Union in Separation.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Conveying the sannyas mantra


We are very unfortunate now that Srila Guru Maharaj is resting in his samadhi. But what shall we do? Union does not always give us increased service tendency—sometimes negligence comes to us. Separation gives us so much fruitful union with Guru Maharaj. Now more and more service responsibility is coming to us. Sometimes we cannot understand his desire directly, but indirectly by his written order, or through his servitors, we understand more.

Guru Maharaj’s nature was quiet. He always engaged with his Lord’s service, especially in the line of Srila Rupa Goswami. In his last life Guru Maharaj distributed the highest spiritual conceptions.

I cannot speak English, but when necessity comes we must try to go forward. It is a heart-to-heart transaction, and the deepest faith is necessary. If we go with the deepest faith, language is no obstruction. Guru Maharaj always showed the line of deepest faith.

sakala chhāḍiyā bhāi śraddhā-devīra guṇa gāi
yā̐ra kṛpā bhakti dite pāre

Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur wrote that we can only worship sraddha, the deepest faith, and with that faith we may go to our highest destiny, to have the close service of Krishnachandra. Through our preceptorial line it is possible very easily: we cannot see the sky properly but with a telescope we can see everything very broadly. Guru Maharaj always called the Guru-parampara the telescopic system. We cannot do direct seva of Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, or Radha-Krishna, but if we go through our Gurudev, through Nityananda Prabhu, then we easily can glorify the lotus feet of Radha-Krishna. Nitāiyera karuṇā habe Vraje Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa pābe: this is Narottam Thakur’s song.

Maya Devi always wants to take us in her jurisdiction, but when the devotee gives themself to the lotus feet of Gurudev, Krishna take full charge of that devotee.

Krishnachandra said in Srimad Bhagavad-gita:

sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śuchaḥ

“When you fully surrender to Me, then you have no fear from Māyā. If you do some sin, I shall also remove that.”

When Srila Guru Mahārāj established Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh, he preached a specific line of saranagati, and he also wrote Prapanna-jivanamrtam,  Life-Nectar of the Surrendered Souls. Guru Maharaj knows that saranagati is the only way for us. We cannot catch the Infinite, but when the Infinite mercifully comes to us, we may get everything.

yasmin jñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati
yasmin prāpte sarvam idaṁ prāptaṁ bhavati
tad vijijñāsasva tad eva brahma

Who knows Brahma knows everything. Brahma is the light of Bhagavat Dham, but Param Brahma is Bhagavan:

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sach-chid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam
(Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā: 5.1)

jyotir-abhyantare rūpaṁ atulaṁ śyāmasundaram

Inside of that light, Pastimes are always going on. In Brahma-samhita there is glorification of Bhagavat Dham:

chintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

That is Bhagavat Dham, and we are really members of that Dham. If Maya removes her net from our eyes, we will see everything.

Gurudev and the Vaisnavas are our only hope. When we took Harinam-diksa, Gurudev told us, “Please avoid Vaisnava-aparadha and Gurv-aparadha.” They are both very dangerous for the jiva-souls, and if we can steadily practise Krishna consciousness avoiding that, we must go to our destiny where Sri Krishna’s Pastimes are going on eternally.

We only want the blessings of Guru Maharaj. We have no other desire; we know that if we get that, we will get everything. When Guru Maharaj was present with his transcendental body, we were very enthusiastic to manage his paraphernalia, and with proper vision we will see that he is with us always and everywhere. Guru Maharaj wants us to fly in the transcendental sky, and we must try to do that with our insignificant capacity.

In the time of Guru Maharaj there was no disturbance here in Chaitanya Saraswat Math: all the villagers, all the government officer— everybody—respected Guru Maharaj, so there was no difficulty. Now also difficulty has not come, but when a very great personality leaves, some disturbance must come, and we are prepared for that.

Some days before Guru Maharaj left there was a heavy earthquake. Many things were broken in the Math. At that time I told Guru Maharaj’s personal servant Sri Gaura Krishna Prabhu that Guru Maharaj would not stay. After Guru Maharaj left another earthquake came very heavily. I have not seen in my sixty years of life that type of earthquake.

In 1964 Guru Maharaj was very sick, and after some discussion Guru Maharaj said, “What will you do after my disappearance? You will burn my body on the Ganges’ side.” I said, “It is not possible Maharaj, you are siddha-mahapurus.” He said, “If you will not do it, I shall write it in my last will and testament.” Then in 1980 or 1981 I asked one day, “Is your first decision now still with you?” Guru Maharaj said, “Yes, that is my desire, Bhakti Vinod Thakur went that way, and I also want to go like that.” Then in 1986 when Guru Maharaj was again very sick, I asked, “Maharaj, you please give your order. What shall I do?” Then Guru Maharaj smiled and said, “As you like you do.” He clarified our idea that his body is not mundane. Guru Maharaj never told a lie, and in this way he told us, “Now I am satisfied. I understand my body’s position.” I was also very satisfied, and everybody was satisfied.

I had no experience with giving samadhi. I never went anywhere, to any other Math. I am always with Guru Maharaj’s lotus feet and with his orders. Before Guru Maharaj left I was thinking about Guru Maharaj’s godbrother Puri Maharaj because he knows the vaidhi-bhakti scriptures. Then, Puri Maharaj suddenly came and said to me, “I think Srila Maharaj wants to go now. That is why I have come.”

I always prayed to Guru Maharaj, “Please stay, please stay,” and Guru Maharaj said, “Why are you trying to keep me? I shall arrange everything. Now my work is finished. I am also feeling separation from our Guru-varga. I want to go.”

When Guru Maharaj left, I was very steady. I know what is my duty, and my duty is not crying. A heavy duty has come in front of me, and do or die, we must do that.

After giving me sannyas Guru Maharaj became worry-free. For many years I avoided it because I know the position of this chair; it is a very heavy chair, the highest chair in this world. But the day before Bahulastami in 1985 Guru Maharaj finally told me, “If you will not take this charge, then I will die.” I took sannyas on Bahulastami, 6 November 1985. Then Guru Maharaj registered his last will and testament on 2 December 1985, and after that he was very satisfied with his transcendental work. I wanted Guru Maharaj to stay longer, but Guru Maharaj had his own desire and own life. Srila Rupa Goswami came in the form of Guru Maharaj, and he wanted his own association in the Pastimes of Radha-Krishna.

This is the first time I am coming upstairs to Srila Guru Maharaj’s veranda since he left, and it is only for my duty to Guru Maharaj, to give initiation. The mantram is coming down through Guru Maharaj.

Now we are bound to do our duty. Sometimes Guru Maharaj would say that transcendental duty is our life. Sometimes mundane duty attracts us but we can also transform that duty. Narottam Das Thakur said, gṛhe vā vanete thāke hā Gaurāṅga bale ḍāke Narottama māge tāra saṅga (Prarthana 38.4). We can stay in the grhastha life, sannyas life, vanaprastha, brahmachari, or any life if we chant the mahamantra and worship Mahaprabhu. Most of Mahaprabhu’s devotees were grhasthas. The Vaisnava only has one parichay [identity], which Mahaprabhu expressed:

nāhaṁ vipro na cha nara-patir nāpi vaiśyo na śūdro
nāhaṁ varṇī na cha gṛha-patir no vanastho yatir vā
kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramānanda-pūrnāmātābdher
gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ
(Padyavali: 74)

Our only identity is that we are the servitors of the servitors of the servitors of the servitors of Guru–Vaisnava. The general people want to see the red cloth of the sadhu, and so we try to maintain sannyas life for their benefit. But bhakta life is life. Where is bhakti, that is life. Where there is no bhakti, there is no life. This is Mahaprabhu’s teaching.

Srila Guru Maharaj also taught this. He distributed so much through his teachings, like the gayatri mantram purport, his explanation of the sloka api chet sudurāchāro (9.30), his explanation of tuṣyanti cha ramanti cha (10.9) in Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and so on. Everyone appreciates Guru Maharaj’s teachings, and many persons secretly come to purchase his books from our Math. After Guru Maharaj left some response came from many sides of this world. The ISKCON acharyas wrote very nice letters glorifying Guru Maharaj and expressing their pain after his disappearance.


Spoken on 1 November 1988, the appearance day of Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, just just two months after Srila Guru Maharaj’s passing.

Some of the spoken content regarding Srila Guru Maharaj’s disappearance, being very sensitive in nature, has not been included in here in the written text.

Listen to the original audio recording of this talk here.