Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj expresses his vision of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur’s departure from this world.
Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga-Praśasti
Praise of Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga
Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj
Originally Published in Śrī Gauḍīya Darśan:
Volume 1, Issue 6,Thursday, January 12th, 1956.
I serve the feet of the best of sannyāsīs, the friend of the humble, the great ocean of mercy, Śrī Chaitanya. The stream of the nectar of His mercy floods the universe with beauty and auspiciousness.
The worshippable Supreme Lord is the son of the king of Vraja, Śyām. His abode is Śrī Vṛndāvan. The rasa in which the Vraja-gopīs worshiped moon-like Kṛṣṇa is the origin of all ecstatic, spiritual rasa.
The crown-jewel of scriptures is the jewel-mine Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Through Nārad’s instructions Vedavyās realised in meditation that unalloyed prema is the way and then publicised it.
Tasting a drop of prema’s nectar, Vedavyās’s son, Śukadev, a yogī from birth who was firmly fixed in the immaterial plane and constantly immersed in the pleasure of Brahma, became mad and then drank it to his heart’s content.
Śyām is the embodiment of eternal spiritual ecstasy and the shelter of all rasas. He always plays with His hlādinī-śakti. His complexion is like a fresh dark cloud. He wears a peacock-feather crown and carries a flute in His hand. He is the shelter of all and the epitome of adolescence.
Bestowing His mercy upon the souls of the world, the origin of all eternal Pastimes, Śyām, dispelled the darkness and appeared with His abode at the end of the Age of Dvāpar during the twenty-eighth universal age.
He exhibited a fraction of His supreme, nectarean Pastimes, by which Brahmā is bewildered and Nārad is astonished. Unfortunate fallen souls with polluted hearts did not understand them.
The condition of the souls in this world was that they never served Śyām’s feet or remembered His Pastimes. They remained maddened by mundane pleasures, bore the burdens of their sins and piety, and constantly experienced pleasure and pain.
Their bodies were afflicted by the three miseries, yet they considered themselves well and did not serve Lord Kṛṣṇa. Seeing the souls’ great suffering from Goloka, the Lord of Goloka decided to deliver them.
“Forgeting ecstatic spiritual happiness, the conditioned souls die in misery. I will distribute the essence of prema-bhakti. I will open the storehouse of the prema that I have never distributed before, the prema that was unknown to Brahmā.
“I will accept the mood of a devotee, descend to the earth with My devotees, and distribute the elevated, effulgent rasa by which My heart is subjugated, the rasa that is the life and wealth of My devotees (madhura-rasa).”
Thinking thus, the king of rasa appeared on the earth with His associates and abode in His most heart-capturing form, which surpasses the radiance of gold and is filled with fully developed mahābhāva.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya broke into the storehouse of the supreme nectar of prema and His Name, and then induced the fallen to drink it. Whatever nectar He could not distribute personally He distributed through His devotees.
The Lord delivered Vāsudev Sārvabhauma, the fortunate Śrī Pratāparudra, the high-born, the low-born, Jagāi, Mādhāi, the wicked, and the blasphemous. He made them all devotees.
He personally travelled throughout the South and the West to teach everyone to serve Him. With His associates He distributed His service, pure service—everyone’s ultimate necessity.
The origin of all Avatars, the Lord, Kṛṣṇa, does not give out the wealth of His prema-bhakti because He is bound by it. Giving out the four types of liberation, He hides the practice of devotion and deceives practitioners.
Now in the form of Śrī Chaitanya, He distributed prema-bhakti in many forms, begging the souls of this world to accept it. Receiving this rasa, the fragrance of a drop of which surpasses the pleasure of Brahma, the souls dance.
The souls cast away all of their fear, lamentation, and misery, and attained the service of Kṛṣṇa’s devotees. Constantly roaming throughout the world, they cut away everyone’s bondage to māyā.
The birth, wealth, and scriptural knowledge of the fools who never served the feet of this most merciful Lord were all illusory, and their lives’ endeavours were wicked.
Again manifesting in this world nineteen years ago in the form of His message, the Lord (Bhagavān Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur) delivered the uncultured and wicked, and pleased the devotees.
He revealed Himself and sent His expanded Pastimes from place to place to enliven the souls of this world, declaring, “Arise souls! Serve Krishna, your life and wealth. Serve the wish-fulfilling jewels of Śrī Chaitanya’s feet.”
Today also the Lord’s divine associates distribute the Name and prema throughout this world. Today also hundreds of thousands of wicked, misbehaved sinners, who are averse to the Lord, are being delivered.
“I am such a greatly fallen soul. O beloved of the Lord, Prabhupād Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur, bestow your mercy upon this fallen soul. By the mercy of your followers one reaches Śrī Chaitanya’s feet. No one else can give Him (Śrī Chaitanya), whose desires are eternal, pure, and true, who is known to be merciful to the humble, who is the storekeeper of Kṛṣṇa-prema’s nectar. I am very misbehaved, devoid of devotion, and dull-witted. Mercifully give me alms.”
Always holding the holy feet of that Lord (Śrī Chaitanya) in his heart, he fulfilled Śrī Chaitanya’s desires, he whom the great souls proclaim to be the follower of Śrī Rūpa, who is known to be a saviour of the world, who is an embodiment of eternal spiritual ecstasy, who is an abode of supramundane rasa, whose earthly Pastimes deliver the world, who is a nondifferent form of Nityānanda Prabhu, who is an ocean of the ecstatic prema, who is the carrier of the current of bhakti-siddhānta (of Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s teachings of pure devotion) (and who is known as Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj).
What will this dull-witted, lowly, repulsive, and misbehaved sinner say about his glory? His feet bestowed great mercy and accepted such an averse soul as me.
This fallen soul, Bhakti Sundar Govinda, prays for eternal attachment to his feet, by whose mercy one reaches Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Vraja and Gaurāṅgasundar in Nabadwip.
Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj first published this poem in January of 1956, exactly nineteen years after Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s disappearance from this world in 1937. In the poem Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj describes this day as the day Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur assumed the form of his vāṇī (message) and continued to bless the world, primarily by inspiring Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj to continue his work.
This poem has numerous equivocal constructions. An attempt to reveal a little of its light has been made here for the purpose of illuminating the meaning of the phrase vilasatu hṛdi nityaṁ bhakti-siddhānta-vāṇī in Śrī Gauḍīya Darśan’s motto:
vilasatu hṛdi nityaṁ bhakti-siddhānta-vāṇī
“May the demolisher of the entire world’s illusion,
the finisher of the intellectuals’ mad pursuit of liberation,
the abode of pure and properly adjusted devotion to Śrī Rādhā’s beloved Lord,
the message of Śrī Bhakti Siddhānta,
play within our hearts eternally.”