The Thakur’s devotion to Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhar in Nadia-lila.
Today is the disappearance day of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur and I will try to glorify Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur a little. When Srila Guru Maharaj was in Sri Gaudiya Math, some years after he took sannyas, he composed a Sanskrit poem in remembrance of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur, the Bhakti Vinod Viraha Dasakam. Srila Guru Maharaj did not first compose anything about Srila Saraswati Thakur. He wanted to attract Srila Saraswati Thakur, so he first composed something about Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. He offered his poem to the hand of Srila Saraswati Thakur, and Srila Saraswati Thakur began scrutinising the poem very closely. But after reading three or four verses, Srila Saraswati Thakur forgot his scrutiny and said, “It is written in a very happy style.” After reading the whole poem Srila Saraswati Thakur very happily responded, “After me there will be someone in this world who can perfectly carry Mahaprabhu’s flag in the line of the Rupanuga sampradaya. Seeing this, I am very happy.” From that day Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur changed his vision of Srila Guru Maharaj wholesale and later he examined Srila Guru Maharaj many times. Srila Saraswati Thakur was very happy to see that the line of the Guru-parampara would continue.
In the Bhakti Vinod Viraha Dasakam Srila Guru Maharaj expressed everything about Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur in a very concise way. Later, Srila Guru Maharaj said, “This poem was the reason I was given charge of the Rupanuga sampradaya.” The last verse is very nice.
kvaham manda-matis tv ativa-patitah kva tvam jagat-pavanah
bho svamin krpayaparadha-nichayo nunam tvaya ksamyatam
yache ’ham karuna-nidhe! varam imam padabja-mule bhavat-
sarvvasvavadhi-radhika-dayita-dasanam gane ganyatam
(Srimad Bhakti Vinod Viraha Dasakam: 10)
“Who am I? I am a very unfortunate conditioned soul. I am a very fallen soul but you are a Patit Pavan, a Vaisnava Thakur [a great Vaisnava who is a saviour of the fallen]. If I have made any offences in composing these verses, please forgive me. I pray at your lotus feet for the boon that I will have the strength needed to follow your dearmost, Srila Saraswati Thakur, and carry out his orders as his dear associate. In this way I pray that you count me as a member of your sampradaya.”
Srila Guru Maharaj said that as Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur was reading this verse he first noticed that Srila Guru Maharaj was asking Bhakti Vinod Thakur for a boon in the conclusion of his poem (yache ’ham karuna-nidhe! varam imam). Srila Prabhupad thought, “What kind of boon is he going to ask for? Is he going to make a massacre here at the end?” But when Srila Prabhupad saw his name there, Varsabhanavi Dayita Das (Radhika-dayita-dasanam), and understood that Srila Guru Maharaj was praying only to be engaged in his service, he was very happy. He accepted and appreciated Srila Guru Maharaj’s prayer. In this way Srila Guru Maharaj composed many verses about Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur.
There is a very famous verse about Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur,
namo bhakti-vinodaya sach-chid-ananda-namine
gaura-sakti-svarupaya rupanuga-varaya te
“I offer my obeisance to Srila Sachchidananda Bhakti Vinod Thakur. He is Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s divine love personified and is the greatest Vaisnava in the Rupanuga sampradaya.”
Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur did so much seva for the sampradaya of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur appeared when the sampradaya was in a very precarious position. He was born in the Nadia district of West Bengal, in Ula, near Krishnanagar and Phulia, where Haridas Thakur’s bhajan-kutir was located. Later Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur revealed himself to be a great devotee of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the Name of Mahaprabhu Bhakti Vinod Thakur tried to establish real Krishna consciousness, and he tried to clean up the sampradaya of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He lived during a very heavy time period.
aula, baula, kartabhaja, neda, daravesa, sani
sahajiya, sakhibheki, smarta, jata-gosani
ativadi, chudadhari, gauranga-nagari
tota kahe, ei tera’ra sanga nahi kari
(Tota Ram Das Babaji)
At that time the apasampradayas [deviated sects, so-called followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu] were very strong. The aula, baula, and the kartabhaja sampradayas were especially very strong in Ula. From his childhood Bhakti Vinod Thakur saw the nature of their activities and was deeply opposed to them. So when he showed his form as a devotee of Mahaprabhu, he first tried to correct the errors of the apasampradayas and establish the real sampradaya of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Earlier Tota Rama Das Babaji had recognised and rejected those apasampradayas but Bhakti Vinod Thakur appeared and exhibited the true nature of a perfect devotee in the line of the Rupanuga sampradaya. He acted in so many ways to remove the activities of the apasampradayas, but he did so in a very sober way, never in an overly combative way.
There are many examples of this in the life of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. When he was in Jagannath Puri a very big yogi named Visakishan, a member of the ativadi apasampradaya, declared that he was Krishna Himself, and that he had appeared in the form of Visakishan to fight with the British government. He declared that on the fourteenth day in the month of Chaitra, he would start a revolution. He was doing many immoral things in rural villages at that time, and the British government gave charge to Bhakti Vinod Thakur to decide what to do with him. Bhakti Vinod Thakur went to see him. Visakishan was a very big yogi, and after seeing Bhakti Vinod Thakur he said, “Oh, I know the purpose for which you have come. But you are one of my great devotees, I will not do anything against you. You can take shelter at my feet.” Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur said, “If you know everything, then what is your idea about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?” Visakishan said, “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is one of my great devotees.” After hearing this Bhakti Vinod Thakur decided Visakishan was a cheater. Bhakti Vinod Thakur measured his qualification through this question and concluded that he was a great cheater showing a bluff. Bhakti Vinod Thakur knew Visakishan did not have any real consciousness.
Then Bhakti Vinod Thakur threatened him, “If you start your revolution I will arrest you.” Visakishan became very angry but Bhakti Vinod Thakur continued, “I am giving you twenty-four hours; if you do not change your mood within that time, I will arrest you.” The next day Bhakti Vinod Thakur returned and Visakishan showed many vibhutis [magical powers] but Bhakti Vinod Thakur forcefully arrested him and had him put in jail. The British government gave charge to Bhakti Vinod Thakur to decide his case. Visakishan performed many miracles while in jail and in the courtroom as well. Bhakti Vinod Thakur gave him three chances to change his mood or face punishment but Visakishan attacked Bhakti Vinod Thakur.
The day before the final judgement of his case, Visakishan threatened Bhakti Vinod Thakur, “Tomorrow you plan to give your judgement, but you will not be able come to the courtroom tomorrow.” Bhakti Vinod Thakur replied, “I will see you tomorrow.” When Bhakti Vinod Thakur returned to his house he saw that his sons and daughters, his whole family, was suffering from very heavy diarrhea. He called a doctor who relieved them with some medicine but then he himself began to feel feverish and pained in his body. The next morning he could not walk or even move from his bed. Still he said, “I will go to the courtroom today and give my judgement. I must go. Call a palanquin and carry me.” He had a fever of one hundred and six degrees and he felt great pain throughout his whole body, but he said, “Today I must give my judgement to that yogi.” When he crossed through the doorway of the courtroom his fever and pain completely disappeared. He sat in his chair and told Visakishan, “What are you going to do? Will you change your mood?” Seeing Bhakti Vinod Thakur, Visakishan said, “Oh, you still cannot understand who I am? What happened to you yesterday? And what happened to you today? You still cannot understand who I am?” Bhakti Vinod Thakur said, “I can understand who you are. From the day that I asked you about the position of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu I have understood who you are.” Then Visakishan threw fire from his hair in the middle of the courtroom. Bhakti Vinod Thakur said, “I am giving six months imprisonment to this man. Take him to the jail, and before that, cut off his hair.” He gave this order, but who would cut his hair? No one was willing to touch Visakishan after they saw him throw fire from his hair. Then Bhakti Vinod Thakur called for a sahib, a Western man, and said, “You can touch him; cut off his hair.” When that Westerner went to touch him, Visakishan greatly threatened him but the man did not care. He took Visakishan’s hair and cut it off. Then Visakishan was put in jail. While there, Visakishan fasted and finally Bhakti Vinod Thakur personally went to the jail and requested him, “I will arrange for you to be released within six months; you can leave here and lead a normal life again, if only you will change your conception.” Visakishan would not listen to him and lastly died of starvation while still in jail. That is the history of Visakishan.
That time period was a very hard time. The sahajiya sampradaya and the jati-gosani sampradaya had conquered the whole of Bengal, even the whole of India, you could say. When Srila Saraswati Thakur was a twelve-year-old boy, Charan Das Babaji, a famous ‘siddha-mahapurush’ [a so-called perfected soul] would come to see Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur from time to time. There were two reasons for this. One, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s fame was unlimited. Even Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj, who was a true siddha-mahapurush and very renounced, would come to see Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur and hear his explanation of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Secondly, Bhakti Vinod Thakur showed himself to be a very faithful deputy magistrate and government officer. In both of these ways Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s position was highly exalted and because of that Charan Das Babaji would visit Bhakti Vinod Thakur for his own benefit. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur would not directly tell him, “Do not come to see me,” but he would tell him, “What you are doing is wrong.” Even after hearing this, Charan Das Babaji would still come to visit Bhakti Vinod Thakur.
One day Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur saw that Charan Das Babaji had come to see Bhakti Vinod Thakur and that they were talking together. From very far away Srila Saraswati Thakur offered his dandavat pranam to Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. He did not go near Bhakti Vinod Thakur to offer his dandavat, but offered it from far away. At that time he was only a twelve-year-old boy. Charan Das Babaji saw Srila Prabhupad do this and said to Bhakti Vinod Thakur, “Who is that boy? He is a very nice-looking boy. Why isn’t he coming over to us? Why is he offering his dandavat from so far away?” Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur said, “Oh, this boy is my son, but he is very firmly established in the line of Krishna consciousness and he always very carefully avoids sahajiyaism. He has made a vow to stay fifty metres away from any sahajiya, and you are a pakva [model] sahajiya.” Hearing that, Charan Das Babaji felt ashamed. Bhakti Vinod Thakur continued, “Every day he comes here to offer his dandavat to me. But today you are here so he is avoiding a sahajiya in this way. He is a very young boy.” Charan Das Babaji was the head of the sahajiya sampradaya and from that day he, and the whole sahajiya sampradaya, knew that in the future Srila Saraswati Thakur would become a great Acharya in the Rupanuga sampradaya.
Later Srila Saraswati Thakur very strictly followed Srila Jiva Goswami and tried to smash sahajiyaism and the other apasampradayas. Srila Prabhupad wanted to establish the real Krishna conception, Krishna consciousness in the line of Srila Rupa Goswami. He hated sahajiyaism very rigidly. Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur taught that Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur was Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s parshad [eternal associate] and that no one can estimate how exalted the conception that he gave is.
Bhakti Vinod Thakur composed many books: Krishna-samhita, Bhagavat-arka-marichi-mala, Chaitanya-siksamrta, Jaiva-dharma, Datta-kausthubha, and so on. But we can say that his special gift is in his songs. He composed many songs in his collections saranagati, Gitavali, Kalyana-kalpa-taru, Giti-mala, Yamuna-bhavavali, and others. Through his songs we will get the gist of all the scriptures. If all the scriptures disappeared from this mundane world but Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s songs remained, we would still get everything. We can get everything through his songs.
Fortunately, at the time that I joined Srila Guru Maharaj, he gave me thirty-two songs from saranagati to memorise. Srila Guru Maharaj always wanted to hear Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s songs. In Chaitanya Saraswat Math only a few songs of Srila Narottam Thakur, one or two songs of other Vaisnavas, and one song of Vidyapati, are sung. But all the songs of Bhakti Vinod Thakur are chanted in Chaitanya Saraswat Math, because everything is within his songs. Srila Guru Maharaj said that you will get everything from the songs of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur.
Devotee: Srila Maharaj, the other day you mentioned that Srila Saraswati Thakur established the worship of Nimai Pandit but not the worship of the Yuga-avatar Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. I have also heard of a Gauranarayan-avatar. What is the difference between these forms of the Lord and why do we worship in this way?
Srila Govinda Maharaj: It is not Gauranarayan actually. This type of question is only coming from the Western devotees’ circle. I praise the Western devotees for this because they are inquiring in so many ways. But it is a high question, a very high question.
In the heart of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur Mahaprabhu’s full lila appeared and he always remembered this lila. Still, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur was very much attached to Mahaprabhu’s Nadia-lila. He especially liked it. He liked all the lilas of Mahaprabhu but his favourite lila to worship was Mahaprabhu’s Nadia-lila. We differentiate three forms of Krishna: the Krishna who plays in Dwaraka, the Krishna who plays in Mathura, and the Krishna who plays in Vrndavan. We are worshippers of Vrndavan Krishna, not Mathura or Dwaraka Krishna. Why? There are different rasas and different behaviours within the different forms of Krishna.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has different forms within His lila just as Lord Krishna does. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in this mundane world and enacted the Pastimes of rescuing the jiva-souls and distributing Krishna-prema. That is the Yuga-avatar lila of Mahaprabhu. Actually Mahaprabhu is Sri Sri Radha-Krishna’s nondifferent form. Krishna took the bhava and kanti of Srimati Radharani, appeared in the form of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and tasted the service mood of His supreme servitor, Srimati Radharani. So when Mahaprabhu performed His Nadia-lila we find a special form of the Lord. Up to the age of twenty-four Mahaprabhu exhibited His grhastha-lila in Nabadwip. That Nadia-lila of Mahaprabhu is the Gupta Vrndavan-lila of Krishna. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur very happily loved and worshipped that lila.
Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur and other devotees are very attached to the Pancha-Tattva’s Nabadwip-lila. There Nityananda Prabhu, Adwaita Prabhu, Gadadhar Pandit, Srivas Pandit, and all the devotees are playing along with Mahaprabhu. Sometimes early in the morning Mahaprabhu would go to bathe in the Ganges with all the devotees. They would walk along the banks of the Ganges, very happily wandering about, dancing and chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Then the Lord would go to Ishodyan with His devotees and perform sankirtan. Every day there would be new flowers and fruits in the garden and a feast at noontime. The Lord would eat in the garden with all His devotees. Every evening the Lord would go to Srivas Pandit’s house for kirtan. The devotees would perform kirtan all night and Mahaprabhu would dance among them, showing them His mahabhava. In this way the Lord performed many lilas in Nabadwip.
When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was twenty-four He took sannyas and left Mayapur. In Mayapur everyone could happily serve the Lord. Before He took sannyas His exclusive devotees were always getting His intimate association. After He took sannyas the devotees of Nadia no longer got His close association. They could not associate with Him intimately as they did during His grhastha-lila. The devotees of Mayapur were always serving the Lord and offering Him food. Even very poor men could serve Him. In Nadia-lila the Lord was in a very very happy mood—He was always full of joy while chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra with His devotees.
Mahaprabhu’s sannyas-lila is filled with austerity. He showed this austerity to His devotees and to the world. He followed fully the courtesies and customs of a sannyasi for that time period. He did not use a bed, He never used oil, and so on. His devotees were always very unhappy to see Him observing such austerities. Jagadananda Pandit especially could not tolerate Mahaprabhu’s sannyas-lila. Like Jagadananda Pandit, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur could not tolerate seeing the Lord observing such austerities during His sannyas-lila.
When Mahaprabhu returned from Nilachal to Koladwip in Nabadwip after five years of sannyas He stayed in the house of Vidya Vachaspati Mishra, the elder brother of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. Mahaprabhu did not go to His home village, Mayapur. He went to Kuliya in Koladwip where our Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math is at present. He did not go to the other side of the Ganges to visit Mayapur. The residents and people of Mayapur came to see Him in Koladwip, but they did not actually get His association at that time. Mahaprabhu stayed there for only two or three days and thousands and thousands of people gathered there to see Him at that time. To protect Him, Mahaprabhu was highly guarded while He stayed there. Everyone who came wanted to enter the house of Vidya Vachaspati to see the Lord, and if everyone had been allowed to enter freely, they would have easily destroyed the house because there were so many people. Thus the residents of Mayapur could only get the Lord’s darshan from a great distance. From very far away they offered their dandavats to the Lord and returned home.
Remembering this Pastime and Mahaprabhu’s Pastimes in Mayapur, Bhakti Vinod Thakur composed one verse expressing his heart’s desire to take Mahaprabhu back to Mayapur. I engraved this sloka on the Samadhi Mandir of Srila Guru Maharaj.
ami chai gaurachandre laite mayapure
yathaya kaisora-vese sri-angete sphure
yathaya chachara kesha tri-kachchha-vasane
isodyane lila kare bhakta-jana sane
(Sri Navadvipa-bhava-taranga: 70)
“Mahaprabhu may be so great, Mahaprabhu may be Bhagavan Himself, Mahaprabhu may be the Yuga-avatar, Mahaprabhu may be anything, but what will I do if I do not first get the service of Mahaprabhu? First, I need His service. I am feeling great pain to see Mahaprabhu with no hair dressed as a sannyasi. I do not like to see His sannyas-vesa. I need to worship Mahaprabhu in His form of Nabadwipchandra [the Moon of Sri Nabadwip Dham], not Sri Chaitanyadev the sampradaya sannyasi. I want to bring Mahaprabhu back to Mayapur where His devotees can see His long curly hair and His divine form shining in His beautiful garments during Pastimes in the garden of Ishodyan.”
In this way Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur worshipped Mahaprabhu’s eternal lila hidden in Sri Nabadwip Dham. It is said that Krishna never takes a step outside of Vrndavan, that Krishna eternally lives in Vrndavan. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur worships the Nabadwip-lila of Mahaprabhu, which is like the Vrndavan-lila of Krishna, with this conception. Mahaprabhu’s sannyas-lila is compared to Krishna’s Kuruksetra-lila. The heart of Bhakti Vinod Thakur was attracted to the Lord’s Pastimes in this way. This is very high siddhanta.
Srila Saraswati Thakur exclusively followed the line of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. Srila Saraswati Thakur never manifested a Deity form of Mahaprabhu as a sannyasi. In every one of the sixty-four Maths Srila Saraswati Thakur founded, Mahaprabhu’s Deity form was always revealed as His grhastha form of Nabadwip-lila. This was for the satisfaction of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. In his first Math, Sri Chaitanya Math in Mayapur, Srila Saraswati Thakur installed the Deities Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Giridhari. In maybe fifty of his other Maths Srila Saraswati Thakur gave the Deities’ Names related with the word vinod: Sri Gaura Vinodapran, Gaura Vinodananda, and so on. Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur was enlightened with the conception of Bhakti Vinod Thakur and he established Mahaprabhu’s Deity forms in his Mission in this way.
For many years in deity shops you would never see a sannyas form of Mahaprabhu. You would see many different forms of Mahaprabhu but never the sannyas form. Now, however, the artists are making some sannyas forms of Mahaprabhu. Ten or fifteen years ago you would not see this anywhere. Maybe fifteen years ago I first saw Mahaprabhu’s sannyas form in a medicine shop in Porama Tala. All my life I had never seen any Deity of Mahaprabhu in His sannyas form. Now the idea seems to be spreading and the artists are making Mahaprabhu’s forms in many ways but they do not know the meaning of their work on the plane of devotion.
Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur was a very exclusive devotee of Mahaprabhu and he is a very special kind of devotee. He specifically worshipped Deities of Sri Sri Gaura Gadadhar. Everyone praises the worship of Gaura Gadadhar but almost nowhere do you see such worship. Always you see Nitai Gaura or Gauranga Mahaprabhu alone. Only in two or three places can you see Gaura Gadadhar Deities. One is in Champahatti in the temple of Dvija Vaninath and another is in Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s temple in Godrumadwip. The worship of Gaura Gadadhar involves a very hidden and deep conception. It is the deepest conception of Gauranga-lila, and is worshipped only by deeply attached, exclusive devotees.
Gadadhar Pandit Goswami was always very peacefully and quietly present in Nabadwip-lila with Mahaprabhu and His devotees. He stayed like a shadow of the Lord, silently present in the distance. But he had full-hearted affection for Mahaprabhu. All of the Lord’s devotees knew he was fully devoted to Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu returned from Gaya Dham after taking initiation from Isvar Puri, His mood had changed and He began desperately searching for Krishna. He cried before the devotees, showing His full mahabhava, “Where is Krishna?! Where is Krishna?!” Once Mahaprabhu was crying in this way at the house of Srivas Pandit in the company of Mukunda, Sanjay, and all the devotees. Mahaprabhu heard someone else crying inside another room of the house. He asked, “Who is crying inside that room?” The devotees said, “Your Gadadhar is crying.” Then Mahaprabhu praised Gadadhar, “Gadadhar, you are so fortunate! You have been a great devotee of Krishna since childhood. I have never had the Krishna-prema that you have!” In this way Mahaprabhu praised Gadadhar and gave affection to him as though Gadadhar was His brother. Even at times when all the devotees would be very confused, Gadadhar would have a very steady mood and silently try to serve and nourish Mahaprabhu. Sometimes he would give Sachi Mata advice, “Mahaprabhu wants this,” or, “this is Mahaprabhu’s heart desire.”
Srila Guru Maharaj composed one very nice verse explaining the real activity of Srila Gadadhar Pandit Goswami.
nilambhodhi-tate sada svaviraha ksepanvitam bandhavam
srimad-bhagavati katha madiraya sanjivayan bhati yah
srimad-bhagavatam sada sva-nayanasru-payanaih pujayan
gosvami-pravaro gadadhara-vibhur bhuyat mad-eka-gatih
In Puri, Mahaprabhu was heavily intoxicated with Radharani’s mood of separation from Krishna. Mahaprabhu was like a madman searching everywhere for Krishna, “Where is Krishna?!” He was always in the mood of extreme separation, tasting the mahabhava of Radharani. Gadadhar Pandit always followed Mahaprabhu but also always remained at a distance from Him. Gadadhar Pandit would invite the Lord to his Tota Gopinath temple. Gadadhar Pandit lived there in a garden and worshipped his Deity of Gopinath. Every day Mahaprabhu would come there with His devotees to hear Srimad Bhagavatam. In Jagannath Puri Gadadhar Pandit’s only real activity was giving nourishment to Mahaprabhu by reading Srimad Bhagavatam for Him. Sometimes wine or intoxication is supplied to a someone who cannot tolerate being separated from a dear friend. Mahaprabhu could not tolerate the deep separation He felt from Krishna, and Gadadhar Pandit Goswami gave nourishment to Mahaprabhu by reading the Bhagavatam. He supplied the Bhagavatam to Him like an intoxicant. Mahaprabhu tasted the Bhagavatam in this way and got much nourishment from Gadadhar Pandit. Supplying ecstasy to Mahaprabhu, Gadadhar Pandit himself was also always crying. Gadadhar Pandit cried to see the mood of Mahaprabhu and worshipped Mahaprabhu with his explanations of Srimad Bhagavatam and his tears.
Krishna took Radharani’s heart and halo, and appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to taste Radharani’s ecstatic service mood. Radharani then became like an empty vessel, Her bhava taken by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and She showed Her form in Gaura-lila as Gadadhar Pandit. Gadadhar Das, who was an associate of Nityananda Prabhu, further represented Her kanti [halo]. But Gadadhar Pandit represented Her main form for he was like an empty vessel. He was quiet and seldom spoke anything about Krishna, but his heart was always full of Krishna. Internally Mahaprabhu is Krishna, and Gadadhar was always feeling separation from Mahaprabhu as well as Krishna. Not everyone could understand the position of Gadadhar. Only the very close and intimate devotees could understand the bhava of Gadadhar. The closest and most intimate devotees knew that Gadadhar Pandit was the Avatar of Srimati Radharani.
Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s worship of Gaura Gadadhar manifested in Sri Godrum Dham. There he would worship Gaura Gadadhar and meditate on the Pastimes of Radha-Krishna. In one song he wrote,
dekhite dekhite sri-radha-madhava
rupete karibe ala
(Sri Kalyana-kalpa-taru: 3.2.10)
“As I gaze upon Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhar of audarya-lila, before my eyes They have manifested as Sri Sri Radha-Madhava of Vrndavan-lila.”
He would not have guessed that while he was meditating Gaura-Gadadhar would transform themselves into Sri Sri Radha-Krishna. Seeing Gaura-Gadadhar appear as Radha-Madhava, he fainted. When he regained consciousness everything was just as before.
Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur chose to disappear on the same amavasya, dark moon day, as Gadadhar Pandit: Gadadhara dina dhari’ paiyachchhe Gaurahari. Today is that day, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s tirobhav tithi. Many things happened in the life of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. Maybe you have read how Mahaprabhu’s birthplace was discovered, how Nabadwip Dham parikrama began, or how Mahaprabhu’s mission was established. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur tried to do many things in many ways. Lastly, his supreme gift was Srila Saraswati Thakur. He established Srila Saraswati Thakur so that in the future he would carry the sampradaya of Mahaprabhu. Finally, Srila Saraswati Thakur succeeded in this and fulfilled the desires of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. Srila Guru Maharaj composed many verses about the glories of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. In general he prayed, “I bow down to the lotus feet of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur and pray that his desires may be fulfilled by his dearmost associate Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur and his disciples.”
One hundred years ago Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur wrote in one of his books that within a short time 50,000 devotees from all over the world would make the world mad with love for Krishna, and come to India and dance and chant with the Indian devotees, embracing them with tears in their eyes. This was the prediction of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur and already it is happening. Many of the devotees from the Western world are joining in the mission of Mahaprabhu, chanting the glories of Mahaprabhu, and dancing in the Name of Mahaprabhu. And many of them are attached to our Math. By the mercy of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur we must get the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We have no doubt about this.
vanchha-kalpa-tarubhyas cha kripa-sindhubhya eva cha
patitanam pavanebhyo vaishnavebhyo namo namah
Srila Sachchidananda Bhakti Vinod Thakur ki jaya!