Some personal stories about Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaj

February 10, 2012 in Articles by Nityananda Rama dasa

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaj

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   When  he was a child two, three years old, he ate one mango fruit

which was kept for offering to the Deity. So his father  mildly rebuked

him, “Oh, you have done a very wrong thing. It was meant  for Deity,

and you have taken it. You should not have done it.” The  child was two

or three years old. He took it so seriously that never  after that he

took mango. Whenever we offered him mango he said, “No, I  am offender.

I cannot take mango.” He was thinking like that,  you see. Never in his

life he took a mango. He was thinking that “I offended in  my childhood

by taking the mango of the Deity.” This is the  characteristic of

acarya. They teach by their life’s action that one  should be so much

determined, that one should not be… A child took the  mango, there

was no offense. But he took that vow.

   Another instance, in my presence. At that time, we were also  young

men, and one of my Godbrothers, his name is Dr. Oul  Bihari Kapoor…

He’s now retired in Vrndavana, last time I saw him. He  was also young

man, and his wife was also young. So we were sitting  together, talking

with Guru Maharaja, and the girl proposed, “My dear  master, I want to

speak with you.” So Guru Maharaja said, “Yes, you can  talk whatever

you like.” So she said, “I want to talk with you  secretly, not in the

presence of everyone.” Guru Maharaja said, “No. I cannot  talk with you

secretly. You can talk in the presence of my all other  disciples.” So

even that girl was just like his granddaughter by age  calculation, he

refused to talk with a young woman in a secret place.  These are the

instances.   So in his life he was akhanda brahmacari.

At that  time, Guru Maharaja was

indisposed little, and he was staying at Jagannatha Puri,  on the

seashore. So I wrote him letter, “My dear master, your  other

disciples, brahmacari, sannyasi, they are rendering you  direct

service. And I am a householder. I cannot live with you,  I cannot

serve you nicely. So I do not know. How can I serve you?”  Simply an

idea, I was thinking of serving him, “How can I serve him  seriously?”

So the reply was dated 13th December, 1936. In that  letter he wrote,

“My dear such and such, I am very glad to receive your  letter. I think

you should try to push our movement in English.” That was  his writing.

“And that will do good to you and to the people who will  help you.”

That was his instruction. And then in 1936, on the 31st  December–that

means just after writing this letter a fortnight before  his

departure–he passed away. But I took that order of  my spiritual

master very seriously, but I did not think  that I’ll have to do such

and such thing. I was at that time a householder. But  this is the

arrangement of Krsna. If we strictly try to serve the  spiritual

master, his order, then Krsna will give us all  facilities. That is the

secret. Although there was no possibility,  I never thought, but I took

it little seriously by studying a commentary by  Visvanatha Cakravarti

Thakura on the Bhagavad-gita. In the Bhagavad-gita the  verse

vyavasayatmika-buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana, in connection  with that

verse, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives his commentary  that we

should take up the words from the spiritual master as our  life and

soul. We should try to carry out the instruction,  the specific

instruction of the spiritual master, very rigidly,  without caring for

our personal benefit or loss.   So I tried a little bit in that  spirit. So he has given me all

facilities to serve him…

Devotee: When your spiritual master was a little boy,  did, was he, um,

did he do things like Lord Caitanya did like when He went  to the, um,

like when Lord Caitanya went to the water and all girls  were asking


Prabhupada: No, he was not so much naughty. (laughs)  My Guru Maharaja

was very gentle boy. Yes. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was  very naughty boy.

Yes. (laughs) And Krsna was also very naughty boy.  (pause) Chant Hare

Krsna. ….

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   So at  that time we had some talks, and of course I was defeated by

his argument, my argument. (laughter) And then, when we  came out, we

were offered prasadam, very nice treatment, the Gaudiya  Matha. And

when I came out on the street, this my friend asked me,  “What is your

opinion of this sadhu?” Then I said that “Here is the  right person who

has taken up Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message, and now  it will be


Devotees: Jaya!

Prabhupada: So I was at that time a fool, but I opined  like this. And

I accepted him as my spiritual master immediately. Not  officially, but

in my heart. That was in 1922. Then, in 1923, I  left Calcutta on my

business tour…

If somebody  wants to be actually devotee of

Krsna, at the same time, keeps his material attachment,  then Krsna’s

business is He takes away everything material, so that  cent percent he

becomes, I mean to say, dependent on Krsna. So that  actually happened

to my life. I was obliged to come to this movement to  take up this

very seriously. And I was dreaming that “Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati

Thakura is calling me, ‘Please come out with me!’ ”  (pause) So I was

sometimes horrified, “Oh, what is this? I have give up my  family life?

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is calling me? I have  to take

sannyasa?” Oh, I was horrified. But I saw several  times, calling me.

So anyway, it is by his grace I was forced to give up my  family life,

my so-called business life. And he brought me some way or  other in

preaching his gospel.    So this is memorable  day. What he desired, I am trying little bit,

and you are all helping me

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   So  1922 I met my Guru Maharaja through the exigency of my  intimate

friend, Mr. Narendranath Mullik. And I would not go. He  told me

information, “There is a nice sadhu. Let us go and see.”  I did not

like very much these sadhus in those days, national  spirit. So I said,

“I have seen many sadhus. They come at my father’s care.  I was not

very much pleased with their behavior.” So he dragged me  forcibly:

“No, I have heard this person is very exalted.” So I  went. And his

first opening version was that “You are educated young  men. Why don’t

you preach Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s gospel in the Western  countries?” I

did not know. So this was his blessing in the first  meeting. I did not

know, but because we belonged to a Vaisnava family we  were very much

worshiper of Lord Caitanya and Nityananda, our family  Deity. So I was

very much pleased that “Here is a personality who is  going to preach

Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s gospel.” I was very much  pleased.

   So  anyway, from 1922 to 1933 practically I was not initiated, but  I

got the impression of preaching Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s  cult. That I was

thinking. And that was the initiation by my Guru  Maharaja. Then

officially I was initiated in 1933 because  in 1923 I left Calcutta. I

started my business at Allahabad. So I was always  thinking of my Guru

Maharaja, that “I met a very nice sadhu.” …..

…. And in 1933 I was officially initiated, and my  only qualification was when I was

introduced to my Guru Maharaja for initiation, so Guru  Maharaja

immediately said, “Yes, I shall initiate this boy. He  is very nice. He

hears me very patiently. He does not go away.” So that  was my

qualification. The high standard of  philosophy which he was speaking

at that time, practically I could not follow what was, he  was

speaking, but still, I liked to hear him. That was my  hobby.

Whenever… I was asking that “When Guru Maharaja will  speak?” So he

took it very seriously.

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So I am very  much happy that he is doing there very nice. So this should be

the attitude. My Guru Maharaja wanted me to preach in the  Western

countries, although I was at that time a ordinary manager  in a

chemical firm. I never thought, but I took it seriously.  So from that

1922, in 1965 it was fruitful. How many years?

Devotee: Forty-three.

Prabhupada: Forty-three years. So it is better late  than never. Yes.

So he desired me. I thought, “Now I am a family man.  Let me adjust

things.” I would have accepted immediately, but I was  not so

intelligent at that time. I thought “My responsibility to  family is

there. Let me wait.” But still, Guru  Maharaja was so kind to me that

when I was grhastha, I was seeing him in dreaming and I  was… He

asked me, “You come with me.” So I was going, and after  that, I was

thinking, “Oh, I will have to take sannyasa and go with  him?” So it

appeared to me very horrible. I was not very much  inclined to take

sannyasa, but Guru Maharaja is so kind that he  ultimately forced me to

take sannyasa and do this work. So it is all his  kindness. So this is

the memory of his  kindness.

Generally a girl dresses also to attract the attention of  the boy. So

the same thing is there but it is Krsna’s sense  gratification, not the

gopis’. The gopis did not want anything. But Krsna will  be satisifed.

That is the difference between lust and love. Love is  there, only

possible, when it is diverted towards Krsna. That is  love. And beyond

that… Not beyond that… Below that, everything is  lust. So we

should always remember this. The senses are not stopped,  but when the

gratification of the senses is directed towards Krsna,  that is bhakti,

or love. And when the sense gratification is directed  towards personal

self, that is lust. This is difference between lust and  love.

   So  Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura knew this art, how  to

turn our activities for the satisfaction of Krsna. This  is Krsna consciousness  movement