Rich glorification of a dear godbrother.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Translated from the Bengali editorial
published in Sri Gaudiya Darsan,
Volume 2, Issue 8, 11 March 1957.

Srila Bhakti Svarup Parvat Maharaj, one of the itinerant Acharyas dedicated to fulfilling the heartfelt desires of the supremely worshippable Jagad-guru Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupad, has left the grounds of the sacrifice most dear to him—the sankirtan prescribed by Sri Gauranga—and gone on to his abode. When news of the discovery of his Pastime of disappearance was announced everywhere as fast as lightning, the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya initiated and dedicated to pure sankirtan, now deprived of the association of its ever well-wisher and genuine friend, became immersed into an ocean of deep separation. Pujyapad Parvat Maharaj’s tranquil divine form, indomitable enthusiasm for preaching the real truth, shining ideal of dedicating the entire self to spiritual life, and sincere affectionate behaviour are constantly arising in the caves of our hearts and in every way causing us pain [remembering his qualities in separation, we are struck with sorrow]. Whenever Gaudiya Vaisnavas saw Sripad Parvat Maharaj’s ever-new enthusiasm and tireless endeavours to preach the revolutionary message of the teacher of all souls Sri Gaurasundar, they would become astonished.

Less than two miles south of the southern edge of the place of the appearance of Sriman Mahaprabhu—the Avatar and Saviour in Kali-yuga—on the bank of the River Saraswati in the western portion of Surabhi Kunj within Godrumadwip, which is nondifferent from Nanda Gram, Parvat Maharaj appeared. In his adolescence, Parvat Maharaj had the opportunity to associate with Srila Sachchidananda Bhakti Vinod Thakur, the eternal associate of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu who established the practice of pure devotion in the modern era, and Srila Gaura Kisor Das Babaji, the crown-jewel of renunciants (avadhuts). When these great souls relished the rasa of Srimad Bhagavatam together daily, Parvat Maharaj heard the principles of supramundane devotion (aprakrta bhakti-sidhhanta) streaming from their holy mouths and realised that the one and only duty in human life—taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord—is true goodness. He decided that it was best to renounce a house full of persons with constantly anxious hearts who depend only upon that which is impermanent—a house which resembles an inauspicious dark well—and at the very beginning of his youth, he cut away the difficult-to-escape ropes of affection for one’s wife and children and surrendered himself at the feet of Jagad-guru Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Goswami Prabhupad.

In his householder life, he was known by the name Haripada Das. Upon being initiated according to the pancharatrik system, Sri Haripada Das was first known as Sri Haripada Bhatta Desik, and after accepting tridanda-sannyas from Sri Gurudev, he received the name Srimad Bhakti Svarup Parvat Maharaj. He toured everywhere throughout the holy land of Bharat—from the oceans to the Himalayas—and devoted himself to preaching the message of Bhagavat-dharma as preached by Sri Gaurasundar. Many very fortunate souls heard glorification of the Lord (Hari-kirtan) from his holy mouth and attained eternal good fortune. How can someone like me ever be capable of glorifying Sripad Parvat Maharaj’s innumerable qualities?

yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akinchana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
manorathenasati dhavato bahih

[“All the gods and all virtues reside in the bodies of those who have selfless devotion. Non-devotees, riding the chariot of the mind, always wander in search of illusory ends; where are the good qualities of such persons? [They have none.]”]

All the brahmacharis that would engage in preaching work under Parvat Maharaj’s guidance were unable to tolerate the hard work and austerity that he did. He would cheerfully travel by foot to all the difficult-to-reach areas that other sannyasi preachers would be unhappy to travel to, and there he would glorify the Lord from the door of one soul to another and rejoice. It was seen that he repeatedly risked his life in mountainous regions of Odisha—filled with tigers, bears and other wild beasts—to spend more time engaged in preaching work there. Through his extremely hard work, he obtained land and support in the city of Udala, constructed a large building in the midst of beautiful surroundings, and established Sri Varsabhanavi Dayita Gaudiya Math. There, many fortunate souls got the extraordinary opportunity to hear glorification of the Lord (Hari-kirtan) and see the Deities Sri Sri Gaura Gadadhar and Sri Sri Lalita-Gandharvika Giridhari.

On 22 Magh [5 February 1957], the appearance day of Sri Visnu Priya Devi, Parvat Maharaj withdrew his Pastimes [from this world], and on 1 Phalgun [12 February 1957], through the endeavours of the grhasthas, vanaprasthas, brahmacharis, and sannyasis he blessed, as well as his godbrothers, there was a grand festival of separation (viraha mahamahotsav) and distribution of prasadam to thousands of people at the site of his samadhi in the midst of pure sankirtan.

In the face of hundreds and hundreds of troubles, obstacles, insults, and abuses, Sripad Parvat Maharaj never wavered even an iota in the fulfilment of his vow to fulfil the heartfelt desires of Sri Hari, Guru, and Vaisnava through the sacrifice of kirtan established by Sri Gaura; moreover, he showed unlimited enthusiasm and established an ideal precedent. The gentlemen and ladies in attendance at the grand festival [honouring his disappearance] discussed how they could fulfil the desires of his heart that remain unfulfilled.

For the last six years, Sripad Parvat Maharaj has shown the world extraordinary Pastimes: though in a bed-ridden condition and silenced by rheumatism, he has earnestly engaged himself in the Lord’s service. As supremely worshippable Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupad ignored so-called Vaisnavas who engaged in pseudo-devotion, so Parvat Maharaj, following him, resided far away from the association of deceitful persons wearing the garb of Vaisnavas when he was unable, in various ways, to correct them. Because he was deeply learned in theology (siddhanta), the deceit and cunning of pseudo-devotees could never captivate him; he chose to associate only with pure Vaisnavas and showed great enthusiasm to preach to the public about the deceitfulness of non-devotees. In his life, we see the ideal of engaging all of one’s energy, wealth, intelligence, and words in subduing the wicked and spreading divine love. There is no doubt that those who are inspired by his exemplary life of devotion and engage their body, words, and wealth in fulfilling the heartfelt desires of Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas will be able to attain the highest fortune of the soul.

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern exponent of the conception of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the school of Srila Rupa Goswami. Subtle and profound yet vivid and practical, his representation of both the broadest and deepest spiritual truths has and continues to fortify and nurture the faith of spiritual aspirants the world over. For more information on Srila Sridhar Maharaj, please visit his biography page.

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