Srila Parvat Maharaj in His Abode

Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj recounts the glories of his worshippable godbrother just after his departure.

Translated from the Bengali editorial published in Śrī Gauḍīya Darśan, Volume 2, Issue 8, 11 March 1957.

Śrīla Bhakti Svarūp Parvat Mahārāj, one of the itinerant Āchāryas dedicated to fulfilling the heartfelt desires of the supremely worshippable Jagad-guru Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Goswāmī Prabhupād, has left the grounds of the sacrifice most dear to him—the saṅkīrtan prescribed by Śrī Gaurāṅga—and gone on to his abode. When news of the discovery of his Pastime of disappearance was announced everywhere as fast as lightning, the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya initiated and dedicated to pure saṅkīrtan, now deprived of the association of its ever well-wisher and genuine friend, became immersed into an ocean of deep separation. Pūjyapād Parvat Mahārāj’s tranquil divine form, indomitable enthusiasm for preaching the real truth, shining ideal of dedicating the entire self to spiritual life, and sincere affectionate behaviour are constantly arising in the caves of our hearts and in every way causing us pain [remembering his qualities in separation, we are struck with sorrow]. Whenever Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas saw Śrīpād Parvat Mahārāj’s ever-new enthusiasm and tireless endeavours to preach the revolutionary message of the teacher of all souls Śrī Gaurasundar, they would become astonished.

Less than two miles south of the southern edge of the place of the appearance of Śrīman Mahāprabhu—the Avatār and Saviour in Kali-yuga, on the bank of the River Saraswatī in the western portion of Surabhi Kuñj within Godrumadwīp, which is nondifferent from Nanda Grām, Parvat Mahārāj appeared. In his adolescence, Parvat Mahārāj had the opportunity to associate with Śrīla Sachchidānanda Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur—the eternal associate of Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu who established the practice of pure devotion in the modern era—and Śrīla Gaura Kiśor Dās Bābājī, the crown-jewel of renunciants (avadhūts). When these great souls relished the rasa of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam together daily, Parvat Mahārāj heard the principles of supramundane devotion (aprākṛta bhakti-sidhhānta) streaming from their holy mouths and realised that the one and only duty in human life—taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord—is true goodness. He decided that it was best to renounce a house full of persons with constantly anxious hearts who depend only upon that which is impermanent—a house which resembles an inauspicious dark well, and at the very beginning of his youth, he cut away the difficult-to-escape ropes of affection for one’s wife and children and surrendered himself at the feet of Jagad-guru Śrīmad Bhakti Siddhānta Goswāmī Prabhupād.

In his householder life, he was known by the name Haripada Dās. Upon being initiated according to the pāñcharātrik system, Śrī Haripada Dās was first known as Śrī Haripada Bhaṭṭa Deśik, and after accepting tridaṇḍa-sannyās from Śrī Gurudev, he received the name Śrīmad Bhakti Svarūp Parvat Mahārāj. He toured everywhere throughout the holy land of Bhārat—from the oceans to the Himalayas—and devoted himself to preaching the message of Bhāgavat-dharma as preached by Śrī Gaurasundar. Many very fortunate souls heard glorification of the Lord (Hari-kīrtan) from his holy mouth and attained eternal good fortune. How can someone like me ever be capable of glorifying Śrīpād Parvat Mahārāj’s innumerable qualities?

yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñchanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ

All the gods, with all good qualities, reside in the bodies of those who have attained selfless devotion. Non-devotees, riding the chariot of the mind, always wander in search of illusory ends; where are the good qualities of such persons? [They have none.]”

All the brahmachārīs that would engage in preaching work under Parvat Mahārāj’s guidance were unable to tolerate the hard work and austerity that he did. He would cheerfully travel by foot to all the difficult-to-reach areas that other sannyāsī preachers would be unhappy to travel to, and there he would glorify the Lord from the door of one soul to another and rejoice. It was seen that he repeatedly risked his life in mountainous regions of Odisha—filled with tigers, bears and other wild beasts—to spend more time engaged in preaching work there. Through his extremely hard work, he obtained land and support in the city of Udala, constructed a large building in the midst of beautiful surroundings, and established Śrī Vārṣabhānavī Dayita Gauḍīya Maṭh. There, many fortunate souls got the extraordinary opportunity to hear glorification of the Lord (Hari-kīrtan) and see the Deities: Śrī Śrī Gaura Gadādhar and Śrī Śrī Lalita-Gāndharvikā Giridhārī.

On 22 Māgh [5 February 1957], the appearance day of Śrī Viṣṇu Priyā Devī, Parvat Mahārāj withdrew his Pastimes [from this world], and on 1 Phālgun [12 February 1957], through the endeavours of the gṛhasthas, vānaprasthas, brahmachārīs, and sannyāsīs he blessed, as well as his godbrothers, there was a grand festival of separation (Viraha Mahāmahotsav) and distribution of prasādam to thousands of people at the site of his samādhi in the midst of pure saṅkīrtan.

In the face of hundreds and hundreds of troubles, obstacles, insults, and abuses, Śrīpād Parvat Mahārāj never wavered even an iota in the fulfilment of his vow to fulfil the heartfelt desires of Śrī Hari, Guru, and Vaiṣṇava through the sacrifice of kīrtan established by Śrī Gaura; moreover, he showed unlimited enthusiasm and established an ideal precedent. The gentlemen and ladies in attendance at the grand festival [honouring his disappearance] discussed how they could fulfil the desires of his heart that remain unfulfilled.

For the last six years, Śrīpād Parvat Mahārāj has shown the world extraordinary Pastimes: though in a bed-ridden condition and silenced by rheumatism, he has earnestly engaged himself in the Lord’s service. As supremely worshippable Śrīmad Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Goswāmī Prabhupād ignored so-called Vaiṣṇavas who engaged in pseudo-devotion, so Parvat Mahārāj, following him, resided far away from the association of deceitful persons wearing the garb of Vaiṣṇavas when he was unable, in various ways, to correct them. Because he was deeply learned in theology (siddhānta), the deceit and cunning of pseudo-devotees could never captivate him; he chose to associate only with pure Vaiṣṇavas and showed great enthusiasm to preach to the public about the deceitfulness of non-devotees. In his life, we see the ideal of engaging all of one’s energy, wealth, intelligence, and words in subduing the wicked and spreading divine love. There is no doubt that those who are inspired by his exemplary life of devotion and engage their body, words, and wealth in fulfilling the heartfelt desires of Śrī Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas will be able to attain the highest fortune of the soul.