“Gurudev’s Affection and Gravity.” Mahananda Prabhu Bhakti Ranjan | Srila B. R. Madhusudan Maharaj. 29 December 2012. Navadwipa Dhama, India



“Gurudev’s Affection and Gravity”

29 December 2012. Navadwipa Dhama, India

Sripad Mahananda Prabhu Bhakti Ranjan
(now Srila Bhakti Ranjan Madhusudan Maharaj) speaks
about Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj’s personal dealings.

    

Нежность и серьезность Гурудева

29 декабря 2012 года. Навадвипа Дхама, Индия

Шрипад Махананда Прабху Бхакти Ранджан
(в настоящее время Шрила Бхакти Ранджан Мадхусудан Махарадж)
рассказывает о том,
как Шрила Говинда Махарадж относился к людям.


English

Mahananda Prabhu Bhakti Ranjan |
Srila Bhakti Ranjan Madhusudan Maharaj

Gurudev’s Affection and Gravity

(29 December 2012. Navadwip Dham, India)

 

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: And we have such good fortune, we have so many things which are in our fortunate stars. So anything that’s in the unfortunate star then we just ignore that and say, “Never mind.” Whatever it is in the unfortunate star in our life we are in debt we are this, it’s only okay maybe, but we have this great gift which is that presence of the Guru, presence of the line that is being us to Srila Govinda Maharaj, to Srila Guru Maharaj, [to] Saraswati Thakur and the opportunity of that connection of service. So, we need to utilize our fortune and by the generosity of Srila Govinda Maharaj, by the serious generosity also of Srila Guru Maharaj, by Saraswati Thakur. He was very grave. They say, lion, like a lion, like that. But still he was very broad in his conception. Even that if in London it’s necessary to serve non-vegetarian food in order to get people to come to hear Krishna-katha then do that. How broad a vision that is!

#00:01:12#

And I remember… I mean Gurudev himself in the early days, I mean the early days of us, western, is coming here. He used to be quite shocked or baffled about the behavior of the western devotee. And you know like really, he was a little shocked and then we sort of explained that well, this is normal in the West or something like that. But then Gurudev he also went of course, he went to the West 24 times, 24 times he went to the West. Not just once and when he went to the West, it wasn’t to see the Eiffel Tower [in Paris] and the Tower Bridge [in London] and whatever is famous in Brazil I’m not sure, what’s in Brazil. What’s famous in Brazil?

Replica: Rio [de Janeiro].

#00:01:56#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Rio! Anyhow he [Srila Govinda Maharaj] went to distribute Krishna consciousness to, to present Krishna consciousness. When Gurudev went to the West and saw the living style, saw so many things in the West… after some years really I can directly think of a couple of instances where I was shocked by something that we got some news and then there we’re, we’re with Gurudev and we’re getting news we have to we’re obliged was doing secretarial work for him to say something to Gurudev to relay information whatever it may be. And I was shocked by a couple of things and Gurudev just like aloof, he said, “Okay.” But Gurudev, you know, the whole generosity became to that such a stage that westerners who know the West like well we are thinking of this is like beyond everything and then Gurudev himself accepting and thinking, “Well, okay, it’s the material world.”

#00:03:02#

And Guru Maharaj, Srila Sridhar Maharaj, had the expression of this whole world is a wrong place, it’s a like a disgusting place, this whole material world of birth and death, birth and death, it is all wrong, it is all bad. And he used the example of stool, a stool when people go, you know, you go to the bathroom, stool here in India you get a lot of stool on the street and goodness knows where near the villages you get a lot of stool. But he said, wet stool or dry stool now whether its dry stool is better than wet stool but it’s not that’s not what we’re interested in we want the gems and we want the bright clear things. So, this whole world is like that. And Srila Govinda Maharaj, he was so broad that if he could see the sincerity in somebody that even some so much wrong to somehow still attach to somebody’s nature still it was that sincerity that he captured and cultivated and drew out automatically, automatically.

#00:04:09#

Such a wonderful, wonderful person! And sometimes I use the example of my mother because I know her quite well and I kind of for many years I’m in the life of trying to be in the life of Krishna consciousness but you can think that she was somebody that would say she’ll never, never catch it, you know, she’ll never understand. And I as is quite well known I suppose was not going back to the West, I was staying here. So, when she was over 80 years old, she’s thinking, “Well, now I’m getting old I may not be agile to travel. So, one time I’ll go to the temple meet my son in India.” And she came basically came to, you know, just to see and everything else but I know her well that she was very skeptical, suspicious, whatever, it may be about so many things. And then but when she came, when she met Govinda Maharaj, it was just a complete transformation and then from that moment on from meeting with Govinda Maharaj then it was a different relationship in time. And then that was her fortune to meet him and Gurudev was so kind and this way.

#00:05:21#

So, but we saw that many times. When he was in Mexico, Gurudev had these bodyguards in Mexico from the government bodyguards and these like big guys because Mexico is a, we hear, a little bit of a gunda crazy place and people are kidnapped and all sorts of things go on. So, when there’s some VIP like this goes, “Oh, here we are.” [Phrase in Spanish]. I’m not saying but for Gurudev’s protection he had these bodyguards and the bodyguards themselves, they were melted by association and they said so many things. He [one of them] said, “In all our time we are with the royalty, we’re with presidents, we’re with all kinds of big important people, within all our time we never met such a person.” And Gurudev charmed them and maybe one of them took initiation. [Replica from the audience] Three took initiation. [Unclear replicas from the audience.] That last that was the security guards, yeah. They were, they were so much sad that they’re going to be in his separation, they saw what all the devotees would tasting and getting and they couldn’t resist. Yeah, many like extreme examples where people you would never think had any opportunities then Gurudev melted their heart. Actually, he was a very mystical person, we know, but he did so many kinds of miracles and even for his traveling he did so many miracles things which were impossible to do if you try getting visas for Indians to go to different places.

#00:07:07#

And we saw again and again because involved in arranging most of those world tours and the especially the early ones were very, very difficult because he did not have like a record of stamps in his passport. But we saw again and again miraculous dealings. And one, I mean actually so many, but one we’re thinking of exceptional people right in Kolkata at that time if you wanted to go to Europe you had to well, they’re going to Italy, but if you want to go to Europe you have to get a visa for Indians to go to Europe. But we had no choice but to go to the Italian embassy or consulate in Kolkata we had to get the Italian visa for going to Italy and it was not possible to get it through one of the Schengen country, it was something specific. But everybody including our very efficient and influential travel agent then they’re all saying, “This man is impossible, he’s the toughest man. No, you will not do.” And then anyhow we went and applied for his visa and going there and explaining who he [Srila Govinda Maharaj] is. And this man is huge, he was like a cartoon character. With a belt like this around his, his body [it] is like this and then like in the cartoon the tummy comes out to here. And it has big desk. And the embassy where you are the visa time timing, visa time the office is empty because nobody goes there because they know, they’re going to get refused. But we had no option. Anyway, this man, he just first of all everything is very heavy and strong, and Gurudev is not there that time, we are going to represent [him]. Then we are explaining this happening and then he is absolutely insisting, “Gurudev must go.” He, you know, not, he’s not saying ‘Gurudev’ but, “He must go, he must come,” like this. So anyway, we did everything, we could to like pacify him and he’s all very, you know, everything’s going to be no, no, no, no.

#00:09:06#

And then anyway when Gurudev, we came back to Gurudev, Gurudev we did everything we could, we couldn’t avoid that, “You will go,” and so many things, “Please, that’s the only way.” And Gurudev was completely happy, “If it’s necessary to go to Italy…” and: “Yes, I will go.” Then you wouldn’t so we drop him there, we went there to the embassy and, you know, he [embassy man] invited him [Srila Govinda Maharaj] in behind the counter to his big desk and everything. And that man was melted, honestly melted and he gave the visa. And they not only gave the visa but after about one minute of the, you know, their “What is your name?”, “Why you have?..”, no, “Why?..”, you know, whatever it was, you know, like all they want, they want a [unclear] or a house and a wife and a job, a certificate of this. They want all these official things and, you know, after but one minute he’s just doing his official stuff. Then within a minute they’re talking to each other as though they’ve known each other for a hundred years.

#00:10:05#

And he was Italian visa officer, just another example of how and then when again, because he went again to Italy and maybe another two or three times I don’t know how many times he went to Italy, after that we had no difficulty to go, except one time, the last time he had to go because they now they take, they take some photo that shows the back of your eye or something. And he was so apologetic to Gurudev and treated, treated him like a Guru, I mean treated him with full respect. And that embassy even that day we go the place is deserted nobody applies for visas. Anyway, I don’t know we can say many examples and even coming in when he’s at the airport Heathrow, airport. Heathrow airport is very difficult for Indians to go into there. And they have to stay in a separate line on so many things.

#00:11:00#

Somehow Gurudev just by his activity then he to sail straight through many things which were impossible took place. But that’s only like a service example but the thing is Nanda Priya [Didi] lived with Gurudev for four years, attending him and serving him, and there are so many every day, we can say, some things which happened that, this happened, that happened. But it’s, it is nice to be able to talk with the devotees who can share some of these things because Guru is Guru, we’re reading everything about Guru, but Guru is also, especially remembering Srila Gurudev, Srila Govinda Maharaj, at this time, I mean, he was such a sweet, sweet person, personal person to everybody. And that magnetic charm that he had was so deep behind it so what he was attracting people to give such deepest things to them. And Srila Govinda Maharaj’s glories can’t be completed in one sense but today we’re preparing ourselves and giving ourselves a little mental as well as physical exercise, if you like mental exercise, physical exercise in remembrance of him and in preparing for the festival that will take place tomorrow. And tomorrow each one of us will only have a few minutes to say anything because there’ll be, you know, so many people, so many sannyasis, it will be a big gathering. So today is a little opportunity for us to say something of the glories, of our glorious sweet Gurudev who we still miss too much.

#00:12:48#

Any questions from anybody? Nanda Priya Devi Dasi! No? Say something, say one thing out of many, many things that sticks out in your mind about Gurudev. He was irresistible.

#00:13:13#

Nanda Priya Devi Dasi: And one thing that struck me as soon … everything he was the Guru ... I was so astonished never for one second, he stopped being perfect and not for a second, he would, you know, not be your divine grace … ready not even when he was bathing or sleeping, daily activities, very holy and beautiful and like then impossible to describe…

#00:14:01#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Very, very nice! We have one very respectable doctor who also mingled, I mean, mingled with he was a doctor to high people like, you know, ministers and CEOs of businesses and stuff like that. And he said to me after being with Gurudev for we just maybe four or five days he was here with Gurudev, and he said, “I’ve seen so many VIP people but I have never ever seen anybody who’s 24 hours a day and every minute of 24 hours a day is an open book.” Nanda Priya Devi Dasi [is] giving that idea — to every moment of the day he’s living with the devotees, devotees around him, you can see his activity 24 hours a day, every single day. No holiday, no this, no that, and his activities always in the devotional line. Always in remembrance of his Gurudev. And very jolly and sometimes we cannot also tell if he’s joking or being serious. Sometimes he will say something with a devotee and then the devotee goes and then Gurudev like laughing at us thinking, “Did he understand me?”

#00:15:23#

And he’s like having a gentle joke behind. But not a joke at anybody’s expense I’m talking about in a let’s see, you know, humorous thing but he was very definitely humorous. But another thing is that his, his approachability in no way kind of makes it more, more sort of superficial. He’s very approachable but very substantial and deep. And okay, Shrutashrava Prabhu, and now some of you know Shrutashrava Prabhu, he is a New Yorker, he’s strong personality, very confident, you can say, a typical New Yorker, you know, he’s a strong person. And he said to, he said to me and this is here, on Gurudev’s veranda, here in the last, you know, within that last year before Gurudev disappeared and he’s in his bed a lot and difficulty to himself go [from] a to b etc. And he said to me because he’s doing personal service as Nanda Priya Devi and Deva Bandhu [Prabhu] were doing, he’s doing personal service to Gurudev on like a shift basis. He’ll do for eight hours or something and he said, you know, Gurudev, he’s lying in his bed and he’s like, “But I still fear one word of chastisement from him,” you know, like Gurudev still he’s very affectionate and very everything but when he chastise and when he wants to say still somebody of Shrutashrava Prabhu’s nature he’s saying, “I am still fearful. I don’t fear anything (that kind of come from the streets New York), I don’t fear anything except chastisement from Gurudev.”

#00:17:19#

And also, I got my memories but then we feel that it’s a blessing also afterwards. Tyagi Maharaj, Sripad Tyagi Maharaj, please tell us one thing. Oh, I have no idea what the time is am I just rambling on and taking everything. Maharaj, please that tell us a little bit.

[Unclear replicas of Sripad Tyagi Maharaj.]

#00:17:45#

Sripad Tyagi Maharaj: And when we are with my memory of Sripad Tyagi Maharaj with Srila Gurudev was as he is sitting now, he’s always very humble but listening acutely and attentive and asking proper questions to Gurudev. This is my memory, this is my thought. Shachi Devi tell us something. And Shachi Devi is qualified to tell us because she has a big heart.

#00:18:15#

Shachi Didi: … Okay … Gurudev … every devotee … tell something to devotee … every time it was something new … inspiration because your master … to be connected with him … it that line, of Rupanuga line …

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Jay Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay!

Chaitanya Moyi [Devi] tell us something.

#00:20:14#

Chaitanya Moyi Didi: … when I first met him, him I couldn’t understand a word of what he said but soon, and I didn’t understand … but soon I could understand in my heart that he was the person that could guide my life, I could feel, I always felt like he’s being absent whatever … I would ask him, maybe I didn’t like the answer, I knew it was the life and I thought I had a happy life and I somehow did in that kind of consciousness but after I got the connection I felt safe and everything, I did even a lot, I felt protected somehow everything would go fine and I was in the end, I came through whatever mistake, I did in that way and …

#00:21:40#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Wonderful! Yes, so many aspects to Srila Gurudev, so many aspects, and it is a fact he was unquestionably our well-wisher in every way and everything unquestionably. We there’s no question, “Oh, is that the right, is that was that right what he said?” Like it was unquestionably and for our, our well-being he’s wanting good for others. And actually, that was his description about a mission and mission, Math, his mission, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, a mission will be successful — you must have that ingredient of you want to do good for others. And actually, that is another description of Srila Gurudev — he always wanted to do good for others. And he never wanted to, well, he never wanted, never entered his thought to cheat anybody or to compromise or to anything. But to do good for others and everybody who came to him just felt that ultimate protection.

#00:22:56#

And actually, our lives we are seeing week by week or month by month, we are hearing names — Shrutashrava Prabhu who I mentioned just now, he has passed away from this world recently, it was now months or years or more ago. And Siddhanti Maharaj, our dear Siddhanti Maharaj, dear Bhuvana Mohan Prabhu, I mean, one by one devotees are coming and going, but some devotees they are leaving young from the world through road accidents, through whatever it may be. So, we also must be aware that we are all going towards that next chapter and we shouldn’t be like everybody in the world who just thinks, “Oh, it never happened to me.” We need to be realistic. And realize that we do have our human body now and our, our human consciousness which is being woken up by our Gurus.

#00:23:50#

So as Chaitanya Moyi Didi said, we are protected, we are feeling protected but actually that feeling of protection really will go with us and at the time of our going to that next door, to start the next chapter without our body then we need to be firmly attached to his lotus feet as he showed by his example of being attached to the lotus feet of Srila Guru Maharaj. Again, the Acharya teaches by example, and his life was the example of being attached to the lotus feet of his Guru Maharaj. Means Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. And by the way we’re sitting in front of Guru Maharaj, sorry Guru Maharaj, that but Gurudev, he himself made this program nine o’clock each morning here on the samadhi-mandir. And he himself came and we put a chair and he sit very humbly and simply but he himself came here and gave class, not every day, but sometimes two, three, four days at a time but, you know, I don’t know four days at a time, but he would come and he would give class here when he was feeling like happy to do. So, when everything is little suitable for him to come, he’d come and give himself class here. And he when he’s up in his room he’ll be asking, “Who is in the class? Who’s giving classes?” He wanted that, we’ll have a western class too especially at that time, everything is very much in Bengali, the reading of the scripture, everything.

#00:25:22#

And so even more important and it’s not always been English, it’s been in Spanish and Russian and Portuguese maybe, I don’t know. But certainly we’ve had, you know, purely Russian classes, purely Spanish classes and nothing against having a purely Portuguese class when the majority of Portuguese. And Mahamantra Prabhu finally, tell me one thing about Gurudev.

#00:25:50#

[Unclear replicas from Mahamantra Prabhu.]

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Have you heard that from him? That is…

[Unclear replicas from Mahamantra Prabhu.]

#00:26:33#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: So Mahamantra Prabhu has filled in a big gap in my talking about Srila Govinda Maharaj. I never once used the expression ‘humility, tolerance and giving honor to others.’ But actually, that is the huge identification of Srila Gurudev. Gurudev repeatedly presented that, repeatedly even in one talking it will be humility, tolerance, giving honor to others. Humility, tolerance, giving honor to others. And Mahamantra Prabhu pointing out that he was the embodiment of what he taught, he was that person of humility, tolerance and giving honor to others. And we have been directing anybody who met him is a direct witness of that.

#00:27:27#

And we are sitting beside, beside his samadhi, the Temple of Love and Affection. And then maybe we’ll we can add in ethereal brackets underneath the embodiment of humility, tolerance and giving honor to others because love and affection and humility, tolerance and giving honor to others — it’s a very nice way for us to end our show. Prabhu, tell me something about Gurudev.

#00:27:58#

Devotee: His name — Bhakti Sundar Govinda. The real meaning of Sundar is … beauty is like something, something else, not like, like something, like you. But now when the first time I met him … when I approached … everybody ... before I wasn’t here … approach him.

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Wonderful.

[Unclear replicas of devotee.]

#00:30:07#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Reality the beautiful. And with his associates, with his family. That’s what we’re saying, our it is a family, worldwide family. Whether it’s Australia or whether Gurudev like to say, he even has disciples in the North Pole. Of course, he means the Arctic Circle. [He] said, “From North Pole to South Pole we have disciples,” like this. And the North Pole devotees come here. Oh, right, now from the North, yeah, almost the North Pole, the very north of Sweden, then two devotees in Vrindavan just now or near Vrindavan at this time. But Gurudev had so much affection for them. For I think something like six months of the year or something is completely dark they don’t even see the sun for six months or maybe it’s five months. But Gurudev had so much affection for them, these two devotees. Kanta Krishna Prabhu, just one last word from Kanta Krishna Prabhu. Say just one special thing about Gurudev out of…

#00:31:11#

Kanta Krishna Prabhu: … looking forward … he always says I … we almost finished our life … Srila Govinda Maharaj …

#00:33:26#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Jay Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj whose glories we can get a hint of in this way by hearing these things. When we meet him also, we cannot say, “Oh, we know spiritually who is Govinda Maharaj.” But just as a final note we are here in aparadha-bhanjan pat in Chaitanya Saraswat Math, in Nabadwip, in this most special place, special time and the special association, special event taking place. But Gurudev said about this place and he was saying about this upon his veranda when it was a small veranda before Acharya Maharaj secretly broke his house and made it into a big room as he was describing this morning which is an affectionate pastime between them.

#00:34:14#

But on his small veranda Gurudev was explaining, he’s sitting at his desk, and he was holding his hand above the desk and says about the Dham itself that if there is, we said, “We cannot see the spiritual energy, the spiritual side that is in the Dham actually,” but it is under, it is like having a fire under the table, there’s a cover, there’s a something over the top. He said, “If there is a fire under the table then I will feel some heat above the table.” So, some evidence I know that there’s fire there but I can’t see the fire it is covered but the piece of wood is in between. So Gurudev’s nature substantial, I mean the real, the nature is spiritual but we have our physical senses. But by meeting him then that affectionate and glorious relief work, safe shelter, all these different aspects, so we can feel and see with him, this glowingness that is like having our hand over the table, we know or we’re feeling some heat coming, we’re feeling some effect of that spiritual radiance. And one day we pray that by his grace, by Guru Maharaj’s grace that we can be accepted to actually see beyond the cover and join the fire of the Dham and the fire of Sri Guru and their associates.

#00:35:48#

Jay Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jai! Jay Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay! Jay Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, present Acharya Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj ki jay! All our parampara ki jay! Harinam-sankirtan ki jay! Nitai-Gaura premanande Hari Haribol!

#00:36:10#

Maharaj, please you lead us in hari haraye namaḥ kṛṣṇa. Do we have any mridangas and karatals? And I know we’ve been by the way, I’ve just come from Vrindavan as you know to here and coming here this morning, [it] is like entering a page of Chaitanya Charitamrita and seeing all the devotees chanting and dancing. And what Saraswati Thakur was teaching was paramahamsa-dharma which means 24 hours a day engagement in devotional service, devotional consciousness. And you can see from the moment that we’ve woken up this morning, there’s not one break, we are taking, okay, breakfast but breakfast we must also take as prasadam. There’s not one break in the middle and really it came in my mind, “Oh, Chaitanya-Charitamritam activities, they are alive here in Chaitanya Saraswat Math.”

Captured by Ananta Krishna Das
Edited by Tradish Das





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“Gurudev’s Affection and Gravity”

29 December 2012. Navadwipa Dhama, India

Sripad Mahananda Prabhu Bhakti Ranjan
(now Srila Bhakti Ranjan Madhusudan Maharaj) speaks
about Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj’s personal dealings.

    

Нежность и серьезность Гурудева

29 декабря 2012 года. Навадвипа Дхама, Индия

Шрипад Махананда Прабху Бхакти Ранджан
(в настоящее время Шрила Бхакти Ранджан Мадхусудан Махарадж)
рассказывает о том,
как Шрила Говинда Махарадж относился к людям.


English

Mahananda Prabhu Bhakti Ranjan |
Srila Bhakti Ranjan Madhusudan Maharaj

Gurudev’s Affection and Gravity

(29 December 2012. Navadwip Dham, India)

 

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: And we have such good fortune, we have so many things which are in our fortunate stars. So anything that’s in the unfortunate star then we just ignore that and say, “Never mind.” Whatever it is in the unfortunate star in our life we are in debt we are this, it’s only okay maybe, but we have this great gift which is that presence of the Guru, presence of the line that is being us to Srila Govinda Maharaj, to Srila Guru Maharaj, [to] Saraswati Thakur and the opportunity of that connection of service. So, we need to utilize our fortune and by the generosity of Srila Govinda Maharaj, by the serious generosity also of Srila Guru Maharaj, by Saraswati Thakur. He was very grave. They say, lion, like a lion, like that. But still he was very broad in his conception. Even that if in London it’s necessary to serve non-vegetarian food in order to get people to come to hear Krishna-katha then do that. How broad a vision that is!

#00:01:12#

And I remember… I mean Gurudev himself in the early days, I mean the early days of us, western, is coming here. He used to be quite shocked or baffled about the behavior of the western devotee. And you know like really, he was a little shocked and then we sort of explained that well, this is normal in the West or something like that. But then Gurudev he also went of course, he went to the West 24 times, 24 times he went to the West. Not just once and when he went to the West, it wasn’t to see the Eiffel Tower [in Paris] and the Tower Bridge [in London] and whatever is famous in Brazil I’m not sure, what’s in Brazil. What’s famous in Brazil?

Replica: Rio [de Janeiro].

#00:01:56#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Rio! Anyhow he [Srila Govinda Maharaj] went to distribute Krishna consciousness to, to present Krishna consciousness. When Gurudev went to the West and saw the living style, saw so many things in the West… after some years really I can directly think of a couple of instances where I was shocked by something that we got some news and then there we’re, we’re with Gurudev and we’re getting news we have to we’re obliged was doing secretarial work for him to say something to Gurudev to relay information whatever it may be. And I was shocked by a couple of things and Gurudev just like aloof, he said, “Okay.” But Gurudev, you know, the whole generosity became to that such a stage that westerners who know the West like well we are thinking of this is like beyond everything and then Gurudev himself accepting and thinking, “Well, okay, it’s the material world.”

#00:03:02#

And Guru Maharaj, Srila Sridhar Maharaj, had the expression of this whole world is a wrong place, it’s a like a disgusting place, this whole material world of birth and death, birth and death, it is all wrong, it is all bad. And he used the example of stool, a stool when people go, you know, you go to the bathroom, stool here in India you get a lot of stool on the street and goodness knows where near the villages you get a lot of stool. But he said, wet stool or dry stool now whether its dry stool is better than wet stool but it’s not that’s not what we’re interested in we want the gems and we want the bright clear things. So, this whole world is like that. And Srila Govinda Maharaj, he was so broad that if he could see the sincerity in somebody that even some so much wrong to somehow still attach to somebody’s nature still it was that sincerity that he captured and cultivated and drew out automatically, automatically.

#00:04:09#

Such a wonderful, wonderful person! And sometimes I use the example of my mother because I know her quite well and I kind of for many years I’m in the life of trying to be in the life of Krishna consciousness but you can think that she was somebody that would say she’ll never, never catch it, you know, she’ll never understand. And I as is quite well known I suppose was not going back to the West, I was staying here. So, when she was over 80 years old, she’s thinking, “Well, now I’m getting old I may not be agile to travel. So, one time I’ll go to the temple meet my son in India.” And she came basically came to, you know, just to see and everything else but I know her well that she was very skeptical, suspicious, whatever, it may be about so many things. And then but when she came, when she met Govinda Maharaj, it was just a complete transformation and then from that moment on from meeting with Govinda Maharaj then it was a different relationship in time. And then that was her fortune to meet him and Gurudev was so kind and this way.

#00:05:21#

So, but we saw that many times. When he was in Mexico, Gurudev had these bodyguards in Mexico from the government bodyguards and these like big guys because Mexico is a, we hear, a little bit of a gunda crazy place and people are kidnapped and all sorts of things go on. So, when there’s some VIP like this goes, “Oh, here we are.” [Phrase in Spanish]. I’m not saying but for Gurudev’s protection he had these bodyguards and the bodyguards themselves, they were melted by association and they said so many things. He [one of them] said, “In all our time we are with the royalty, we’re with presidents, we’re with all kinds of big important people, within all our time we never met such a person.” And Gurudev charmed them and maybe one of them took initiation. [Replica from the audience] Three took initiation. [Unclear replicas from the audience.] That last that was the security guards, yeah. They were, they were so much sad that they’re going to be in his separation, they saw what all the devotees would tasting and getting and they couldn’t resist. Yeah, many like extreme examples where people you would never think had any opportunities then Gurudev melted their heart. Actually, he was a very mystical person, we know, but he did so many kinds of miracles and even for his traveling he did so many miracles things which were impossible to do if you try getting visas for Indians to go to different places.

#00:07:07#

And we saw again and again because involved in arranging most of those world tours and the especially the early ones were very, very difficult because he did not have like a record of stamps in his passport. But we saw again and again miraculous dealings. And one, I mean actually so many, but one we’re thinking of exceptional people right in Kolkata at that time if you wanted to go to Europe you had to well, they’re going to Italy, but if you want to go to Europe you have to get a visa for Indians to go to Europe. But we had no choice but to go to the Italian embassy or consulate in Kolkata we had to get the Italian visa for going to Italy and it was not possible to get it through one of the Schengen country, it was something specific. But everybody including our very efficient and influential travel agent then they’re all saying, “This man is impossible, he’s the toughest man. No, you will not do.” And then anyhow we went and applied for his visa and going there and explaining who he [Srila Govinda Maharaj] is. And this man is huge, he was like a cartoon character. With a belt like this around his, his body [it] is like this and then like in the cartoon the tummy comes out to here. And it has big desk. And the embassy where you are the visa time timing, visa time the office is empty because nobody goes there because they know, they’re going to get refused. But we had no option. Anyway, this man, he just first of all everything is very heavy and strong, and Gurudev is not there that time, we are going to represent [him]. Then we are explaining this happening and then he is absolutely insisting, “Gurudev must go.” He, you know, not, he’s not saying ‘Gurudev’ but, “He must go, he must come,” like this. So anyway, we did everything, we could to like pacify him and he’s all very, you know, everything’s going to be no, no, no, no.

#00:09:06#

And then anyway when Gurudev, we came back to Gurudev, Gurudev we did everything we could, we couldn’t avoid that, “You will go,” and so many things, “Please, that’s the only way.” And Gurudev was completely happy, “If it’s necessary to go to Italy…” and: “Yes, I will go.” Then you wouldn’t so we drop him there, we went there to the embassy and, you know, he [embassy man] invited him [Srila Govinda Maharaj] in behind the counter to his big desk and everything. And that man was melted, honestly melted and he gave the visa. And they not only gave the visa but after about one minute of the, you know, their “What is your name?”, “Why you have?..”, no, “Why?..”, you know, whatever it was, you know, like all they want, they want a [unclear] or a house and a wife and a job, a certificate of this. They want all these official things and, you know, after but one minute he’s just doing his official stuff. Then within a minute they’re talking to each other as though they’ve known each other for a hundred years.

#00:10:05#

And he was Italian visa officer, just another example of how and then when again, because he went again to Italy and maybe another two or three times I don’t know how many times he went to Italy, after that we had no difficulty to go, except one time, the last time he had to go because they now they take, they take some photo that shows the back of your eye or something. And he was so apologetic to Gurudev and treated, treated him like a Guru, I mean treated him with full respect. And that embassy even that day we go the place is deserted nobody applies for visas. Anyway, I don’t know we can say many examples and even coming in when he’s at the airport Heathrow, airport. Heathrow airport is very difficult for Indians to go into there. And they have to stay in a separate line on so many things.

#00:11:00#

Somehow Gurudev just by his activity then he to sail straight through many things which were impossible took place. But that’s only like a service example but the thing is Nanda Priya [Didi] lived with Gurudev for four years, attending him and serving him, and there are so many every day, we can say, some things which happened that, this happened, that happened. But it’s, it is nice to be able to talk with the devotees who can share some of these things because Guru is Guru, we’re reading everything about Guru, but Guru is also, especially remembering Srila Gurudev, Srila Govinda Maharaj, at this time, I mean, he was such a sweet, sweet person, personal person to everybody. And that magnetic charm that he had was so deep behind it so what he was attracting people to give such deepest things to them. And Srila Govinda Maharaj’s glories can’t be completed in one sense but today we’re preparing ourselves and giving ourselves a little mental as well as physical exercise, if you like mental exercise, physical exercise in remembrance of him and in preparing for the festival that will take place tomorrow. And tomorrow each one of us will only have a few minutes to say anything because there’ll be, you know, so many people, so many sannyasis, it will be a big gathering. So today is a little opportunity for us to say something of the glories, of our glorious sweet Gurudev who we still miss too much.

#00:12:48#

Any questions from anybody? Nanda Priya Devi Dasi! No? Say something, say one thing out of many, many things that sticks out in your mind about Gurudev. He was irresistible.

#00:13:13#

Nanda Priya Devi Dasi: And one thing that struck me as soon … everything he was the Guru ... I was so astonished never for one second, he stopped being perfect and not for a second, he would, you know, not be your divine grace … ready not even when he was bathing or sleeping, daily activities, very holy and beautiful and like then impossible to describe…

#00:14:01#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Very, very nice! We have one very respectable doctor who also mingled, I mean, mingled with he was a doctor to high people like, you know, ministers and CEOs of businesses and stuff like that. And he said to me after being with Gurudev for we just maybe four or five days he was here with Gurudev, and he said, “I’ve seen so many VIP people but I have never ever seen anybody who’s 24 hours a day and every minute of 24 hours a day is an open book.” Nanda Priya Devi Dasi [is] giving that idea — to every moment of the day he’s living with the devotees, devotees around him, you can see his activity 24 hours a day, every single day. No holiday, no this, no that, and his activities always in the devotional line. Always in remembrance of his Gurudev. And very jolly and sometimes we cannot also tell if he’s joking or being serious. Sometimes he will say something with a devotee and then the devotee goes and then Gurudev like laughing at us thinking, “Did he understand me?”

#00:15:23#

And he’s like having a gentle joke behind. But not a joke at anybody’s expense I’m talking about in a let’s see, you know, humorous thing but he was very definitely humorous. But another thing is that his, his approachability in no way kind of makes it more, more sort of superficial. He’s very approachable but very substantial and deep. And okay, Shrutashrava Prabhu, and now some of you know Shrutashrava Prabhu, he is a New Yorker, he’s strong personality, very confident, you can say, a typical New Yorker, you know, he’s a strong person. And he said to, he said to me and this is here, on Gurudev’s veranda, here in the last, you know, within that last year before Gurudev disappeared and he’s in his bed a lot and difficulty to himself go [from] a to b etc. And he said to me because he’s doing personal service as Nanda Priya Devi and Deva Bandhu [Prabhu] were doing, he’s doing personal service to Gurudev on like a shift basis. He’ll do for eight hours or something and he said, you know, Gurudev, he’s lying in his bed and he’s like, “But I still fear one word of chastisement from him,” you know, like Gurudev still he’s very affectionate and very everything but when he chastise and when he wants to say still somebody of Shrutashrava Prabhu’s nature he’s saying, “I am still fearful. I don’t fear anything (that kind of come from the streets New York), I don’t fear anything except chastisement from Gurudev.”

#00:17:19#

And also, I got my memories but then we feel that it’s a blessing also afterwards. Tyagi Maharaj, Sripad Tyagi Maharaj, please tell us one thing. Oh, I have no idea what the time is am I just rambling on and taking everything. Maharaj, please that tell us a little bit.

[Unclear replicas of Sripad Tyagi Maharaj.]

#00:17:45#

Sripad Tyagi Maharaj: And when we are with my memory of Sripad Tyagi Maharaj with Srila Gurudev was as he is sitting now, he’s always very humble but listening acutely and attentive and asking proper questions to Gurudev. This is my memory, this is my thought. Shachi Devi tell us something. And Shachi Devi is qualified to tell us because she has a big heart.

#00:18:15#

Shachi Didi: … Okay … Gurudev … every devotee … tell something to devotee … every time it was something new … inspiration because your master … to be connected with him … it that line, of Rupanuga line …

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Jay Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay!

Chaitanya Moyi [Devi] tell us something.

#00:20:14#

Chaitanya Moyi Didi: … when I first met him, him I couldn’t understand a word of what he said but soon, and I didn’t understand … but soon I could understand in my heart that he was the person that could guide my life, I could feel, I always felt like he’s being absent whatever … I would ask him, maybe I didn’t like the answer, I knew it was the life and I thought I had a happy life and I somehow did in that kind of consciousness but after I got the connection I felt safe and everything, I did even a lot, I felt protected somehow everything would go fine and I was in the end, I came through whatever mistake, I did in that way and …

#00:21:40#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Wonderful! Yes, so many aspects to Srila Gurudev, so many aspects, and it is a fact he was unquestionably our well-wisher in every way and everything unquestionably. We there’s no question, “Oh, is that the right, is that was that right what he said?” Like it was unquestionably and for our, our well-being he’s wanting good for others. And actually, that was his description about a mission and mission, Math, his mission, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, a mission will be successful — you must have that ingredient of you want to do good for others. And actually, that is another description of Srila Gurudev — he always wanted to do good for others. And he never wanted to, well, he never wanted, never entered his thought to cheat anybody or to compromise or to anything. But to do good for others and everybody who came to him just felt that ultimate protection.

#00:22:56#

And actually, our lives we are seeing week by week or month by month, we are hearing names — Shrutashrava Prabhu who I mentioned just now, he has passed away from this world recently, it was now months or years or more ago. And Siddhanti Maharaj, our dear Siddhanti Maharaj, dear Bhuvana Mohan Prabhu, I mean, one by one devotees are coming and going, but some devotees they are leaving young from the world through road accidents, through whatever it may be. So, we also must be aware that we are all going towards that next chapter and we shouldn’t be like everybody in the world who just thinks, “Oh, it never happened to me.” We need to be realistic. And realize that we do have our human body now and our, our human consciousness which is being woken up by our Gurus.

#00:23:50#

So as Chaitanya Moyi Didi said, we are protected, we are feeling protected but actually that feeling of protection really will go with us and at the time of our going to that next door, to start the next chapter without our body then we need to be firmly attached to his lotus feet as he showed by his example of being attached to the lotus feet of Srila Guru Maharaj. Again, the Acharya teaches by example, and his life was the example of being attached to the lotus feet of his Guru Maharaj. Means Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. And by the way we’re sitting in front of Guru Maharaj, sorry Guru Maharaj, that but Gurudev, he himself made this program nine o’clock each morning here on the samadhi-mandir. And he himself came and we put a chair and he sit very humbly and simply but he himself came here and gave class, not every day, but sometimes two, three, four days at a time but, you know, I don’t know four days at a time, but he would come and he would give class here when he was feeling like happy to do. So, when everything is little suitable for him to come, he’d come and give himself class here. And he when he’s up in his room he’ll be asking, “Who is in the class? Who’s giving classes?” He wanted that, we’ll have a western class too especially at that time, everything is very much in Bengali, the reading of the scripture, everything.

#00:25:22#

And so even more important and it’s not always been English, it’s been in Spanish and Russian and Portuguese maybe, I don’t know. But certainly we’ve had, you know, purely Russian classes, purely Spanish classes and nothing against having a purely Portuguese class when the majority of Portuguese. And Mahamantra Prabhu finally, tell me one thing about Gurudev.

#00:25:50#

[Unclear replicas from Mahamantra Prabhu.]

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Have you heard that from him? That is…

[Unclear replicas from Mahamantra Prabhu.]

#00:26:33#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: So Mahamantra Prabhu has filled in a big gap in my talking about Srila Govinda Maharaj. I never once used the expression ‘humility, tolerance and giving honor to others.’ But actually, that is the huge identification of Srila Gurudev. Gurudev repeatedly presented that, repeatedly even in one talking it will be humility, tolerance, giving honor to others. Humility, tolerance, giving honor to others. And Mahamantra Prabhu pointing out that he was the embodiment of what he taught, he was that person of humility, tolerance and giving honor to others. And we have been directing anybody who met him is a direct witness of that.

#00:27:27#

And we are sitting beside, beside his samadhi, the Temple of Love and Affection. And then maybe we’ll we can add in ethereal brackets underneath the embodiment of humility, tolerance and giving honor to others because love and affection and humility, tolerance and giving honor to others — it’s a very nice way for us to end our show. Prabhu, tell me something about Gurudev.

#00:27:58#

Devotee: His name — Bhakti Sundar Govinda. The real meaning of Sundar is … beauty is like something, something else, not like, like something, like you. But now when the first time I met him … when I approached … everybody ... before I wasn’t here … approach him.

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Wonderful.

[Unclear replicas of devotee.]

#00:30:07#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Reality the beautiful. And with his associates, with his family. That’s what we’re saying, our it is a family, worldwide family. Whether it’s Australia or whether Gurudev like to say, he even has disciples in the North Pole. Of course, he means the Arctic Circle. [He] said, “From North Pole to South Pole we have disciples,” like this. And the North Pole devotees come here. Oh, right, now from the North, yeah, almost the North Pole, the very north of Sweden, then two devotees in Vrindavan just now or near Vrindavan at this time. But Gurudev had so much affection for them. For I think something like six months of the year or something is completely dark they don’t even see the sun for six months or maybe it’s five months. But Gurudev had so much affection for them, these two devotees. Kanta Krishna Prabhu, just one last word from Kanta Krishna Prabhu. Say just one special thing about Gurudev out of…

#00:31:11#

Kanta Krishna Prabhu: … looking forward … he always says I … we almost finished our life … Srila Govinda Maharaj …

#00:33:26#

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj: Jay Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj whose glories we can get a hint of in this way by hearing these things. When we meet him also, we cannot say, “Oh, we know spiritually who is Govinda Maharaj.” But just as a final note we are here in aparadha-bhanjan pat in Chaitanya Saraswat Math, in Nabadwip, in this most special place, special time and the special association, special event taking place. But Gurudev said about this place and he was saying about this upon his veranda when it was a small veranda before Acharya Maharaj secretly broke his house and made it into a big room as he was describing this morning which is an affectionate pastime between them.

#00:34:14#

But on his small veranda Gurudev was explaining, he’s sitting at his desk, and he was holding his hand above the desk and says about the Dham itself that if there is, we said, “We cannot see the spiritual energy, the spiritual side that is in the Dham actually,” but it is under, it is like having a fire under the table, there’s a cover, there’s a something over the top. He said, “If there is a fire under the table then I will feel some heat above the table.” So, some evidence I know that there’s fire there but I can’t see the fire it is covered but the piece of wood is in between. So Gurudev’s nature substantial, I mean the real, the nature is spiritual but we have our physical senses. But by meeting him then that affectionate and glorious relief work, safe shelter, all these different aspects, so we can feel and see with him, this glowingness that is like having our hand over the table, we know or we’re feeling some heat coming, we’re feeling some effect of that spiritual radiance. And one day we pray that by his grace, by Guru Maharaj’s grace that we can be accepted to actually see beyond the cover and join the fire of the Dham and the fire of Sri Guru and their associates.

#00:35:48#

Jay Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jai! Jay Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay! Jay Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, present Acharya Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj ki jay! All our parampara ki jay! Harinam-sankirtan ki jay! Nitai-Gaura premanande Hari Haribol!

#00:36:10#

Maharaj, please you lead us in hari haraye namaḥ kṛṣṇa. Do we have any mridangas and karatals? And I know we’ve been by the way, I’ve just come from Vrindavan as you know to here and coming here this morning, [it] is like entering a page of Chaitanya Charitamrita and seeing all the devotees chanting and dancing. And what Saraswati Thakur was teaching was paramahamsa-dharma which means 24 hours a day engagement in devotional service, devotional consciousness. And you can see from the moment that we’ve woken up this morning, there’s not one break, we are taking, okay, breakfast but breakfast we must also take as prasadam. There’s not one break in the middle and really it came in my mind, “Oh, Chaitanya-Charitamritam activities, they are alive here in Chaitanya Saraswat Math.”

Captured by Ananta Krishna Das
Edited by Tradish Das


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