Today the divine form of Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj was installed in the Temple of Love and Affection through the presence of his beloved devotees who bathed him with the water of their hearts’ devotion which were perfumed with their tears of faith and separation, while chanting the glories of His Divine Grace.
Despite the doleful absence of our beloved Gurudev and President-Sevaite-Āchārya, Śrīla Bhakti Nirmal Āchārya Mahārāj, the devotees felt great joy in their hearts to celebrate the arrival of the divine form of Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj in Nabadwīp.
Having already described our vision of the divine form of Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj as the personification of supramundane affection in our previous post ‘The Temple of Love and Affection’, posted here are some additional angles of vision to include within our perspective as we pay our first respects to Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj’s holy Śrī-Mūrti form for the first time.
Shortly after the disappearance of his Gurudev Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī, Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj composed the ślokas:
dhāmani śrī-nabadvīpe gupta-govardhane śubhe
sthāpayitvā gurūn gaura-rādhā-govinda-vigrahān
prakāśayati chātmānaṁ sevā-saṁsiddhi-vigrahaḥ
(Śrī Praṇati-daśakam: 8–9)
“In Śrī Nabadwīp Dhām, which is nondifferent from the holy abode of Śrī Vṛndāvan, His Divine Grace established the world-renowned Śrī Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh at Śrī Koladwīp, the selfsame ‘Hidden Govardhan Hill’ (Gupta-Govardhan), which is the sacred place where all offences are absolved (aparādha-bhañjana-pāṭ).
“There, he revealed the beautiful devotional service of the worshipful Deities Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga-Gāndharvā-Govindasundar, and thereafter divinely manifested his very self as the Deity of service in perfection (sevā-saṁsiddhi-vigraha).”
While describing these ślokas and other related themes Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj has remarked:
“When I composed this I did not think about what I was composing actually. Some mood of intoxication came to me. I composed it ‚but actually I do not know what I composed. My feeling is like that. (After I composed it) then I thought, ‘What is the meaning?’ I must give the meaning, otherwise there will be no one to give the meaning and someone may give the wrong meaning. But what is the meaning? When I tried to translate it, I was surprised which way it came out. That is what I want to say.
“Actually, it came from the other side. It did not come from any qualification of my own…So I’ve already composed it, but I do not know the meaning. The composition is finished but ‘What is the meaning?’ Finally, when I heard the meaning come out in my heart, I was surprised how it came out. The meaning is that Guru Mahārāj made Śrī Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh, installed the Deities Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga-Rādhā-Govinda and then later he himself took the form of Śrī-Vigraha (a Deity) in his Samādhi Mandir. This is the meaning. After the installation and manifestation of our Rādhā-Govinda Deities he continued their sevā, and after finishing everything he seated himself as a Deity (vigraha) in His Samādhi Mandir (and in his Deity form continues Their service)…
Samādhi means meditation, eternal service meditation. Śrīla Guru Mahārāj is seated here meditating. He has entered into Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa-līlā, and he is meditating in a very intense way here. This is the fact… He is living, but we cannot see him externally. Yet, by his grace, now up to today his mission is running nicely. What was his desire, we are trying wholeheartedly with his friends and with his family to fulfil that…Guru Mahārāj is very happy, no doubt. If he were existing in a form in front of us, he would express much joy from his heart (to see our devotional activities), no doubt. Many times I have seen the presence of Guru Mahārāj and the presence of his miracles in our Nabadwīp Maṭh after his disappearance. That is very long history…We shall simply always try to glorify his gift, his conception, his life and everything…
“This śloka (describing Śrīla Guru Mahārāj as the sevā-saṁsiddhi-vigrahaḥ, Deity of service in perfection) suddenly came out. Sometimes I am saying that I have received the transcendental world’s association, that reciprocation with the transcendental plane has come out in my heart many times. This śloka is an example of that. (Such transcendental association is happening in my life, I am not trying to do that, rather, it is happening to me.) I am always telling that it is not due to my qualification that it is happening also. And saying that is not my humility (dainya) either actually. It is a fact… I am simply giving what I have got from Guru Mahārāj. I want to give that to others, and I know Guru Mahārāj will be very happy if I give that to others. Any property that he has, I must try to give that to others and serve them. And I will never become empty either, I know that.”
What you just read was edited and assembled together from a few different lectures of Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj. Here is another single (transcribed and edited) discourse of Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj, relevant to the events of today, from a talk he gave in 1992 in Australia.
Devotee: On Guru Mahārāj’s passing, I am thinking that he has gone to Nabadwīp and Mahāprabhu, but at the same time I must think that he is in Śrī-Mūrti in the Temple of Union in Separation. How can I see these things happening simultaneously?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: That is depending upon feelings. Actually he is living everywhere and at the same time in the Samādhi Mandir. Samādhi means his existence in a fully conscious way is present there, but his body is inactive. That is called samādhi. Some ordinary people may say he is dead, but whenever we are speaking of a mahā-puruṣa (great personality) we are saying that they are in samādhi. And we are not only saying this, we are differentiating (a great personality from an ordinary person). (When a great personality has taken samādhi,) his existence in full consciousness is living there, though he is not moving.
And at the same time, a great personality can stay everywhere through his transcendental form also. His samādhi form is also transcendental, but it is a samādhi form (a form which is in meditation).
A high class yogī can also assume many forms at one time, that is called kāya-vyūha (siddhi). Also, simply through his mental power, he (a great personality) can make himself present everywhere. All of this is one consideration.
Another consideration is that when we are speaking about our Gurudev, we must consider that we can always see Gurudev’s presence everywhere. That is real vision. I can see the form of Gurudev in the form of my disciple, in the form of my godbrother, in the form of his associates, in the form of his paraphernalia—everywhere. If I have that type of vision, I can see that. That is, his play is not mundane. The play of Gurudev is transcendental. So in a transcendental way he can live everywhere.
We must see that Guru Mahārāj is present everywhere and that he is the protector of our devotional life. If we are surrendered to Guru, then he will protect us any way (in all ways) in our spiritual life.
Also, he is present here. Here we are seeing so many disciples. Many disciples are here, and they are chanting Guru Mahārāj’s name and glories. So certainly Guru Mahārāj is appearing here and taking these offerings from his devotees. We cannot see that with our mundane vision, but through the scriptures we can understand.”
nāhaṁ tiṣṭhāmi vaikuṇṭhe yogināṁ hṛdayena cha
mad-bhaktāḥ yatra gāyanti tatra tiṣṭhāmi nārada
(Padma Purāṇa: Uttara-khaṇḍa, 92.21–22)
[The Lord, who in this context we can remember is nondifferent from Śrī Guru, explains:] O Nārad, really I reside neither in the spiritual world (Vaikuṇṭha) nor the hearts of meditative yogīs. Rather, I always reside and personally desire to be present wherever My devotees are singing about Me with faith and love. I cannot but be present there.”]