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Every page of this biography, written by one pure Vaiṣṇava about another, offers enthralling information about the lion-like ācārya, Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja. It not only describes his glorious life, spotless character and courageous preaching but it also details his lucid and penetrating delivery of Gauḍīya philosophy. It depicts the qualities of a true ācārya, who with his every breath demonstrates the pinnacle of loyalty to guru and who resolutely protects the tenets of his disciplic lineage for the benefit of the souls of this world. This biography is complete in every way and leaves the reader honoured to have come into contact with such a pure and dignified Vaiṣṇava.
EXCERPTS: Today I am most pleased that we have published the biography of paramārādhya nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī, along with his tattva-siddhānta, or philosophical conceptions, and instructions. There was a great need for this important book to be published. At the present, the preaching of harināmasaṅkīrtana is increasing everywhere by the efforts of the disciples and grand-disciples of jagad-guru Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. Śrī Śacīnandana Gaurahari, resplendent with the bhāva of Śrī Rādhā, is the most magnanimous form of Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa. To fulfil His long-lost desire, the Seventh Gosvāmī, Śrīla Saccidānanda Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, reestablished the flow of bhāgīrathī-bhakti, just as Bhagīratha Mahārāja brought Bhāgīrathī Gaṅgā to Earth. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura predicted that the mahāpuruṣa Śrīla Prabhupāda and all his followers would be responsible for spreading Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s viśuddhabhakti, supremely pure devotion, and harināmasaṅkīrtana throughout the entire world.
My most worshipful Śrīla Gurupāda-padma was especially favoured by Śrīla Prabhupāda and consequently he dedicated his every breath to fulfil his guru’s innermost desire. In this regard he received all kinds of help from many of his godbrothers, among whom Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja is foremost. Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī awarded sannyāsa to Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja. In this way he encouraged and inspired him to become an outstanding world preacher of śuddha-bhakti and nāma-saṅkīrtana in modern times.
In 1925, as in previous years, the sixteen krośa Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā was held on the occasion of the appearance of Śrīman Mahāprabhu. Thousands of devoted pilgrims performed parikramā in an enormous saṅkīrtana party. Śrīla Prabhupāda went on foot in the parikramā while the deities of Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga and Gāndharvikā-Giridhārī were borne on the back of an elephant. At one point, the parikramā party gathered in front of the temple of Prauḍhāmāyā in Kuliyā (Koladvīpa), and the devotees listened to Śrīla Prabhupāda relating the glories of Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma. Just then, the socalled brāhmaṇas and caste gosvāmīs of Kuliyā-Navadvīpa attacked them with bricks, stones, hot water, soda bottles and other implements.
The outrageous assault caused pandemonium. The pilgrims were running here and there to protect their lives, and no one cared for anyone else. The violent mob was searching for Śrīla Prabhupāda in order to kill him, but Śrī Vinodabihārī Brahmacārī immediately took him to a devotee’s house nearby for protection. There, Śrī Vinoda-bihārī quickly put on Śrīla Prabhupāda’s sannyāsa dress and took his daṇḍa, giving his own white clothes to Śrīla Prabhupāda to wear. Somehow he sent Śrīla Prabhupāda, undetected, to Śrī Dhāma Māyāpura in this ordinary dress. Meanwhile, the police arrived. Some time later, Śrī Vinoda-bihārī reached Māyāpura safely, still dressed as a sannyāsī.
The corrupt police suppressed news of this event, but Ānanda Bāzār, at that time a well-known magazine, published an account of the atrocity. The educated and respectable people were shocked to read and hear about this outrage. All the Vaiṣṇavas were amazed at Śrī Vinoda-bihārī Brahmacārī’s remarkable guru-niṣṭhā (steadfast faith and devotion to the spiritual master), and the incident was discussed everywhere. This is how Śrī Vinoda-bihārī fearlessly counteracted any injustice or atrocity that threatened Śrīla Prabhupāda or challenged his views.
Introduction (translated from the Hindi edition)
Part One: Family Lineage - Bhāgavata guru-paramparā, Appearance, Childhood, Student life, protection of the properties and the beginning of spiritual life,
Receiving Śrīla Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja’s darśana and his blessings,
Part Two: A Life of Service - Leaving home, Receiving dīkṣā and guru-mantra, Ideal maṭha life, By the order of Śrī Gurudeva, Śrī Vinoda-bihārī defends the property of his previous āśrama, Hospitality, Service to the bṛhad-mṛdaṅga, Service to Śrī Dhāma Māyāpura, Ideal service to the spiritual master, A special contribution to the establishment of Bāgbāzār Gauḍīya Maṭha, A Vedāntic explanation of the word paramānanda – supreme bliss, Śrī Vinoda-bihārī and the Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda Institute, The title ‘Kṛtiratna’, Serving the Lord through court proceedings, Ideal Vaiṣṇava life, First meeting with pūjyapāda Śrīdhara Mahārāja, Prabhupāda’s opinion of an ideal guru-sevaka, The transfer of Śrīla Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi, Preaching of śuddha-bhakti, Interest in philosophy, Śrī mahā-mantra and kīrtana, Decorated with the title ‘Upadeśaka’, His Highness Sir John Anderson, Governor of Bengal, visits Śrī Dhāma Māyāpura, The inauguration of Śrī Mandira and the deities at Yogapīṭha, Māyāvāda kī Jīvanī, Śrīla Prabhupāda enters aprakaṭa-līlā.
Part Three: The Ācārya & His Mission - General superintendent of the Gauḍīya Maṭha and Mission, Obtaining the mercy of Śrīla Vaṁśīdāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, Foundation of Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti, Complete dependence on Bhagavān, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Sarvasva Giri Mahārāja, Accepting sannyāsa, Preaching in Bengal, Re-establishment of Śrī Dhāma Navadvīpa parikramā, Manifestation of ācārya-līlā, Śrī Śrī Jagannātha-deva’s snāna-yātrā and ratha-yātrā in Śrī Uddhāraṇa Gauḍīya Maṭha, Chuṅchurā, Preaching and Vraja-maṇḍala parikramā in 1944, Eighty-four kosa Kṣetra-maṇḍala parikramā, Parental affection for his disciples, Śrāddha ceremony according to Vaiṣṇava rites in Kalyāṇapura, Preaching in Bihāra, Śrī vyāsa-pūjā celebration, The departure of Śrīla Narahari Sevā-vigraha Prabhu, The decision to establish a maṭha in Jagannātha Purī and the publishing of a monthly transcendental magazine, Preaching in Medinīpura and Sundarvana, The self-manifestation of Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā on the occasion of Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā and Śrī Gaura-janmotsava, Śrī Ayodhyā-dhāma, Naimiṣāraṇya parikramā and ūrjā-vrata, Śrī Setubandha Rāmeśvara parikramā and ūrjā-vrata, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s viraha-utsava in Ānandapāḍā, Preaching sanātana-dharma in Vasīrahāṭa and the reply to Śrī Chaṭṭopādhyāya Mahāśaya’s protest, Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā, Śrī Gaura-janmotsava and the deities’ entrance into their new residence, Bābājī-veśa conferred upon Śrīpāda Triguṇātīta Brahmacārī Prabhu, Preaching śuddha-bhakti, The collecting and publishing of Śrī Vyāsa-pūjā-paddhati, Awarding aṣṭottara-śata-nāmi tridaṇḍa-sannyāsa, Preaching śuddha-bhakti in Assam, Darśana of Śrī Jagannāthajī’s ratha-yātrā in Śrī Jagannātha Purī, Śrī Janmāṣṭamī-vrata and Śrī Nandotsava in Chuṅchurā Maṭha, Śrī Badrikāśrama and Kedāranātha parikramā, Śrī puruṣottama-vrata, Re-establishing the Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Catuṣpāṭhī, Śrī Avantikā (Ujjayinī) and Nāsika parikramā, Preaching sanātana-dharma in Śrī Rāmapura, Hoogly, Preaching śuddha-bhakti in Caubīs Parganā and Medinīpura, Lecture at the eminent Sanskrit conference in Chuṅchurā, Śrī vyāsa-pūjā festival in Viṣṇupura Kamārapotā of Medinīpura, Preaching sanātana-dharma in Assam, Establishing Śrī Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha in Mathurā and publishing Śrī Bhāgavata-patrikā, Installation of the deities and annakūṭa festival in Śrī Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha, Mathurā, Preaching the message of Śrī Caitanya in Assam, Śrī vyāsa-pūjā festival in Begunābāḍī, A protest against the law controlling Hindu sādhus and sannyāsīs, Inauguration of Śrī Goloka-gañja Gauḍīya Maṭha (Assam), Śrī vyāsa-pūjā celebration in Śrī Goloka-gañja Gauḍīya Maṭha, Śrī Ācārya Kesarī at the ‘All-Bengal Vaiṣṇava Conference’, Observing fasting (upavāsa) on Śrī Rādhāṣṭamī, Vyāsa-pūjā at Śrī Gauravāṇī-Vinoda Āśrama in Khaḍagpura, Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti and Akṣaya-tṛtīyā, Preaching in Goloka-gañja, Assam, Establishing a primary school and the method of teaching in Pichladā, The installation of the deities in Śrī Goloka-gañja Gauḍīya Maṭha, Vyāsa-pūjā and inauguration of the deities in the newly constructed temple, in Śrī Gauravāṇī-Vinoda Āśrama in Khaḍagpura, Protest against Śrī Rādhā-Govindanātha’s Vaiṣṇava-darśana, Śrīla Ācāryadeva in Assam, Installation of the deities at Pichladā Gauḍīya Maṭha, philosophical assembly in Keśavapura, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s disappearance festival in Chuṅchurā, Śrī Jagannātha-deva’s ratha-yātrā, Celebration of Śrī Janmāṣṭamī and Śrī Nandotsava at Śrī Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha, Mathurā, Observing kārtika-vrata in Śrī Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s viraha-utsava in Chuṅchurā Maṭha, Sixty-two lectures of Śrī Ācārya Kesarī in sixty-six days, Śrīla Ācāryadeva in Murśidābāda, Preaching of śuddha-bhakti in Sundaravana (Bengal), Śrī vyāsa-pūjā celebration in Chuṅchurā Maṭha, In Valāgaḍa, a large conference was held to promote dharma, Preaching in Assam and Sundaravana, Ratha-yātrā and jhūlana-yātrā celebrations at Śrī Uddhāraṇa Gauḍīya Maṭha, Parikramā of all the tīrthas in India under the guidance of Śrīla Gurudeva, Śrīla Ācāryadeva in Jaipura, Establishing a Samiti preaching centre in Orissa, Preaching śuddha-bhakti in Jaipura, Śrīla Ācāryadeva’s auspicious desire for Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Catuṣpāṭhī1, The opinion of the Sanskrit school supervisor regarding Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Catuṣpāṭhī, Establishment of Śrī Gauḍīya Charity Clinic, Installation festival of the deities in the new temple during Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā and Śrī Gaura-janmotsava, Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā and Śrī Gaura-janmotsava, Śrī Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha, Śrī Narahari Toraṇa, Śrī Maṭha consisting of seven sections, Discussion regarding touched and untouched bhoga in Śrī Jagannātha Mandira, Preaching in Siliguḍi and Bihāra, Śrīla Ācāryadeva preaching śuddha-bhakti in Kolkata and Medinīpura, Preaching śuddha-bhakti in Śrī Mathurā, Vṛndāvana, Lukhnow and Kāśī, Śrīla Ācārya Kesarī in Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha, Kolkata, Inauguration of Śrī Vāsudeva Gauḍīya Maṭha in Vāsugrāma, Assam, Lecture in the law court library and district library of Siūḍī, Entering aprakaṭa-līlā.
Part Four: His Pure Character - A hint of his internal identity, The inferiority of direct perception, Discussion with the Communist Jyoti Bābū, Śrī Gurudeva and the alms received, Śrī Gurudeva on the svarūpa of the jīva, Pāñcarātrika guru-paramparā and bhāgavata-paramparā, The guru-paramparā of the commentator [Śrī Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa], The śiṣya-paramparā of Śrī Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Pāñcarātrika-paramparā and bhāgavata-paramparā, The rasika and bhāvuka bhāgavata Service to the sampradāya, The distinction between the smārta and Vaiṣṇava conceptions, A subtle distinction between the ideas of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, Śrīla Gurupāda-padma’s supra-mundane character and steadfast guru-niṣṭhā
Part Five: Established Conclusions - The siddhānta propagated by Śrīla Gurupāda-padma, Pramāṇa-tattva, The self-evident Veda is the crest jewel of evidence, Only Kṛṣṇa is parama-tattva, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is sarva-śaktimān, the possessor of all potencies, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is akhila-rasāmṛta-sindhu, the ocean of all ambrosial mellows, The jīva is the vibhinnāṁśa-tattva of Śrī Hari, Deliberation on the jīva who is under the influence of māyā in the conditioned stage on account of his marginal nature, The jīva is free from māyā in the liberated state, The principle of inconceivable difference and non-difference, Deliberation on śuddha-bhakti, Love for Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate objective of the jīva.
Part Six: Protecting the Śrī Brahma-Madhva-Gauḍīya Sampradāya - Refutation of pure monism (kevalādvaita-vāda), The protection of his sampradāya, The Śrī Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya is in the line of Śrī Madhva, Refutation of the doctrines of the smārta opponents of bhakti, Eligibility for serving Śrī Śālagrāma, Śrīla Gurupāda-padma on śrī vigraha-tattva, Refutation of the doctrine: ‘there are as many paths as there are philosophies’, Refutation of the sahajiyā doctrine, Bheka-praṇālī and siddha-praṇālī, (1) Bheka-dhāraṇa – the system of conferring bābājī-veśa, (2) Siddha-praṇālī.
Part Seven: Śrīla Gurudeva and Vaiṣṇava Literature - ‘The Life History of Māyāvāda, or the Victory of Vaiṣṇavism’, (1) What is māyāvāda?, (2) Is this world false?, (3) The means of liberation, (4) The history of māyāvāda, (5) Advaita-vāda in Satya-yuga, (6) The evolution of nirviśeṣa advaita-vāda in Treta-yuga, Vaśiṣṭha Rāvaṇa, (7) Advaita-vāda and its transformations in Dvāpara-yuga, Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Kaṁsa, (8) Advaita-vāda or māyāvāda in Kali-yuga, Ācārya Śaṅkara, (9) Nirvāṇa is a false concept, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Vinoda-bihārī tattvāṣṭakam (Verse 1, Verse 2, Verse 3, Verse 4, Verse 5, Verse 6, Verse 7, Verse 8, Verse 9), Śrī Maṅgala-āratī, Śrīla Prabhupāda āratī, Śrī Tulasī parikramā and āratī, Śrī Caitanya-pañjikā (Śrī Māyāpura-pañjikā), Statements regarding Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā (The nature of Śrī Patrikā, The circulation period of Sajjana-toṣaṇī and Gauḍīya, The cause of the appearance of Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā, The purpose of Śrī Patrikā, The connection of various ethics with Śrī Gauḍīya, Dharma is India’s prestige and the bestower of peace, The language of Śrī Patrikā), Statements about Śrī Bhāgavata-patrikā, 5 June 1955, (History, Eternality, ‘Śrī’ and ‘Patrikā’, National language, The Hindi language, The usage of language, Jurisdiction of the national language, Request), Literature on śuddha-bhakti published, written or edited by oṁ viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja.
Part Eight: His Legacy - Disciples and god-brothers of oṁ viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja to whom he bestowed tridaṇḍa-sannyāsa and bābājī-veśa, Parikramās organised by Śrīla Ācārya Kesarī, Śuddha-bhakti preaching centres established by Śrīla Ācārya Kesarī, Maṭhas established by the Samiti after Śrīla Ācārya Kesarī’s disappearance, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja’s Upadeśāvalī, Appendix.
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Gosvāmī Mahārājā, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Kṛṣṇadāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, Śrī Sanātana dāsa Adhikārī (Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Muni Mahārāja), Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Pramoda Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, About the Author Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Index of Quoted Verses.
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