domingo, 19 de julho de 2009
In 1959, we would talk together and he would say, "When I first met Srila Prabhupada and when he gave me initiation, he told me that I should preach in the Western countries in the English language. He told me this twenty years ago in Calcutta." Guru Maharaja and Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu were bosom friends and they had lived and served together. Both were intellectual giants, very erudite persons from high-class families. In Calcutta, Srila Sridhara Maharaja also had recommended that he approach our Gurudeva. So I encouraged him to accept sannyasa now from our Gurudeva and then go to preach in the Western countries. "We will try to help you", I said to him.
Prabhu explained, "After Srila Prabhupada gave me initiation I read a sloka in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.88.8): yasyaham anugrhaami harinye tad-dhanam sanaiÉ tato 'dhanam tyajanty asya svajana duÉkha-duÉkhitam. 'If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another. Krsna takes away everything from one who takes His shelter and receives His mercy, and makes him a street beggar. Then he has to weep again and again.' When I read this, I feared becoming a beggar. But I never stopped my chanting, remembering, and doing devotional service. That is why I lost my wealth. Although I tried to prevent it, all that I did to gain wealth failed."
He had been the manager of Bengal Chemicals and was so expert that he arranged another company himself, but there were problems. He came to Allahabad and managed a very big shop, but after some time there was also difficulty. He did a little more business, but Krsna would not allow. Then he came here. We would sit side by side. One time he said, "That which I feared has come on my head and now I see that I cannot successfully do these things." I replied, "Do not try for this any more. You are not a person to do anything associated with worldly business. Krsna and your Gurudeva want you to preach in the Western countries. You have such important work to do. You are so qualified." In a friendly way we laughed together about these things.
When my Gurudeva later arrived from Navadvipa I told him, "Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu is your friend. He can obey you because you are elder." Guru Maharaja was a sannyasi and Prabhu was in grhastha-vesa. Earlier, when I had written
to him that Pujyapada Abhay Caraaaravinda Prabhu was staying here with us, he told me, "He is my bosom friend. You should show all respect to him and give all the facilities that he wants." I had known him since 1947; I realized how highly qualified he was. Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja, Srila Srauti Maharaja, and Guru Maharaja would always give him high respect and hear from him, even though he was a householder. At this time, therefore, I requested my Gurudeva to apply some pressure so that he would take sannyasa. Guruji called him and said, "Narayana Maharaja and all the other boys are encouraging that you take sannyasa. I also support this idea. Do not hesitate to take the renounced order. You are so qualified. You please take sannyasa now. It will be very beneficial." (Appendix 7)
Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu thus agreed to accept sannyasa and the ceremony was held the very next day. That day was the auspicious Visvarupa-mahotsava. Prabhu asked, "How should I prepare?" I told him, "Don't worry, I will arrange everything." So I prepared bahira-vesa (sannyasa dhoti), uttariya (outer cloth) and a danda with my own hands. I taught him how to wear all these things and then I performed the fire yajna. Akincana Krsnadas Babaji Maharaja came, and Sesasayi Brahmacari, Kunja-bihari Brahmacari, Parijataka Maharaja and many other persons were there. Now most of these devotees have departed. Sanatana Prabhu took sannyasa with Swamiji and he became Bhaktivedanta Muni
Maharaja. He was ninety years old and had said to Swamiji, "If you agree to take sannyasa, then so shall I." He also is no longer here, having joined the eternal service of Krsna.
I recited the yajna-mantras and performed the ceremony. Akincana Krsnadas Babaji Maharaja, Prabhu's intimate Godbrother and friend, chanted Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. He chanted continuously from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM in a most sweet and deep manner. Swamiji requested that only Krsna-nama be sung, the kirtana of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. My Gurudeva then gave him the sannyasa-mantra.
The sannyasa name which Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Maharaja gave to Abhay Caraaaravinda Prabhu is 'Swami'. It is one of the bona fide sannyasa names and means 'controller' and 'master'. The title 'Bhaktivedanta' had already been awarded in Calcutta by some of his Godbrothers, and 'Maharaja' is a formal ending for those in the renounced order. This name 'Swami' is just fitting because Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja became the controller of many, many jivas' hearts due to his being so strong and faithful to his Gurudeva. This is why we affectionately call him 'Swamiji'ónot at all in a common way, but showing the greatest respect.
After the ceremony Gurudeva requested Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja to speak. He spoke in English, though almost everyone there could not understand that language. He explained that just at this time he remembered his Gurudeva's specific orders to preach in the English language. He said, "I feel fortunate to accept sannyasa from my Godbrother, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I have known him for a long time and he is my close friend. He is a very bona-fide disciple of our Jagad-guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He has kindly given me this sannyasa. Srila Narayana Maharaja and Srila Muni Maharaja have also given me inspiration to do this. The order of sannyasa means to preach the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the mission of the guru everywhere. My Gurudeva instructed me to preach in English in the Western countries and that is why I am writing English articles and books. I am praying to Krsna, Gurudeva and all the Vaisnavas that they should give me the power to preach this mission all over the world."
Excerpts from his speech and a description of the ceremony were printed in a news article in our Bhagavat-patrika. The well-known photograph of our Gurudeva sitting between Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Muni Maharaja was taken on that day. Kunja Bihari Brahmacari, a formerly wealthy devotee who had helped build our matha, gladly donated five paisa he had saved, which at that time was the cost of one photographer's snapshot. Thus today we can all honor this sannyasa portrait.
It was a special privilege for us to participate in assisting Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja in accepting sannyasa. For the next three days after the ceremony, Krsnadas Babaji Maharaja stayed together with Srila Swami Maharaja in his room. They were especially close and confidential with each other. After this Swamiji went to Agra to preach in a program he had set up there. He was always coming and going on different guru-seva. We kept his room open for him for the next five years. He was writing some of his Easy Journey to Other Planets in his room here in Mathura. His three volumes of Srimad Bhagavatam were not printed yet; so here in Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha he continued writing and editing them. The manuscripts were then given to the press in Delhi and gradually published. He was also writing "Back to Godhead" and other publications. Perhaps before, in Calcutta and Allahabad, he had done some translating, but here he was easily able to concentrate and thus he accomplished so much.
Some don't consider the taking of sannyasa to be very valuable or of much importance. Actually it is so important. I think that if Srila Swami Maharaja had not taken sannyasa perhaps he might not have done what he did in the Western countries. Srila Swami Maharaja himself explains in his books that it is favorable to accept the renounced order for preaching. In India everyone has honor for sannyasis. In sannyasa one gives up something but gains everything. As explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam: mukunda-seva-vrata. A sannyasi thinks, "I only love Krsna and Srimati Radharaai. I don't know anything else." The sannyasa-mantra is very helpful in attaining the Krsna-prema which Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and all the other Gosvamis have tried to give us. I think that this is superior to all supermost things. It is svarupa-laksaaa. Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to give this; it is very important. Don't think it is a minor point.
Foto : Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja (Srila Prabhupada) and Srila Bhaktivedanta Muni Maharaja accepting sannyasa from Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, the diksa guru of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
The Worship of Sri Guru
bando mui savadhana mate
jahara prasade bhai, e bhava toriya jai,
krsna-prapti hoy jaha ha'to
guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya,
ar na koriho mane asa
sri-guru-carane rati, ei se uttama-gati,
je prasade pure sarv asa
cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei,
divya-jnan hrde prokasito
prema-bhakti jaha hoite, avidya vinasa jate,
vede gay jahara carito
sri-guru karuna-sindhu, adhama janara bandhu,
lokanath lokera jivana
ha ha prabhu koro doya, deho more pada-chaya,
ebe jasa ghusuk tribhuvana
The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krsna.
My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfills all desires.
He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.
4Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the fiend of the poor, and the lord and master of the devotees. O master! Be merciful unto me. Give me the shade of your lotus feet. Your fame is spread all over the three worlds.
Jaya Srila Gurudeva , Srila Prabhupada Ki Jay !
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!
All glories to Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada !
Gaura premanande Haribol!