the supremacy of sadhu sanga over Dham (holy abode), “Sadhu sange Krishna nam ei matra chai, samsar jinite aar kono vastu nai – Nothing is as powerful as chant…
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He Speaks and the Pastimes Descend

When Guruji narrates in Harikatha the pastimes of Supreme Lord, he brings that scene before our eyes. When we have heard Guruji speak Druva Charitra and call repeatedly, Where is Padma Palash Lochan Hari? we would feel as though Druva is there in person, calling out to Supreme Lord.

When narrating Kurukshetra’s fire sacrifice, he calls, Gopal! Gopal! It is as though mother Yashoda is calling. His harikatha is full of divine mellow overflow with newer and newer sweetness and mellows. In his Harikatha, there is the presence of the Supreme Lord in person and so it is the bestower of extreme bliss. Just listening to his Harikatha one feels cleansed from all dirt within the heart and feels repentant. The mind feels encouraged, renewed in enthusiasm to pursue the devotional path. Hard hearts soften and melt.

We have never heard Gurudeva ever ask why you have arranged so many programs of Harikatha even when you might have fixed many harikatha programs of Guruji in a single day. In Dehradun …

More Attachment to Him, Less to This World

Braj-Parikrama of 1996 gave a lot of unexpected spiritual gains. Golden opportunities were received — most coveted causeless mercy! The mood is so devotional during Kartik that one attracts showers of divine blessings effortlessly.

Srila Gurudev never allowed us to physically serve Him. Whenever I felt that Gurudev seems to be exhausted, I attempted to massage His lotus feet, only to be stopped by Him. When I insisted, I got an angry glance which weakened my resolve. I used to pray for this service opportunity, but it was beyond Gurudev’s mood of acceptance. He never expected any seva, any kind of service, from the disciples.

When we reached Goverdhan, Manasi Ganga was overflowing with its waters inundating lanes around its banks. Guru Maharaj had to move in the knee-deep waters while holding up His clothes. I was following behind. Suddenly I realized that I never got such opportunity before! Without wasting a moment, I bowed down and grabbed Manasi Ganga jal flowing behind His lotus…

His Last Visit to Sri Vrindavan Dham, 2011 (Videos)

The title of this post is not really accurate. Using the words "last "or "final" for anything related to Srila Gurudeva is not actual, as He is eternal. Nonetheless, this is the last time His darshan in Vraj could be perceived with material vision. He is always with Sri Krishna who never leaves Vrindavan. Lord and He are always there; coming or going are only apparent.

Srila Paramgurudeva Declares Him Future Acharya at Brahmanda Ghat

On one occasion we were performing Vraja Mandal parikrama with our Guru Maharaj [Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami Maharaj].When the parikrama party reached Brahmanda Ghat, [the place where Sri Krishna opened his mouth and showed the entire universe to Mother Yashoda] Guru Maharaj declared that Krishna Ballabh* is the future acharya.This was before he had even recieved sannyas.

I also recall that during his manifest pastimes, Guru Maharaj had given a letter to Pujyapad Jagamohan Prabhu wherein he had written that after his departure, Tirtha Maharaj will be the Acharya.I see Guru Maharaj’s full grace is upon Tirtha Maharaj.From beginning to date I have observed from his conduct that he has never anytime criticized anybody.His life is always so pure, without a blemish.
A long time ago someone in Assam asked Guru Maharaj [Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami Maharaj] that at present preaching is going on well, but in future what will happen to the math?I personally heard Guru Maharaj reply …

Remembering Him in Sri Vraja Mandal (Videos)

—edited by Radha Priya Dasi

Sharing His Darshan of Sri Vraja Dham

It was my greatest fortune that Most Revered Gurudev gave me the golden opportunity of being in His company during Kartik from the year 1983 onwards. In 2002, Brajamandal Parikrama, I had published few pastimes in www.vnn.org and other websites. I am quoting here as follows:

His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj reached Vrindavana on 14 October 2002 for the one month long Vrajamandala Parikrama.

Speaking on the subject "Who will show us Vraja-dhama?", Srila Guru Maharaji said that only a tatvik-vrajavasi like Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarawati Goswami Thakur Prabhupad can give us the knowledge of Vraja-dhama. Quoting from Srila Prabhupad's discourses of the 1932 Parikrama of Vrajamandala, Srila Guru Maharaj explained the significance of doing circumambulation (Parikrama) of Braja dhama:

"This world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. All act as purushas and want to enjoy and lord it over others. If we want Sri Krishna to appear in …

He Reveals the Mysteries of Devotion

I have seen Gurudev perform his parikramas, Navadvip Parikrama, Vraj mandal parikrama always on foot, walking. So many other devotees and sanyasis who participate will return taking some conveyance to end their parikrama, but Gurudev would return along with the kirtan party only, even if it may be 8 o'clock, 9 o'clock or even 10 o'clock...

And when the kirtans slowed down, Gurudev would go to the front and would infuse such energy into those kirtans and take them further.  I have even heard Srikant Prabhu say he would get tired, but Guru Maharaj would never feel tired.Another thing is even after so much endeavor, Gurudev would come and sit for Harikatha and after speaking Harikatha would announce about the next day's parikrama details at the end of the session and then retire, and again in the morning during mangal arati, you will get darshan of Gurudev.

When he would take rest, nobody knows.Prabhupad says who can understandBhajan Rahasya, mysteries of devotion is the on…

No Interruption in His Service

All day Gurudeva would spend time writing lectures of Param Gurudeva and keep himself busy with service. Sometime around 9 in the morning he would take some rest. Once Param Gurudeva called for one brahmachari in the morning around 9 o clock but the brahmachari was sleeping. Later when asked for an explanation he said, "Tirtha Maharaj also sleeps that time..."

Param Gurudeva did not say a thing to him, but later in Hairkatha, he said, "A surrendered devotee's any activity is seva, even sleeping also is seva. But our following should not be imitation." He had so much love for Gurudeva and that day in the whole Harikatha he spoke on his beloved disciple—our Gurudeva.

When doing kirtans, our Gurudeva goes to a different plane altogether, he would be so engrossed in the kirtan that he would not have any awareness of his clothes or anything else around him. He is avadhuta— completely unbound by this world. Once in kirtan, his dhoti fell off he didn't even notic…

His Loving Accountability

Once devotees from Punjab requested Guruji to come there.  Then Guruji asked to make arrangements and book tickets after speaking with Srila Bhakti Prasad Puri Goswami Maharaj. In those days it used to be a big trip, some 15 days here, some 10 days there like that, and in total some 2-3 months.

One night at 1 o’clock, Guruji came to my room and was waking me up. He said, "Get up, get up."

I opened my eyes and saw Guruji.  I paid obeisances all the time thinking I am dreaming that Guruji has come to my room.  Then Guruji told me to go to send a telegram.  It was 1 o’clock night.  I knew one post office from where we can send a telegram. I took cycle from Paresh Prabhu and went.

Guruji did not sleep until I came back.  He was doing japa, Harinam in the library balcony.  He was seeing outside every now and then whether I was coming or not and he continued chanting.

One policeman stopped me and asked, "Where are you going Pandit ji?"  Seeing my kantihar and anga vast…