Immediately upon arriving at the Brooklyn home of Sriman Ramesh Naudiyal, (Bensonhurst, Brooklyn NY), a warm Sankirtan arati welcome was accorded to His Divine Grace. His arrival in America marked the auspicious day of Guru-Purnima, the advent day of Sri Krishna Dvaipayan Vyas Dev, as well as the disappearance day of Srila Sanatan Goswami. The U. S. tour of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj has begun on a very auspicious note.
Last night, Maharaj, spoke on the importance of Guru Purnima and Guru tattva. Though fatigued from a long 28 hour journey from India, Srila Maharaj still insisted on honoring the day and holding an evening program which began at 8:30 PM. Rousing bhajan led by Bhutbhavan das preceded his talk on the importance of guru, guru tattva and the significance of Guru Purnima. A transcript of his lecture will be forthcoming. After he was prompted to finish his speech so the assembled devotees could take prasadam, Maharaja remarked, "But I have just only laid the foundation for my talk. "
Though the evening ran late no one felt fatigue or distress over lack of sleep, as Maharaj led an astounding bhajan invoking the entire guru param para called jaya jaya dau (please conquer me) to end the katha. The transcendental sound of the holy name reverberated through the neighborhood as the small but fervent group of devotees chanted so enthusiastically. One of Mr. Naudiyal's interested American neighbors, with his whole family, came to hear Srila Gurudeva speak. Earlier in the week, they had told Mr. Naudiyal: "We want to see your Guru Maharaja. " Prasadam was then served to all.
Maharaja explained, "All is happening by the will of Krsna. " That evening, though he was missing the celebration of this event (Guru Purnima) in Calcutta and other mathas throughout India, where thousands attend, it was certainly by the will of Krsna he was in Brooklyn to celebrate the occasion with this small but sincere group of devotees. "I never intended to go to the west, " he said. "But my siksa gurudeva, Param Pujyapad Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami, instructed me to do so in his stead, since he cannot come. He quoted to me so many words of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur to the effect that Krsna consciousness, the sankirtan movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is not just for those born in India, but for human beings the whole world over. That we must travel and spread Mahaprabhu's mercy everywhereŠ I thought "Who will help me from falling down into material enjoyment if I go to the west? In India there are so many strong god brothers and they will always keep me strong. So how can I leave India?" This is what I was thinking. But my siska gurudeva instructed me to come and to not obey his order would be an offense. So my gurudeva Srila Param Pujyapad His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaja is protecting me. "
This was the sum and substance of Maharaj's talk. The full class will be made available in the near future.
Om tat sat
Pradyumna Misra Das
Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Goswami Maharaj, the present President-Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, is the 11th Acarya in the preceptorial channel (Guru Parampara) of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Born on 24th April, 1924, at Amalapatti-Gwalpara, Assam (India). Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaja joined the Institution in 1947, after completing his Masters degree in Philosophy from Calcutta University, (India). He served Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math as its Secretary and took Sanyas in 1961.
After the disappearance of the Founder-President-Acharya, as per his nomination and direction, Tridandi Swami Srimad Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja became the President-Acharya of the Math in l979. Working eighteen to twenty hours a day, he is incessantly engaged in the propagation of the Divine Message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Acknowledged by all senior Acharyas of Sri Mayapur dhama, as the most exalted spiritual personality among the second generation (Prashisya-Varga) of Srila Saraswati Thakura, Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj is an authority on Gaudyiya Vaisnava Philosophy. He never goes even one centimeter outside the four corners of prescription of the Shastras (holy scriptures). 'example is better than precept', is his way of preaching.
For the last five decades, Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj is engaged in the propagation of the all-embracing doctrine of transcendental Divine Love of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to counter the present trend of violence and cruelty, and to bring unity of hearts amongst all irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
[Reprinted from Affectionately Yours printed by GOKUL (Global Organization of Krishna Chaitanya's Universal Love) For queries email to: firstname.lastname@example.org ]
[Originally published 07/30/99 on VNN]