Srila Sridhara Maharaja Tirobhava

Vrindaranya Dasi - July 31, 2008 2:28 pm

Lectures about Srila Sridhara Maharaja given by Guru Maharaja can be downloaded immediately for $5 each here.


Vyasa-puja Offering to Srila Sridhara Maharaja

by Swami B. V. Tripurari


With the setting of the sun of the manifest pastimes of our beloved preceptor, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the world became dark. He had with the intensity of the sun's direct rays illuminated the entire world with the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead: Krsna as he is, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. With his disappearance, the reality of the Personality of Godhead remained, yet in the shadows of the night, the reflected light of the moonlike discourse of Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja focused for a few on another reality—sweet Krsna, lover of the gopis, Krsna as he feels.


Certainly Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada had this sweet Krsna in mind when he named his Deities "Radha London Isvara," "Radha Paris Isvara," and so on. He wanted that the people of the world would know that Krsna was the adi deva, the original, all-powerful God, as well as the playful (deva) lover of Radha. As London Isvara, Krsna was to be understood first as the Lord of London (aisvarya), and eventually as the Britts own Krsna (mamata/madhurya). That our Prabhupada wanted the people of the world to think of Krsna as theirs, the ultimate reality of Vraja as seen through the eyes of Radha, was to a large extent the emphasis of Sridhara Maharaja, the moon of reflective light. Thus he taught us to reflect deeply upon the light of Srila Prabhupada's teaching.


Hidden in the selfless garb of disinterested nature, he shared his inner passion for the highest ideal with others only with considerable coaxing. As "Sri dhara," he bore the love of Sri (Radha) within, and as "Bhakti Raksaka," he kept that love hidden from those who were unfamiliar with love's ways, guhyam akhyati prcchati. Only to those whom the saints reveal their hearts is the secret truth of paro dharma known: dharmasya tattvaà nihitaà guhayam mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. Our beloved Sridhara Mahahaja is such a mahajana, a mahatma.


Mahatmanas. . .bhajanty ananya-manaso . . . and bhuda bhava-samanvitah. Those who are great souls worship Krsna without deviation, and moreover, with the knowledge (budha) that leads to feeling (bhava). This bhava is raga-samanvitah. Our Sridhara Maharaja served Sri Sri Radha Krsna with such feeling, the feeling that develops after knowing definitively that Krsna is the source of everything, in whom the fullest potential for loving reciprocation lies. Bhagavan svayam is akhila rasamrta murti. It is this Krsna, his potency, that comes to us as Sri Guru. There is no more dear friend than him/her, the servant-friend of Radha.


Oh, for the day when that inner wealth will be mine, to realize the import of the appearance of Sri Guru in my life. It is said in kavya (poetry) that if one sees a humming bird fly into the lotus, one will become wealthy. Such is our riches--yugal milana, to see to the union of the Divine Couple, as taught by sri rupanuga guru varga, and thereby reap the inner wealth of Sri Radha's love for Krsna.


Who could speak of these things were it not for His Divine Grace. With towering stance and eyes of love, blind only to the faults of others, our Sridhara Maharaja lived in the reality of the poetry of the absolute, in the mythic reality of Vraja.


In poetry, one can do anything. Such is Vraja, where water turns to land and land into water at the sound of Krsna's flute, tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo. This Vraja is not a fixed place, rather one that moves following the cowherd's need for pasturing ground. And so our Sridhara Maharaja moved, never static, always dynamic, a great harmonizer of contradictions, a resident of that land of love.


In love all contradictions are resolved. In love one sees the faults of the object of one's love as virtues. Such is the spirit of Vraja, and our Sridhara Mahahaja exemplified the implication of the appellation "Vraja"—that land in which "all things are completely appropriate." Sri Vraja dhama, the heart of religion, is in the language of Saraswati Thakura “proper adjustment,” that which Srila Sridhara Maharaja personified. May he graciously grant us residence therein, in the friendly service of the Sweet Absolute.


Swami B. V. Tripurari

Gaura-Vijaya Das - July 31, 2008 2:57 pm

I will listen to Sridhar Maharaj's lectures today.

Srila Sridhar Maharaja ki jai!! I am eternally indebted to him!

Citta Hari Dasa - July 31, 2008 6:34 pm

Since he is my param-guru, all that I know about Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja I got from my Guru Maharaja, who, like his beloved siksa-guru, is wonderfully poetic and a great harmonizer of apparent contradictions.


Sridhara Maharaja was universally respected by all his Godbrothers for his realization and impartiality. But one of his Godbrothers who would go on to become a world acarya--A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada--more than respected him; he considered him his siksa-guru. It is telling that a great Vaisnava like Srila Prabhupada would choose Srila Sridhara Maharaja to associate with out of all of his Godbrothers. Clearly Prabhupada chose his associations very carefully, and so for him to consider Sridhara Maharaja his siksa-guru speaks to the depth of realization Sridhara Maharaja embodied, as well as to the depth of love he had for their Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.


Being the philosophical genius that he was, Srila Sridhara Maharaja penetrated deeply into the mysteries of the various tattvas that are essential for all sadhakas to understand, and for our benefit he then explained those tattvas in poetic and profound language, thus manifesting truth (satyam) and beauty (sundaram) simultaneously. From his expositions on Sri Guru and Nityananda tattvas to bringing forth the jewel conception that the Gayatri culminates in Radha-dasyam, all arose out of his evident (and simultaneously hidden) love for the subject matter and complete absorption in it. But I think his crown jewel is his Golden Volcano and commentary on the Siksastakam, where his love for Caitanya Mahaprabhu overflowed in a volcano of its own.


Hearing his pervasive reminders on the distinction between relative and absolute, and between form and substance--both essential concepts to grasp and apply--has been of inestimable value in my life as a practitioner. Seeing him on video with his charming gestures and humble, unassuming nature makes me feel blessed to have been brought into contact with such a great soul through our wonderful guru-parampara. May that Protector of Devotion be kind to us all.


Srila Bhakti-Raksaka Sridhara-deva Goswami ki jaya! Srila Guru Maharaja ki jaya! Sri Gaudiya Vaisnava guru-parampara ki jaya!

Bhrigu - July 31, 2008 7:12 pm

The only gift to Ganges is Ganges water. One work of Srila Sridhar Maharaj that I feel has been neglected (at least by myself) but which he himself (judging from his Talks) seems to have been especially fond of is the Prema-dhama-deva Stotra. It is a hymn of 72 verses in the tûnaka metre depicting the pastimes of Lord Caitanya. An online copy can be found at http://www.scsmath.com/books/premadhama-consecutive.pdf, though much more could be done with the translation. I must admit that I never studied the text myself properly, it would be interesting to see which lilas Srila Sridhar Maharaja picks up in it. Here is verse 1:





prema-dhâma-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram


"I worship Gaurasundara, the only Lord of the land of love --

whom gods, siddhas, muktas, yogis and devotees worship,

who removes the suffering

of those burnt by the forest fire of blazing sin,

and who is an ocean of magnanimity,

giving out the glorious nectar of Krishna's name!"




Jay Nityalilapravistha Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Rakshak Shridhar Dev Goswami Maharaj ki Jaya!

Margaret Dale - July 31, 2008 8:33 pm
Seeing him on video with his charming gestures and humble, unassuming nature makes me feel blessed to have been brought into contact with such a great soul through our wonderful guru-parampara.


How were you able to see him on video?

Madan Gopal Das - July 31, 2008 9:09 pm

Our SCS-NC group has a small gathering every Wed. night during which we chant bhajans and read Guru Maharaj's Gita. Last night we decided to honor Srila Sridhar Maharaj's tirobhava a day early. The Gopal family, Narayana, Atmananda and family, Rasikananda and family and Ram das and family all gathered and sang several of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's bhajans, read his bio from the "Parishad's" book and watched the "absolute harmony" video during a little prasad. I was particularly impressed with how a figure such as Srila Sridhar Maharaj commands such respect from all branches, sub-branches, twigs, of Gaudiya Matha. Such an amazing person, such a deep ocean of realization and sweet devotional qualities. I am honored to have a connection with him.


Thanks for the link Bhrigu. I continually hear praise of his commentary on Gayatri, which Guru Maharaj instructed Gaurangi and I to read when we received mantra diksa. GM said "this is your wealth, this is your guru parampara." That commentary can be found here: link


Link to a lot of info, texts, audio, etc. link

Citta Hari Dasa - July 31, 2008 10:50 pm



Yes! I agree, and really like the PDDStotram. Besides being a concise rendering of Gaura lila, it's also Sridhara Maharaja's sweetest poetry. It's a beautiful meditation to chant it in kirtana before the Deities.

Syamasundara - July 31, 2008 11:09 pm

Funny, I was listening to it right now!


Srila Sridhara Maharaja fills my heart with pride (the good kind) and hope.


Nice that his gestures were mentioned. When I first saw him in video, I remember being stricken by the intelligence and brilliance that those long, straight, fast fingers alone were expressing, while his sight, hearing, and general motility were so limited.

Gaurangi-priya Devi - August 1, 2008 2:13 am

Here are a few pics of our gathering. It was really nice to honor our param guru with a very sweet group of devotees.

Jai Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhara deva Maharaj!!