Events for July

Ramakesava - June 30, 2004 10:00 am

Events for July:


July 1, Thursday:

America: Disappearance of Srila Sanatana Goswami Prabhu. Guru (Vyasa) Purnima. Beginning of Caturmasya.


July 2, Friday:

Europe: Disappearance of Srila Sanatana Goswami Prabhu. Guru (Vyasa) Purnima. Beginning of Caturmasya.

(fast from sak, green leafy vegetables for one month. Caturmasya is not observed during Purusottama Adhika Masa)


July 6, Tuesday:

Disappearance of Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami


July 9, Friday:

Disappearance of Srila Lokanatha Gosvami


July 12, Monday:

America: fasting for Kamika Ekadasi

(Break fast tomorrow, from 5:59 to 10:49 a.m.)


July 13, Tuesday:

Europe: fasting for Kamika Ekadasi

(Break fast tomorrow, 04:00-04:26**)


July 16, Friday:

Amavasya. Disappearance of Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacaryavarya Sri Srila

Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva-Goswami Maharaja.**

Europe: beginning of Purusottama Adhika Masa.


July 17, Saturday:

America: beginning of Purusottama Adhika Masa.


July 27, Tuesday:

America: fasting for Padmini Ekasai

(Break fast tomorrow, from 6:10 to 10:53 a.m.)


July 28, Wednesday:

Europe: fasting for Padmini Ekadasi

(Break fast tomorrow, 04:20-04:35**)


July 31, Saturday:




** N.B. European timings are calculated for London, those in America for California. Please check your local temple for exact date/times for your area. You might also want to try this site)


I do not know when the Disappearance of Srila Sridhara Maharaja is meant to observed in Europe, as it is not in the ISKCON Calendar.

Ramakesava - June 30, 2004 10:02 am

Thursday/Friday (Europe):


Sri Guru Purnima:

Disappearance day of Sri Sanatana Goswami



Guru Purnima, the full moon, is when we observe the disappearance day

of Sri Sanatana Goswami. It is also the beginning of the Caturmasya vrata.


Sanatana Goswami made his advent in 1488 C.E. (Sakabda 1410), five

years before Rupa Goswami. He was born into a Sarasvata brahmana family

in Bengal. His father Kumara Deva had many sons, of which three, Sri

Amar (later Sanatana), Sri Santosa (Rupa), and Sri Vallabha (Anupama),

are remembered as great devotees.


During their childhood, Amar, Santosa and Vallabha were always absorbed

in bhava bhakti, and would play around the area, naming the forests

after the twelve forests of Vraja (Talavana, Madhuvana, Kamyavana,

etc.). They called their favourite bathing places Sri Radha-kunda and

Sri Syama-kunda. The brothers were educated by their maternal uncle in

the small village of Sakurma near the capital. Their teacher in

rhetoric was the esteemed Sri Vidyabhusanapada, and they were taught

philosophy by Sri Vidyavacaspati, the brother of Sarvaubhama



In Sanatana's youth he had a dream in which a beautiful brahmana boy

gave him a copy of Srimad Bhagavatam. Feeling jubilant, he awoke only

to find no sign of either the book or the boy. In a sad mood he went

about his morning routine. During his morning puja, Krsna himsel,

disguised as a beautiful brahmana boy came and said,"Take this Srimad

Bhagavatam from Me, always study it, and you will attain perfection."

Thus Srimad Bhagavatam became Sanatana's life and soul, and he has

glorified it thus in his Krsna-lila-stava:


"O holy Bhagavata, you are my only company, my only friend, and my

guru. You are my greatest treasure and my personal saviour. You are the

emblem of my highest fortune and the very form of ecstasy. I offer by

obeisances unto you."


After some time Sanatana's paternal grandfather, Mukunda, died, and

Sanatana succeeded him in the post of Sakara Mallika to the Nawab

Hussein Shah, the moslem ruler of Gauda-desa. In this way Sri Rupa and

Sanatana became ministers, living at Ramakeli, the capital of

Gauda-desa. They received land from the government for their personal

use at Yusafpur and Cengutia Pargana in Fatehabad. There they built a

palace and mansions. The three brothers, Rupa, Sanatana and Anupama

being endowed with great devotion to the Lord made their home like Sri

Vrndavana, and planted auspicious trees there such as the Tamala,

Kadamba, Juthika and Tulasi. And although they were meant to be


ministers of the government, there they engaged in discoursing on

sastra with learned brahmanas and panditas as they had learnt from



It was in Ramakeli that the three brothers began to hear of Sri Nimai

Pandita. Anxious to hear from him and to have his darsana they became

fixed on his lotus feet and mediated on his form. However, it soon

became known far and wide that Nimai Pandita, the life and soul of

Nadia, had accepted sannyasa and gone to stay in Puri. At this the

brothers became inconsolable, thinking they would never have his

darsana, until a celestial voice informed them that they would be able

to see him, there in Ramakeli itself. Five years passed, and when

Mahaprabhu decided to come to Bengal to have darsana of Saci Ma and of

the Ganga, he visited Advaita Acarya in Santipur and proceeded on to



There Sanatana and Rupa (then known as Sakara Mallika and Dabira

Khasa), along with Anupama and his son Sri Jiva met Mahaprabhu and

offered their obeisances at his lotus feet. The meeting of Sri Rupa and

Sri Sanatana with Mahaprabhu is described in Caitanya Caritamrta, in

Chapter One of the Madhya-lila. After some time however, Mahaprabhu

returned to Puri, and in his absence the three brothers performed

various vows and rituals in order to attain his lotus feet. They would

write to Mahaprabhu as well. Eventually, unable to stand the separation

from him, they began to prepare to leave behind their court lives. Sri

Rupa and Anupama left in a boat with their material wealth from

Ramakeli, whilst Sanatana (the chief minister to the king) remained

there alone. Feigning sickness, Sanatana would stay away from court and

read Bhagavatam in his house. However, he was found out when the king

sent his personal doctor who found him to be perfectly healthy.

Sanatana was summoned before the king, and asked to explain why his

brothers had left the king's service and to explain his own actions. On

being told that they could no longer work for the king, the king had

Sanatana incarcerated in jail.


At this time Rupa and Anupama met Mahaprabhu in Prayaga in his way to

Vrndavana. Informing him of their brother's plight, Mahaprabhu simply

smiled and replied "Santana has already been released from his

confinement, and he will very soon meet with Me." (Cc., Madhya 19.61)

By the wish of the Lord to fulfill Sri Rupa's desire, Sanatana escaped

from prison, bribing the jailkeeper with money that Rupa has left and

at the same time prevailing on the jailkeeper's ego. He journeyed by

foot by way of Patada. On the way his servant Isana's holding on to

seven gold coins almost had them killed, but Sanatana being very expert

in the ways of the world from his previous government service evaded

death for them both and carried on alone.


Eventually Sanatana came to Varanasi (Benares). Carrying but a

water-pot and dressed in torn clothing, Sanatana Goswami came to the

house of Candrasekhar and waited patiently by the door. Mahaprabhu

became aware of him there, and instructed Candrasekhara to see who was

there. "There is a Muslim mendicant there", he said. At Mahaprabhu's

behest Candarsekahara invited the 'muslim mendicant' inside, and there

Mahaprabhu embraced him revealing his identity as Sanatana Goswami. He

cleansed Sanatana Goswami's body, then tired and weary, with his own

hands. At this Sanatana Goswami said, "O my Lord, please do not touch

me", but the Lord--displaying the example of humility for us

all--replied, quoting the Bhagavatam, "I am touching you just to purify

Myself, because by the force of your devotional service you can purify

the whole universe. 'Saints of your calibre are themselves places of

pilgrimage. Because of their purity, they are constant companions of

the Lord and therefore they can purify even the places of pilgrimage.""

(Madhya, 20.56-57)


In Benares Sanatana displayed Vaisnava qualities of humility and

servitude whilst at the same time the Lord instructed him in devotional

science. He then told Sanatana Goswami to write books on krsna-bhakti

and to join his brothers Rupa and Anupama in Vrndavana, whilst he

returned to Nilacala. Rupa Goswami and Sanatana would travel through

the Vraja mandala discovering the lila sthanas of Sri Radha-Madhava.

Never staying in a place for more than one night they would travel

through Vraja, spending all their time writing, discussing Krsna's

pastimes and chanting his holy names. In order to survive Sanatana

would engage in some madhukari as a mendicant, but would only take the

most frugal fare. Content just to maintain their bodies but no more, so

they would live out their days.


In this way they followed the Lord's orders to perform four services in

the Vraja:

1) to uncover the sites of Sri Krsna's pastimes;

2) to install Deities and arranged for their puja;

3) to compile the bhakti scriptures of the Gaudiya Vaisnava

sampradaya; and

4) to propagate the rules of devotional life.


Sanatana Goswami established the Radha-Madana Mohana mandira in

Vrndavana, and there are accounts of transcendental exchanges Sanatana

had with his ista-devata. In one story it is recounted that Sanatana

Goswami was staying in a bhajana-kutira at Mahavana, the birth place of

Sri Krnsa: one day, he was walking along the banks of the Yamuna, going

to beg some foodstuffs in a nearby village. Madana Gopaladeva was

playing with some cowherd boys there, and when he saw Sanatana Gosvami

he came running towards him, “Baba! Baba!” Catching hold of Sanatana’s

hand he told him, “I want to go with you!”


“Lala!”, replied Sanatana, “Why do you want to go with me?”


“I want to stay where you live.”


“If you stay with me, what will you eat?”


“Baba! Whatever you eat.”


“But I only eat some dry capatis and chick peas.”


“Then that is what I will eat.”



“No that won’t be enough for you. You should stay with your mother and



“Na, baba, na. I want to stay with you.”


Sanatan Goswami patiently explained that the boy might feel difficulty

if he stayed with him, and sent him home. Then he went to beg some

capatis in the village.


That night, in a dream, he saw that boy again come to him. Smiling very

sweetly, he caught hold of Sanatana’s hand and said, “Baba! I am coming

tomorrow to stay with you. My name is Madana Gopal”. His dream ended

and he woke up. Losing himself in great ecstasy, he said to himself,

“What did I see? Such a beautiful boy!” Thinking of Lord Krsna he

opened the door of his kutira and found outside an effulgent deity of

Gopala Raya. Captivated by the beauty of Gopala, Sanatana fell to the

ground, offering his dandavats, weeping tears of love.


Another story is narrated where everyday Sri Sanatana Gosvami would

circumambulate the fourteen mile circumference of Govardhan hill. As he

entered old age this became more and more difficult, but he did not

want to give up his daily vow of offering 1,008 obeisances to

Govardhana Hill and to any Vaisnava whom he met. Krsna, however, could

understand that this was not easy for a sixty five year old body, and

so He came to him one day dressed as a cowherd boy.


“Baba! You have become old now, so I think it isn’t necessary for you

to circumambulate Govardhan hill anymore.”


“No Lala! This is my regular vow, my worship.”


“You can renounce this vow in your old age.”


“No Lala. One should never renounce his vows.”


“Baba. I have a very good idea, if you will accept it.”


“If it is acceptable surely I will accept it.”


Then Sri Krsna presented him a stone from Govardhan hill with the

imprint of His foot, a calf’s foot print and the impressions of a stick

and flute in it, telling him that to circumambulate the Govardhana-sila

would be the same as circumambulating Giri-Govardhana. Saying this much

the cowherd boy disappeared. Then Sanatana could understand that

Giriraja Himself had presented His worshippable form to him and from

that day he would circumambulate this sila. That selfsame sila can be

seen in the Radha Damodara temple to this very day.


Sri Sanatana would journey throughout Vraja with Sri Rupa, and in all

the various villages the two were very much adored by the Brajabasis,

who would treat them as their own. All of them would treat one another

as their own family, and in this way Rupa and Sanatana became the life

of the villagers and the Brijabasis also became the life of Rupa and



After remaining in Vraja for 43 years, Sanatana made his disappearance

on the full moon in the month of Asar in 1558 C.E. It is said that

throughout the Vraja, the inhabitants were so distraught with feelings

of separation from their dear munda baba, that men and women alike,

young and old, shaved their heads as a mark of respect to their beloved

shaven-headed baba. On Guru Purnima it is now tradition in many Gaudiya

groups to shave up to commemorate Sri Sanatana's remarkable life of

devotion. Bhaktivinode Thakura explains in his Jaiva Dharma: "Sanatana

Goswami was empowered to explain the esoteric aspects of Krsna's

manifest and unmanifest vraja-lilas." With Rupa Goswami he did just

this and left behind a significant literary contribution to the Gaudiya

sampradaya: e.g. Hari-bhakti-vilasa, Sri Brhad Bhagavatamrta, and Brhad



Sanatana Goswami's samadhi mandira is behind Radha Madana Mohana's

temple in Vrndavana. In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika Sri Kavi Karnapura

has glorified Sri Sanatana's position as Rati Manjari (aka Lavanga

Manjari) in the nitya-lila.


sa rupa-manjari-presiha

purasid rati-manjari

socyate nama-bhedena

lavanga-manjari budhaih


"Rupa Manjari's closest friend, who was known by the names

Rati-Manjari and Lavanga Manjari, appeared in the pastimes of Sri

Caitanya Mahaprabhu as Sri Sanatana Goswami, who was considered to be a

personal extension of the body of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu." (181)

Ramakesava - June 30, 2004 10:03 am

Srila Prabhupada letter to Gaurasundara 8/2/69


I am glad to learn that you have performed the Guru

Purnima Ceremony by Kirtana that is all right. But

this Guru Purnima is generally performed by the

Mayavadi sects. The idea of Guru Purnima is to offer

gratitude to the Spiritual Master by the disciple once

in a year. That is called Guru Purnima. So far as we

are concerned, Gaudiya Vaisnavas, we offer all our

gratefulness to the Spiritual Master on His Appearance

Day Ceremony, called Vyasa Puja. So kirtana is our

daily function; whatever you have done is all right,

but actual worship of the Spiritual Master will be

done by all of my disciples on the fifth day of

September, just one day after Janmastami.


Cc Adi 10.84 Purport


In the Madhya-lila, Chapter Nineteen, the device

adopted by Sanatana Gosvami to get free from

government service is described. He served a notice of

sickness to the Nawab, the Muslim governor, but

actually he was studying Srimad-Bhagavatam with

brahmanas at home. The Nawab received information of

this through a royal physician, and he immediately

went to see Sanatana Gosvami to discover his

intentions. The Nawab requested Santana to accompany

him on an expedition to Orissa, but when Sanatana

Gosvami refused, the Nawab ordered that he be

imprisoned. When Rupa Gosvami left home, he wrote a

note for Sanatana Gosvami informing him of some money

that he had entrusted to a local grocer. Sanatana

Gosvami took advantage of this money to bribe the jail

keeper and get free from detention. Then he left for

Benares to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu, bringing with him

only one servant, whose name was Isana. On the way

they stopped at a sarai, or hotel, and when the

hotelkeeper found out that Isana had some gold coins

with him, he planned to kill both Sanatana Gosvami and

Isana to take away the coins. Later Sanatana Gosvami

saw that although the hotelkeeper did not know them,

he was being especially attentive to their comfort.

Therefore he concluded that Isana was secretly

carrying some money and that the hotelkeeper was aware

of this and therefore planned to kill them for it.

Upon being questioned by Sanatana Gosvami, Isana

admitted that he indeed had money with him, and

immediately Sanatana Gosvami took the money and gave

it to the hotelkeeper, requesting him to help them get

through the jungle. Thus with the help of the hotel

keeper, who was also he chief of the thieves of that

territory, Sanatana Gosvami crossed over the Hazipur

mountains, which are presently known as the

Hazaribags. He then met his brother-in-law Srikanta,

who requested that he stay with him. Sanatana Gosvami

refused, but before they parted Srikanta gave him a

valuable blanket.


Somehow or other Sanatana Gosvami reached Varanasi and

met Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu at the house of

Candrasekhara. By the order of the Lord, Sanatana

Gosvami was cleanly shaved and his dress changed to

that of a mendicant, or babaji. He put on old garments

of Tapana Misra’s and took prasadam at the house of a

Maharashtrian brahmana. Then, in discourses with Lord

Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord Himself explained

everything about devotional service to Sanatana

Gosvami. He advised Sanatana Gosvami to write books on

devotional service, including a book of directions for

Vaisnava activities, and to excavate the lost places

of pilgrimage in Vrndavana. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu

gave him His blessings to do all this work and also

explained to Sanatana Gosvami the import of the

atmarama verse from sixty-one different angles of



Sanatana Gosvami went to Vrndavana by the main road,

and when he reached Mathura he met Subuddhi Raya. Then

he returned to Jagannatha Puri through Jharikhanda,

the Madhya Pradesh jungle. At Jagannatha Puri he

decided to give up his body by falling down beneath a

wheel of the Jagannatha ratha, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu

saved him. Then Sanatana Gosvami met Haridasa Thakura

and heard about the disappearance of Anupama. Sanatana

Gosvami later described the glories of Haridasa

Thakura. Sanatana observed the etiquette of

Jagannatha’s temple by going along the beach to visit

Lord Caitanya, although it was extremely hot due to

the sun. He requested Jagadananda Pandita to give him

permission to return to Vrndavana. Lord Caitanya

Mahaprabhu praised the character of Sanatana Gosvami,

and He embraced Sanatana, accepting his body as

spiritual. Sanatana Gosvami was ordered by Sri

Caitanya Mahaprabhu to live at Jagannatha Puri for one

year. When he returned to Vrndavana after that time,

he again met Rupa Gosvami, and both brothers remained

in Vrndavana to execute the orders of Sri Caitanya


Ramakesava - June 30, 2004 10:05 am


(begin Spinach fast):



From Sanga 6/6/01 "Gurus and Students Forever"


Q. Here in South India sannyasis in the Madhva and

Sankara line observe Caturmasya vrata. What is this

vrata and why do the Gaudiya Vaisnava sannyasis not

observe it?


A. Caturmasya was strictly observed by Bhaktisiddhanta

Saraswati Thakura, a prominent sannyasi in the Gaudiya

sampradaya, as it was by Mahaprabhu himself. However,

it pertains more to varnasrama dharma than it does

directly to the cultivation of Krsna prema. The term

itself refers to the four (catur) months (mas) of the

monsoon season, during which sannyasis who were

traveling on foot had to stay in one place. During

this time (four months) they undertook various

austerities. Still today some Gaudiya sannyasis follow

this vrata (vow) annually.


From Sanga 10/16/01 "Standing in the land beyond



Q. How does one properly observe Chaturmasya?


A. Most gurus teach their disciples to follow a

modified form of this observance, and this

modification varies from institution to institution.

My Guru Maharaja did not place much emphasis on it

even though his own guru followed it very strictly.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu also followed this vow. Observance

of Caturmasuya is not one of the limbs of bhakti

mentioned in Bhaktirasamrita-sindhu, but you can find

a discussion of it in the 15th vilasa of

Hari-bhakti-vilasa. Citing the Skanda Purana, Srila

Prabhupada states that "By following the regulative

principles of Caturmasya one can very quickly be

raised to the platform of devotional service."


Cc Madhya 4.169 Purport


Caturmasya should be observed by all sections of the

population. It does not matter whether one is a

grhastha or a sannyasi. The observance is obligatory

for all asramas. The real purpose behind the vow taken

during these four months is to minimize the quantity

of sense gratification. This is not very difficult. In

the month of Sravana one should not eat spinach, in

the month of Bhadra one should not eat yogurt, and in

the month of Asvina one should not drink milk. One

should not eat fish or other nonvegetarian food during

the month of Kartika. A nonvegetarian diet means fish

and meat. Similarly, masura dhal and urad dhal are

also considered nonvegetarian. These two dhals contain

a great amount of protein, and food rich in protein is

considered nonvegetarian. On the whole, during the

four-month period of Caturmasya one should practice

giving up all food intended for sense enjoyment.


Nectar of Devotion 9: Further Consideration of

Devotional Prinicples


The Caturmasya ceremony is observed during the four

months of the rainy season in India (approximately

July, August, September and October), beginning from

Sravana. During these four months, saintly persons who

are accustomed to travel from one place to another to

propagate Krsna consciousness remain at one place,

usually a holy place of pilgrimage. During these

times, there are certain special rules and regulations

which are strictly followed. It is stated in the

Skanda Purana that during this period, if someone

circumambulates the temple of Visnu at least four

times, it is understood that he has traveled all over

the universe. By such circumambulation, one is

understood to have seen all the holy places where the

Ganges water is flowing, and by following the

regulative principles of Caturmasya one can very

quickly be raised to the platform of devotional



Various vows and austerities during Chaturmasya and

Their respective results from the Hari-bhakti-vilasa:


1) No salt -- One’s voice becomes sweet.

2) No oil -- One’s life is prolonged and gets progeny.

3) No oil massages -- One’s body becomes beautiful.

4) No cooking with oil -- One’s enemies are vanished.

5) No licorice and oil -- One becomes wealthy.

6) Give up wearing unoffered flowers -- One becomes a

Vidyadhara in Devapura.

7) Give up six kinds of tastes (spice, sour, bitter,

sweet, salty and harsh) -- One never becomes ugly,

smelly, or obtains a bad birth.

8) Practice of yoga -- One goes to Brahmaloka.

9) No betal nuts -- One becomes happy.

10) No cooked food (raw fruits & vegetables) -- One

obtains purity.

11) No honey -- One becomes lustrous.

12) No yogurt or milk -- One attains Goloka.

13) No cooking with earthen pots -- One gets … (?)

14) No hot food -- One gets offspring with a long


15) Take rest on the ground or on stone -- One becomes

an associate of Vishnu.

16) One who gives up meat & honey is a yogi and muni.

17) No intoxicating liquors -- One becomes powerful

and free from disease.

18) Fast for one day -- One is honored in Brahmaloka.

19) No cutting of hair and nails -- One gets the

benefit of taking bath daily in Ganges.

20) No speaking of grama katha (nonsense) -- One’s

order will never be disobeyed.

21) Eat food on the ground without dish or plate --

One obtains a kingdom on Earth.

22) Chant the mantra Namo Narayana -- One obtains the

result of giving in charity 100 times.

23) Offer prayers to the Lord -- One gets the result

of giving cows in charity.

24) Touch the lotus feet of the Deity -- One becomes a

successful person.

25) Clean the temple of the Lord -- If one is king he

remains so for a Kalpa.

26) Circumambulating the temple three times offering

prayers -- At the time of death one will mount a swan

airplane and go to Vaikuntha.

27) Singing or playing musical instruments in the

temple of the Lord -- One goes to Gardharvaloka.

28) Take pleasure in studying the sastras - One goes

to Vishnuloka.

29) Sprinkle water in the temple - One goes to


30) Take bath in a holy place - One’s body becomes


31) Worship Lord Vishnu with flowers -- One goes to


32) Eat panchagavya -- One gets the result of

observing candrayana fasting.

33) Eat one meal a day -- One gets the results of

performing an Agnihotra.

34) Eat at night only -- One gets the result of going

to all the places of pilgrimage.

35) Eat at noon only -- One attains Devaloka.

36) Take food not obtained by begging or any

extraneous endeavor -- One gets the results of opening

water stands and digging wells.

37) Take bath daily -- One will never see hell.

38) No eating on a plate -- One gets the result of

bathing at Pushkara

39) Eat on a leaf -- One obtains the result of living

at Kurukshetra.

40) Eat on a stone -- One obtains the result of

bathing at Prayog.

41) Giving up drinking to six hours -- One will not be

attacked by diseases.

42) During the Chaturmasya, garlands, caranamrta,

candana and water from the conchshell of the Lord,

mahaprasadam, Deity garlands must be accepted.


In this way one who performs this vrata for the

satisfaction of Lord Kesava becomes satisfied himself.

O best of the Pandavas, among My devotees, he who

accepts these vows and austerities during the

Chaturmasya goes to my abode at the time of death, of

this there is no doubt.

Ramakesava - July 6, 2004 11:06 am

Today is the disappearance day of Sri Gopala Bhatta



Gopala Bhatta Goswami (1503-1578), one of the six Gosvamis, was born in

an orthodox brahmana family in South India. His father Vyenkata Bhatta

was a priest of the famous Narayana temple of Sri Rangam. Vyenkata

Bhatta and his brothers, Prabhodhananda Saraswati and Tirumalla Bhatta

were famous for their vast learning and piety. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu

had undertaken His walking trip to South India in 1511, He spent the

four rainy months of Caturmasa with them and engaged in deep discussion

about philosophy and bhakti.


Even though the brothers belonged to the Sri (Lakshmi) sampradaya which

follows the aishwarya (awe and reverence) mode of worship, Mahaprabhu

convinced the brothers about the superiority of the ragunaga

(spontaneous love) form of worship. Young Gopala was a keen audience to

these discussions and was greatly inspired by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When

the departure of Mahaprabhu became imminent, the pain of separation

became unbearable for Gopala Bhatta, til he was pacified by Caitanya

Mahaprabhu in a spiritual dream where Mahaprabhu revealed His original

identity as Krishna and instructed Gopala Bhatta to serve under Rupa

and Sanatana Goswami in Vrindavan.


Before leaving however, Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally instructed

Gopala Bhatta to serve his parents while they were alive. Gopala Bhatta

followed these instructions were assiduously. In time he accepted his

uncle Prabhodhanada Saraswati to be his spiritual master and acquired a

deep understanding of the Sanskrit grammar, poetry and Vedic scriptures

from him. With the combined assets of Prabhodhanada Saraswati's vast

knowledge and divine inspiration of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Gopala

Bhatta's reputation as a scholar and a devotee reached unprecedented

proportions. In time he decided that he was now ready to carry out the

mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and proceeded to Vrindavana to meet Rupa

and Sanatana Goswami.


When Gopala Bhatta arrived to Vrindavana, he was met with great joy by

the pure devotees residing there. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, now in Puri, was

also pleased and send him many personal articles and paraphernalia for

worship. Following these instructions, Gopala Bhatta immersed himself

in writing about the science of bhakti. His book Sat-Kriya-Sar-Dipika

is a classic on the tenets of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. This delineates with

great care the ten rituals or samsakaras giving common people valuable

guidance on the gradual elevation to spiritual life while pursuing

materialistic activities.


His next book Samskara Dipika, elucidates the rules of behavior and

conduct of the sannyasis or renunciants. His greatest work is the

Hari-Bhakti-Vilas, upon which he collaborated with Rupa Goswami,

comprises of twenty vilasas (chapters) that provided a scientific,

step-by-step analysis of Vaishnava etiquette, and takes one through the

pitfalls and dangers in the path of spiritual advancement. Living his

life as an embodiment of the scriptures, Gopala Bhatta's fame as a

scholar and a pure devotee spread all over India.


In a trip to the Gandaki river in Nepal, Gopala Bhatta carried back

with him twelve salagrama shilas (special stones that are considered as

incarnations of Krishna). However on reaching Vrindavana, he felt

himself unqualified to worship them and made the long, arduous journey

back to place the shilas back in the river. The shilas however refused

to be left in the water and repeatedly jumped back into his hand.

Taking this as a sign from Krishna, Gopala Bhatta took them back with

him and began worshipping them very nicely in Vrindavana.


Once on a festival, Gopala Bhatta felt constrained by his inability to

dress and decorate the shilas. Responding to his intense desire, one of

the shilas, called the Damodara shila, overnight acquired the form of a

deity, much to the pleasure of Gopala Bhatta. This deity, named as

Radha Ramandev, is still worshipped in the same place in Vrindavana and

is one of the most famous temples in the Vraja dhama. Gopala Bhatta

initiated such luminaries as Shrinivas Acarya and Gopinatha Pujari who

continued as the priest for Radha Ramandev. On the instructions of

Gopala Bhatta (who himself was a lifelong celibate), Gopinatha Pujari

married and his descendants worship the Radha-Ramandev deity to this



Gopala Bhatta is famous for his erudition, humility and devotion. His

intense study and elaborate knowledge of scriptures acquired him a

reputation as one of the most important religious scholar ever

produced, while his love and devotion for Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri

Krishna catapulted him to the status of a saint. He is always revered

as one of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan and to this day followers

commemorate his exemplary life by visiting his samadhi (tomb) at the

Radha-Ramandev temple in Vrindavana.


(adapted from the Introduction to Steven Rosen's The Six Goswamis)

Babhru Das - July 6, 2004 5:27 pm
Today is the disappearance day of Sri Gopala Bhatta


His greatest work is the

Hari-Bhakti-Vilas, upon which he collaborated with Rupa Goswami. . .

Is this really what Satyaraj wrote? I've always thought that Gopal collaborated with Sanatan on Hari-bhakti-vilasa.

Ramakesava - July 7, 2004 4:42 pm
Today is the disappearance day of Sri Gopala Bhatta


His greatest work is the

Hari-Bhakti-Vilas, upon which he collaborated with Rupa Goswami. . .

Is this really what Satyaraj wrote? I've always thought that Gopal collaborated with Sanatan on Hari-bhakti-vilasa.

You could be right. I can't find the exact paragraph in my book, and Tirtha Maharaja's Sri Caitanya: His Life & Associates merely indicates that Gopala Bhatta Goswamin edited Hari-bhakti-vilasa, but not who for. It could be a typo on my behalf.

Ramakesava - July 9, 2004 10:11 am

Disappearance of Lokanatha Gosvami




Today is the disappearance day of Lokanatha dasa Goswami, a personal associate of Lord Caitanya. Following the order of Lord Caitanya, he and Bhugarbha Goswami found the lost places of Vrndavana. This work was carried on by the six Goswamis. Lokanatha Goswami is remembered for constructing the Radha-Gokulananda temple in Vrndavana. Narottama dasa Thakura was his only disciple.


Lokanatha Goswami is mentioned in Caitanya-cairtamrta, Madhya-lila, 18.49:


sange gopala-bhatta, dasa-raghunatha

raghunatha-bhatta-gosani, ara lokanatha


"When Rupa Goswami stayed at Mathura, he was accompanied by Gopala Bhatta Goswami, Raghunatha dasa Goswami, Raghunata Bhatta Goswami and Lokanatha dasa Goswami."


Our param-gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada writes about Lokanatha in the purport:


Sri Lokanatha Goswami was a personal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and a great devotee of the Lord. He was a resident of a village named Talakhadi in the district of Yasohara (Jessore), in Bengal. Previously he lived in Kacanapada. His father's name was Padmanabha, and his only sibling was a younger brother named Pragalbha. Following the orders of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Lokanatha went to Vrndavana to live. He established a temple named Gokulananda. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura selected Lokanatha dasa Goswami to be his spiritual master, and Narottama dasa Thakura was his only disciple. Because Lokanatha dasa Goswami did not want his name mentioned in the Caitanya-caritamrta, we do not often see it in this celebrated book. On the E.B.R. Railroad, the Yasohara station is located in Bangaldesh. From the railway station one has to go by bus to the village of

Sonakhali and from there to Khenjura. From there one has to walk or, during the rainy season, go by boat to the village of Talakhadi. In this village there are still descendents of Lokanatha Goswami's younger brother. (SP Purport to Cc., Madhya 18.49


from BTG:


Lokanatha Gosvami was a direct associate and pure devotee of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. From early childhood he had no interest in family life.


One day, while still an adolescent, Lokanatha left his home and parents to take shelter of Lord Caitanya. When Lord Caitanya saw Lokanatha, the Lord embraced him with great affection. The Lord then ordered him to go to Vrndavana to uncover the lost sites of Lord Krsna's pastimes.


Lokanatha along with his dear friend Bhurgarbha Gosvami went to Vrndavana to carry out the order of Lord Caitanya. Lokanatha Gosvami never returned to family life.


Once while staying in one of the five forests of Vrndavana, Lokanatha desired to worship a Deity. Understanding the mind of his exalted devotee, Lord Krsna appeared and gave Lokanatha a Deity of Himself. Lord Krsna named the Deity Radha-vinoda. Lokanatha Gosvami carried Him at all times in a bag hung from his neck. The Deity is still worshiped in Jaipur, Rajasthan.


Lokanatha Gosvami had no desire for name and fame. When Krsnadasa Gosvami was going to write the Caitanya caritamrta, he approached Lokanatha Gosvami for blessings. Lokanatha gave them, but he wouldn't allow his name to be mentioned in the book.


Lokanatha Gosvami initiated only one disciple: the great devotee-poet Narottama Dasa Thakura, who conquered Lokanatha with his humility and attitude of service.


From Back to Godhead Magazine

Research by Symasundari Dasi

Girls Vaisnava Academy, Alachua, Florida

Ramakesava - July 12, 2004 9:33 am

Kamika Ekadasi

(Monday - America;

Tuesday - Europe)


from BrahmA Vaivarta PurANa (salagram.net):


The saintly king Yudhisthira maharaj said, “Oh Supreme Lord, I have heard from You the glories of fasting on Deva-sayani EkAdasii, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of AshADha. Now I would like to hear from You the glories of the EkAdasii that occurs during the dark fortnight (krishna paksha) of the month of ShrAvaNa (July –August). Oh Govindadeva, please be merciful to me and explain its glories. Oh Supreme VAsudeva, I offer my most humble obeisances unto You.”


The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, replied, “Oh King, please listen attentively as I describe the auspicious influence of this Holy fast (vrata) day, which removes all sins. Narada Muni once asked Lord BrahmA about this same topic. ‘Oh regent of all beings,’ said NAradji, ‘Oh you who sit upon a water born lotus throne, please tell me the names of the EkAdasii that occurs during the dark fortnight of the sacred month of ShrAvaNa. Please also tell me which Deity is to be worshipped on that Holy day, the process one must follow to observe it, and the merit it awards.’


“Lord BrahmA replied, ‘My dear son Narada, for the benefit of all humanity I shall happily tell you everything you wish to know, for just hearing the glories of the KAmikA EkAdasii bestows merit equal to that obtained by one who performs a horse sacrifice. Certainly, great merit is attained by one who worships, and who also meditates on the lotus feet of the four-armed Lord GadAdhara, who holds conchshell, disc, club and lotus in His hands and who is also known as Shridhara, Hari, Vishnu, Madhava, and MadhusUdana. And the blessings achieved by such a person / devotee, who worships Lord Vishnu exclusively are far greater than those achieved by one who takes a sacred bath in the Ganges at KAshi (VarANasii), in the forest of NaimishAraNya, or at Pushkara, which is the only place on the planet where I am formally worshipped. But one who observes this KAmikA EkAdasii and also worships Lord Shri Krishna achieves greater merit than one who has darshana of Lord KedAranAtha in the HimAlayas, or one who bathes at Kurukshetra during a solar eclipse, or one who donates the whole Earth in charity, including its forests and oceans, or one who bathes in the GaNDaki River (where the sacred Shaligrams are found) or the GodAvari River on a full moon (purnima) day that falls on a Monday when Leo (Simha) and Jupiter (Guru) are conjoined (conjunct).


“ ’Observing KAmikA EkAdasii bestows the same merit as donating a milk-cow and her auspicious calf, along with their feed. On this all auspicious day, whosoever worships Lord Sri Shridhara-deva, Vishnu, is glorified by all the devas, Gandharvas, Pannagas, and NAgas.


“ ‘Those who are afraid of their past sins and completely immersed in sinful materialistic life should at least observe this best of EkAdasiis according to their ability and thus attain liberation. This EkAdasii is the purest of all days and the most powerful for removing sins of the native. Oh Narada ji, Lord Shri Hari Himself once said about this EkAdasii, “One who fasts on KAmikA EkAdasii attains much more merit than one who studies all the spiritual literatures.”


“ ‘Anyone who fasts on this particular day remains awake throughout the night will never experience the anger of YamarAja, the king of death personified. It has been seen that whoever observes KAmikA EkAdasii will not have to suffer future births, and in the past too, many Yogis of devotion who fasted on this day went to the spiritual world. One should therefore follow in their auspicious footsteps and strictly observe a fast on this most auspicious of EkAdasiis.


“ ‘Whosoever worships Lord Shri Hari with Tulasi leaves is freed from all implication of sin. Indeed, he lives untouched by sin, as the lotus leaf, although in the water, is untouched by it. Whosoever offers Lord Shri Hari but a single leaf from the sacred Tulasi tree (occillium basilcum sanctum) attains as much merit as one who gives away in charity two hundred grams of gold and eight hundred grams of silver. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is more pleased by one who offers Him a single Tulasi leaf than by one who worships Him with pearls, rubies, topaz, diamonds, lapis lazuli, sapphires, gomedA stones (gomaz), cat’s eye gems, and coral. One who offers Lord Keshava newly grown maNjari buds from the Tulasi plant gets rid of all the sins he has committed during this or any other lifetime. Indeed, mere darshana of Tulasi on KAmikA EkAdasii removes all sins, and merely touching her and praying to her removes all kinds of disease. One who waters Tulasi devi need never fear the Lord of death, YamarAja. One who plants or transplants Tulasi on this days will eventually reside with Lord Shri Krishna in His own abode. To Srimati Tulasi devi, who awards liberation in devotional service, one should therefore daily offer one’s full obeisances.


“ ‘Even Chitragupta, YamarAja’s secretary, cannot calculate the merit obtained by one who offers Shrimati Tulasi-devi a perpetually burning ghee lamp. So dear is this sacred EkAdasii to the Supreme Personality of Godhead that all the forefathers of one who offers a bright ghee lamp to Lord Shri Krishna on this day ascend to the heavenly planets and drink the celestial nectar there. Whoever offers a ghee or sesame oil lamp to Shri Krishna on this day is freed from all his sins and enters the abode of Surya, the Sun-god, with a body as bright as ten million lamps. This EkAdasii is so powerful that if one who is unable to fast simply follows the practices as mentioned herein, s/he is elevated to the heavenly planets, along with all their forefathers.


“ ‘Oh Maharaj Yudhisthira,” Lord Shri Krishna concluded, “…these were the words of prajapathi BrahmA to his son Narada Muni concerning the incalculable glories of this KAmikA EkAdasii, which removes all sins. This sacred day nullifies even the sin of killing a brAhmaNa or the sin of killing an unborn child in the womb, and it promotes one to the spiritual world by making one supremely meritorious.

One who kills the innocent, i.e., a brahmin (brAhmaNa), a child in the womb, a pious and spotless woman, etc., and then later hears about the glories of KAmikA EkAdasii will be relieved of the reaction to one’s sins. However, one should NOT think beforehand that one can kill a Brahmin or other innocent folk and then go unpunished simply by hearing of this EkAdasii. Such knowing commission of sin is an abomination.


Whosoever hears these glories of the KAmikA EkAdasii with faith becomes free of all sins and returns home, back to Godhead – Vishnu-loka, Vaikuntha.

Ramakesava - July 16, 2004 10:59 am

Disappearance of Srila B.R. Sridharadeva Goswami Maharaja




devam divya-tanum suchanda-vadanam balarka-celancitam

sandrananda-puram sad-eka-varanam vairagya-vidyambudhim

sri-siddhanta-nidhim subhakti-lasitam sarasvatanam varam

vande tam subhadam mad-eka-saranam, nyasisvaram sridharam


Today is the tirobhava mahotsava (disappearance day) of our beloved

param-guru, Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaja, the

esteemed godbrother of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and

the disciple of Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada.


Srila Sridhara Maharaja was born in Hapaniya, in West Bengal on October

10, 1895, to Sri Upendra Candra Deva Sarma Bhattacarya and Srimati

Gauri Bala Devi. Born into a highly respected brahminical lineage, his

parents called him Sri Ramendra Candra Deva Sarma Bhattacarya. Sridhara

Maharaja was their first son. Before his birth, his aunt Srimati Kumud

Kamini had once been visiting a holy place, to take darsana. That night

she dreamt that the Deity had presented her with a beautiful baby. The

baby was effulgent and his head was without hair. Since her sister in

law, Srimati Gauri Devi had no children, in the dream she gave the baby

into her sister-in-law’s hand. When Sridhara Maharaja took his advent,

Srimati Kumud Kamini saw that the new-born babe was the same as the

beautiful baby of her dream.


Sridhara Maharaja spent his youth studiously, and became renowned as a

scholar. Staying at his maternal uncle’s house in Khaithan Grama, he

displayed brilliant intelligence at the local pathsala or primary

school. At the top of his class, he displayed a natural tendency

towards religion and the study of the Vedas, the Upanisads and other

scriptures. At highs school in Okarsa he displayed a natural aptitude

for the Sanskrit language. When he was 14 he took upanayana (the

yajnopavita, sacred thread), and his attraction towards faith and

divinity increased.


Every day he would unfailingly bathe in the Ganges at Dampal, rising

early before sunrise, walking three miles there and back. Picking lotus

flowers from a natural reservoirs, he would offer them every day to the

Ganges and Lord Siva. Once when walking to Jamapura with a lotus flower

in his hand to offer to Buraraja (Lord Siva), he had a sudden

revelation of visva-rupa, the Universal Form. During his early years,

he had affinity for Lord Ramacandra and his pastimes, but later after

he became acquainted with Mahaprabhu and his teachings, he began to

read Bhagavad-gita, and became attracted to Lord Krsna.


After Sridhara Maharaja completed his school education, he entered the

Krishnanath College in Berhampore, Bengal. There he graduated with a

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. However during his time there he became

indifferent to the books of his studies, instead reading only

transcendental literatures such as Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and Sri

Caitanya-bhagavata. For a while he joined Mahatma Gandhi’s

non-cooperation movement in 1921, staying there for about two years.

However his real attraction was for sankirtana, and he began a search

for a genuine sadhu, someone whom he could accept as his guru, and take

initiation from. For some time he could not find anyone, but then by

providence he had the good fortune to meet his eternal guru, Srila

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, leaving home and joining his Mission

in 1926, and becoming his initiated disciple in 1927.


In the matha, Sridhara Maharaja displayed his natural propensity

towards proper sastric conclusions, and understanding the import of

Gaudiya siddhanta. In recognition of this Saraswati Thakura awarded him

the sannyasa order in 1930, bestowing upon him the name Bhakti Raksaka

-- “Guardian of Devotion”. Once, after reading Sridhara Maharaja’s

beautiful composition glorifying Bhaktivinode Thakura, Bhaktisiddhanta

Saraswati was head to remark, “Now I am satisfied that, after I leave,

there will be at least one man who can represent my conclusions



In later years Sridhara Maharaja was also recognised by his guru for

his understanding and realisation of sastra with the title

sastra-nipuna, meaning one who is very expert or intelligent in the

understanding of the meaning of sastra. On another occasion Saraswati

Thakura also referred to him as niveditatma, a pure soul fully

surrendered unto the Supreme Lord. Prior to entering the Lord’s eternal

pastimes, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati requested to hear Sri

Rupa-manjari-pada from the lips of Sridhara Maharaja. s well as being

recognised by his guru in this way, Srila Sridhara Maharaja was also

recognised by many of his godbrothers for his seniority and advanced

realisations. With affectionate regard, many of these, such as Srila

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava

Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Saranga Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava

Maharaja, and Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaja, considered

him their siksa-guru. (Sri Caitanya, p. 291)


Once Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada had established his mission

in the Americas, he wrote to his editors, “What Sripada Sridhara

Maharaja has directed, I take it on my head. He is my ever well-wisher.

After the departure of Prabhupada (Saraswati Thakura) it is appropriate

that I should accept his direction. I got direction from him that I

shall live in this country forever.” When Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami

became ill, he wrote to Sridhara Maharaja asking if he should remain in

America, or return to Vrndavana. Sridhara Maharaja through Sripada

Govinda Maharaja replied, “Swami Maharaja is always in Vrndavana. And

the West is his prabhu-datta-desa (guru-given country; his field).

Wherever he leaves the world--that is also Vrndavana. So he can stay

there and continue his glorious work.”


Srila Swami Maharaja also ordered his disciples and followers to take

guidance from Sridhara Maharaja and to complete the construction of his

assembly hall at Sri Caitanya Saraswata Matha. During his sojourns in

India, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada would stay with Sridhara

Maharaja, where they would share intimate pastimes together,and discuss

lofty topics of siddhanta. Their fond relationship is documented in

many places. It was Sridhara Maharaja who first determined Srila

Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s position as saktyavesa-avatara: “I

consider him to be saktyavesa-avatara. Krsna came down to help him...

Divine Power came down to help him, otherwise it is impossible. It is

not a thing of the ordinary level that anyone will do, but the highest

thing has been carried down to the lowest position, distributed so

extensively by him. It cannot but be the Divine Power embodied and in a

great intensity and magnitude. So, saktyavesa-avatara--I cannot but

take him to be so.”


After the passing of Saraswati Thakura in 1936, Sridhara Maharaja

founded his own temple in Sri Navadwipa Dhama in 1941: Sri Caitanya

Saraswata Matha on the banks of the Ganga. Although, honoured as an

exalted representative of the parampara, Srila Sridhara Maharaja would

take a junior position, considering himself everyone’s servant.

Following their requests, he bestowed the sannyasa order upon many of

his eminent godbrothers, including Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami

Maharaja,Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Aloka

Paramahamsa Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Kamala Madhusudana Maharaja and



During a vraja-mandala parikrama, Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami

Maharaja, regarded by many as the most senior preachers and disciple of

Saraswati Thakura, personally worshipped Sridhara Maharaja with 108

lamps, incences, etc.,or Sridhara Maharaja’s appearance day. In

performing this, Srila Goswami Maharaja was joined by many of his

disciples and other godbrothers.


Being deeply steeped in Sri Caitanyadeva’s culture of bhakti Sridhara

Maharaja began writing his own Sanskrit and Bengali compositions. Among

these Sri-sri-prapanna-jivanamrta (a comprehensive scriptural study of

saranagati, surrender), and Prema-dhama-deva-stotram (a Sanskrit poem

summarising caitanya-lila), are well known. Sridhara Maharaja also

wrote commentaries on Bhaktivinode Thakura’s Saranagati, the

Bhagavad-gita, and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. His outstanding commentary

on gayatri mantra, Sri Gayatri-nigudhartha, is regarded as the supreme

wealth of Gaudiya Vaisnavas. On this matter, Srila B.P. Puri Maharaja



“Sridhara Maharaja’s explanation of brahma-gayatri, the mother of all

the Vedas, indicating how it is centred on the meditation of Srimati

Radharani, was revealed to him in the depth of his realisation. It is

the result of Paramaradhya Sri Srila Prabhupada [bhaktisiddhanta

Saraswati Thakura]’s divine grace on him. This explanation is deeply

appreciated by those fortunate intelligent devotees, who are aware of

the relishable beauty of pure devotional service.


“Parama-pujyapada Sridhara Deva has presented the world with this most

beautiful, full-fledged explanation of gayatri, the mother of sruti,

after realising the deepest meaning of Srimad Bhagavatam. He has shown

us the treasure of the supreme reality: that the loving adoration of

varenya bhargo, who is the supreme loving worshipper, ecstasy giver and

internal potency of the supremely worshipable Sri Lila Purusottama

Deva, is the best way to attain the grace of Sri Krsna. Gayatri is the

benevolent source of pure devotional inspiration and intelligence

required to attain the grace of Sri Krsna, the Divine Lord of this

universe, and is the exclusive meaning of the expression savalac

chyamadam prapadye (Upanisads).” (ibid., pp. 291-292)


The renowned disciple of Saraswati Thakura, Srila Akincana dasa Babaji

Maharaja, was oft to say, “I find the writings of Sripada Sridhara

Maharaja to be non-different from those of Narottama dasa Thakura”.

Original verse compositions by Sridhara Maharaja can be found in the

book Kirtana-manjusa, among other places, and his Gayatri-nigudhartha

is contained within the volume Sri Gayatri-mantrartha-dipika by Mandala



Though at an advanced age, Sridhara Maharaja spoke extensively from his

mature and developed realisation to devotees who had come from around

the world to hear from him the teachings of the gurudeva and of other

acaryas before him. Following the passing of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta

Swami Prabhupada, Sridhara Maharaja opened his matha and heart to his

disciples, encouraging them and providing them with solace and sound

instruction in the conclusions of siddhanta in the spirit of their

gurudeva. These talks are available in book, audio and videotape form

from Sri Caitanya Saraswata Matha, and from Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s

many affectionate followers and admirers (e.g. Mandala Press, etc.).


Srila Sridhara Maharaja was an inspiration and example to many. Fully

absorbed in the vipralambha-bhava of separation, and hankering for the

divine service of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, Srila

Sridhara Maharaja withdrew from our vision on this earthly plane on the

Amavasya (dark moon) in July 1988, entering the nitya-lila of the

Supreme Lord.


(Adapted from Sri Caitanya: His Life & Associates, (Mandala Press,

2001) Srila Guru Maharaja: His Divine Pastimes & Precepts in Brief (Sri

Caitanya Saraswata Matha, 1994) and other sources.)

Ramakesava - July 18, 2004 10:33 am

Purusottam, the extra month


This year, 2004, the Vedic calendar has thirteen months instead of twelve. This extra month runs from 18th July to 16th August inclusive, thus splitting the month of Sridhar into two. In this regard the following article was written by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaja. It was first published in Bengali as the Editorial to the 'Sri Gaudiya Darshan' magazine of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip, of 16th September 1955. The following translation is by Sripad B.P. Tirtha Maharaj.


The Month Of Sri Purusottam


This year there is an extra month, Purusottam Month. It gives a more favourable opportunity for Krishna-Seva and it is a particularly favourable opportunity for the fortunate jivas. Purusottam Month has all good qualities, just like Bhagavan Purusottam, Himself, and is considered the crown of all months. Even the most holy months such as Vaisak Month, cannot be compared with this Purusottam Month. Bhagavan, the Lord Himself, has mercifully accepted this month and given it all His power. We know such things by reading Sri Brihannaradiya Purana.


The materialistic smarta-sampradaya by their karmik standard of judgement avoid performing rituals during this month and they avoid anything considered materially auspicious. By their calculation this extra month is materially barren or gloomy.


In Srimad Bhagavad-gita the Lord says that if we do karma properly then we gain some capacity to enter within jnana.


sarvam karmakhilam partha

jnane parisamapyate


But the fruit of that knowledge, the knower and the known are all nirvisesa, or similar to mukti.


By doing holy activities we may be able to attain heaven, but after finishing that good reaction, we return to this world known as Martya-loka the plain of death. In this way those who aspire for material things have to undergo reactions to their actions.


The devotees of Krishna, however, are worshipers of "kirttaniyah sada harih." Their process of worshiping is given in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta:


nijabhista krsna-prestha pacheta' lagiya

nirantara seva kare antarmana hana


They are twenty-four hours per day engaged for the Service of the Lord, for they do not have a moment for their own sense enjoyment. They cannot tolerate those who are against doing Seva, especially those who want some result in this world. When they see these types of jivas they dislike them more than hell. We can see many Scriptural examples of this.


Similarly the worshipers of svaguna, the plane within the modes of nature, always show their objection to those who are worshipers of the nirguna — the realm above the modes of nature. There is no lack of Scriptural examples here also.


The smartas, those under the rules of mundane nature, their material duties are already scheduled within the regular twelve months so they dismiss this extra month. However those who continually spend their time in worship and service of the Lord give much attention to this month. They know fruitive activity is a cause of material bondage. However those who desire material results from fruitive activity consider this month to be barren, to be materially unhealthy. Such persons dismiss this month, therefore this extra month feels it is rejected so it feels the necessity to surrender to its Master. The Lord always gives much protection to the surrendered, so He gives all His own wealth and property to this month and in this way it takes on His properties and becomes like Him. Therefore the Lord gave His own Name, Purusottam, making this extra month the king of all months. He Himself glorified this month and gave it to the hand of His most dear devotees whom He loves as Himself. The devotees serve the Lord Goloka Bihari Purusottam very happily in this Purusottam Month, the month when the materialists are very silent in their activities.


Bengali article of Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj,

translated by Sripad B.P. Tirtha Maharaj.