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He Brings Srivas Angan to Kolkata

I reflect on how the devotees and disciples of HDG Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Gosvami Maharaj were united in Sankirtana of the holy names of the Lord and recitations of Lord's pastimes with His devotees from scriptures like Srimad Bhagavata Purana and Chaitanya Bhagavata etc. With intense devotion, crying out from their hearts and with intense love of their Gurudev, they are calling out to Lord Hari and the previous Acaryas through Kirtan and prayers.

Shri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math in Kolkata presided over by their Lordships Shri Shri Radha Nayana Nath jiu is verily non different from Shri Shrivas Angan wherein Shri Shri Gadadhara Gauranga preside over the late night's Sankirtana!

With pain in my heart, I am remembering those sweet moments I had with Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Gosvami Maharaj and those divine darshans with him, his beautiful and timely instructions for me. Those darshans were kindly arranged by his disciples over the years.

Just as Shri Rupa Gosvami in form an…
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Following Him Justifies Our Existence

granthera ārambhe kari ‘maṅgalācaraṇa’ guru, vaiṣṇava, bhagavān, — tinera smaraṇa When you remember Gurudev, Vaishnavas and the Lord all the obstacles in the path of devotional practice will be removed and your spiritual desire will be fulfilled. When Guru Vaishnav Bhagavan are pleased with you, your spiritual desires will be fulfilled. First, we have to understand who is guru, what is guru tattva—ontological aspect of guru. Gurudev is Lord’s own person, his associate. Acharya mam vijaniyan—Lord says know Gurudev as Me, I am in the form of Gurudev. So do not see Gurudev from outside (externally) as bones and flesh. One is external appearance—we are seeing with these eyes, and the other is internal, seeing him from the atma. That is the real darshan. You see Gurudev from outside and actually see Gurudev from inside. You follow Gurudev by ears, you hear his Harikatha, his instructions from ears and it enters into the heart and you hold those instructions in your heart. When yo…

His Mercy Continually Manifests

Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to meet Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj in person. However, that did not become an obstacle for Him to completely conquer my heart.

Two years ago I met his disciples. Being attracted by their extraordinary qualities, their deepness and thoughtfulness, I started to listen to Hari-katha of Srila Gurudev. From that time my devotion and love for him only grows. It is so amazing! I know that he responds to me, helps me and takes care of me. And, of course, his presence is very tangible thanks to his disciples.

And today I want to say thank you to you, dear disciples of Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami. I am very grateful to you, that you cannot hide your feelings! That you always speak about Srila Gurudev with love, sharing intimate things, telling about His qualities, remembering the details, some instances, inexhaustible examples, showing His endless compassion, softness of His heart, affection…You are doing the preaching seva and alwa…

His Loving Reminders of Our Actual Position

It is said that if a day goes by that we miss observing the appearance/disappearance of great Vaisnavas, it is a big offence. Therefore, I have put together this little attempt of puspanjali of remembrances of other devotees, as well as my own memories of Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami. May it purify my mind and give me unflinching, one-pointed, exclusive devotion for my ista-dev. Any faults are certainly mine, and please correct me, while anything good is the mercy of Krsna and Vaisnavas.

The first time I went to Radha Kund was with Srila Guru Maharaja and a small group of about 15 devotees, most of us foreigners. Guru Maharaja spoke very strongly that it was a great offense to touch Radha Kund with our feet, and we should simply sprinkle a few drops onto our heads, praying for Her blessings. However, he did add that if a person really wants to take bath anyway, he should prostrate himself 108 times while repeating a mantra asking for forgiveness over and over. I observed that…

He Removes Our Despondency and Gives Us Inspiration in Service

Dear Srila Guru Maharaj,
The day of Your Holy Appearance in this world has come. Allow me to pay full prostrated obeisances to the holy dust of Your Lotus Feet. This is possible only by Your Grace. I remember what I heard from you about a little boy, Dhruva heard from His mother Suniti: no one can help us except the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. Pray to Him, but do not blame Your stepmother. She is only an instrument... Mom, I have not done anything wrong to anyone, ” said Dhruva. You have lived many lives that you do not remember, but the Supreme Lord remembers everything... Dhruva went to the forest and called for the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord first came to Him as Narada Goswami... 
Dear Guru Maharaj, who am I compared to Dhruva ?! I did not call the Supreme Lord, I did not perform severe austerities. But you came to me by giving faith to the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! Because of the great sinful past, I feel a weak heart that does not allow me to follow your instructio…

His Thoughtfulness Extends to All

Often it is seen that in Kolkata and other maths even if there are just one or two Hindi speaking devotees then Srila Guru Maharaj will speak harikatha in Hindi or in both Hindi and Bangla so that the Bangla knowing devotees’ minds also get absorbed in the Lord. And at times when Bangla devotees ask Guru Maharaj to speak in Bangla, he would convince them saying these devotees have come so far from North India and therefore they do not understand Bangla whereas you can understand Hindi.

Once when I was going to meet Guru Maharaj a group of Bhatinda devotees asked me to speak to Guru Maharaj and to know from him what we should do if any sanyassi or brahmachari who does not keep any relation with Guruji’s Math comes to Bhatinda. When I placed this question before Guru Maharaj, he smiled and said that they should first find out the reason why that sanyassi or brahmachari is there and that if they have come for preaching then it is good. But if his main reason is to collect money then it i…

His Acceptance of Chastisement Without Complaint

I remember one instance relating to how Maharaj accepts the orders of his Guru Maharaj. Srila Prabhupad's disciple, Pujyapad Yogeswara Maharaj, once told about an incident when Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj told Sripad Tirtha Maharaj to bring to him the Kolkata math’s plan papers.

Immediately Maharaj went to the room and came out with few papers in his hand. He handed over the papers to Guruji (Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaj) and when Guruji opened the cover, he found that the papers therein were not pertaining to the plans of the temple. By mistake, some other papers had come into his hands. Guruji returned the papers to Maharaj and started chastising.

Guruji’s words were so strong that Maharaj started shivering in fear. All the papers in his hand fell down on the ground.

Later Yogeshwar Maharaj told Guruji that you chastised him so strongly that he is shivering in fear. In reply, Guruji said we cannot chastise everyone, nor everyone can bear chastisement. He c…

The Deep Impression He Leaves Upon Our Hearts

I met Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaja many times around the world when he was traveling in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Some of the places I met him were San Francisco, Russia, Singapore, and UK.

I consider His Divine Grace to be one of the most exalted sanyassis of the modern era who distributed the vani of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu throughout the world. He is also one of the most profound kirtaniyas of Gaura kirtan. When he led kirtan with hundreds of devotees, He was like a volcano of divine energy. His lectures were always full of perfect siddhantic authority and profound realization, utterly heart captivating.

I feel so blessed to have had his divine association and I consider him to be one of my prominent siksa gurus. All glories to His effulgent Lotus Feet.

-- Sripad Bhaktivedanta Padmanabha Maharaj, USA
(disciple of Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, siksa disciple of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Shridar Goswami Maharaj and sanyass disciple of Srila Bhak…

He Conveys the Language of Bhakti to All

During the annual Navadvip dham parikrama festival in 2012, many devotees from different corners of the globe came to Mayapur to take part. For Srila Gurudev, who was approaching 90 years, it was almost impossible to physically participate in the daily circumambulation. However, he showed an enthusiasm unknown to anyone of his age by leading kirtan in the early hours on the opening day of the parikrama. He also spoke about the glories of the holy dham to all the pilgrims. Every day he would come out of his bhajan kutir to see off the devotees going on parikrama and to welcome the devotees when they return late in the evening.

One day when all the devotees left for circumambulation leaving behind only a few servants and Srila Gurudev in the Math, a few devotees from China had come to visit Srila Gurudev. They sat in front of Srila Gurudev’s bhajan kutir and started to sing Mahamantra in a loud voice. For long time Srila Gurudev was sitting inside his quarters listening to their singin…