Today, in remembrance of Srila Govinda Maharaja’s disappearance, I wanted to hear how he described the disappearance of a Vaishnava Acharya. I chose the following recording for us to listen to:
SGM on SP Disappearance 1995
The first ten minutes or so of the recording have some distracting noise, but Srila Gurudeva’s voice can still be heard and his message is loud and clear.
… Swami Maharaja was taking me for preaching and he is sitting down [lower] and giving me the chair of the Vyasasana … I am reading Sanskrit slokas and Swami Maharaja is giving a lecture over that commentary. In this way he is preaching. Any instrument he is getting, like me, he is using for his preaching purpose. This is my feeling. He is using me, he used Guru Maharaja [Srila Sridhara Maharaja], he used everything for the service of Krishna and preaching Krishna Consciousness. That was his special quality. Then, without the mercy of Srila Swami Maharaja, you cannot come here actually.
We are telling it is Nityananda Prabhu’s mercy. We are telling it is Mahaprabhu’s mercy. But why will we not tell it is Srila Swami Maharaja’s mercy? That is, Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu, through him, are bestowing Their mercy. Then if we will take Srila Swami Maharaja’s name, that is enough for us. It is not necessary to remember Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu. If we will chant his name; if we will chant his glories; that is enough for us, we are thinking. And that Swami Maharaja when he is telling his personal associates and devotees, that if you want to know more, you go to Srila Sridhara Maharaja, then what difficulty is there to understand who is Srila Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaja?
Do you think you know the mind of the Vaishnava? I think you do not. I think we cannot know his mind. It is vast, it is deep and it is totally foreign to us. If we think we know it, at that moment he is lost to us. The mind of the Vaishnava is a limitless ocean of surprises with each surprise being more fascinating, more tasteful and more wonderful than the one before.
aham vedmi suko vetti, vyaso vetti na vetti va
“The real purpose of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is very difficult to conceive,” Lord Siva says. “I know the true purpose of Bhagavatam; Sukadeva, the son and disciple of Vyasadeva, knows it thoroughly, and the author of the Bhagavatam, Srila Vyasadeva may or may not know the meaning.”
We cannot follow the mind of the Vaishnava, but we can follow his direction and, by doing so, find that he is mindful of us, continually guiding us in the service of his lotus feet.
May Srila Gurudeva bless us by keeping us mindful that the greatest fulfillment of our heart’s desire will come only through full faith in his Divine Guidance.
Swami B.K. Giri