Sri Srimad Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja


Gaudiya Vaishnava Theology

Excerpt from Spiritual Successors of the Six Goswamis
by Sriman Muralidhar das

Srila Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja, famous for his scholarship and brilliant lectures, dedicated his life to the preaching mission of his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. His efforts extended even into Western countries. On his first visit to Sri Caitanya Matha in Mayapura he was introduced to his Gurudeva by Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, with whom he shared a lifelong, intimate friendship.

Inspired by the divine message of his spiritual master, Srimad Atulacandra Bandopadhyaya (later known as Srila Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja) gave up his high ranking government position and his home to join the mission of his Gurudeva. Preaching vigorously, he began raising funds for the mission among pious, wealth merchants in Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay and other major cities. Once these people heard his hari-katha, they sent truckloads of rice, dal and vegetable for matha-seva.

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada, he received sannyasa initiation from Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaja and founded Sri Gaudiya Sanga, which established preaching centers and asramas in numerous cities, as well as in Mayapura and Vrndavana. Sri Gaudiya Sanga has thirty branches. Srila Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja recovered the holy place Imli Tal1 in Vrndavana. The brahmacaries of this matha have reconstructed the original temple into a larger and more spacious place to worship the deities of Sri Sri Radha Govinda. They have also built a guest house nearby for visitors. Srila Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja also established a Navadvip Dham Parikram and a temple at the meeting place of Sri Nitai Gaur in Mayapura (Nandan Acharya Bhavan). This Sri Gaura-Nityananda Mandir is said to be the site of Nandana Acaryas’ house, the place where Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda Prabhu first met. Four new missions emanated from the Sri Gaudiya Sanga.

bowtell.gif - 4756 Bytes Srila Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja traveled with Srila Bhakti Pradip Tirtha Maharaja to England and preached there. They established a small center2 in London, which is still open today. This center was the former London residence of Her Grace Srimati Viinode Vani Dasi alias Miss Daisy Cecilia Bowtell. This aristocratic British lady kindly donated her home to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s original Gaudiya Mission. An ardent follower of Srila Prabhupada, she became an initiated disciple in the 1930’s after becoming attracted to the beauty, truth and harmony of the Vaishnava Philosophy.

Srila Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja published approximately twenty books and initiated 40 sannyasis. He was the publisher and editor of the weekly Gaudiya magazine which was established by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. To continue the mission of his Gurudeva, he started the English magazine Sri Sajjana-tosani Patrika. He also regularly contributed articles to the Harmonist. His samadhi mandira is situated in his matha in Mayapura, while his puspa-samadhi is located at Imli Tal1, Vrndavana.

(1) At the time of braja-lila, the ancient imli (tamarind) tree that stood here was enormous. That tree has since disappeared and a new imli tree stands in its place.

Midway through rasa-lila, Sri Krsna disappeared in order to dispel the other gopi’s saubhagya-mada, pride in their good fortune, and to embellish Priyaji’s (Radharani’s) mana. [Krsna did not try to break Priyaji’s mana, but simply tried to give her happiness by leaving the other gopis). He followed Priyaji to Srngara Vata, where he began to decorate Her with flowers. At that time, the other gopis, who were searching for Krsna came closer to the place where Radhika and Krsna were. Sri Krsna requested Priyaji to leave with Him, but She said, “I am unable to walk. You can carry Me on Your shoulders." Krsna squatted down, indicating that Priyaji would sit on His shoulders. Just as She went to do this, Krsna disappeared again. Now, She also called out in separation. “Ha Natha! Ha Ramana!” and fell down unconscious. The other gopis became very distressed to see Her in this condition.

Having left Srimati Radhika, Sri Krsna began to feel deep separation from Her. Sitting under and imli tree on the bank of the Yamuna. He became so absorbed in thinking of Her that His bodily luster turned golden like Hers. ...While visiting Braja some five hundred and fifty years ago, Sr Caitanya Mahaprabhu resided for several days at Akrura Ghata. Daily, he would come to this very beautiful Imlitala Ghata on the bank of the Yamuna, where He was immersed in bhava as he chanted harinama kirtana. He bestowed His mercy upon Krsnadas Rajaputa here.
(excerpted from Sri Braja Mandala Parikrama pp400, 402)

london.jpg - 105093 Bytes (2) Gaudiya Mission, Sri Vasudev Gaudiya Math is located at 27 Cranhurst Road, Willesden Green, London NW2 4LJ. In the year 2000 the managers of this center established larger marble vigrahas of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Sri Radha and Krsna.

After the physical disappearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati the temples of his original Gaudiya Mission were divided by the Indian courts between the followers of Srila Vilasa Tirtha Maharaja and Srila Ananta Vasudeva. . The Sri Vasudeva Gaudiya matha is under the auspices of the followers of Srila Anata Vasudeva and his successor Srila Audolomi Maharaja. A third group of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s disciples branched out from the original Gaudiya Mission and started their own centers. e.g. Gaudiya Sanga, Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, Sri Caitanya Sarasvati matha, ISKCON, etc.

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