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Showing posts from December, 2016

His Divine Anger

One time Guru Maharaj (Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj), Gauranga Prabhu, and Tirtha Maharaj visited the appearance place of Srila Prabhupada in Puri Dham to pay obeisances. Suresh Prabhu and I were also present then. All of us took darshan, paid obeisances and were about to leave.

There was a tenant named Narayan Sahu who occupied 3-4 rooms upstairs. He used to sell pakoras (a type of fried food) that contained onion. In order to insult Guru Maharaj, he began to plead with him in Oriya language to accept pakoras from a poor man like him.

Guru Maharaj smiled and said, “Narayan Sahu knows very well that we don’t eat onions so we can’t accept it.”

But Narayan Sahu continued to plead. When he repeated the third time, Srila Tirtha Maharaj got very angry and his eyes became wide and turned fiery. He shrieked and chided that person. Whosoever was present got scared on seeing his fearful form. Foam was coming out from his mouth on both sides and his entire form became fearful li…

His Meeting with a Catholic Priest in London

On the morning of Monday, June 26, 2002, Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Gosvami Maharaj had a meeting with Father Alfred Agius, a Catholic (Jesuit) priest, who served as head of the Westminster Interfaith group, which encompassed greater London. This meeting was intimate, with only Maharaj, Father Agius, and a few other devotees present.

After exchanging introductions, Father Agius showed the devotees a number of nice publications he had assembled for the Westminster Interfaith group, demonstrating his sincere dedication to presenting religious perspectives from various faiths. After perusing these materials for some time, Maharaj engaged in conversation with Father Agius.

He explained the vital difference between the idea of the modern 'caste system', which is based upon birth, and the varnasrama system, which is based upon the character of a person. He showed how the varnasrama system is a natural thing.

He said, "If someone has the tendency to worship and study scripture…

Remembering Affectionate Exchanges Beyond this Lifetime

This morning, at around 9.30 AM, while Srila Gurudev was taking his breakfast, I conveyed the heartbreaking message of Parampujyapad Srila Narayan Maharaj's departure from this world. As soon as he heard, he was shocked.

"Left the body?" His mouth wide open in shock. He paused for a while and again said, "He left the body? I was informed that his health has improved. Is it not?"

I said that there was an improvement after what he had heard about Srila Narayana Maharaj's serious health trouble in October but that he left the body at about 3.00 AM today.

Srila Gurudev then said, “Everyone has to leave one day. Anytime anything can happen. This cause, that cause is just instrumental.”

He took his next spoon of breakfast and said, "He roamed a lot outside India even at his advanced age. What is good is that he left his body in India and that too in a Dham."

After a while, he asked about the Samadhi – when and where. I said it would be tomorrow in Navadvip.…

Surrendering to the Divine Professor

I came to Srila Gurudev Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj after becoming his first non-Indian full-time disciple initiated in 1995 at Sridham Vrindavan on Baladev Purnima at the end of the Radha-Govinda Jhulan Yatra Festival of Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math.

On my second trip to India in 1996, I approached him at this time with the idea to study Sanskrit. Gurudev replied, "You did not come to me, you came to learn something."

It meant I came with the desire not to serve the Guru but to learn something for myself. I clearly understood that Gurudev gave me a choice: to be an independent scholar in Sanskrit or to be his fully dedicated disciple.

I still insisted on studies anyway. Gurudev agreed with my desire and allowed me to live in Calcutta Math while I was attending Calcutta Sanskrit College, the same college where Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati studied 100 years before. A professor of Sanskrit there asked me, “What did you want to learn? We spent a lifetime i…

He Will Go, But He Will Not Go

One day Guru Maharaj suddenly got very restless and started saying, I have to go to Goalpara, I have to go to Goalpara! So Prasad Prabhu asked me to please explain to Gurudev that I think it's not right for him to travel at this point of time. "Why don't you wait?" I asked.

Very sweetly Guru Maharaj agreed, but when I went out, he started saying the same thing again– I have to go to Goalpara, I have to go to Goalpara!

That night, I had a dream of Guru Maharaj. I saw my childhood school where I studied until standard six. I saw the assembly area of that school and Guru Maharaj was lying there, lying so very still. I went there and put his head on my lap and asked, "What is happening? Why are you lying here?"

He told me, “I am going. I will go, but I will not go.” It didn't make any sense at that time to me.

The next day, I came to know that he forced everybody to go to Goalpara. Prahlad Prabhu informed me after some days that Guru Maharaj had become unw…

Understanding His Wellness is Beyond Medical Science

During those days when Guru Maharaj was becoming restlessness, he decided he will go to Goalpara. At that time, he would stay awake all night and wouldn't sleep most of the time. He wasn’t particularly very well from a doctor’s point of view, so we decided to take him for a one-day check-up.

I was standing at the entrance to the hospital and Guru Maharaj came with 4-5 people in his vehicle. He got down with a big smile on his face didn’t look at all like he was sick. Later he went into a ward where he could sit and wait until the rest of the things for the tests were arranged.

I learned later that he was told he was being taken to my house as my guest–the big, big hospital, otherwise, he would not have agreed to go. When they started injections and drawing blood, he immediately said, I will go back, I will go back! It was also difficult to get him into the MRI.

He came out and said, let’s go back to the math. From then on, when he felt a little unwell, we tried to see and underst…

Planting a Seed of Bhakti in His Doctor's Heart

I met Srila Gurudev in 2010 through a very long, circuitous network of phone calls and recommendations. When I first came to see Guru Maharaj, he was in his room downstairs in Kolkata. When I saw him for the first time, the main thing that struck me was what a childlike and innocent face he had, not that of a grumpy sadhu. We usually get a feeling when we meet sadhus that they are very serious persons, and we maintain distance. But he was very soft-spoken, smiling, and talked very slowly.

On that first visit, I gave him some medication and then left. Some months passed before I was to return. I was unfamiliar with that part of Kolkata and got lost on the way. After I became familiar with how to reach, I came more often whenever Guruji called.

On one of those visits, Guru Maharaj told his personal attendant to give me the book Affectionately Yours. Previously I had absolutely no idea of Vaisnava Philosophy. My family was associated with Ramakrishna Mission and worshippers of Kali Ma, l…

His Kirtan Transcends Time and Space

Words cannot begin to describe the immense good fortune I had to host a kirtan event for Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj at an ashram I was staying at in Hawaii. It was a kirtan to end all kirtans!

The divine atmosphere in his presence was full of sweetness. My heart was experiencing a dawning of nectar in his more than divine association. Adding to this surcharged atmosphere was the chanting of Bhutabhavan prabhu, his kindhearted disciple whose voice emulated a purity that was more than delightful, and a soulful resonance that was deeply soul-stirring.

As the evening went on, I felt like we were literally transported into a transcendental realm of incredible bliss, a sweetness beyond human conception – as if we were swimming in a vast ocean of pure honey-like bliss, an immersion that was manifesting due to his inconceivable holy presence; literally opening up the flood gates of the transcendental world of Goloka Vrindavan that was manifesting in this dimension. To say tha…