Skip to main content

Offering His Heart Completely in Service

I understand that Guru Maharaj started to write the Kartik Handbook in 2002 out of compassion for foreign devotees who were coming to observe Kartik Vrata, as they had no guide to understand what was being spoken. For the benefit of all those devotees who could not understand Bengali or Hindi, Guru Maharaj took a very special effort to translate specially selected portions from Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur's Bhajan Rahasya.

During the time when he was compiling the Kartik Handbook, Guru Maharaj's extreme amount of care and affection was astounding. As I was listening to these pastimes being recounted, I could feel what genuine compassion Guru Maharaj had for all those persons requiring translation. Day in and day out, he was contemplating the very best words to use. While eating, sleeping, and taking bath, while doing any activity - he was only concentrating on that service. 


I have experienced personally also that we would sometimes feel the need to interrupt Guru Maharaj's service in order to help him attend to his practical needs. Sometimes we would push Guru Maharaj to the bathroom and say, ''Guru Maharaj, take bath, take bath,'' and we would forcefully give him gamsha in his hand and say,  ''Just wear this." He would then often go all the way to the bathroom door and then not enter and come back and start writing again. Why? Because he just cannot stop. He had something that he wants to finish and then he will do it with full dedication. Whatever service he performed, he gave his heart completely.


Sometimes when Guru Maharaj was exhibiting the pastime of forgetfulness, he might seem stuck at one place without finding the appropriate word to write. I would prompt him with one word and he didn't accept, and then another, and another - and still he was not satisfied. When I could not give any more synonyms, Guru Maharaj asked me to take that book, take this book, refer to this book.. refer to that book - and ultimately he would come up with such a word that we have not even thought about, so accurate and perfect! I would think, oh wow! how did I miss this word? so simple! It is our mentality, whatever we do we want to just quickly finish it off. Guru Maharaj never like that. 


He told me several times on different occasions, ''You should write in such a way that there is no misunderstanding possible there, because every word can carry different meanings. Now you have to understand from the perspective of a reader and try to give the meaning properly so there is no ambiguity left.'' 


I have heard that among the glories of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur's writing, one of the greatest aspects was that his words could not be interpreted this way or that way - there is only one single meaning that will come out of Prabhupad's words. Srila Prabhupad's writing is so crystal clear and perfect. Our Gurudev was also like that. 


—Prahlad Das



Honor this amazing gift that Gurudeva has given to us by referring to this devotional guide during Kartik Mas.

You may download the Kartik Handbook, Siksatakam and lila kirtans, and see videos for Gurudeva's Harikatha on each of the 8 periods of devotional service by visiting Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math website and following the links under "Kartik Month" on the right side.








Popular posts from this blog

His Life of Service is a Brilliant Light in a World of Darkness

His Holiness Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaja, 

I bow my head and prostrate my body at your lotus feet. 

Upon being invited to share my heart on the holy occasion of your Vyasa Puja, I am grateful.
 

I am remembering the precious times that we spent together, sometimes in the hills of Sri Brajabhumi or at other times in the hills of Marin County, California. Wherever in the world you are, you are ever absorbed in dispelling materialistic and impersonal misconceptions while sharing your heart's love for the divine service of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.

We have all been blessed by your heartfelt humility, deep wisdom of the Bhakti Sastras, and profound compassion to all beings. 

Your lifetime of loving service is a brilliant light that reveals, for people in this world of darkness, the infinite flow of grace that is forever descending from the hearts of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath and floods the world through the merciful Acaryas of our Gaudiya Parampara. On this sacred day of your…

A Great Fortune to Be in His Care

I had the good fortune to have the association of Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaja. His spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja was kind enough to allow me to stay in his ashram in Kolkata. He personally 
put me in the care of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaja while I was there.

Later, His Divine Grace Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja was made a trustee of AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Charity Trust. After his departure to the spiritual world, His Divine Grace Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja was kind enough to continue the role of being a trustee of the AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Trust.

It was customary that he would speak some Harikatha on the occasion of our meeting of those meetings He would speak so that we would all be reminded of our primary purpose of Krishna Consciousness to serve the Pancha Tattva with words, thoughts, and deeds.

From then on, year after year, I met with him to work out strategies on how to preserve the holy places o…

Remembering His Guwahati Lila as a Precedent for These Current Sickness Pastimes

The following observations and divine incidents related to Srila Gurudeva's sickness pastimes in Guwahati, 2013 were noted by Prahlad Das and sent out to those on the mailing list. We have compiled them here:

----

atah sri krishna namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuratyadah

The pastimes of Supreme Lord and His dear associates are beyond the comprehension of a material mind. But only to a surrendered soul performing loving devotional service, They are revealed.

Pure devotees descend from the Lord's Abode by Their own will and perform many extraordinary and seemingly ordinary pastimes. In the course of their every activity,  they instruct and inspire the souls of the world diseased with material vanity to perform loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord. But by playing the special pastimes of sickness they intensify the mood of loving exchange of surrendered disciples.

Srila Gurudev spoke volumes and enchanted many, especially those wh…