Invoking Vaishnavs' Mercy
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Sripad Bhakti Kamal Madhusudan Maharaj was a disciple of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, and he took sannyas from Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. His temple, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Math, is in Mayapur.
AFTER SRILA PRABHUPAD
Actually, when Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur left this world, in 1937, the devotees first tried to make Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj the acharya of the temple, but Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj could not continue with them, so he left the Mission (Chaitanya Math) and went to Vrindavan.
All his godbrothers asked him to return, and he also soon got some inspiration from Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur saying, "Why are you here? I made you the acharya of the Rupa Goswami's sampradaya, Rupa-Raghunath's sampradaya, but who will save it? You must come back."
He came back. All his godbrothers—Vinod Babu (later Bhakti Prajnan Kesav Maharaj), Mahananda Prabhu (later Bhakti Kamal Madhusudan Maharaj), Jajavar Maharaj, and Ashram Maharaj, Nrisinghananda Brahmachari (later Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Maharaj) and others—joined together and in 1940 started a new mission, Devananda Gaudiya Math. They made a meeting and decided to make Srila Sridhar Maharaj the acharya of that temple.
As you know, Srila Sridhar Maharaj knew the rules and regulations and had a strong common sense. He made some rules at the temple. The rule was this: everybody had to come to the class and not take books from the library and read them on their own. Srila Sridhar Maharaj make an order in this way, but somebody did not agree. Srila Sridhar Maharaj said, "You have made me the president of this temple, but you cannot follow what I say, then why will I be the president here?" He left.
FOUNDING CHAITANYA SARASWAT MATH
He left Devananda Gaudiya Math and rented some land. It is the same land where his bhajan kutir is now. At that time it was just a plot of land, and he borrowed some bamboo and straw from somebody and made a thatched house. It was 1941. Do you know how he lived at that time? His pillow was a brick, and the mattress was some straw and sacks. No toilet, no bathroom...
Gradually, some godbrothers came to live with him. Jajavar Maharaj, Mahananda Prabhu (Bhakti Kamal Madhusudan Maharaj), Nrisinghananda Brahmachari (Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Maharaj), and some householder devotees also (Sakhi Charan Prabhu, and others). Sakhi Charan Prabhu gave Srila Sridhar Maharaj ten rupees per month for his temple expenditure. This is how the Mission started here.
They lived here and soon started Nabadwip Dham parikrama. Srila Sridhar Maharaj sometimes went to preach also. Our Chaitanya Saraswat Math's preaching started from Nadanghat—Srila Sridhar Maharaj first went there. Sometimes he also sent some brahmacharis. 'Some brahmachari' means some of his godbrothers—at that time he had not started giving initiation, making disciples. His godbrothers lived all together, and eventually one by one they started taking sannyas from him—Bhakti Kamal Madhusudan Maharaj, Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj, and many others.
When Srila Prabhupad expired, Goswami Maharaj (Aprakrita Prabhu at that time) left his brahmachari life: he returned to his house and got married. Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj came to him and asked, "You are a strong preacher, a strong leader, but after Prabhupad left you came back to your house... Come back." He replied, "All right, I will leave my family and return, but only if you give me sannyas." Goswami Maharaj thought that Srila Sridhar Maharaj would not give him sannyas because he did not give sannyas to Keshav Maharaj, but Srila Sridhar Maharaj promised, "Yes, I will give sannyas to you." Then Goswami Maharaj left his family and again came and joined the mission.
All the stalwarts were here. Srila Guru Maharaj gave them sannyas and said, "I gave you sannyas and made you a Guru, and if you can go preaching and give initiation yourself, I have no objection." So, Madhusudan Maharaj, Goswami Maharaj, and others went preaching and made their own disciples, but they would bring their disciples here to Chaitanya Saraswat Math, and sometimes they would bring also people here for Srila Sridhar Maharaj to initiate. Srila Sridhar Maharaj had no objection.
SPREADING THE MISSION
Everybody knew at that time that Srila Sridhar Maharaj's horoscope said his lifetime was fifty-five years, so some thought that he would not be alive more than fifty-five years, so they could take over the temple. They thought this, but when Gurudev came and joined the mission in 1947 and they saw that Srila Sridhar Maharaj had so much love and affection for him, they realised, "We cannot take over the temple because the next acharya is already here." So, one by one they all left the temple, and Srila Sridhar Maharaj did not mind it—he supported them in many ways.
Bhakti Kamal Madhusudan Maharaj also left the temple, but he would come here from time to time. He would come through the old gate and go from the gate to the bhajan kutir of Srila Sridhar Maharaj paying full obeisance, and at each obeisance he paid he would get up and say, "Nyasisvaram Sridharam. Nyasisvaram Sridharam. Nyasisvaram Sridharam."
...Srila Sridhar Maharaj had no objection that they left, and he gave some mercy to them, "I have made you a guru, so if you can make your own ashram, I have no problem with that, I have no objection. I have given you sannyas and you can make your own mission."
Even during Srila Guru Maharaj's last years, not so many years ago, Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj also wrote a letter to him, saying, "Maharaj, I have only one temple in Kalna, but I would like to make a temple in Mayapur. What is your desire? I want your mercy, and if you can choose some land, I will take it." Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj agreed and recommended some land to him...
They all always had so much love and affection, so much honour for Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, and in this way they expanded this mission so much. All these disciples of Srila Prabhupad were so broad-minded and scholarly...
When Madhusudan Maharaj gave a lecture, do you know what he said every time at the end? Gurudev told me. At the end of all his lectures he prayed to the devotees, "You are all devotees of Gurudev, of Srila Guru Maharaj, of Srila Prabhupad. I am a fallen soul, I have no qualification, but I have taken sannyas... Please, you all protect my sannyas."
Today is his appearance day. Wherever he is staying now, whether in Goloka Vrindavan or anywhere else, we are praying to him, "Wherever you are now, please give us some mercy. You have got some association of Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, and of Srila Gurudev...."
The mercy of Vaishnavs is always necessary. "Krpa vina na dekhi ara—without your mercy I see no other way". Devotees' mercy, Guru-varga's mercy is our only hope, our patheo (পাথেয়, journey fare)—that is our main wealth, main property. Otherwise we have nothing: we need mercy of the Guru-varga, of the Vaishnavs, otherwise we cannot proceed...
Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur also searched Nityananda Prabhu's mercy. Do you know that? Bhakti Vinod Thakur also said, "When will Nitai give me His mercy? When will my material desires leave my heart?" Param Guru Maharaj always sang this in his last days. Only mercy from the Guru and Vaishnavs is necessary—otherwise we cannot proceed in our practising life...
Gurudev said also that everybody does some service, and you may have one leg already in Vaikuntha, Goloka Vrindavan, and one leg still outside, but maybe because of your karma, maybe because of your ignorance, that leg can also come out of Vaikuntha. What Gurudev said is very important: our whole life we do service, but because of only a simple matter we can immediately fall down and be removed from our service, removed from our goal and destination. We must always remember it...
+ PRANAM MANTRA
Pranam-mantra of Srimad Bhakti Kamal Madhusudan Maharaj, composed by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj:
dirgham saumya-vapur navaruna-bahir-vasas tridandanvitam
"I offer my obeisance unto the great Guru Srimad Bhakti Kamal Madhusudan Maharaj. His tall, tranquil form, adorned with a tridanda and garments the colour of the newly risen sun, is the embodiment of mercy. He is an affectionate king amongst the Gaudiya Vaishnava sannyasis, an ocean of Vedantic knowledge, and always rapt with the ecstatic taste of Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga's kirtan."
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