Dec 28, 2013 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the life and pastimes of our illustrious Sampradaya Acaraya.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's Prayer For Initiation
Srila Gaurakisora and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura manifested one pastime which shows how unflinching devotional service to Lord Krsna is situated far above mundane morality and scholarship. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was very pure in nature, a strict follower of Vaisnava principles, and very learned in all the scriptural conclusions. He was instructed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura to take initiation from Srila Gaurakisora. He went to Srila Gaurakisora and prayed to him. Srila Gaurakisora, hearing his prayer, said to him, "I must first ask Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu whether or not I can be merciful unto you. Only then will I be able to give you my decision."
The next day Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, again approached Srila Gaurakisora. Srila Gaurakisora answered him, "I have forgotten to ask my Lord." In great anxiety and distress, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati said, "If you do not bestow your mercy upon me, then I will be unable to live any longer."
On the third day, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati approached Srila Gaurakisora for initiation. Srila Gaurakisora replied, "I asked Caitanya Mahaprabhu if I could bestow my mercy upon you, but He replied, "The quality of mundane morality and academic scholarship is considered insignificant in light of pure devotion." Hearing this, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati boldly replied, "You are the crown jewel of all deceptors who worship Lord Krsna, and now you will also try to deceive me? If I do not receive the mercy of your lotus feet, then I will certainly give up my life. Srila Ramanujacarya approached Gosthipurna eighteen times for initiation, and later received his mercy. So I will continue to approach you, until one day I will certainly receive your causeless mercy. This is my most serious promise."
Upon hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora became very pleased to see the determination of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and bathed him with the dust of his lotus feet. On that day, within the island of Godruma, in the beautiful garden of Svananda-Sukhada-kunja, Srila Gaurakisora initiated Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati as his disciple.
The Pride Of The False Renunciant
One day, in Sridham Mayapura at the holy birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, a proud disciple of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura named Gopal dasa Babaji, began to imitate the renunciation of Srila Gaurakisora. Gopal dasa, who seemed to be absorbed in devotional service, always sat in one place performing his bhajana. He neglected his other service, always sat in one place performing his bhajana. He neglected his other service of watching the garden. Horses, cows and goats would wander into the area and destroy the garden. Gopal dasa always had a very indifferent attitude towards this. Gopal would chant the Holy name of Krsna incessantly. Since he was so absorbed in devotional service, all these external activities seemed less important to him. He was not very much attached to performing his relative duties.
Once he proudly approached Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and told him that Srila Gaurakisora lacked the qualities of a true renunciant. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati harshly chastised Gopal for his ultimate benefit. He began to describe the unearthly character of Srila Gaurakisora and the way he was so absorbed in Krsna consciousness. He glorified the magnanimous renunciation that Srila Gaurakisora displayed. After some time, Gopal dasa approached Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and complained about how Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati had chastised him. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura informed Gopal dasa, "Whatever Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati told him was for his own benefit."
It is said that in Mayapura, even the Muslims knew that the renunciation of Srila Gaurakisora was genuine, whereas Gopal dasa was known as a cheap imitationist. A person who imitates advanced devotees of the Lord by making a show of renunciation, can never actually become a real renunciant, or perform solitary worship of the Supreme Lord in devotional ecstasy.
A Devious Prayer for Causeless Mercy
Once, a cheater named Syama, in the guise of a devotee approached Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati in Mayapura as if interested in worshipping the Lord. This person would often come to speak with Srila Gaurakisora, but Srila Gaurakisora would never pay any special attention to him. Syama had heard that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was very dear to Srila Gaurakisora, so he approached him with a special request. He said, "If you could just please ask Srila Gaurakisora to be merciful unto me, then I could become most fortunate."
Many times, he would come, and make this request to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. In time Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati went to see Srila Gaurakisora and asked him to bestow special mercy upon Syama. Srila Gaurakisora discussed the pretentious nature of Syama with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and told him that because he was a resolute devotee of Lord Krsna it was not good to request for the benediction of a rascal like Syama. Srila Gaurakisora discussed this with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati for a long time.
After some time, Srila Gaurakisora took some dust from his own feet and rubbed it on the head of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. He blessed him saying, "You are a nondifferent representative of Nityananda Prabhu as your soft heart melts when you observe the distresses of the living entities. But this person Syama, who has come to you, is actually a deceitful hypocrite. He does not wish to fulfill his real self-interest. Simply for the purpose of deceiving me he is pretending to ask for my mercy."
After some time, Syama displayed his deceitful nature. Once he went to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, holding a human skull in his hand. Lifting it, he began to drink water out of it. Then he exclaimed to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, "Just see, I am even more renounced than Srila Gaurakisora. Can he drink water from the skull of a human being like me?" Hearing this, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati said, "You rascal! Leave immediately! Why are you speaking such hateful words about my spiritual master? You are a demon and an atheist! Therefore you have no taste for the activities of devotional service. You will definitely descend to the hellish planetary systems." After some time, because Syama had committed a great offense to Srila Gaurakisora and was very conceited, he became a victim of illicit sex. He spent his time caring for the prostitutes of Navadvipa by begging for coconut oil to condition their hair.
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