Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura




From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir

Date: February 18, 2006 (Appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Thakur, Disappearance day of Srila Gaur Govinda Swami)
Verse: Srimad Bhagavatam 2.2.17
Speaker: HH Lokanath Swami

manah sva-buddhyamalaya niyamya
ksetra-jna etam ninayet tam atmani
atmanam atmany avarudhya dhiro
labdhopasantir virameta krtyat

TRANSLATION: Thereafter, the yogi should merge his mind, by his unalloyed intelligence, into the living entity, and then merge the living entity into the Superself. And by doing this, the fully satisfied living entity becomes situated in the supreme stage of satisfaction, so that he ceases from all other activities.

PURPORT: The functions of the mind are thinking, feeling and willing. When the mind is materialistic, or absorbed in material contact, it acts for material advancement of knowledge, destructively ending in discovery of nuclear weapons. But when the mind acts under spiritual urge, it acts wonderfully for going back home, back to Godhead, for life in complete bliss and eternity. Therefore the mind has to be manipulated by good and unalloyed intelligence. Perfect intelligence is to render service unto the Lord. One should be intelligent enough to understand that the living being is, in all circumstances, a servant of the circumstances. Every living being is serving the dictates of desire, anger, lust, illusion, insanity and enviousness-all materially affected. But even while executing such dictations of different temperaments, he is perpetually unhappy. When one actually feels this and turns his intelligence to inquiring about it from the right sources, he gets information of the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Instead of serving materially for the abovementioned different humors of the body, the living entity’s intelligence then becomes freed from the unhappy illusion of materialistic temperament, and thus, by unalloyed intelligence, the mind is brought into the service of the Lord. The Lord and His service are identical, being on the absolute plane. Therefore the unalloyed intelligence and the mind are merged into the Lord, and thus the living entity does not remain a seer himself but becomes seen by the Lord transcendentally. When the living entity is directly seen by the Lord, the Lord dictates to him to act according to His desire, and when the living entity follows Him perfectly, the living entity ceases to discharge any other duty for his illusory satisfaction. In his pure unalloyed state, the living being attains the stage of full bliss, labdhopasanti, and ceases all material hankerings.

We’re changing the topic now. Bhagavatam is a topic. I’m going to talk about Bhagavat, Mahabhagavat. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura abhirbhava tithi mahamahotsava ki jai!

Whenever in future Srila Vyasadeva would undertake the further compilation or appendix or extension of his Bhagavatam, certainly he would be including the life of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in that Bhagavatam. That is his position.

Now, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, what should I say? Srila Prabhupada said he was a Vaikuntha man. So certainly Bhagavata talks of men from Vaikuntha or men befitting position in Vaikuntha.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura appeared today one hundred and thirty-two years ago in Jagannatha Puri, an auspicious location, in the month of Govinda. This is month of Govinda besides being month of February.
On the pancami of the Krsna paksa, three-thirty in the afternoon. He was the fourth child of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. When born, the umbilical cord was wrapped just like we do the brahmana thread. Very unusual. Astrologer said, “I have seen charts and astrology and kundali of so many children, but he is the first child of his kind. Mahapurusa has taken birth. Look, all the
symptoms: one, two, three, four, thirty-two, all the symptoms of mahapurusa in the personality of this child and the prediction he will be doing wonderful things in the realm of spirituality.”

The child was named Bimala Prasada, the mercy of Bimala Devi, hence the prasada of Bimala Devi. While in month of July, during Ratha Yatra, Jagannatha’s cart was passing by Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s home. His home was right on the Grand Road, they call it Grand Road, Ratha Yatra, Jagannatha rides on that road. Jagannatha would not move. One, two, third day, He did not take a step forward. What’s going on? Bhaktivinode Thakura said, “Take the child onto the chariot.” Bhagavati devi, the mother, took the child onto the chariot and placed at the feet of Jagannatha. The garland fell right around the child, Bimala Prasad. She climbed down. “Try one more time!”
Effortlessly they were able to pull the chariot. Bimala Prasada Datta ki jai! Jagannatha wanted to have darsana of Bimala Prasada.

The boy was just a few years old, mango season. He got nice mangoes, just purchased by dear father Bhativinoda Thakuraji. He grabbed one, “Nice mango, Daddy.” There was no “daddy” at that time.

“Oh, what? This mango was meant for the deity!” The child was mildly rebuked, “You can’t do this. First all the fruit has to be offered to the deity, then we honour that as prasada.”

“I take a vow, the rest of my life, I may starve, but I will not eat a mango.” What a vow! At the age of two, three years old child!

The child begins going to the school. Very excellent memory. First of all, at the age of seven, he had memorized all the seven hundred memories of Bhagavad-gita, all the eighteen chapters. Text number eighty – are there eighty? Okay, seventy-two, and he would say immediately. Photographic memory. There was no need for him to do any homework. Everything would stay intact. He was expert in mathematics, astrology, astronomy, surya siddhanta.
OK, you get name Siddhanta Sarasvati. Teachers named him, “You have a special benediction of goddess of fortune Sarasvati.”

Bhaktivinode had some property in Calcutta. He was digging and he unearthed small deity of Kurma. He handed this to Bimala Prasada, “Take care of this deity,” and he gave guidance and instructions on how to do so. Bimala Prasada was only thirteen years old. Bhaktivinoda Thakura returned from Jagannatha Puri, “Take this. This is japa mala for you. And chant harinama.”
He also gave Nrsimha mantras for Bimala Prasada to chant, which he continued doing for the rest of his life. Nrsimha Bhagavan ki jai!

He also went to Sanskrit college. He studied three years and then discontinued. He had already learned enough, not interested not just in dry grammar. He had enough. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada ki jai!

He was being trained like this and Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he moved right here, Godrumadvipa. Gaurakisora dasa Babaji also moved in, or used to come to listen to Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s talks. Bhaktivinoda Thakura instructed, “You take initiation from Gaurakisora dasa Babaji. First attempt, few attempts, “No, no, no, I have to consult. . . .”

“I will give up my life, kandiya kandiya prana na rakhibo aro, I will not keep my life, I will give up my life!”

“OK, sit down.” He was initiated, Sri Varsabhanavi-devi dayita, you are very dear to varsabhanavi-devi, that’s Radharani, you are very dear to Radharani.
That was the name given by Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. And “Krsna-sambandha vijnana. He had learned from Bhaktivinoda Thakur and more things he learned from Gaurakisora Das Babaji Maharaja, the science of Krsna, prabhave namah. Very powerful he was, unto such Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur we offer our most humble obeisances.

Madhuryojjvala premadhya, just see the difference, no comparison. Of course, why even think, after so many attempts only Bhakti Caru Maharaja, you also look like a little bit. . . madhuryojjvala premadhya, he was enriched.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, enriched with madhurya-lila, love of Godhead. And sri rupanuga bhaktida, he was a follower of Rupa and he delivered bhakti, devotional service, and gaura karuna sakti vigrahaya, he was the form of the energy of the mercy of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, vigrahaya nama stu te, unto such a personality we offer our humble obeisances.

Then he was also gauravani-murti, he was a form of gaura-vani, personified of gaura-vani, and he was dina-tarine, deliverer of the fallen, and last line rupanuga. . . harine. I don’t know who has complied this, but such a beautiful. Rupanuga virudha apasiddhanta dhvanta harine. He will smash anything that is virrudha, against, rupanuga, Rupa Goswami and his followers’ siddhanta, bhaktisiddhanta. Apasiddhanta means anything that is contradictory to siddhanta, he will smash it. He was deadly against it and he would roar smashing those philosophies of sahajiyism and casteism and what not, smartha Brahmanism. He was known for this.

He was also known as simha guru. He was a lion guru. Sometimes he would grab people, “Hey, what did you say other day?” he would chastise. If he was on a walk or going through the street and some mayavadi coming from other side, sahajiya coming, “Oh, oh. . . “He would take a turn and flee in fear, “Hey, Bhaktisiddhanta!” He was a powerful acarya. He was simha guru. We are just a lamb. Simha guru.

1905, he had a strong will of spreading love of God all over. Great determination and desire was rousing within him, but what he did first was he took sankalpa of chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Sankalpa just like that of Namacarya Srila Haridasa Thakura, 300,000 names a day. He was chanting those names right here at Yogapitha. As I understood, he also had a place right on the bank of Ganga and he would do his bhajan in these places. He did that for nine years, chanting and hearing. In rainy season, he would sometimes hold an umbrella over him and he is chanting, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, seriously chanting and praying and crying and preparing for his life’s mission.

But then, in 1914, he lost his father. 1915, he lost his spiritual master.
He was wondering, “How am I going to carry on the mission of my father and my spiritual master?” Then one night, he had a dream. He sees Gauranga Mahaprabhu chanting and dancing along with His associates. “Oh, there is Bhaktivinoda Thakura also chanting! And here is my spiritual master, Gaurakisora dasa Babaji!” And they say, as if in one voice, “We are with you. Go on.”

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura woke up only to carry on the mission of his father and spiritual master vigorously. In 1920, he founded Gaudiya Math. His headquarters, for those who do not know, Caitanya Math, where there is Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Samadhi, that was headquarter of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Also his residence is still there. From there, he was operating his mission of the Gaudiya Math, spreading Krsna consciousness, and not limiting it to India.

In 1922, he was there in Calcutta for some business, some preaching mission.
Srila Prabhupada, Abhay Caran De, Malik brought Abhay. We know from Prabhupada Lilamrta, “Oh, you!” He had not even sat properly. He was still taking his seat. “Oh, you!” others were sitting. He said, “Take up this mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Spread it in English language all over the world.” The dialogue continued. Srila Prabhupada was into something else. He wanted to make his country independent. The argument was there.
Prabhupada was defeated. Then and there he accepted, “This is my spiritual master.” So that was first time Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada was asked, “Take up the mission of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, spreading it all over the world in English language.”

Then again, it was 13th of December in 1936, two weeks prior to Bhaktisiddhanta’s departure, Prabhupada told us this several times, it is in writing, Prabhupada wrote a letter to Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, “Oh you have brahmacari disciples, sannyasis, they are always travelling, doing wonderful service, but I am grhastha, I cannot associate with you all the time like others do, but if there is anything I could do to please you.” And there comes response, “Preach in English language.” Confirming the very first instruction. The first instruction and the very last instruction are very similar. And Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said, “If you take this seriously, spreading Krsna consciousness in English language all over the world,” I am not saying it word for word, “then you will be happy and those who receive this message also will be happy.” Are you happy? (Hari

What a connection. Two great souls are exchanging letters. God consciousness has not gone beyond the boundaries of India and they are thinking, planning, dreaming to bring it all over the world. And here we are today sitting and reaping the benefits of the exchange of that letter, the benefit of that instruction of Bhaktisiddhanta as we have received the best gift of our life, and that is Krsna consciousness.

Bhaktisiddhanta, founder of Gaudiya Math, he also wanted his math to be managed by Governing Body Commission, some name, but we call it Governing Body Commission. Prabhupada took that concept. Soon after the departure of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, they did not follow that instruction of governing Gaudiya Math by Governing Body Commission, whatever the name was that Bhaktisddhanta had given. They went for one acarya and everything was destructed and disastrous, into splinter groups and ? were everywhere. Learning from this history and hard lesson, Srila Prabhupada, he wanted his society to be governed by the Governing Body Commission. GBC is the ultimate governing body of my ISKCON, my International Society for Krsna Consciousness. Then again we saw the body was there but in its weak state, or something else became stronger than the GBC, the zonal acarya syndrome showed its ugly face and we barely survived from becoming zonal society for Krsna consciousness. Gauranga Mahaprabhu intervened, reason prevailed, Srila Prabhupada blessed, and Governing Body Commission is once again in stronger position.

Today is Bhaktisiddhanta Appearance Day and we are in the middle of GBC meetings, something to remember from the life of Bhaktisiddhanta, his preaching instructions, and then of course, Srila Prabhupada imparted the mahatmya, the necessity of the Governing Body Commission. It is not just for a piece of decoration, but it has utility to maintain the purity, maintain the cooperation amongst all the members, all the leaders, and make sure there is no perversity.

Be always watchful and not again only bureaucratics enacting legislations, no, but loving, caring leaders of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. Governing Body Commission ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai!
Something we should be always remembering and also follow, the governing Body Commission that has been put in place by Srila Prabhupada.

Bhaktisiddhanta, as he founded his Gaudiya Math, he was very, very successful. I was further amazed as I was again going through his life and teachings and his biographies. He founded Gaudiya Math in 1920. He had only fifteen – sixteen years. Sixty-four maths were established within his lifetime. Sixty in India, four overseas. He was very powerful and very, very active. Travelling very extensively all over the country. He took a tour to establish, his goal was to establish pada pithas in 108 locations of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s visits of South India, out of which he established eight, which have been listed. He was installing deities of Radha-Krsna, Gauranga Mahaprabhu in south India, in North India, in Bengal, in Dhaka, in Kuruksetra.

In Kuruksetra, he was known for his diorama exhibitions. He was known for so many things. I wish I had so many mouths or I wish we could all speak simultaneously about his glories. They are unlimited. There is so much to talk about. There is so much he did for the sake of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to establish Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s glories all over, everywhere. In Kuruksetra, his exhibits where gopis feeling separation from Krsna, very appropriate for Krsna.

He goes to Suktal on the banks of Ganga to the very spot where Sukadeva Goswami has spoken Bhagavatam and he speaks glories of Bhagavatam there. He goes to Naimasaranya and establishes Gaudiya Math and gives lectures there.
He goes to Vraja Mandala Parikrama, 1932, he does Vraja Mandala Parikrama with thousands of his followers. A small city was camping out every night location to location. Srila Prabhupada was in Allahabad. He travelled to Vrindavan, joins Bhaktisiddhanta at Kosi, listens to Bhaktisddhanta very, very attentively. Others are more interested in some kind of walk and extra pilgrimage. Abhay Babu stays behind. He is interested in hearing.

After Vraja Mandala Parikrama, Bhaktisiddhanta goes to Allahabad. He is founding another math at Allahabad. He has governor of UP, some Sir, big person from England, he is presiding over the function. Time for initiation.
Abhay Babu is being introduced, “This is. . . .”

“Oh, I know him. He listens very carefully. I have taken note that he listens very attentively.” He gets initiated in Allahabad in 1932.

Bhaktisiddhanta was there during Karttika of 1933 and 1934, he was spending one month in Karttika, Vrindavan side. He was doing his Vraja Mandala Parikramas also. He went eight times around doing Vraja Mandala Parikrama.
He would ride on elephants doing Vraja Mandala. He also, of course, would ride in a car. Sannyasi riding in a car? Very much untradiitoinal, but yukta vairagya. He was also yukta vairagya personification, he was exhibiting.

He was writing books. He has a whole appendix that goes on page after page after page. His publications, the articles he wrote, the books he wrote, the Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s books he edited and published, it’s a big, big list of publications, books. He wrote a commentary on Caitanya Bhagavata. He published entire twelve cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam. He used to have printing presses. He had one in Calcutta, one is Cuttak, one in Mayapur, and one more place. He had four printing presses. He would have a printing press so that the deity could see the printing press and lots of books were being published and also distributed. Sajjana Tosani was being published in Bengali, Sanskrit, Hindi, English. “So much could be written about that we could have daily newsletter,” he was proposing, “Oh, there is so much to write about.” Newspapers were writing, but we have bigger words to deal with. Krsna consciousness being spread on this planet and whole material world is just one fourth of the material creation. Another three-fourths is out there. There is so much we could write. This was his vision.

In 1933, after Gaura Purnima, he gets some of his sannyasis ready to go to the West. He gives a lecture inspiring them in spreading Krsna consciousness all over the world. They go and they attempt. Not much success. Another one was sent. He manages to meet the Lord Zetland, something like that, they had appointment with him. He says, “Swamiji, Swamiji, will you make me a Brahmin?”

He says, “No problem.”

“What do I have to do?”

“Nothing much. No meat-eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, no gambling.”

“Impossible,” was the response of that lord, but now the devotees of Krsna consciousness are doing all over the world, following those four regulative principles.

Bhaktisiddhanta was in Vrindavan again in 1935 during Karttika and Srila Prabhupada was there. Both of them met on the banks of Radha Kunda.
Bhaktisiddhanta seemed to be in some kind of anxiety, he was concerned about something. He said, “Agun jwalbe,” soon there will be fire. He was predicting something: fighting in Gaudiya Math. “When we made little money in Calcutta in Gaudiya Math,” he said, “in Baag Bazar, we were happy, but now we have palatial building and the inmates of the asrama are fighting, ‘Which room for me, which one for. . . .’” Bhaktisiddhanta said, “I would rather sell the marble and print books.” He said, in Bengali, “Amara iccha chilo,” it is my desire, “kichu boi korano,” I want to publish some books.
“If you ever get money, print books.” That order was given right on the bank of Radha Kunda.

After that meeting, that instruction, final instruction, “in English language. . . , ” Srila Prabhupada took it seriously, the mission of his spiritual master. He prepared, lifetime preparation, and finally he founded International Society for Krsna Consciousness in 1966. For all the successes he had, he always gave credit to his spiritual master, always gave credit, “My spiritual master. . . .” Whenever you hear Prabhupada in his lectures talk about his spiritual master, the way he says, “MY spiritual master,”
with a full mouth, full heart, proud. He was very proud of his spiritual master.

“My spiritual master is always close to me. My spiritual master is always next to me.” sometimes some Gaudiya Math leaders noticed that whenever Srila Prabhupada came here to Candrodaya Mandir, he did not stop at the samadhi of Bhaktisiddhanta, they kind of criticised. When Prabhupada heard, he was furious, he said, “What do they know, what do they know? My spiritual master is always next to me!” Haribol.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, the ray of Visnu, he was ray of hope.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura prayed for such a son. By all that he did, sure his father also and spiritual master are very proud of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Today is his appearance day. We pray for all the mercy that we could get from this brilliant lion-like spiritual master with a photographic memory and courage and a vision, if we could get a little drop of that mercy and vision.

Today is also disappearance day of our dear godbrother, His Holiness Gaura Govinda Swami Maharaja. He departed on the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. It was also in 1996, the year of Srila Prabhupada’s 100th birth anniversary. He was very much in Mayapur. That day he attended full day’s service. He attended GBC meetings. He attended Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s appearance day celebrations, more service in the afternoon in GBC meetings. He came down to his quarters. He was surrounded by devotees who like to hear from him. He was talking about Krsna, some highly elevated topics of Radha and Krsna. As he was talking, as if he was in Vrindavan, or as he talked, he entered those pastimes. What a glorious way of departing, in a holy Dham, in a holy place, while his lips are talking of Radha and Krsna, surrounded by devotees on appearance day of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. We also pray for his mercy. He was also kind of lion-like preacher, roaring. So on this day, we pray for his mercy so that we also have liking for talking about Radha and Krsna.


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