The Biography of HDG Srila Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja, Part 15
BY: SUN STAFF
Sri Srimad Paramahamsa 108 Srila Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji
A Pagoda in Nadia
Aquatint by James Moffat, c. 1804
Jun 15, CANADA (SUN) The last in a serial presentation of the life and pastimes of our illustrious Sampradaya Acaraya.
Srila Gaurakisora's Blessing
Once, Sripad Bhakti Pradipa Tirtha Maharaja in accord with the direction of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura went to visit Srila Bhaktivinoda in Godrumadvipa. Honoring the permission of Srila Bhaktivinoda, Sripada Tirtha Maharaja periodically approached Srila Gaurakisora on the opposite side of the Ganges. During this period Sripad Tirtha Maharaja was living in household life and uninitiated by Srila Bhaktivinoda.
One day Sripad Tirtha Maharaja brought Srila Gaurakisora a watermelon when he went to visit him. Generally Srila Gaurakisora would never take any offering from anyone but because he knew Sripad Tirtha Maharaja was coming from Srila Bhaktivinoda he mercifully accepted it. Srila Gaurakisora then asked Sripad Tirtha Maharaja to chant a devotional song from the literature Prarthana of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura. After the householder had chanted,
gauranga balite ha be pulaka sarira
hari hari balite nayane ba be nira
Srila Gaurakisora instructed him, "Remain faithful to the devotees and the spiritual master. Being more humble than a blade of grass and tolerant as a tree, simply chant the holy names of the Lord. Don't engage your mind, body and words in the association of non-devotees." The householder replied, "I have not taken shelter of a spiritual master." Srila Gaurakisora answered, "But you have met Srila Bhaktivinoda in Mayapura. Sri Mayapura is where one surrenders his soul to the Lord. Since you've offered yourself at his lotus feet haven't you accepted the shelter of Sri Gurudeva? Srila Bhaktivinoda is waiting there for you. Just go there and accept his causeless mercy." After hearing this the visitor shaved his head in Kuliya. Then Srila Gaurakisora told that great devotee, "In the future you will have to accept the renounced order of life and travel from province to province, village to village preaching the glories of the Lord's holy names." The devotee offered his obeisances and touched the feet of Srila Gaurakisora. Ordinarily Srila Gaurakisora would not allow anyone to touch his feet. When someone would approach him to touch his feet he would say, "If you touch my feet your entire family will be destroyed." However he did not object to this visitor. The household devotee returned to Godruma dvipa that day and received the Kamabija and Kamagayatri mantras from Srila Bhaktivinoda. Later this householder fulfilled the prediction of Srila Gaurakisora when he accepted the renounced order from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and was named Bhakti Pradipa Tirtha Maharaja. He later became famous in India for his extensive propagation of Srila Bhaktivinoda's and Sriman Mahaprabhu's divine message.
The Disappearance of Srila Gaurakisora
In the Bengali year 1322,1914, on the 30th day in Kartika, at nights end, Srila Gaurakisora left this world and entered into his eternal loving pastimes with the Supreme Lord. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura went to Kuliya from Mayapura when he heard of Srila Babaji Maharaja's departure. At that time different persons from different temples in the area began to fiercely argue with one another as to where the spiritual body of Srila Gaurakisora should be placed. They knew, that if the samadhi of Srila Gaurakisora were to be placed in their locality, in the future they would be able to earn large amounts of money from pilgrims coming to see his divine tomb. But, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura obstructed the so-called renounced babajis from doing so. The inspector of police in Navadvip arrived upon the scene. At that time, Commissioner Sri Yupta Yathendranatha Singh was the inspector of police. The local temple owners of that area after discussing amongst themselves what to do, came and proclaimed, "Srila Bhaktisiddhanta is not actually a sannyasi.
Therefore, the body of Srila Gaurakisora who was a renunciate of householder life, cannot be taken by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. He does not have that qualification." In answer to this Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura in a voice as deep as thunder said, "I am the only disciple of Om Paramahamsa Srila Gaurakisora. Even if I haven't accepted sannyasa I have been a strict celibate brahmacari all my life. By the mercy of Srila Gaurakisora, I have never acted like a monkey-like renunciate, secretly engaging in sense gratification by various abominable activities. Placing Srila Babaji Maharaja's sacred shoes upon my head, I can proudly say this: Is there anyone among you who is actually pure in character and renounced from household attachments? If so that person place Srila Gaurakisora in his samadhi tomb. I have no objection whatsoever. If anyone here has not had illicit sexual connection within one year, six months, three months, one month, or at least within the last three days, then he may touch the divine form of Srila Gaurakisora. Otherwise he will be completely devastated."
Hearing this, the superintendent of police Yathendranatha Babu asked, "Can you prove this?" Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura replied, "I will believe whatever they have to say." Gradually one by one the so-called babajis turned around and left the presence of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. The superintendent was wonderstruck to witness this. Just then one person spoke up and said, "When Srila Babaji Maharaja was living he requested that his body be dragged through the holy dust of Navadvipa. Therefore we should follow his instructions." Srila Bhaktisiddhanta replied, "Even Lord Krsnacandra thinks He is highly privileged to carry my spiritual master on His shoulders. What he humbly said is to destroy the pride and arrogance of the people who are opposed to the Supreme Lord. Although we are fools, offenders and inexperienced persons, still we will not become adverse to the purport of his instructions. Sri Gaurasundara embraced the divine form of Srila Haridasa Thakura after he departed and ecstatically danced with him. Just see what glories adorn his personality! Following in the footsteps of Sriman Mahaprabhu, we will place and carry the divine form of Srila Babaji Maharaja upon our heads."
In the Bengali year 1322, 1914A.D., on Utthana Ekadasi Srila Bhaktisiddhanta performed the purifactory rites for placing Srila Babaji Maharaja in his divine tomb according to the Sat Sanskara Kriya Dipika. When the samadhi tomb was being installed a Mr. A. Poddara from the district of Yasohara who lived in the village of Lohagada claimed that the tomb site was not under the jurisdiction of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. In time the sacred place where Srila Babaji Maharaja's tomb was installed became infested with sinful and abominable activities. The caretakers even became offensive and arrogant towards the followers of Srila Gaurakisora. In response Mother Ganges current slowly changed and due to their offences approached the tomb of Srila Gaurakisora. It was on the 5th of Bhadra 1339 that Sri Ganga devi wanted to bring Srila Babaji Maharaja's tomb into her currents embrace. However by the desire of the Lord, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, the most intimate associate of Srila Gaurakisora, had the samadhi tomb removed from Kuliya to Mayapura on the opposite side of the Ganges. There in Sri Mayapura, where the Caitanya Math stands today, the samadhi tomb was reinstalled personally by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta on the banks of Sri Radha Kunda.
This concludes the Biography of HDG Srila Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja
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