• Home
  • News
  • Authors
  • Places
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Books
  • Events
  • Tags
  • Quotes
  • Search
  • Sign In
  • Sign Up
  • The Vaishnavas' Grace

    Rasikananda Prabhu
    Srila Dayita Madhav Maharaj
    Bhagavan Srila Saraswati Thakur
    Srila Swami Prabhupada
    The disappearance day of Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj. — Bhaktivinod Thakur’s recognition of Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj. — The discovery of Mayapur. — Rasikananda Prabhu. — All the mystic powers and liberation are at the devotees’ disposal. — Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Maharaj, “a man of volcanic energy”. — Srila Goswami Maharaj visits Puri in 1974: “Do’s and Don’ts”. — An attempt to enter the Jagannath temple. — Affectionate guidance of Madhav Maharaj for Goswami Maharaj in Puri. — Mahaprabhu never tried to change anything in Puri. — “Humiliation is the most intense form of consciousness”. — Proper parikrama guidance. — The God-brothers of our Guru are to be seen as Guru. — Nityananda-vamsha: Srila Swami Prabhupada’s first initiation. — On title “Prabhupad”. — Bhagavan Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. — Bhagavans of the Bhagavatam. — We want the grace of the Vaishnavas, so do not analyze them to the point when you are no longer a recipient of their grace.

    Chiang Mai 2019 - The Vaishnavas' Grace

    Author: Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Cycle: Chiang Mai 2019 Uploaded by: Priyanana Created at: 12 March, 2019
    Duration: 00:54:39 Date: 2019-03-07 Place: Gupta Govardhan Chiang Mai Downloaded: 361 Played: 843
    Transcribed by: Enakshi Devi Dasi, Radha Raman Prabhu

  • Transcript
  • Description
  • Bookmarks
  • Quotes
  • Download
  • Transcript

    Goswāmī Mahārāj: [singing]
    śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
    sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
    śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca||(Cc: Antya-līlā 2.1.2−4)
    tasmai maha-prema rasa-pradaya
    caitanya-candraya namo namaste||(Caitanya-candramrtam: 11)
    Hare Kṛṣṇa. Today is the Disappearance of Śrīla Jagannāth Dās Bābājī Mahārāj. What is his mantra written by Guru Mahārāj? [long pause] How does it begin? Anyone remember? Jagannāth... Anyway.... [clearing throat] Vaiṣṇavam-vṛddha (vṛddha-vaiṣṇavam)...
    Devotee: [inaudible]
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Huh?
    Devotees: [inaudible]
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Speak aloud.
    Devotee: Gaura-vrajāśritāśeṣair...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: ...śeṣair...
    Devotee: …vaiṣṇavair vandya-vigraham...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: ...ham...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj and Devotee: ...jagannātha-prabhuṁ vande...
    Devotee: ...premābdhiṁ vṛddha...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: ...premābdhiṁ vṛddha...
    Devotee: ...vaiṣṇavam.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: ...vaiṣṇavam.
    Note: Actual mantram:
    vaiṣṇavair vandya-vigraham
    jagannātha-prabhuṁ vande
    premābdhiṁ vṛddha-vaiṣṇavam)
    To say... you know, the most most senior amoungst the Vaiṣṇavas. And, they're actually Vaiṣṇavas of the highest quality is quite a statement of recognition, indeed. And, also Rasikānanda Prabhu and Śrīla Bhakti Dayitā Mādhava Mahārāj. So, Jagannāth Dās Bābājī Mahārāj, we hear, that he lived until a hundred, twenty-five years of age. That he was the veṣ Guru of Bhāgavat Dās Bābājī, who gave veṣ to Gaura Kiśor Dās Bābājī Mahārāj.
    And, we hear he gave veṣ to Śrīla Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur. But, really it's Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur's recognition of him that is most meaningful to us. As when, Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur feels that he has discovered the birthplace of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, in Māyāpur. But, as Śrīla Guru Mahārāj says, “One should not be overly confident in their own estimation of things.”
    So, he's saying, “Vaiṣṇavas, they're always seeking the guidance, the approval of higher Vaiṣṇavas.” What Guru Mahārāj says, you know, more experienced, reliable, and to verify what they feel, hrdayenabhyanujnato, yo dharmas tam nibhodhata (Manu-smṛti: 2.1.2). At last, what is felt in the heart; verified in the heart, but still they like that from the heart of another Vaiṣṇava, some approval. So, Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur arranges for Jagannāth Dās Bābājī Mahārāj to visit Māyāpur.
    We know like here, Tulsī Devi is asserting herself in different ways, everywhere springing out of the soil. So, it's truly a vṛndā-van—a forest of Tulsi. But, when Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur was searching on the... The British made maps of everything. And, there was some place, and that was called... the way they spelled it was M-Y-A-P-U-R, like, My-Apur; Myapur. So, he went there and the local Muslim farmers, said, “Oh, there's some land over here that is useless. We've tried cultivating many different crops there, and nothing grows there except tulsi.” Right.
    And, they're saying, “Oh, that place I said only tulsi will grow from it's soil.” And, he received some Divine indication that this is the place of the Appearance of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya Mahāprabhu. But, still he wants the corroboration and approval from the, you know, Vaiṣṇava Sārvabhauma Śrī Jagannāth Dās Bābājī Mahārāj. The premier, most senior, and leader of the Vaiṣṇavas of the day. Who's so old at the time, we're told, he cannot walk and is rather carried in a like wicker basket, rattan, or whatever that... you know...
    And, we've seen that. People think that's strange, it's said. In India, previously, different... pālkī, they call it. Kind of short for palanquin. Some people who were not fit, would be carried up to Badrināth. So, there's this way that the basket fits on the person, and the man sits in the basket, and they carry them. You might have seen that still. It's in certain places it's there. So, he's carried by his attendant. And, we're told that at the time also, as we've seen in the paramparā picture, that he's hunched backed. Although, a tall figure at this time, that due to advanced age when he's hunched over.
    And, what would generally be described invalid. As Śrīla Gurudev would sometimes say, “I may be invalid but my friends are valid.” [laughing] But anyway, so Jagannāth Dās Bābājī Mahārāj, Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur brings him there. And, he's so overwhelmed by the spiritual atmosphere and substance, that we're told he leaps out of his basket and into the air. And, he's taking the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa.
    So, he's leaping like a meter off the ground in ecstasy. And, that's the verification. Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur says also in his, I believe, in the Kalyāṇa-kalpataru. That, on an Ekādaśī once, that Jagannāth Dās Bābājī Mahārāj overwhelmed on that day, taking the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, and leaping high, and dancing. And, all different ecstatic symptoms were visible on his divine form. And, he, by his mercy extended them to all of those who were participating in the kīrtan. So, what he was experiencing, he extended to them, they had that experience—such is the power of such great souls.
    And, that Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur, Gaura Kiśor Dās Bābājī from him they want their substantial connection, is also very telling. And, Rasikānanda Prabhu, disciple of Śyāmānanda. We hear from Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākur, muktiḥ svayaṁ mukulitāṣjaliḥ sevate’smān, dharmārtha-kāma-gatayaḥ samaya-pratīkṣāḥ (Kk: 107.3−4), that the, actually, everything is at the disposal of a pure devotee, as everything is at the disposal of Kṛṣṇa. Right.
    As they say, “We serve at the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa.” But, the devotees, they're rarely employing anything. They prefer to live in the minimal way. But, at a moments notice, muktiḥ is ready to serve, you know, everything, mystic power, whatever it'd be. They're all ready... they're ready to offer themselves in service to such exalted personalities, the personification of these things. So, we hear, that one Muslim Fakir—means like mystic—who'd heard of the glories of Rasikānanda Prabhu wanted to have his darśan, to meet him.
    And, for his entrance, he chose to arrive riding a tiger. Right. So, he's controlling the tiger, and things you know, this is an impressive way to show up. You know. So, he comes in riding on a tiger, “I've come to see Rasikānanda Prabhu.” And, he meets Rasikānanda Prabhu's attendant. He says, “Oh, you want... one minute please, please.” And, he goes and finds Rasikānanda Prabhu, who's sitting on a broken brick wall and brushing his teeth with a twig. Right. He said, “There is one Muslim Fakir who's come to see you.”
    And, he's saying, “Oh, I, you know, I... I should receive him immediately. This wall, take me to the Fakir.” And, the broken brick walls start carrying him. So, the Fakir gets down from his tiger, and gives his daṇḍavats. And, he thinks, “I can control the animate, but he's making the inanimate move.” [laughing] He commanded the wall to move. Such is the power of the great souls. So...
    And, Śrīla Bhakti Dayitā Mādhava Mahārāj, known in Gauḍīya Maṭh as Hayagrīv Brahmacārī. Whom Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur described as a “Man of volcanic energy.” And, Guru Mahārāj said, “That when Mādhava...” Mādhav Mahārāj would always come to see Guru Mahārāj. Stay there a few weeks every year at the Maṭh. And... He told Saraswatī Ṭhākur of the glories of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. That whether any... Whether it's an ancient Sanskritian or a modern educated European, Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj represents Śrī Gauḍīya Maṭh, in such a way, as to demonstrate it's superiority—to any conception presented to him.
    And, he said, “That Mādhav Mahārāj different Vaiṣṇavas approach to sevā-ācārya differently.” So, Mādhav Mahārāj showed a very, maybe stern figure to his disciples, a very perfect representation of the Ācārya. So, when he would come to visit Guru Mahārāj, he was playing like a child, laughing, eating, you know, many different things, and like just having fun with Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, Śrīla Gurudev at Śrī Chaitanya Saraswat Maṭh. And, he used to say to Guru Mahārāj, “You're the best advisor to a King, but you wouldn't be a good King.” [laughing]
    And, Guru Mahārāj would say, “I have no aspirations to be a King.” You know. He's not... inclined for that position. And, their preaching party, imagine this, Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj, Śrīla Mādhava Mahārāj, Śrīla Goswāmī Mahārāj. The three of them, they're like a preaching party in Gauḍīya Maṭh. And, Saraswatī Ṭhākur use to refer to them as “My party.” Right. Some special connection he felt for them. And, just imagine, then Swāmī Mahārāj Prabhupād invites them to his house for a program. So, Śrīla Prabhupād; Swāmī Mahārāj it's his house program and who's coming but, Śrīdhar Mahārāj, Mādhava Mahārāj, and Goswāmī Mahārāj. That's quite a program. [laughing] And, they said, “Śrīdhar Mahārāj would speak, Swāmī Mahārāj and Mādhava Mahārāj would do the kīrtan, and Goswāmī would collect.” [laughing]
    So... But... So, we heard of the glories of Śrīla Mādhava Mahārāj, and also that he's also very handsome. And, it was one of the reasons why he was not selected to go to Europe; to London. Is that he was so handsome and someone said, “And, the ladies of England are like Apsarās.” [chuckling] They'd be to much attracted to him, so someone else was selected. At that time, Goswāmī Mahārāj.
    But, it was our good fortune, in the early 70's, these great disciples of Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur were still moving in the plane of service in... in India—in various places, where they established Maṭhs. And... So, like the autumn, I guess it was, of 1974 on my way out of India. I wanted to visit Jagannāth Purī before I returned. I've been to Vṛndāvan, Navadwip, Māyāpur... I thought, “If I can visit Jagannāth Purī, then I'll be very fortunate and happy.”
    And, so I went to the station and I violated some of the advice the more experienced devotees had given, which was... There're certain like, do's and don'ts. And, one of the major don'ts was never ride the train in third class unreserved. Just like, never do that. Like, I didn't even know what it was, but they said, “But, never do that.” And, I remember, when I... this decision to go to Purī, I didn't have time to get a proper ticket and everything. And, the only thing available was third class unreserved. And, I saw on that train car all the stages of life—from birth to disease, old age, death, everything was there in one rolling, rollicking ride.
    It was something I shall never forget. [laughing] But, before getting, boarding the train, third class unreserved. When I reached the Hovrath Station, I saw this angelic, you know, distinguished, handsome looking sannyāsī, perfectly adorned in sannyās-veṣ. And, it was Mādhav Mahārāj; Śrīla Bhakti Dayitā Mādhava Mahārāj. And, I gave saṣṭāṅga-daṇḍavats to him at Hovrath Station. And, if you know anything about Hovrath Station, it hasn't won any awards, like on cleanliness. [laughing]
    But, there was no hesitation I've heard, just saṣṭāṅga-daṇḍavat. It just seeing him I felt compelled for saṣṭāṅga-daṇḍavat. And, when I rose, he asked me what I was doing. I said, “I'm going to Purī.” He said, “Oh, I'm also going to Purī.” He was going first class reserved. And, I might have mentioned, that I was going third class unreserved, which one should never do. [laughing] And... So, he, you know, was very happy to see that I was going to that place. And, he was going to perhaps that... to the Puruṣottam Gauḍīya Maṭh of Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur. He's originally from Dacca, Bangladesh. But, that sevā came to him.
    So, anyway then we parted and, he went to his car, I went to mine. And, when I arrived in Jagannāth Purī... My only guidelines were things I'd heard, here and there, from devotees. And, unlike Vṛndāvan... in Vṛndāvan you can kind stumble upon holy places. You know, everyone knows where certain things are. If you say, “Govindajī.” They all point here, or Madan-Mohan, or Rādhā-Dāmodar, you'll get there. In Jagannāth Purī, you may not, even know what to ask for. And, other then the Jagannāth Temple, which we're not allowed to enter.
    And, I knew that, I'd heard that. I didn't know to what degree they enforced that rule. And, somehow the way Māyā works, is this thought entered my brain that, “Yes, you cannot enter the Jagannāth Temple, but it's a complex.” And, they're surrounded by many temples; the Nṛisingha Temple, this... And, I thought, “So, I can enter the complex and not go into the Jagannāth Mandir proper. But, to these peripheral temples.” That's what I told myself. You know. As I walked through the gate... the... let's see, this is East and that is West, and this is North... North, South. The southern gate.
    And, within seconds, the barefoot policemen grabs me. And, they didn't say, “Oh, my dear child, you're not allowed, you know, please you come with me.” Not like they have it. They immediately, they grabbed me, and dragged me outside, and threw me in a gutter. [devotees laughing in the audience] And, I would remind you this is an Indian gutter. There's some very nice gutters in the United States, [laughing] and Switzerland, and other places. This was not... this was not like that. This was an Indian gutter. Which some... They're still visible, in certain parts of India. And, they have all the... how do you say it... the remnants of different aspects of life. That's what I will say. [laughing]
    So, I realized I must have done something very wrong. Like, things are not going well. Right. I'm in this holy place, and I'm in a gutter. And, I am not looking at the stars. You know. And... So, I was thinking like, “I need some adjusting. 'Cause, this is just not good.” I've never had any experience like this in other places. Certain, sometimes we misbehaved, that's for sure. I will admit that, and I regret that to this day. But, this was extreme. And, as I came out of the gutter and realized I need, like, to change my clothes, and...
    And, I was very, you know... what's the word... downtrodden, and walking with my head down. And, I got in a rickshaw to return to the place where I was staying. And then, coming on a rickshaw in another direction, there was Śrīla Bhakti Dayitā Mādhava Mahārāj. And, he could see that I needed affectionate guidance. [laughing] So, he stopped both of the rickshaws, and he could see—it was just obvious, that I was in need of help. So, he took me to the Puruṣottam Gauḍīya Maṭh, into a tulsī garden. And, this was sort of at the end of the day; the twilight. And, there... And, finally it was coming out of me, my innate resentment at not being allowed Jagannāth darśan.
    And, I said, “I don't understand why, you know, we're trying to... we're following seriously the, you know, Gauḍīya line...” As Guru Mahārāj would later mention that, “Mahāprabhu never interfered in Purī.” Some people will say, “Well, in Navadwip He led the, you know, civil disobedience movement against the Chand Kazi who broke the mṛdaṅga, and...” That maybe, and is true, but He did not such thing in Jagannāth Purī. He never challenged them, or their system. In fact, He and the Goswāmīs... the Goswāmīs went out of their way to not, even remotely, question, challenge that. Right. As events play, Sanātan Goswāmī walking on the hot sands. Haridāsa Ṭhākur at Siddhabakul, etc. Right.
    So, when I said to him like, “I don't know... you know.” He said to me, “Haridās Ṭhākur never entered the temple.” And, my head like, went down a little bit. Then, he said, “Rūpa Goswāmī never entered the temple.” My head went down further. He said, “Sanātan Goswāmī Prabhu never entered the temple.” Now, my head was on... almost on the ground. And, I thought, “Yeah, who do I think I am? Hardās Ṭhākur, Rūpa Goswāmī, Sanātan Goswāmī, they never entered. But, I, who am I? I'm not being recognized.”
    It was so childish, infantile. So, seeing now my head is like, [showing gesture] I'm humbled, humiliated. Dostoevsky says that, “Humiliation is the most intense form of consciousness.” I mean now, when you're humiliated, you're very focused. [laughing] You're really aware of yourself at that time. [laughing] And, everything's clear. In humiliation, everything is very, crystal clear. And, nothing external extract... distracts you; you're very focused.
    And then, Mādhava Mahārāj said, “But, so for you, your parikramā will be as Mahāprabhu gave the Siddhabakul area to Haridās Ṭhākur. Then, there he can view the cakra, which is equal to Jagannāth. That will be the first place that you visit.” And, I had this little white diary, which I kept for so many years, —and I don't know where it is, but—so, I wrote that down. “That will be the first place you go. Siddhabakul, where Haridās Ṭhākur, and Rūpa Goswāmī, Sanātan Goswāmī they stayed. And, Mahāprabhu visited them every day.” And, then he told me, “Then, you'll go to house of Vāsudev, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, Śveta Gaṅgā is on the way.” So, as I wrote these things down, and what was amazing, is he told me the rickshaw prices.
    Like, the exact amount of the fare. So, when the rickshaw-vālās would tell me five times that, and I would say what the exact fare was, there would be shocked. And, I'd pay them a little more, just to make them happy. But, they were... they couldn't understand how I knew what the actual prices were. Which, were things like, seventy-five paisa, not even like three rupees, five rupees. You know, he told... So, I'd write the place, and then the exact amount. And, then where I go from there, the exact amount, and what to say to them. And, they're going, “What is wrong.” [laughing] So, they knew someone had told me and it was Śrīla Bhakti Dayitā Mādhava Mahārāj,
    Each place where to go, and how to proper... this would be the proper way to do parikramā in Jagannāth Purī. And, I can only think how merciful he was to me personally. That, I was twenty-two years old and, you know, newly minted in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Movement. Joined when I was nineteen, so I'd been involved for, say, three years. And, he just very mercifully helped me, told me everything I needed to know, was very kind. So, the person whom Saraswatī Ṭhākur described as a “Man of volcanic energy,” I got to see him in his very soft fatherly side.
    Like with fatherly love, and affection, and concern, he took care of me at the time I needed it the most. Then I... It didn't matter that my clothes were soiled, and I was so happy; I couldn't be happier. And, the next day, with fresh cloth [laughing] I began that tour. Oh, and he also told me where I would get prasād from Gopīnāth Khuntia, who personally served me the prasādam. And, that family, their name is mentioned in the Chaitanya-charitāmṛtam. So, they take care of the Gauḍīya line, but they were there... Mahāprabhu went to their house in Purī. And, as Śrīla Gurudev said... Like, when you go to Vṛndāvan, there's a memorial that's built on the spot or the general area.
    In Purī, some of these places are the exact same way they were when Mahāprabhu was there. So, that's something to consider. And, Guru Mahārāj said that, “Mādhava Mahārāj when he visited him, he would...” And, you know you say, “How you're doing? How you're keeping, all that.” Said, Mādhava Mahārāj would have five or six programs going, with five or six different groups of people.” And, then I thought, “Who does that remind us of? The personality who has five or six different programs going on simultaneously, with five or... you know... different groups of people, none other then, Śrīla Bhakti Bimal Avadhūt Mahārāj.” Who, we could reiterate... you know... uh... borrow that phrase and say, “A man of volcanic energy.” [chuckling]
    So, what good fortune we have to meet His Divine Grace Śrīlā A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swāmī Prabhupāda, Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur's most prolific disciple. But, to meet the others, also. And, Prabhupād while sometimes, as a brother to brother; Godbrother, he has some critical remarks, he did not like to hear them from his disciples about his Godbrothers. And, we're told to see the Godbrothers of our Guru as Guru. And, certainly we saw more than a few how... And, then... And, it only made us appreciate, all the more, the position of Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur.
    That, if these are his disciples, then who is that Guru. And, that actually could segue to the question about Bhagavān. And, it's asked before, when we hear Bhagavān Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur. And, this was, you could say, introduced by Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj. And, in his own explanation he said, “Originally, Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur was known as 'Prabhupād' by his disciples.” And, some back story on that—in we could say—in nityānanda-vaṁśa and sahajiyā circles, Prabhupād is this preeminent title.
    They only use for certain personalities, particularly in nityānanda-vaṁśa line. As when, Vidagdha and I met the... these nityānanda-vaṁśas, who... They believe, for example, that Śrīla Prabhupād Swāmī Mahārāj's success—worldwide success—spreading the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Movement all over the world is due to his having been initiated by them when he was a, when he was like ten years old. That's when he got the empowerment. Yeah. And, while we're talking to that gentleman, whose name was 'something' Prabhupād. A householder. He had a child, a toddler, who while we're talking to him, was like crawling on the floor or something.
    And, as he came near, he said, “Oh, meet Śukadev Prabhupād.” So, he was also Prabhupād; Śukadev Prabhupād. I don't know about the wife. [laughing] You know. But, anyway... So, that was a title they used with regard to Saraswatī Ṭhākur. In a sense, to say, “As much as anyone can be Prabhupād, in their life, he's also that.” As he's showing, their... my... these Vaiṣṇavas are not less than brāhmins, by giving brāhmin threads; many things. Some of these things are... were very pertinent to the society, of the time. And, maybe almost indecipherable in the modern world. But, there're reasons behind all these things.
    Still, so he became known as Prabhupād. Śrīla Prabhupād by his disciples— Prabhupād Saraswatī Ṭhākur. So, His Divine Grace Śrīlā A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swāmī, he became known as Śrīla Prabbupād to his disciples. This disturbed some of the disciples of Saraswatī Ṭhākur. Guru Mahārāj said, “No, Guru he gave support.” But, to get to the point, so Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj as he traveled around the world. He saw that on the world scale... Within the Gauḍīya Maṭh, Prabhupād means Saraswatī Ṭhākur, So, no one else can be called Prabhupād. Within ISKCON, Prabhupād means A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swāmī Prabhupād. Right.
    But, Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj who was raised on a Gauḍīya Maṭh way of formalities, and... saw that he went around the world, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swāmī he's Prabhupād. If you go around the world and mention Prabhupād, people know that it is him, or think of him. They don't think of Saraswatī Ṭhākur. So, he thought that then it would be nice and appropriate to address Saraswatī Ṭhākur, in such a way, that... in that, there was some unique level of exaltation. So, he began saying, “Bhagavān Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur.”
    Now, some people thought that was inappropriate. And, they thought so much so, that Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj certainly he would not have approved. He did not do that and he would not approve of that. So, [pause] Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj, he has all the books of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. So, in one of the books of Guru Mahārāj, like a Bhāgavatam with marginalia. He has, in the handwriting of Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj him saying, “Bhagavān Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur.” Right. Which, he showed, at one point, to someone who had grave doubts the... authenticity, no... what's the word...
    Devotee: [inaudible]
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Huh?
    Devotee: [inaudible]
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: No, no. Who was questioning the... the... I'm saying authenticity, there's another word. So, to that person who was questioning saying, “Guru Mahārāj would have never done this!” And, he said, “Do you see this book? This is the handwriting of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj and it says, 'Bhagavān Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur.'” Right. So, that's where that comes from. And, then whether or not someone can be called 'Bhagavān...' This was kind of funny, because Gurudev and we would mention the different places… who was known as 'Bhagavān' in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.
    Bhagavān Bādarāyaṇī, Bhagavān Bādarāyaṇa, so sometime, you know, Vedavyās, Śukadev. But, Bhagavān Droṇa, right, Bhagavān Nārada. So, 'Bhagavān' used repeatedly in different places. And, because I had the advantage of the Vedabase and search whenever I'd find a new one, I would tell him. And, he would go, “Achha bābā!” Like, more than we even thought. But, Bhagavān Droṇa was kind of, you know... [laughing] If Droṇa Ācārya could be called 'Bhagavān,' Saraswatī Ṭhākur could not? So, it's one of those things. But, I would say finally, that when Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj decides to do something, he's already got himself covered. It's not that he gets over come by some whim.
    [Goswāmī Mahārāj talking to the technicians: What is wrong with the loop on the pictures? There not showing properly.] Anyway, when he decides to do something like this, it's vetted, it's covered, he has aces up his sleeve. It's... He doesn't just whimsically get overwhelmed by something and, then blurt something out, and, then he's in the unfortunate position of having to withdraw that. That's not how he approaches things. So, he's already got the book with Guru Mahārāj saying, he's got the references in the Bhāgavatam, he's has all these things in his pocket, so to speak. And, then he begins something. [pause]
    And, I was told... Your friend, he has some question?
    Devotee: [Inaudible]
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Now he's intimidated. [laughter in audience] I should have let him asked the question first. [long pause] Hare Kṛṣṇa. Any other questions. The other one is like a major question, I would save that for another time.
    Devotee: Ok, Mahārāj.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: But, I mentioned Jagannāth Dās Bābājī, Rasikānanda Prabhu, Śrīla Bhakti Dayitā Mādhava Mahārāj.
    Devotee: Bhagavān.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Sometimes we'd get carried away with our own intellectual analysis of things, and even Vaiṣṇavas. And, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj would say to me that, tell me to like, “Stop.” And say, “We want the grace these personalities. So, don't analyze in such a way as you no longer are recipient of their grace.” And, I guess that's what I mean to say by, Prabhupād can make some comments, it's Godbrother to Godbrother. But, that's not for us, really. We want to be in a position to receive their grace.
    So, when I met Śrīla Mādhava Mahārāj, there were no untoward thoughts in my mind. I was just like, overwhelmed by the beauty, the spiritual radiance that was obvious of this divine person. And, he was very kind and merciful to me, as we hear the Viaṣṇavas are. [chuckling] You know. But, in really what was only a few years later when I approached Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, he was thinking, he's saying, “One by one, day by day, you know... so many left in this one brief period.” Mādhava Mahārāj, Śrīla Swāmī Mahārāj Prabhupād, Bon Mahāṛāj, and may... perhaps some others; Kṛṣṇa Dās Bābājī Mahārāj, like...
    And, when I first met Guru Mahārāj was 1978, and I mentioned it. He was kind of overwhelmed and, shaking his head and, feeling some sadness about that. But, he came to realize, and I came to realize that the wealth of Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur that was stored in him, that's how he described it. As if to say, sometimes I wonder, “I'll this wealth is stored in me and, more or less, remains that way.” Mādhava Mahārāj would come once a year. Goswāmī Mahārāj, Jajavar Maharaj, somewhat like that, they're visited Guru Mahārāj for a few weeks a year. And, during that time, Guru Mahārāj is sharing some of those realizations that Śrīla Swāmī Mahārāj Prabhupād said, “Will make you faint.”Right.
    But, otherwise he's upstairs, the Maṭh's program is going on downstairs pot and kīrtan. And, that's what people don't understand. Not everyone, they didn't go up every day for a class from Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. He came down three times a year, maybe four—Gaura-pūrṇimā, Saraswatī Ṭhākur's Appearance Day, Gaura-pūrṇimā, Rādhāṣṭamī, and his own Vyās-pūjā. Those are the times he came down. And, otherwise devotees would go... they would bow to a picture of Guru Mahārāj. They'd go up a few steps, then there's a picture, they bow to a picture or the direction, you know, his veranda.
    And, Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj, he would decide who would be taken to Guru Mahārāj. And, that's why when we came... And, Guru Mahārāj is really not inclined to come out, so to speak. Śrīla Gurudev whose, you know, his... I once said, “He could charm the hood off a cobra.” You know, he's that charming. Would say, “Mahārāj, they've come from so far, Saraswatī Ṭhākur wanted you to preach in the West. If you... five minutes.” And, Guru Mahārāj would say, “Oh yeah, I don't have the energy.” “Five minutes Mahārāj, just five...” “Ok, then just five minutes.” And, that would turn into ninety. You know, forty-five to ninety minutes.
    And, then Guru Mahārāj commented, “What was stored in me by Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur, in my final days it is coming out.” And, it came out... It was drawn out of him by the necessity of the disciples of Śrīla Prabhupād Swāmī Mahārāj. So, how wonderful is that? Their necessity brought out what was stored in him. So, when we hear sometimes the stories of the ancient Vaiṣṇava. They were living in someplace and only known to a few, like Rasikānanda Prabhu, Jagannāth Dās Bābājī Mahārāj. Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur himself had something like seven disciples. Right.
    Gaura Kiśor Dās Bābājī Mahārāj, we hear one Saraswatī Ṭhākur, sometimes three, five, that's it. That Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur... Gaura Kiśor Dās Bābājī Mahārāj, we can understand, I think. Why only one, or one/two. But, Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur, that he only had like five or seven disciples is just like mind blowing. And, the whole wealth of the modern Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Movement comes from him, guru-daṁ grantha-daṁ gaura-dhāma-daṁ nāma-daṁ mudā, bhakti-daṁ bhūri-daṁ vande bhakti-vinodakaṁ sadā (Śa: Śrī Laghu-chandrikā-bhāṣya, Maṅgalācharaṇa, 8). Everything we have comes from Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur. Because, he got an agent of distribution in Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī. Right.
    And, these exalted disciples of his, whom Lord Zetland of England, who had much appreciation for Indian culture and Gauḍ... Śrī Gauḍīya Maṭh. So, when he saw Saraswatī Ṭhākur and his sannyāsīs, and he meant this from his heart and seriously said, “I felt, as though, I was seeing Jesus Christ and the... his twelve dis... apostles. I felt it was like that.” That's how stunning their presentation was. Hare Kṛṣṇa.