Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj appeared in this world on December 17th, 1929 at Bamunpara, a small rural village in the Burdwan district of West Bengal. He joined the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in 1947 when he was seventeen years old. A few weeks later, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj surprised everyone by announcing that his young disciple would later become his successor.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj himself saw to Srila Govinda Maharaj’s education, and had him properly trained in Sanskrit grammar and composition, as well as the conclusions of the sastras (Vedic literatures). From the beginning, Srila Govinda Maharaj demonstrated a remarkable memory and the ability to learn quickly just by hearing. Later, he was sent to Kolkata, where he stayed with Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj and learned Bhagavad-gita from him. Srila Govinda Maharaj has always shown the ability to properly represent the profound siddhanta, or spiritual conclusions of his teachers, and many of the prominent disciples and followers of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur had much appreciation for him and bestowed their blessings upon him.
On 26 March 1986, Srila Sridhar Maharaj formally gave his chair to Srila Govinda Maharaj and personally seated him as his successor and the Acharya (preceptor and guardian) of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Srila Govinda Maharaj has also traveled extensively throughout the world; everywhere devotees and scholars alike have appreciated the profound insight and beauty of his teachings. Like his spiritual master, he has attracted many people by his strong common sense, profound intelligence, and disinterested, or nonsectarian nature. Today, with many centres and disciples, and books published in a variety of languages, Srila Govinda Maharaj has become the leader of a flourishing worldwide Krishna consciousness Mission.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj is the foremost pure devotee and is the patriarch of the followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He is an intimate disciple and eternal associate of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, the Founder-Acharya of Sri Gaudiya Math who masterminded a spiritual revolution to inundate the world with Krishna consciousness. Noted for his wonderful ability to draw out the inner meaning of the scriptures, Srila Sridhar Maharaj once composed a poem describing the ontological positions of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur and the line of disciplic succession stemming from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati was so pleased with his poem that he remarked, «Sridhar Maharaj is carrying the conception of Bhakti Vinod Thakur. Now, I am satisfied that although I may go, at least one man will remain behind who can represent my conclusions.»
As he prepared to leave this mortal world, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati expressed his desire to fix his consciousness on the lotus feet of Sri Rupa Manjari. He called his beloved disciple Srila Sridhar Maharaj to his bedside and requested him to sing the famous song of Narottam Das Thakur, Sri Rupa Manjari Pada. At that time, in what has been described as a ‘mystic transmission’, he gave Srila Sridhar Maharaj entrance into the eternal entourage of Sri Rupa Manjari. According to Srila Sridhar Maharaj’s vision, however, he was posted as the gatekeeper, the guardian of devotion (bhakti-raksak), to protect the storehouse of conclusive truths about the full-fledged theistic conception of Sri Krishna, Reality the Beautiful, as presented in Srimad Bhagavatam and preached by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the line of disciplic succession that has descended from Him, known as the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat sampradaya.
Sripad Nityananda Prabhu By the grace of Nityananda Prabhu we develop our attraction to Sri Gauranga. Nityananda Prabhu helps us consolidate the foundation on which we can progress further. His mercy sometimes exceeds the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He won’t allow even those who want to avoid Krishna consciousness to escape. If someone says, «I don’t want it», Nityananda Prabhu won’t allow it. He will say, «No! You must want it. I request you earnestly — take it! Use it and you will be able to feel the value of Krishna consciousness.» He used to roam about here and there, rolling in the dust with tears in His eyes saying, «Take the name of Gauranga and I will be sold to you.»
By His mercy, even the most fallen souls can attain the supreme goal. He is the most generous-hearted aspect of Guru-tattva, so we must bow down our head to Him, accept His holy feet, and surrender to Him.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Absolute Truth in its fullest and most dynamic expression. The influence of Radharani over Krishna has transformed Him into a devotee, and He is searching Himself. Krishna — the personification of ecstasy and beauty — is mad in tasting His own internal nectar. His dancing indicates that He is full of ecstasy, and His sankirtan movement is the distribution of that ecstasy to others.
Sri Sri Radha and Krishna Sri Krishna is the fountainhead of all pleasure, ecstasy Himself, and Srimati Radharani is the embodiment of ecstatic love of Godhead. Radha and Krishna are one and the same, but They have assumed two forms. Thus They enjoy each other, tasting the mellows of divine love. The service of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna in Vrndavan can be attained only by unalloyed devotion to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.