All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Srimad Bhaktivinoda-viraha Dasakam

Prayer in Separation of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Composed by Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

English translation by Sripad Swarupananda Prabhu, first printed in the "Selected Gems" section of "Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamritam -- Positive and Progressive Immortality."

Alas, alas! O Bhaktivinoda Thakura, O Supreme Guru, for twenty-two years this world has been plunged into misfortune, long grief-stricken in your intolerable separation. You are the divine potency of Sri Gaura, and you graciously made your advent in this earthly plane, being attracted by the living beings' virtuous deeds performed throughout many lifetimes.
Since I am lowly and very wretched, it was not my luck to reach the ocean that bestows the fortune of surrender -- the ocean of the ecstasy of bathing in a particle of the dust of your holy lotus feet. Yet due to your magnanimous nature, you gave your grace to the whole universe, personally revealing your super-eminence as the personification of the mercy potency of Sri Gauranga. (That is, by coming into this world, I received his grace.)
O Lord, even all the demigods headed by Lord Brahma feel frustrated by their inability to (fittingly) sing the glories of all your divine qualities. What, then, can be said of the attempt of a fallen soul, a mere human like me? Surely, the learned will never waste their eloquent words eulogising this statement, since even the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna Himself, has sung in the Scriptures His celebrated confession "na paraye 'ham" -- "I am unable (to reciprocate your devotion)."
At a time when religion was evaluated in terms of bodily relationship, saintliness was determined by ignorance, and yoga practice was motivated by sensual pleasure; when scholarship was cultivated just for voidism, japa was conducted for the sake of fame, and penance was performed out of vindictiveness; when charity was given out of pride, and on the pretext of spontaneous devotion the most gross, sinful acts were perpetrated - and in all such anomalous situations even the intelligentsia were at loggerheads with one that very time, you were sent by the Almighty Creator.
As the universally cooling moon is beautified by diffusing its nectarine rays, nourishing the plants and inciting the twinkling of the stars, your Holy Advent in this world is similarly ascertained as satisfying the pure devotional Scriptures (through profound study) and blessing the learned with full-blown happiness (by the perfect axiomatic conclusions descending in Divine Succession). With your appearance, the ecstasy of the devotees knows no bounds.
By writing many books and by multifarious methods recognised by the pure devotees, you have demonstrated the preaching of pure devotional service unto the Supreme Lord, for the benefit of the whole world. We have heard of similar achievements in previous times by stalwart scholars such as Sri Ramanuja and many other Acharyyas; but the glory of you -- the very embodiment of the nectar of divine love -- does not end (cannot be confined) here.
Merely the effulgence of His divine abode has been designated by the title 'Brahman' in the Vedas, and only the expansion of an expansion of His expansion is sought after with great tribulation by the foremost yogis. The most exalted of the liberated souls shine resplendent as the bumblebees at His lotus feet. The Primeval Origin of even the Original Sri Narayana who is the Lord of the spiritual sky above Brahman: He is the Original Supreme Lord, the personification of all nectarine mellows - Sri Krsna -- and He is the one that you give.
Situated in the topmost region of the absolutely inconceivable spiritual sky is the holy abode of Sri Vrindavana Dhama, in the spiritual planet known as Goloka. There, surrounded by Sakhis, Srimati Radhika revels in the mellows of divine pastimes. With great ecstasy, She expands the joy of loving sweetness in the service of Sri Krishnachandra, who is otherwise served in four relationships up to parenthood. You, O Thakura Bhaktivinoda, can give us the service of that holy Dhama.
The internal purport is known to Sri Svarupa Damodara by the sanction of Sri Gaurachandra, of that which is adored by Sri Sanatana Goswami and distributed by the preceptors realised in transcendental mellows, headed by Sri Rupa Goswami; that which is tasted and enhanced by Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami and followers and carefully protected by the votaries headed by Sri Jiva Prabhu; and that which (from a respectful distance) is venerated by great personalities such as Sri Suka, Lord Siva, the chief of the demigods, and Lord Brahma, the grandfather of all beings -- O wonder of wonders! the nectarine rapture of servitude unto Sri Radhika -- that, too, you can give us.
Where am I, so lowly and fallen, and where are you, the great soul who delivers the universe! O Lord, by your grace, you are sure to forgive my offences. O ocean of mercy, in the dust of your lotus feet I pray for just this benediction: kindly make my life successful by recommending me for admission into the group of Sri Varsabhanavi Dayita Dasa, who is the dearmost one in your heart.

Translator's Note:

The preceding prayer to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura (1838-1914), the pioneer of pure devotion in the recent age, was composed within the lifetime of the author's Guru, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura Goswami Prabhupada. Upon reading the original Sanskrit verse, Srila Prabhupada commented, "Now I am confident that we have one man who is qualified to uphold the standard of our Sampradaya (Divine Succession)."

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