Srila Sridhar Maharaj with Srila Govinda Maharaj
Excerpts from Affectionate Guidance
in glorification of Srila Sridhar Maharaj
by Srila B.S. Govinda Maharaj
The Flow of Mahaprabhu's Line
Srila Guru Maharaj's Godbrothers clearly expressed their
great regard for His Divine Grace. One mentioned to me
in a letter that they would always continue to come here,
because for as long as Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is present they want to come and hear
from him. They expressed that whenever they hear from
Srila Sridhar Maharaj, they feel they are in the shade of
Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
They all gave such honour to our Srila Guru Maharaj,
and why? Their life's goal is the service of Sri Sri Radha
Govinda, and they understood that such service is coming
through their Sri Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta
Saraswati Thakur. But they also saw that their Gurudev
had transmitted his divine power to Srila Sridhar
Maharaj—so their idea was that Gurudev's merciful
power is graciously present in our Srila Guru Maharaj. It
is for this reason that they always came to Srila Guru
They had left all their mundane facilities and life's
desires, and joined within the Mission for the service to
Radha-Krishna, and to Prabhu Nityananda and Mahaprabhu.
In which way will they get that service? Only the
mercy of the Vaishnavas and the mercy of Sri Guru can give
that service. This was very clear to them, so they would
all forego any personal position—everything—and come from time to time to see Srila Guru Maharaj. They
expressed to him about their preaching work and preaching
style, and they felt very happy to see his happiness.
So many of Srila Guru Maharaj's Godbrothers used to
attend the meeting of the Visva-Vaishnava-Raja Sabha
organised by our Math. Srila Guru Maharaj would always
give the presidential chair to Sripad Bhakti Saranga
Goswami Maharaj. Although Sripad Goswami Maharaj
took sannyas from Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Guru Maharaj
knew that Sripad Goswami Maharaj's all-round position
was so high within the Gaudiya mission. He therefore
always offered the presidential chair to him.
Once, after accepting that presidential chair, Sripad
Goswami Maharaj gave a particularly special lecture. He
explained that he and other great preachers are active in
all directions, but they all wait to see how Srila Sridhar
Maharaj considers the quality of their preaching style. He
used the word 'simhavalokana.' He indicated, "We are
preaching over the whole world, but from time to time we
look to see whether Srila Sridhar Maharaj is happy with
our preaching activities."
Simhavalokana refers to how a lion goes some distance
then looks behind to check the environment, then
proceeds further, then again looks behind. In this way
Sripad Goswami Maharaj described how all the preachers
again and again look toward Srila Guru Maharaj to see if
their preaching has his approval.
Question: Who first started the Sri Gaudiya Darshan
magazine and why?
Srila Govinda Maharaj: In the time of Prabhupad Srila
Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Srila Guru Maharaj
preached all over India. He was a very successful preacher
and everyone respected him. By the wish of Krishna when
Srila Guru Maharaj came out from the Gaudiya Math many
of the senior devotees also came out at that time and they
started to preach. Srila Guru Maharaj did not join with
them but he helped them. In particular he helped his
Godbrothers such as Sripad Jajavar Maharaj, Sripad
Goswami Maharaj and Sripad Keshava Maharaj, but
finally it was his wish to stay alone in this Sri Chaitanya
Saraswat Math. There is no doubt that his wish was always
for preaching. He was always preaching Sriman Mahaprabhu's
glories and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati
Thakur's glories, and everyone would come to hear from
him and receive inspiration. They felt that it was Srila
Prabhupad himself explaining to them about Krishna consciousness.
When Srila Guru Maharaj started his preaching in Sri
Chaitanya Saraswat Math he lived in a hut. It was then his
intention that he would preach to those who came to him,
but he would no longer go out from the Math to preach.
At that time Srila Guru Maharaj showed us that his health
was not so suitable for preaching. But his wish to preach was very strong. Srila Guru Maharaj received some inspiration
that it was the desire of Prabhupad Srila Bhakti
Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur and Sriman Mahaprabhu that
this sampradaya would run through him. Many of the disciples
of Srila Saraswati Thakur continued their preaching,
but mostly it was the earnest desire of Srila Saraswati
Thakur that the preceptorial line will run through our Srila
Guru Maharaj. Srila Guru Maharaj also was looking for
someone to continue that line.
When Srila Guru Maharaj gave me the chance to stay
at his lotus feet he received some inspiration: "Perhaps this
boy can continue the preceptorial line." He therefore gave
some nourishment to me. I was not so qualified. Actually
I was unqualified, but he tried to make me qualified.
I joined in 1947, and presently I noticed that regular
periodicals were being published from maybe three or
four other maths. After seven years, through affection and
causeless mercy I had some capacity to publish a magazine,
and I also felt very much necessity for our own
magazine. I felt that a monthly magazine for our preaching
purpose would be very nice, so I approached Srila
Guru Maharaj with this proposal.
Srila Guru Maharaj was very enthusiastic and I requested
that he give an article each month. Also I approached
Sripad Madhusudan Maharaj, Sripad Jajavar Maharaj and
others who were capable to contribute articles. At least in
every issue one article must be Srila Guru Maharaj's
article, and one I can collect from Srila Saraswati Thakur's
writings. And if Sripad Madhusudan Maharaj will give
one article, then I will get at least three strong articles each
month, and in this way the dignity of the paper must be
higher than others' magazines.
Srila Guru Maharaj was very enthusiastic and said,"This idea is very good. If you can continue, then try to do
this." I then began.
It is the teaching of Srila Guru Maharaj that we shall
proceed under the guidance of Sri Guru-Vaishnava, and it
is my nature that I always keep the Vaishnavas upon my
head. In that way I considered Sripad Madhusudan
Maharaj to be highly qualified, and if he would take the
editor's position our magazine would receive universal
appreciation. That is, we are living in Sri Chaitanya
Saraswat Math, and this magazine is for Sri Chaitanya
Saraswat Math, but our editor is from another math. Thus
everyone can see that our vision is that we are giving
position to those who are really qualified. They will see
that we have a broad view. Not only that, but we decided
that we shall glorify other Vaishnavas' characters, and give
news of other Vaishnavas' preaching also. We did that,
furthermore we published their activities with pictures.
We tried to glorify the mission and character of all the
Godbrothers who were very affectionately connected
with Srila Guru Maharaj. In that way our Sri Gaudiya
Darshan had a broad 'international' vision.
Srila Guru Maharaj agreed and said to me, "If Sripad
Madhusudan Maharaj will accept the position of editor it
will be very good, but you must put your name there as
joint editor." Therefore Sripad Madhusudan Maharaj and
myself were joint editors, Srila Guru Maharaj was the
Founder-Acharyya, and Sripad Jajavar Maharaj and Sripad
Paramahamsa Maharaj were advisers of the Sri Gaudiya
Darshan. Srila Guru Maharaj as far as possible gave an
article each month. Sripad Madhusudan Maharaj, Sripad
Paramahamsa Maharaj and others also gave.
Sri Gaudiya Darshan began as a monthly magazine. For
the first few years the magazine was very strong and ran
well, but lastly all the burden for the running of Sri
Chaitanya Saraswat Math came upon my head. I was
practically alone and my time was very short, therefore
the magazine became a little weaker later. Also Srila Guru
Maharaj showed his health to be less strong and it was
very difficult for him to give articles regularly. But we
tried to continue.
We always held a very neutral position. In the Sri
Gaudiya Darshan, glorification to others connected throughout
the whole sampradaya was given where it was
warranted, also guidelines were given when required.
Everyone knew Srila Guru Maharaj was their guide and
they accepted his advice. In this way Sri Gaudiya Darshan
gained a high reputation.
All the articles were either in Bengali or Sanskrit. Srila
Guru Maharaj sometimes composed in Sanskrit, and
especially at the beginning of each new year Srila Guru
Maharaj would generally compose some Sanskrit slokas.
Also I must name one good compositor, Khapanaka
Prabhu, who helped untiringly for hand-setting the type
of the magazine. He was a disciple of Sripad Keshava
Maharaj but with Sripad Keshava Maharaj's permission he
was living with us. Then, like now, many devotees from
other Maths would come and stay with us from time to
time. They were disciples of other Maharajs but they
would come in order to serve Srila Guru Maharaj.
continuing to page 222
After Srila Swami Maharaj returned from his successful
preaching in the West, Srila Guru Maharaj became very
happy and enthusiastic and he gave much respect to Srila
Swami Maharaj. In Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math every
day Srila Guru Maharaj preached, but he did not go out
from the Math except perhaps three or four times yearly.
He would go out on special occasions such as to Sripad
Madhava Maharaj's Math in Calcutta where yearly they
would hold one or two large week-long meetings. Sripad
Madhava Maharaj would eagerly await Srila Guru
Maharaj's presence at such meetings. Srila Guru Maharaj
would go there every year. In addition Srila Guru Maharaj
would go to the Appearance Day meeting of Sripad
Goswami Maharaj at Sri Gaudiya Sangha, 23 Doctor's
Mainly it was only to Sripad Madhava Maharaj's Math
and Sripad Goswami Maharaj's Math that Srila Guru
Maharaj would go to for preaching, but always he
preached from his room upstairs in Sri Chaitanya Saraswat
Math. Srila Guru Maharaj was a very enthusiastic preacher
and many devotees had the opportunity to see how
enthusiastic he was. Up until 1987 Srila Guru Maharaj
continuously preached here, and his preaching continued,
though not as fully as before, until a few months before
his disappearance in August 1988.
Actually during the whole day Srila Guru Maharaj
would preach, but seated at one time he would often
preach for two or three hours. The preaching tendency of
Srila Guru Maharaj was of a very unique type.
In March 1986 during his lifetime Srila Guru Maharaj
gave me the full charge of this Math as Acharyya, and we
continued to produce publications. From abroad we also
received publications for our Math such as those from
Sripad Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Maharaj and others.
We continued to publish Sri Gaudiya Darshan at least
yearly, and after Srila Guru Maharaj's disappearance
regular periodicals began from several of our branch missions including London, South Africa, Australia and
America. I was very enthusiastic to see the arrival of all
these English magazines.
We are disciples of Srila Guru Maharaj therefore we are
very much enthusiastic to publish books and magazines
in order to preach his message and glories. You can see
that our preaching tendency is continuously proceeding,
so when from the Western world five or six periodicals
became manifest, naturally our feelings came that why is
this not also possible from Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math?
The only cause was a lack of manpower. But if we can publish,
then the mission all over the world will receive some
guidelines. Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math is the parent Math
of all the maths in our society, and for their guideline it is
very good if again we can publish regularly the Sri Gaudiya
Darshan. This is what is in the heart of us all here. We are
all enthusiastic to again publish Sri Gaudiya Darshan because
it will be in honour of Srila Guru Maharaj so automatically
remembrance of Srila Guru Maharaj will come.
In particular it is my intention that Sri Gaudiya Darshan
will be a vehicle to keep devotees around the world
connected together. They will get to know what each other
are doing and especially they will hear from this central
Math, the central source of guidance of Srila Guru
Maharaj for us all. This is one form of association for the
devotees through which everyone everywhere may feel
some energy and enthusiasm in their spiritual service-journey
to their transcendental destination.
It is very good if we can make this magazine, but I am
getting older day by day therefore a new generation must
take charge. If it is possible to make this periodical it must
give pleasure to the heart of Srila Guru Maharaj and I
must be very happy.