Exalted, Esteemed, and Inimitable
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
I am very happy to see you all. You have been waiting for me, but you know that today was a very busy day. It actually started from yesterday—yesterday was also a busy day. So many devotees, so many sannyasis and brahmacharis have come from other Maths to join the festival, and a grand festival happened here.
We have no quality or qualification to glorify Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. He is a super personality.
You know that when Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was leaving his body, at the time of his disappearance, he wanted to hear the Gaudiya-sampradaya-jivatu—the kirtan "Sri Rupa manjari-pada ei mora kirtana, ei mora bhajana pujan"—from Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's mouth. This is how everybody understood that Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur had given the super, special power and the highest preaching conception, the highest conception of rasa-panchadhyaya (intimate pastimes) of Radha-Krishna to Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj.
I also heard from Gurudev (Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj) how powerful Param Guru Maharaj was. Gurudev said, "If you look at me, at what my previous position was, you can see how powerful Guru Maharaj was. He gave me so much strength, so much mercy, and so much power. I was in a hellish position—I fell into a well and was barking from there like a dog, but Guru Maharaj picked me up from that well. This is how powerful he is." One time, Gurudev asked, "Do you know why I cannot leave Chaitanya Saraswat Math even though I am suffering so much? Sometimes I want to stay in America, but what can I do? I cannot leave this position because Guru Maharaj gave this burden, this position to me..."
Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj had actually waited for thirty years to give this chair and position to Gurudev. One time, he said to Gurudev, "If you do not take this position—if you do not take this chair—I will demolish the Math and give the Deities to my godbrother." In the end, in 1985, Srila Sridhar Maharaj sent one of his disciples to bring Gurudev from Kolkata to Nabadwip, and when Gurudev arrived, he said to him, "If you do not take the decision now—if you do not take this chair, if you do not accept this proposal and take the responsibility for Chaitanya Saraswat Math, I will commit suicide and you will be liable for that condition because I will commit suicide because of you. You will be the killer of the Guru." This is what Srila Sridhar Maharaj said to Gurudev. Gurudev was forced to take the charge...
Some time ago, there was also one big writer in Nabadwip (an outside writer). He was an old man, more than ninety years old, and wrote many books. One day, he came to the gate of the Math by rickshaw. When Gurudev saw him, he said to him, "How did you come here by rickshaw? You are so old and took so much austerity!" The man replied, "I wrote a book and came here to give it to Pujyapad Srila Sridhar Maharaj." Gurudev said, "Why did you have to come yourself? If you had sent a message with somebody, I could have come and brought the book for Guru Maharaj myself." The man said then, "You cannot stop me! There is only one person at whose lotus feet I bow down my head—it is Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. You can cannot stop me—I will do my duty until my death. I will always come once a year not just to give him a book, but to simply bow my head down at his lotus feet."
You know that when Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj wrote his Bhakti Vinod Viraha Dasakam and when Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur saw the sloka "Sri-gauranumatam svarupa-viditam...", he said, "Very happy style." Bhakti Siddhanta Sarswati Thakur was very happy and pleased with it.
One time, during the inauguration of the Madras (Chennai) temple, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj had done some service before the fire sacrifice started and before some other duties were done. His godbrothers chastised him, "This is Prabhupad's duty! Why must Sridhar Maharaj go to do it forcefully?" Srila Sridhar Maharaj thought, "Perhaps, I have made much offence..." He went to Srila Prabhupad and confessed, "Prabhupad, this is your service, but I had done it before you... I am thinking I am an offender, I have made an offence..." Prabhupad said to him, "There is no offence for a surrendered soul (saranagatir kono aparadh haya na)." This is the main thing.
Also, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj wrote a song about Srila Prabhupad, you know it, we always sing it, "Sujanarvuda-radhita-pada-yugam / yuga-dharma-dhurandhara-patra-varam." He also wrote Sri Sri Prema Dhama Deva Stotram,
Later, the Supreme Lord travelled to the holy places of pilgrimage in South India with the clever intention of delivering the fallen souls. Appearing as a beautiful young renunciate, He distributed the sweet Names of the Lord, singing: "Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna he," as He strolled down the different pathways, entered temples, and visited homesteads during the sacred pilgrimage. Infused with an inconceivable type of divine inspiration, the Lord freely chanted "Rama Rama" and joyfully danced with the most charming gestures. Irrespective of time or personal qualification, the assembled bystanders were delivered by the Lord, who inspired them to chant Krishna's Holy Names. I offer my obeisances to that beautiful Golden Lord, Gauranga Sundar, the divine form of Krishna prema.
(Prema-dhama-deva Stotram, 22)
Pujyapad Srila Bhakti Prajnan Keshav Maharaj (Srila Sridhar Maharaj's godbrother, who later took sannyas from him) said once, "No one can duplicate two things of Srila Sridhar Maharaj—one is his temple's domes, and the other one is his Prema Dhama Deva Stotram. No one can duplicate or copy that—no one can do it."
This is how Srila Sridhar Maharaj conquered, possessed the heart of Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur—through his service and through his devotion.
He had some very special qualities—he had very good intelligence, disinterested nature and strong common sense. He was never interested in material things... That is why all of his godbrothers came to see him, even after disappearance of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, so many of his (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj's) disciples, so many of his followers came to Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Nabadwip, Koladwip, to take his shelter. They wanted to hear something about Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, about Sri Sri Radha-Krishna's pastimes, about the Rupanuga-lila. When they all came and took shelter at Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's lotus feet, they thought, "We have got so much nourishment from him! Now we are cool [at peace]—we have some hope."
So, today is the disappearance day of this Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. It is a viraha tithi, a separation day. Gurudev named his samadhi temple Union in Separation. In separation, you feel more desire to get Krishna, to come to Gurudev, you always think, "O, when will I be able to see you? When?..." Just as when Krishna left Vrindavan, Srimati Radharani felt so much separation, and She lived in Vrindavan with that separation...
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