Srila Bhakti Kusum Sraman Goswami Maharaja

Wearing Tulsi Beads Around the Neck

Srila Bhakti Kusum Sraman Goswami Maharaj - "The Personification of the Exhibition of the bhakti-siddhantas preached by the Rupanuga Simha Guru Sri Gauravani-Vigraha Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur."

Holy Appearance with 'Jata-Bhakti':

In the holy day of Sri Govardhan Puja he appeared as the son of Sri Durgacaran and Srimati Yogamaya Devi in a village of Kharrah in the Dacca District in the eastern part of Bengal (now Bangaladesh) in 1900. Getting the remembrance of the son of Sri Nanda Maharaj due to the glazy krsna complexion of his son his father named him as Kanu. By choosing Srimad Bhagavad-Gita in the ruci-pariksa - inclination-test ceremony and in the very childhood by explaining the Lord's pastimes taking the names of the adjacent villages to his friends, he showed his 'jata-bhakti' - natural devotion.

To Become A Suddha Bhakta:

He displayed the very introduction to his acarya-lila by enhancing the enthusiasm and favoring in devotional service. He reciprocated his mother in hearing Srimad Bhagavatam by taking part in house- hold work like cleansing utensils and bringing water for cooking and drinking etc. His mother was happy and pleased with his service with affection. One day he prayed, "May I become a suddha bhakta", to his mother on hearing from her that if one becomes a pure devotee then the entire family with fourteen past generations get a chance to serve the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. He was blessed with having got the feet-dust of his devotee-mother.

Indicated By Krsna As Shelter Of The World:

Through many natural calamities like cyclone, flood etc. Sri Krsna clearly indicated His devotee to be the shelter of the dying world. Being guided or led by him and by learning how to take shelter of the Mahamantra from him many a times his family and his friend- associates got relieved from dangerous situations. Observing his sweet and devotee-like conduct, his teacher gave him a name Sri Krsna Kumar, who was the central jewel and very affectionate to his friends.

A Devotee Is Very Expert Everywhere:

With many fine letter marks in subjects like Mathematics, English etc. throughout, he finally graduated as a medical doctor with distinction in Sanskrit and Mathematics from Dacca Mitford Medical School. While studying in Dacca he got introduced to the Gaudiya Math by Srila Bhakti Vilas Parvvat Maharaj, a disciple of Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur. Since then he used to visit the Madhva Gaudiya Math in the city.

Accepted By Sri Sri Prabhupad-Padma:

After the completion of his graduation he went to Gaudiya Maths situated in Calcutta and Sri Puri Dham. Later, in 1927, he approached Sri Kunja Bihari Vidyabhusan, the then Secretary and Administrator of the Gaudiya Math, praying for initiation from Srila Prabhupad. He gave a hope of getting Sri Harinam initiation only. From inside, antaryyami Srila Prabhupad recognized his devotee from within and informed Kunja Babu that he is accepting the 'doctor' for both the parts of initiation. In fact Srila Prabhupad gave him mantra diksa first and then Sri Harinam. The order was just reversed in his case. He was named as Sri Krsnakanti Brahmacari. Krsnakanti - the complexion like that of Krsna.

After initiating Srila Prabhupad addressed him "Daktar (doctor) Babu, I gave you initiation, now what will you do?"

diksa kale sisya kare atma samarpana
sei kale krsna tare kare atma-sama.
Sripad Krsnakanti replied "Whatever you order me I will do." At that time in Sri Mayapur there was no doctor. Srila Prabhupad ordered him to go to Sridham Mayapur and serve the devotees there using his medical science. Srila Prabhupad gave him a room in his own Bhajan-Kutir, the very place where he did 'Sata Koti (hundred crore) Nama Yajna'.

Sri Guru Seva With 'Anugatya':

Indeed Sri Krsnakanti served his Guru, Sri Gaursundar and Sri Gandharvika Giridhari Jiu in the Akara Matharaj and Sri Yogapitha, the Birth place of Sriman Mahaprabhu and Sri Srivasa Angana - the Sankirttana-rasasthali and the devotees residing there throughout his matha-vasa life staying in that very room.

In 1928, he became the publication manager of the daily "Nadia Prakash" with Sripad Pranavananda Prabhu (later Srila B P Puri Goswami Maharaj) as the editor. He often traveled with Srila Prabhupad and wrote the correspondence.

In 1948, he accepted the order of tridandi-sannyas from the then Acarya-President Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Goswami Maharaja (Kunja Babu) in the Temple of Union in Separation of Srila Prabhupada and became famous as Srila Bhakti Kusum Sraman Maharaj. Soon after he became the editor of the monthly 'Gaudiya' magazine. In this function and as a manager of the daily Nadia Prakash he has written literally thousands of scholarly articles on the Gaudiya Vaisnavism. He discovered the 'Astottara Sata Sri' (108 Sri's) of Srila Prabhupad. The Pandit-sabha in Sri Dhama he was honored with the upadhi 'Vidya-Vacaspati'.

He rightly followed the Acarya of the Akara Matharaja Sri Chaitanya Math Srila B V Tirtha G. Maharaj. After initiation Srila Tirtha G. Maharaj used to send his disciples to him for their spiritual growth. He used to respect his sannyas Guru and Acarya Srila Tirtha Maharaj as his Guru. Accepting Acarya's order he instructed the instructions of Srila Prabhupad to the disciples by his words as well as implementing them in practical life. Till the day those students affectionately describe Srila Sraman Maharaj as the head of the kunja of Sri Kunja Bihari. Also Srila Acaryapad was very happy giving all these responsibilities to Srila Sraman Maharaja.

The Book - Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur:

He wrote "Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur" - the pastimes of Srila Prabhupad. This book on the life-history of Srila Prabhupad contains lots of elementary information and fundamentals of the preaching of the Gaura-vani murti Srila Prabhupad. Indeed this book deserves to be the only broad source on the life-history of Srila Prabhupad and may be taken as the basis for a deep research on the siddhantas of the present Gaudiya Vaisnav movement.

Sri Chaitanya-Upadesh Ratnamala, Sri Navadvip Dham, a Bengali translation of Prema-Samput, are his valuable writings among others. Also the published and unpublished articles written by him are being collected together and being published in the book form by his affectionate disciples and students.

The Acarya of the Akara Matharaja:

After the disappearance of Srila Tirtha G. Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Kusum Sraman G. Maharaj became the Acarya of the Akara Matharaja Sri Chaitanya Math and Its affiliated branch Gaudiya Maths in 1976.

The Vaikunthya Word Is Unchangeable:

In his 'Vrhat Mrdanga' service he was very strict to preserve the words and the phrases used by Srila Prabhupad. If somebody would request him to make any change even by shifting the parts of a sentence he would request him to try best such that the particular sentence remains as it is. In this way he gave us a treatment to our disease of taking the standards from here and applying in the transcendental matter, Sri Guru's words. "Mepe neoyar dharmma" - measuring tendency with material standard. He treated by disouraging from doing this and instructing to respect the Vaikunthya words, the guru, heavy words of Sri Guru, the Heavy.

"Aham vetti":

The Vaisnavas recognize the Vaisnavas. Even demigods do not.

vaisnav cinite nare devera sakati.

Once Sri Tarakeswar, Sri Shiva, directed one person through dream to take the caranamrta of the Akara Matharaja Acarya Srila Sraman Maharaja. The person prayed to Sri Tarakeswar and started fasting and renouncing from everything. Srila Maharaj, Akara Matharaja, even Sri Navadvip Dham - everything was unknown to him. Once a very sincere couple wanted to do Hari bhajan and thus decided to take initiation from a famous Babaji from Vrndavan. Sri Shiva Ji ordered them to take shelter of the Acaryapad Srila Sraman G. Maharaj and they were directed to Sri Mayapur from Sri Vrndavan by the Lord Shiva.

Sri Nama-Premi - Namanandi:

He used to take the holy name always. Even at deep night he used to take Sri Harinama reminding us the verse:

prabhate cardharatre ca madhyahne divasaksaye
kirtayanti harim ye vai na tesamanya-sadhanam
Only when there would be any service he used to keep the beads for the while. He was always with a very, very sweet smile. Anybody, in any situation, would get relieved just by receiving the darshan of his smiling face. He tasted and distributed the nectar of the Mahamantra and the sweet service to his Guru.

Bhakta Bhagavat - Grantha Bhagavat:

In his acarya-lila he presented Srimad Bhagavatam practically. Apparently there were the days when he fasted for a long three days except from water. He showed the practical form of the verse from Srimad Bhagavatam by chanting Mahamantra:

alavdhe va vinaste va bhaksyacchadava-sadhane
aviklava-matirbhutva harimeva dhiya smaret.
The priority would got to the general darsanarthi, visitors. The brahmacari, in-charge of prasad distribution cell to the visitors, stopped distributing. Srila Sraman Maharaj came to know this and ordered him to distribute prasadam to all the darsarnarthi taking prasadam from his plate. The brahmacari then again started running his cell. Once even this happened that a visitor came late in the lunch time. The general distribution cell was already empty. Srila Sraman Maharaja requested him to comeback to his bhajan kutir after having the darsana of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Girighari Jiu. Then he ordered his servant to give prasadam from his plate. The servant could not but cooked and gave him prasadam. Srila Maharaj would wait in such a case till every visitor gets prasadam.

Many external disturbances came which even tried to enter the Guru-given bhajan-kutir. But nothing could disturb him and his bhajan. He stayed in the same room given by his Guru on the bank of Sri Radhakund. Some people who were in the level of his students, but the pseudo ones, wanted some pratistha. He tolerated the disturbances created by them and projected the famous Bhagavatam verse:

tatte 'nukampam susamiksamano
bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
jiveta yo muktipade sa dayabhak
He gave signature on a plain paper and also for statements like "My disciples will have no authority, no right, in the administration of the Akara Matharaja and all Its branches." He signed very simply. Being asked by his tyagi disciples he replied "Srila Prabhupad, Sri Krsna will give you everything needed to do devotional service if you really take shelter of Sri Harinama." In this way the Acarya Srila Sraman Maharaj taught the disciples to accept the method of deduction leaving the method of induction - that followed by Ravana to construct the stair case up to the heaven. The service of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas is not a matter of right. By rights one cannot stay in Sri Chaitanya Math. The Gaudiya Math is the home of us but not as a matter of right. But by surrendering at the feet of Sri Guru and Gauranga one may become a member of the Gaudiya Math Family. It is a matter of grace only.

Gaudiya Serving Temper:

All those disturbances enhanced his nectar-lila in a negative way. He tasted and taught the beautiful state of a servant:

tomara sevaya duhkha haya yata
seo to parama sukha.
The troubles that we face on the way of serving You, is even very, very sweet to our heart.

Merged Into Bhajana:

Sometimes in his own bhajana he was externally senseless for long, long periods. Once, on the fourth day of his keeping silence from the outside, by not speaking, not accepting any prasadam etc., he suddenly completed the verse by chanting the last two lines when a servant could not recall the same after quoting the first two lines:

vairagya vidya nija bhakti yoga
siksartham eka purusa purana
sri caitanyacandra sarira-dhari
krpambudhiryas tamo'ham prapadye.
Once he was found to speak with ecstasy at late night in the open ground inside the Math compound. A disciple followed and asked him about this after his completion. He told that "My Guru Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur ordered me to deliver a lecture in front of a 'mahati sabha' - great audience. All were present. Kunja Bihari and others. Saparsad Srila Prabhupad along with his dear and affectionate disciples." And cautioned him not to disclose this to anyone.

Sri Govardhan Abhinna Bhaktaraja:

He was a resident of Sri Radhakund. Srila Prabhupad established Sri Radhakund in front of the Samadhi Mandir of Srila Gaur Kisore Das Babaji Maharaj. Later, Srila Tirtha G. Maharaj founded Sri Syamakund in front of the Samadhi Mandir of Srila Prabhupad. Following the Parampara, Srila Sraman G. Maharaja discovered Sri Govardhan fulfilling the desire of his Guru, in the Vrajapattan, Sri Akara Matharaja.

An Eternal Resident Of Sri Radhakund:

He is the eternal resident of "Sri Radhakund-tata-kunja-kutir". By sending a viraha message through letters, words, and dreams to all his affectionate disciples he took his Samadhi in his bhajan-kutir, the very same room given by his Guru Srila Prabhupad. He merged even the birds and other residets of the Math in his maha-viraha. The viraha captured the birds so much that they could not sing the entire day in Sri Vrajapattan kunja. He made his disappearance lila in the brahma-muhurta, in the nisanta lila on the day of Moksada Ekadasi tithi in 1986. Every Gaudiya devotee and all the Sri Dham-vasis receives his mercy in the Temple of Union in Separation. He is sitting there in his very bhajan-kutir to give his all-purifying darshan till the day.

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