Math's Growing Glory
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
We have heard many things, we have come to this Math to the lotus feet of our Gurupadpadma, our Guru Maharaj, but still we have not been able to serve the Lord, we do not practise! We take initiation and when we go back to our home we keep our mala aside. When you go to a doctor, the doctor prescribes some medicine, but if you do not take the medicine, your disease will not be cured. So, if you take the chanting beads from Gurudev but do not chant, if you do not practise properly and do not follow the rules and regulations, you do not do service, do not worship, do not offer bhog and take prasad, then you will not get any result.
It is necessary to wake up early in the morning. You think, "It is OK, I will wake up later," then, when you wake up, you first go have a cup of tea, do some housework, etc. Some go and give obeisance to the Deity once a day, and their job for the day is finished at that. If you live like this, you will not get any result. "Sraddha-anusari bhakti-adhikari (শ্রদ্ধা-অনুসারী ভক্তি-অধিকারী, Cc, 2.22.64)—you will get as much devotion as much faith you have. Guru Maharaj said: there are 10% devotees, 20% devotees, 30% devotees, 40% devotees, etc. Why do you think he said this?
In his last years, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj said, "If Govinda Maharaj does not take charge of this Math, I will break the Math and give the Deity to some of my godbrothers in Mayapur." There were many people staying at that Math, but Gurudev was outside at that time, but Srila Sridhar Maharaj brought Gurudev from his home in a train and forcefully gave him sannyas and sat him on his singhasan—soon after that he left.
I asked Gurudev once, "Maharaj, why did you fight with your Guru Maharaj?" He asked me, "How do you know about this? It happened so long ago!" I replied, "I heard about it..." Then Gurudev said, "Oh, since you heard about it, then I will explain... Guru Maharaj had waited for thirty years when I would take charge of this Math. I had fallen into the illusory environment and could not come out of it, that is why he fought with me so much. At the same time, I thought if he gave me charge at that time, then he would leave. [Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's lifetime was supposed to be fifty-five years only, but by the wish of Prabhupad, he got almost ninety-three years.] If Guru Maharaj had given me charge immediately, he would have left, but does any disciple want their Gurudev to leave soon? That is why I had delayed as long as I could. I always said I would take sannyas later, I would take it later and in the end I could not delay any longer—Guru Maharaj said, 'I will commit suicide! If you do not take charge of this Math, I will commit suicide and you will be the murderer!'" That is how Gurudev took sannyas in 1985 and stayed at the Math...
At that time, there were only three temples—in Kolkata, Hapaniya and Nabadwip. This big building [Centenary Museum] was not there, almost everything that you see now was not there, and the few people who lived in the Math all eventually left.
Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj had so much faith and hope for Gurudev—he kept his Math with him and left, and you can see that now there are not just three temples—there more than 128 centres in Chaitanya Saraswat Math! Gurupadpadma [Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj] has made them, and now seva, puja, preaching, preaching of Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's conception are going on all over the world.
This Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's appearance day is coming—tomorrow is the festival and we are starting celebrating it from today. In many different temples, whether small or big, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's conception is preached today all around the world. You know Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj himself never went abroad, but Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj do and after he left Gurudev made twenty-five world tours and brought, through his world-wide loving search, so many Indian and foreign devotees...
Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur gave him the name "bhakti raksak"—guardian of devotion. This Srila Sridhar Maharaj composed so many beautiful verses. He composed the sloka Sri-gauranumatam svarupa-viditam..., he wrote about Bhaktivinod Thakur, "Guru-dam grantha-dam gaura-dhama-dam nama-dam muda..." We also sing his kirtan every day, "Jayare jayare jaya gaura saraswati..." and this kirtan about Mahaprabhu, "Jaya sachi nananda sura muni vandana..." Who wrote all this? All this is written by Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, and it is now sung in all temples.
jaya sachi-nandana sura-muni-vandana
All glory to Sri Sachi Nandan, who is worshipped by the demigods and sages! All glory to He who destroys all fear of material existence! All glory to the inaugurator of dancing and chanting the Lord's Names! All glory to He who removes the contamination of Kali!
nayana-purandara visvarupa snehadhara
Sri Sachi Nandan is the delight of everyone's eyes and affectionate to His brother Visvarup. He is the maintainer of the world and the embodiment of its good fortune. All glory to Laksmi Priya and Visnu Priya, who are dear to Visvambhar's heart! All glory to His dear servant Isan!
There was also one writer called Haribol Gosai. One time, he wrote a book and came here to give it to Srila Sridhar Maharaj. He was very old at that time. Gurudev came out to meet him, and having offered him obeisances, he asked,
"Prabhu, you have come?"
"I have written a book and have come to give it to Maharaj."
"But why did you have to come yourself? I could have come to you to take the book."
"Here in Nabadwip, and not only in Nabadwip, in the whole world, there is only one person besides the Lord at whose feet I can bow—that is Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. I keep my head at his feet, so as long as I am alive I will come. Do not stop me!"
Many came to Srila Sridhar Maharaj... Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Prajnan Keshav Goswami Maharaj [Keshav Maharaj took sannyas from Guru Maharaj], and others—all of his godbrothers came here to learn the siddhanta (perfect conception). Srila Madhav Maharaj also came here. One time, Madhav Maharaj came and said, "I want to come here all the time, but if we come here all the time, it will be a problem because there is no bathroom..." Receiving Guru Maharaj's permission, he arranged for a bathroom here—before that there was no money to build any bathroom, so they would go under a tree. Sakhi Charan Ray Bhakti Vijay would give ten rupees to Guru Maharaj and the temple ran with that money.
Actually, when Guru Maharaj came here in 1941, he made one small thatched house and having put up a flag on a long bamboo pole, he wrote a big sloka:
"In the Holy Abode of transcendental touchstone Sri Nabadwip Dham—the selfsame Sri Vrindavan, in the land of Koladwip, whose inner identity is the King of mountains Sri Govardhan, near the charming shores of the holy River Bhagirathi who delivers all the fallen souls, stands that grand and glorious King of all Temples—Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math."
All godbrothers laughed, "Sridhar Maharaj has only a small thatched house with a bamboo flag but he writes such a grand sloka!" But Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj could see that one day this temple would become great and that so many branches would spring up one day. And it happened. As Gurudev said, now the sun never sets on Chaitanya Saraswat Math—it is day now here, but somewhere it is night, somewhere it is morning and somewhere it is evening.
This is the temple you have come to, to serve the Lord...
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