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He Melts The Heart

I had darshan of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj in India a couple of times and in the USA when he went to Phoenix one year. I remember being in so much anxiety to see him. I drove 7 hours from LA to Phoenix where He spoke at a new age center one evening. It was like heaven to see him, an oasis in the desert—literally!

The evening went by very quickly but it was magical. I have 2 outstanding memories of that evening. One guest asked Maharaj to bless his special crystal. Maharaj said no, we put our faith in the Holy Names, we do not give power to external things.What he said was beautiful and so perfect. I remember that the guest with crystal was taken aback at first but was melted by the pure devotee before him.

Then, after the class, I got an opportunity to speak with Maharaj alone. It was at the time when My Divine Guru Maharaj, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj became ill—toward the very end of our ability to see Him with external vision.…

The Powerful Effect of His Words Relate to His Divine Conduct

Sadhu is deena-vatsala. In Srimad Bhagavatam, Nimi Maharaj Navayogendra Samvad, it is said: just half a moment's association with a sadhu has the power to cut off and free an enslaved jiva from worldly life and tribunals. Such power is there in a sadhu's words whose conduct is one with his words and with the scriptures (virayavati katha).

Our Param Gurudev's disciple who is a house-holder hosted Paramgurudev and his group for 3 days at his place in Icchapur for katha before they proceeded on Navadvip Parikrama. Gurudev went to look after arrangements in advance and later stayed for few more days for some work after the program. Then the householder devotee told our Gurudev, if you do not mind, if you do not feel unhappy, I want to say something to you. Gurudev said, you have served so much. Speak your heart, I will not feel bad.
Then he said, your harikatha is just like our Gurudev’s, but the attraction and the power, the weight that is in Gurudev's katha is not felt in …

His Loving Presence During Our Godsister's Final Days

The following is a combined version of the previous 5 part series.

With Gurudev’s mercy, I have got inspiration to share this incident about my biological sister and godsister, Ashita Dhamir. She was initiated by Srila Gurudev ( Nityalila Pravishtha Om Visnupad Paramhamsa Shree Shrimad Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj Ji) on 31 Aug 2013 at Kolkata math.

She had a direct experience of Srila Gurudev’s mercy when she was admitted to the hospital because of pneumonia in March 2017. The doctors had diagnosed that she had got water clogged into her lungs. This made it difficult for her to breathe. She was put on life-support. The doctors advised us to get an operation, but also told us that the chances of her staying alive were very slim. The success rate of such a surgery was almost none.

My relatives who had gathered at the hospital were not ready to go for the heart operation because of the risk. In the midst of this highly stressful episode, my sister was praying to Srila Gu…

His Shanta Swabhav (Peaceful Demeanor)

tat te anukampam susamikshamana: most noble, peaceful— even those who act like enemies to him,  to them he is very friendly.

Under any circumstance, Srila Gurudeva is always seen peaceful and smiling, which is an exemplary character of a pure devotee as explained in the verse, tat te anukampam susamikshamana (Brahma Stava 10.14.8)

Once there was a delay of 5-6 hours when Gurudeva and the prachar party reached Bhatinda from New Delhi, reaching around 1 o'clock in the middle of the night instead of the scheduled time 6 in the evening.

Many of the devotees who arrived with Gurudeva were so tired that when they got rooms, they simply retired without even waiting to have prasadam. But when Gurudeva was to be offered food, Gurudeva's sevak found to his surprise that all the edibles prepared by devotees with love were all Punjabi foods— fried things like puris and spicy curries, and not a single item other than plain rice suitable for Gurudeva's offering.

There was no papaya sab…

His Ecstatic Kirtan on Srila BP Puri Goswami Maharaj's Tirobhav Tithi (Vrindavan, 1999)

Srila Gurudeva leads an ecstatic kirtan on Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaja's tirobhav tithi, 1999 at the Vrinda Kunja mandir, Vrindavan:

He Begged Door to Door When His Godbrother Became Ill

It was after 35 years after his [Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj] Guru Maharaj [Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur] gave the instruction to preach abroad that he was able to do so. He was a householder and he had a business, but it was not too successful.

Once he got tuberculosis. At that time tuberculosis meant the family will reject you. The medicine was too expensive, each day 120 rupees; at that time in 1950s, that was near 12,000 rupees daily. Due to the fact that it was an infectious and contagious disease, his family rejected him. This is not in our written history, only spoken.

That time Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami Maharaja said, for the service of my godbrother, I will beg door to door, and he brought him to his temple. At that time, Madhav Maharaj had a temple in a rented house in Rasbihari, Kolkata. It is not the building where the temple is now, but five blocks from there.

Madhava Maharaj kept him there for 6 months and every day gave 120 rupees for his me…

He Speaks and the Pastimes Descend

When Guruji narrates in Harikatha the pastimes of Supreme Lord, he brings that scene before our eyes. When we have heard Guruji speak Druva Charitra and call repeatedly Where is Padma Palash Lochan Hari? we would feel as though Druva is there in person, calling out to Supreme Lord.

When narrating Kurukshetra’s fire sacrifice, he calls, Gopal! Gopal! It is as though mother Yashoda is calling. His harikatha is full of divine mellow overflow with newer and newer sweetness and mellows. In his Harikatha, there is the presence of the Supreme Lord in person and so it is the bestower of extreme bliss. Just listening to his Harikatha one feels cleansed from all dirt within the heart and feels repentant. The mind feels encouraged, renewed in enthusiasm to pursue the devotional path. Hard hearts soften and melt.

We have never heard Gurudeva ever ask why you have arranged so many programs of Harikatha even when you might have fixed many harikatha programs of Guruji in a single day. In Dehradun o…

More Attachment to Him, Less to This World

Braj-Parikrama of 1996 gave a lot of unexpected spiritual gains. Golden opportunities were received — most coveted causeless mercy! The mood is so devotional during Kartik that one attracts showers of divine blessings effortlessly.

Srila Gurudev never allowed us to physically serve Him. Whenever I felt that Gurudev seems to be exhausted, I attempted to massage His lotus feet, only to be stopped by Him. When I insisted, I got an angry glance which weakened my resolve. I used to pray for this service opportunity, but it was beyond Gurudev’s mood of acceptance. He never expected any seva, any kind of service, from the disciples.

When we reached Goverdhan, Manasi Ganga was overflowing with its waters inundating lanes around its banks. Guru Maharaj had to move in the knee-deep waters while holding up His clothes. I was following behind. Suddenly I realized that I never got such opportunity before! Without wasting a moment, I bowed down and grabbed Manasi Ganga jal flowing behind His lotus…

His Last Visit to Sri Vrindavan Dham, 2011 (Videos)

The title of this post is not really accurate. Using the words "last "or "final" for anything related to Srila Gurudeva is not actual, as He is eternal. Nonetheless, this is the last time His darshan in Vraj could be perceived with material vision. He is always with Sri Krishna who never leaves Vrindavan. Lord and He are always there; coming or going are only apparent.

Srila Paramgurudeva Declares Him Future Acharya at Brahmanda Ghat

On one occasion we were performing Vraja Mandal parikrama with our Guru Maharaj [Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami Maharaj].When the parikrama party reached Brahmanda Ghat, [the place where Sri Krishna opened his mouth and showed the entire universe to Mother Yashoda] Guru Maharaj declared that Krishna Ballabh* is the future acharya.This was before he had even recieved sannyas.

I also recall that during his manifest pastimes, Guru Maharaj had given a letter to Pujyapad Jagamohan Prabhu wherein he had written that after his departure, Tirtha Maharaj will be the Acharya.I see Guru Maharaj’s full grace is upon Tirtha Maharaj.From beginning to date I have observed from his conduct that he has never anytime criticized anybody.His life is always so pure, without a blemish.
A long time ago someone in Assam asked Guru Maharaj [Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami Maharaj] that at present preaching is going on well, but in future what will happen to the math?I personally heard Guru Maharaj reply …

Remembering Him in Sri Vraja Mandal (Videos)

—edited by Radha Priya Dasi

Sharing His Darshan of Sri Vraja Dham

It was my greatest fortune that Most Revered Gurudev gave me the golden opportunity of being in His company during Kartik from the year 1983 onwards. In 2002, Brajamandal Parikrama, I had published few pastimes in and other websites. I am quoting here as follows:

His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj reached Vrindavana on 14 October 2002 for the one month long Vrajamandala Parikrama.

Speaking on the subject "Who will show us Vraja-dhama?", Srila Guru Maharaji said that only a tatvik-vrajavasi like Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarawati Goswami Thakur Prabhupad can give us the knowledge of Vraja-dhama. Quoting from Srila Prabhupad's discourses of the 1932 Parikrama of Vrajamandala, Srila Guru Maharaj explained the significance of doing circumambulation (Parikrama) of Braja dhama:

"This world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. All act as purushas and want to enjoy and lord it over others. If we want Sri Krishna to appear in …

He Reveals the Mysteries of Devotion

I have seen Gurudev perform his parikramas, Navadvip Parikrama, Vraj mandal parikrama always on foot, walking. So many other devotees and sanyasis who participate will return taking some conveyance to end their parikrama, but Gurudev would return along with the kirtan party only, even if it may be 8 o'clock, 9 o'clock or even 10 o'clock...

And when the kirtans slowed down, Gurudev would go to the front and would infuse such energy into those kirtans and take them further.  I have even heard Srikant Prabhu say he would get tired, but Guru Maharaj would never feel tired.Another thing is even after so much endeavor, Gurudev would come and sit for Harikatha and after speaking Harikatha would announce about the next day's parikrama details at the end of the session and then retire, and again in the morning during mangal arati, you will get darshan of Gurudev.

When he would take rest, nobody knows.Prabhupad says who can understandBhajan Rahasya, mysteries of devotion is the on…

No Interruption in His Service

All day Gurudeva would spend time writing lectures of Param Gurudeva and keep himself busy with service. Sometime around 9 in the morning he would take some rest. Once Param Gurudeva called for one brahmachari in the morning around 9 o clock but the brahmachari was sleeping. Later when asked for an explanation he said, "Tirtha Maharaj also sleeps that time..."

Param Gurudeva did not say a thing to him, but later in Hairkatha, he said, "A surrendered devotee's any activity is seva, even sleeping also is seva. But our following should not be imitation." He had so much love for Gurudeva and that day in the whole Harikatha he spoke on his beloved disciple—our Gurudeva.

When doing kirtans, our Gurudeva goes to a different plane altogether, he would be so engrossed in the kirtan that he would not have any awareness of his clothes or anything else around him. He is avadhuta— completely unbound by this world. Once in kirtan, his dhoti fell off he didn't even notic…

His Loving Accountability

Once devotees from Punjab requested Guruji to come there.  Then Guruji asked to make arrangements and book tickets after speaking with Srila Bhakti Prasad Puri Goswami Maharaj. In those days it used to be a big trip, some 15 days here, some 10 days there like that, and in total some 2-3 months.

One night at 1 o’clock, Guruji came to my room and was waking me up. He said, "Get up, get up."

I opened my eyes and saw Guruji.  I paid obeisances all the time thinking I am dreaming that Guruji has come to my room.  Then Guruji told me to go to send a telegram.  It was 1 o’clock night.  I knew one post office from where we can send a telegram. I took cycle from Paresh Prabhu and went.

Guruji did not sleep until I came back.  He was doing japa, Harinam in the library balcony.  He was seeing outside every now and then whether I was coming or not and he continued chanting.

One policeman stopped me and asked, "Where are you going Pandit ji?"  Seeing my kantihar and anga vast…

His Spiritual Solution for Every Problem

One time when Srila Gurudev was in abroad for preaching activities and to bestow mercy on some fortunate souls there, I had the opportunity to speak to him over the telephone when he was New Jersey.

Gurudev told that the doctors diagnosed a heart problem and gave some allopathic medicines to him.Those medicines were causing weakness and hence a disturbance for the performance of Nrityakirtans (dancing while performing kirtans).So he stopped taking the allopathic medicines and started on Homeopathic medicines.After that, he could perform Nrityakirtans.
I am of the opinion that through this Gurudeva instructed me that if any hindrance comes in the way of service to Supreme Lord, then without worrying about this temporary body we have to give up the thing that is causing hindrance.
On another occasion, one of our godsister’s health was not good.Sometimes evil spirits would possess her.Once when she and her husband were in Dehradun Math for the annual function, there also the evil spirit ent…

His Constant Example of Gentleness

It was in Bhatinda Math during Kartik in 2004. One devotee was engaged to remove flies from Srila Gurudeva's transcendental body with a small fan during first Yam session. On one day that devotee didn't come, so I was requested to do this service. When I sat next to Srila Gurudeva on the stage I saw how He was completely sincerely performing His devotional practice as a practitioner, as a disciple of His Gurudev, not having any kind of false pride of being "Guru, sitting above of so many disciples," not in the least.

So, I was removing flies with the fan, then at one time two of them came on different parts of Srila Gurudeva's shining transcendental body. With a bit of dissatisfaction on them and with a desire to remove them both at the same time I used a little bit more force to remove them, perhaps even with harshness or hostility. Srila Gurudev noticed it and looked at me with a bit of dissatisfaction. Almost immediately after that, that original devotee came…

The Joy of Hearing His Glories

Recently I visited Bagbazaar Gaudiya Math in the evening and I had a very nice conversation with a senior bramhachari who started to speak about the glories of Srila Gurudev (Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaja) when learned that I am His disciple.

He shared one of his experiences with Srila Gurudev when he was in New Delhi. Once there was a spiritual conference in New Delhi Gaudiya Math and the devotees who attended the conference were competent in the English Language but there was no one present who could speak in English to make them understand about the Gaudiya Vaishnava Philosophy. 
In the meantime, Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja entered (he was young and very strong that time) and immediately Bhakti Hriday/ Rakshak Hrishikesh Maharaj (disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura) proposed Srila Tirtha Maharaj to speak about the Gaudiya Vaishnava Philosophy in the English language. After that Srila Tirtha Maharaj started to speak profoundly about the Gaudiya Vai…

Although Grave, He is Also Very Humorous

Pūjyapāda Tīrtha Mahārāja was also very rasika, which in Bengali means ‘humorous.’ In Sarbhog, there was one young boy who visited us regularly and would always refer to pūjyapāda Tīrtha Mahārāja as peṭa moṭā sādhu, or a fat-bellied saint. Śrīpāda Mādhavānanda Prabhu was chubbier than pūjyapāda Tīrtha Mahārāja, who was in fact not so chubby, and so we were quite surprised to hear the boy use this term for pūjyapāda Tīrtha Mahārāja and not Śrīpāda Mādhavānanda Prabhu.

We could not understand why this young boy was repeatedly calling him this name, until one day I saw pūjyapāda Tīrtha Mahārāja alone with this boy. Mahārāja-jī was breathing in deeply to expand his belly, which he would then show to the boy. We then understood why the boy was calling pūjyapāda Tīrtha Mahārāja peṭa moṭā sādhu.

Although pūjyapāda Tīrtha Mahārāja was usually very grave and busily engaged in attentively hearing hari-kathā and serving the Vaiṣṇavas, he also had a sense of humor.

 Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-l…

He Never Complains

I witnessed many times in religious assemblies that Srila Gurudev was speaking Harikatha the whole day through due to the scheduling of so many programs in a day with absolutely no time for him to rest. 

I heard Srila Gurudev say that Vaishnavas have arranged so many programs so that my mind be engaged in thoughts of SupremeLord and so that my mind does not get to think of worldly matters. He never complained nor questioned any organizer as to why so many programs were fixed in a day.I have always seen him converse very patiently.

Considering every activity as Supreme Lord’s will he remained quiet and peaceful always.Never had I heard or seen in my spiritual life that he was in a disturbed state of mind anytime.
—Vishvambhar Das (B. L. Chotani), Manasa 

Translated from Sri Krishna Chaitanya Sandesh July-Oct, 1997 (Year 17, Issue No.4, Page 47-49) 

His Incomparable Contribution to the Vaishnava Family

Dear Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaja,
Please accept my most humble obeiscances and all glories to your most revered Gurudev, Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj, and all glories to His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
You are a first class Vaishnava and one of those who inspire thousands around the world to follow the footsteps of the Sri Pancha Tattva and the chanting of the Maha mantra Hare Krishna.
I have known Your Divine Grace since 1999 and it has been a big fortune for me to see how you and our Guru Maharaj Srila Jayapataka Swami meet and work together, to make the Holy dham and the Vaishnava community better, in tune with the orders of both of your revered Gurudevas. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja.
At your Gurudeva's ashram, our Gurumaharaja came first upon his arrival to India. This shows the respect and love that S…

He Offers a Seat of Honor to Everyone

During Jhulan festival in Vrindavan, Guru Maharaj was speaking Harikatha in the evening. Suddenly an unknown saint quietly came and sat down to hear Guruji’s Harikatha. He looked like a sanyassi but he was not carrying a tridanda. Guruji did not recognize him. He inquired about the saint and arranged to get him a seat.

Guruji explained that out of fear of an offense, he had to arrange a seat for the saint. In this way, there was a break to his Harikatha. Guru Maharaj then spoke about a similar instance that occurred during the time of Param Gurudev and also advised us to be cautious by always giving respect to others. He told us that we need to give special attention to our devotional practices. If we do not give attention to respecting others, then our devotional practices will be destroyed.

Not only this, Guru Maharaj does not even consider his own disciples as disciples, but as friends. Therefore in his conversations, he addresses them very respectfully. Having great regard for di…

He Answers Devotee's Questions Without Their Needing to Ask

Whenever any question arises in my mind for which I wish to seek an answer from Guru Maharaj, just by sitting in front of him and without having to ask, the answer to the question is often received.

Once when Guru Maharaj was in Bhatinda, there was a discussion in our house to ask Guru Maharaj whether his coming to math was by running away from home or was it with the permission of parents.While thinking so when we reached Guruji’s room we saw that Pandieji and his wife from Jalandhar were sitting.

Pandeji’s wife was crying because their son Bhagavan Das Prabhu had become math-vasi.  As a mother, she felt that if he stays at home then it is good.Srila Gurudev convincingly told her that there is no reason for her crying and that he had come for the Supreme Lord’s service only.  He continued, "Even I came to math running away from home," and he told his story in detail.

—Partha Sarati Das (Om Prakash Lumba)

Chaitanya Sandesh July-Oct, 1997 (Year 17, Issue No.4, Page 56-60) 

Srila …

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:…