by Swami B.G. Narasingha
This article is based on a talk given by Swami B.G. Narasiṅgha at the virāha-mahotsava of Śrīla Bhakti Pramoda Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja at Śrīdhāma Māyāpura on 24th November 1999)
oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
apayayan māṁ anabhīpsu andhām
śrī-bhakti-pramoda purī gosvāmī nāma
kṛpām buddhir yas tam ahaṁ prapadye
We would like to speak a few words here on behalf of the many admirers and followers of Pūjyapāda Śrīla Bhakti Pramoda Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja who are in distant lands far, far away from Śrīdhāma Māyāpura and are thus unable to attend this function.
We feel that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu have been especially kind and merciful to the world — that They have come to our door with the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. They have knocked on our door requesting us to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and They have invited us here to this holy land of Śrīdhāma Māyāpura. And how have They invited us? — by sending Their confidential and dearest servants, the bona fide representatives in disciplic succession.
Although Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja — he never physically left Bhārata-varṣa, the land of India, nonetheless, his name, his transcendental form, his character, his kind and gentle nature, and his vāṇī (his teachings) are now universally known. In many places his name is a household word. His greatness as a gentle pure hearted Vaiṣṇava is known in many foreign countries where, if we tell the name of those countries, many of you here today may not even know where that country is — it is so very far from Śrīdhāma Māyāpura.
So far from this little cottage on Bhaktisiddhānta Road; so far from that little room of his — and so far from that bed where we often had his holy darśana. Yet people are always thinking of him and are always anxious to hear some news — some divine instructions from him. And now all these persons in foreign countries which I speak of, whose life and soul was the presence of Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja are now weeping during these days — their hearts are completely broken!
Indeed, this may be the time when the world has wept more for a particular Vaisnava than at any other time in history. Because this Vaisnava, Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, he is known all over the world. In the time of Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and other great Vaisnavas India wept — India was weeping when those great souls left this mortal world but now the whole world is weeping!
At the beginning of this century the holy names of Kṛṣṇa and Mahāprabhu were unknown in the foreign counties: North America, South America, Austria — so many islands spread throughout the great ocean and in all these places devotees happily chant the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord. But now, even in those most remote places there is sadness and the devotees are weeping in separation of that great Vaiṣṇava personality, Śrī Pūjyapāda Bhakti Pramoda Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja.
On behalf of the many devotees in foreign countries who are not present today, I will say: To the best of our understanding we were able to perceive in Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja everything that represents a perfect Vaiṣṇava. We feel that he was a perfect disciple of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda and as a perfect disciple he is naturally a perfect guru also. He was nāma-guru, mantra-guru, and śikṣā-guru for so many disciples. He was sannyāsa–guru also for more than one hundred and twenty tridaṇḍi–sannyāsīns. In this regard he was jagat-guru, the guru of the whole world.
It is said that drops of water will wear away the hardest of stones. The stone is very hard and in this Kali-yuga, our hearts are just like the stone. Our hearts are hard like stone — indifferent to the holy name, form, pastimes, and paraphernalia of the Supreme Lord. But drops of water will wear away the greatest stone; similarly the words and association of such a liberated personality as Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja will wear away at our hard like hearts and our hearts will become soft. Our hearts will become soft towards the Vaiṣṇavas, soft towards the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, soft towards the holy land of Mahāprabhu’s pastimes and toward the holy land of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. Ultimately our hearts will become soft towards all living entities – towards all living beings, who are themselves also the servants of Kṛṣṇa.
My humble service for some years has been to publish books and sometimes those books are very big and very costly — a prestigious type of books. In our last meeting with Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja we showed him one such publication and after seeing that publication, produced in a grand style, he called us to his bedside and remarked, “Please, make some small books about Kṛṣṇa for everyone in the world so that everyone will know about Kṛṣṇa.” Everyone, he said, should know about Kṛṣṇa. There is no separate soul of India; there is no separate soul of America; there is no separate soul of Russia — all are parts and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. There is no such thing as difference among the souls — there are only these bodies, which are temporary, and which create unwanted distinction among the living entities. This body belongs to the earth. It is on loan, like a loan from the bank: we must pay back after sometime. The ātmā, the soul, belongs to Kṛṣṇa. There is no distinction. All living beings are subordinate to Kṛṣṇa; all living beings are servants of Kṛṣṇa. Without connection to Kṛṣṇa, everyone is suffering in this mundane world. So all living beings should know about Kṛṣṇa.”
Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja instructed us, “You please make some small publication, for all the people of the world — that they will know who Kṛṣṇa is and that their duty is to serve Kṛṣṇa.” So his heart went out to the needy people of the world who are in ignorance of Kṛṣṇa. It is said that sometimes Mahāprabhu was weeping for those who were going away. In his saṅkīrtana maybe lakhs of people came, but a few went away from the back. I heard one gentleman say, “For those that went away, Mahāprabhu was weeping.” We call such a person parā–duḥkha–duḥkhi, or one who has compassion for the suffering of others. We find this very rare quality in Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja.
I must count myself amongst the suffering people of this world, I am among the most unfortunate, fallen souls drowning in an ocean of ignorance. And many persons like myself we were fortunate and over joyous to have his affectionate glances, and kind words, as such to encourage us in our eternal life of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So when the news of his departure reached South India, where we are living, all the sky began to weep, raining from the sky in a very sad way. Not just rain but the sky was weeping and all the devotees were sad to hear the news of Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja’s departure.
Just before Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja departed from this mortal plane, Śrī Jagannatha Deva shook heaven and earth. The Lord shook heaven and earth, and made a storm to fall upon Orissa — possibly the heaviest storm of the century in Orissa. Also, shortly before his departure the greatest flood of this decade came to Śrīdhāma Māyāpura. What should we understand as the meaning of this? It may be taken that such exulted devotees as Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja are very dear to Śrī Jagannātha Deva and that the Lord Himself is shaking in the anticipation of their departure from this world. Of course, Śrī Jagannātha Deva and Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja are eternally united in divine līlā or pastimes – but I am not qualified to speak about that plane. However, I know what happened here — the heaven and earth trembled with the thought of the departure of Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja.
When our śikṣā-guru, Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī, departed from this world there was a big earthquake in the Himalayas. Like that, if we will see factually, the Earth can not bear the separation of the pure Vaiṣṇavas. We have heard that when Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda departed from this world that all the clocks in the maṭha stopped. Such things happen before and after, and at the time of the departure of great Vaiṣṇava personalities. We may think,”Oh, it is coming here, this storm. It is this, or it is that.” This we may think or we may see that such events have some connection in relation to the Vaiṣṇava’s divine position.
Of the many devotees in Western countries and also from distant parts of India who could not come here today, we want to say that we are very sad that they are now deprived of Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja’s personal darśana. We now look towards his many followers and disciples — his sincere ones, the near and dear ones, to continue his legacy. May the full blessings of Śrīla Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja always be upon the heads of those devotees who earnestly cling to his lotus feet with a devotional mood of affection and love.
Śrī Pūjyapāda Śrīla Bhakti Pramoda Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja ki jaya!
More Articles by Swami B.G. Narasingha
The Importance of Mahāprabhu
“The Importance of Mahāprabhu” is a previously unpublished article written by Śrīla Narasiṅgha Mahārāja in 1998 in response to a question concerning the divinity of Mahāprabhu in regards to the verse ‘ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa tanayas.’ This article ends abruptly, so it is possible that Śrīla Narasiṅgha Mahārāja never completed it.
Gold is Gold!
"Gold is Gold" is a short article written by Śrīla Narasiṅgha Mahārāja for blog, narasingha.net, on June 7th, 2011. Mahārāja speaks about the actual value of gold and how paper money has no true value.
Scholarship vs Divine Revelation
‘Scholarship vs Divine Revelation’ was first written by Swami B.G. Narasingha in December 2002. In this article Narasingha Maharaja defends the reputation of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura from a scholar who claims that some of the works of the Ṭhākura are ‘pious forgeries.’