All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

The Holy Appearance Day of
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur

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Webpage prepared March 2005, by Damayanti Dasi

The Voice of Sri Chaitanyadev



Affectionate Guidance, Chapter 22

by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

anyera hrdaya - mana, mora mana - vrndavana
  'mane' 'bane' eka kari' jani
tanha tomara pada-dvaya, karaha yadi udaya,
   tabe tomara purna krpa mani

'At that time Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur appeared as the divine grace of Sriman Mahaprabhu in the mundane world as a transcendental sampradaya purifier and re-establisher. Whole-heartedly with his full energy he tried to re-establish the pure Mahaprabhuís conception by his melted heart prayers. He was paradukha dukhi, extremely sorrowful to see the pain of the conditioned souls. As much as possible by him he tried to remove and clean the obstacles from our vision of the spiritual sky. He prayed to Mahaprabhu, ìPlease send Your merciful glance in the form of a Vaisnava Acharyya.î

Through his divine prayer we have got Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur as an illustrious, exalted, unique sampradaya Acharyya of Sriman Mahaprabhu.'

-Affectionate Guidance, Section 4

The illusory environment is always attacking and disturbing the jiva-souls in so many ways. But Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati started the cleansing process, like Gundicha-marjjan, the cleansing of the Lord's Temple. This was his first work in this world.

The heart must be made like Vrndavan. It won't do to keep a jungle in the heart. Many disturbing elements are in the jungle, but there is nothing like that in Vrndavan. Everything in Vrndavan is perfectly pure. So we must worship the Supreme Lord purely. To mix with maya for our sense pleasure and invite God in our heart is gross hypocrisy. With great force, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur did everything in their power to smash such hypocrisy.

Their first work was to preach the Name. In Bengal so many would chant the Name, but in a hashish-smoking party. Some would chant for hours on end. There was no dearth of such Harinama in Bengal, but the qualification of real purity was absent. Because of this, Mahaprabhu's Sampradaya or religious succession became completely adulterated. People uttered the name 'Vaisnava' with hatred. The groups known as Neda, Darabesa, Sani, Aul, Baul, Karttabhaja, etc. -- they all made such a hodgepodge of Mahaprabhu's high and confidential teachings of divine perfection, that Mahaprabhu was no longer respected by the people. If anyone said, "A Vaisnava is at the door," the head of the family would say, "Oh, give him a little rice and send him off." Such was the conception the common people had of Vaisnavas.

But the real Vaisnava-dharmma is jaiva-dharmma, the nature of the soul, the divine life of the soul. Bhaktivinod Thakur wrote his book Jaiva-dharmma to bring genuine Vaisnava religion out to the world.

jivera 'svarupa' haya -- krsnera 'nitya-dasa'
krsnera 'tatastha sakti', 'bhedabheda prakasa'

     (Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 20.108)

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught, "The real identity of the soul is as an eternal servitor of Krsna. He is Krsna's marginal potency, present simultaneously distinct yet non-distinct from Krsna." And it was this type of transcendental knowledge that Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami brought here. That was already present but hidden in the Scriptures or holy books, and he revealed it. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami's unique contribution was the daiva-varnasrama-dharmma, or Godly socio-religious society, according to the proper interpretation of the Scriptures: daiva-varnasrama-dharmma, hari-bhakti yara marmma, sastra yukti karila nischaya. The so-called 'religion' that goes on in the material world is demoniac or asura-varnasrama, but the daiva-varnasrama-dharmma always strives to worship the Lord. There are many devotional duties, but their aim is exclusively the satisfaction of the Lord.

Sravanam kirttanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam, or hearing, chanting, remembering, etc., are all duties for no other purpose but worshipping the Lord. The execution of these functions is known, in its primary stage, as daiva-varnasrama. The bodily calculation of considering a brahmana's son a brahmana, or a sudra's son a sudra, etc., is false.

chatur-vvarnyam maya srstam

           (Bhagavad-gita: 4.13)

"The four social divisions are created by Me, and divided according to man's qualities and works."

Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur showed us that genuine socio-religious organisation of varnasrama-dharmma must worship the Lord, and above varnasrama-dharmma is Vaisnavism or jaiva-dharmma, the divine life or religion of the soul. This is the line by which Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami established real Vaisnavism in the world. A Vaisnava is never inferior to a brahmana. A Vaisnava is always superior to a brahmana. That is his real position. The position of a Vaisnava is never merely 'next' to a brahmana. The Vaisnava lives in the other world -- the transcendental world of service, seva-maya-bhumika, or nirguna-bhumika, the transcendental plane. And varnasrama-dharmma is in the saguna-bhumika, the plane of mundane qualities. But the attempt to rise above the mayik plane comes within the purview of varnasrama-dharmma.

varnasramach aravata
purusena parah puman
visnur aradhyate pantha
nanyat tat-tosa-karanam

"Almighty Visnu is worshipped by the person whose practices conform to the social and religious duties (varna-dharmma, asrama-dharmma). (In this world) there is no other way to propitiate Him." (Visnu-purana: 3.8.9)

Such a teaching guides the world toward the worship of Lord Krsna. But the Vaisnavas live in the transcendental world. For example, if you take Prasadam, you are not taking mere rice, vegetables, water, etc. You are taking what was offered to Krsna. You cannot be responsible for any sin. The devotee offers everything for Krsna's pleasure.

vaso 'lankara-charchitah
uchchhista-bhojino dasas
tava mayam jayema hi

(Srimad-Bhagavatam: 11.6.46)

"Adorned with the garlands, scents and clothing enjoyed by You, and partaking of Your remnants, O Lord -- we, Your servitors, can conquer Your maya."

In this way, the eternally living and ecstatic (sach-chid-anandamaya) element that is present within is again fully manifest. Similarly, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami once again revealed to the world that which is eternal and ever-fresh. Before his appearance, people might have been chanting the Name of God, but how did they chant it? In his time, he was the inaugurator of the genuine chanting of Harinama.

prthivite yata katha dharmma-name chale
bhagavata kahe saga paripuna chhale

Totalitarian war against maya. What passes in this world in the name of religion -- everything is false. You are jiva-soul. Krsna is like the great sun, and you are like a sun-ray. The sun-ray must always be 'attached' to the great sun. That is his nature. Krsna is like a big exalted magnet, and you are like iron. Therefore, He is called Krsna, meaning Krs-: to attract, and na: to give joy. He attracts us, and gives us ecstasy (karsan venu-svanair Gopir Gopinatha-sriye 'stu nah)

This is Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's gift. Many Acharyyas such as Sankaracharyya, Buddha, Ramanuja, Nimbaditya, Madhvacharyya, came and distributed the mercy of the Lord, but the supreme position was given by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. That was suppressed by the illusory environment, and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami came, cleansed and revealed that divine gem. He clarified to the world the real position of Vaisnava-dharmma. Now nobody can accuse Vaisnava-dharmma of being a lower-class religion or conception. It can only be admitted to be greater than the greatest.

He established, especially in Bengal, the renounced order of the Vaisnavas, tridanda-sannyasa. Previously the custom was eka-danda-sannyasa of the mayavadis.


'Nityananda Prabhu broke the single sannyasa staff (ekadanda) into three; that indicates that when taking sannyasa, the renounced order of life, we should accept not one, but three dandas, which symbolize the dedication of body, mind, and words in the service of the Lord. And Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada was also inspired by this action of Nityananda Prabhu's to give tridanda sannyasa to his followers, in contrast to ekadanda which was formerly current in Bengal. The system of tridanda sannyasa was the custom in Southeast India with the Vaisnavas who follow Ramanujacarya, and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta introduced it for the modern age.'

                - The Golden Volcano of Divine Love

   sa ca kaya-mano-vakyaih sadhya -           
              tavasmiti vadan vaca, tathaiva manasa vidan
              tat sthanam asritas tanva, modate saranagatah


Saranagati should be practiced in thought, word, and deed -
     By his power of speech, the surrendered soul declares, 'I am Yours'; in his thoughts, he knows the same; and in person, he takes refuge in the Lord's holy abode. In this way the surrendered soul passes his life, his heart filled with joy.

- Sri Sri Prapanna-Jivanamritam, Life Nectar of the Surrendered Souls

He established many things in a new light, in the pure line. The chanting process, the preaching process -- he renovated everything and established the proper line, according to the Vedic culture, to take us to our supramental destination.

Once, along with Srila Guru Maharaj, we visited his Godbrother Sauren Babu. A big pandit who was very much opposed to Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami also came to that meeting. Guru Maharaj gave his lecture, and after that, on the invitation of Sauren Babu, that pandit gave his lecture. He admitted, "We can now understand that we were wrong, and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Prabhupad was right. In my youth, I heavily opposed his preaching, but that was my great wrong. I now can say that he was upholding genuine righteousness, and all of us who opposed him were wrong. The gosani, pandits, sahajiya -- all were wrong." At that time so-called Vaisnavism was very 'low-classism.' But after Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad it again rose to its high, glorious position.

You will see two lines of a special song at the front of our nat-mandir:

matala harijana kirttanan-range
pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange

"From afar we shall worship the 'raga-patha,' the path of spontaneous affectionate service, while we ourselves live within the Vedic guideline."

This verse is the personification of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami. What is the worship he showed us? And how is it executed? Both are shown here. Before, if a Vaisnava came to the door, everybody would think he was naked but for a kaupin; or at least his cloth must be dirty. And he wore beads and tilak. Matha neda kopani pada, nake tilak galay mala. This was how Bhaktivinod Thakur described the pseudo-Vaisnava. Eho ta' ek kalira chela: like a servant of Kali, a devil. This whole anomaly was smashed by Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami. He established big maths (monasteries) and mandirs (temples). He engaged all the fruits of technology and materialism - motor cars, printing presses and so many things -- for spreading Krsna consciousness all over the world.

His preaching began at Ulta Dingi Junction Road, in Calcutta. There was a two-storied building, with only one room upstairs. Downstairs there were four rooms where four Vaisnava families lived -- all his disciples -- and with their donations they kept him in the single room upstairs. I have seen that room personally. His preaching began from there. Later, he rented another house for preaching. Despite that humble beginning, the world can now see the result of the preaching of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami.

"Kirtana means to preach against misconception"

By His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
From The Golden Volcano of Divine Love

Although outwardly he was like a lion, inwardly he was very, very sweet -- yet it could be traced only in his internal sweetness. Outwardly, the way of love was worshipped by him with grandeur, awe, and reverence, but his object was the simple and beautiful Divine Love of Vrindavan, and his temperament in establishing that in the world was just like a lion's.

     -- Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Generally, we think that a saint flies away from this world of maya and goes to a

solitary place where he can enter into a cave and engage himself in meditation. Indian saints generally preach, "Give up everything, go to a solitary place in the jungle, find a cave, and engage yourself fully in understanding Godhead." But our Guru Maharaj was different. Like Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, he wanted to attack maya and, like a great general, he declared totalitarian war on illusion and even all other existing conceptions of religion. "Why is there this misunderstanding and misconception?" he thought. "Everything belongs to Krsna: isavasyam idam sarvam. It is plain and simple and sweet. How can we think, 'This is for me, that is for Him?' Why should we let this misconception stand here at all? Attack it - and crush the whole thing!"

He told us, "Kirtana means to preach against misconception. As soldiers, you must go door to door and preach Krsna consciousness - Krsna's interest -- the Krsna conception. If they understand that everything is for Krishna, they will be saved. This truth is plain and simple. Why should they not understand this? Try to capture them, to release them from the world of misconception and misunderstanding where they are now suffering from reaction."

In this way, we are not afraid of anything. A Vaisnava who loved solitary life once asked our Guru Maharaj, "Why do you stay at Calcutta? That is the place of Satan, where fighting for selfish interest is so acute. Leave that -- come to the holy dhama." But Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur especially chose that place, saying, "I prefer to represent Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's creed in an extremely contaminated place." For this reason, he wanted to send men to the West. "The East is captured by the glamour of Western civilization," he said, "so Western civilization must first be crushed. Then, its glamour will vanish and the whole world will come to join the campaign of divine love of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." This was the same spirit with which Nityananda Prabhu canvassed the fallen souls of this world, in his attempt to take them to the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

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