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Showing posts from September, 2016

His Merciful Reminders

I would like to share an experience from 2007. During my first M. Tech examinations, my friend Padmavati dasi and I went together for darshan. She was on one side and I was on the other side.

Padmavati told, "It is time for our exams."

Gurudev looked at me on the other side and said, "Before exams, one has to study."

That particular semester, I did not study at all but I never told anybody! How could he know? After that, I studied and somehow passed my exams.

Also I remember I asked Gurudev this question:

"Gurudev, how can we develop saranagati to Bhagavan?"

He said, "Ei gulo diye habe na"

By these material sense organs, nothing will happen.

Then he said, “If I look upon these buildings with my eyes closed, I will not see anything."

Finally he said, "granther arambhe kari mangalacharan."

A few days later, I asked, "How can one remember them?" (Guru, Vaishnava, Bhagwan, as instructed in the above verse CC Adi 1.20)

He said, …

The Readymade Acharya

Once Param Guruji asked Param-pujyapad Sridhar Goswami Maharaj that I have made many big maths, whom should I give responsibility of them? Whom should I make acharya? 

Sridhar Goswami Maharaj replied, "You have a readymade acharya."

Param Guruji asked. who? He said, Tirtha Maharaj. He is an acharya from childhood. We don’t have to make him.
I heard from Parampujyapad Puri Goswami Maharaj that Gaur Nityanand Themselves dance when Tirtha Maharaj sings Kirtan. During the inauguration of Puri Maharaj’s newly established math in Mayapur, our Gurudev was invited for the feast in that math. 

The celebration, which is being celebrated till date, falls during the Holi festival. During that occasion, I was with Guruji along with other devotees. Puri Goswami Maharaj ordered his disciples to welcome our Gurudev with kirtans by standing at the gate. He further said that you see him as Tirtha Maharaj, but I see him as Madhav Maharaj.
Pujyapadpad Keshav Prabhu told that our Guruji is the tape-r…

He Never Sees Anyone as His Own Servant

I remember an incident when Tatpar Maharaj was cleaning Gurudev's bathroom. He had to go somewhere, so he asked me to finish it. I waited outside and Gurudev took a long time to come out.

Finally Gurudev said, "I tried to clean it, but some marks are there. You please be careful."

Gurudev had been cleaning it himself! When I went to the bathroom, it was completely clean. There were no marks. Gurudev never thought, these are my sevaks. He called them "our helpers."

Once we went to a devotee's house. Many devotees cooked, so there was not a burden on a single devotee.

When we came out, Gurudev asked, "Have you taken all your utensils or not?"

Gurudev was recording and making note of each and every thing. He was so careful – so considerate.

—Hari Prasad Das, Delhi

He Has No Enemies

Many devotees spoke the glories of Gurudev. Guru Maharaj is not an ordinary person.  Whatever qualities are told in the scriptures, all of them are manifest in Guru Maharaj. I am too young to realise who or what a sadhu is, but in spite of that, Guru Maharaj gave me some intelligence to see some of those qualities in him.
I heard one particular incident of Guru Maharaj that resonated with me. Guru Maharaj was in court, and so many discussions were going on, so many people were abusing Guru Maharaj. But Guru Maharaj answered very softly, no matter what they yelled at him.
Guru Maharaj came back and it was time for prasad. He said, some more devotees are coming, please reserve some prasad for them. These were the persons who were abusing Guru Maharaj in the court. I realized that even those persons who were abusing him, he had so much love and affection for them that he reserved prasad for them. He is ajata-satru, one who has no enemies.

—Rukmini Dasi

His Divine Presence Rejuvenates Discouraged Devotees

I am a disciple of Srila Prabhupada Swami Maharaja. I have a wonderful story to tell about my meeting with Srila Gurudeva in 1997, if I remember correctly. I was living in Hawaii, and we were experiencing a difficult time after the troubles with some of the so-called spiritual leaders in our organization. Many fall downs were causing confusion and resulting in a lack of direction for the ordinary devotees.

A very good devotee friend of mine who was from Indonesia and of South Indian ancestry suggested that a wonderful devotee from India by the name of Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami could be persuaded to come to Hawaii. We were in the middle of a deep discussion of what could be done to help the struggling devotees find proper direction again.

When Maharaja’s name came up we both exclaimed, “Here is a real Vaishnava,” and we should invite him to come to Hawaii. Now remember, I had never met Maharaja but just by hearing my friends description of Maharaja I was immediately inspire…

His Insistence for Respect to Elders and Superiors

This incident happened during those days when our Dehradun Math was not fully constructed. Guruji did the morning Harikatha recitation and kirtan and he then stood up. He was smiling and was in a very pleasant mood. At that time, a teenager came and offered obeisance to Gurudev. Gurudev asked him whether he did pranam to his father in the morning, for which he moved his head indicating “no."Guruji got very angry, and suddenly his face became red.

Guruji told him, “Why did you come here without offering pranams to your father? You have come here to do Krishna bhajan? Without respecting your father, you'll not be able to do any bhajan.”

Then Guruji spoke to him the life of Prahlad Maharaj, his respect towards his father and how he prayed for the well-being of his father in spite of being tortured by him earlier. After this the teenager left from there.

I did not know who that person was and why Gurudev suddenly became angry on him. When I inquired from other devotees I learnt…

He Never Wastes One Moment

Once a devotee came to Guruji and started criticizing another person. Guruji heard him patiently and then replied, “From where do you get time to see all this?” 

His priority of life was different. His life was all about the Supreme Lord, His Name, His katha, His kirtan, and so on. We see his detachment towards the material world and attachment to the Supreme Lord. We see that he is detached even from his own body. He would get up early in the morning, lead all the sabha and then retire late. He said that his body is for the service of his Gurudev. 

When he exhibited the pastimes of sickness he used to feel sad saying, “I am no longer able to serve my Gurudev properly. If I am not able to serve my Gurudev then what is the use of keeping this body?”

- Sri Bhakti Kinkar Damodar Maharaj

He Arranges Everything That is Needed

Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj was visiting the Laksmi Narayan temple in Kuala Lumpur. Some devotees organized a program for him. He was elderly and we didn't see anything special. He gave Harikatha that was very soft, however when he did kirtan, it was very loud. None of us could dance like him in front of the Deity.

In 2010, my Gurudev left for his eternal abode at the end of December. The following Gaur Purnima, I was going to Navadwip.

One of my Godbrothers had come to Malaysia for his visa and said, "When you go for parikrama, you must go to see Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj." He used the word “must."

When I was in Mayapur, I visited the math one day and asked if I could have darsan of Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj. The devotee refused and said I could get darsan at 8pm. I could not come back again. I was disappointed.

Then, one of Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj's disciples, Radhamadhava das, came to Malaysia. He gave a Harikatha…