Srila Bhaktivinod writes in his autobiography that in a dream Mahaprabhu appeared and directed him to take diksa from Srila Vipin Vihari Gosvami. Srila Bhaktivinod describes his Guru as "the manifestation of the potency of Hari"!
vipina-vihari prabhu mama prabhu-vara sri vamshivadanananda-vamsha-shashadhara
"Vipina Vihari Prabhu, my exalted Master, is like a brilliant moon in Sri Vamshivadanananda´s family line." (from Bhagavat-arka-marichi-mala)
vipina-vihari hari tara shakti avatari vipina-vihari prabhu-vara sri-guru-gosvami-rupe dekhi more bhava-kupe uddharilo apana kinkara
"Vipina Vihari, my exalted Master is the manifestation of the potency of Hari, Who plays in Vraja´s forests. Seeing me in the dark hole of mundane existence, he appeared in the form a Guru Gosvami, to save this servant of his." (the commentary on Caitanya-caritamrita)
Further Dreams of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur - his being told to find
and establish the Birth place of Mahaprabhu:
Srila Prabhupada was neither enamoured by western education nor ambitious for scholastic achievement. He was always thinking about something religious, something philosophical or devotional about God. - Rupendranath Mitra (school friend) The Editors (08-02-01)
Philosophical as a Youth
Srila Prabhupada's father believed that with a good education his son
would have a more promising career, thus in 1916 he arranged for him to
attend Scottish Churches' College, then the top British college in Calcutta.
Srila Prabhupada was neither enamoured by western education nor ambitious for scholastic achievement. "He was always thinking about something religious, something philosophical or devotional about God." - Rupendranath Mitra (school friend)
However, Srila Prabhupada was a good student and took part in college activities. His college senior was Subhash Chandra Bose, who later became the famous freedom fighter.
Politically conscious as a young man
The college was strict in forbidding antigovernment propaganda. But the students were sympathetic to the cause of home rule. The leaders of the svaraj movement held that the glory of India's sanatana dharma, could not shine forth for the world's benefit until India become free from the burden of the British rule which blashphemed and castigated the teaching of the Vedic scriptures and those who followed them.
Like most of his contemporaries, Srila Prabhupada supported svaraj. When he passed his final examinations, he supported Gandhi's call to boycott all things British and refused his degree from the British college. In due course of time he took to wearing the khadi cloth of the Indian Nationalist party.
One night during his college days, his Deities appeared to him in a dream, 'Why have you put Me away in this box? You should take Me out and worship Me again". Srila Prabhupada did so, despite his college assignments.
He Approached His Spiritual Master...
A college friend of Srila Prabhupada called Naren Mullick took him to hear a scholarly and reputed devotee of Lord Krishna, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati. Although somewhat skeptical of "holy men" in general, Srila Prabhupada was very impressed by this saintly person's lecture. He felt obliged to challenge him in the light of Indian nationalism.
"Who will hear your Chaitanya's message? We are a dependent county. First India must become independent How can we spread Indian culture if we are under British rule?"
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta countered: "Krishna consciousness doesn't have to wait for a change in Indian politics, nor is it dependent on who rules India. Moreover, Krishna consciousness is so important - so exclusively important - that it can't wait"
Srila Prabhupada's Great Destiny was Foreseen by his Spiritual Master
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur made a prophetic request to Srila Prabhupada at their very first meeting in 1922:
"Why don't you preach Krishna consciousness throughout the whole world?"
And in 1936, just two months before leaving this world, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, by now Srila Prabhupada's spiritual master, again requested in a letter:
"I am fully confident that you can explain in English our thoughts and
arguments to the people who are not conversant in the language (Bengali
and Hindi) I have every hope that you will turn yourself into a very good
Concerning Srila Prabhupada's taking sannyasa, he credits his own spiritual
master, first in writing and then in dreams, as the motivating force. And
He credits Srila Kesava Maharaja with confirming that instruction and encouraging
Srila Prabhupada to follow it. In October 1968, on the occasion of Srila
Kesava Maharaja's disappearance, Srila Prabhupada spoke on this topic in
Seattle. In that lecture he begins by describing how Srila Kesava Maharaja
urged him to take sannyasa. Then Srila Prabhupada emotionally describes
how actually his guru (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati) acted through Srila
In 1965 the way was finally cleared for Srila Prabhupada to embark on his historic journey to the West. He was given free passage aboard the cargo ship Jaladuta, and in August 1965 he left India with only a few dollars, and his books and headed for America.
The forty-day journey proved arduous. A few days out to sea the ship passed through heavy storms, and Srila Prabhupada suffered two heart attacks on successive nights. During the third night Lord Krishna appeared to him in a dream and urged him on assuring him of all protection.
In 1971, land was obtained in Sri Mayapur for constructing the world
headquarters of ISKCON's international preaching centre and Srila Prabhupada
assigned him to develop the project as his life's mission. "I have given
you the kingdom of God, now you develop it", Srila Prabhupada told him.
He recognised the deities of Sri Sri Radha Madhava, the presiding Deities
of Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir from a dream he had had years ago while
preaching in the West.
On Friday, December 16, as I stood in the altar room with Prabhupada and a few other devotees, I had an unusual feeling. It seemed that I had known him always, yet simultaneously it seemed like we had just met. Although I had only known him for eight weeks, somehow, practically every time I spoke with him felt like a first-time meeting.
Prabhupada began describing a dream he had the previous night. In the dream all his disciples were in Tompkins Square Park, surrounded by thousands of people who were chanting and dancing to the Hare Krsna mantra. He asked me to recreate this dream in a painting.
Of course I agreed, happy that he was being so personal with me, and happy to have any connection with him. I did not even consider how I would begin such an epic painting. The next day, before I had time to figure it out, Prabhupada's dream turned into reality. The managers of Tompkins Square Park had a festival planned for Sunday, and they wanted the devotees to chant on the stage.
Prabhupada asked me to forego painting his dream, and paint instead a large Hare Krsna mantra sign that we could carry on stage with us. I immediately went to the art store on 8th Street, this time purchasing a six-foot by three-foot piece of glossy oak tag.
As was usual for Sunday mornings, the altar room was crowded. Although on weekdays one or two devotees did the cooking for everyone in the tiny but well-equipped kitchen in Prabhupada's apartment, on Sundays, almost all the devotees became cooks in order to prepare prasadam for seventy to one hundred guests. Now Brahmananda, Satsvarupa, Kirtanananda, Hayagriva, Gargamuni, Acyutananda, Rupanuga and others were there- cutting vegetables, rolling samosas, mixing salads and making sweetballs.
I was also there, sprawled across the parquet floor as I painted the mantra on the oak tag sign. I couldn't figure out how to reach the top section of this huge sign without lying over the holy names. Although I tried just stretching my arms, they would not reach. The only way seemed to be if I stretched practically my whole body over the words. I felt slightly uncomfortable, as though I was doing something wrong.
I remembered my recent reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam: "The name Krsna and the Personality of Godhead Krsna are identical. There is no difference in the absolute realm between the name, form or person of the Absolute Truth because in the absolute realm everything is transcendental bliss. His name, fame, form and pastimes are all one and the same transcendental identity, and they are not knowable by the exercise of the material senses."
I felt uncomfortable, but I had no solution and so I continued.
Absorbed in my work, I didn't notice when Prabhupada came in to inspect the progress of our various services. Seeing his feet, I stopped my painting and looked up at him. From my position on the ground he looked like an ancient, and yet soft, Indian sculpture. "O Swamiji, I didn't see you," I said. "Am I being offensive to the sign by doing this?"
Prabhupada smiled. "Once," he said, "Krsna had a headache. He asked His servant, Narada Muni, to get dust from the feet of any of His devotees. He said that only such dust could cure Him.
"Narada went everywhere, but no one cooperated. They all asked, 'How can we put the dust of our feet on Krsna's head? We will go to hell for such an offense!'
"Finally he went to Vrndavana where the gopis live. Since they are Krsna's most surrendered devotees, they all agreed to help." Prabhupada dramatized the scene using his own hands, feet and facial expressions to show the gopis taking dust from their feet and offering it to Narada.
"Narada asked, 'Do you not fear going to hell for such an offense?'
"So they replied, 'Never mind. We shall go to hell, but let Krsna be cured.'
"This is the kind of selfless devotion that Lord Caitanya has come to teach. This is love. For loving service, you can take all risks."
I smiled, and now with authorization, continued to lean over the mantra.
one of the dear disciples of Srila Prabhupada BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI.,
Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj had a vision in a dream. His Guru
appeared and said: "Nobody is taking care of my Imli Tala."
Awoken from this dream, Goswami Maharaj went to Vrindavan and made all the necessary arrangements to get the service of the Imli Tala. After approaching the Goswamis of the Radha Madan Mohan trust again with great humility, the Imli Tala was transferred to the Gaudiya Sangha, one of the many branches of the Chaitanya tree, rising from the horizon of the Gaudiya math.
This Imli Tala Desire Tree has been a place of pilgrimage for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Great devotees like Krishna das Babaji Maharaj, the god brother of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada used to chant 24 hours here every ekadasi. Beautiful Slokas were compiled by my Sannyas Guru Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaj to glorify the Imli Tala, which were placed on the wall next to the deities. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami wrote his wonderful Srimad Bhagavatam commentaries around the corner in the Radha Damodar temple(12) and came very frequently to the Imli Tala.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is giving his mercy here. There is the first deity of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada and the
Samadhi of Srila Goswami Maharaj. The beautiful deities of Sri Sri Radha Krishna bless all pilgrims with their smiles. The famous Kalpa Vriksa tree is circled by all devotees and requested for success in their spiritual lives. Personally I have witnessed the power of the mercy of this tirtha. The unity of the divine couple is giving hope to the fallen souls. Taken over by the mercy of Srimati Radharani, Lord Krishna appears as the devotee incarnation to distribute the mercy of Bhakti and Sraddha, both characteristics of his beloved Radharani. From here the world of Kali Yuga takes a new turn, and all of us get the highest hope. Let us for ever glorify the magnanimity of this tirtha.
The Imli Tala temple can also be reached from the Parikrama path as you walk around Vrindavan. First, when you see the Yamuna to your left, on the right side you will see the Yugal Ghat and the VRINDAS Yamuna Kunja. Two buildings further is the entrance to the Imli Tala. and two temples of the Devananda Gaudiya Math are nearby.
Who wants to stay in this area for some deep prayer should contact Sripad Paramahamsa Maharaj at Vrinda Kunja, who is the coordinator of the Guest facility at Yamuna Kunja. Families can also stay at Vamsi Kunja. Bigger groups can stay at the Radha Mohan Munger temple.
Madhavendra Puri's Mood
by His Divine Grace Shrila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
March 19th, 2000
Tomorrow is Mahaprabhu's appearence day, and we are getting the association
of so many devotees. Eastern and Western devotees, they are
present here. Already the Nabadwip Dham Parikrama party has gone.
Friday was Madhavendra Puri's Disapearence Day. He is the origin of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Sampradaya actually. Krishna is the origin no doubt, but from Krishna to Bramha, to Narada, etcetra. In this way our preceptorial line is coming down to Madhavendra Puri. It started from Madhavendra Puri, in a very authentic way. There is some special merciful glance of Lord Krishna and Radharani we get through Madhavendra Puri. Also, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, like Krishna, has taken a Guru, Iswara Puri. Iswara Puri is a disciple of Madhavendra Puri. Madhavendra Puri has got so much mercy and inspiration and service to Lord Krishna. We can see his exemplary character.
Madhavendra Puri had a very renounced mentality. He would not ask food from anyone, yet food willingly came to him and he accepted it. You know that story, it happened when he was in Vrindavan doing Parikrama, Govardhan Parikrama actually. At that time he was seated in Govinda Khunda during the evening not asking for food from anyone. Krishna Himself took the form of a Cowherd Boy, a small Cowherd Boy. With milk, He came to Madhavendra Puri and chastized him, "Why are you not asking for food from others? You take this milk and drink it." Madhavendra Puri was surprised to see the beauty of this Boy and was very stunned by this Boy. Knowing that he did not ask for food or anything from others, Shri Krishna questioned that boy.
"Our village ladies came here for collecting the water and have seen you seated here, and they understand you are very hungry. They sent this milk. You take this milk. I shall come back. Now I have some duty milking the cows. I am going." Then Madhavendra Puri was very happy and took that milk. It was very sweet, like ecstasy. He drank that milk and waited for that Boy until midnight, but that Boy did not come. Then he fell asleep.
In a dream, he saw the Boy. The Boy told him, "I am Shri Gopal. My name is Shri Gopal. I am the master of this village. I am here. But in the middle my servant, he was very fearful of a mleccha. He feared the mleccha would come and attack. After hearing that, he put Me in a cave and ran away. For a long time I have waited in that cave. Now the cave is covered by so many plants and so many trees. No one can enter there, but I am living and waiting for you. You will serve Me. It is my expectation. Now you have come. I am very happy and I want you to take Me out of this cave and organize My service, my seva. Give your seva to Me. Good nourishment is what I need. For so long I have suffered from the winter, from the heat, from suffocation, many things."
After the dream Madhavendra Puri had seen the morning came and he went to the village and told that story. Having seen the face of Madhavendra Puri, the villagers were very happy. They took so many weapons for cutting trees and cutting the jungle. They went with Madhavendra Puri and took out Gopal. They saw that He was living in the cave and they were surprised and took Him away from the cave and put Him in Govardhan Hill, on the top of Govardhan Hill they put Gopal. After hearing the story everyone came from the villages and saw the Truth and they were very much inspired to serve Gopal. So many ingredients they collected from their houses, around that Govardhan, from so many villages. Everyone came with an ingredient, and they cooked there by the order of Mahavendra Puri. They made curd, milk, some sugar, honey, and in this way they made a big festival with it. Then they cleaned everything and the Vrajavasis cooked and they offered that bhoga to Gopal. Madhavendra Puri saw Gopal was very hungry and that Gopal was using both hands for eating that food. Also a few of the devotees saw it. Then Gopal became a little tired and went to sleep. Madhavendra Puri also went for sleeping.
In the next days, village to village, they were making festivals. Every day festivals were happening there. After a few days, Gopal told Madhavendra Puri, "Oh Madhavendra Puri, I was in the cave and My Body is still burning. You go and collect sandalwood and put it on my body and I shall feel some relief with the coolness, otherwise My Body will burn. Send no other man, you yourself must go." And by Gopal's order, Madhavendra Puri went to collect the sandalwood. When he came to the Ramuna, there was the manifestation of the Gopinath Deities. He saw the aratik and heard that Gopinath's special bhog was happening. He wanted to taste it, but he thought, "It is not good for me. I am a renounced man. In the name of Gopal I want to taste it, but it is my greed." And for that he did not ask for anything and he went to the market place, the village market place. Under the tree he was doing Japa, and night came. Everyday they made offerings to Gopal and it was so nice tasting. Madhavendra Puri wanted to taste sweet rice, and for that Gopal Himself hid it under His cloth. Everyday they were offering sweet rice but that day, by the illusion of Gopal, they could not understand that one was stollen by Gopinath. The Deities name is Gopinath. Then at midnight the pujari had a dream from Gopal, "Madhavendra Puri wants to taste My sweet rice prasadam and I stole it for him and it is under My cloth. You go to My room and collect that and give it to him for eating prasadam." The priest was very surprised and took that and went to the market place asking who is Madhavendra Puri, the one living here? Who is Madhavendra Puri? For him Gopinath stole the prasada sweet rice and it is with me and by Gopinath's order I want to give it to him. You take it, the one who is Madhavendra Puri. You take it.
Madhavendra Puri was surprised but he did not want to give his identification away. In another way he thought, "Oh Gopinath Himself stole it for me and I can not ignore it." Then he told, "I am Madhavendra Puri." The priest made dandavats and gave the sweet rice to Madhavendra Puri. He was very intoxicated to eat that, to get it. And he took that sweet rice and the clay pot the sweet rice was in and he took the pot in his cloth and made small pieces out of it and everyday he eat one part of that clay pot. That night Madhavendra Puri thought, "If people know I am Madhavendra Puri, and for me Gopal stole sweet rice, then too many crowds will be to see me." So in a hidden way he ran away from Ramuna to Puri. But when he got to Puri, he saw that everyone knew the story. He could not hide there. He went to a government man in Puri. The government man also heard the story. When the government man saw Madhavendra Puri he was surprised. The King also was surprised to hear that. Everyone gave Madhavendra Puri much honor and they arranged for collection of the sandlewood because it was under the Orissa government.
From there Madhavendra Puri collected that chandan and went back to the Ramuna. Via Ramuna he came to Vrindavan, but when he came back from the Ramuna again Gopal said in a dream, "You give this sandalwood to Gopinath and you arrange to put it over Gopinath's body, and I shall get it in Vrindavan. You do not think that I am lying. It is the truth. You give it to Gopinath. It is not necessary to bring it to Vrindavan."
Madhavendra Puri was surprised and arranged for two men everyday to grind that sandlewood and put it on Gopinath's body and Gopinath felt so happy. Also we see Madhavendra Puri did not come back from Vrindavan, up to the last day he was there by the order of Gopinath. He saw Gopinath, and Gopal as so merciful to him. Madhavendra Puri left his body there, his samadhi we have seen. Three or four times Krishna Himself gave darshan to him in a dream and when Madhavendra Puri offered bhog he saw Krishna eating by His both hands, that type of devotee. This story was written by Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami, and through that we understand what kind of Krishna Prema Mahaprabhu wanted to give to this world. That seed form existed within Madhavendra Puri and for that it is our feeling that our sampradaya actually started from Madhavendra Puri. What feelings we have seen regarding Union in Separation, we have only seen in Madhavendra Puri in an exalted way. It is so much we see within Radharani and Mahaprabhu Chaitanya Dev. Mahaprabhu Shri Chaitanya Dev is the non- different form of Radha-Krishna. Krishna has taken Radharani's heart and halo and become Mahaprabhu. This is truth.
Kaviraj Goswami said, "What Mahaprabhu tasted, that sloka came out from the lotus mouth of Radharani. Mahaprabhu is tasting that sloka. No fourth person has tasted that. Three persons have tasted it, but no fourth person in this mundane world. We will not see anyone who can taste this sloka properly." If we try to realize, under the guidance of some expert Guru, some feelings we will get. To understand the outward Sanskrit meaning is not difficult, but the inner meaning of this sloka, it is only by the grace of Madhavendra Puri and Mahaprabhu, and Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami Prabhu that we have access. Madhavendra Puri is the origin of the Union in Separation feelings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Those feelings we can see within Madhavendra Puri. My English is not clear and I cannot express it properly, but you are all qualified. You can correct my English, no problem.
The festival of Madhavendra Puri we have done with great honor, and today Nabadwip Dham Parikrama will be finished by this evening. Tomorrow Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Appearance Day will be celebrated. Here this year four times more devotees have come for Parikrama. We are so fortunate. We are feeling so fortunate that day by day the conception of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is increasing and spreading all over this world. By the grace of Srila Prabhupad, the grace of Srila Guru Maharaj, by the grace of Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu, everyone is getting this conception. In this age many things are bad we are seeing, but super-good and super-ecstatic property also we are getting in this age of Kali Yuga. At present we feel we are so fortunate. What more can I say.
Jaya Guru Maharaj.
March 19th, 2000
Transcribed by Rasa Priya Dasa Adhikari
Srila Prabhupada Appears In Dreams http://www.vnn.org/world/WD9812/WD21-2717.html
BY BARBARA POWELL
USA, Dec 21 (VNN) — Dear Vaisnava devotees, Hare Krsna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Have you ever dreamed about Srila Prabhupada? It can be a profound, deeply, meaningful occurrence. We are doing research for a book about Srila Prabhupada in devotees Dreams- common experiences, themes, etc. - and are collecting as many accounts as we can. If you have ever dreamed of Srila Prabhupada, please add your contribution to the study! Even if the dream was very brief or didn't seem that important pleas send it in.
Include a detailed description of the dream(s), what it (they) meant to you and, for analytical purposes, your age, gender, whether you're a direct disciple or grand-disciple and as much background information about yourself and your life in Krsna consciousness as you feel comfortable relaying. Your identity will be kept strictly confidential. We're very grateful for your participation!
Email us care of firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 105 Klamath, Pittsburgh,
CA 94565. Thank you.
Over the years since Srila Prabhupada left, we have had some very strong experiences of direct communication and continual guidance from him through dreams and mystical experience. Sometimes we are approached to recollect some of our memories of Srila Prabhupada when he was on this planet, and we all love to cherish and relish these beautiful memories.
However, as we become more and more aware of Srila Prabhupada´ s presence often we were thinking we wish somebody would compile some of the living experiences that we are having with Srila Prabhupada now.
We realized that if we are experiencing his transcendental association so many other devotees certainly must be having many experiences to share also. Srila Prabhupada is not limited to time and space.
Therefore we are now in the process of collecting experiences from anybody who has had some vivid experience with Srila Prabhupada since he left this planet.
We are compiling a book called "Srila Prabhupada Now!" and have already received contributions from H. H. Bhakti Caru Swami Maharaja, H. H. Jayadwaita Swami Maharaja, H. H. Bhakti Svarupa Damodara Maharaja and many other devotees from around the world.
If you have had such experiences we will be very grateful if you could write them down and send them to the following address: james@krishna. co. uk or by mail to: Brajisma and Draupadi, Calle Calamon 27, 29140, Churriana, Malaga, Spain.
Thank you very much and Jaya Srila Prabhupada!
Draupadi and Brajisma.
© CHAKRA 8-July-2001
The Soul's Secret Journey
Excerpts from the writings of
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Dreams and Past Lives
In dreams we sometimes see things that we have never experienced in the present body. Sometimes in dreams we think that we are flying in the sky, although we have no experience of flying. This means that once in a previous life, either as a demigod or astronaut, we flew in the sky. The impression is there in the stockpile of the mind, and it suddenly expresses itself. It is like fermentation taking place in the depths of water, which sometimes manifests itself in bubbles on the water's surface. Sometimes we dream of coming to a place we have never known or experienced in this lifetime, but this is proof that in a past life we experienced this. The impression is kept within the mind and sometimes becomes manifest either in dream or in thought. The conclusion is that the mind is the storehouse of various thoughts and experiences undergone during our past lives. Thus there is a chain of continuation from one life to another, from previous lives to this life, and from this life to future lives.
Srimad Bhagavatam (4.29.64)
H.G. Gaura Mandala Bhumi Dasa ACBSP 1973: Srila Prabhupada spoke this
to me in a dream when I was in Secunderabad a few years ago, Srila Prabhupada
said, ''Are you ready to leave your body and come back to Godhead with
me RIGHT NOW?''
Pratyatosa Dasa ACBSP
Tamal Krishna Goswami
Before the operation began, they gave me an anesthetic and said, Count from ten, down. I got to about seven and that was it. I was meditating on Radha Rasabihari in the aratik and then I had a very good dream. In my dream Srila Prabhupada had been called by the previous acharyas to make a report on his preaching mission on this planet. The previous acharyas asked Prabhupada, What is your report? Prabhupada said that he had studied the people of this planet and he had found that they had no capacity for any type of austerity. Nor were they very capable of studying, nor were they very pious. He said the only thing that they were able to do was, somehow take shelter at my feet.
After the operation they wheeled me to my assigned room. Prabhupada was sitting there. He said, I came here as fast as I could. I wanted to stop the operation because I think you should have had this operation in America, but anyway it is done now. He had come all the way from Juhu in a jeep in the middle of the rush hour to try to stop the operation. I told Prabhupada about the dream. Prabhupada listened very intently and said, Actually, this is so.
For the complete "Memories" of HH Tamal Krishna Goswami (Tapes 10, 11,
16 & 29),
Om Visnupada Srila Bhakti Promode Puri
Founder President & Acharya Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Math
In the village of Ganganandapur, District Jessore (now Bangladesh), Tridandi Swami Srimad Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaja appeared as the son of Sri Tarinicharan Chakraborty and Srimati Ramrrangini Devi. Born October 8, 1897, during the auspicious hour of brahma-muhurta, he was called Sri Promode Bhusan Chakraborty.
Along with the study of Sanskrit, Promode Ahusan was engaged in worshipping family Deities of Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha. His reverent service mood was evident even as a young man. Once he forgot to cover the Lord with a blanket on a winter night. That night he shivered uncontrollably with chills and fever. The Lord appeared in his dream and showed him that he was without his blanket. The young Promode Bhusan woke up and only after he covered the Lord did the fever subside.
Promode Bhusan completed his education in jessore then went to Calcutta where he attended Bangabasi College, graduating with honors in Chemistry. In 1917, he met his Guru, Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur. From the first meeting, an eternal bond was made. Sri Promode Bhusan accepted Prabhupad in his heart as his eternal master.
His strong attachment to spiritual life brought him regularly to his Guru’s lectures at th Calcutta ashram of Sri Gaudiya Math. In 1923, on the holy occasion of Sri Krishna Janmastami, he surrendered at his Guru’s lotus feet and simultaneously took Harinama and Brahmin initiations. He became known as Sri Pranabananda Brahmacary- a fullfledged member of Sri Gaudiya Math.
Sri Pranabananda’s service attiitude was so exemplary that soon Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur established him as the editor of Gaudiya Math publications. Pranabananda Brahmacary synopsized Srila Saraswati Thakura’s lectures, elaborated on them, and with Prabhupad’s approval, they were published in various periodicals incluiding the only daily spiritual newspaper, Dainik Nadia Prakash. In recognition of his scholarship, Saraswati Thakur honored him with the title, Sri Pranabananda Brahmacary Mahopadeshak Pratna Vidyalankar.
Srila Puri Maharaja served in close association with is Guru for thirteen years. Srila Prabhupada requested that Sri Pranabananda Brahmacary accept Tridandi sannyasa. Humbly considering himself unfit, he declined.
At the time of Prabhupada’s aprakatalila, Sri Pranabananda Brahmacary
held his Guru’s lotus-feet to his chest so that they might remain
forever enthroned in his heart.
After Srila Prabhupad’s disappearance Sri Pranabananda Brahmacary Mahopadeshak Pratna Vidyalankar began extensive traveling and preaching.
In 1942 Srila Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur appeared in a dream and gave his divine order that Sri Pranabananda accept Tridandi sannyasa. Sannyasa initiation and the dada were given by his Godbrother Srila Bhakti Gourava Vaikhanasa Maharaja in Champahati Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhara temple.
For more than seven years, Tridandi Swami Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaja served as the head pujari and temple president of Sri Sri Yogapith, the birth place of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, discovered by Srila Bhakti Vinode Thakur. During that time, the Deities were internally urging him to take up scriptural research and deeper meditation.
He moved to a humble cottage on the banks of the Ganga in Kalna, living with his beloved Deities Sri Sri Radha Gopinath. During that time, the King of Burdwan (a district of West Bengal) was extremely impressed with his saintly character and on the appearance day of Sri Radhika, 1958, he offered his large temple to Srila Puri Maharaja. He engaged in service at that temple for several years.
Later, his Godbrother, Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhab Goswami Maharaja, requested that Gurumaharaja come to his Math to edit spiritual periodicals and books. Gurumaharaja entrusted the temple in Kalna to his younger brother and went to Calcutta to take up his new service. Additionaly , His Holiness Om Visnupada Tridandi Swami Sri Bhakti Dayita Goswami Maharaja requested that he take full charge of his monthly magazine, Sri Chaitanya Vani, as president of the editorial board. He also became editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine Sri Gaudiya published from Sri Chaitanya Math, Mayapur. At the age of 99, Srila Puri Maharaja continues to fulfill this role with great care and devotion.
Presently, Gurumaharaja is the senior most living disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Additionaly, he was the lifelong, intimate associate of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Dev Goswami Maharaja, who he considered the benign guardian of the celestial wealth of Srila Rupa Goswami.
Srila Puri Maharaja was well known as the best kirtana leader in the early days of Sri Gaudiya Math and often sang on radio programs. He is well known for his extensive knowledge and meticulous practice of deity worship and instalation. His service to Srila Sarasvati Thakur installing deities in new temples made him known as Pujapada.
In addtion to his high position and qualifications, many are attracted to Tridandi Swami B.P.Puri Goswami Maharaja’s divine personality. He emanates sweetness and love. He is seen as our well-wishing guide to the spiritual domain. The opening of the Gopinath Gaudiya Math, during the 1989 Gour Purnima Tithi, provided a doorway to that spiritual domain.
Our humble prayer is that we may always be situated at his holy lotus feet which are our only access to the predecessor Acaryas and their divine teachings. We pray that we may be engaged in the eternal service of Sri Guru and Gauranga and Sri Sri Radha Gopinath under the divine direction of Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaja.
His Divine Grace Om Visnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami Maharaj, one of the most favourate associate-disciples of His Divine Grace Om 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupad, is the tenth Acharya in the perceptional channel from Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the Founder-Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math. Registered Institution. His auspicious appearance occurred in the Village of Kanchanpara, Subdivision Madaripur, District Faridpur in East Bengal (now in Bangladesh) on Fraiday, November 18th--Utthan Ekadasi Tithi-- in the year of 1904 AD at 08.00 AM.
As the pastimes of awakening of All-Merciful, All-Good, All-Bliss Supreme Lord Sri Hari on Utthan Ekadasi Tithi (Utthan--awakening) is for the eternal good of all living beings of the world, the pastime of advant-awakening of His Personal Associate - His Absolute Counterpart Gurudev (Madhav Goswami Maharaj) on Utthan Ekadasi Tithi is also for the eternal benefit of all.
Param Pujyapad Most Revered Srimad Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj used to comment, "It is profoundly significant that the Advent Day of Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami Maharaj falls on the disappearance day of Srimad Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj on Utthan Ekadasi Tithi and His Disappearance Day falls on the disappearance day of Vaishnava Sarvabhouma Srimad Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj on Sukla Pratipad Tithi (the first lunar day of bright fortnight)."
The Holy Birth-place of Srimad Madhav Goswami Maharaj is situated at the bank of Padma River which is near to 'Premtoli' where Srila Narottama Thakur gor ecstatic feeling of Divine Love while bathing as per direction of Srimad Nityananda Prabhu in a dream. Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu kept Divine Love in the custody of Padmavati Devi (presiding Deity of Padma River) to offer it to Narottama Thakur when he could come there to take bath.
Revered Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami Maharaj was of a high caste Brahman family, His Grant Father, Sri Chandi Prasad Deva Sarma Bandyopadhyaya, was a well-reputed prominent person of Vikramapur, Dacca (Bangladesh). His father's name was Sri Nishikanta Dewa Sarma Bandyopadhyaya. His Mather's name was Srimati Saibalini Dewi. His mather was of highly dignified, sober temperament - a wise woman endowed with many good qualities and as such an object of reverence to all His father passed away in His childhood. His parents named Him Sri Heramba Bandyopadhyaya, His petname was Ganesh.
Extraordinary saintly qualities were manifested in Him from boyhood. He was adored by all and was a universally accepted leader in every sphere. He strictly observed ethical rules and celibacy-Brahmacarya and taught other to observe celibacy and moral rules. The guardians and teachers were astonished to hear from the boy, profound words of wisdom. He got by heart, the complete Gita, at the age of eleven years merely by hearing Gita from his Mather. He practiced severe penance by taking only boiled food once in a day in his home at Calcutta. At that time while he was invoking Sri Krishna for His Grace and was weeping severely in separation grief, He was blessed by seeing Sri Narad Goswami in dream and got mantra from Him. However, He could not remember the Mantra completely after waking from the dream. He becomes disappointed and, out of persistent solicitousness, left the house and went to the Himalayan mountains beyond Haridvar where He stayed at a stretch without food for three days continuously wailing and praying for the grace of Sri Krishna. At last, He heard the prophecy--a divine message directing Him - "Go back to your place, don't be disheartened, your Gurudev has appeared there, take absolute shelter to His Lotus Feet."
He then come down from the Himalayan mountains, remain for sometime at Haridwar and leter returned to Calcutta. He went to Sri Mayapur, the Holy Birth-place of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, with other friends and met His Gurudeva His Divine Grace Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupad at Sri Chaitanya Math in the year 1925 AD. He was attracted by seeing His Divine Spiritual Personality. He took absolute shelter at His lotus feet and tool initiation from Him at Sri Gaudiya Math, at 1, Ultadanga Junction Road, Calcutta on 1st November in 1927 AD. He joined Sri Gaudiya Math Institution immediately after taking initiation and His devout vow of celibacy in young age. He was regarded as one of the most favorite entourage of Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupad within a very short time by His devout devotion to Guru. His competence in rendering all kind of service, untiring enthusiasm and diligence to serve Vishnu and Vaishnavas. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupad seeing His undaunted spirit to contribute to the objective of the Institution by way of practicing and propagating the Gospel of Divine Love of LordChaitanya Mahaprabu, used to commend Him saying--"His energy is volcanic energy." Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupad never hesitated do sent Him to perform any important task or to send as advance party as He was confident and sure that the task at hand would be successfully completed in due course. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupad had so much confidence in Srimad Hayagriva Das Brahmacary (Madhav Goswami Maharaj) that He first selected Him to be sent to foregn countries for preaching and for which Passport and everything were ready. But Rajarshi Sri Sarandindu Narayan Ray, one important household devotee objected to this proposal saying that Sri Hayagriva Das Brahmacary was young and very beautiful. "There may be difficulty in sending such a beautiful young Brahmacary to foregn cointries, instead an old sanniyasi should be sent there." At this suggestion Param Pujyapad Srimad Bhakti Pradeep Tirtha Maharaj was sent. Srimad Hayagriva Das Brahmacary was resembling in appearance with His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupad so much so that many outside people wrongly thought Him to be the son of Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami.
Srimad Madhav Maharaj took Tridandi Sannyasi at the age of forty (40) from His God-brother His Divine Grace Srimad Bhakti Gourav Vaikhanas Maharaj (a sannyasi disciple of Srila Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta ) at Sri Tota-Gopinath Temple, Purusottam Dham on Gaura purnima in the year 1944 and He become renowned in Gaudiya Math as His Divine Grace Parivrajaka Acharya Tridandi Swami Srimad Bhakri Dayita Madhav Maharaj. As per direct direction of His Divine Grace Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupad, His Divine Grace Madhav Goswami Maharaj started His preaching in Assam and established three Maths at: (1) Tezpur. (2) Guwahati and (3) Goalpara. He was also managing the seva-puja of Sorbhog Sri Gaudiya Math (in Assam) founded by Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Thakur.
He founded Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math Institution in the year 1953 and
established many big preaching centers in various parts of India.
(Back To Godhead Magazine, July/August 1995)
Dear Sivarama Swami,
Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. I hope you don’t mind my writing to you. I have never written to a spiritual master before. You don’t know me. My name is Bhaktin Dora and I live in Pecs (Hungary). I’m 14 years old, and I live at home with my mother and older sister.
In 1992 I went to the hare Krishna Festival with a friend. I was not very interested, but I enjoyed the chanting and dancing at the end. After it was over I bought a book, The Science of Self-Realization. I don’t know why; generally I never read. I think it was because of the chanting.
I took the book home and cannot remember what happened to it. One day my mother found it and was very angry with me. She thought that I was reading this kind of thing. You see, our family members are very strict Catholics. They thought Krishna consciousness was some kind of "brainwashing". Actually I wasn’t reading the book; I had forgotten all about it. Somehow it just "appeared." Anyway, my mother was going to throw it away.
My grandmother, who is 68, was in the kitchen at that time. She lives in the apartment upstairs. She came in and took the book. She looked at it and scolded me in a very heavy way. I thought that would be the and of it. I did not mind so much, as I was in a lot of maya at that time.
About a week later I overheard a conversation between my mother and my grandmother. Granny was saying that this was not some ordinary book. She said that what Prabhupada was saying is what Jesus Christ said and that Krishna is God. I was very surprised. She said that we should listen to what Prabhupada said and chant hare Krishna because that was religion for this age. There was a lot of talk about how Christianity was no more and no one was following the Bible but what Prabhupada said was pure and perfect. Things really took a turn from here. One day my grandmother visited the nama-hatta (local Krishna center) here and began to chant on beads. She also began to buy Prabhupada’s books one buy one. She was spending all her pension buying what she called the "beautiful holy Bhagavatam". Sometimes she could only afford to eat potatoes, but she kept buying the books. The devotees even came to her flat and helped her set up an altar. When I went upstairs there were Krishna pictures everywhere.
That was really the beginning. One night Granny had a dream about Prabhupada. Something really happened to her then. I don’t know what it was, but she begun to get very enthusiastic. Next she begun to get the whole family involved. I mean, not just me and my mother and sister, but her two sons, their wives and six children, as well as her brothers, sisters, and relatives. Before she used to carry a Bible with her and quote Jesus Christ. Now she has a Bhagavad-gita and quotes "the good Lord Prabhupada". She became a veritable transcendental terror. Everyone in the family has to chant at least one round a day. In addition Granny made everyone become a vegetarian including my dog Sikra, and we offer our food to a picture of Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya.
Now I am also getting out of maya and chanting and reading a little also. Where I go to school my friends inquire about Krishna, since they know I am a devotee. The whole family goes to the nama-hatta, all sixteen of us. During the Christmas marathon (for book distribution), we all tried to distribute Prabhupada’s book. Even Granny would take books with her to the market and sell them to the vendors. Everyone is afraid of her because she is fearless. They all think she has gone crazy, but she doesn’t care.
Now she is saving to go to Budapest to see the newly installed Deities. She has heard that Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda "came" to Hungary and are being worshiped there by the devotees. She says she wants to see God just once in this life.
At this year’s Hare Krishna festival, you were speaking to the guests after the kirtana. You must remember my grandmother because she came and sat right beside you and asked so many questions. At the end when you stood to leave, she even kissed your hand, remember?
I also wanted to ask a question, but I was shy. Could I please ask you now? I hope you do not mind, Maharaja.
I want to know what kind of man Srila Prabhupada was. He must be so dear to Krishna to have spread this message all over the world. What are these books that changed my family so much. How is it possible that he can speak so powerfully through them? You must feel very fortunate to be his disciple. How great a man he is! Sometimes when my Granny chants in front of a picture of Krishna she cries. How does Prabhupada do that? I want to cry like that too. Granny dreams of Prabhupada and sometimes she talks to his picture. Although it says on the cover of the book that he passed away, is Prabhupada really dead, or is he still alive? Do you think I can meet him some day?
I am sorry that I have gone on so. I would like to be a good devotee one day and help you and Prabhupada spread Krishna consciousness. Please could you answer my questions?
Encouraging smile for Bhakta Edwin:
Randy's right-hand man, Edwin, reads whatever he can find about God.
For some reason Edwin was never drawn to reading Prabhupada's books, although
he respects him as a spiritual figure. He told Citta Hari the other day
that he always wondered why Prabhupada never smiled. Of course Citta Hari
replied that Prabhupada did smile, and that night Edwin had his own experience
of this. Prabhupda appeared to him in a dream. He smiled brightly at Edwin
and told him that the reason he was not captivated by him was because he
was supposed to be my student, pointing to me. When Edwin awoke and went
into the next room, he found an actual picture of Prabhupada smiling that
his wife had discovered and left out. Citta Hari gave him a copy of Joy
of Self to read.
My attachment for HDG SP is strongest than the attachment for GM. I
have lots of dreams with Him. Once i dreamt i was in Mayapur, it was the
beginning years when the constructon of of the Long Building was still
going on. We were inside an unfinished room and although i never met Acyutananda
and I wouldn't recognize him if he is standing next to me, he was in my
dream as a sannyasa, there was also GM but i could not see His face. I
had a tall, white body and was in karmi cloths with three girls, we were
just visitors. Then Srila Prabhupada distributed services to the devotees,
you do this you do that and so on. However, to me Srila Prabhupada did
not even notice and suddenly He said: You can was the pots. I bust into
tears and told Srila Prabhupada, You are very kind to notice me, i thought
You will never give me service. And Srila Prabhupada made the following
comment that provoke laughter among the present devotees. He said, "you
see, he is already is a devotee, he is crying for service"...
I told my GM that my attachment for SP is stronger then the attachment for Him. In the interview for my initiation He asked me why i was taking initiation from Him and i answered: because You remind me of Srila Prabhupada.
JTCds DREAMS of Srila Prabhupada:
…..setting the scene:
I had first met the devotees in 1968 on Oxford street, I was out in the West End with my parents and we heard this cheee cheee cheeee noise and singing. I turbed to my mother and said “oh look Buddhists”. I must have sounded excited, as her words stay with me today “Don’t you get any ideas !” My background was that I was born in one of those old English families associated with the British Raj; both grandfathers were in India, one for 10 years the other for 14 years, my paternal grandmother’s brother, my Uncle Alf was also there for 14 years and used to sit me on his knee and tell me all kinds of stories about elephant processions, temples, huge sacred rivers where thousands of people bathe, darbas and melas. These stories hung me over from Saturday to Saturday when the family would meet amid silk wall hangings, ivory, brass and rosewood furniture and Indian carpets brought back by my grandfather. So my mother was concerned…..
When the hippy scene hit London I became one and looked deeper into India and aspects of Indian life, even got an Indian girl-friend until her parents found out. At 17 we made a short trip to India, a venture of self discovery, but returned to England to live on a commune in Cornwall.
I had met the devotees at various rock concerts; Stonehenge, Reading, Gladstonebury and had taken a liking to prasadam, incense and hearing the stories surrounding the philosophy. However, I was attached to the notion that I needed my freedom to explore and so wasn’t strict about my personal habits.
In 1972-73 I’d been visiting Bury place temple in Holbourne, London and also the Elgin Avenue (squat) temple in Ladbrooke Grove – Nottinghill area. This is where I became more serious due to the influence of Jagajivan dasa and Girivaradhari dasa, and was enjoying tasting Krishna consciousness by licking the outside of the jar of honey. Jagjivan suggested that as I’d been coming to the temple for a couple of years that I go to our new temple that Beatle George Harrison had just donated. So I did, and worked with Rajashekhara dasa (in the garden) and Kulashekhara dasaa (in the kitchen). It was pretty austere and I was pretty spaced out still, so after a failed attempt at moving in full-time which only lasted about a month in 1973-74., during which Mukunda Goswami (then prabhu) had said to me if I stayed until Srila Prabhupada came for Rathayatra in London I'd be initiated and would get a regular service instead of "just washing pots". Unfortunately the prospect of another month in the pot-shed didn't make it easy for me to stay, so I moved out despite Kulashekhara prabhu's preaching to me to stay.
Setting the scene; I had been coming quite regularly to Sunday feasts, festivals at Bury Place - Janmasthami, Rath-yatras etc., got to see Srila Prabhupad dancing in the Rathyatra procession, and while maintaining job, regularly chanting my rounds, offering my food, giving donations etc., and getting inspired by Rohininanda prabhu at Bury place, and regularly engaged by Bhubanesvar prabhu (TC) and mother Yasyaswini dd I was a regular coming more and more days a week and staying weekends at the Manor.
Then just before I formally moved into the Temple (Bhaktivedant Manor in 1977) I had a dream of Srila Prabhupada that was quite astounding to me.
I had been at the temple at the weekend, and had returned to my parent’s place in Ealing where I spent the week. On my wall among all the pictures of Krishna, Maha-vishnu, Universal form, and so on was a picture of Srila Prabhupad from a Back to Godhead magazine sitting on the grass wearing a white chaddar (shawl), I believe that picture is now called “the acharya”. Anyway, so then one evening in my dream Srila Prabhupada was sitting there and his hand was reaching out to me, and with his finger beckoning, and smiling. Then I could hear his voice, "Come, .....now is the time to do it, .......I will be coming there soon (we both knew that he was inferring or referring to Bhaktivedanta Manor), .......now the time is right!"
A couple of days later I went to Bury Place and Rohininandan and Bhaja Hari prabhus made the arrangements for me to join the newly formed Bhakta program.
In 1980 my wife and I moved to Australia, to the Melbourne temple, which
was to be a very temporary visit before returning to the U.K.
Being formerly at Bhaktivedanta Manor where during Srila Prabhupada's Guru Puja devotees would come up offer flowers at His Divine Grace's feet touch to their head via their hand, a silver imprint of HDG's feet that was made by him standing in the mud of the Ganges or Yamuna, and then pay our obeisances. The mood was always quite reverential.
After moving to Melbourne, and watching the Aussies' go right up to the Deity form of Srila Prabhupad shout Jai Proupad!, and then grab his foot and touch it to their heads, I was quite taken aback. In fact to the point that I looked down upon the practice as being rough and uncouthed. So nicely trained, I thought I was that reverentially I would only place a flower at his feet and then touch his padukas to my head, via my hand.
Then after doing like this for about three months, one night I had the dream; Srila Prabhupad was sitting there on the Vyasa-asana, and devotees were coming up and offering flowers to him. As I approached, he began to stretch, raising his arms upwards and his right foot toward me. Having seen him in his rooms at Bhaktivedanta Manor in 1977., I could feel his presence was very real. But then I heard his voice, "You can touch!!!" ......and his penetrating eyes meeting mine, as his face beamed a smile at me.
Since that day I've always touched the feet of Srila Prabhupada's Deity form, in every temple I visited and with our murthi at home daily.
When I was living in Vrindavan 1983-84, serving as the temple treasurer,
I had a quite amazing dream of HDG. The month, etc., I cannot remember,
but it was before the big Deity had been installed in the samadhi.
Some old Prabhupada disciples were sitting around together remembering some of the nice instances that had happened to them, with HDG. At this time we had some Saligrams and Jagannath Deities at our room at the Goshala, and I was very enthusiastic to worship the Deity whenever I could. Mother Vishalini (ACBSP) told the story of how she had a small Deity of Srila Prabhupad made, and when HDG saw it he complemented, on it being a good likeness, and very nice Deity, etc. That night someone gifted me with a hand signed (1961) Indian Bhagavatam that HDG had given to someone (I gifted it to the Melbourne temple museum) ……anyway that night after so much Prabhupad katha, I had a dream that I was walking down toward Srila Prabhupada's room carrying a Deity of him back toward his rooms, when suddenly in his life form he walked out from his rooms and said, ".....nice Deity", and smiled, as he passed me by and entered the temple door near by the parijata tree (Vyasasan end of the Vrindavan temple).
Latter that day Kritakarma prabhu, who was the Vrindavana temple president at that time came into the treasury and asked me if I'd like to look after this.......! And, upon uncovering it, there was this amazing ten inch Deity of Srila Prabhupad, made in brass by Bhaktisiddhanta prabhu.
I took this as being a sign that yes we should take him, and look after him. And all these years later by HDG's mercy he's still with us.
In 1984 we returned to Melbourne, with a few new editions to the family
from what we left there with a couple of years before; A Saligram Sila;
A Prabhupad Deity, and A Brijbasi son. So very rewarding period in the
Over the next couple of years a few more Saligrams came, and then a few more and then more, until I had quite a collection. Some devotees however criticised me for my having Deities at home, even though daily I followed the morning program at the temple, served the Deities there, chanted my rounds, attended classes, then came home to do the Saligram puja before taking prasadam, and either going out to collect for the temple, or as later I became Head pujari and continued my services at the temple (Head pujari, co-ordinating the temple Deity and cooking rosters, looking after 75 Tulasi plants, waking the Deities 5 mornings a week, 5 afternoon programs dressing little Radha Krishna and offering the fruit offering and 4pm arati, 5 or 6 evening programs - 6:40pm bhog offering, 7pm arati dressing Jagannath, offering the 8:40pm bhog, the 9pm arati and putting the Deities to rest - some days midday Raj-bhog arati also, and Sunday feast program, and sometimes cooking 8:40pm bhog when devotees didn't turn up to cook. I was also on the temple council/committee, and looked after and developed the Indian preaching program performing yajnas, pujas and samskaras for the community). (So, I think it is quite apparent) They never detracted from my service at the temple, but over the years had always kept me alive, through many traumas and upheavals that had happened.
Before I began the Saligram puja at home, I always did a little puja to the Srila Prabhupad Deity seated on a nice seat besides my Saligrams and asked HDG's permission and blessing to continue throughout this life-time.
Then one night, I had this dream; When I had finished the Prabhupad
puja and bowed before him, upon rising he was physically sitting there
next to me in his "human"/vapuh form. He gestured toward the Saligrams
and said, ".....so, who is who???"
As I began to tell him, "This one is Chaitanya Nrisimha, Srila Prabhupad...." He would interject, saying, "...and how did he come to you......?" Then I would tell him the story behind his coming to me, ....being given to me in Vrindavan, ...being worshipped by one family for 250 years previously, etc. "....and this one? Who is He???" he asked again as if relishing my telling Who each one was, and how They came.
Then in a very playful mood he began to dig his fingers into my ribs, as if tickling me, making me lean toward him, and he would ask, "What about this one? Who is that???? Tell me about how He came!"
And things went on like that for some time, which seemed like hours.
Then foolishly, and feeling too familiar, I tried to control the situation, by making a funny remark! I soon realised that it was by his mercy that this dream was there as it was by his mercy that the Saligrams were also there. For Srila Prabhupad was back in the Deity form as he was ordinarily, and my glimpse into his personal association was removed by my frivolity.
It was very nice. I felt very comfortable having HDG take so much interest in the Deities which had come to me, and so lovingly sharing with me his love, and intimacy for the Deities, and setting the mood of how we need to be when in such association. I felt like I had his personal approval to continue to serve Them.
I still worship them daily, and serve that Deity form of HDG before I begin the puja, where I would be without Their assistance over these long cold years I do not know!!!!
During the upheavals of my devotional life of coming to Krishna consciousness
to serve HDG Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, and then being referred from
one to another as each "initiating guru" fell down (Jayatirtha & Bhavananda
prabhus), I felt somewhat lost, and was floundering like a person just
going along with the current, having lost enthusiasm from all that had
Then one night in 1989 I had this dream; the scene was somewhere in India. I was standing alone and crying, my head drooping forward, despondant. In the distance came a familiar noise. Ch, ch Cheeeee, Ch Ch Cheeeeee, Boom Boom Boom, getting closer and closer. I struggled to see above the crowd. There were hundreds, as if thousands of devotees focusing on a lone figure in the centre somewhere under a huge white tasselled umbrella. More and more I struggled to see who was there, feeling intense attraction! All I could hear was Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare..........etc. I came to the edge of the devotees which seemed to be a long way from the white umbrella, and could recognise many familiar faces; Gurukrpa Swami, Tamal Krishna Maharaj, Brahmananda Swami, Lokanath Swami, Bhakti Charu Swami, Bhavananda, Jayatirtha, and so on. They were all chanting Jaya Prabhu-Pada, Prabhu-Pada.....! Then suddenly the crowd opened, and amid the intensity of the kirtan Srila Prabhupad stood looking at me. We stood for a moment looking at each other, as the kirtan continued, I felt sad, like I was left out. His Divine Grace mercifully smiled, then sternly called to me, "Keep up!" and with his hand gestured to me to come close. I picked up and hurried to join in among the throng with a feeling that I’d just been revived after dying.
Srila Prabhupad came to pick up this disheartened soul on that day,
I worked hard to make some positive changes in my almost broken attitude,
and despite challenges, am still trying to move on along with him.
Last night (21st-22nd February 1998) I had an amazing dream of Srila Prabhupad.
From the soundings, the plastered and painted walls, and the stone chip polished floors we were in India. From the devotees who were there it must have been Bengal (the physical features of the brahmacaris), but could have easily been anywhere where Gaudiyas are.
I was talking in English with one Bengali devotee in a long office, with white sitting mattresses and bolsters on the floor - like a typical life membership office. We heard a noise in the corridor joining like two people talking - then Srila Prabhupad walked by with a young prospective devotee.
I turned to the Bengali devotee and said, "One thing confuses me, how is it that Srila Prabhupad passed away on 14th November 1977, yet he's still here in person?"
The devotee told me to go to Srila Prabhupada's room and ask him. So I did.
When I entered there were three young (19-21 years old) brahmacaris in the room with Prabhupad. One had a hat on, he had obviously done something legally wrong - as Srila Prabhupad held a piece of paper and said to him, "Now you will have to go to court.....!"
Half laughing, as if out of the ridiculousness or pettiness of it, he replied, "Aww Prabhupad!"
Srila Prabhupad continued, "It will be good experience for you, humbling!"
The devotee paid his obeisances and left looking at his piece of paper, and Srila Prabhupad sat down beside a grey filing cabinet.
I knelt beside him, paid obeisance, touched his feet and said, "Srila Prabhupad, something is confusing me.....!"
"Yes,....."! he said.
"........how is it that you passed away in 1977, but you are still here?"
Srila Prabhupad softly looked at me and said, "That is the parampara system, I'm always here for you, no one can deny!!!"
Smiling and feeling the emotion of his genuine love for us all I awoke!
The scene appeared to be like a reception area, possibly an airport arrival area, maybe not. Srila Prabhupada was seated on a bamboo sofa with white tie-down cotton cushions, much like one sees in India.
I don't know where I was at the time or really even what I was doing (one may take that in a meaningful way as of my status of fumbling in the dark to try to do some small service in Krishna consciousness). Suddenly I heard someone shout "Prabhupad's here !!!" That was enough for me, I dropped everything and ran to where the voice came from.
Seeing Prabhupad seated on the bamboo sofa comfortable dressed in saffron, silver white hair about 1/8 - 1/4 inch long on his head, beaming smile, and bright eyes, his legs and feet extended forward over the front of the sofa........ I dived at his feet. I could feel the soft warm fleshy skin of his feet on my forehead as emotions of gratitude, separation, and rejuvinating pleasure to see him again welled in my chest, and tears poured from my eyes, as his hand rubbed the back of my head.
Getting up, "Jai Srila Prabhupad !" I knelt and he extended his arms toward me and leaned slightly forward and we embraced, my arms around his lower torso as he sat there, his golden hand rubbing my back and patting gently. It was so wonderful to see him again, words just can't express. I never want to let go...........
Then I awoke tears still streaming from my eyes.
I humbly pray that as we embrassed in my heart of hearts that he always stays with me for ever, I genuinely have no other shelter. There are so many devotees that I respect and am grateful to but none who affect me quite like this.
Srila Prabhupad ki jaya.
A couple of nights ago I had a dream of Srila Prabhupad, he came walking out from our kitchen as I was walking from where our altar is in the lounge room. I was carrying a large amount of dried druits in my arms for the Shaligram seva puja. Srila Prabhupad stopped and inspected it, squeezing some bits and bending others bits of dried mango etc. Then he said “I especially like dried banana”.
The next thing we were both sitting over near the big book case with the Shaligrams maha-prasadam all on trays on the floor.
The evening before I had cooked katchoris. I don’t know why I cooked them, just felt inspired to. Normally we rarely had katchoris only on major feast days or occasionally on a Sunday feast. Anyway these were good. We didn’t have any Urid dahl so I soaked yellow split mung instead and fried the grains etc in a spicy mixed masala like garam masala but with more fennel much like Vrindavan katchoris I’d spent years eating.
Srila Prabhupad picked up a katchori, took a bite and said, “you made?” I said “yes Srila Prabhupad”
“Very good” he said taking another couple in his hand.
Suddenly I felt very conscious that I was still in bed and hadn’t brushed my teeth, or even bathed………I felt so unclean and covered my mouth to shield him from my breath. I was dreading him asking about the Shaligrams or the altar. He looked at me and laughed. I woke up laughing too.
On Sunday it was Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa puja and we went to Auckland for it. In my homage I mentioned that I just wanted to do something significant to try to repay my debt, although such a debt can never be repaid…… after I had a nice conversation with one devotee who also felt the same and just wanted to do something to please Srila Prabhupad, but needed a sign. I felt like that also. I just need that direction and confirmation, from someone who is free from personal motivation as to why they want me to do this and this.
Last night (Monday 29th August 2005) I was sitting in a room there were a few other devotees there, and I got called over to one corner. To my surprise there was Srila Prabhupad sitting there, who gestured to sit to me.
As I sat he began reciting Swasti vachanam: om swasti no govindah swasti no acyutanantu swasti no vasudevo vishnu dadhatu…….as he chanted he gestured for me to join in so I did in syncronized harmony with his chanting. Srila Prabhupad eased off with the chanting and listened to me as I chanted for him to the end of the sasti vachanam prayers.
He then said with very wide open eyes “I want that you become expert.”
Then I awoke.
The first part Srila Prabhupad was seated on a sitting cloth and next to him was a VIP, a person from academia who favoured Iskcon, he sat to Prabhupad’s left.
Seeing Prabhupa there and not fully engrossed or busy, just with his hand in his bead bag, I approached and paid my obeisances. He asked me where I am from and I told him I’d seen him in Rathyatra in London in the 1970s and was there at the Manor when he visited in 1977. “I’m glad you are still here” he said. I mentioned that I’d had a few tests or challenges along the way, and had taken initiation from his disciple Jayatirtha, and after that from Bhavananda, and more recently from Jayapataka swami. Prabhupad closed his eyes and nodded in aknowlegdement.
The next part is a little fuzzy; I’m sitting over on the other side of Prabhupad near by the “scholar” (VIP). Prabhupad is just carrying on being himself, chanting softly, motioning with his other hand, moving his head in some gestures to other people.
There seems to be a gap.
Now it is evening, its warm, none of us have kurtas on, one can clearly see everyone's brahmin threads and neckbeads. I come in and pay my obeisances to Srila Prabhupad, who is sitting on a low seat surrounded by a few senior disciples. I have in my hands some wooden peg shoes, karam chapels, reddish brown in colour with white inlays. I place them in front of Srila Prabhupad on the floor and he smiles widely and places one foot then the other foot in them. The mood is very light and sweet and he rubs he feet in the chapels as if transferring his mercy to them. He then removes his feet from the chappels and picks one up in each hand and places them upon my head to which everyone laughs. The mood was really nice, and I felt very much blessed by him. “Prabhupad can I touch?” and I reached for his lotus feet, to which he said “be satisfied” and gestured to withdraw his feet below his dhoti. I took it as be satisfied with the mercy that comes to you, why try to force things......
Still it was so nice, having these karam chapels that Prabhupad’s feet had been in, and him placing them upon my head.
Then I woke up………………..jai Srila Prabhupad.