Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bhaktivedanta Sadhu Maharaj Visits


Kutichak Prabhu invited my wife and me to come to Ste-Agathe for a program with Bhaktivedanta Sadhu Maharaj. Kutichak kept repeating that Paramadvaiti Maharaj, Sadhu Maharaj's sannyasa guru, insisted that we meet. To tell you the truth, decent sadhu sanga is hard to come by in this part of the world, and I have long wanted to meet this Brajavasi of noble origins and get to know him better. There is an article about him on the old VNN site. (www.vnn.org/world/WD0304/WD10-7978.html)

On arrival, I gave Maharaj my last copy of Madhurya Kadambini, which was left over after my course. I had never met Maharaj before, but after talking with him a little, I found out that he was never forced to give up his initiation in the Nityananda parivar. Radha Govinda Das Babaji was the first preacher of Gaudiya Vaishnavism in the Munger region, probably in the late 19th century. If I am not mistaken, this Baba is mentioned in Vrajake Bhakta by O.B.L. Kapoor, which will need to go back and check out. As far as I can remember, he converted the then king of Munger, which was a fairly large sized principality under the Raj, and ever since then, the royal family's kula gurus have been Nityananda-vamsis. The Munger royal family has its temple on the Mathura Road near the crossing of the Parikrama Path in Vrindavan.

Anyway (all this conversation was going on in Hindi) Maharaj surprised me by showing a very warm and favorable attitude to Ananta Das Babaji and other representatives of the bhajananandi community, including my own Gurudeva. He did not seem to completely understand all the issues involved, at least he asked questions about the sources of quarrel between Lalita Prasad Thakur and Siddhanta Saraswati, but he clearly showed admiration for my Prabhu, and even at one point said to one of the other devotees there, that manjari-bhava was an absolute necessity for bhajan in our sampradaya. He is a Brajavasi and Radhaikanta-prana.

After Maharaj led the Jaya Radha Madhava kirtan, everyone was sitting around waiting for him to speak. Instead he asked me to sing Bhaktivinoda Thakur's Radha bhajane jadi mati nahi bhela kirtan. People had a little trouble following, so after a couple of verses, Maharaj just asked me to start explaining it. Talk about "give a dog a bone"--I was off to the races. If you have been reading the contents of the past few weeks on this site, you will have a general idea of the kinds of things that were discussed--a fair amount of Prema-vilasa, etc. I steered clear of some of my more controversial issues, as it was a mostly mixed audience of Iskcon and various Gaudiya Math disciples. But, on the whole, I feel that it was well received. Most of all by Sadhu Maharaj, who sat there with his eyes closed and a smile on his face most of the time. So I had a good time, and I hope everyone else did, too. I thanked Maharaj and everyone else for allowing me to speak, especially on such a sweet subject.

Maharaj will be at Prahlad's place in the Ottawa valley tonight and then heading back to New Hampshire tomorrow.

Added later: A picture with Paramadvaiti Maharaj from last year.

10 comments:

visnudas said...

Sweet pic of Sadhu Mj and Nityananda Vamsh Goswami.
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/171/400475516_3b21f59ea9.jpg?v=0

Jagat said...

In all his photos, Maharaj looks very sweet. In person, he was just as warm and gentle. I felt like Ramananda Ray in his conversation with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. At the end, he said he did not want to let me go. Unfortunately, I could not remain, nor participate in the next day's program.

jijaji said...

Nice photo and commentary Jagatji...!

Jagat said...

I think that Radha Govinda Das Babaji was Maharaj's diksha guru, not his grandfather's. I still have to check out Vraja ke Bhakta.

Jagat said...

You know, Jijaji, I don't make a very good friend. I suppose that I am too self-absorbed. Philosophically I rebel against this kind of obsessiveness--what else can be meant by "prema"? This means, of course, that I get isolated. If I don't act like a friend to others, how can I expect them to act as friends to me?

And yet, when I am in the company of devotees, I feel a deep and abiding sense of friendship arising from our common love for Krishna. Sadhu Maharaj hugged me several times before I left and said, "I cannot let you go. You must come and join me in Vrindavan."

This is also a part of my philosophical understanding. One cannot artificially skip to universal love by wishing it. Some people are more inclined to be sociable or altruistic, it is true. And common interests, especially ones in the mode of goodness, are the fertile soil in which abiding friendships grow.

The same night, one devotee, a Prabhupada disciple who is simultaneously curious and yet fairly narrow and restricted in his understanding of Krishna consciousness, came up to me afterwards and said, "I listen to you and I think, biphale janama goainu... I have been around for so long and I know nothing in comparison to you."

Hay! Hay! If he only knew how wasted my life has been. How much more that song applies to me, who am bereft of sadhu sanga. Even when Mangal Maharaj and Bodhayana Maharaj came, I left them repeating Narottam Das's lines: vaiSNava-sangete mon, anandita anukkhon, jate hoy krishna-parasanga: "In the association of devotees, my mind is full of constant joy, for we do nothing but talk of Krishna."

But I either as a result of my offenses, or as a result of my depraved and self-obsessed mentality, I am deprived of such association. And I have not treated persons like your good self, who have always been so friendly towards me, with the love and respect, or even the interest you deserve.

I hope that despite my neglect, you will continue to extend your friendship to me, and I will try to be more worthy.

Your servant,

Jagadananda Das.

jijaji said...

Jagat,

You flatter me here with your words. I consider it a blessing that you pay even a small amount of attention towards me.

You can know for certain I will always extend my friendliness to you.

namaskar,

jijaji

jijaji said...

Well I guess your a busy man these days, however I do want to invite you to my new revised forum called;

'Radhe Shyam Dham'

Follow the link in my name if your so inclined Mahasayaji.

jijaji

Amala Krsna das said...

here's a video of his Gurudeva.
He was 110 or 120 years old at that time.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4806469192402770707

he was his diksha Guru. Love

Oliver said...

Here's a video of Radha Govinda das Babaji when he was about 110 years old....

He was Sadhu Maharajas Diksa Guru.

Radhe Radhe

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4806469192402770707

VIKRAMADITYA said...

ALL GLORIES TO BHAKTIVEDANTA SADHU MJ MY UNCLE..In the Vedas, Caitanya Caritamrta, it is stated 'Hari nama Hari nama Hari namaiva kevalam, kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gathir anyatha' Translation: (In this age of Kali, there is no other way, no other way, no other way of attainin God Realisation, except for chanting the Holy names, chanting the Holy names, chanting the Holy names of Lord Hari) So let us then chant 'Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare