(Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj praises the service and qualities of his dear godbrother Srimad Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj.)
In remembrance of the holy appearance days of
Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupad
and Gaudiya Sanghapati Parivrajakacharya
Srimad Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj
Translated from a Bengali article
originally published in Sri Gaudiya Darshan,
Volume 1, Issue 8, Sunday, 11 March 1956
The appearance day on the earth of the risen sun amongst the Gaudiya Acharyas, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, in the spiritual world’s sky of fortune is Krishna Panchami in the month of Sri Govinda (Phalguni). This most auspicious day is a very hopeful day for the souls of this world. We do not know of any other great soul who has broadly endeavoured for the ultimate welfare of the fallen souls to the extent that he has. The way in which he fully developed the sankirtan instituted by Sri Gauranga has never been seen before in the world. This statement is not seen as an exaggeration to anyone who had the fortune of seeing his endeavours for the deliverance of the fallen souls.
Although the inspiration of Thakur Bhakti Vinod and Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj was the basis of his endeavours to deliver the fallen souls, to crown this great soul’s grand programme with success Sriman Mahaprabhu unhesitatingly sent numerous capable associates to help him with his divine campaign. One of the leading scholars amongst Srila Saraswati Thakur’s capable assistants was Srimad Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj. This great soul’s auspicious birth day is on Krishna Shashthi in the month of Phalguni: the very next day after Srila Guru Padapadma’s appearance day.
Almost 68 years ago Srimad Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj brightened the lineage of the ancient Acharya of devotional scriptures Sandilya Maharshi and appeared in a noble family in the well-known town of Patrasayer in the Bankura district (of Bengal). During his childhood and youth he showed great capacity for learning and earning money, and gradually devoted himself to the Lord’s service. His service ideal astonished even ideal servitors. His loving devotion to Sri Krishna, his dedication to Sri Gaura-Nityananda’s marvellous Pastimes, His self-manifest faith in the devotional siddhanta of the best of the Rupanugas—Srila Bhakti Vinod and Srila Saraswati Thakur, His joy in the sadhu’s association, his mad endeavours to serve Sri Guru, his unconquerable conviction to serve, his lightning bolt-like firmness towards the wicked, his flower-like gentleness towards the good-natured, his sincere behaviour, his impeccable moral life, his melted-hearted compassion for the unfortunate, his natural courage, his eloquence in the assemblies of sadhus—this great soul’s unlimited qualities, having assembled within his supramundane character, are brightening and blessing this world, the field of his campaign.
sarva maha-guna-gana vaishnava-sharire
krishna-bhakte krishnera guna sakali sanchare
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 22.72)[“All great qualities are present in a devotee. Krishna instills all of His qualities in His devotees.”]
Just before Srila Saraswati Thakur’s disappearance this great soul was nominated by Srila Saraswati Thakur as an international preacher and travelled to the West. In a world religions assembly in London he presented Sri Chaitanyadev’s religion of divine love and Sri Krishna-nam-sankirtan to educated and aristocratic gentlemen. The Queen of England and various assembly leaders, high-standing government officials and middle-class government employees, very ordinary citizens, the educated, the uneducated, women, men, the young, the old, teachers, and students everywhere, without discrimination, unhesitatingly tasted his powerful Sri Hari-kirtan’s flow of nectar, more or less. To show the souls of this world his true nature, Srila Saraswati Thakur gave him the name ‘Sri Aprakrita Bhakti Saranga’. The wise appreciate at heart his success and rejoice. Virtuous souls will understand his identity through the inimitable, supramundane language Sri Guru Padapadma personally used for him (in the Gaudiya magazine) when he was inspired to praise his disciple’s qualities, and become most fortunate.
About five years after Sri Guru Padapadma’s disappearance, this great soul accepted tridandi-sannyas and became known by the name ‘Parivrajakacharya Srimad Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj’. For five to ten long years now, as the founder and Acharya of Sri Gaudiya Sangha, while travelling all over India endeavouring for the welfare of all souls, he has been shining like a bright star in the sky of the souls’ fortune.
For the benefit of the world, almost entirely by his own efforts, he has established eighteen preaching centres and founded a monthly magazine, Saraswat Gaudiya, in the Bengali language. Recently he made a grand arrangement to spread the message of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga within the educated society abroad by purchasing a two-storey building in the capital, Delhi, establishing a Math there, and founding another monthly magazine, Sajjan Toshani, in the English language. Today, we are worshipping the auspicious appearance day of Sri Guru Padapadma and the appearance day of this great soul, and wishing him a long, successful life.
—Tridandi Bhiksu Sri Bhakti Raksak Sridhar