Who is Srila Prabhupada?Is he a pure devotee of Sri Krishna?
  • May 2004
    :?:
  • May 2004
    I used to believe all this also, but now I realize that Hinduism is a creation of man. And this can even be seen today, as the Hindus continue to add more and more "gods" to their previous ones. Examples of these are: couple hundred years ago they added Swaminarayan because he claimed to be a devotee of Krishna, now they're adding Sai Baba and believe it or not, after a hundred or so years ago, if this keeps up, most Hinduis WILL continue their lives believing that this is another avatar of "God". And if you step back and look at the whole scene from a wide angle, you will come to realize that Hindus did not do this only recently, but have continued to do this for their entire history, however long that may have been.

    I say "however long that may have been" because, whether you realize it or not, India does not have much of a recorded history. The only recorded history it does have is the books that they have, the Upanishads, Ramayan, Mahabharata, etc. And there are over a hundred of these books, and who knows how many people wrote them. And most of them collide and go against each other...at least many do; an example of this would be found in what the followers of Vishnu(Krishna, Ram, etc) believe and what the followers of Shiva believe in. Anyways, India does not even have a recorded history from as back as 500 years, how could it have recorded history from thousands of years back? An example of this is clearly seen in trying to find the true age of Mira Baai, a devotee, when she died. And come to find out, it seems she lived to be about 120 or 125 years old...true? I think not, just another myth added to history by Hindus.

    And now I have come to realize that my life had been going in one direction, and that was to find truth in life. And that truth has not come from following Hinduism, but rather from abandoning it. Now I have realized that the only true God is the God that is spoken of in The Holy Bible. And if you don't think that this is possible, then look at the multitudes of prophesies that have been fulfilled from the Holy Bible, and you will come to realize that the Holy Bible is the only true message of God, the only infallible Word of God.

    Of course there are Hindus that say that both Christianity and Hinduism are true. From the Hindu perspective, this is true because in Hinduism, as many "gods" as its followers want can be added. But, for this claim to be true, it must have to agree from the other side of the issue also, in this case, Christianity. And, whether you like to accept or not, Hinduism is a religion of idols, where Hindus worship deities, statues, murtis, etc. Of course these idols represent the "real Hindu gods", but that is not the point here. For both Hinduism and Christianity to be true, Christianity must also allow this point, allow this way of worship. Instead, in the Holy Bible, God has clearly declared, "You shall not worship idols!"

    So, this means that either Hinduism or Christianity must be true. And one must decide which one, for in essence you cannot say that both are true. And if you look at Hinduism itself, you must step back from the entire scene and take a fresh look at it and look at what Hindus as a whole believe in, not just what some sects believe in.

    You make the choice. It's your eternity that's on the line. It's a matter of where you are going to live for an eternity when you die. Don't make the wrong choice...do research until you are content with the answer, and look at both sides of the issue. And please, do the research on your own, please do not go to a guru or a church leader. If you are truly sincere, you will see the truth.

    Thank you for reading this,
    God bless you!!!
  • May 2004
    All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga


    The Guardian of Devotion
    A Chronicle of a Transcendental Relationship




    His Divine Grace
    Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaj
    Founder-Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math


    Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaj and
    Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad




    Forward
    Sri Chaitanya-caritamrta, the post-graduate study for Gaudiya Vais-navas
    begins with the invocation vande gurun, "I offer my respectful
    obeisances unto the spiritual master." Therein, Srila Krsnadasa
    Kaviraja Goswami reveals that the fully blossoming spiritual
    conception comes to embrace a plurality of gurus.

    The scriptures in general present a very broad and universal
    conception of Sri Guru, laying stress on the spiritual substance - that
    divine current of nectar that flows down to this plane from the highest
    domain through the inspiration that is found in the heart of a real
    Vaisnava. To deny divine revelation through another agent in the
    name of being chaste to one's guru can be offensive and even suicidal.
    As guru is the functioning principle of Divinity revealing Himself in
    this world, according to our different stages of realizations, he may
    appear in different forms. The chastity of a disciple is demonstrated in
    recognizing the divine presence of Sri Guru wherever it is found, and
    bowing his head at the lotus feet of the agent through whom Divinity
    is so kindly revealing Himself.

    The true chastity of the Vraja gopis was shown in their answering the.flute-call of Sri Krsna in the dead of night, although apparently
    abandoning their husbands to do so (ya nisa sarva-bhutanam tasyam
    jagarti samyami). So while some are sleeping in the bodily conception
    of Sri Guru, others are awakening to the inner dimension of his divene
    personality. His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva
    Goswami Maharaja writes in Sri Guru and His Grace, "We must not
    identify our guru with the appearance we perceive with our physical
    senses. Our inner identificaton of him will be clarified according to
    the growth of our vision. When our vision increases and takes shape
    from material to transcendental, his look will also change accordingly.
    Otherwise, what we see will be based on a material conception. And
    to force the material conception onto Divinity is a crime, it is
    ignorance, it is erroneous. We have to free ourselves from the snare of
    identifying reality with the physical form presented to our senses. By
    eliminating the external conception, we have to enter into the internal,
    and that will be all-important to a progressive disciple, if we want to
    go to the inner world of substance."

    In proportion to the depth and intensity of our inner hankering for a
    connection with Divinity, our conception of guru will expand. In
    separation from Sri Krsna, the gopis began approaching even the trees
    and enquiring, "Where is Krsna?" Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati
    Thakura writes, "The reflected form of the lotus feet of Sri Guru in
    different receptacles constantly reveals many new matters for our
    instruction." For those whose divine eye is awakened, they will find
    traces of Divinity everywhere and in everything.

    It is our hope that the readers of this small booklet will approach the
    contents with an attitude of humble submission and an open heart.
    And we pray that their attachment to the lotus feet of Sri Guru may be
    increased.

    Bhakti Sudhira Goswami




    Editor's Note: His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
    Maharaj is affectionately addressed by his disciples as "Srila
    Prabhupad," and His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar
    Maharaj is known to his disciples as "Srila Guru Maharaj." However,
    since they both refer to their spiritual master, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta
    Saraswati Prabhupad, as "Guru Maharaj" and "Prabhupad"
    throughout the text, in order to avoid ambiguity we have referred to
    them by their sannyas names.




    __________________
    Siksa Guru

    "Our relationship is very intimate..."



    Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj and Srila Bhakti Rakshak
    Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj first met sometime in the year 1930 in
    Allahabad, India. In a taped conversation recorded in a 1973 meeting
    at Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Math at Nabadwip Dham, Srila
    Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj recalls: "So, we are very fortunate to
    hear His Divine Grace, Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa Parivrajkacarya
    Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaj. By age and by experience, in both
    ways, he is senior to me. I was fortunate to have his association since
    a very long time, perhaps in 1930, something like that. At that time, he
    did not accept sannyas; he just left home, and as a vanaprastha, in his
    white dress, he went to Allahabad.."Maharaj [To Srila Sridhar Maharaj] I think you remember the
    incident when you went to Allahabad? On that auspicious occasion,
    we were connected There is a long story, it will take time, but I had
    the opportunity of associating with Sridhar Maharaj for several years.
    Krishna and Prabhupad liked him to prepare me."

    "Sridhar Maharaj lived in my house for many years, so naturally, we
    had very intimate talks and he was my good advisor. I took his
    advices, instructions, very seriously because from the very beginning I
    know that he is a pure Vaishnava, a pure devotee, and I wanted to
    associate with him and tried to help him also. Our relationship is very
    intimate."

    Herein, we find the history of a transcendental relationship between
    these two pure devotees of the Lord. Addressing Srila Sridhar Maharaj
    as "His Divine Grace" and Om Vishnupad -- forms of address for
    one regarded as a spiritual master -- Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami
    Maharaj has transcended the norms of social etiquette and superficial
    formality. Intimately associating together for a concentrated period of
    over five years, often for five to seven hours daily, Srila
    Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj considered that "Krishna and
    Prabhupad liked him to prepare me" for his future expansive
    missionary activities in the Western world. While remembering their
    intimate talks, specifically in regard to Bhagavad-gita, Srila Sridhar
    Maharaj recalls the depth in penetration of their discussions. "Once
    while discussing the verse dadami buddhiyogam tam yena mam
    upayanti te ["I give them the understanding by which they can come
    to Me" Bhagavad Gita 10.10] I submitted to him that here, upayanti is
    indicative of parakiya rasa [paramour relationship] On this point he
    agreed with me, saying, 'Yes, at this point there cannot be anything
    but the parakiya rasa of Vraja. The conclusion of Bhagavad-gita must
    come to this."

    Recognizing Srila Sridhar Maharaj as "a pure Vaishnava, a pure
    devotee" since the beginning of their relationship, Srila Bhaktivedanta
    Swami Maharaj most highly valued his instructions and advice. He
    would often consult with him regarding the spiritual significance of.his failing business and family relationships.

    An example of how Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj tried to help
    Srila Sridhar Maharaj in his preaching work is seen in his appreciating
    Srila Sridhar Maharaj's uncanny ability for extracting the essence of
    the scriptures. He helped to finance the publication of Srila Sridhar
    Maharaj's original Sanskrit-Bengali work entitled Prapanna-jivanamrta:
    The Nectar of Surrender. The book, as well as containing
    original Sanskrit verses composed by Srila Sridhar Maharaj, is a
    compilation of verses from various Vaishnava scriptures such as
    Srimad-Bhagavatam, and includes excerpts from the works of Rupa
    Goswami. It is divided according to the six divisions of surrender.
    Constantly associating, whether in Allahabad, Calcutta, or other parts
    of India, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj and Srila Sridhar
    Maharaj's relationship continually developed. Srila Bhaktivedanta
    Swami Maharaj continues to recall their meeting:

    "In my householder life I had opened an office in Bombay for our
    business. The Bombay Gaudiya Math was established by Sridhar
    Maharaj and myself. We made two parties for begging, collecting
    alms. Sridhar Maharaj, myself, and Bhakti Saranga Goswami
    Maharaj. So, I took them to my chemist friends and I collected about
    five hundred rupees. Sridhar Maharaj would speak, I would introduce,
    and Goswami Maharaj would canvass."

    In the Srila Prabhupad-lilamrta, Satsvarup Das Goswami writes:
    "Abhay would often accompany Sridhar Maharaj and his assistants at
    preaching programs, where he would play the mrdanga. And when
    Sridhar Maharaj fell ill, Abhay led the other devotees on preaching
    engagements, performing kirtan, playing mrdanga, and giving lectures
    on the Bhagavatam."

    While still in Bombay, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj and
    Sridhar Maharaj were the receiving party for a Gaudiya Math sannyas
    upon his return from Europe. Although dismayed by his changed
    appearance which was missing the tridanda of a Gaudiya sannyasi,
    the sikha of a Vaishnava, as well as the traditional robes, they still.eagerly inquired in regard to the preaching field in the West. The
    sannyasi remarked, "They ask questions that cannot be answered."
    Concerned, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj inquired further as to
    the nature of those questions. One after another Srila Sridhar Maharaj
    answered them all. At last, the sannyasi was left dumbfounded and
    Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami boldly declared, "Today, Europe has been
    defeated by Asia!"

    During the lifetime of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad,
    Srila Sridhar Maharaj once composed a poem describing the
    ontological positions of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and the line of
    disciplic succession stemming from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Srila
    Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad was so pleased with the poem's
    ontological depth and its happy style that he remarked: "Bhaktivinoda
    Thakur has written this through him. Now I am satisfied that although
    I may go, at least one man remains behind who can represent my
    conclusions." In further appreciation of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's
    writings, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad informed the
    editors of the Gaudiya Math's periodicals, "If you include articles
    written by Sridhar Maharaj, the quality of your publications will be
    greatly improved."

    After the disappearance of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati
    Prabhupad, the Gaudiya Math gradually diverged. With full
    knowledge of the events surrounding the disintegration of the Gaudiya
    Math, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami told his disciples in the same 1973
    conversation, "Our relationship is very intimate. After the breakdown
    of the Gaudiya Math, I wanted to organize another organization,
    making Sridhar Maharaj the head."

    Reciprocating the appreciation, Srila Sridhar Maharaj advised the
    leaders of the Gaudiya Sangha to confer the title "Bhaktivedanta"
    upon the then Abhay Charan. Later, his sannyas-guru, Sripad Bhakti
    Prajnana Kesava Maharaj, one of the senior-most disciples of Srila
    Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, and the first sannyas-disciple of
    Srila Sridhar Maharaj, gave sannyas to Abhay Charan, retaining the
    title "Bhaktivedanta," and conferring the sannyas name "Swami.".Additionally, when Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj returned to
    India in October of 1967, after his successful preaching initiative in
    America, he stayed with Srila Sridhar Maharaj in Nabadwip, and
    observed his Vyasa Puja celebration. At that time, Srila Bhaktivedanta
    Swami Maharaj wrote a letter to a disciple saying, "Yesterday, we
    have all come to Nabadwip Dham. This place is an establishment of
    one of my Godbrothers. It is a very nice and extensive place, and my
    Godbrother B.R. Sridhar Maharaj has spared one entire house for our
    stay. He has also agreed to cooperate with our society. We shall
    observe his birthday celebration, and the brahmacaris shall learn how
    to celebrate the spiritual master's birthday." Shortly afterwards, Srila
    Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj asked Srila Sridhar Maharaj to be the
    president of his newly formed society - the International Society for
    Krishna Consciousness.

    During the Vyasa Puja celebration, one of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami
    Maharaj's disciples saw Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj and Srila
    Sridhar Maharaj fully absorbed in a deep discussion in Bengali. The
    disciple inquired from Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj what was
    the nature of their talk, and he replied, "If I were to tell you, you
    would faint. Sridhar Maharaj has very high realizations."
    That Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj continually regarded Sridhar
    Maharaj as his advisor throughout his life is clear in the following
    letter written by him to one of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's disciples, Sripad
    Govinda Maharaj. Concerned about his failing health, he had written
    Sridhar Maharaj asking whether he should continue living in the
    United States or return to India to live his last days in Vrindavan.
    After receiving Srila Sridhar Maharaj's reply, he wrote: "What Sripad
    Sridhar Maharaj has directed, I take it on my head. He is my always
    well-wisher. After the departure of Prabhupad it is appropriate that I
    should accept his direction. I got direction from him that I shall live in
    this country forever."

    Sometimes it is said that one's preaching contribution can be judged
    according to the number of temples established, devotees converted,
    and books published and distributed. Srila Sridhar Maharaj travelled
    and preached extensively all over India, personally accompanying.Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur for many years. Nearly fifty years
    ago, he established the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math on the banks of
    the Ganges in Nabadwip Dham, which is now a thriving institution.
    His followers have established temples in major cities throughout the
    world. His Sanskrit and Bengali writings have been appreciated by
    both scholars and devotees for their originality, depth of realization,
    and happy poetic style. Published and widely distributed throughout
    the world, they are now available in English , Spanish, Hindi,
    Portuguese, German, French, and are being translated into other
    languages.

    Throughout his life, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj always
    maintained the highest respect and confidence in Srila Sridhar
    Maharaj. He considered that whenever it was not possible for his
    disciples to proceed directly under his guidance, that they should take
    direction from Srila Sridhar Maharaj. He once wrote in a letter to one
    of his students: "Because you are my disciple, and I think, a sincere
    soul, it is my duty to refer you to someone who is competent to act as
    a siksha-guru. For spiritual advancement of life, we must go to
    someone who is actually practicing spiritual life. So, if you are
    actually serious to take instructions from a siksha-guru, I can refer you
    to the one who is the most highly competent of all my godbrothers.
    This is B.R. Sridhar Maharaj, whom I consider to be even my siksha-guru,
    so what to speak of the benefit that you can have by his
    association. So, if you are serious about the advancement of your
    spiritual life, I will advise you to go to Sridhar Maharaj. It will be very
    good for your spiritual benefit, and I will feel that you are safe. When
    I was in India with the others, we lived with Sridhar Maharaj. You can
    also make arrangements for your other Godbrothers to go there in the
    future. So, live peacefully with Sridhar Maharaj, and thereby you will
    be spiritually enlightened."

    In this passage, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj describes Srila
    Sridhar Maharaj as "the most competent of all my Godbrothers,"
    "someone competent to act as siksha-guru," and in an astounding
    statement, he declares, "I consider Sridhar Maharaj to be my Siksha
    Guru, so what to speak of the benefit that you can have from his
    association"!.What Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj means by siksha-guru is
    best explained in his own words. In his purports to the Adi-lila of
    Chaitanya caritamrta, he states: "One should know the instructing
    spiritual master to be the Personality of Krishna. Krishnadas Kaviraj
    Goswami states that there are two kinds of instructing spiritual
    masters. One is the liberated person fully absorbed in meditation in
    devotional service and the other is he who invokes the disciple's
    spiritual consciousness by means of relevant instructions. There is no
    difference between the shelter-giving Supreme Lord and the initiating
    and instructing spiritual masters. If one foolishly discriminates
    between them, he commits an offense in the discharge of devotional
    service." (Chaitanya-caritamrta - Adi-lila 1.47)

    Although it may be said that Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj
    encouraged his godbrothers in general, no one anywhere can produce
    a similar statement of endorsement. The fact is that Srila
    Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj possessed the highest respect and
    appreciation for Sridhar Maharaj, and Srila Sridhar Maharaj is
    unparalleled in his understanding and admiration of Srila
    Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, as evinced in the following eulogy:
    "So our Swami Maharaj has done a miracle! Thakur Bhaktivinoda
    conceived and Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur began to translate
    this conception into action. And we find that through Swami Maharaj,
    in his last days, it has been fulfilled to such a great extent. We are
    happy, we are glad, we are proud!"

    In response to this, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj with great
    humility, his voice choked with emotion, tearfully replied, "So, by
    guru and Vaishnava, whatever position I have got it is by guru's
    mercy and the blessings of the Vaishnavas. Otherwise, how I may
    have? So, I wish that Sridhar Maharaj may bestow his blessings as he
    was doing always, and may guru maharaj help me so I can do some
    service. By his grace it has become successful. I have no credit. I do
    not know how things are happening, because I am not at all qualified:
    chadiya vaisnava seva, nistara payeche keba. [Without serving an
    ideal Vaishnava, who can be delivered from the clutches of maya?]".And after the disappearance of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj,

    Srila Sridhar Maharaj declared: "I consider him to be saktyavesa
    avatara, and it is confirmed in his writings on his spiritual journey
    through the Atlantic. How he landed there in America, and the nature
    of his beginning the movement, his intense degree of dedication to
    Krishna and dependence, and how much he made himself empty of
    any other desire than the order of his gurudev - quite empty that
    Krishna came down to help him, and it is corroborated that Krishna
    worked on his behalf. In his poem, Prayer to the Lotus Feet of
    Krishna, we find him pleading with Krishna, "My dear Brother, Your
    good fortune will come to You only when Srimati Radharani be
    comes pleased with You." Seeing his gurudeva Srila Bhakti Siddhanta
    Saraswati as Radharani's delegation and his order as Her divine
    service, he humbly submitted that he did not feel himself worthy or fit
    to discharge the divine service, so he enlisted Krishna in the service of
    his guru. He had completely dedicated himself to the purpose, he was
    so earnest in his prayer to Krishna that he may discharge the duty that
    he has been given by his guru maharaj, that divine force, power, came
    down to help him. Otherwise, it is impossible. It is not a thing of the
    ordinary level that anyone will do, but the highest thing has been
    taken down to the lowest position so extensively. It cannot but be the
    divine power, embodied and in a great intensity and magnitude! So,
    saktyavesa-avatara, I cannot but take him to be so."

    With such appreciation, there should be little doubt why Srila
    Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj had implicit faith in Srila Sridhar
    Maharaj. He had even heard directly from Srila Bhakti Siddhanta
    Saraswati Prabhupad of the exceptional qualifications of Srila Sridhar
    Maharaj. In their last known recorded meeting in 1977, just prior to
    Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami's leaving this mortal world, we find him
    imploring Srila Sridhar Maharaj to take up residence at his temple in
    Sridham Mayapur.





    ________________
    The conversation that ensues is a transcript of their taped
    conversation of March 1977.
    _______________



    _
    ___
    Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami : I do not know for how long I will be.able to carry on. So, I came to see Sridhar Maharaj.

    Devotee: If you all go away, then the world will become dark.

    Srila Sridhar Maharaj: [to Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami] It is so
    wonderful that the will of the Lord becomes manifest through
    someone.

    Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami : I want very much, Maharaj, that you
    come and stay at Mayapur. Because Prabhupad always desired that
    you preach. He told me quite a few times, "Why don't you pull him
    out?" [They both laugh.] You know, I also tried to some extent before,
    but somehow or other it did not work out. Now, why don't you come
    and stay at Mayapur? Srila Prabhupad told me also, "Sridhar Maharaj
    is one of the finest preachers." I want to take you everywhere. At least
    at the place we have in Mayapur, people are coming from all over the
    world. Why don't you come and stay there? If you just agree, then
    whatever kind of building you want, I will arrange it for you. They are
    trying to build a house for me. So both of us will stay there. And
    whenever you want, you can come here to your Math.

    Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Yes, as long as I am alive to fulfill
    Prabhupad's desire.

    Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami : This is my earnest desire. Since you
    could not go around the world and preach, at least stay there and
    people will come to you. I shall make that arrangement. If you stay,
    then it will be helpful to me also. Sometimes I need to consult with
    someone but there is no one. There is no one that I can consult. I feel
    this deficiency very greatly.

    Devotee: If he stays in Mayapur, then, all kinds of people will get to
    hear from him.

    Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami : Yes, that's right.

    Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Yes, people from all kinds of cultural
    backgrounds will come there..

    Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami : Yes, and they are already coming. And in
    that house I will make arrangements for an elevator so that you
    won't have to go through the difficulty of walking up and down the
    stairs. You won't even have to move a step yourself. I'll make
    arrangements for a car and a lift. My disciples are telling me that they
    will build a house for me. So, both of us will stay in that house. Most
    of the time I am travelling around, so if you are there, then they can
    get some guidance. So, Maharaj, please, give me the order and I will
    make all the arrangements for you. That Planetarium [The "Temple of
    Understanding"] also will be built under your direction. My idea is to
    combine the Indian culture and the American money - the lame man
    and the blind man policy. I tell them also that this will be very
    beneficial for the world.

    Here, in their final meeting, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj
    prophetically refers to his imminent disappearance and reveals that it
    is in this connection that he has come to see Sridhar Maharaj. In
    friendly jesting, they discuss Srila Sridhar Maharaj's reticence
    regarding large-scale preaching work. Of himself, Srila Sridhar
    Maharaj has remarked, "I did not want to become a big person. That is
    not my nature. I did not want to move around with many people. I am
    just satisfied with whatever I have. My spiritual thinking is my life.
    The conclusions of the scriptures, the advices of the mahajanas, to
    relish them and practice them and to discuss them in a small
    confidential circle, that is the main goal of my life." In the Ninth
    Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj,
    quoting Dhruva Maharaj, writes: "'My dear Lord, I am fully satisfied
    with whatever you have given me. I have nothing else to ask from
    You, for I am fully satisfied to be engaged in Your service.' This is the
    mentality of a pure devotee who does not want anything material or
    spiritual from the Personality of Godhead. Our Krishna Consciousness
    Movement is therefore called krsna- bhavanamrta-sangha, the
    association of persons who are simply interested in thoughts of
    Krishna."

    Bhaktivedanta Swami testifies to his having personally heard Bhakti
    Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad mark the high qualifications of Srila.Sridhar Maharaj, whom he had once requested to go to the West. In
    this regard, Srila Sridhar Maharaj once remarked, "My guru maharaj
    wanted me to go to the West for preaching, but I don't consider myself
    a fit person to preach in the West. Because, you see, I can't follow
    your intonation. So, [laughing] I must listen clearly, then I shall tell.
    So, in this way, I told that if you order, I must go, but I don't think that
    I am fit to preach in the West. Anyhow, it was stopped, and Goswami
    Maharaj was sent to the West." When Srila Sridhar Maharaj had been
    selected, one of his godbrothers came to him and revealed the reason
    why Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad had chosen him to preach
    in the West. This godbrother explained, "Do you know why
    Prabhupad wanted you to be sent to the West? He said, 'Because he
    can't be converted.'"

    And just twenty-four hours before his departure from this mortal
    world, Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad called for his beloved
    disciple Srila Sridhar Maharaj, and asked him to sing the song of
    Narottama Das Thakur: Sri-rupa-manjari-pada [the lotus feet of Rupa
    Manjari are my treasure]. Srila Sridhar Maharaj recalls: "So I did,
    hesitatingly. My nature is always hesitating, pushing back. Then,
    Kunja Babu asked me to stop. I was not a good singer, so as soon as
    he suggested, I stopped. Then, Kunja Babu asked Puri Maharaj of
    Kalna, 'You sing.' So he began. Then, Srila Prabhupad was a little
    disturbed. 'I don't like to hear the sweet tune of the song,' he said.
    Then, he stopped, and I had to begin again with sri rupa manjari
    pada, sei mora sampada. He wanted me to sing that song. That is the
    fulfillment of life of everyone of us, to be rupanuga - followers of Sri
    Rupa."


    Senior godbrothers who witnessed this exchange have described it as a
    "mystic transmission" in which Srila Sridhar Maharaj was given
    admittance into the eternal entourage of Sri Rupa Manjari. Srila
    Sridhar Maharaj's humble vision, however, is that he was posted as the
    gatekeeper, the guardian of devotion (bhakti-rakshak), to protect the
    storehouse of conclusive truths about the full-fledged theistic
    conception of Sri Krishna, as given by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
    Further expressing his appreciation for Srila Sridhar Maharaj's "high.realizations" in Krishna consciousness, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami
    Maharaj says: "I want to take you everywhere. At least at the place we
    have in Mayapur, people are coming from all over the world. Why
    don't you stay there?" Sometimes it is wondered why Srila Sridhar
    Maharaj apparently did not take up Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami's offer.
    Srila Sridhar Maharaj explains: "I said, 'Of course I shall try to help
    you. Sometimes I shall go and stay there with you.' But I really did not
    think at the time that I shall survive him."

    Finally, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj refers to "that
    planetarium." Srila Sridhar Maharaj is very fond of Sanatan
    Goswami's most famous work, the Brhad-bhagavatamrtam, in which
    devotees, devotional service, and Krishna are described very
    scientifically. On the basis of this transcendental literature, Srila
    Sridhar Maharaj had contemplated an elaborate preaching exhibition,
    showing graphically, with the use of dioramas depicting the varieties
    of material and spiritual planetary systems, how the ultimate spiritual
    destination is Krishna's own abode, Goloka Vrindavan. Due to
    insufficient funds, Srila Sridhar Maharaj humbly submitted his idea to
    Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, who approved, saying, "It will be
    built under your direction."

    And just prior to his departure from this mortal world, Srila Bhakti-vedanta
    Swami Maharaj advised his senior disciples that in his
    absence, when the necessity arose to consult higher authority, that
    they should consult Srila Sridhar Maharaj. In conclusion, we humbly
    submit that the transcendental relationship between Srila
    Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj and Srila Sridhar Maharaj be viewed
    and respected in terms of their eternal spiritual positions, and long-standing
    appreciation and affection for one another.

    Since the departure of His Divine Grace A.C. Srila Bhaktivedanta
    Swami Prabhupad, the "Guardian of Devotion," His Divine Grace
    Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaj, has repeatedly
    protected the teachings of the disciplic succession from perversion and
    misrepresentation as he has done for more than half a century, and has
    come to be recognized as a jagad-guru, or world-acharya.
    ______
  • May 2004
    Hare Krsna Prabhupada dasa.

    Obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    Excellent site, prabhu!! All glories to your wonderful service.

    I was happy to see your response the Krushna's question and also happy to see the link for the biography. Thank you!

    It is a very nice clear answer which will not lead to confusion.

    your servant,
    Rukmini-Devi dasi
  • May 2004
    Dear Krushna prabhu;

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Hare Krsna

    Please visit my website to see some beautiful pictures of our dear Srila Prabhupada.

    Srila Prabhupada ki jaya

    Included on my site is a brief biography of Srila Prabhupada and my 2003 Vyasa-puja offering to Srila Prabhupada.

    yours in service of Srila Prabhupada,
    Rukmini-Devi dasi