At Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur's
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
By the mercy of Gurudev, by the mercy of all the devotees of Chaitanya Saraswat Math, we have come with our Chaitanya Saraswat Math parikrama here, at the samadhi-mandir and bhajan-kutir of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur. This is a very important place.
This is the house where Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur stayed. At that time, there was no Mayapur, no temples, no great buildings that you can see now, even Mahaprabhu's very birthplace was hidden at that time. Who discovered the grand temple of Mahaprabhu's birthplace that you can see from here? Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur.
You know that our Param Gurudev Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj composed Bhaktivinod-viraha-dasakam where he wrote:
শ্রীগৌরানুমতং স্বরূপবিদিতং রূপাগ্রজেনাদৃতং
srigauranumatam svarupaviditam rupagrajenadrtam
"What was sanctioned by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by His descent was intimately known only to Sri Svarupa Damodara Goswami. It was adored by Sanatan Goswami and served by Rupa Goswami and his followers. Raghunatha Das Goswami tasted that wonderful thing fully and enhanced it with his own realization. And Jiva Goswami supported and protected it by quoting the scriptures from different places. The taste of that divine truth is aspired for by Brahma, Siva, and Uddhava, who respect it as the supreme goal of life. What is this wonderful truth? Sri radhapadasevana: that the highest nectar of our life is the service of Srimati Radharani. This is most wonderful. O Bhakti Vinoda Thakur, you are our master. It is within your power to allow them to bestow their grace upon us. You are in a position to bestow the highest gift ever known to the world upon us all. It is at your disposal. O Bhaktivinod Thakur, please be kind to us and grant us your mercy."
There is also another sloka written by Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj that explains the gift of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur to this world:
গুরুদং গ্রন্থদং গৈরধামদং নামদং মুদা
guru-dam grantha-dam gaura-dhama-dam nama-dam muda
"I perpetually offer my obeisance unto Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur. Guru-dam: he is the bestower of Sri Guru (Bhagavan Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur). Grantha-dam: he is the author of numerous commentaries, treatises, articles, novels and songbooks. Gaura-dhama-dam: he is the revealer of the abode of Sriman Mahaprabhu. Nama-dam: he is the giver of the Name. Bhakti-dam: he is the granter of pure devotion. Bhuri-dam: he is the bestower of an abundance of divine fortune."
(Sri Laghu-chandrika-bhasya, 1.8)
Who gave all you can see here today—this grand parikrama, temples, everything? Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur gave us all this. He composed many beautiful kirtans, books, scriptures. He wrote Jaiva-Dharma, Bhajan-Rahasya, Kalyan-kalpataru, Nabadwip-bhava-taranga, and so many other books. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur gave us scriptures (grantha-dam).
Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur gave us the holy dham (gaura-dham-dam). There was no Mayapur before—some Muslims used to live in this area and called it Miyapur. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur thought, "Everybody says that Nabadwip Dham, Mahaprabhu's birthplace, submerged into the Ganges. The Ganges may take it, but she will return it." Then, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur would go to bed very early in the evening, wake up at midnight and start chanting the Holy Name all through the night. One day, when he was chanting the Holy Name here on the roof of this house, he saw some transcendental light in distance. When the morning came, he took some people with him and went to the place the light had appeared. When he came there, he saw there was a big Tulasi garden. He asked some local people whose land it was, and they said nobody in particular owned it. Then he asked if they were cultivating anything on that land, and the locals explained that they had tried to cultivate jute, rice, etc. but whatever they had planted, nothing would grow there except for Tulasi trees. Then Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur understood, "This must be a special place." At that time, Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj was staying in Nabadwip. He was very old, around 135 years old, at that time. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur called him to come and see that place and Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj was brought there in a basket. When his servant put the basket down, Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj suddenly jumped out of the basket and began dancing, "Hari bol! Hari bol! This is Mahaprabhu's birthplace!"
Despite that, some apa-sampradaya (aul, baul, karttabhaja, neda, daravesa, sani, sakhibheki, jata-goswami) filed a case against Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur opposing his discovery. They claimed, "No, Mahaprabhu's birthplace is not on this island!" The court ruled that Mahaprabhu's birthplace was indeed in Mayapur, stating, "We would have never thought that Mahaprabhu's birthplace was still there in Nabadwip!" Some sahajiyas (aul, baul, etc.) of the time did think that Mayapur was in the area of the present day Nabadwip, but Gaudiya Vaishnavs had never thought that it could still be there. In this way, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur gave us the holy dham.
Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur gave us our Guru (guru-dam). Seeing so many apa-sampradaya in this world, he and his pious wife Bhagavati Devi went to Bimala Devi in the Jagannath temple where Srila Bhaktivinor Thakur prayed, "O Bimala Devi, please send me one person who will preach Mahaprabhu's true conception all over the world!" Then, our Param Param Gurudev appeared from the womb of Bhagavati Devi. His name was Bimala Prasad and later Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
If it was not for Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, how would we have got him? And if Srila Prabhupad had not come, how would we have got Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj? And if Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj had not established Chaitanya Saraswat Math, how would we have got our Gurudev then, tell me? Therefore, we must always remember Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur.
Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj explains all this in his sloka.
Also, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur is known as the seventh goswami, while he himself would say, "I am a sweeper of the market of the Holy Name!" Indeed, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur took a broom and swept all misconception sampradays far out.
At the end of our stay here, you can all go upstairs and see Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur's place. Now, we are going to chant one kirtan written by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur. After that, Sripad Tyagi Maharaj and Srila Ashram Maharaj will speak about the glories of Sri Nabadwip and Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur.
[His Divine Grace then chants the kirtan:]
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur also writes that Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur is the main person who preached about Nabadwip—he is the main general; and he is not an ordinary person—he was sent to this world by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself to preach about His conception and about Sri Nabadwip Dham. Therefore, we are paying obeisance to Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur and our Guru-varga and continue our parikrama on to Surabhi Kunja. Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay.
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