by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada
NAMO GAURA-KISORAYA SAKSAD-VAIRAGYA-MURTAYE
VIPRALAMBHA-RASAMBUDHE PADAMBUJAYA TE NAMAH
I offer my respectful obeisances unto Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja (the spiritual master of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati), who is renunciation personified. He is always merged in a feeling of separation and intense love of Krsna.
“ALL GLORIES TO GURU AND GOURANGA””SRI SRI GURU GOURANGA JAYATAH”
The following descriptions of the most highly renounced acarya (spiritual teacher), Om Visnupada Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji documents a significant part of the history of our Gaudiya Vaisnava disciplic succession. These wonderful, mind-attracting stories and instructions vividly illustrate that the problems we face in our march against maya (illusion) are not new manifestations of her manifold trickery, but are eternal displays. Moreover, a deeper insight into the relationships among our previous acaryas strengthens the faith of the inquisitive and intelligent disciple. And to those narrow-minded persons who entertain doubts about the teachings of the acaryas in the last century, this work will present a challenge based on actual facts, quotes and historical records now at our disposal.
The following articles appeared in the Sajjana Tosani monthly magazine in the year 1917. The articles, entitled Anaran Prabhura katha or “The Instuctions of My Spiritual Master” appeared in the nineteenth volume, numbers five and six. The editors of the Caitanya Matha corrected these magazine articles by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and compiled them into a small book. The headings of the stories were given by the editorial staff to depict their specific instructions. The original articles can be found in the Devananda Gaudiya Matha in Navadwip, West Bengal as well as in their branch in Mathura, Utar Pradesh.
The Real Spiritual Master and Disciple
The articles by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura describe the unearthly character of Srila Gaurakisora das Babaji Maharaja. The descriptions of spiritual leaders by historians and ordinary authors cannot compare to these unique presentations, which preserve the transcendental qualities of Srila Gaurakisora and simultaneously reveal the path by which the rare character of such an immortal personality can be followed.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura brings to light how we pretentiously approach the spiritual master, feigning advancement, pregnant with arrogance, and intoxicated by desires for sense gratification. The neophyte devotee is always in a precarious situation. Due to a poor fund of knowledge and lack of faith, he has the tendency to imitate. By studying the instructions of Srila Gaurakisora one can learn how to escape the jaws of false renunciation and offensive mockery. In other words, the present level of our spiritual advancement is made obvious upon hearing the highly renounced example of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur describes himself before his meeting Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji: “I have been busy within this material world trying to bring sense gratification within the grasp of my hand. I have often thought that by obtaining the object of sense gratification, all my shortcomings will be fulfilled. I often attained different assets that were indeed very rare, but my own personal shortcomings were never mitigated. In this material world I have had the association of very high-class, aristocratic persons. However, seeing their various deficiencies, I could not offer them praise. The most merciful Supreme Lord, Sri Gourasundara, seeing me in such a lamentable condition at such a time of diversity, gave permission to His two dearmost devotees to grant their blessings to me. Because I was always intoxicated with a worldly false ego, wanting again and again self-aggrandizement, I deprived myself of my own real benefit. But because of the influence of my previous births’ activities in devotional service, I came into the association of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, who was the form of my spiritual well wisher.
“My spiritual master would go and visit Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and many times would reside with him. Srila Bhaktivinode, out of his compassion for other living entities, pointed out my spiritual master, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji. Upon seeing my spiritual master, the extent of by worldly false ego diminished. I know that all the other living entities who have taken the human form of life were also fallen and low like myself. But by gradually observing the spiritual character of my master, I realized that only a Vaisnava could reside in this material world and be of exemplary character.”
The External and Internal Identity of Srila Gaurakisora
Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji appeared almost one hundred years ago in the district of Pharidapura next to the place called Tepakhola in the village of Vagyana. In that village, which is situated on the shore of the Padma River, he was born as the son of a Vaisya named Vamsi das. During his boyhood his mother and father arranged his marriage and he remained in household life for almost twenty-nine years, working as a grain broker.
After the death of his wife, he left his business and approached Srila Bhagavat dasa Babaji, requesting from him the traditional paramahamsa Vaisnava Babaji dress. After accepting Babaji initiation from Srila Bhagavat dasa Babaji, who was a disciple of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji, Srila Gaurkisora travelled from village to village in Vrndavana, continually performing his worship to Lord Krsna for approximately thirty years. During this time he would sometimes travel to the holy places of pilgrimage in northern and western India. He associated with Sri Svarupa dasa Babaji in Jagannatha Puri, Srila Bhagavan dasa Babaji in Kalina, and Sri Caitanya dasa Babaji in Khulia. Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji became famous among the great devotees of Vrndavana and was given the appropriate name bhajananandi. Even though Srila Gaurakisora received such exalted honor, he never secretly endeavored for even a drop of material sense gratification. He was totally indifferent to material enjoyment. Self-satisfied and alone, he performed his his pure, unalloyed devotional pastimes in a deep devotional mood.
In the year 1897, during the month of Phalguna (March), when the Yoga Pith (the exact birth-place of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu) in Sri Mayapura Dhama was revealed, Srila Gaurakisora came to Sri Navadwipa Dhama from Vrndavana. From this time until his disappearance, Srila Gaurakisora lived in different villages in the area of Sri Navadwipa Dhama, realizing them as nondifferent from Vrndavana. He begged dry foodstuffs from the householders of the holy dhama,. sometimes offering the the food in his hand to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. To cook, he would often collect dry wood from the paths and he would wash used earthen pots that people had discarded along the roadside near the River Ganga. To clothe himself, he would go to the shore of the Ganga and collect and wash discarded cloth that had been used to cover corpses in the burning ghats. In this way, always remaining independent from the support of others, he fulfilled his practical necessities by using items that had no value for anyone.
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura would often cite the behavior of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji to explain the meaning of nirapeksa, “indifference.” He often discussed the unequaled renunciation, pure devotion, and attachment to Krsna that Babaji Maharaja displayed. Babaji Maharaja frequently visited Svananda Kunja, a place within Godrumadwipa (one of the nine islands of Navadwipa), where Bhaktivinode Thakura spent his last days in retirement. Srila Gaurakisora would come to hear Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura discourse on Srimad Bhagavatam and other topics concerning the intimate conclusions of devotional service. Babaji Maharaja would display fervent enthusiasm upon hearing these discourses.
His only possessions were the Tulasi mala he wore around his neck and the set of Tulasi mala he kept in his hand for counting. He also kept a few books, such as Narottama dasa Thakura’s works, Prarthana and Prema Bhakti Chandrika. Sometimes Gaurakisora dasa Babaji would wear no Tulasi mala around his neck and he would hold a torn knotted cloth in his hand for chanting his rounds. Sometimes, he would wear his kopin open and sometimes, he would wear no kopin at all. Sometimes Srila Gaurakisora would utter harsh sounds of disgust for no apparent reason.
Even though Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was not learned in Sanskrit grammatical rules, still the purport and conclusions of all scriptures were luminous in his heart and character. No one could ever find an opportunity to serve him because he refused to accept any kind of service from anyone. Whenever anyone saw his unearthly state of renunciation, they could only remember the topics of Srila Raghunatha das Goswami. Every kind of opulence, such as omniscience, was always waiting with folded hands to serve him. He was able to reveal the deceitful nature lying within the heart of any pretender. Even if someone was not residing in his vicinity, Babaji Maharaja could elaborately and scrutinizingly reveal that person’s cheating nature, because he was in contact with the Supersoul in the heart. This opulence was not, however, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji’s principal virtue. He exhibited the highest standard of devotion to the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, and because of his exemplary character, he was renowned as the embodiment of the deepest degree of separation from Lord Sri Krsna. His pure devotion distinguished him from all other Vaisnavas and eternally spread the luster of his lotus feet.
The Vaisnava Imposter
Many people–young, old, learned, foolish, proud, and reasonable–came into contact with Srila Gaurakisora without realizing his real identity. The devotees of Lord Krsna have this mystic opulence. Coming to consult with Srila Gaurakisora about their insignificant desires, many persons would get suggestions that were usually a cause of disappointment. Innumerable persons accepted the babaji dress, acting as devotees of the Lord. Far from being sadhus (saintly persons), they were actually imposters. Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji never accepted such a way of life. The sincerity in his activities was self-evident. His loving attitude was such that even when he obtained an opulent offering, his renunication predominated.
Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji never displayed any distaste for persons opposed to him. Nor did he ever manifest special affection for those very dear to him. He would often say, “In this material world I am all alone in my service to Lord Krsna. Everyone is worshipable by me.” Many materialistic, foolish persons masquerading as devotees would surround him. They would consider themselves as objects of his affection; mean while, their minds were engaged in so many worldly sense objects. Srila Gaurakisora never showed any intention of driving them away or of compromising with them.
In Svananda Kunja
In 1898, soon after Svananda Sukhada Kunja was built in Godrumadvipa, Navadwipa Dhama, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati first met his spiritual master, Srila Gaurakisora. On that day, the embodiment of the highest boon in the succession of the Rupanuga Sampradaya, Om Paramahamsa Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, in deep humility, following the direct instruction of Sri Varsabhanavi devi (Radharani) and singing in a plaintive voice, arrived in Svananda Kunja. The transcendental crest jewel of the highest renounced order, avadhuta, was wearing a cap made of tiger skin and carrying a basket of various items and materials for executing his service. He offered Srila Bhaktisiddhanta four or five pieces of rope for chanting rounds, a stamp for tilaka with the initials Hare Krsna, the tiger skin cap, and paraphernalia for worship. Srila Gaurakisora had received the basket and cap from his spiritual master, Srila Bhagavat dasa Babaji. In January, 1900, Srila Gaurakisora initiated Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
The great devotee, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, frequently came to Svananda Kunja to hear Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura’s explanations of the Srimad Bhagavatam. He would usually arrive at about three o’clock in the afternoon and leave around five o’clock. On several occasions, he would spend the night in a corner of Svananda Kunja in a small hut. At times he would stay at a place called Amalajoda next to Svananda Kunja in the district of Parddhamana. At other times he would stay at Pradyumna Kunja at the residence of Sri Ksetranath Bhaktinidhi and Sri Vipina Bihari. He would collect dry wood and old, discarded clay containers and would place these on the verandas there. Another devotee, Cattopadhyaya Bhakti Bhrnga would also regularly come to Navadwipaa Dhama to hear Bhaktivinode Thakura’s lectures. Occasionally Srila Gaurakisora would accept prasada from Svananda Kunja and then again he would fast and under no circumstances accept prasada. In this way he would either fast, accept prasadam, or cook for himself. At times Babaji Maharaja would act as if afflicted by a disease called siroroga, or insanity and blindness. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura arranged a proper diet for him, but to the Thakura’s dismay Babaji Maharaja continued enacting his intense renunciation. He never paid any attention to the diet Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura arranged. He enacted this pastime to such a degree that eventually he almost lost sight in both eyes.
In 1908 Srila Gaurakisora lost his external vision completely. The following year he stopped all traveling and began to reside in Navadwipa. He built a kutir for performing bhajan at Pradyumna Kunja, which was previously owned by the deceased Saraccandra Vasu of South Calcutta. There he would chant japa and perform his worship of Lord Krsna. Now and then, having lost external bodily consciousness, Srila Gaura Kisora would act as if he could not recognize whether he was dressed or not. In that condition he would often go to swim in the Sarasvati River with all his cloth open. Afterwards, he would enter into his small bhajan kutir and in a deep voice he would begin calling the gopis of Vrndavana.
The Material Universe
During the time Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was acting as if he was losing his eyesight, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested him to go to Calcutta for proper treatment. Bhaktivinode Thakura also requested him many times to go there, but Srila Gaurakisora would say, “I will never go to the material universe, Calcutta.” Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura told Babaji Maharaja that his servant, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, would be in Calcutta and so Srila Gaurakisora would not have to undergo any inconvenience. “I will never accept his service,” replied Srila Gaurakisora. “I will drown myself first in the Sarasvati River. If I drown myself in the Sarasvati River, then perhaps I can take birth as a ghost.” Then Srila Gaurakisora left very quickly, proceeding toward the Sarasvati River, which flowed in front of Svananda Kunja. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, running behind him, humbly requested again and again that he come back. From that day, Srila Babaji Maharaja was seen nor heard for about forty-five days. Then, suddenly, after forty-five days, he arrived at Svananda Kunja and declared, “By killing myself I will not obtain Sri Krsna. Nevertheless, I cannot tolerate anyone serving me directly.” Although requested hundreds of times to take medicine, Srila Gaurakisora never consented. He always followed Ekadasi without accepting water. On days other than Ekadasi he would eat dried, cracked rice and dried pepper that had been soaked in Ganges water. His renunciation was not false, but was that which gave pleasure to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna.
Sri Mayapura Dhama
From 1907 to 1908. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta lived in Mayapur at the Yoga Pith. Here the Adhoksaja Visnu Deity, found during the digging of the Caitanya Matha, later manifested. Before the construction of the temple the place was called Kanatala. Srila Gaurakisora spent much of his time there. At this time, Babaji Maharaja gave instructions to Bhaktisiddhanta about the mystery of the disciple’s service to his guru and the example of proper behavior for Vaisnavas. Once, although completely blind, Babaji Maharaja arrived alone in Sri Dhama Mayapura at the Yoga Pith, at two o’clock in the morning. Later in the morning, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, amazed to see Srila Gaurakisora, inquired, “When did you arrive?” “I arrived at about two in the morning,” replied Babaji Maharaja. Completely astonished, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati then asked, “What is it that brought you here last night, and how was it possible to acquire light to see the path?”
“One person showed me the proper way,” answered Srila Gaurakisora. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati replied, “We can see by our external vision, but you cannot see. Who would bring you such a long distance by hand? And then, upon arriving here, who would suddenly leave in the middle of the night? How is it that you were able to come? It must have been Sri Krsna who personaly brought you here.” Hearing this supposition by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Srila Babaji Maharaja began to laugh slightly. The fact was that in those days one could not walk from Kulia to Mayapura because there were no footpaths and no boat landings. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati again inquired, “Who brought you accross the river?” Again Srila Gaurakisora laughingly answered, “One person took me accross the river.” His disciple could then understand that this person was none other then Vrajanandana, Sri Krsna.
The Real and Pretender Bhajananandi
Once, while Srila Gaurakisora was residing in the dharmsala in Kulia, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati asked him many questions about the residents of Vrndavana and the various devotees who were performing solitary worship there. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta especially asked about the bhananandis, who were reputed to be perfect, realized souls. Srila Gaurakisora laughed again and again upon hearing this question, finally stating, “They are all imposters.”
One babaji residing at Kusama Sarova was renowned as a great bhajananandi. He had a few disciples who were also reputed to be perfectly realized persons. But Srila Gaura Kisora did not even slightly agree to the authenticity of their worship. After some time, these “great souls” were afflicted with leprosy of the throat and left their bodies after extreme suffering. They had resided in the Holy Dhama with their intelligence bent on sense gratification and thus they would behave offensively toward Srila Gaura Kisora.
Deception and Actual Residence in the Holy Dhama
One day a young devotee, very anxiously desiring to serve and reside in the Holy Dhama of Navadwipa, came and revealed his intentions to Srila Gaurakisora. The young man had made arrangements to remain in the Holy Dhama and as a doctor treat sick persons. He planned to beg from the residents of the Dhama and sell his medicine on the side. Then, with the profits he could maintain himself and give free medical treatment to sick patients. He considered that in this way he could perform his bhajan and at the same time perform the highest welfare activity. To confirm his plans he came to get the advice of Srila Gaurakisora. When he arrived and presented his proposal, he quoted the following verses from Caitanya Caritamrta (Adi Lila 10:50-51):
pratigraha nahi kare, na laya kara dhana
atma-vrtti kari kare kutumbe bharana
cikitsa karena yare hoiya sadaya
deha-roga bhava-roga, dui tara ksaya
“Srila Murari Gupta never accepted charity from his friends, nor did he accept money from anyone. He practiced being a physician and maintained his family with his earnings. As Murari Gupta treated his patients, by his mercy, both their bodily and spiritual diseases ceased.”
Srila Gaurakisora could understand the restlessness of the doctor and his pretensions of wanting to live in the Holy Dhama for his so-called devotional service. Srila Gaurakisora made this evident when he explained, “Murari Gupta is an eternal associate of Lord Caitanya and is always residing in the Holy Dhama. He never suggested any intentions of residing in the Supreme Lord’s Holy Dhama by supporting himself through unjust means to enjoy sense gratification. He never, at the expense of any temple, supported his family, nor was he ever solely interested in earning money to maintain a full stomach. He would never accept charity from his friends or any other persons. He was the direct form of the storehouse of love of Godhead. By his mercy, persons would obtain the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Whomever he would treat would become completely free from disease and obtain loving affection unto the Supreme Lord. If one does not follow the example of his character, one must suffer the distressed-filled results of his past misdeeds, becaue of one’s false pretensions of seemingly performing devotional service while actually supporting sense gratification. You are a patient yourself of this material world. How will you properly treat others? You must incessantly and seriously pray for the mercy of Srila Murari Gupta. Then you will be able to understand what is actual benefit. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed that one must have no false pretentions in his intelligence when chanting Hare Krsna. Those who have such intentions are considered less intelligent. You should give up your bad intelligence and begin the process of chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord. If anyone performs devotional service with your false intentions, then one’s devotion becomes a product of lust and everything is lost. The administering of free medical treatment for the purpose of self-prestige and the desire to reside in the Holy Dhama have no point of unity. A person desirous of the fruits of his activities can never live in the Holy Dhama.”
Hearing the instructions of Babaji Maharaja, the doctor inquired, “Therefore, what should I do?” Srila Gaurakisora replied, “If your actually want the result of residing in the Holy Dhama, then you should first give up all relationships with the idea you are entertaining. Abandon this misconception of benefitting materialistic persons by distributing free medical treatment. Those who are resolute in performing worship unto the Supreme Lord, Hari, will never discharge any activities unfavorable to the Supreme Lord, and they will only perform favorable activities. Other then this, all activities performed will be the cause of deep conditioning. If you want to support yourself in the way you have planned, then you should return to your own residence outside the Holy Dhama, but do not live within the Supreme Abode of the Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna, and deceptively maintain your livelihood.”
The New Babaji
A new practitioner who had taken the dress of babaji would ofter come and converse with Srila Gaurakisora. Once his decided he would become a resident of the Holy Dhama. In Kulia he approached the estate of a landowner (who was at that time a queen) to purchase three-quarters of an acre of land. Upon hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora commented, “The Supreme Abode of the Lord is transcendental. How is it that this queen has become a landowner of the Holy Dhama? How is it that this person is entitled to sell that new Baba a portion of the land of the Holy Dhama? Even all the jewels found within the universe are not valuable enough to buy even one spec of dust of the Holy Dhama. Therefore, how can any landowner amass enough wealth to become the owner of a plot of the transcendental abode of Sri Navadwipa Dhama? Has this new Baba, for the exchange of the practice of devotional service, become entitled to a portion of land in Navadwipa Dhama? Anyone who has such materially tinged intelligence is very offensive and far away from actually residing within the Holy Dhama. Those persons whose attitude is tinged with such material intelligence, thinking the Holy Dhama is of material nature, are considered by the devotees of the Supreme Lord to be sahajiyas or cheap imposters”
Deception and Devotional Servic
One day a resident of Banladesh who was a very wealthy landlord, a scholar, a brahmana, and a famous great devotee of the Lord came along with his friend to see Srila Gaurakisora. The landowner was so deeply absorbed in devotional ecstacies that his friend had to assist him by holding his hand when he walked. His friend would hold the shoulder of the wealthy landowner because his body was trembling so much. When the two arrived before Srila Gaurakisora, two other persons present immediately recognized the wealthy landowner and received him as an advanced devotee of the Lord. They very carefully offered their obeisances to him and arranged a seating place, praying to him to please be seated. At that time Srila Gaurakisora, enacting his pastime of a blind person, said, “Who has come?” The friend of the landowner introduced his companion by glorifying the landowner’s erudition, devotion, and detachment from material sense gratification although he possessed unlimited wealth. He then described how, just one fortnight before, a thief had come and stolen forty-five thousand Rupees from the landowner’s house. Although suffering such a setback, the landowner, knowing devotion to be the main attachment, had come to obtain Srila Gaurakisora’s transcendental darshan. The friend added, “I am his friend. He has left all material sense gratification and keeps only my association. You will be able to realize his greatness by conversing with him. He once asked me a question about a confidential exchange between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Ramananda Raya from the Caitanya Caritamrta. I told him that only Gaurakisora dasa Babaji could properly answer his question and certainly no one else. We have already been to see many learned persons in this area and yet we cannot come to an agreement about the meaning of this conversation. We think that only you are able to explain it properly.”
After the friend of the great devotee completed his introduction, Srila Gaurakisora replied, “I will tell you a process by which you can understand the conclusion of this conversation. But before trying to understand these confidential topics between Lord Caitanya and Ramananda Raya, you should renounce the association of this other rascal imposter and take shelter of a pure devotee of the Lord. You should hear the Caitanya Caritamrta one humdred times in the association of real devotees of the Lord. In this way, being absorbed in devotional ecstasy, you will be able to realize the purport of these conversations. At the present moment all the devotees here want to perform congregational chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord. We don’t have time to discuss any other topics.” Then Srila Gaurakisora very loudly requested everyone to perform Hari Nama Sankirtana. Evryone then began to congregationally chant the Lord’s Holy Name. After hearing the statement by Srila Gaurakisora, the proud landowner and his friend immediately left that place. Later in the evening, when almost everyone had left, some persons told Srila Gaurakisora, “That very learned landowner was absorbed in devotional ecstasy. We could not see any manifestation of material consciousness in him. He was devoid of any worldly consciousness.” Another person sitting nearby, who had always heard that Srila Gaurakisora was very open with everyone, said, “That person was so immersed in various loving devotional ecstasies that he could not even walk by his own efforts. How is it that you can say he was not on the highest level of bhava bhakti?”
Gaurakisora dasa Babaji then replied, “After speaking with him a few moments, I could understand that he had no good intentions in his performance of devotional service. One cannot measure the amount of devotion a person possesses by the approval of the general people. If a person is not serious in his devotional practice, then even if he has the symptoms of renunciation, detachment, and many ecstasies, still he should not be considered to have real renunciation or detachment. As soon as a difficult test comes, then that false renunciation will cease. Detachment searches out the shelter of those who are actually fixed in their intentions for devotional service. In our practical devotional service, we should never show anyone our devotional ecstasies. One should perform devotional service in such a way that his deep attachment to the Lord will increase within his heart. Even if one displays hundreds and hundreds of exhibitions of external detachment, he will not be blessed by the Lord if he does not develop an internal loving attachment. If there is actually a deep loving attitude, then Krsna Himself will approach and overtake the advanced devotee. Whoever is not enticed by the fragrance of unflinching devotional service and whose heart is filled with material desires will wear different types of external bodily dress. Krsna is proportionately aloof or available to the degree of one’s surrender. If one is deeply immersed in devotional attachment to Lord Hari, then even while suffering distressing diseases or other material miseries, still he will remain absorbed in transcendental loving service to the Lord. If you can fast and chant Hare Krsna both day and night, and when you can always cry out in desire for the service of Vrsabhanu Radharani, without displaying this to others, then Sri Krsna, who is very dear to Srimati Radharani, will call out for you to take his shelter.”
The Grains of the Materialist
A lawyer came to visit Srila Gaurakisora. He was living in the nearby vicinity and had contracted a certain Goswami on a monthly basis to arrange for his food. When the lawyer, Bhattacarya, approached Srila Gaurakisora, he was asked, “What arrangements do you have for your foodstuffs?” The lawyer replied, “I have arranged to receive my foodstuffs in the house of certain Vaisnavas and brahmanas.” Srila Gaurakisora answered, “Give up eating their cooked rice. You should cook yourself and accept that. Those persons from whom you are accepting food grains eat meat and maintain their service to Lord Caitanya by various deceptive ways. Their activity is most offensive because they are in knowledge of what they are doing. Those persons who have no fear of offenses that they may perform to the Supreme Lord should never be spoken to. Otherwise, one’s devotional sevice will be destroyed.”
After sometime the lawyer brought several sweets and offered them to Srila Gaurakisora. He especially prayed to Srila Gaurakisora to accept his sweet offering. Srila Gaurakisora then told him, “Never accept sweetmeats.” Then Bhattacarya replied, “There is nothing higher than accepting food that the Lord has directly accepted.” Babaji Maharaja said, “Whoever eats fish is like a prostitute. If someone has perverted desires and offers foodstuffs unto Lord Caitanya, those preparations can never be accepted as the prasada of the Supreme Lord because the Lord does not partake of them. Whoever is not actually a sincere devotee of the Lord cannot understand what a nondevotee is. Even if one offers foodstuffs to the Supreme Lord, if one has perverted intentions then the offering is never accepted. If one offers the covering of the banana flowers because he himself likes its taste, the offering is not accepted by the Supreme Lord. Offering foodstuffs to the Supreme Lord that have been contaminated by one’s lusty desires should be considered a great offense. If preparations favored by the great devotees of the Lord are offered, then the offering is considered proper. Krsna tastes foodstuffs that have been tasted by the lips of His pure devotees. If one accepts the grains of a sinful person, then his mind becomes impure. One should think, ‘My worship to the Lord has not fructified yet–how can I obtain the service of a pure devotee of the Lord?’ In this way, with heart full of grief, if one takes banana peels and the discarded skin of an eggplant and boils them without salt, this attitude of full surrender will cause those foodstuffs to become mahaprasada. ‘My worship to the Lord has not yet come about.’ one should think. ‘The pure devotee of the Lord accepts nice foodstuffs, but my doing so would only impede my devotion. What will happen to me if I continue eating nicely and wearing nice clothes?”
The Love of Srila Gaura Kisora for Sri Mayapura Dhama
Within the pure character of Srila one can see his unmatching incompatability towards anything opposing the real conclusions of bhakti. I one does not follow the example of the followers of Srila Gaurakisora, who are fully blessed by him and who always engage in glorifying the Lord, then one will not be able to understands Srila Gaurakisora’s spiritual nature, which is above all mundane thought. Futhermore, to grasp his instructions and example will not be possible. To some persons who came to him hundreds of times he would give no blessing, whereas to others he would bestow his mercy at random.
One day a householder devotee went to obtain the association of Srila Gaurakisora. Bhabaji Maharaja was seated in a chair made of grass just within the door of his kuthir. When the grhastha devotee approached him, Srila Gaurakisora very nonchalantly closed the door. From outside the kuthir the devotee informed Srila Gaurakisora that he wanted to see him. Srila Babaji Maharaja replied, “If you want to have my darsan then you must give me two rupees.” A servant who resided nearby collected the money from the grhastha and indicated to Srila Gaurakisora that the visitor had given the two rupees. Babaji Maharaja then opened the door fo the kuthir and said, “Please have a look.” The grhastha remained some distance from the kuthir and offered obeisances. But by his own sweet voice, Srila Gaurakisora allured him closer, took his hands within his hands and said, “You have come upon the place where my Supreme Master, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu has appeared. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has sent you here so therefore I have a few topics to discuss. Sri Caitanya will certainly listen to this. You should take shelter of Krsna by always chanting the name of Krsna, then in your life there will be no more obstructions.
Whenever Srila Gaurakisora would see the residents of the Holy Dhama, he would always very affectionately say, “The residents of the Holy Dhama.” Even if someone tried to offer great wealth, he would be indifferent. But then again it would be seen that he would request different persons to help him in his service to the Lord’s devotees. He never accepted anything for himself, but only received things for the devotees of the Lord.
Displaying Ecstatic Symptoms
Another day Srila Gaurakisora was sitting in his bhajana kuthir in Sri Navadwipa Dhama, chanting Hare Krsna very loudly. Other persons who had assembled there were also chanting. At this time, one person came and began to display different emotional symptoms, such as crying. Some devotees began to think that that person had attained the highest stage of devotional ecstasy by chanting the glories of the Lord. Srila Gaurakisora immediately requested that person to leave. Some of the persons assembled there became disturbed at seeing this and also left. Srila Gaurakisora then said, “One who has actually attained love of Godhead will never display the symptoms, but will always keep them hidden form the general people, just as a chaste wife becomes very embarrassed when she has to show any part of her body and thus keeps her body very thoroughly covered. In the same way, when one is has real devotion unto the Supreme Lord and becomes elevated to love of Godhead, he always feels embarrassed to exhibit the symptoms of ecstasy and thus always keeps such symptoms unmanifest.”
The Disturbing Explanation of the Devotee
Srila Gaurakisora would always give beneficial instructions to all living entities who were faithful. One day a person coming to Srila Gaurakisora to hear topics of the Supreme Lord heard him speaking harshly. This person therefore decided never to come near Srila Gaurakisora anymore. After some time, that same person suddenly went to see Srila Gaurakisora again. He was stricken with a distressed and troubled mind. Babaji Maharaja, realizing this, told him, “Oh, you have left the association of the devotees, where topics of the Supreme Lord are discussed, and now you are living in a solitary place, carrying on your own worship. When one hears the topics of the Supreme Lord in the proper association of the devotees of the Lord, then one can become free from maya’s net of illusion. But if one performs worship of the Lord in a solitary place, not in association of devotees, then one becomes caught by the illusory energy. Consequently, instead of topics about the Supreme Lord possessing the heart, materialistic subject matters will occupy it.”
The person explained to Srila Gaurakisora, “I thought it better to reside in a solitary place and perform my own individual worship then to become disturbed at heart by hearing another holy person’s sharp words.” Srila Gaurakisora replied, “Please notice that those devotees who speak sharp words to drive away the witch of illusory energy are actually the only real devotees and the friends of the living entities. The conditioned living entity hears the distressful quarrels of his wife and close relations until death, yet he never desires to leave their association. To the contrary, he absorbs himself in ways to please them by his service. But when a devotee of the Lord who is always desirous of the living entity’s ultimate welfare speaks just one instruction to drive away Maya, then the conditioned entity immediately makes plans to leave that person for his entire life. If you actually want to perform proper devotional service, then you must accept the harsh language as the medicine by which Maya can be given up. Then one can obtain the necessary spiritual advancement and accept the chanting of the Holy Name.”
The Householder Vow
One newly married devotee and his wife once came to pray for the mercy of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji. Srila Babaji Maharaja said to the husband, “If you actually want to perform devotional service then you must ove separately from your wife and thus, not depending on one another, chant the glories of the Lord.” After hearing the instructions the newly-wed man did as he was instructed. Afew days past, and the devotee came again to Srila Gaurakisora, who asked, “Are you and your wife taking your foodstuffs together or separately?” The husband told him, “We are living separately and carrying on our worship as you instructed, but we take our foodstuffs together.” Srila Gaurakisora then asked him, “What foodstuffs did you have today?” And the newly wed answered, “We had very nice vegetables, the best dahl, and fried eggplant.” Babaji Maharaja explained, “If you only give up the external connection with your wife, that is not enough, because you are associating with her from within. You have not been able to give up the finest foodstuffs prepared by your wife, so how will you be able to perform worship of the Lord? Your wife is communicating with you through the medium of what she has propared. Shame, shame. Even though you are acting as if you are chanting the Lord’s Holy Name, still you are desiring the stems of the finest vegetables. Do you think that after a person suffers a loss of one lac of rupees, he will be satisfied accepting only a handful of rice? Although he may gradually become accustomed to accepting the rice as a daily practice, still he will always think about the money he lost. And even if you give this person the nicest foodstuffs, because he is always in anxiety about what he has lost, he wil not forget his desire. So you have lost that which in invaluable–your devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Thus how can you become absorbed in eating such nice foodstuffs? As for you wife, externally you are disassociated from her, yet you are maintaining attachment from within.”
Renunciation for Krsna’s Pleasure and False Renunciation
A grhastha present during Srila Gaurakisora’s conversation with the newly-wed husband asked Babaji Maharaja, “We see that there are many Vaisnavas living together with their wives who perform service unto the Supreme Lord. Will there be any benefit for these devotees?” Srila Gaurakisora replied, “The living entity is the eternal servant of the Supreme Lord, but in the conditioned state one cannot recognize this; one can only recognize the form of his wife and offspring. If this is the case, then these persons’ realizations are in connection only with the material world. If one does not have eyes to see through the medium of devotional service, one can never realize his real identity as eternal servant of Lord Krsna. The inclination to enjoy materialistically is always present when one associates with his sons and wife. At the present time, the living entities do not heat the topics of the Supreme Lord, or take the association of the Lord’s devotees. If one does not attain the spiritual energy given by the chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord, then one will become attracted by his wife and offspring.
“Then again, some persons, like false renounced monkeys, act as if they are not attached to their wives and offspring. Those who are renounced like the monkey are only displaying a type of play. An actual Vaisnava will never enjoy sense gratification in any way whatsoever with his wife. He will always be in contact with the instructions of the Lord and the bonafide guru. Those actually desirous of performing devotional service but who are unable because of excessive attachment to wife and son should also come and hear from the great devotees, chant Hare Krsna, and perform congregational chanting. In this way, they can also become, after a very short time, unattached to family. They will gradually realize that if one completely surrenders to the Supreme Lord, then one will attain all auspiciousness. As long as one is in bodily consciousness, one cannot obtain the mercy of Lord Krsna. The extension of bodily consciousness is seen in the affection displayed for one’s wife and offspring. Someone who leaves the association of his eife because of being thoroughly distressed in mind and who seeks happiness for his own mind and body is not actually a real renunciate. Renunciation has a required distinction of connection to the service of the Lord. A real renunicate accepts whatever is favorable for the Lord’s satisfaction and rejects whatever is unfavorable.”
That is the Highest Happiness
Once a person saw a devotee of Srila Gaurakisora begging in the hot summer sun at noon, during the month of Caitra. Approaching Srila Gaurakisora, that person asked him, “Why is your servant begging in the hot sun? Everyone begs in the morning and they return to their residence.” Srila Gaura kisora told him. “Srila Bhaktivinode instructs his followers:
tomara sevaya duhkha haya yato se o ta’ parama sukha
seva-sukha-duhkha parama sampada, nasaye avidyadub kha
‘Whatever amount of distress comes about in devotional service, that is all the reason for your happiness.’
“Srila Gaurakisora gave this instruction to those who desiring their real benefit, always take shelter of the Supreme Master, Sri Krsna, and the devotees of the Lord. One must tolerate the distress that comes in one’s practice of devotional service. In this way, the dualistic suffering appearing in the form of happiness and distress will diminish. Whoever comes to serve the Lord to achieve a comfortable situation never becomes free from the hand of ignorance. Rather, he becomes engaged with different types of impediments in the Lord’s service.”
The Different Forms of Maya
Once during the rainy season, Srila Gaurakisora was sitting on a seat on the balcony of a dharmashalla where he resided. Prasada–rice with a dab of banana flower vegetable on top–was given to him. While he was honoring the prasad, a poisonous snake came up on the veranda and nearing the plate, took note of its aroma and then slid back onto the ground. Seeing the snake, an old woman come running, yelling, “A snake has bitten Babaji Maharaja!” Srla Gaurakisora, who was blind, beat his hand upon the ground, and the snake quickly left. He then asked, “Where is the snake? Where is the snake?” The woman exclaimed, “Babaji Maharaja, have you gone mad? That snake could have bitten you. He passed just next to your right hand. If your hand had been extended a little more to the side then you would have been bitten. We are not going to let you stay here anymore.” Babaji Maharaja responded, “Please don’t stand here any longer. You are inconveniencing yourself by standing so long.” But the woman refused to go, saying, “As long as you do not go into your room, I will remain here.” Srila Gaurkisora said, “I am going to accept prasada now. First, I will take prasada, then I will go to my room.” Still the old woman continued to admonish him. “That prasada you are going to take might have been touched bt the lips of the snake.” she said. “You cannot accept it because if it is poisonous, you will die.” Then Srila Gaurakisora remarked, “I only accept prasada that has been offered to the Deity or prasada that has been obtained by begging, and not otherwise.” Turning to a nearby servant, the old woman instructed, “Will you please go and arrange more rice for Babaji Maharaja.” But Srila Gaura Kisora told her, “My dear mother, if you so not leave now. I will not listen to anything else that you say.” Feeling discarded, the woman left. After some time, Srila Babaji Maharaja asked a nearby person, “Has she left yet?” When he knew that she had left, he told the servant, “Did you see that, how Maya is acting? Just see how Maya, the illusory energy, tries to gradually enter, using her different deceptive ways. Maya takes on different forms and she knows many different ways to trick the living entity. She never lets the living entity serve the Supreme Lord.” Then Srila Gaurakisora began to sing the following song:
gora panhu ha bhajiya moinu
premaratana shana he laya harainu
adhane yatana kori’ dhana teyaginu
apana karama dose apani dubinu
sat sanga chadi koinu asate vilasa
te-karane lagilo ye karmabandha-phanasa
visama visaya-visa satata khainu
goura kirtanarase magana na hainu
keno va achaye prana ki sukha lagiya
narottamera dasa keno na gelo mariya
“Not having worshiped the lotus feet of Lord Gouranga, I have met only death. I have lost the jewel of love of Godhead due to my own negligence. I have only given attention to that which is not real wealth and abandoned that which has actual value. I have stuck within the material world by the reactions of my own karma. Having left real association, I am performing materialistic activities. I have thus become conditioned by the grasp of past karma. I have eaten the poison of material sense gratification over and over again. For this reason I have not become absorbed in the nectar of the congregational chanting of Lord Hari. Why do I remain alive? What is my happiness? Why hasn’t Narottama dasa given up his life?”
The stanzas above were composed by Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswami. This song was sung by Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji when he entered into Sri Svananda Kunja in Godrumadvip, where he met his only disciple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. It appears above as it was discovered later by his disciples in Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s own handwriting.
Srila Gaurakisora and the Supersoul
One night at about ten o’clock, Srila Gaurakisora suddenly woke up, shouting, “Did you see that? Did you see that? One person who delivers lectures has gone to the district of Pavana and had illict sex with a widow there. Shame! Shame! These different kinds of low persons have brought about scandals in the name of religion.” Srila Babaji Maharaja spoke as if he were directly speaking to the person and witnessing his mischievous activities. Revealing more, Srila Gaurkisora said, “Caitanya Mahaprabhu has made me realize the truth about this so-called scholar, who travels from place to place establishing himself as very learned. In the name of Srimad Bhagavatam class he collects money to support himself. The ordinary people do not know his real nature. He always keeps one widow with him. When anyone asks him if she is his wife, he says yes. The money the scholar earns is used to purchase braclets, oils, and so forth for her. Is there anyone more of an offender and a hypocrit than this person?”
One day Srila Gaura Kisora wrapped his body and two feet with a cloth. Sitting covered like this he said, “Many prsons, after being informed by others, come here to colect the dust from my feet. I tell them I amm not a Vaisnava. If you go to the vicinity where there are Vaisnavas with their feet pretentiously decorated and extended to be touched, then you can get unlimited dust.”
During this time, a person named Bhattacarya came from Vrndavana with his female companion to see Srila Gaurakisora. Approaching Babaji Maharaja, he said, “You are my spiritual master. Please be merciful unto me.” Srila Gaurakisora replied, “I have no rasagullas, sandesh, luci, puris, money, sweet rice, or sweet words. How can I bless you? Those spiritual msters who can feed their disciples many sweets are praised as the most advanced. Nowadays these people are entitled to become spiritual masters. At present, learned persons define the word anakula (favorable) as receiving wealth, a beautiful wife, and sweet words.” Bhattacarya then remarked, “Our minds are possessed with different kinds of misconceptions. So whatever you instruct, that we will do.! Srila Gaurakisora replied, “I can see what is most favorable for you. YOu should eat rice that has been soaked in water and sit on a grass seat. You should eat food that not even a dog would accept. You should wear clothes that even a thief would hate to wear. You must remain in the association of devotees and always chant the Holy Name of the Lord. By imitating the activities of one who is very renounced, one resembles a monkey. Monkeys sit in one place ane remain quiet. But when they get the opportunity, they take something. As long as one acts in this same way, as a monkey, then his devotional service will never become fixed.”
A person known as a goswami approached Srila Gaurakisora to learn the most intimate pastimes of the Lord called Astakala Lila so that he could systematically worship the Lord at given periods during the day. The first time he came, Srila Gaurakisora told him, “Right now I do not have any leisure time. When I find the opportunity I will explain it to you.” As many times as the so-called goswami would come, he would receive the same answer. Finally, the goswami became disturbed and stopped coming. Srila Gaurakisora said to himself, “Any person who becomes distressed about losing a useless coin cannot possibly learn the most intimate pastimes of the Lord. Just by reading a book, realization is not possible. One can theoretically understand, but where wil one’s spiritual body come from? Revealing the Lord’s pastimes in ordinary books has caused turmoil in the material world. Everyone is building a high wooden platform, two stories high. Then, after climbing to the top of that platform, they simply pass stool. So many different persons come to see me, but they are all deceptive. Before one can learn about the most intimate pastimes of the Lord, one must giv up all bad asociation and in the association of devotees continuously chant the Holy Name of the Lord. If one wants to worship the Lord according to his own whim in a solitary place, then one becomes caught by the illusory energy. The form, name, and passtimes of the Lord manifest within the association of devoteess. Whoever does not have full faith in the chanting of the Holy Name creates an inauspicious situation for himself. Such persons worship the Lord without proper inteligence.”
Householder Life and Goloka Vrndavana
Srila Gaurakisora once said,. “If one remains in contact with stool, then wordhip of the Supreme Lord will not be possible.” After making this remark, he saw that the persons with him could not understand exactly what he meant. So he explained, “Those persons who remain in household life are always instructing, ‘Eat, eat.’ Thus they make their resicence the place of lust. This may be fit for the demigods but not for the devotees of the Lord. According to external materialistic vision persons think that they are residing in the heavenly planets, but actually they are living in a deep pond of stool in the form of the sense objects in the material world. For whoever seriously wordhips the Supreme Lord, taking full shelter of Him, wherever he resides wil be the same as Sri Radha Kunda.”
Several days later, the landowner of the dharmashalla in Navadwip by the name Giris Babu, once came to Gaurkisora dasa Babaji with his wife. The wife of Giris Babu very seriously asked Srial Gaurakisora, “Please instruct us as to how we can construct a small kuthir so you can worship. YOu are remaining throughout the rainy season and hot season with very litle shelter, thus, you are suffering very greatily. We have felt this within our hearts.”
Gaurakisora das Babaji Maharaja then replied, “I am feeling no anxiety whatsoever residing in my small hut. I have one trouble, if the both of you could just tolerate hearing it. Many persons come to me and very deceptively ask again and again ‘krpa koro. krpa koro.’ (bestow your mercy upon me) and thus my worship is interrupted. They are not interested in their own real benefit, but as a resuslt of coming, my wordhip is disturbed.. If both of you could just give me some of your stool herein this place where I perform my wordhip unto the Lord, that would be very favorable. I would be abel to chant Hare Krsna day and night. By depositing this stool, people would not like to come here. If you con’t do this, then many pople will come and waste my time and thus, this human form of life.”
Hearing this, the wife of Giris Babu said, “Oh Babaji Maharaja, that instruction which you gave to us is certainly to be taken to heart, but if we pass stool and offer it to you in the place where you perform wordhip, won’t that result in unlimited sinful reactions.”
Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja then said, “I am not a devotee. Those persons who are the owners of large temples, and who wear long matted hair, are actually devotees. I haven’t received any result in the performance of my devotion. so, therefore, the place where I reside is fit to receive your stool. If just the both fo you could just offer me your stool, then please speak up because otherwise I have nothing to say to either of you.”
Giris Babu and his wife agreed to his proposal and said, “Even though you won’t stay in the hut. Still, if there sre two huts then your servants can stay in one of them.” Following this, Giris Babu and his wife cleaned out the small room of Gaurakisora dasa Babaji and constructed another small room with the help of carpenter. Srila Gaurakisora, after he realized what they had done never would enter into the room which Giris Babu had built. Therefore, Gaurakisora das Babaji, knowing the smell of stool in the form of false prestige and the desire for women and wealth was stronger and longer lasting than the smell of the stool where persons would go to use the bathroom at this residence in this dharmshalla. He resided six months in the area where persons that lived in the dharmshalla passed stool.
In that small hut where Gaurakisora dasa Babaji lived there was a door whcih was very small so no one could very easily enter. Srila Gaurakisora would enter into the hut and from the inside lock it with a latch. Just adjacent to the hut was another kuthir which was somewhat in a decrepit condition. There was one person who came there to live in that hut. He brought with him pieces of metal tin from which he made a nice rood. In this way, he built a place of worship imitating the activities of Srila Gaurakisora. One day Babaji Maharaja asked him, “What do you do all day when you sit alone in your solitary small hut? What do you think about? If you do not spend your time in a unoffensive way taking association of devotees and chanting the Holy Names of the Lord, then as you sit in you room you eil only able to see the fence outside. Is this what you see as you’re sitting inside the room, or what are you thinking of? Women? Self prestige and accumulated wealth? If you stay in this place then many different types of havoc will come about.”
Srila Gaurakisora who was in directcontact with Supersoul within his heart was abelto very exactly show the deceptiveness in that person. Many people would often come and tell Babaji Maharaja that the person who was imitating him would collect different articles in the name of his service unto the Lord, and that sometimes in Navadwip he would have illicit sex with different persons.
Finally, Srila Gaurakisora became very upset with him and told one person who was related to him who had come there, that this person had become situated in the kingdom of Maya. Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja then showed him that a person who imitates the guru, the spiritual master, and the great devotees of the Lord will, as a result of his offensive activities, sink into the mud of Maya.
Srila Gaurkisora points out how it is that those persons who are opposed to proper religious activities live within stool within the deep hole of material existence. He gave these instructions to show that wherever a person is who is very dear to Radharani lives, that place is the same as Radha Kunda.
In Touch With a Paid Scholar
There was one brahmacari by the name of Ayatra who came to Gaurkisora to perform devtional service. Srila Gaurakisora told him, “You should take proper association and you should give up offenses unto the lotus feet of the Vaisnavas of the Lord.”
That brahmacari, upon hearing this, did not take it with the proper taste. Tat particuar brahmacari did not tell Babaji Maharaja that he was going to Radhadesa. When he left, and was residing there by collecting wealth by giving discourses on the Srimad Bhagavatam, he would identify himself as being a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja.
After returning from Radhadesa, he came to learn Sanskrit grammar from one particular scholar who lived in Navadwipa. The brahmacari thought that if he learned Sanskrit grammar then he would become respected by all persons. He also began to think that since Babaji Maharaja did not know how to read or write that he would be situated above him.
One day the brahmacari came to Srila Gaurakisora whereupon Srila Babaji Maharaja said to him, “Are you reading Sanskrit grammar to obtain wealth, women, and prestige.”
The brahmacari then answered, “I don’t have any tyupe of bad intention such as that. I’m simply reading it so that I may understand Srimad Bhagavatam.”
Srila Gaurakisora then answered him, “You have seen how the persons in the place of Radhadesa earn their living by professionally reciting Srimad Bhagavatam and thus you have become greedy for this. YOu should give up the association of those who are not favorable and simply take to the chanting of Hare KJrsna with devotees of the Lord.”
The brahmacari did not listen to the instructions of Gaurakisora das Babaji. Some days following this the brahmacari came to Sril Gaurakisora and asked him, “Please be merciful unto me.”
Srila Gaurakisora das Babaji, remaining quiet for some time. then said, “You mean you still haven’t given up that desore whcih you had before?”
Hearing this, the brahmacari could not exactly understand what he meant. The brahmacari then left and after this many people approached Srila Gaurakisora and informed him that that brahmacari had had illicit connection with one widow. Srila Babaji Maharaja then told the persons who had come to him to tell the brahmacari the following instructions: “One should never bring others into the field ofhis sinful activities.”
Srila Gaurkisora then made them understand that a person who approaches another person’s wife is very sinful and that improper activity and deceitfulness in the outward dress of a devotee can not be compared to be less serious than any sin. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati and Srila Gaurakisora das Babaji show in their character that their speciality was that they in no way whatsoever performed any type of deceitful activity.
The Devotee and the Hypocrite
There was one person who lived near Babaji Maharaja for some time. For this reason, many people also had a devotional relationship with him. This person had previously resided in Orissa. Once the father of that particular person came to Navadwipa. In the hand of the father there was the book Srimad Bhagavatam which he would carry with him from one place to another. He would show that to different learned persons, an in thia way, try to understand its meaning.
Many persons would give this erson who lived near Srila Gaurakisora money for Babaji Maharaja’s service. Now and then this person would take this money and, hiding it, would give it to his father to help him because he was so poor. Srial Gaurkisora who ws in contact with Supersould knew that this activity was going on. Eventually , he told that peon to no longer carry on those activities.
Previously, that prson would cook the rice of Srila Gaurakisora. From that tiem on , Srila Gaurakisora would never accept anyting whatsoever from the hands of that person. Again, Gaurkisora dasa Babaji would just take cracked rice and place it in the water of the Ganga, would et it become soft and would thus accept it. Many persons including the aforementioned servant, seeing this, became very disturbed and afraid.
When Srila Gaurakisora heard that others were becoming disturbed, he said, “If that person who has been living in my vicinity does not leve immediately from this place, then I wil giv emy life up in the Ganges River.”
Shortly thereafter, Srila Gaurakisora was going next to the bank of the Ganges River and he threw himself in. At that time, many persons came to rescue him from the water. Srila Babaji Maharaja began to yell very loudly, “Leave me alone! Leave me alone! Because I have not been able to perform worship unto the Supreme Lord properly, I’m not going to keep this body any longer.”
Many persons immediately grouped together and were able to fetch Gaurakisora dasa Babaji from the river and bring him up onot the bank. After Babaji Maharaja had come to his normal senses, he said, “Why did all of you bring me up fro the waters of the Ganga? That person who is living with me has given everything which I have to his father.”
Then everyone said, “As much money as is necessary for you, we will bring that.”
Then that person who lived next to him said, “As much money as was wasted by me, I wil bring four times that amount to you right now.”
Srila Babaji Maharaja then said, “Wealth is not important to me. It is just that I do not want any person such as the one before to live in my association because by the associaton of those who are deceitful one’s worship unto the Supreme Lord is not possible.”
Many persons began to understand that Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja had thrown himself into the Ganga because of his attachment to his money. But now, they could understand that Srila Gaurakisora was not simply a beggar of wealth. He would never in any way whatsoever tolerate a person who was deceitful in devotional service. One cannot become a Vaisnava by becoming very deceitful. One has to remain very simple in his activities.
The Enjoyment of Wealth by the Materialist
Once Srila Gaurakisora gave SRila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja one hundred rupees. Srila Bhaktisiddhanata, in order to keep the money safe, put it into the bank. He then went traveling in another place.
One day Srila Babaji Maharaja approached Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and asked him if he could have that one hundred rupees? Bhaktivinode Thakura then sais, “Srila Bhaktisiddhanta had put that money in the bank. As long as he does not come, it will not be possible to take it out.”
Even though Bhaktivinode Thakura told this to Srila Gaurakisora, he could understand that it was necessary and that he need the money. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura then from his own private fund gave Srila Gaurkisora the one hundred rupees. Srila Babaji Maharaja then gave that money to one person whom he knoew very well and sent him to Vrndavana. Then Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji said, “Many prsons have come thinking I am a Vaisnava and therefore given me large amounts of wealth. But actually, I am not a Vaisnava. I have heard that there are actually real Vaisnavas in Vrndavana. So, therefore, I am sending the money for their service.”
Srila Babaji Maharaja, whenever he would receive any donations from persons who considered him to be a Vaisnava, would never use that for his own sense gratification but would always give it for the service of other Vaisnavas. Srila Gaurakisora would often say, “One who maintains himself by begging becomes pure. One should only take that which is necessary to maintain his personal worship and everything else which is accepted other than that will cause the mind to becaome infected and cause different impediments on the path of devotional service.”
The Desire of Attaining Wealth
One day, in the place of Kulia in Navadwip Dhama, one particular Goswami came with several other persons who were dressed as Vaisnavas. Coming to Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, they said, “Oh, Baba. For many days we have not been able to have your association.”
Then he said to Babaji Maharaja, “It is a long time since I have had your association, but I have gone to a foreign country.”
Babaji Maharaja then said, “Why have you gone to a foreign country? If you stay here, there will be no impediments, so why is it that you have gone to a foreign country to take that type of association?”
Then one associate of the Goswami added, “He has gone to other foreign countries in order to deliver the people. If he doesn’t go to other places then how is it that they will be able to understand the supreme goal of life?”
Hearing this, Babaji Maharaja became very sidturbed and said, “If you want to actually uplift other countries then why do you accept the money from foreigners? I have unerstood your intention. You are simply wanting a very nice brick house to live in. But, if you actually want to perform simple service unto the Supreme Lord, then uou should replace the understanding that you are the master and thus, Nityananda Prabhu will certainly bless you. I will tell Him myself that you want fifty brick houses, but if you simply want a nice brick house as a place in which to enjoy your wife and son then, Nityananda Prabhu, fulfilling all those different materialistic desires, will cancel the possibility of your obtaining love of Godhead. If you simply just act as if you want to deliver the other persons but are afflicted with prestige and self-aggrandizement, you will become fallen in this material world.”
Saying this, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja began to perform kirtan very loudly. In this way, he performed kirtan until night. Srila Babaji Maharaja then made it very, very evident that if one becomes offensive unto the name of Lord Krsna or becomes offensive unto the name of Lord Krsna or becomes offensive in one’s service, then one simply gets the result of religious activities, accumulation of wealth, and fulfillment of lusty desires. This is the most severe form of degraded misfortune.
Sri Nityananda Prabhu in the form of our guru fulfills the desires of those who are deceitful.
Gouranga! Gouranga! or Money! Money!
At one time, one particular Goswami who was expert in explaining the Srimad Bhagavatam, began to explain to Srila Gaurakisora the glories of his offspring. He told him that they always chanted “Gour, Gour.” and that being immersed in devotional service that they attracted many disciples.
Then Gaurakisora mentioned to some persons who were gathered there after the Goswami left as follows: “That so-called Goswami who just came, does not chant ‘Gour, Gour.’ But ‘Taka, Taka.’ (money, money). If one in this way performs devotional servide, only yelling very loudly for wealth, then it is not possible for his devotional service to take place. This is the actual reason Vaisnava practice has been covered. This will only cause harm in this material world and thus, no one will wver be benefitted.
Enjoying the Results of One’s Sinful Activities
Once there was one very young person who came up to Srila Gaurkisora and revealed to him that he wanted to perform wordhip unto the Supreme Lord. Hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora said, “If you want to perform real devotional service, then you should give up the asociation of ordinary people in general and non-Vaisnavas, and live in the association of our devotees.”
“We maintain ourselves by the discarded cloth and by the discarded articles which have been used by the residents of the Holy Dhama. If you mix with other so-called Vaisnavas, then maybe your intelligence will be contaminated. Following this, he replied, “I will follow these instructions which you have given me.”
But after some time this person began to become enamored by his own voice when he was singing with Srila Gaurakisora. After singing in kirtan with Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, he was taking prasadam with the devotees there. In this way he took with the devotees. The following afternoon, he took a pair of karatalas and went to take bath at the Ganga. Going to the Ganga, he began to sing kirtana very very loudly so that Babaji Maharaja could hear him. And, he also began to recite different Vaisnava prayers.
One day after that particular devotee had gone out to beg alms for the day, Srila Babaji Maharaja called one resident devotee over and said, “This person who is staying here is hiding and going to his own house and from there hi is picking up many misconceptions about devotional service. Then coming back here he tries to implement them here. Actually, instead of performing devotional service, he is imply performing offenses.”
Hearing this, one person said to Srila Gaura Kisora, “Who told you that he has been doing this?”
Srila Babaji Maharaja then said, “I heard the way in which he was singing kirtan and the way in which he pronounced it. In this way I could understand that we cannot let him stay here because a person who has come in contact with bad association and who has chanted in this association will only be able to remember that and not the proper way. He will only be able to learn that which is deceptive.”
Shortly following this, that person very suddenly left to go to Jagannatha Puri without telling Babaji Maharaja. Srila Gaurakisora showed that he was unhappy because of this. “That person he has run away because he has become very lust for the desire to eat nice foodstuffs. I could not save him. The living entity is independent and must suffer according to the past results of his activities. He came to me with the intention of pleasing Krsna, but hiding, he would take the association of others and thus, he became situated in this most dangerous condition. Now, he is accepting the traditional Vaisnava dress and decorating himself with the name Vaisnava. In this way different types of persons in the material world have begun to take the word and turn it into the word ‘byen’ whcih means from. Offering one’s obeisances to different persons, becoming lusty for different types of nice foodstuffs. in this way people are being known as Vaisnavas. Those people who carry out their worship and kirtan in such a deceitful way are causing havoc in Vaisnava society. To the degree to which this havoc spreads, to that degree the snake of time will grasp such frogs.”
After about one month, that person came back form Jagannatha Puri again and began to live in a nearby place. One the owner of the place where he lived came to Srila Gaurakisora, paid obeisances and said, “Your dearest disciple who has just come from Jagannatha Puri is very very fortunate indeed. He is serving Hari dasa Thakura. He has just been serving Hari dasa Thakura and is now performing his devotional service with very deep attachment.”
Srila Babaji Maharaja then said, “How is it possible for him to be my disciple? I have not accepted anyone as my disciple in this world. I could not even become my own disciple. How is it possible for me to become the spiritual master of another? If one is able to maintain frogs, is it possible to become a Vaisnava? The attachment which a frog has is only for the purpose of his own sense gratification. This person has become a victim of the snake of time. Is it just from him which you have heard that he is serving Hari dasa Thakura? You are in the position as a great estate holder and yet, you are wasting your entire life.”
“You should give up these activities which you are performing and simply carry out pure devotional service. The estate holder then said, “It is not my desire to become a great estate holder. I simply eant to see that the devotees are vry nicely served and that all of the bhajana kuthirs are very nicely kept. The different places of solitary worship have all now become places of jungles. I have gone to those places and cleaned the area.”
Hearing this Srila Gaurakisora became very disturbed and would no longer carry on a conversaton with him. After the estate holder left Gaurakisora dasa Babaji said, “The trees in Navadwipa Dhama are all kalpa vrksa trees and this hypocrite rascal has very cruely cut them. Now, he has come and told me this. Shame! Shame! Just see, Just see. If one just cuts one limb from the trees in Navadwipa Dhama I feel great distress. These different trees and vines in Sri Navadwipa Dhama are my eternal friends and associates. They are part of the pastimes of Lord Gouranga. After one’s friends and associates have been killed, is it possible for someone to come and cut their dead bodies to pieces? This very cruel person will never be able to perform devotional service. He will simply enact the role of a Vaisnava which will result in only his own inauspiciousness and the inauspiciousness of others.”
The Atonement for Having Illicit Sex
Once one person came to Srila Gaurakisora and expressed the desire to live in the same area in which he lived. At that time the persons in the dharmshalla had given Babaji Maharaja the right to give permission to persons to live in the adjacent small huts. No one could live in those without his permission.
Once, after receiving permission from Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, that person began to live in the nearby kuthir Srila Gaurakisora would many times give him instruction that persons whoever wants to perform worship unto the Supreme Lord should never associate with undesireable persons. A person who thinks, “I will associate with improper persons and at the same time with proper association. In other words, those who hide to take th association of those who are unfavorable , they will become the victims of more and more impediments in devotional service. Many, many people have come before me and I ahve sen all of their deceptiveness. With great trouble I am tolerating this.”
“If I can just always remain in proper association, in the performance of sravana kirtana, then I will be able to protect myself and the Holy Name of the Lord.”
After hearing all of this. that person would go hide and associate with persons who were unfavorable. Knowing this, gradually Gaurkisora dasa Babaji Maharaja became disturbed.
After sometime, that person became very ill. Seeing that the person was in a very distressed condition, Srila Gaurakisora out of his mercy sent one person to attend him.
After two or three days one very young woman came there and began to ask where he was. Srila Gaurakisora who was in direct contact with the Supersoul could understand the situation and thus asked the person whem he’d sent to serve the newcomer, “Are you serving that person whom I asked you to?”
His friend then said, “Oh yes, I am serving him alone and no one else.” Srila Gaurakisora in a low voice like that of thunder said, “There’s no one else who is serving him except you?”
Then the servant answered, “Actually, one woman comes.”
Then Srila Babaji Maharaja said to him, “The next time that woman comes to see him, then from that tiem you should never associate with him again.”
Srila Babaji Maharaja then called for the person to come to him and said to him, “If you want to stay here, then you have to give me fifteen rupees. If you cannot give me fifteen rupees then thereis no possibility for you to remain. Because if you die while you are here, the arrangement to discard your body will cost fifteen rupees.”
After this Srila Babaji Maharaja began to speak to himself, “If I don’t give him a place to stay, then that woman will gradually take him aeay to her own house. That is what he is desiring. And, in this way, he can very whimsically perform his service.”
Not long after this, the newcomer became even more ill and as a rsult left to go to Vrndavana. Srila Gaurakisora showed no opposition whatsoever to that person going to Vrndavana. At the place of Kusam Sarova in Vrndavana the so-called babaji began to live next to another person who also knew Srila Gaurakisora. One day he approached his new companion and said, “I have accepted the most highly renounced order of Vaisnavism and yet, I have had illicit sex with another woman. What is the proper atonement I must undergo.”
The other person said, “The best thing for you to do is to give up your body. Otherwise, you wil not be following that which Mahaprabhu has arranged for such offense.”
He then agreed, and from Govardhan he took a certain amount of opium and bringing it back to his hut, he ate it. After eating the opium, he went to the person whom he had previously asked and told him he had taken the opium to kill himself. After some time his body began to shake and he gave up his life.
Shortly following this, that person also became very ill. There was one so-called Goswami who arrived in Vrndavana and treated him until he became better. After he became better, then he returned to Navadwipa where he met with Babaji Maharaja. When Babaji Maharaja saw him he said, “You cannot stay here. You must find another place of residence because there are already two persons who are very much opposed to me by their diceitful activities. Living here they render service unto me and then outside, when mixing with the people in general, they preach that they are very dear to me. I am not sure where they stay at night. Once I called them in the dark of night. Again and again, very very loudly I tried, yet, I received no answer whatsoever.
The following day I called for them and I asked them why tat was. Their only excuse was that they had heard nothing.” Not being favored by Srial Gaurakisora. this babaji then left and went and took shelter at the house of one woman nearby. Later one person came and told Gaurakisora about the situation in which this person was living, that he lived in the house of a young woman and accepting her service.
Becoming very angry, Srial Gaurakisora said, “Please don’t mention these things to me. There was also another person who lived in Kusam Sarova with this person and he had previously been rejected by me in Navadwipa. It has come to be known that recently the friend of the deceased had returned back to Vrndavana during the night and killed him. The rogues have cut his body into many pieces. There were many things which he had in his possession which he had himself stolen and hidden from the person I rejected. Therefore, for this reason the thieves have come there and killed him.
The Offense of Imitating
We can understand from the different examples given which describe the immortal character of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, that those persons who came to him with a deceiving attitude to serve that they received very terrible reactions. A person who does not follow the instuctions of a real pure devotee of the Lord, but takes the association of those who oppose or are misdirected in devotional service, or accept the association of those who were merely decorated as Vaisnavas or false renunciates, can never obtain anything which is auspicious. On the contrary, they will obtain very terrible and inauspicious results.
Those persons who perform any type of deceptive activity in the presence of Srila Gaurakisora or who were attached to the objects of sense gratification, or who engage in illicit sex, went to the lower regions. By the offenses unto the Holy Name and unto the Vaisnavas, everything becomes lost.
Srila Gaurakisora and Manindracandra Maharaja
Once the very aristocratic Sri Manindracandra nandi, who was a great landowner who lived in the place of Kasma Bazaar invited Srila Gaurakisora and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvat Thakura to come any join in an assembly of Vaisnavas at his palace in Kasma Bazaar. Hearing his request of a Vaisnava who knew Gaurakisora and Bhaktisiddhanta were very elevated, he said, “If you want me to come there and associated with you, then you must offer all of your wealth unto the hands of the rent collector and come here and live with me. YOu should build a bhajana kuthir here and we will live together.”
“You do not have to worry about what foodstuffs you will eat because I will colect that when I beg daily and feed you myself. Then I will always be impelled to visit your bhajana kuthir. But if I now leave the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and come ot your castle which is the same as Lord Indra, then after some time, I will also begin to think that I would also lide to amass a great amount of land. The result of all of this will be that the desire for sense gratification will enter my heart.”
“As a result of amassing large amounts of land, I will become an object of your envy. If you want to become very dear to me, then as a friend you should bestow your mercy by coing hre to the spiritual world of Visambhara and by the activivty of begging, maintain your life.”
Enjoying While Hiding
Once one expert and well-respected scholar who lived in Navadwipa came to see Srila Gaurakisora. Being very distressed at heart, one day Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja took off his brahman underwear and put on the nicest and finest dhoti and chadar which he could find. Folding the chadar nicely, dressing himself, he then went to the place where Bhaktivinode Thakura resided at Svananda Kunja. He arrived before Bhaktivinode Thakura. Bhaktivinode Thakura, seeing him in such an uncomprehendable dress, immediately asked him what the reason for this was
In answer Babaji Maharaja said, “We have accepted the dress of Lord Caitanya Mahaparabhu, but we can only enjoy the association of other women by hiding. This is for our own benefit because by accepting the Vaisnava dress and enjoying illicit sex with prostitutes and very low class women. We can, after having enjoyed them, again accept the dress of babaji and remain free.”
In this way, SRila Gaurakisora as an example used this as a way to srike the other hypocritical persons in other samprdayas.
The Result of Performing Offenses At the Lotus Feet of the Acaryas
There was once one person who spent some time in Navadwipa. He would often come from Sri Mayapura to visit with Srila Gaurakisora. Once, while begging, he came to Srila Gaurakisora. Babaji Maharaja asked him about the news of Sri Mayapura Dhama. The person then said, “I will never return back to Mayapura because Bahaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and his associateds are all residents of Vaikuntha. They are covered with the attitude of worship in opulence. I am a strict performer of worship of Lord Krsna in the attitude of Vrndavana. It is not important for me to associate with them.”
Hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora became very much disturbed and said, “If a parrot tries to cross over the ocean, then he becomes an object of laughter. If you actually want to live, then you should, in an inoffensive and humble way being very tolerant, always chant day and night the holy name of Krsna,”
“First of all, give up all of your offenses unto the Vaisnavas of the Lord. Living in hell, is it possible for you to understand the message of Vraja Dhama?” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is in Vaikuntha, and he is also in Vrndavana. The witch of Maya is riding upon yur shoulder. How is it that you can understad the topics of Bhaktisiddhanta and his residing in Vrndavana Dhama?”
Then the person who had come from Mayapura said, “I would like to stay with you here in Navadwipa Dhama.” Srila Babaji Maharaja said, “You cannot remain here in Navadwipa Dhama because by the result of being offensive unto the lotus feet of the Vaisnavas, it si not possible for anyone to stay in Navadwipa. Your aparada was performed in the place in th eYoga Pith in Sri Mayapura Dhama. There is no doubt that you will take a very low birth.”
“I am also in Mayapura and simultaneously in Navadwipa. Whoever shows any type of reluctance towards Sri Mayapura Dhama, they will never be able to reside in Navadwipa. Sri Mayapura is the place where the son of Saci has taken birth. It is completely transcendental in nature. Have you been shown the way in which Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura purely perform their devotion unto the Supreme Lord there? As of yet, you have not obtained the spiritul eyes to see that.”
“You have offended one Vaisnava of the Lord and yet you come to another Vaisnava asking to be blessed. This is your deceitfulness.”
Following this, sure enough, that person who had come to Srila Gaurakisora fell into associaton with women and irreligious persons and maintaining his life by begging and performing illicit activities by have sex life with other’ wives. This is the evident result of an offense performed at the lotues feet of a pure devotee.
The Way a Lusty Person Sees
Once one person came to Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji and began to complain to him about another person who was very dear to Maharaja. Hearing this Srila Babaji Maharaja said, “That person whom you have said is very very devotional and whom you call your master is very much attached to sense gratification. It is very possible that he will become attracted very very deeply to sense gratification.” Then Srila Gaurakisora became so discouraged and disgusted with this and thus he began to display deep gravity.
The persons who were sitting there with him seeing him in such a condition became very afraid. Immediately they drove that person away from that place. On that day Srila Babaji Maharaja showed by his examples that instruction of Bhaktivinode Thakura which says,
vaishava caritra, sarvada pavitra yei
hinde himsa kori’
Bhaktivinode na sambase tare
thake sada mauna dhari
After that person had left, Srila Gaurakisora, still shaking from anger said, “That person is only interested in his own sense gratification. Therefore, he has placed impediments which he is characterized by on the shoulders of another Vaisnava. The devotees of the Lord are never attached with anything which is not in connection with Lord Sri Krsna. Even if a person is slightly attachd to material sense gratification, then it is not possevle for him to attain pure love of God.”
“When a person is deeply attached to subjects about the Supreme Lord then he can attain the real symptoms of devotional service and understand them. That person who is deeply attached to Srimati Radharani and Sri Krsna then it is possible for love of Godhead to take place. In this way everything becomes very favorable for that devotee in his sevice to the Lord. The real devotees of the Lord never perform their service out of the result of being overly attached to their own sense gratification or to that of their relatives.”
“Those persons who are sense gratifiers or who are falsely renounced say that because the devotees of the Lord are desirous of that which is favorable to their devotinal service and are attached to that, that they are not actually attached to material sense objects. To lead such persons who have actually not developed any attachment to those things in contact with Lord Sri Krsna, are simply imposters and cheaters.”
“That person who offends the devotee of the Lord, or who is very dear to the devotee of the Lord, that person’s association should be given up. Therefore, I will never again see the face of that person.”
The Attachment of the Pure Devotee
Once one householder came to Gaurakisora dasa Babaji and offered him a very expensive shawl. Srila Babaji Maharaja accecpted the shawl and very carefully put it next to his side. After he received it, he began to praise the person who had given it.
Following this, another person came who was a householder and devotee and offered Srila Gaurakisora some money. Babaji Maharaja very carefully opened his hand an accepted that money and placed it next to the place where he was seated. Several times Srila Gaurakisora would place his hand to the side to see if the money had been properly placed there.
At this time, there was one very very wealthy materialistic person from Calcutta who saw this. By seeing this, whatever faith he had in Babaji Maharaja became lost.
Srila Babaji Maharaja, after some time, gave that shawl and that money to some other Vaisnavas for their service. Later when that matereialistic person saw Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in Calcutta he said, “I went to see Srila Babaji Maharaja but I saw that he was very very much attached when a person gave him a shawl and money, and he also very carefully gave special notice to the persons who gave those. How is it possible that he is a devotee? That I cannot understand.”
Hearing this from such a materialistic person, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati said, “What you have seen is only a play. Actually the devotees are never in any way whatsoever attached to anything which cannot be used in the service of the Lord. We may show that we are very much attached to different things, but that is in our service to the Lord. Whoever is very much attached to amassing wealth and who is very foolish, they will think that Srila Babaji Maharaja is attached to wealth, etc. Srila Gaurakisora shows his favor toward those persons who made it possible for the service of the devotees to be better carried out. Those who are very very lusty in nature always see the material world through that vision.”
“Those persons who enjoy sense gratification or who are falsely renounced see that those who are non-devotees see that attachment which the great devotees of the Lord have in their service to Krsna is an endeavor for sense gratification.”
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja’s Prayer for Initiation
Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura manifested one pastime which shows how unflinching devotional service is situated much higher than morality and scholarship.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati who was very pur in nature and a very strict folower of Vaisnava principles and being very learned in the scriptures, was given instruction by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura to take initiation from Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, went to Srila Gaurakisora and prayed to him.
Srila Gaurakisora, hearing his prayer, on the first day said to him, “Whether I can be merciful unto you ar not, that I must ask to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then I will be able to tell you.”
On the second day, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja again approached Srila Gaurakisora. Srila Babaji Maharaja answered to him, “I have forgotten to ask my prabhu.”
In a very distressed way, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said, “If you do not bestow your mercy upon me, then I cannot live any longer.”
On this very day, when Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati approached Srila Gourakisora, he replied to him, “I asked Caitanya Mahaprabhu if I could bestow my mercy unto you, but he said that a person who is very very morally expert and who is endowed with great learnedness is considered very insignificant in the association of my devotees.”
Hearing this, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta expressing a small amount of pride said, “So, should I think that you are the crown jewel of those who worship Lord Krsna and that you are also trying to deceive me? If I do fot recieve the mercy of your lotus feet, then I will certainly not remain alive. In the same way in which Srila Ramanujacarya approached Ghosti Purna 18 times for initiation and later received his mercy, I will certainly receive your mercu. This is my msot servious promise.”
Following this, Srila Gaurakisora besame very pleased seeing the determination of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and washed him with the dust of his lotus feet, On that day, within the island of Godruma at Svananda Kunja, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja gave Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura initiation.
The Pride of the False Renunciate
In the Holy Dhama, Sri Mayapura, once at the birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, a disciple of Srila Bhaktivinode named Gopala dasa who was very proud began to imitate the renunciation which Srila Gaurakisora manifested.
Gopala dasa was always very absorbed in doing his bhajana. He neglected his service which was washing the garden and thus, the horses, the cows, and the gosts would come there and destroy the garden. Gopala dasa always had a very indifferent attitude toward this.
He would always chant the Holy Name of the Lord, therefore, all of those external activities did not seem very much important to him, and thus, he was not very attached to them.
Once in a very proud attitude, he approached Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and said to him that Srila Gaurakisora is more renounced than himself.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, for the purpos of instructing him, gave him the following beneficial instructions. He began to describe Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja’s unearthly character and the way in which Srila Babaji Maharaja was so absorbed in Krsna that his renunciation was so magnanimous, After some time, Gopala dasa approached Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and complained about Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja’s answer.
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura answered and made Gopala dasa understand, “That which Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja said to you is for the purpose of controlling you, and if you follow Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja’s example everything will become very auspicious.”
It is said that in Mayapura even the Moslems knew that Srila Gaurakisora’s renunciation was genuine whereas Gopala das’ was simply imitation. Aperson who imitates more advanced devotees of the Lord by acting very renounced, can never actually become real renunciates and worshipers of the Lord.
Longing for Deceit
For the purpose of carrying out wordhip unto the Supreme Lord in a deceitful eay, one person once came to Sri Dhama Mayapura to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja. This person would at different times go and have conversations with Srila Gaurakisora, but Srila Babaji Maharaja would vever pay any special heed to him. He had heard that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja was very very dear to Srila Gaurakisora, so therefore, he come with the request, “If you could just please ask Srila Gaurakisora to be merciful unto me, then I could become very very fortunate.”
Many times he would come and asi Bhktisiddhanta Sarasvati this, so once, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja went to see Srila Gaurkisora and asked him if he could please offer his special mercy to this person? Srila Gaurakiosra in his expert way began to show ho that person was not actualy seriouc about devotional service. He said, There is no one like Srila Bhatisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura who is as free from deceit, so therefore, if you can get his permission for me to bless you, then I will do so. Since he has come here with you then I will certainly bless you.”
In this connection, Srila Gaurkisora said many things. Agter some tome, Srila Babaji Maharaja from his own feet took some dust ane rubbed it on the head of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvat blessing him saying, “You are nondifferent from the form of Nityananda Prabhu, so, it is by your heart that all of thedistress of the living entities is mitigated. However, this person who has come with you, he is acytally very very diceitful and hypocritical. He does not actually want that which is his real benefit. He is simply, for the purpose of wanting to deceive me, playing like he is asking for my mercy.”
After some time, that person displayed his hypocritical nature. Once he went to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta holding the skull of a human being, and holding it up he began to drink water out of it. Then he said to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, “Look I an even more renounce than Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji. Can he drink water from a skull of a human being?”
Hearing this, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura said, “You rascal. You immediately leave his place. Why is it that you are speaking such hateful words to my master as this? You are a witchly person. YOu are an atheist. Therefore you have no taste for the activities of devotional service. YOu will definitely descend to the lower planetary systems.”
After some time, because that person had performed a very bad offense unto SRila Gaurakisora, he becoame a victim of performing illicit sex with other persons’ wives and would spend his life selling coconut oil which was used by the women he has been influenced by.
Undeterred Devotional Service
Once a devotee, who was to Srila Gaurakisora came and displayed his expertise in performing different types of arcana, worship, and less inclined toward the chanting of the Holy Name. After some time in Kulia, when Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji saw Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, he mentioned to him. “Will this person always perform arcana or deity worship until he dies?”
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja said, “What is wrong? Are you opposing something which I am doing? Taht person who came is in the disciplic line of your guru is persorming different rules and regulations which are not proper?”
Srila Babji Maharaja said, “I will not speak anything elsi about this.”
Srila Gaurakisora was only interested in the chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord and taking full shelter of that name. He was never engaged in the activity of follwoing rules and regulations of wordhip unot the Lord. For this reason, this instruction was given to show the high quality and indifference.
Love of God and Lust
A person, who was the offspring of some very famous Goswamis, came to the place of Kulia in Navadwipa and would give class from the Bhagavad-gita. After teo or three days of giving class, news reached Srila Gaurakisora that in the cless which he was giving haad never previously been heard within Navadwipa.
“That person who has told you this,” said Srila Gaurakisora. You tell him that he should never go back and hear those classes again. Look, whenever it rains, then those unfructified seeds which were in the ground, very very carefully begin to sprout. Those seeds which have been planted very very carefully begin to sprout and some seeds which sprout are art an undue time die. Whoever’s heart is free from the modes of material nature in such a way so that no type of material lust can come, he is the only person who is always engaged in determined devotional service unto the Vainavas. These type of persons who is free from all impediments in devotional service, and in their hearts the sprout of love of Godhead can actually take place by hearing about the pastimes of the Lord. But those who have come materialistic desires within their hearts, if they hear pastimes of Radha and Krsna, then as result of that, within their hearts, the seed of material lust will manifest. Acting as if they are hearing the pastimes of Radha and Krsna, their material llust simply only grows and grows. Those persons who are opposed to th eSupreme Lord, it is only naturla that their hearts are covered with lust and that they will consider the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Govinda as being materially based on lust. Whoever thinks that such persons as these are actually faithful in the hearing the pastimes of the Lord and who think that they do not think that the activities of the Lord are not materialistic and who think that they understand what is spiritual, they are also very mych attached to lustful desires by the influence of Maya.”
“Just because one can say ‘spiritual’ or one can show another that he is faithful, that is not actually transcendental or faithfulness.”
After saying this, one person spoke to Srila Gaurakisora as jollows, “I have seen with my own eyes that some of those persons who are present during the discourses of the Bhagavad-gita given there begin to cry very very loudly shouting, ‘Ah, Radha. Ah, Krsna.’ And in this way they discuss different pastimes of the Lord.”
Srila Babaji Maharaja then said, “All of that which you have seen is not actually spiritual emotion. That is all coming from the intoxicating effect of lust. Taht is the reason why this material world has become condemned. Jus tby looking at their eyes you have been able to tell that they are emerged in love of God? Those persons who are not immersed in love of God themselves, how is it possible for them, by seeing through the medium of illusory energy, to understand what if actual love of God? All of those persons who have become immersed in so-called rayng, tell all of them to give up their places of residence and their meeting places and go live on the shore of the Ganga. In this way, performing wordhip unto the Supreme Lord, give up all of their attachment to material sense gratification and perform worship unto the Supreme Lord very seriously.
If they are able to do this for a year or so, then, we will be able to see all of them will become opposed to hearing the explanations given in this Gita class.
The Real Begger
One person, by the last name of Saha, once sent Srila Gaurakisora by his own desire some rice. In this way, other persons would come and sometimes give small amounts of rice to Gaurakisora dasa Babaji. All of the rice which was kept in Navadwip at that time was in the dharmshalla of the person who was the owner of the land there. This person by the last name of Saha would very regularly send rice every day unto Srila Gaurakisora for a period of two months.
This person began to tell other persons. Srila Gaurakisora sent persons to go and tell the sender of this rice that he should no longer send any more rice. When that person found out that Srila Babaji Maharaja no longer wanted to accept rice which he was sending, he immediately came there and said, “What offense have I committed against you? Please accept that which I send. Why have you discontinued taking that which I have offered unot you?”
Babaji Maharaja then said, “My guru gave me the instructions, ‘Never to become a pala guru or never to become what is called brahmashara.'”
Hearing Srila Babaji Maharaja speaking in this way one person did not understant the meaning of a pala guru and asked the meaning of that. Babaji Maharaja then explained, “That person who is nourished and attended by a grhastha devotee who is his disciple, who also tends to his other needs is called a pala guru (power guru). Or, that person who accepts what is necessary to fill his stomach from only one person, he is on the same level as apala guru. When the person who has been taking care of the guru falls into dept, when that person may, for the purpose of obtaining the money which he is short of, he may sell that which he has given his guru. And, another type is called the dharmashara or when one who becomes dependent upon one person. He who takes as much prasadam as he can hold in his hand going from one place to another, does not become a pala guru. Those persons who nourish fallen spiritual masters, they also have been known to fine their gurus to recover what they originally gave.”
“At the present day, we see many persons who call themselves ‘madukaris.’ Those who call themselves ‘madukaris’ are therefore thinking that they are automaticaly babajis. But the real madukari or Vaisnava begger is free from the modes of material nature.”
“That person who actually begs properly, they are perfectly surrendered unto the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. They have no external consciousness or perception of their gross material body. Those persons who are like conditioned living entities and those who are eager for sense gratification, are always disturbed by the urges of the tongue and the belly, and thus, for the satisfaction of these, remain in the material world.”
“Those persons who live in Vrndavana or Navadwipa for the purpose of obtaining some sense object, they are actually apala gurus. And those persons who travel from one place to another in the holy dhama, trying to collect very nice foodstuffs, then they are called dharmashara.”
The Duty of Those Who Are Worried
There were some persons who were disciples of Bhaktivinode Thakura who were newly weds and were very wealthy and who came into Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja to understand how it is that those who are married should follow the process of devotional service. They wanted to know what the proper instructions were. so they came and asked Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura made it very evident to them that those persons who are married find many many different types of difficulties in the execution of their devotional service. After hearing the explanation given by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, these persons became unhappy.
Sometime later, this person who had come with his wife, went with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvat Thakura to the place of Kulia in Navadwipa where Srila Gaurakisora resided. When Srila Gaurakisora heard that this person had married he said, “Oh, very good. That is very good. Now you will every morning prepare with your own hands that which will be offered to Lord Visna. And after you prepare something for Lord Visnu’s satisfaction, then you will accept it as mahaprasadam and with your wife, whom you will always consider a devotee of Lord Krsna, you will take that prasada.”
“You will never in any way whatsoever have ideas as to enjoy her materially, but you will always consider as a servant of Lord Krsna and thus act as her guru. If this is done, then everything will become very auspicious for you. In this material world, everything is useful for the Lord’s service; wealth, jewels, wife and husband. You should always know that your wife is not your servant, but she is the servant of Lord Krsna. In this way, she should be respected.”
Once one person by the name of Sri Gupta Bundhillpadai who was a B.A. and an M.A. came from Calcutta to Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji in Navadwip. When they arrived there, one of the associates of that person introduced him. Srila Gaurakisora then said, “Oh, very nice. You have come here. Now you should stay and do worship of the Supreme Lord.”
Then the person said, “I came here, but before I left, I kept a return ticket.”
When Babaji Maharaja heard this he, becoming very very wondered said, “You ahve made arrangements for a return ticket when you first came? Then why have you come here to see me? Just to go back and forth just to see me is not important. That person who wants to always carry out devotional service in a regulated way, then that person should come and see me.”
By this example, Srila Gaurakisora das Babaji taught us that simply going to see the holy persons for satisfying one’s inquisitiveness, or going to see the devotees of the Lord with some other desire or simply going for the purpose of seeing other holy places, is not actually the real way to take the association of the devotees of the Lord, not is it the proper way to travel to different holy places of pilgrimage. The result of seeing holy places of pilgrimage is to see the pure devotees of the Lord.
One does not become an actual devotee of the Lord until he surrenders unflinchingly unto a pure devotee of the Lord. A real devotee of the Lord always surrenders unto the pure devotees by offering obeisances, by inquiring from him, and by serving him. The meaning of sanga is completely approaching. If one brings a return ticket when he comes to visit a pure devotee of the Lord, or in other words, when one after enjoying material sense gratification leaves it for some short time but has the intention of returning to it, and then approaches a pure devotee of the Lord, then he will not receive the result of this activity. On the contrary, he will not be able to surrender unto that devotee. Unalloyed devotional service will never be able to enter within his ear.
External Purity and Material Desires
Once in Navadwip, one very famous businessman who was having the name Goswami, wearing woolen cloth, went to see Srila Gaurakisora. In the progression of their conversation, the topics of how one becomes pure in his practice of devotional service were discussed. After Srila Gaurakisora was asked concerning this, he said, “If a person has other materialistic intentions; if he desires woman, wealth, or position; even if he follows different rules for becoming pure, still that will not take place.
“If one is inflicted with leprosy on the body then that leprosy gradually spreads all over the body. If one wears wool cloth to pass stool or if one goes tothe Ganga for the purpose of becoming pure but still has material desires within his mind and heart, then he is extremely impure. He is so impure that you can explain to him why he is contaminated, but he will still not understand. That person who wears wool cloth, silk cloth, who takes rice which has only been dried in the sun, or who takes bath in the Ganga, or accepts any way whatsoever to become pure; if he is only thinking of different ways to obtain wealth and is only thinking of his wife, sons, money and self esteem, then it is all useless. He will never be able to become pure in his activities. Krsna will never be pleased with such a person.”
At the Birthplace of Lord Caitanya
Once on the southwest side of one temple in Navadwip, one person came and built one small house there. He began to worship the Deity of Lord Caitanya within the house. He once when there eas a festival going on, he began to preach to everyone that this was the actual place where Lord Caitanya appeared.
He began to request everyone to please give donations, so that it could be used to find other lost holy places of pilgrimage. Many person who came there, pilgrims, gave him money.
In that area, there was one person named Vamsi dasa Babaji, who was known as a perfected Vaisnava in the practice of devotional service. He once, hearing of thia, he went to see that place. The person who was claiming that place to be the original birthplace of Lord Caitanya said that he had been informed within a dream and the place was revealed directly by Lord Caitanya. But actually, that place which was accepted by Gaurakisora dasa Babaji as being Lord Caitanya’s birthplace, backed with very extensive proof. Srila Gaurakisora said, “Those different great personalities who have discovered the birthplace of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu are to be followed. Simply because thia person has had a dream that this is the birthplace of Lord Caitanya is not proof in itself. Those persons whom holy places of pilgrimage are manifested, they never collect money with the intention of finding holy places. Those persons who are actually followers of Lord Caitany, it is them who are actually able to find the place where Lord Caitanya wa born. That way in which Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja descovered this holy place must be taken a real fact.”
On the following day after Gaura Kisora said this, Srila Vamsi dasa Babaji, taking one small shovel in his hand, went to the place where that person was preaching that he was representing the original birthplace of Lord Caitanya, and gradualy began to cut down the fance in fromt of that place. He showed the people there how it was improper that this person was imitating that which had already been discovered by previous acaryas.
The Feast of the Renunciate
Once on the day before the disappearance of Srila Sanatana Goswami, Srila Babaji Maharaja called one devotee and said to him, “Tomorrow is Srila Sanatana Goswami’s disappearance, therefore, we will have a great festival. In Navadwip, none of the Goswamis, have a festival. The devotees then said, “How will we be able to bring all of the things here which are necessary for the feast?”
Srila Babaji Maharaja answered, “You don’t have to go anywhere or say anything, we will simply not eat even once tomorrow and only chant Hare Krsna. That will be our festival.”
How Can I Know a Vaisnava?
Once one person approached Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji and asked, “We see many discriptions of the devotees of the Lord in the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and other scriptures which are of the highest order. But these narrations do not have any real counterpart with the persons we wee today who are called Vaisnavas. Sometimes we see these persons are even the opposite of these persons described, therefore, very mercifully instruct us as to how we can without a doubt identify the real devotees of the Lord.”
Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja replied, “When the desire of the devotee of the Lord is in direct conjugation with the desire of Krsna, then the compassionate pure devotee of the Lord regardless of birth, time, and place liberates the conditioned souls. When the pure devotee of the Lord attracts the living entities by exhibiting pure love of Krsna, then the Supreme Lord Krsna begins to doubt as follows: Those living entities who surrender unto my devotees are as dear as myself. If I cleanse away all of their debts in this material world, then I will be in a precarious situation. Those pure devotees surrendered unto Me are completely dependent and thus simply by their desire, I am within their grasp.”
For this reason Krsna covers the eyes of the ordinary people so they cannot realize the qualities of His pure devotee. Krsna also tests the other living living entities in this way to see how attached they are to him. Those symptoms which are manifestations of Krsna’s material energy are not the same symptoms which are manifested by the pure deovtees of the Lord. Therefore, it is only by the independent desire of the pure devotees of the Lord that the symptoms can seen even through the scriptures.”
“Sometimes it is seen that pure devotees will offer a high position of prestige to a conditoned living entity. In this way, such a person is kept at a distance from the Supreme Lord. At other times, the pure deovtee of the Lord may become alarmed at attracting too many followers and thus, keep his natural qualities hidden. Even though they keep their spiritual identity hidden, pure devotees may act as if they are going to accept disciples so that persons will remain with them and receive their association. They also carry out the role of giving instructions and accepting different types of service.”
Srila Gaurakisora then continued, “I Have seen with my own eyes a devotee in Vrndavana who would perform his devotional service in a solitary place. He lived in a village just north of Radha Kunda. Many different persons would approach him and ask for different benefits and for the removal of mental and physical distress. He would fulfill their desires and thus became famous and well known as a perfected practitioner in devotional service. He was very renounced, free from the desires of wealth, woman and prestige. He was always compassionate to the living entities and free from fault in his appearance.”
“As it became cirulated that he was of this type of character, many persons same to annoy him. Following this, the great devotee had a very wealthy man in Calcutta monthly pay the young beautiful wife of a sweeper to sit in front of his place of worship. In this way, people would come and consider he eas having illicit connections with that woman and that he was collecting money out of greed. Other persons would come and because of their material desires not being fulfilled, would altogether reject him. This person was actually a Vaisnava. When devotees of the Lord, out of compassion, manifest their mercy, then the faithful persons who worship the Lord will become attracted to them.”
“Those persons who then surrender unto the pure devotee are eventually able to attain pure devotional service. Extemely fortunate persons are able to approach Krsna by the mercy of the devotee. Otherwise, being unfortunate, the pure devotee may in come way ot another, act in such a way as to reject them. Sober devotees always pray to the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to become more serious and non-deviates. It is by their mercy that one is able to understand the character of the pure devotedd. By the favor of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu one’s heart becomes free from all pride and becomes filled with humility. In this condition, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu manifest the identity of the pure devotee. The pure devotee’s identity is manifest by Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda and then Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya make the devotees known to evryone. Therefor, it has been mentioned in the Caitanya Caritamrta.
Imitating the Pure Devotee
One brahmacari who was born in the family of a brahmana, as pretending to be interested in devotional service. He came to Srial Gaurakisora. As a result of this, many persons became to respect that brahmacari. The brahmacari, after some time, decided he would also sit in the same manner as Srila Gaurakisora. He collected money which he used to build a small bhajana kuthir like that of Srila Babaji Maharaja. He had his small hut built on the bank of the Ganga.
The brahmacari considered that he would like to approach Srila Gaurakisora and getting permission from him entered into his small hut to begin his solitary bhajana. When he approached Gaurakisora, who, being in direct contact with Supersoul, stood and said, “If you want to perform devotional service, then it is very good. But, if you enernto the house of Maya, then you will be grasped by many impediments. You should give up living in that hut and just live under the nearby trees in the area.”
Shortly after this, one person with a strong sense of false ego living in the nearby area asked Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, “You first told us to lock ourselves up in our small huts and to prform our worship unto the Supreme Lord. Now you are giving the instruction that one must live under the trees in order to perform proper worship.
Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaju then manifested his pastimes as if he were extremely mad and said, “I have given the correct instructions. The body is like a room and the eyes are like the front door. But this person, simply closing the wooden door of his hut simply learns to copy the activities of the pure devotee. Actually his eyes are still open to sense objects. Therefore it is better for him to live under the trees. If one follows the instructions of the devotees of the Lord, then he will obtain that which is actually beneficial. In this way, if one becomes more and more faithful unto that devotee’s service, then he will be able to attain pure devotional service.”
“But if one imitates the activities of the the great devotees of the Lord, then he will quickly be checked and fall down.”
Not long after this, the brahmacari left that place and Srila Babaji Maharaja expressed himself in the following way to persons who were present there, “Just see how ordinary person’s intelligence has become destroyed. They simply want some cheap adoration from the people in general by living in a secluded hut. But the result of that, shortly following this, they become attracted to gaining wealth and must leave/ Persons who are not even properly acting in the lower stages of devotion want to obtain by their on means the standard of practice of pure devotee paramahamsas.”
It wasn’t long after this that that brahmacari returned to his home and became engaged in different types of materialistic activities.
One person came to Srila Gaurkisora and upon arriving asked him as to the whereabouts of that brahmacari. He expressed himself as follows: “Why did that brahmacari become influenced by maya? Even after he received the association of the devotees of the Lord? If one is in contact with the devotees of the Lord, he doesn’t receive the result?”
Srila Gaurakisora then said, “If one acts like a devotee of the Lord, then he will never obtain the result. A person who looses his chance before actually attaining the real association of the devotees of the Lord, then he becomes discarded by the result of that activity. That brahmacari has now become so fallen but maybe he will not eat meat or fish again and will perform some proper religious activities, but he will never be alble to enter into real devotion to the Supreme Lord.”
The day before the Rathayatra festival, Srila Gaurakisora called the residents of a nearby ashrama and asked, “Will all of you tomorrow go and attend the Rathayatra festival? There will be a very large festival at the Paramatalla in Navadwip. And there will be a very large chariot. After the festival everyone will go to the house of the very famous landowner who is having a big feast. I you go there, then you will be able to eat many many sweets such as rasgullas and flat rice and curd.”
In this way, Srila Gaurakisora repeatedly told different persons about the Rathayatra festival which woudl happen the following day. The people in this way began to think that Srila Babaju Maharaja was giving them permission to attend the Rathayatra festival. There were always several books such as the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta and the Sri Caitanya Bhagavata and the Srimad Bhagavatam which were kept near Babaji Maharaja. any timnes persons would come and ask questions from these books. Molding different classes, Srila Gaurakisora would very expertly answer any questions concerning the conclusions of the different fruits in devotional service.
Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja would like to hear the pastimes of Prahlada Maharaja again and again. He would also repeat those pastimes many times. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would also reveal the pastimes of Prahlada Maharaja and his teachings. Sometimes Srila Gaurkisora would read the books called Prema Bhakti Candrika. An then he would explain it’s meaning. Persons would come and read these different books to him, but it was only Gaurakisora dasa Babaji who could properly explain their meaning.
On the day of the Rahayatra festival, everyone assempled to go to the festival. Because everyone had gone there, there was no one to read from any of the books that day. On that day Srila Gaurakisora sat alone in his kuthir and began to laugh very sweetly. He came autside and then he said, “Today I have found life again. Everyone has gone. Those who are offenders unto the holy name, they have left the association of devotees and the chanting of Hare Krsna and have gone to see the Rathayatra festival where there are very many beautiful young women and other various sense objects. Persons simply enact the roles as Vaisnavas in the association of pure devotees, but they flow down that current of other desires.”
Srila Babaji Maharaja very loudly began to chant the glories of the holy name of the Lord. The persons who saw the Rathayatra festival went to see Babaji Maharaja. Srial Babaji Maharaja gravely sat there and said nothing to anyone.
Gaurakisora’s Relationship with Bhaktivinode Thakura
In Calcuttq in a place called Vamsi Bhavan there is the very worshipable wife of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, by the name of Srimatie Bhagavati devi. Once Srimati Bhagavati devi and one of her highly elevated Vaisnava friends named Sri Juptakadambadi devi Majodidi Thakurani came to the place in Navadwip to see Srila Gaurakisora.
When Srila Babaji Maharaja saw them he said, “What did the two of you come here for leaving your deities at home? Have you come here to shop in the markets? Or did you come to see the different deities in the temples who are found in the markets? It is in your house in which the very intimate associates of Lord Caitanya have appeared. If you would like to bring him (Bhaktisiddhanta) here so that he can stay for some time then both of you shuld return back to your homes and perform wordhip to the Supreme Lord very seriously. Otherwise, I will not be able to let him stay here.”
The Desire of the Devotee
When Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura was performing his pastimes of illness in Calcutta when he resided in the place called Bhakti Bhavan, then one materialistic Goswami came to Navadwip to see Srila Gaurakisora for some crooked purpose. He said to Gaurakisora “You should go to Calcutta and take Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura on your head and in this way bring him fromthat place which is in the material universe back with you here to the Holy Dhama.”
That Goswami who was very materialistic by nature did not know how to act with those persons who are very dear to the Suspreme Lord, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore he could not understands the following conclusion about the devotees of the Lord.
In those places where the pure devotees of the Lord reside, there the pure devotee of the Lord carries on his activities with the eternal associates of the Supreme Lord in Goloka Vrndavana. In this way, he worships the residing deity there, Krsna, always. The article written by Srial Bhaktivinode Thakura entitled gives one the proper understanding of how this is manifestided amongst the pure devotees of the Lord.
Those persons who have become free from the mistake of viewing everything with materialistic vision, they can actually understand the purpose of this. That same Goswami from Calcutta once came to Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and told him the desire of Srila Gaurakisora. He expressed to him that Srila Gaurakisora wanted him to come to Navadwip, for the purpose of Hari bhajana. Because the aforementioned Gosai did not actually understand the transcendental activities of Sria Bhaktisiddhanta and the other pure devotees, therefore, he misinterpreted the instructions which Krsna gives:
Many persons use this to try and deceive us. If we don’t understand what is the proper intention which we shuld have in mind and heart when we approach the devotees of the Lord, then the pure devotees of the Lord simply spead such words which are pleasing to our taste and thus carry on their uninterrupted devotion unto the Supreme Lord. Many materialistic persons would come to Srial Gaurkisora dasa Babaji and express different types of intentions.
When they would come to fulfill that intention which they had then they would become rejected. No one can approach a pure devotee of the Lord if he is enthusiastic to perform materialistic activity. When one fully surrenders unto the pure devotee fo the Lord and becomes enthusiastic to serve him after that surrender, then his self identity is revealed and thus he is able to engage in worshiping the Supreme Lord.
The Blessings of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji
Once Sripada Bhaktithirthapada Maharaja according to the instruction of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, went from Sridhama Mayapura to Bhaktivinode Thakura. Taking Bhaktivinode’s permission he went over to the place where Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja would often go.
At that time, Sripada Tirtha Maharaja was in the householder ashrama. At that time he had not taken initiation from Bhaktivinode Thakura. When Sripada Tirtha Maharaja was going to see Srila Gaurakisora he took with him a type of watermelon fruit. At that time, Srila Gaurakisora would not accept anything from other perosn. Still when Srila Gaurakisora had heard that Sripada Tirtha Maharaja had just come from Bhaktivinode Thakura, then he very mercifully accepted that fruit. After accepting the fruit, he asked the residents in the dharmshalla there to please sing one song from Narottama das Thakura.
Following this , they sang other devotional songs such as Gouranga Bolite Habe and Hari Hari Bolidai. After the kirtan had ended, Srila Gaurakisora told the grhastha who had sung the song the following instructions: “One should always remain very faithful unto the guru and the devotees of the Lord. One should always be very very humble like a blade of grass and very tolerant like a tree and in this way always be able to chant the holy names of the Lord. If one comes into association with undesirous persons, then his mind, words, and actions become far from being engaged in the devotion of the Lord.”
Then one devotee there said, “We have not as yet surrendered unto the lotus feet of the guru.”
In answer, Srila Gaurakisora replied, “Have you as of yet been to see Bhaktivinode Thakura? If you have been there to Sri Mayapura Dhama which is the place where full self-surrender takes plaace, then how is it that you can say that you have not taken shelter of a spiritual master. Srila Bhaktivinode is waiting for you. Please go there and accept his mercy.”
Srila Gaurakisora after saying this had that particular devotee, who would in the future be Sripada Tirtha Maharaja, shave his hair. He then told that devotee. “In the future you will be a great sannyasi and you will travel from place to place, country to country and you preach the holy names of the Lord.”
After receiving this benediction from Srila Gaura Kisora das Babaji, that devotee touched his lotus feet and offered his obeisances. Srila Babaji Maharaja would never let anyone, under any circumstances touch his feet. When persons would come who were materialistically inclined and want to touch his feet, he would say “If you touch my feet, everything will be destroyed in your house.” In this way he would show anger.
But at this time he showed no objection whatsoever. That person who took his blessings then went on that day to see Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and accepted the gayatri mantra from him. According to the prediction of Srila Gaurakisora das Babaji, this person accepted sannyasa from Om Visnupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in the future and was later called Tridandi. He became famous in India for his great preaching propensity.
The Disappearance of Srila Gaurakisora
In the Bengali year, 1322, in the last day of Kartika right during the last part of the night, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja re-entered into his eternal loving pastimes with the Supreme Lord. After Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja had heard of his disappearance, he went to the place of the dharmshalla where Srila Gaurakisora lived. At that time different persons from different temples in the area began to fiercely argue with one another as where the spiritual body of Srila Babaji Maharana should be placed.
They know that in the future if the samadhi of Srila Gaurakisora was placed in their locality, that they would be able to earn large amounts of money from persons coming to take his darshan. But Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja obstructed them form doing so. The inspector of the police of Navadwip arrived at the scene. At that time Sri Gupta was the inspector of police.
After there were many discussions with the so-called mahantas of that area. They came and proclaimed, “Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is not actually a sannyasi. Therefore, this person Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji who was a renunciate of hoouseholder life, therefore his body cannot be touched by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja. He does not have that qualification.”
In answer, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in a voice as deep as thunder said, “I am the only disciple of Srila Paramahamsa Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Even if I haven’t accepted sannyasa, I have been a very strict celebate brahmacari all my life. And, by the mercy of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, I have never performed the pastimes of a monkey-like renunciate hiding in different places, being addicted to prostitution and other sinful sctivities. This I can certainly say with all pride.”
“If there are any persons who are present before me who are actually of a pure nature and really renounced from householder life, then that person can build the samadhi for Srila Babaji Maharaja. To that, I will have no objection whatsoever. If anyone here has not had illicit sexual connections within one year, or six months, or one month, or within the last three days, then he has the qualifications to touch this spiritual body. Otherwise, if someone does not have this qualificaton, touches him, he will be completely devastated.”
Hearing this, the superintendent of police said, “How is it that he can prove this?”
“Whatever it is they say, I will believe,” replied Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura.
After Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati said this, gradually one by one the so-called babajis turned their backs toward Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja. Seeing this, the magistrate became very wondered.
Then several persons approached Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja and said, “Before Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja disappeared, he requested that his body be bound with ropes and be dragged through the streets of Navadwip Dhama, and thus, be bathed in the dust of the Dhama. Therefore, we should follow these instructions of Srila Babaji Maharaja.”
Then Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja spoke up and said, “My spiritual master, on whose shoulders reside the Supreme Lord, Krsnacandra, has said this in a very very deep mood of humility in order to destroy the pride of those persons who are opposing the Supreme Lord. Even though we are inexperienced, foolish and ofensive, still, I will not let his instruction be misinterpreted. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took the spiritual body of Srila Haridasa Thakura when he disappeared on His lap and began to dance. Just see how his glories have been described. So therefore, we are also following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya. Place the transcendental body of Srila Gaurakisora above our heads.”
According to the regulations from the Samakara Depika, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja with his own hands began to construct the samadhi of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. The samadhi was begun on the first day of the Month of Oriyan, on the afternoon of Ekadasi in the year 1322 Bhagupta in Kulia, Navadwip.
At the time at which the samadhi was built, there was one person from the district of Yusobara who lived in a place called Lowagara whose last name was Podara. He came there and said that the samadhi site of Srila Gaurakisora which had been donated had been confiscated from them. After some time, other persons in that area began to forget about Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, and the place in which his samadhi was built, different types of illicit activities were performed to such a cegree that they began manifesting arrogant behavior and other offenses unto persons who were very dear to Srila Gaurakisora by manifesting pride and other offenses.
Later on, by the desire of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, the place of his samadhi was gradually became engulfed by the changing currentof the Ganga. When the samadhi was within very close proximity to Ganga Devi, in 1338, during the fith day of the month of Bhadra, his samadhi was removed under the instructions of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja, from that place to a place in Sri Mayapura Dhama where the Caitanya Matha is presently situated. That place is non-different from Radha Kunda in Vrndavana.
In the month of Aswan on the 2nd day, in 1339, a second samadhi of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was established. At that time Sri Yukta Nityagouranga dasa Adhikari and Sri Bhaktirasananda, who were very simple in character and free from all types of pride gave the funds to construct the beautiful samadhi temple of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja.