Skip to main content

His Tridanda Lila



This is a narration of a nectarean activity of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj that took place during His 1999 US tour. It describes a distressful, but spiritually instructive situation.


His Divine Grace and His devoted followers left the New York area after many successful programs and arrived without incident at the Miami airport at approximately 2:30 PM on Thursday August 5, 1999. However, upon checking the status of their baggage, they found to their utter dismay that Srila Gurudeva's tridanda, which was in its own protective flight case, had not arrived with the rest of the luggage.


Due to the ignorance and lack of sensitivity of the airline personnel, who did not realize the transcendental position of the person to whom they were speaking, no great effort was made to confirm the whereabouts of the sacred tridanda. This only made the situation worse.


Maharaj would not take any sustenance, either liquid or solid, and would not leave the baggage area under any circumstances, choosing only to chant the Names of God and to concentrate upon the Lotus Feet of His beloved Gurudeva. Seeing Srila Gurudeva in this state reminded one of Dhruva Maharaj. When Dhruva stopped breathing, everything around him came to an abrupt halt.


It was not known whether the holy tridanda had become lost, stolen, or had suffered some other sort of mishap. The devotees were in a state of intolerable anxiety, seeing their beloved spiritual master not taking any foodstuffs or even water. In their minds they were thinking that they must have committed some grievous offense to be subjected to seeing their Gurudeva in such a condition.


During this period of stress and uncertainty, His Divine Grace explained that tridanda ("three rods or sticks") has three different meanings or aspects. First, tridanda represents the dedication of body, mind and speech to the service of Sri Guru-Bhagavan.


Secondly, at the time of receiving tridanda, three Deities are installed by means of homa, namely: Garbhodakasayi Visnu, Karanadakasayi Visnu and Ksirodakasayi Visnu. Thus, these three Deities reside within tridanda. Included in this second explanation, is the axe at the top of tridanda, an axe made of knowledge, the purpose of which is to cut through maya, or illusion, and which also represents the relationship (sambandha) between the living entity and Bhagavan Sri Krsna. This axe is known as "jivadanda."


Thirdly, danda (one rod, or stick) represents the potential of punishment if one should misbehave.


Maharaj said that He would not be able to preach, and that His strength and spiritual potency were gone without His tridanda. He said that His beloved Gurudeva is with Him in the form of tridanda and harinama-japamala. The following are Maharaj's statements which will help explain this more clearly:


"When I received my tridanda, my Gurudeva performed oblations and then offered the tridanda to me. He ordered that I should keep it with me wherever I should go. He ordered me to always engage my mind, senses, words--- everything--- in the service of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. There is an axe at the top of tridanda which signifies the removal of ignorance by obtaining knowledge from the Guru. My Guru Maharaj always took His tridanda with Him wherever He went. Tridanda and harinama-japamala represent His direct blessings. From both of these items, I obtain the strength and inspiration to serve Sri Krsna."

Despite the seemingly adverse and unfavorable circumstances of this incident, we can look beneath the surface and understand that everything occurs due to the Supreme Will of Lord Sri Krsna. As His Divine Grace often says, whatever Lord Krsna wills is always for the best. For His devotees, among other things, this was a demonstration by their spiritual master of the strictness one should observe in following the instructions of the guru.


This allegiance to the words of His Gurudeva demonstrated by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj is not born of mere obligation, but from unparalleled love and affection for His spiritual master. By His own words, Srila Gurudeva confirms that spiritual potency flows from the Guru to the sincere disciple, and is nourished and sustained by the bond of affection that exists between them.


Most fortunately, confirmation was received at 9:00 PM that the tridanda was on its way on another flight. Upon receiving His tridanda, His Divine Grace's face became ecstatic as He exclaimed, "Now, I have gotten back my life!"


-Akincana Das, UK


Gurudeva in Malaysia





Popular posts from this blog

Remembering His Entrance Into Nitya Lila

Srila Gurudev was always intoxicated in Krishna-nama-sankirtan, whether or not externally conscious. He was lying on the bed and was seemingly unaware as he was not communicating with any one of us externally, but inwardly he was relishing Krishna-namasankirtan offered by the devotees and also inspired devotees from within to come and join sankirtan movement.

Those who performed the sankirtans those last days on earth are the true servants of Srila Gurudev. Even though the sevaks were attending to the immediate medical services of Srila Gurudev, one would think that the best service was done by those who performed kirtans. Of this, there is no doubt. 
Srila Gurudev could have concluded his pastimes much before but he chose this way to make us realize that the process of Krishna-nama-sankirtan is the only way by which everyone could stay united for a single purpose. Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur had mentioned in his antim-vani (final instructions) to offer …

No Fear When Following in the Steps of His Gurudeva

Most Revered Srila Gurudev, by His causeless mercy, encouraged me and my wife Bosudha Dasi to travel with Him to different places in India on his preaching tour at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011. After touring North India and Assam we came to Kolkata in Dec. 2010. 

In the beginning of January 2011 there was an ongoing discussion among Srila Gurudeva's sevak team whether Srila Gurudev would be going to Chakdaha Jagannath temple for the annual festival or not as it was very cold there at that time. I was also afraid to go because I had just recovered from  illness.
One day, after Srila Gurudev's Tulsi parikrama, He was going towards His bhajan kutir and looking at my wife He asked her: "We will go to Chakdaha?" My wife responded that it depends on You (Gurudev). 
Gurudev smiled and then pointing at me He said: "Everything depends on him (me). We will go?" 

I replied that I heard it is cold but that it depends on You (Gurudev). 
Then Gurudev smiled and said:…

He Possesses All Qualities of Sri Guru as Described in the Scriptures

Firstly, I offer flowers at his lotus-feet and humbly pray to show mercy and accept the flowers offered to him by this fallen one. Just as the appearance day of the Lord himself is extremely holy, similarly his devotee’s appearance day is equally holy. Today is the appearance day of supreme human Lord Sri Ramachandra, and as today is also the appearance day of our revered Maharaj it definitely bears some kind of significance.

The Lord appears on the face of this earth in order to save the living world, in this respect our revered Vaishnava crown-jeweled Maharaj for the welfare of the living being of this world as per the wishes of the Bhagawatam and appeared on the face of this earth. God himself has said that more than my worship the worship of my devotee is great. Hence all of us will assemble together and offer our worships unto his lotus-feet. With that he will be extremely satisfied and happy with us and will shower us with his merciful blessings.

The most respected Maharaj- eng…