Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja Biography

Paramahamsa Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji
vihaya sangam kuliyalayanam
pragrhya sevam dayitanugasya
vibhasi mayapura-mandirastho
namo namo gaura-kisora tubhyam

O Srila Gaurakisora, you abandoned the association of worldly people and went to live alone at Kuliya in the island of Koladvipa, where you accepted the service of Sri Dayita dasa. Your effulgent personality illuminates the temple of Sri Dayita dasa in the sacred abode of Sri Mayapura dhama. I eternally offer my obeisances unto you, Srila Gaurakisora.

  Srila Gaurakisora 's Internal and External Identities
  The Vaisnava Impostor
  The Charming Garden of Svananda-sukhada-kunja
  Calcutta, the World of Illusion
  Sri Mayapura
  The Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrtam Lecture
  The Genuine and Imitationist Bhajananandi
  Deception and Actual Residence in the Holy Dhama
  The New Babaji
  Deception and Devotional Service

The Grains of the Materialist
  Srila Gaurakisora 's Love for Sri Mayapura Dhama
  Superficial Symptoms of Ecstasy
  The Devotee's Disturbing Explanation
  The Householder Vow
  Renunciation for Krsna's Pleasure
  The Highest Happiness
  Different forms of Maya
  Srila Gaurakisora and the Supersoul
  General Instructions
  Householder Lore and Goloka Vrndavana

Devotional Heresy
  In Touch with a Paid Scholar
  The Devotee and the Hypocrite
  The Enjoyment of Wealth
  Desire for Wealth
  Gauranga! Gauranga! or Rupee! Rupee!
  Karma Bound
  Attonement for Having Illicit Sex
  The Offenses for Imitating a Vaisnava
  Srila Gaurakisora and Manindra Candra

Secretly Enjoying
  Offenses to the Spiritual Master
  A Lusty Person's Vision
  Attachment of the Pure Devotee
  Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's Prayer for Initiation
  The Pride of the False Renunciate
  A Devious Prayer for Causeless Mercy
  Resolute Worship of the Holy Name
  Pure Love and Worldly Lust

The Real Mendicant
  Household Duties
  Return Ticket
  External Purity
  Lord Caitanya's Birthplace
  The Feast of the Paramahamsas
  How Can I know a Vaisnava?
  Imitating the Pure Devotee
  Other Desires
  The Devotee's Deceit

Srila Gaurakisora 's Blessing
  The Disappearance of Srila Gaurakisora


The Western world is indeed very fortunate to receive information for the first time regarding the wonderful biography of Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji. This compilation originally appeared in 1919 in a monthly periodical, Sajjanatosani, published in the Bengali language. A series of articles under the heading Amara prabhura katha were written and published under the guidance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, the sole disciple of Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji. In 1934 the disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura composed the serial articles and other narrations they directly heard from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati in biography form entitled Paramaguru Sri Gaurakisora. The present attempt in the English language is a direct rendering of that biography with the hope that the thirst of the sincere seekers of India's spiritual wealth will be partially quenched. Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji's personal life draws a permanent line which separates those divinely inspired from the impostors in his own school of thought, and provides a crystal clear conception of how this uttama-adhikari, or most advanced soul, perceived reality.

Persons who limit the spiritual master to his particular literary contributions may not be interested to read this biography because Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji was illiterate. But the sincere aspirant of divine truth will find immense value in this book

Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji lives today in the hearts of those devotees who can feel the inner urgency of his priceless message. The interested reader should not study these accounts with the view to know so many stories simply to insure that he may give a good lecture. Rather, one must surrender to Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji's instructions in order to escape the jaws of false renunciation and offensive imitation which place us in a precarious condition of life. Because of lack of faith and knowledge, we can easily fall prey to these dangerous pitfalls of illusion. However, if true spiritualists can come to devotionally appreciate the renunciation of Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji, then their own level of advancement will become obvious. Unguard yourselves, conditioned souls, by laying down the impenetrable shields of sense gratification, false renunciation, or cheap mockery in the name of spirituality.

In his introduction to this series of articles, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura humbly describes his realizations after his first meeting with Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji. "For so long I have been living in this material world, trying to bring sense gratification within the grasp of my hand. I often thought that the sense objects would fulfill all my shortcomings. I even attained different facets of enjoyment that were indeed rare, but my personal needs were never met. I had the association of aristocratic persons, but seeing their different faults, I could not praise them. The most merciful Lord, Sri Gaurasundara, seeing me in this lamentable condition of adversity, permitted His two most intimate associates to bestow their blessings upon me."

"I was always intoxicated with worldly false ego and the desire for name and fame, I deprived myself of my real benefit. But because of the influence of the devotional service rendered in my previous lives, I came into the association of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who is my spiritual well-wisher. My spiritual guide, Srila Gaurakisora, would come and visit Srila Bhaktivinoda many times and often live with him. Srila Bhaktivinoda, out of his compassion for me, pointed out my spiritual master, Srila Gaurakisora. After glancing upon the divine figure of my master, the extent of my false ego was diminished. I knew that all the other souls who have taken birth as humans were also fallen and low like myself. But by gradually observing the wonderful spiritual qualities of my master, Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji, I realized that a Vaisnava could live in this material world and be of exemplary character."

Srila Gaurakisora's Internal and External Identity

Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji appeared over one hundred years ago in the district of Pharidapura, next to the place called Tepakhola in the village of Vagyana, which is situated on the shore of the Padma River. Srila Gaurakisora was born in a mercantile family, and was nicknamed Vamsidasa by his father (not to be confused with Vamsi dasa babaji). During boyhood, his mother and father arranged for an early marriage. He remained in household life until he was twenty-nine years old. As a householder he worked as a broker in the grain business. After the death of his wife, Srila Gaurakisora left his business and approached Srila Bhagavat dasa babaji in order to accept the traditional Vaisnava babaji dress.

After taking babaji initiation from Srila Bhagavat dasa babaji, who was a disciple of Srila Jagannatha dasa babaji, Srila Gaurakisora travelled from village to village in Vrndavana, continually performing solitary worship of Lord Krsna for thirty years. During this time he would sometimes travel to the holy places in northern India as well as in the nine islands of Navadvipa. He associated with other famous devotees such as Sri Svarupa dasa babaji in Jagannatha Puri, Sri Bhagavan dasa babaji in Kalana, and Sri Caitanya dasa babaji in Kuliya. Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji became very famous among the paramahamsa devotees in Vrndavana during that peroid, and was recognized as a bhajananandi, or solitary worshipper. Although Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji received such exalted honor, he never secretly endeavored for even a drop of material sense gratification. Babaji Maharaja entirely rejected such inclinations and simply performed his pure, unalloyed devotional pastimes in the deepest mood of renunciation.

In March, 1894, when the Yoga Pitha in Mayapura was revealed, Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji took the permission of Srila Jagannatha dasa babaji to go to Navadvipa Dhama from Vrndavana Dhama. From this time until his disappearance, Srila Gaurakisora stayed in the area of Sri Navadvipa Dhama, living in different holy villages, realizing them to be non-different from Vrndavana. He would gather dry foodstuffs from the householders of the holy dhama by begging, and offer them in his hand to the Lord. To cook, he would often collect dry wood from the pathways and wash discarded pots he found along the roadside near the Ganges. To meet his practical necessities such as clothing himself, he would go to the shore of the Ganges River and collect and wash the discarded cloth that had been used to cover the corpses in the burning grounds. In this way he always remained independent of others by using rejected items that served no purpose for anyone.

Srila Bhaktivinoda often related the behavior of Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji as an example of "nirapeksa", or total indifference to worldly existence. He often discussed the matchless renunciation, pure dedication, and spontaneous attachment to Krsna that Babaji Maharaja displayed. Sometimes Babaji Maharaja would visit Godrumadvipa, one of the nine islands of Navadvipa where Srila Bhaktivinoda spent his last days in retirement. Srila Gaurakisora dasa babaji would often go there to the charming garden known as Svananda-sukhada-kunja and hear discourses on the Srimad-Bhagavatam and other topics concerning the intimate conclusions of devotional service. This enhanced his mood of dedication. His entire wealth included a necklace of Tulasi beads and a set of Tulasi mala he kept in his hand for counting the Lord's names. He also cherished a few Bengali literatures, such as Narottama dasa Thakura's Prarthana and Prema-bhakti-candrika.

Sometimes Srila Gaurakisora would not even wear Tulasi mala around his neck, but instead would be seen undressed, holding a torn knotted cloth in his hand for chanting, and uttering harsh sounds in disgust for no apparent reason. Although externally Srila Gaurakisora was not a learned Sanskrit grammarian, the purport and conclusions of all the scriptures radiantly illuminated his heart and character. It was impossible for anyone to secure an opportunity to serve him. He was never eager to accept any manner of service from anyone. Whenever anyone saw his genuine state of renunciation, they could only remember the exemplary life of Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami.

Grandeur and opulence of every kind was always waiting with folded hands to serve him. He was always able to expose the cheating tendencies lying within the hearts of the imitationists. Although a person may have lived far away, Srila Gaurakisora could scrutinizingly reveal the falsehood which they perpetrated in the name of the Lord's service, and save others from the hands of insincerity. But the ability to communicate with the Lord in the heart was not Srila Gaurakisora's principal virtue. Babaji Maharaja exhibited the highest mood of pure dedication to the Supreme Lord because his perfect character was the personification of deep separation realized in Lord Krsna's service. This mood of separation actually distinguished him from the other Vaisnavas, and is what eternally spreads the luster of his lotus feet.

The Vaisnava Impostor

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has written as follows in connection with Srila Gaurakisora :"Many types of persons---clever, judicious, young, old, foolish, scholarly, and proud---came into contact with Srila Gaurakisora , yet could not realize his real identity. This is the mystic opulence of the Lord's pure devotee. Hundreds came and consulted with Srila Gaurakisora about their insignificant material desires. He would always give them suggestions which were in fact meant to deceive them. Innumerable men accepted the babaji dress and pretended to be exalted devotees of the Lord. However, my master, Srila Gaurakisora , never accepted a devious mode of life, as the sincerity in his activities were self-evident. His affectionate nature was matchless, and whenever he would obtain opulent offerings, he remained fixed in his renunciation."

Srila Gaurakisora never displayed any distaste for his rivals, nor did he exhibit any special affection for those who were attached to him. He would often say, "I am not inimical or overly affectionate towards anyone. Everyone is worshippable by me." Another noteworthy point is that many foolish and devious materialists, who were in opposition to the conclusions of pure devotion would come and surround him, considering themselves the dearmost objects of his affection. Although they engaged themselves in the pursuit of worldly things, Srila Gaurakisora never displayed any intention of driving them away, yet at the same time he showed no symptoms of compromise.

The Charming Garden of Svananda-sukhada-kunja

In 1898, when Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was staying in Godrumadvipa, just after the garden of Svananda-sukhada-kunja had been built, he first met his spiritual master, Srila Gaurakisora . One day, humbly following the direct instruction of Srimati Radharani, and chanting in a sad voice, Srila Gaurakisora , the chief of the followers of Srila Rupa Gosvami, arrived in the beautiful garden of Svananda-sukhada-kunja. This transcendental crown jewel of the renounced order was wearing a tigerskin cap and carrying a basket containing various paraphernalia used in his personal bhajana. Srila Gaurakisora had previously received the basket and cap from his spiritual master, Srila Bhagavata dasa babaji, in Kalana. After his arrival, he offered Srila Bhaktisiddhanta four or five sets of Tulasi beads, a wooden stamp with the words "Hare Krsna", the tigerskin cap, and his other personal items which he used when worshipping. In January, 1900, Srila Gaurakisora initiated Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in Svananda-sukhada kunja.

The great devotee, Srila Gaurakisora , often came to the garden Svananda-sukhada-kunja to hear Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's explanations of the Srimad Bhagavatam. He usually arrived at around three o'clock in the afternoon and left at five. On several occasions he spent the night in a corner of the garden in a small hut, and sometimes he would stay at Pradyumna-kunja in Bardhaman at the home of Sri Ksetranatha Bhaktinidhi and Sri Bipina Bihari Bhaktiratna. Cattopadhyaya Bhakti Bhrnga would also regularly come to Navadvipa to hear Srila Bhaktivinoka's lectures. Sometimes Srila Gaurakisora honored prasadam from Svananda-sukhada-kunja and sometimes he fasted, while other times he cooked for himself. Sometimes he acted as if he was afflicted by a disease called 'siroroga', insanity and blindness. Srila Bhaktivinoda arranged a proper diet for him, but to his dismay, Babaji Maharaja continued to remain couched in a grave mood of renunciation, refusing to pay any attention to the diet.

By 1908 Srila Gaurakisora had seemingly lost his external vision. The following year he stopped travelling and decided to reside in a bamboo hut in Navadvipa for performing his solitary bhajana. Srila Gaurakisora would live in Pradyumna kunja, which was previously owned by Saratcandra Vasu of South Calcutta, and from there, visit or stay at Svananda-sukhada-kunja, where he would remember the Lord's holy names in solitary worship. Being free from gross physical consciousness, Srila Gaurakisora often failed to recognize whether he was dressed or not. Thus, he often went unclothed to bathe at the Sarasvati River. After bathing, he would enter his small bhajana kuthira and begin calling the cowherd maidens of Vrndavana in a deep voice.

Calcutta, the World of Illusion

While Srila Gaurakisora was enacting his divine pastimes as if his eyesight were becoming weak, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta asked him to go to Calcutta for proper medical treatment. Srila Bhaktivinoda also requested him many times to go there, but Srila Gaurakisora said, "I will never go to the world of 'maya', Calcutta." Srila Bhaktivinoda then assured him that his servant, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta , would remain there with him in Calcutta so he would undergo no inconveniences. Upon hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora answered, "I will never accept his service. I will first drown myself in the Ganges River. If I drown myself, maybe I can take birth as a ghost." Srila Gaurakisora stood up and began to quickly run towards the Sarasvati River which flowed in front of Svananda-sukhada-kunja. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta , running behind him, humbly requested again and again that he come back, but he disappeared and was neither seen nor heard from for forty-five days. Then suddenly, he arrived one day and said, "By committing suicide I will not attain to the lotus feet of Lord Krsna. Nevertheless, I cannot tolerate anyone directly serving me." Although requested hundreds of times to accept medicine, Srila Gaurakisora never consented. He always strictly followed Ekadasi without accepting even water. On days other than Ekadasi, he would often eat mud from the banks of the Ganges River, or cracked rice with dried peppers soaked in Ganges water. Because his renunciation was genuine, it gave pleasure to the Supreme Lord.

Sri Mayapura

From 1903-1904, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta lived in Mayapura at the present day Yoga-Pitha, where the Adhoksaja Visnu Deity was uncovered when the construction of the Sri Caitanya Matha began. At that time the Yoga-Pitha was known as Kanthala-tala. Srila Gaurakisora would often spend much of his time there. This period serves as an unprecedented chapter in the world of pure devotion as exemplified by the unique relationship shared by the spiritual master Srila Gaurakisora and his disciple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. Although apparently blind, Babaji Maharaja once arrived alone at Sri Mayapura at the Yoga-Pitha at two o'clock in the morning. Later that morning, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, amazed to see his spiritual master, inquired, "When did you arrive, Gurudeva?" Babaji Maharaja replied, "I arrived at about two this morning." Astonished, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta asked, "Who brought you here last night? How did you find someone to show you the path?" Srila Gaurakisora replied,"Oh, someone showed me the proper way." Srila Bhaktisiddhanta then said, "Externally, you appear to be blind. If someone had not brought you that long distance by hand, then how could you have come ? Was it Krsna who brought you here last night?" Hearing this, Babaji Maharaja could only smile. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, sharing an internal relationship with his spiritual master, realized the purport of this exchange. In those days there were no footpaths to walk from Kuliya to Mayapura and no landing places for a boat. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta again inquired, "Who could have brought you across the river in the dead of night?" Srila Gaurakisora, in the same amused way, said, "One person took me across the river." His disciple then realized that the person was none other than Lord Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja.

The Sri Brhadbhagavatamrtam Lecture

Once, for the entire month of Vaisakha, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta explained the 'Sri Brhadbhagavatamrtam' of Srila Sanatana Gosvami at the Yoga Pitha. Srila Gaurakisora and Sri Yukta Ksetranatha Sarakara Bhaktinidhi attended.

The Genuine and Imitation Bhajananandi

While Srila Gaurakisora was residing at a dharmsala in the village of Kuliya, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta came and asked him many questions regarding the residents of Vrndavana and the various devotees who were performing solitary worship there. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta especially asked about the famous solitary worshippers who were considered to be perfectly realized souls in the estimation of the general public. Srila Gaurakisora laughed again and again at his query, and said,"They are all impostors."

One babaji residing at Kusuma-Sarovara was renowned as a great bhajananandi. In addition, he even had one or two disciples who were reputed to be perfectly realized devotees. But Srila Gaurakisora did not even slightly recognize them as genuine babajis. After some time, the so-called exalted soul in Kusuma-Sarovara became afflicted with leprosy of the throat and died after extreme suffering. He lived in the holy dhama, but his behavior was offensive toward Srila Gaurakisora because his mind was bent on sense enjoyment.

Deception and Actual Residence in the Holy Dhama

One day, a doctor, very anxiously desiring to stay in the holy dhama of Navadvipa and serve the Lord, came and revealed his intentions to Srila Gaurakisora. The young devotee had made arrangements to remain in the holy dhama as a doctor and treat sick persons. He planned to beg from the residents of Navadvipa, and with the profit, buy medicine. He would then be able to give free medical treatment. He considered that in this way he would perform his bhajana and at the same time perform the highest welfare activity for the community. To confirm his plans, he went to get the advice of Srila Gaurakisora. When he arrived and presented his proposal, he quoted the following verses spoken by Murari Gupta in the Caitanya-caritamrta: (Adi Lila 10:50-51):
pratigraha nahi kare, na laya kara' dhana
atma-vrtti kari' kare kutumba bharana
cikitsa karena yare haiya sadaya
deha-roga, bhava-roga, dui tara' ksaya
"Srila Murari Gupta never accepted charity from his friends, nor did he accept money from anyone. He practiced being a physician and maintained his family with his earnings. As Murari Gupta treated his patients, by his mercy, both their bodily and spiritual diseases ceased." Srila Gaurakisora could understand the restless nature of the doctor and his inner motives for wanting to live in the holy dhama for his so-called devotional service. Srila Gaurakisora made this very evident to him when he explained, "Murari Gupta is an eternal associate of Lord Caitanya, and always lives in the transcendental world of Navadvipa Dhama. He never suggested any intentions of living in the Supreme Lord's holy dhama by supporting himself through some clever means to materially enjoy there. He never supported his family at the expense of any temple, nor was he ever interested in earning money to keep his belly full. He would never accept charity or wealth from his friends or others. He was a direct storehouse of love of Godhead, and by his mercy, anyone would obtain the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Whomever he treated would become cured from all disease and obtain loving affection unto the Supreme Lord. If one does not follow his exemplary lifestyle, but imitates his activities for sense indulgence in the name of pure bhajana, then one must eternally suffer the miseries found in the diseased state of material existence.

"You are a patient suffering from the disease of material existence. How can you properly cure others? Crying, you must seriously pray for the mercy of Srila Murari Gupta. Then you will be able to understand what is the actual benefit for others. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu simply taught that one should seriously chant the holy names of Lord Krsna. Anything contrary to that is less intelligent. Just give up your bad intelligence and begin the process of hearing and chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord. If someone performs devotional service with other intentions, everything will be lost, including service to the holy name. Administering free medical treatment for worldly prestige and living in the holy dhama have nothing in common. A person who wants to enjoy the fruits of his activities can never actually live in the holy dhama."

Hearing the instruction of Srila Gaurakisora, the doctor asked, "Then what is my duty?" Srila Gaurakisora replied, "If you actually want to live in the holy dhama, you should first completely give up this idea you are entertaining. Abandon the misconception that benefiting materialistic persons by distributing free medical treatment is favorable for your worship. Any services you offer, or any religious practice which is not in connection with saintly persons who are factually performing bhajana, will be the cause of deep material bondage. As of now, it would be better if you returned home and chanted the holy name and maintained your livelihood. If this is what you really want then go home. Don't deceitfully maintain yourself in the holy abode of Navadvipa by some clever means."

The New Babaji

A new devotee who had just taken up the dress of babaji would often come and talk with Srila Gaurakisora. Finally he decided to live in the holy dhama, and so he approached a landowner queen to purchase three-quarters of an acre of land. After hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora said,"The supreme abode of the Lord is transcendental. How is it possible that this queen has become the owner of the holy dhama? How is it that she is entitled to sell that new babaji a portion of land in the holy dhama? All the jewels within the universe are not valuable enough to purchase even one speck of dust from the holy dhama. So how can any landowner amass enough wealth to become the owner of a plot of the transcendental abode of Sri Navadvipa Dhama? Has this new baba, by the exchange of his devotional magnimity, become entitled to a portion of land in Navadvipa Dhama? Let anyone who has such a materialistic mentality remain living at a distance from the holy abode. An attitude like that will certainly be offensive. Anyone who thinks the holy dhama is material is considered by the true devotees of the Supreme Lord to be a prakrta sahajiya or cheap impostors."

Deception and Devotional Service

One day a resident of Bangladesh who was a very wealthy landlord, scholar, brahman, and great devotee of the Lord, came with his friend to see Srila Gaurakisora. The landowner was apparently so deeply absorbed in devotional ecstasies that his friend had to assist him by holding him as he walked. When they arrived before Srila Gaurakisora, the landowner was holding the shoulder of his friend in order to walk as his body was trembling in ecstasy. Several of the assembled devotees recognized the landowner and knew he was respected as an advanced devotee in the devotional community. The devotees very reverently arranged a sitting place for the visitor and requested him to please be seated.

At that time Srila Gaurakisora was enacting his divine pastime as a blind person. When he heard the devotees respectfully greeting the visitor, he asked,"Who has come?" The landowner's friend introduced his companion by elaborately describing his erudition, devotion, and non-attachment to the material world and its temptations in spite of him possessing unlimited wealth. He then described how only one fortnight before, a thief had broken in and stolen forty-five thousand rupees from the landowner's house. Although suffering such a setback, the landlord, knowing that devotion should be one's ultimate attachment in life, had come for Srila Gaurakisora's divine association. The friend added, "I am his only friend. He has left all other material association and now only associates with me. You will be able to realize his greatness just by talking with him. He once asked me a question about a confidential exchange between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Ramananda Raya from the Caitanya-Caritamrta. I told him that only you, Srila Gaurakisora, could properly answer his questions. We have already been to see many scholarly persons in Navadvipa, yet we cannot come to any agreement regarding the inner meaning of this conversation. We think that only you can explain it properly."

After the friend of the great devotee completed his introduction, Srila Gaurakisora replied,"I will tell you how you can understand the conclusion of this conversation. But before trying to understand these confidential topics between Lord Caitanya and Ramananda Raya, you should renounce the association of this rascal impostor landowner and take shelter of a pure devotee of the Lord. You should hear the Caitanya-caritamrta one hundred times from beginning to end in the association of advanced devotees of the Lord. In this wasy, crying and being absorbed in devotional ecstasy, you will be able to realize the purport of these conversations. At present all the devotees here want to congregationally chant the Lord's holy names. We don't have time to discuss anything else." Then Srila Gaurakisora loudly requested that everyone perform Hari Nama Sankirtana. Everyone began to chant the holy name of Krsna. After hearing this, the landowner and his friend immediately left.

Later that evening, when almost everyone had left, one or two persons told Srila Gaurakisora, "That very learned landowner was so absorbed in devotional ecstasy that we saw no trace of wordly consciousness in him." Another person sitting nearby also spoke up in defense of the landowner, "That person was so immersed in various loving devotional ecstasies that he could not even walk by himself. How can you say he was not on the highest level of Bhava-bhakti?" Srila Gaurakisora then replied,"After speaking with him a few moments, I could understand that he had no good intentions in his performance of devotional service. One cannot measure a person's devotional advancement by the popular vote of ordinary people. If a person is not serious in his devotional practice, then even if he displays external signs of renunciation, material indifference, or ecstatic symptoms in spontaneous devotion, he should not be considered to be actually renounced and experiencing devotional moods. As soon as a difficult test comes, false renunciation will not endure.

At the first opportunity, detachment searches out the shelter of practitioners who are seriously fixed in their intentions to execute devotional service. In our practical devotional service, we never show anyone our devotional ecstasies. One should perform devotional service in such a way that deep attachment to the Lord will internally blossom in the heart. Even if one makes an external show of symptoms of attachment to the Lord, he will not receive the Lord's causeless mercy if he does not actually develop internal loving attachment. When there is an actual deep loving attitude, Krsna Himself will approach the advanced devotee. A person who lacks even a trace of sincerity and unflinching devotion, and whose heart is filled with material desires, simply decorates himself with some nice dress. Krsna remains proportionally aloof or available according to the degree of one's surrender. On the other hand, if one is spontaneously immersed in devotional attachment to Lord Hari, then even if he externally appears to be suffering from leprosy, Krsna becomes spiritually overjoyed by the slightest trace of his transcendental loving service. When we can fast and chant Hare Krsna day and night, always crying out for the service of Srimati Radharani without offering any external show to others, then Sri Krsna, who is the very wealth of Srimati Radharani's life force, can be captured."

The Grains of the Materialist

Once, a lawyer named Bhattacarya came to visit Srila Gaurakisora in Kuliya, Navadvipa. He was living nearby and was renting a room from a certain caste gosvami on a monthly basis which included his meals. When the gentleman approached, Srila Gaurakisora asked him, "What arrangement have you made for your meals?" The lawyer replied,"I have arranged to take my meals in the house of a certain gosvami who is a Vaisnava brahmana." Srila Gaurakisora then instructed, "Kindly give up eating cooked rice from his hand. Cook for yourself and accept that. Those so-called Vaisnavas from whom you are accepting your meals are fish-eaters, and they maintain their 'service' to Lord Caitanya by various deceptive ways. Their activities are the most offensive because of being in knowledge of what they are doing. Such rascal persons who do not fear committing offenses to the Supreme Lord should never be spoken to, for by speaking with them, one's devotional service will be destroyed."

Some time later, the lawyer brought several sweets he had offered to Lord Caitanya, and he prayed to Srila Gaurakisora to please accept his offering. Srila Gaurakisora then told him, "I never take sweets." The lawyer replied, "But there is nothing higher than accepting prasadam offered to the Lord." Immediately, Babaji Maharaja said, "Lord Caitanya does not accept foodstuffs from the hands of deceitful fish-eaters or others who make devotional offerings in name only. Such foodstuffs can never be considered the Lord's remnants. Whoever has no attachment for real saintly Vaisnavas can never distinguish between a devotee and a non-devotee. When such a person, who lacks the ability to properly discriminate, brings foodstuffs before Lord Caitanya, they are not accepted.

"If someone offers banana flowers because he likes the taste, his offering is not accepted by the Supreme Lord. Offering foodstuffs to the Supreme Lord that have been contaminated by one's lusty desires is considered a great offense. However, if a self-realized soul is offered his favorite preparation, the Lord accepts the offering. Krsna tastes foodstuffs that have been tasted by the lips of His pure devotees. But when you accept the grains of a sinful person, your mind becomes impure. With a repentant heart, one should feel that his worship to the Lord has not fructified, and consider how he can serve the pure devotee of the Lord. Then, when banana peels and the discarded skins of eggplants are boiled without salt and offered with a sincere, anxious heart filled with an attitude of full surrender, such foodstuffs become mahaprasadam. The pure devotees of the Lord accept the nicest foodstuffs. But what will happen to one's devotion if one continues eating nicely and wearing such nice clothes?"

Srila Gaurakisora's Love for Sri Mayapura Dhama

The pure character of Srila Gaurakisora remarkably harmonized everything opposing the real conclusions of pure dedication, bhakti. If one does not faithfully follow in the footsteps of the followers of Srila Gaurakisora, and lead a life of only pure bhajana, then all attempts to understand the inconceivable personality, example, and teachings of Srila Gaurakisora will meet with frustration. Some persons approached him hundreds of times and received no blessings, whereas others experienced his mercy abundantly.

One day, a householder devotee from Mayapura went to Kuliya for the association of Srila Gaurakisora. At that time Srila Gaurakisora was inside his grass hut. When the householder devotee approached him, Srila Gaurakisora closed and fastened the door. From outside the hut the person prayed to Srila Gaurakisora for the opportunity just to see him. Srila Gaurakisora replied, "If you want to have a glimpse of me, you must give two rupees." A resident who lived nearby collected the money from the visitor and then informed Srila Gaurakisora that he had the two rupees in hand. Babaji Maharaja then opened the door of his hut and said, "Kindly have a look." Remaining some distance from the grass hut, the gentleman offered his obeisances. Srila Gaurakisora allured him closer and took the man's hands within his own and said, "You have just come from Mayapura, the place where my supreme Master, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has sent you here, so I will speak to Him on your behalf. Sri Caitanya will certainly listen to this wretched beggar. For your part, you should always take shelter of Krsna's holy name by always chanting. Then there will be no further obstruction in your life."

Whenever Srila Gaurakisora would see the residents of Mayapura, he would very affectionately say, "These are the residents of my Lord's sweet home." Srila Babaji Maharaja, who had an extremely independent nature, would often refuse people who tried to donate wealth or other articles. Then again, he would often personally beg in order to render service to the Vaisnavas in Navadvipa. Of course, he never accepted anything for himself, but used everything in the service of the Lord's devotees.

Superficial Symptoms of Ecstasy

Once, in Navadvipa, Srila Gaurakisora was sitting where he performed his bhajana, chanting Hare Krsna very loudly. Other devotees who had also assembled there were chanting with him. Just then, someone came and began to display different emotional symptoms such as crying with their hairs standing on end. Some devotees began to say, "Just see! He has attained the highest mood of devotional ecstasy by chanting the glories of the Lord." Srila Gaurakisora immediately requested the visitor to leave the area. Several devotees assembled there became disturbed upon seeing this and also left. Srila Gaurakisora then said, "One who has actually attained love of Godhead will never display it to anyone. An advanced soul will always keep any advanced symptoms hidden, just as a chaste wife always keeps her body carefully covered out of natural shyness, and feels embarrassed to show her body."

The Devotee's Disturbing Explanation

Srila Gaurakisora always gave beneficial instructions to all the faithful living entities. One person regularly came to Srila Gaurakisora to hear topics about the Supreme Lord. One day he heard Srila Babaji Maharaja speak in a very harsh manner. This disturbed him at heart so he decided to stop coming. Afterwards this same person suddenly appeared one day and it was obvious he was in mental anguish. Srila Gaurakisora realizing this, asked him, "Leaving the association of the devotees, where topics of the Supreme Lord are discussed, are you living in a solitary place, carrying on your own worship? When one hears the topics of the Supreme Lord in the proper association of the devotees of the Lord, maya, the illusory potency, can no longer cause any hindrances on the path of devotion. But if one performs his bhajana in a solitary place, without proper association, he becomes more entangled by the illusory energy. Consequently, instead of spiritual topics glorifying the Supreme Lord in your heart, materialistic subject matters will rule over and possess you."

The person explained to Srila Gaurakisora, "I thought it was better to live in a solitary place and perform my own private worship rather than become disturbed at heart by hearing another sadhu's sharp words." Srila Gaurakisora replied, "Those devotees who speak sharp words to drive away the witch of the illusory energy are actually the only real devotees and the true friend of the conditioned living entities. The miserable living entity hears the harsh words of his wife and abusive language of his relatives until the end of his life, yet he never desires to leave their association. On the other hand, he absorbs himself in trying to please them by offering his service. But when a devotee of the Lord, who is always desirous of the living entity's ultimate welfare, speaks just one instruction to drive away the illusory energy, maya, that same conditioned soul immediately makes plans to abandon the devotee's company for the rest of his life. If you want to perform proper bhajana, then you must accept the harsh language of the devotees as the curing medicine by which maya can be abandoned. Then you can become advanced enough to purely chant the Holy Name."

The Householder Vow

One newly-married devotee and his wife once came to pray for the mercy of Srila Gaurakisora . Srila Gaurakisora said to the husband, "If you actually want to perform devotional service, you must live separately from your wife. Not depending on each other you can chant the Lord's holy names." After hearing the instructions the newly-wed devotee left and did as he was instructed A few days past, and he came again to Srila Gaurakisora, who asked, "Are you and your wife taking your meals together or separately?" The husband told him, "We are living separately and carrying on our worshop as you instructed, but we take our meals together." Srila Gaurakisora then asked him, "What foodstuffs did you have today?" The newly-wed man answered, "We had very nice vegetables, the tastiest dhal, and fried eggplant." Srila Gaurakisora added, "It is not enough to only give up your external connection with your wife, because you are internally associating with her. You have not been able to give up the finest tasty dishes prepared by your wife so how will you be able to worship the Lord? Your wife is communicating with you through the medium of the tasty dishes she has prepared. Shame on you! Although you are pretenciously acting as if you are chanting the Lord's holy name, still you are desiring to taste the finest vegetables. Do you think that after a person suffers a loss of one million rupees, he will be satisfied by accepting only a handful of rice? Although he may gradually become accustomed to accepting the rice as a daily practice, he will always think about the money he lost. Even if you give such a person the nicest rice he will have no taste for it due to being in anxiety over what he has lost. Similarly, you have lost the most precious jewel of devotional service to the Supreme Lord. So, how can you become absorbed in simply eating nice foodstuffs? Externally you are disassociated from your wife yet you are maintaining internal attachment for her !"

Renunciation for Krsna's Pleasure

A householder who was present during Srila Gaurakisora's conversation with the newly-wed devotee asked Babaji Maharaja, "We see there are many Vaisnavas living together with their wives who perform service unto the Supreme Lord. Won't there be any benefit for them?" Srila Gaurakisora replied, "The living entity is the eternal servant of the Supreme Lord Krsna, but in the conditioned state he cannot recognize this. He only sees the illusory form of his wife and children. If this is the case, then his vision is illusory. One who has no eyes to see through the medium of devotional service, can never realize his real identity as an eternal servant of Lord Krsna. The tendency to enjoy materialistically is always present in the association of one's sons and wife. These days the householders who do not hear the topics of the Supreme Lord in the association of the Lord's devotees, will become attracted to their wives and children and will not attain the spiritual energy revealed by the chanting of the holy name of the Lord."

"Then again, some persons, like falsely renounced monkeys, act unattached towards their wives and children. Such householders are only making a show of renunciation. An actual Vaisnava in married life never enjoys sense gratification with his wife in any way whatsoever. He will always see his wife as a servant of Krsna and respect her as the representative of the spiritual master. Those householders who actually desire to purely worship the Supreme Lord, yet are weak-hearted due to their attachment to wives and offspring should always associate with the advanced devotees, Maha-bhagavatas. By hearing the glories of the Lord they can quickly become free from their exploitative intelligence towards the family. Gradually they will realize that full surrender to Lord Krsna is the highest benefit for the spirit soul. Body consciousness obstructs self surrender and the causeless mercy of Lord Hari. An extended form of bodily awareness is depicted as attachment for wife and children."

The Highest Happiness

Once a person saw a follower of Srila Gaurakisora's begging in the scorching summer sun at noon, during the month of March. Approaching Srila Gaurakisora, that person asked him, "Why is your servant begging in the hot sun? Everyone begs in the morning so they can return to their residence early." Srila Gaurakisora told him, "Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura instructed his servant as follows:

tomara sevaya duhkha haya yata, seo ta' parama sukha
seva-sukha-duhka- parama sampada, nasaye avidya duhkha
'Whatever distress comes about in your devotional service, is actually the highest happiness for you. Both happiness and distress in devotional service are our real claim to wealth. Accepting both of these will destroy the suffering arising from ignorance." Srila Gaurakisora always instructed those persons who were desiring their highest benefit to accept and tolerate the difficulties which arise in devotional practices in order to benedict the soul. One should understand that tolerating the dualities of happiness and distress in ones service is the ultimate way to destroy miseries arising from ignorance. Therefore one should always remain engaged in the service of Lord Hari, the spiritual master and the exalted devotees of the Lord. Whoever comes to worship the Lord in search of a comfortable situation can never become delivered from the hands of ignorance. Rather he becomes further entangled in obstacles on the path of devotional service.

Different Forms of Maya

Once during the rainy season, Srila Gaurakisora left the grass hut he was residing in and moved to a nearby lodging house. He began to reside on the outer veranda there. One day when prasadam was being served to Srila Gaurakisora a poisonous snake slid up the veranda near the plate, touched it and slithered away. Seeing the snake, an old widowed woman nearby came running and yelled, "A snake has bitten Babaji Maharaja!" Srila Gaurakisora, who was blind, beat his hand upon the ground and asked, "Where is the snake? Where is the snake?" By that time the snake had gone. The woman exclaimed, "Babaji Maharaja, have you gone mad? That snake could have bitten your hand. He passed just next to your hand. If you had moved your hand just a little more to the right the snake would have bitten you. We are not going to let you remain here on this veranda anymore." Babaji Maharaja told her, "Please don't stand there any longer. You are inconveniencing yourself by standing so long." The old woman refused to go, saying, "As long as you do not go to a room, I will remain here." Srila Gaurakisora said, "First I am going to honor prasadam and go to my room later. Still, the old woman persisted, "That prasadam you are about to take might have been touched by the lips of the snake. You cannot accept it because if it is poisonous, you will die. Wait, I will bring you some more offered foodstuffs right now." Then Srila Gaurakisora remarked, "I never accept foodstuffs that have been offered to the Deity in the temple but only prasadam that has been obtained through begging." Turning to a nearby servant, the old woman instructed, "Please go and arrange more rice for Babaji Maharaja." Srila Gaurakisora then told her, "My dear mother, if you do not leave here now, I will not listen to anything else you say." Feeling obliged, the woman left. After some time, Srila Gaurakisora asked a nearby servant, "Has she left yet?" When he knew that she had left, he told the servant, "Did you see the illusory energy, maya acting? Just see how the illusory energy tries to gradually enter, using her different deceptive ways. Accepting different forms she knows many different ways to trick the living entity. She never lets the living entity serve the Supreme Lord. Look at how maya is speaking: "Go to your room, that snake will bite you, don't take that prasadam or you will die." If I would have died it would have been better. What is the use of my body remaining alive if I cannot worship Lord Krsna?" Then Srila Gaurakisora began to sing the following song:

gora panhu na bhajiya mainu
prema ratana dhana helaya harainu
adhane yatana kari' dhana teyaginu
apana karama dose apani dubinu
sat-sanga chadi' kainu asate vilasa
te-karane lagila ye karmabandha-phanasa
visama visaya-visa satata khainu
gaura kirtana rase magana na hainu
kena va achaye prana ki sukha lagiya
narottamera dasa kena na gela mariya
"Not having worshipped the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga, I have met only death. I have lost the jewel of love of Godhead due to my own negligence. I have only given attention to useless things, abandoning the real treasure. I have sunk within this material world by the reactions of my own karma. Having left real devotional association, I am performing materialistic activities. For that reason I have become bound by the rope of my past fruitive activities. I have simply eaten the terrible poison of material sense gratification over and over again, and not become absorbed in the nectar of the glorification of Lord Gauranga. Why do I remain alive? What is this so-called happiness? Why haven't I, Narottama dasa, given up my life?"

Srila Gaurakisora and the Supersoul

One night, at about ten o'clock, Srila Gaurakisora suddenly woke up, shouting, "Did you see that? Did you see that? A professional Srimad Bhagavatam reciter just went to the district of Pavana and spoiled the chastity of a widow who lives there! This is abominable! These rascals are performing so many scandalous activities in the name of religion." Srila Gaurakisora spoke as if he were directly witnessing the lecturer's mischievous activities. Srila Babaji Maharaja continued, "Caitanya Mahaprabhu reveals many things to me. There is one so-called scholar who often comes here and travels to other places establishing himself as being very learned. In the name of giving Srimad-Bhagavatam class, he simply collects money to support himself. The ordinary people do not know his real devious nature. He always keeps a widow with him and whenever anyone asks him if she is his wife, he says yes. The money he earns by 'preaching' the Srimad-Bhagavatam is used to purchase bracelets, oils, and so forth for her. Is there any greater offender and hypocrity than him?"

General Instructions

One day Srila Gaurakisora wrapped his feet and body with a cloth. Covered by the shawl he said, "Many persons, having been informed by others, come here to collect the dust from my feet. I tell them, 'I am not a Vaisnava. But if you go to a place where there are Vaisnavas who openly extend their feet to everyone, and are ready to give their foot dust and water used to bathe their feet, caranamrta, then won't you get more foot dust?

At that time, a person named Bhattacarya came from Vrndavana with his friend to see Srila Gaurakisora. Approaching Babaji Maharaja, he said, "You are my spiritual master. Please be merciful unto me." Srila Gaurakisora told him, "I have no rasagullas, sandesha, luci, puris, money, sweet rice, or sweet words. So how can I bless you? Those spiritual masters who can nicely feed their disciples lucis, sandesa and pretentiously praise them by telling them they are advanced devotees are fit to become gurus and benedict their disciples. Present-day learned persons define the word anukulya (favorable) as receiving wealth, a beautiful wife, and complimentary words." Bhattacarya then remarked, "Our minds are filled with different misconceptions. Whatever you instruct, we will follow." Srila Gaurakisora replied,"I can see what is most favorable for your devotional worship. You should eat chipped rice soaken in water and live in a straw hut. You should eat food that even a dog would not accept. You should wear clothes that even a thief would hate to wear. You must remain in the association of devotees and always chant the holy name of the Lord. However if you become a monkey like renunciate then your devotional service will be spoiled. Monkeys sometimes sit in one place and remain quiet. But as soon as they get a chance they steal something from someone else. As long as one acts like a monkey, his devotional service will never become resolute."

Astakala Lila

A so-called Gosvami approached Srila Gaurakisora to learn the most intimate pastimes of the Lord, called Astakala Lila, so that he could systematically worship the Lord at given periods during the day and night. The first day he came, Srila Gaurakisora told him, "Right now I have no leisure time at hand. When I find the opportunity I will explain it to you." Whenever the caste Gosvami would come, he would get the same answer. Finally the Gosvami became disturbed and stopped coming. That night at 10 o'clock Srila Gaurakisora said to himself, "Will a person who becomes impatient over losing a false coin learn the most intimate pastimes of the Lord? The pastimes of Krsna cannot be realized simply by reading a book. One may understand the literature but from where will he secure his spiritual body? You cannot realize your spiritual body simply by theoretical understanding. When the Lord's intimate pastimes are printed in ordinary books it causes turmoil in the material world. The ordinary people are building a high wooden platform, two stories high. Afterwards they climb to the top of the platform and simply pass stool. Many different persons come to see me, but they all come to deceive me. Before one can learn about the most intimate pastimes of the Lord, he should abandon all bad association and continuously chant the holy names of the Lord in the association of pure devotees. If one wants to worship the Lord according to his own whim in a solitary place, he becomes strangled by the witch of the illusory energy. The name, form, and pastimes of the Lord are revealed in the heart within the association of devotees. Unfortunate persons who do not have full faith in the divine potency of the holy name create an inauspicious situation for themselves because they nourish their corrupt intelligence with some misconceived understanding of the Lord's intimate pastimes."

Householder Life and Goloka Vrndavana

Once Srila Gaurakisora said, "If one remains in contact with stool, then worship of the Supreme Lord will not be possible." Srila Gaurakisora, after remarking in such a way, saw that the persons present before him could not understand exactly what he meant. He explained, those different households that are filled with the sounds "Eat and Drink" and where various lusty activites are performed may externally appear to be fit for the demigods, but are not suitable for the Lord's devotees. Although persons may pretend they are living in the heavenly planets, they are actually residing within a deep pool of excrement.

However, if one very seriously worships the highest, subjective reality, taking full shelter of the Supreme Lord, then wherever he resides, will be the same as Sri Radha-kunda." Several days later, a man named Girisha Babu, who was the owner of the lodging house and landowner in Navadvipa came to Srila Gaurakisora with his wife.The wife of Girisha Babu sadly asked Srila Gaurakisora, "Please instruct us how we can assist you in your personal bhajana. We wish to construct a small grass hut so you can perform your worship. You pass through the rainy season, and hot summer, with almost no shelter. You must be suffering very greatly. We have felt this within our hearts." Srila Gaurakisora then replied,"I am feeling no anxiety whatsoever, living in my small hut. I have only one problem, if both of you could just tolerate hearing of it. Many persons come to me and deceptively again and again ask, 'krpa kara.krpa kara (Bestow your mercy upon me)' In this way my worship is interrupted. They are not interested in their own real benefit, and their presence here simply disturbs my solitary worship to Lord Krsna. If both of you could just give me some of your stool, placing it where I perform my worship of the Lord, that would be very favorable. Then I could chant Hare Krsna day and night. No-one would want to come here. If you can't do this, then don't come here and waste the human form of life by speaking so much nonsense."

Upon hearing this, the wife of Girish Babu said, "Oh Babaji Maharaja, we should certainly take to heart the instruction you have given us, but if we pass stool and offer it to you in the place where you perform worship won't that result in unlimited sinful reactions?" Srila Gaurakisora then said, "I am not a devotee. Those devotees who are the owners of large temples, and who wear long matted hair, are actually devotees. I haven't realized anything tangible from the performance of my devotion. Thus, the place where I reside is fit to receive your stool. If both of you could just offer me your stool, then please speak up. Otherwise I have nothing to say to either of you."

Girish Babu and his wife, agreed to his proposal not to build a straw hut, but said, "Even if you won't stay in a new hut, if we can construct two other huts, then your servants can stay there." Having no other alternative Girish Babu and his wife then cleansed an area and arranged for a carpenter to come and build some new huts. When Srila Gaurakisora realized what they had done he refused to set foot in the new huts Girish Babu had constructed. Srila Gaurakisora wanted to point out that the stench of false prestige, lust for women, and desird for wealth under the pretense of service rendered unto the Lord emits a more impure odor than ordinary stool. Babaji Maharaja relayed this message when he began to reside in a latrine ditch behind a nearly lodging house where people would urinate and defacate.

Devotional Heresy

The hut where Srila Gaurakisora would stay, was so small inside, that there was only space enough for him. Srila Gaurakisora would enter his tiny bhajana kuthira, and lock himself in. Adjacent to the bhajana kuthira of Srila Gaurakisora was another grass hut which was in a dilapidated condition. Once a man named Sankara came there to live in that hut. He brought sheets of tin with him with which he constructed a fence. In this was he built a bhajana kuthira, imitating Srila Gaurakisora. One day Srila Gaurakisora asked him,"What do you do all day when you sit alone in your solitary hut? What do you think about? If you never spend your time in taking the association of devotees and inoffensively chanting the holy name of the Lord, then as you sit inside your room, you will only be able to see the fence outside. Is this what you see as you are sitting inside the room? Are you thinking of women? Or are you thinking of self-prestige and accumulating wealth? If you stay in this place, different types of havoc will come upon you."

Srila Gaurakisora, who was in direct contact with Supersoul within his heart, was able to expertly expose the cheating mentality of that person. Many people often came and informed Srila Gaurakisora that the imposter would collect miscellaneous articles and money in the name of the Lord's service from different persons who came to visit him and misappropriate them. He would also engage in illicit sex with different girls in Navadvipa. Finally, the imposter became very ill and one of his relatives came and dragged him back into the kingdom of illusion, maya. Srila Gaurakisora pointed out that a person who imitates the spiritual master, and the great devotees of the Lord will, as a result of their offenses, sink into the muck of worldly illusion. In this pastime, Srila Gaurakisora points out, how in the name of spirituality those who are opposed to proper religious principles, live within the stoolhole of material existence. In this connection he also disclosed that wherever the intimate associates of Srimati Radhika reside, the eternal service rendered in the gardens of Sri Radha-kunda is simultaneouusly being carried out. Srila Gaurakisora enacted this pastime for his personal followers.

In Touch With A Paid Scholar

There was one celibate student by the name of Ayatra who came to Srila Gaurakisora to perform devotional service. Srila Gaurakisora told him, "You should give up your offenses to the lotus feet of the Vaisnavas of the Lord, and in the association of pure devotees, always chant the holy name of the Lord." The brahmacari disliked Srila Gaurakisora's chastisement and later left for south India without informing anyone. He resided there and collected money by giving discourses on the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Ayatra, in the meantime, claimed himself to be a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. After returning from the south, Ayatra began to learn sanskrit grammar from one scholar who lived in Navadvipa. Ayatra brahmacari, considering himself a fool thought that if he learned sanskrit grammar he would become respected by all the devotees. He also began to think that since Srila Gaurakisora was illiterate he could become more advanced than him.

One day Ayatra approached Srila Gaurakisora who inquired, "Are you reading sanskrit grammar to obtain wealth, women, and prestige?" The brahmacari answered, "I had no such intention. I am simply studying sanskrit in order to understand the purport of Srimad Bhagavatam." Srila Gaurakisora responded, "You have observed how some people in south India earn their living by professionally reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam and you have become greedy to make your living in the same way. You should give up such undesirable association, and simply take to the chanting of Hare Krsna with devotees of the Lord." The brahmacari did not obey the instructions of Srila Gaurakisora. Some days later the brahmacari again came to Srila Gaurakisora and humbly asked him, "Please be merciful unto me." Srila Gaurakisora, remaining quiet for some time, finally requested him, "Don't try to fulfill that desire which is overwhelming your mind." At that moment no one present could understand exactly what his instruction meant. Ayatra also couldn't follow the obscure meaning of Srila Gaurakisora's statement. The brahmacari left and continued as before. After several days passed a few devotees approached Srila Gaurakisora and informed him that Ayatra brahmacari was having illicit sex with a widow. Srila Gaurakisora then told those who were sitting before him the following instructions: "One should never engage others into the field of his own sinful activities. If any of you ever want some material object to fulfill, kindly come visit me because that desire may return again." Srila Gaurakisora then explained that approaching another man's wife is very sinful and strictly prohibited. When such illicit activity and deceitfulness is enacted in the outward dress of a devotee it is more sinful and offensive. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and Srila Gaurakisora's characters particularly exemplify the non-support of any form of deceitful activity.

The Devotee and The Hypocrite

Dipaka was a resident who lived near Srila Gaurakisora for some time. Because of his close relationship with Srila Gaurakisora the people naturally displayed a high devotional regard for him also. Dipaka had previously resided in Orissa. Once Dipaka's father came to Navadvipa. He used to carry a hand written copy of the Srimad-Bhagavatam with him wherever he went. This inspired the people in general to give him charity. Dipaka's father would offer large sums of money to Dipaka for Srila Gaurakisora to use in his service. Now and then, Dipaka would hide some money away and give it back to his father who was a pauper. Srila Gaurakisora, who was in contact with the Supersoul, knew this was going on. Eventually he stopped talking to Dipaka altogether. Previous to that Dipaka would boil and serve rice for Srila Gaurakisora. However, after this incident, Srila Gaurakisora would never accept anything that touched the hands of Dipaka. Instead, as before, Srila Gaurakisora would take some cracked rice, soak it in the water of the Ganges River, and accept that as his prasadam. This scared Dipaka and caused anxiety in the other devotees. Dipaka began to fast.

When Srila Gaurakisora heard that Dipaka was not eating he said, "If that person does not leave immediately, I will give up my life in the Ganges river." Then one day while walking along the bank of the Ganges, Srila Gaurakisora threw himself in. Many people gathered to draw him from the water. Srila Gaurakisora began to yell very loudly, "Leave me alone! Leave me alone! Because I have been unable to perform my worship of the Supreme Lord properly, I must give up this body." Many persons immediately grouped together and were able to rescue Srila Gaurakisora from the river and bring him up onto the bank. After Srila Gaurakisora had come to his external senses, he said,"Why did all of you bring me up from the waters of the Ganges? My servant, Dipaka, has given everything I have to his father." Then everyone consoled him, saying, "We will bring as much money as you need. We will immediately bring you four times as much money as Dipaka wasted." Srila Gaurakisora then said, "Wealth is not important to me. I only want to avoid living in the association of people like Dipaka, because in the association of deceitful persons, worship of the Supreme Lord becomes obstructed."

Many people had thought that Srila Gaurakisora had thrown himself into the Ganges because of attachment to money. Now they could understand that Srila Gaurakisora was not just any ordinary beggar looking for wealth. He would never tolerate rascaldom in the name of devotional service. Krsna has a monopoly over despotism. A deceitful natured person can only imitate the Lord and at best become a cheap imposter, baula. A Vaisnava is always straightforward and simple in all his activities.

The Enjoyment of Wealth

Once Srila Gaurakisora entrusted Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura with one hundred rupees. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, in order to keep the money safely, put it in the bank. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta then travelled to another place. Suddenly one day Srila Gaurakisora approached Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and asked him for his one hundred rupees. Bhaktivinoda Thakura then said, "My son has put that monet in the bank. As long as he is gone, it will be impossible to withdraw your money from the bank."

Although Bhaktivinoda Thakura told this to Srila Gaurakisora he could understand that it was essential to give Babaji Maharaja the necessary funds. At the first opportunity Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave Srila Gaurakisora one hundred rupees from his own private savings. Srila Gaurakisora gave the money to a friend and sent him to Vrndavana. Srila Gaurakisora said, "Many persons come to me thinking that I am a Vaisnava, and therfore give money for my foodstuffs. But actually, I am not a Vaisnava. I have heard that there are real devotees in Vrndavan. So therefore, I am sending the money for their service."

Whenever Srila Gaurakisora would receive any donations from admirers who considered him to be a Vaisnava, he never used the money for his own sense gratification, but always gave it for the service of other exalted devotees. Srila Gaurakisora would say, "Any foodstuffs collected by begging is pure and can be utilized in bhajana to maintain ones sustenance. Any money accepted if utilized for non-devotional purposes will contaminate the mind and create different impediments on the path of devotional service."

Desire for Wealth

One day in Kuliya, Navadvipa, a Gosvami came with several other persons who were dressed as renounced Babaji vaisnavas. Approaching Srila Gaurakisora, he said, "Oh, Baba! For many days I was unable to have your association because I went to Pravasa." Srila Gaurakisora then said, "Why have you left Navadvipa? You found a nice house with a good bathroom . What is the need of you travelling to so many distant places and mixing freely with the public?" Then one of the Gosvami's companions explained, "He went to another province in order to deliver the people in general. If he doesn't travel and preach, then what will be the future of those places?"

Hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora became irritated and said, "If you want to actually do good for the people in general, then why are you so interested in accepting money from foreigners? Why are you interested in the heads of the Caucasions which appear printed on the currency notes. I have understood your inner desires. You are simply making plans to build yourself a nice brick house, so that you can live comfortably. If you actually want to serve the Supreme Lord in bhajana, you must give up the idea that you are the master, prabhu. When you can do that I will personally tell Nityananda Prabhu to build you fifty brick houses. But if you simply want a nice brick house as a place to enjoy your wife and sons, then Nityananda Prabhu will grant all these materialistic desires of yours and then discard the possibility of your ever obtaining pure love of Godhead. If you are really searching after false prestige and material acquisition, yet making a show of delivering the material universe, then let the material universe continue as it is because you will fall down and deceive the material world." Saying this, Srila Gaurakisora began to absorb himself in kirtana very loudly until late that afternoon. Srila Gaurakisora made it clearly evident that if someone becomes offensive toward the Lord's pure name or offensive in his service, he will instead obtain the results of mundane religiousity, economic development, and sense gratification. This is the epitome of misfortune for the living entity. Our spiritual master Sri Nityananda Prabhu cheats the deceitful, by fulfilling their material desires.

Gauranga Gauranga or Rupee Rupee

Once several visitors began to eulogize the son of one famous caste Gosvami because of his expertise in explaining the Srimad Bhagavatam. They told Srila Gaurakisora,"This lecturer always chants "Gaura! Gaura!", and exhibits many devotional moods in devotional service which attract many disciples." Srila Gaurakisora then revealed the nature of the householder Gosvamis' son to the people who had gathered there. "That Gosvamis' son who appears to be so expert does not know how to properly describe the scriptures of the Six Gosvamis of Vrndavana. He is expert in superficially explaining their literatures. Actually, he does not loudly scream "Gaura! Gaura!", but "Rupee! Rupee!" (Money! Money!). If one performs devotional service like this, simply crying very loudly for wealth, then his devotional attitude is meaningless. This is the reason why actual Vaisnava practices have become covered. This behavior reaps havoc in human society. This kind of activity will never benefit anyone."

Karma Bound

Once a young man, named Bala came to Srila Gaurakisora and told him that he wanted to worship the Supreme Lord. Upon hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora said, "If you want to perform real devotional service then you should give up the association of those Vaisnavas accepted by the ordinary people and the non-devotee section of society. Just live here in our association. We wear the discarded shoes of the Navadvipa residents, make our earthen pots with the holy dust of Navadvipa and clothe ourselves with discarded cloth collected from corpses. By following this lifestyle you should consider that when you mix with other pious people they will think you to be untouchable. So if you touch them, that will be offensive on your part." Hearing this, Bala agreed, "I will follow these instructions which you have given me."

But, after some time, Bala unconsciously became absorbed in listening to the sound of his own voice, when he was singing with Srila Gaurakisora. After singing in kirtana with Srila Gaurakisora he would take prasadam with the devotees there. In this way, Bala associated with the devotees. Once, after taking a pair of karatalas from the devotees, he started chanting his own kirtana every evening, so that Babaji Maharaja could hear him. One morning he went to take bath at the Ganges. While walking to the Ganges and playing the karatalas he started chanting prayers in glorification of the Vaisnavas.

Later on that day, after Bala had gone out to beg alms, Srila Gaurakisora called one local resident over and said, "This Bala, who stays here, secretly goes to his own house. There he is developing many misconceptions about devotional service. Then, upon returning, he tries to implement them here. Actually, in the name of bhajana, he is simply committing offenses." One person listening asked Srila Gaurakisora, "Who told you that he has been doing this?" Srila Gaurakisora answered, "By hearing the tune of his kirtana in glorification of the Vaisnavas I could understand his inner motivation. Therefore we cannot allow him to stay here any longer. A person who has contacted bad association, and chanted the glories of the Vaisnavas in such bad company, will never listen to anyone. They will only teach deceitfulness to others."

Shortly following this, Bala sudddenly left to go to Jagannatha Puri without telling Srila Gaurakisora. Srila Gaurakisora showed that he was unhappy that he had left. He said, "Bala has run away, because he has become lusty for nice foodstuffs. I could not save him. The living entity is independent, and must suffer according to the past results of his activites. He was sent here by Lord Krsna, but secretly he would take the association of others, and thus, he became entangled in this most dangerous situation. Now, he is accepting the traditional Vaisnava dress, and decorating himself with the name Vaisnava. In this way, defferent persons in the material world are bringing about unwanted practices in devotional service. They give the sacred babaji dress to everyone, turning them into mere frogs. Ordinary cunning persons recognize a Vaisnava these days if they find someone accepting obeisances from many people and by one who is lusty to eat the nicest foodstuffs. Great Vaisnavas are becoming known by these symptoms. The chanting of such deceitful devotees is like the croaking of a frog. The amount these frog like devotees croak decides to what degree the snake of sense gratification will devour them."

A few months later, Bala returned from Jagannatha Puri, after he had accepted the sacred dress of a babaji. He began to reside at a nearby homestead. Once a Mr. Banu, the owner of the place where Bala lived, came to Srila Gaurakisora and offered his obeisances. He said, "Your dearest disciple Bala, who has just come from Jagannatha Puri, is fortunate indeed. He rendered some service there to Haridasa Thakura, and is now performing his solitary bhajana with deep emotion." Srila Gaurakisora then said, "I don't understand. How can he be my disciple? I have never viewed anyone as my disciple in this world. I am unfit even to become a proper disciple. How is it possible for me to become the spiritual master of another? Just because someone is able to maintain frogs, is it possible for him to become a Vaisnava? The croaking of a frog can never be accepted as the Lord's holy Name or His worship. A frog's emotion is simply for worldly pleasure. But the frog cannot enjoy because he is ultimately swallowed by the materialistic snake of time. Is service to Srila Haridasa Thakura only lip deep? You are in the position of a great estate-holder. Why are you wasting your entire life? Forget all this nonsense and simply execute pure devotional service!"

The estate holder then said, "I have no desire to become a great estate-holder. I simply want to see that the devotees are nicely served, and that all their grass and bamboo huts are well-kept. The different places where they perform their solitary worship have all become overgrown with jungles. I simply go to those places and clean up the area." Hearing this Srila Gaurakisora became disturbed and would no longer carry on a conversation with the landholder. After the estate-holder left, Srila Gaurakisora said, "The trees in Navadvipa Dhama are all kalpa-vrksa, desire trees and this hypocritical rascal has cruelly cut them down. Now he has come and forced me to hear this. Shame! Shame! Just see! Just see! If anyone even cuts a dead tree in Navadvipa Dhama, I feel pain in my heart. The different trees and vines in Sri Navadvipa Dhama are our eternal friends and associates. They are a background part of the pastimes of Lord Gauranga. Even after one's friends and associates have died, is it possible for someone to come and cut their dead bodies to pieces? This cruel rascal will never be able to perform devotional service. He will simply enact the role of a Vaisnava, which will result only in his own inauspiciousness, and the inauspiciousness of others."

Atonement For Having Illicit Sex

Once, a man named Hiranya came to Srila Gaurakisora several times and prayed to live in the same area in which he lived. At that time, the owners of the homestead had granted Srila Gaurakisora the right to allow others to live in the adjacent small huts. No one could live there without his permission.

After taking permission from Srila Gaurakisora, Hiranya began living in a nearby straw hut. Srila Gaurakisora instructed Hiranya that those who want to worship the Supreme Lord should never associate with undesirable persons. He said, "Those cheaters who think they will secretly enjoy the company of materialists or show bottlists and at the same time act as a devotee will become victimized by more and more impediments in devotional service. Many cheaters have approached me in this frame of mind and I have witnessed their utter ruination. Always tolerate the unlimited inconveniences in devotional service. If you can always remain in proper association and be engaged in purely hearing and chanting, then your service to the holy name of the Lord will be protected."

After hearing this, Hiranya, would go and secretly associate with spiritual show bottlists. Knowing this, gradually, Srila Gaurakisora became annoyed. After some time, Hiranya became seriously ill. Seeing that Hiranya was in a very distressed condition, Srila Gaurakisora compassionately sent a nearby resident to attend to him. After two or three days it was observed that a young woman came there, and began to ask about Hiranya. Srila Gaurakisora, who was in direct contact with Supersoul, could understand the situation, and asked the gentleman he had sent to assist Hiranya, "Who is taking care of Hiranya?" The man replied, "I am attending to him." Srila Gaurakisora in a deep voice like thunder asked, "You mean no one else has come to assist him?" Then the gentleman answered, 'Actually, one lady occasionally comes, to offer him service." Then Srila Gaurakisora said to him, "The next time she comes to see him, give up Hiranya's association completely." Srila Gaurakisora then called for Hiranya to come, and said to him, "If you cannot give me fifteen rupees right now, then there is no possibility for you to remain here. Because if you die while you are here, the necessary arrangements to get rid of your body will cost fifteen rupees."

After this, Srila Gaurakisora began to speak to himself, "If you don't allow him to stay here, then that woman will gradually take him away to her own house. This is what she desires. In this way she can whimsically engage in his service." After Hiranya had suffered for a long time he finally became better and left for Vrndavana. Srila Gaurakisora, acting indifferent, showed no opposition to Hiranya's going to Vrndavana. Hiranya began to live in the beautiful place of Kusuma-Sarovara in Vrndavana, next to another babaji named Nadiya, who also knew Srila Gaurakisora. One day Hiranya approached his new companion Nadiya and said, "I have accepted the renounced order of a Vaisnava, and yet, I had illicit sex with another woman. What is the proper atonement I must undergo for this sinful activity?" Nadiya said, 'The best thing for you to do, is to give up your body. Suicide is the atonement Mahaprabhu has arranged for such offenses."

He then agreed, and so he collected a small amount of opium from Govardhana and brought it back to his hut where he consumed it. After eating the opium, he went to Nadiya, shaking and heavily perspiring and informed him he had taken opium to kill himself. For some time Hiranya's body squirmed back and forth on the ground until he died.

Shortly following this, Nadiya also became very ill. Then one so-called Gosvami arrived in Vrndavana, and treated Nadiya until he became well. After he recoverd, he returned to Navadvipa where he met with Srila Gaurakisora. When Srila Gaurakisora saw him, he said, "You cannot stay here. You must find another place of residence, because if you reside here you will meet your death. Besides, right now two dacoits named Jayasaci and Nitai aare living in this quarter. They think they are rendering service unto me so they go outside and preach that they are residing with me. However, I am never quite sure where they stay at night. Once wanting water, I called them in the dark of the night loudly again and again, yet I received no answer. The following morning I sent for them and asked where they had been the night before. Their only excuse was that had heard nothing." Not being favored by Srila Gaurakisora, Nadiya dasa left and went to take shelter at the house of one woman nearby. After some time, a man came and told Srila Gaurakisora about the situation in which Nadiya was living. He reported that Nadiya dasa was receiving the intimate service of several young women. Becoming angry, Srila Gaurakisora said, "Please don't mention these things to me." Previously Nadiya also had another babaji friend who lived in Kusuma-saravara that had been rejected by Srila Gaurakisora. Thieves came during the night and gorged out his eyes, later killing him by hacking his body into many pieces. That babaji was secretly keeping several stolen articles in his possession. Because of this, dacoits came there and cruelly murdered him.

The Offenses for Imitating a Vaisnava

We can understand from these different activities that describe the immortal character of Srila Gaurakisora, that persons who came to serve this mahabhagavat with a cheating mentality received in return terrible reactions for their sinful activities. A person who disregards the instructions of a pure devotee of the Lord, but associates instead with show bottelists and deceitful persons dressed as Vaisnavas and renunciates can never have the real benefit of life. Rather their actions result in a fearsome and terrible state of ruination. Those who engaged in any type of deceptive activity in the presence of Srila Gaurakisora, or who were attached to the sense objects or others engaged in illicit sex, became degraded due to their offenses. Offenses committed to the holy name and the Vaisnavas often devastates the practitioner.

Srila Gaurakisora and Manindra Candra

Once the renowned and aristocratic Sri Manindra Candra Nandi, who was a great landholder, invited Srila Gaurakisora and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura to join in an assembly of Vaisnavas at his palace in Kasim Bazaar.

He knew that Srila Gaurakisora and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta were highly elevated devotees of the Supreme Lord. Upon hearing the request of Mr. Nandi, Srila Gaurakisora tender heartedly said, "If you want my association, then you must put all of your wealth in the hands of the rent collecter and come and live with me. You should build a bhajana kutira here on the banks of the Ganges and we shall live together. There is no need for you to worry about what foodstuffs you will eat. I will daily collect whatever you need when I bed and feed you myself. Then, I will always be impelled to visit your place of solitary worship. But if I agree to accept your invitation and leave the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and come to your castle, which is as good as Lord Indra's, then after some time, I will begin to think that I should also amass a great amount of land. The result of all this will be that the desire for sense gratification will enter my heart and replace my worship to Lord Krsna. After amassing large amounts of land, I will become an object of your envy. If you want to become very dear to me, and really bestow your mercy upon me, like a Vaisnava friend, come here to the spiritual world of Visvambara, Lord Caitanya, and maintain yourself by the activity of begging so you can always perform solitary adoration to Lord Hari."

Secretly Enjoying

Srila Gaurakisora, totally disgusted with the background character of one highly renounced and learned renunciate that lived in Kuliya, Navadvipa, cast aside his simple loincloth one day, and shaving his beard in a fashionable style, dressed himself in the most elegant dhoti and shawl money could buy. Wrapping the fine chaddar around his shoulders, he went to garden svananda-sukhada-kunja, the place where Bhaktivinoda Thakura resided. When he arrived before Srila Bhaktivinoda, he asked Srila Gaurakisora why he was wearing such opulent clothing. In answer, Srila Gaurakisora said, 'We have accepted the renounced dress as followers of Lord Caitanya so there is no restriction to secretly enjoying connection with others' wives. Therefore the renounced dress is actually in our favor for engaging in illicit sex. But if I accept the dress like that of sensuous women's husband, I can eventually become freed from the hands of insincerity." In this way Srila Gaurakisora cleverly took the role of a hypocrite, in order to criticize the disciplic successions of show bottle religionists who are devoid of all moral principles in their behavior.

Offenses Unto The Spiritual Master

There was once a devotee named Parvat who spent some time in Mayapura. He would often come from Sri Mayapura to visit Srila Gaurakisora in Kuliya. Once when collecting alone, he came to Srila Gaurakisora. Babaji Maharaja asked him about the news of Sri Mayapura Dhama. Parvat replied, "I will never return to Mayapura because Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and others like him, are all residents of Vaikuntha. Their prevailing attitude of worship is in opulence. We are strict worshipers of Lord Krsna in the mood of Vrndavana. We have no need to associate with them." Hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora became very much disturbed, and said, "If a parrot tries to cross over the expansive ocean, he becomes an object of laughter. If you actually want to live, then offenselessly with humility and tolerance at hand always chant the pure name of Krsna day and night. First of all give up all of your offenses to the devotees of the Lord. How is it possible for you to understand the message of Vraja-dhama, while you are living in hell? Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati resides in Vaikuntha, as well as Vrndavana. The witch of maya is harnessed and riding upon your shoulders. How is it that someone like you can understand the activities of person like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, and his pastimes of residing in Vrndavana dhama?'

Then Parvat said, "I would like to remain with you in Navadvipa Dhama." Srila Gaurakisora said, "You cannot remain here in Navadvipa Dhama, because of your offenses to the lotus feet of the Vaisnavas. It is impossible for anyone who offends the Lord's devotees to remain in Navadvipa Dhama. You have offended the lotus feet of Yoga Pitha (the birthplace of Lord Caitanya) in Sri Mayapura Dhama. It is inevitable that you will take the lowest kind of birth. I am also in Mayapura, and simultaneously in Navadvipa. Whoever shows any form of dislike towards Sri Mayapura Dhama will never be able to reside in Navadvipa. Sri Mayapura Dhama is where the son of Sacidevi has taken birth. It is completely transcendental in nature. It is very wonderful how Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and Srila Bhaktivonoda Thakura set the exemplary standard of bhajana to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Mayapura Dhama! Yet you have not obtained the spiritual vision to see that. You have offended one devotee of the Lord, and yet you deceitfully come to another devotee praying for causeless mercy."

Following this, Parvat fell into association with loose women and irreligious persons. In the guise of a beggar, he would have illicit sex with the wives of others. This is the clear result of an offense to the lotus feet of the pure devotee.

A Lusty Person's Vision

One dear associate of Srila Gaurakisora named Mr. Pari came to see Srila Gaurakisora to complain about a great devotee. He said, "That person who you accept as an exalted devotee and who you address as "Prabhu" is exhibiting symptoms of attachment to sense gratification. Most probably he will become deeply absorbed and entangled in wordly sense enjoyment." Hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora remained silent, couched in deep gravity. Mr. Pari who was sitting before him, became very afraid to see his condition. Immediately they drove Mr. Pari away from Srila Gaurakisora place of bhajana. On that day Srila Gaurakisora showed by his practical example the instruction of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura which states, Vaisnava caritra, sarvada pavitrta, yei ninde himsa kari, bhativinoda na sambhase tare thake sada mauna dhari. After that person had left, Srila Gaurakisora still shaking from anger said, "That atheistic person is under the dictations of his own sense gratification. Therefore, he is saddling his own impediments upon the shoulders of the exalted devotees. Devotees of the Lord are never lusty to obtain anything which is unrelated to Lord Krsna. Even if someone is only slightly attached to material sense gratification, it is impossible for pure love of God to manifest in his heart. When a person is deeply attached to everything in relation to Lord Krsna he can purely understand the nature of love of God. Only a devotee deeply attached to Srimati Radharani and Lord Krsna in pure love will naturally manifest symptoms of profound attachment in favorable service towards the Lord and His devotees. The actual devotees of the Lord only serve in a favorable way and never become overly attached to their own sense gratification or that of their relatives. Renunciationists and exploitationists think that the exalted devotees are more attached than the materialists when they see them engaging favorable articles in the Lord's service. Someone who claims to be renounced, but has no attachment to engaging things which can be used in Krsna's service, is simply an imposter. One should give up contact with anyone who offends the devotees of the Lord, even if the offender is a very dear associate. Therefore, I shall never again look upon the face of that atheistic person who has commited this great offense."

Attachment Of The Pure Devotee

Once, a householder came to Srila Gaurakisora and offered him a very expensive shawl. Srila Babaji Maharaja accepted the shawl, and very carefully placed it to his side. After accepting it, he began to praise the person who had given it. Then another householder devotee came and offered Srila Gaurakisora some money. Babaji Maharaja very carefully opened his hand and accepted the money placing it next to him. He then carefully wrapped the money in string, tying the string securely, four or five times. After setting the money aside, Srila Gaurakisora would periodically place his hand to his side to see if the money was properly situated there. At this time there was one very wealthy materialist from Calcutta who noticed this. Upon seeing this, he lost whatever faith he had in Srila Gaurakisora.

Srila Gaurakisora, after some time gave the shawl and money to some other Vaisnavas for their service. Later when that materialistic person visited Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in Calcutta, he said, "I went to see Srila Gaurakisora, but I saw that he was very much attached when a person gave him a shawl and some money. He also highly praised the persons who presented these things. What is his level of advancement? I cannot understand this." Upon hearing this from such a materialistic person, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati said, "You have deceived yourself. What you have seen is simply a pastime. Actually the devotees are never attached to anything which cannot be used in the service of the Lord. They may show great attachment to different things, but only for service to the Lord. Just consider how we view attachment to our material sense pleasure. One who is greatly attached to amassing wealth, and extremely foolish, will think that Srila Gaurakisora is attached to wealth. Srila Gaurakisora shows his favor toward persons who enable favorable service to the devotees to be carried out. However we praise persons those who regularly supply our physical pleasure. Those who are extremely lusty, always see the material world through their perverted vision. Similarly exploitationists and renunciationists think that the attachment shown by the Lord's devotees for those things they require for their service to the Supreme Lord Krsna, is on the same platform as ordinary worldly attachment."

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 definately descend to the hellish planetary systems." After some time, because Syama had commited 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.

Resolute Worship Of The Holy Name

There was an old Vaisnava in the vicinity of Srila Gaurakisora in Kuliya who began to engage himself in full-hearted Deity worship in place of harinama-bhajana. Srila Gaurakisora commented on this one day in the presence of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. "That old Vaisnava is spending his last days in worshipping the Deity!" Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati then said, "What? Are you trying to deceive me? It is impossible for this Vaisnava who lives in Kuliya to deviate in any way whatsoever?" Srila Gaurakisora then replied, "O, if that's the case then I have nothing else to say." Srila Gaurakisora was pointing out that exclusive remembrance of the Lord's holy name which was previously the main object of the exhalted vaisnava's worship might be minimized if importance was placed on Deity worship in his last days.

Pure Love And Worldly Lust

One person, who was the child of a scholarly Gosvami, came to Kuliya in Navadvipa and began to lecture on the Tenth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam called Bhramara-gita. (The chapter describing Srimati Radharani conversing with Lord Krsna in the form of a bumblebee). After two or three days of lecturing, news reached Srila Gaurakisora that the visitors discourse was so wonderful that no one had ever previously heard such descriptions within Navadvipa. Srila Gaurakisora then replied, "You should never go back and hear these lectures again. Whenever it rains, the seeds of unwanted weeds begin to sprout first. Next those seeds which have been carefully planted, begin to sprout, but a portion of them soon die after germination. One whose heart is transcendental to the modes of material nature, free from material lust and always engaged in resolute devotional service to the guru and Vaisnavas is the fit recipient. Love of Godhead can actually sprout in the hearts of such persons who are free from the impediments in devotion. This takes place by congregationally hearing and chanting about the pastimes of the Supreme personality of Godhead. When those who have materialistic desires hear the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, the seeds of material lust will fructify. While they are hearing the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna only lust will sprout and grow in their hearts. Because they imitate the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krsna, it is only natural that the lusty desire seeds in their hearts grow and flourish even more. Conditioned souls think the pastimes of Sri Radha and Govinda are material affairs like an actor and actress because their minds are covered with lust.

Whoever thinks that he has faith in the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha- Krsna lila, and that he knows that their pastimes are spiritual and not material can nevercheck their lusty attachments due to the infuence of the illusory energy, maya. It is not sufficient to claim that one knows that Their pastimes are spiritual or that one has faith in those pastimes." After hearing this, one person told Srila Gaurakisora "I saw with my own eyes that some of the devotees present during the discourses on the Bhramara-gita began to cry and loudly shout in ecstasy,'Ah, Radhe! Ah, Krsna!' With great emotion they discussed the different pastimes of the Lord." Srila Babaji Maharaja then said,"What you have seen is not actually spiritual emotion. It is a by-product of the intoxicating effects of lusty desires. This stands as the reason why this material world is doomed. You mean to say you have understood just by looking at their tears that they are absorbed in love of God! How is it possible for a person that has never been absorbed in love of Godhead to recognize it when they view everything through the medium of the illusory energy? Go and tell those persons who are so immersed in ecstasy to give up their homes and all such big assemblies and go to live on the bank of the Ganges river. In this way by surrendering to the Supreme Lord, they should seriously give up all of their attachment to sense gratification and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead . If they can do this for a year or so, we will see them become very eager to hear the explanations of the Bhramara-gita."

The Real Mendicant

One landowner, known as Mr. Saha, once whimsically sent Srila Gaurakisora some rice. Other persons would also come and give rice to Srila Gaurakisora. All the rice to be found in Navadvipa at that time, was stored in the boarding house of one queen. Mr. Saha regularly sent rice to Srila Gaurakisora every day for a period of two months. Once, Srila Gaurakisora sent someone to go and tell Mr. Saha, that he should no longer donate the rice. When Mr. Saha found out that Srila Babaji Maharaja no longer wanted to accept the rice he immediately came there and asked,"What offense have I committed unto you? Why is it that you have discontinued accepting my rice donations?" Srila Babaji Maharaja answered,"My guru gave me the instructions, 'Never become a pala-garu or a dharmera-sanda'. Hearing Srila Babaji Maharaja speak in this way, one person did not understand the meaning of pala-garu and inquired about the word's significance. Srila Babaji Maharaja explained, "A domesticated cow that is nourished, bathed and attended by a householder is called a pala-garu. Similarly a devotee who accepts foodstuffs to fill his stomach from only one person, is on the same level as a cow, pala-garu and becomes dependant on that person. When the householder falls into debt, then he may sell the cow to his creditor to pay off his debt.

Dharmera-sanda or pious bull, refers to a renunciate that does not become dependent upon one person for the maintenance of his body. Like the pious bull he freely wanders from place to place. The bull simply moves from one place to another nourishing his body. Sometimes the bull may even get beaten by someones fist but still he doesn't become dependent and bound up in one place like the domesticated cow, pala-garu. Often a person who raises a mischevious bull has to pay a fine because of its rowdyism. When a bull is bound up like a domesticated cow, pala-garu he becomes desirous to eat many nice things. At the present day, we see many persons who call themselves madhukaris or religious mendicants. Many so called renunciate babajis claim themselves to be spiritual beggers. But the real madhukari, transcendental begger, is free from the modes of material nature. Those who are factual beggers are perfectly surrendered unto the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna and devoid of any external consciousness of their gross material body. Real madhukaris are never eager like the materialists who are always disturbed by the urges of the tongue and the genitals. They gradually lose all desire to remain in the material world. Persons who live in Vrndavana or Navadvipa and are inclined towards enjoying the foodstuffs of the ordinary people are actually like domesticated cows, pala-garus. Others who travel from one house to another in the holy abodes of Navadvipa and Vrndavana with the intention to collect very nice foodstuffs are called dharmera-sanda. Srila Bhaktinovinda has composed the following devotional poem to describe the real Vaisnava mendicant.

kabe gauravane surandhuni-tate,
ha radhe ha krsna bale
kandiya bedaba deha-sukha chadi
(kaby)svapaca-grhete magiya khaiba,
piba sarasvati-jala
puline puline gadagadi diba,
kari krsna-kolahala
(kabe)dhamavasi jane pranati kariya
magiba krpara lesa
vaisnava-carana renu gaya makhi
dhari avadhuta vesa
(kabe)gaura-brajavane bheda na heriba,
haiba varaja-vasi
(Takhana) dhamera svarupa sphuribe nayane,
haiba rachara dasi

"When will I wander on the banks of the sacred Ganges, just chanting, O Srimati Radhika! O Krsna! Leaving all physical pleasures aside, when will I roam within the creepers and desire trees of Navadvipa, that sacred abode of Sri Gaurangadeva, with tears in my eyes?"

"When will I beg from the houses of the dogeaters for my meal and drink the sacred water of the Sarasvati River? Loudly calling Krsna's name, when will I roll about in the holy villages of Sri Navadvipa Dhama and Vrndavana Dhama?"

"When will I offer my respects to the eternal residents of the holy abode and humbly beg for a trace of their causeless mercy? Accepting the dress of an avadhuta, when will I smear the dust of the pure Vaisnavas' lotus feet upon myself?"

"When will I no longer see any differences between Sri Navadvipa and Sri Vrndavana and become an eternal resident of Vraja? When the holy abode of the Lord is revealed before my very eyes, I will become a servitor of Srimate Radharani."

Household Duties

A newly-wedded man, who was a wealthy and famous disciple of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, came to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura to understand how to correctly follow the process of devotional service in married life. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura made it very evident to the visitor that persons who are married face many different kinds of impediments in the execution of their devotional service. After hearing this explanation the married guest became unhappy. Sometime later the same gentleman went to Kuliya in Navadvipa, where Srila Gaurakisora was residing. When Srila Gaurakisora heard that he was discussing married life he said, "Oh, very good. This is very good. Daily he can cook an offering for Lord Visnu with his own hands. After he prepares the offering for Lord Visnu's satisfaction, then he may accept it as maha-prasadam along with his religious wife. Instead of an exploitative mentality he must always consider his wife a servant of Lord Krsna and a representative of his guru. If this is done, then everything will become very auspicious for him. Everything in this material world is meant for the Lord's service whether it be wealth, jewels, wife, or ones' husband. Engage everything in Krsnas' service. You should always understand that your wife is not your servant, but she is a servant of Lord Krsna. In this way, she should always be respected."

Return Ticket

Once one person by the name of Sri Yukta Vandyopadhyaya, who was an M.A. and a B.A., came from Calcutta to see the lotus feet of Srila Gaurakisora in Navadvipa. When he arrived there, one of his associates introduced him to Srila Gaurakisora who said, "Oh, very nice, I am glad that you have come here. Now you should stay and worship the Supreme Lord." Mr. Vandyopadhyaya said, "Before I left Calcutta I got a return ticket." When Srila Babaji Maharaja heard this, he became very amazed and said, "You mean you made arrangements for a return ticket before you even came? Then why have you come here to see me? Simply coming here to see me and then returning to Calcutta is useless. I would have thought that whoever wants to carry out devotional service comes to the holy abode of Navadvipa."

By this example, Srila Gaurakisora taught that going to see the holy persons to satisfy one's curiosity, or with some motive, or for the purpose of seeing other holy places, is no way to take the association of the devotees of the Lord. One should travel to the holy places of pilgrimage in order to take shelter of the pure devotees of the Lord who reside there, and not to satisfy any material motive. One can never actually take the association of higher Vaisnavas until he surrenders unflinchingly unto a pure devotee of the Lord. Real Vaisnava association means surrendering everything to the lotus feeet of the pure devotee by offering obeisances, inquiring submissively, and rendering devotional service unto him and always following his example. The real meaning of sanga is to wholeheartedly approach. If someone entertains the prospect of further sense enjoyment and purchases a return ticket before approaching the lotus feet of the Vaisnava then self surrender is impossible. Explanations pertaining to real devotional worship unto Lord Hari can never enter such a person's ear.

External Purity

One day in Navadvipa, a very famous professional reciter of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, who was a Gosvami by caste, came to visit Srila Gaurakisora. He was dressed in fine woolen garments. In the course of their conversation, the topic of purity in devotional service was discussed. When Srila Gaurakisora was asked about this, he said, "If a person maintains materialistic intentions such as the desire for women, wealth, or position, then even the different rules for attaining pure consciousness become another form of impurity. A small spot of leprosy gradually contaminates the entire body. If someone thinks I will remain pure by wearing wool cloth while evacuating or go to bathe in the Ganges to become pure, and yet maintains material desires in mind and heart, will remain impure. Such a person is so contaminated that even if you explain how contaminated he is, he can never understand his impure condition. One who wears wool or silk cloth, takes only rice that has been dried in the sun, takes bath in the Ganges river, or superficiously accept all the processes in Vaisnava tradition for becoming pure, can never become purified as long as he is only thinking of his wife, children, money, and self-esteem. Whoever has no affinity towards serving the Vaisnavas can practice whatever purifying principles they want, but Krsna will never be pleased with their external purity."

Lord Caitanya's Birthplace

Once, during the festive season, a visitor came to Navadvipa and constructed a small tin house underneath a Nim tree on the southwest side of a large temple in Navadvipa. He installed the Deity form of Lord Caitanya as the small boy Nimai in the tin hut. When the festival arrived he began to preach to everyone that his Deity was the actual place where Lord Caitanya appeared. He requested everyone there to give donations liberally in order to excavate the lost place of pilgrimage. The pilgrims who visited him generously contributed large sums of money to the proprietor of the so-called birth place. In this way, the charlatan was conducting business.

In that area, there was a devotee named Srila Vamsi dasa Babaji, who was renowned as a self-realized Vaisnava and topmost paramahamsa. The business minded man knew how famous Srila Vamsi dasa Babaji was so he brought him to his tin house. He also tried to convince Srila Gaurakisora that he had dreams in which it was revealed that his hut was the original site where Lord Caitanya appeared. The visitor claimed that Caitanya Mahaprabhu had appeared to him within a dream and revealed that place as the original place of His transcendental appearance within this material world. The actual place, known as Mayapura today, was accepted by Srila Gaurakisora and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura as being Lord Caitanya's birthplace and is backed with historical evidence. For example the names of the places in that area such as Banikpada, Sankharipada, and Malancapada are still present today.

Srila Gaurakisora said, "We must accept the proofs of those great personalities who have discovered the birthplace of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu while absorbed in deep devotional contemplation. The dreams of a charlatan can never reveal a lost place of pilgrimage or the Lord's appearance place. Those great souls who realize the holy places of pilgrimage never collect money on the pretense of excavating lost holy places. Only the perfect followers of Lord Caitanya, are actually qualified to reveal the Lord's holy birthplace. Sri Advaita Prabhu, who is none other than Lord Siva, caused Lord Caitanya to reveal HImself in this world. Similary Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Jagannatha dasa babaji discovered this holy place where Sriman Mahaprabhu appeared."

The following day, after Srila Gaurakisora said this, Srila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, taking a small shovel in his hand, went to the place of that charlatan who was preaching that he was representing the "original" birthplace of Lord Caitanya and began to chop down the fence in the front of his tin hut. He showed the people how this hypocrite was imitating the exalted devotee of the Lord.

The Feast Of The Paramahamsas

The day before the Disappearance of Srila Sanatana Goswami, Srila Babaji Maharaja called one devotee and said,"Tomorrow is Srila Sanatana Goswami's disappearance day. Therefore we will have a grand festival. The caste Gosvami's here in Navadvipa never have a festival." The devotee then said, "How will we be able to arrange all the necessary paraphernalia for the feast?" Srila Babaji Maharaja answered, "Don't tell anyone. Tomorrow we will fast all day and chant Hare Krsna. We are insignificant beggars. It will be the grandest of all festivals."

How Can I Know A Vaisnava?

Once, someone approached Srila Gaurakisora, and asked "We see many narrations in the Srimad Bhagavatam, and other scriptures which describe the realized devotees of the highest order. But these narrations are often contradictory with the persons we see today who are called Vaisnavas. Sometimes we see that the so-called great devotees of today seem to have just the opposite symptoms of the devotees described in the scriptures. Therefore, mercifully instruct us so we can identify the real devotees of the Lord." Srila Gaurakisora replied "When the sweet will of a pure devotee is combined with personal inspiration from Lord Krsna, such a compassionate soul, without consideration of birth, time and place, liberates the fallen souls and those adverse to the Lord. Revealing his personal wealth of pure love of Godhead, the great mahabhagavat devotee attracts the living entities so they can begin their search for pure dedication unto Lord Krsna. When this happens Lord Krsna apprahensively thinks,"There are so many fallen souls that are whole heartedly surrendering unto my pure devotee, who is as dear to Me as My very life. Now I am becoming so indebted to them. It will be very difficult for Me to clear My debt to them. Being their dependent, I will become captured simply by the desire of those devotees who have surrendered to My dearmost servants, those close servants who reside next to my heart."

For this reason, Krsna covers the eyes of the ordinary people in general, so that they cannot realize the qualities of his pure devotee. Krsna also tests the other living entities in this way, to see how attached they are to Him. Those symptoms which characterize Krsna's material energy, are a perverted replica of the traits exhibited by the pure devotees of the Lord. Therefore it is only by the independent desire of the pure devotees of the Lord who are so compassionate, that their real symptoms and spiritual form can be realized, even through the scriptures. "Sometimes it is seen that a pure devotee will offer an important position to a conditioned soul. In this way such a person is carefully kept at a distance from them. At other times the pure devotees of the Lord may become alarmed at attracting too many followers, and thus keep their natural qualities hidden. Sometimes the elevated devotees externally accept disciples always remain surrounded by them, consult them in every activity, and apparently accept service from them. However they cover their spiritual identity from them."

Srila Gaurakisora continued, "I have seen with my own eyes, a devotee in Vrndavana who would perform his bhajana in a solitary place. He lived in a village just north of Sri Radha-kunda. When anxiety ridden persons would aproach him he would pray to Lord Krsna for the removal of their mental and physical distress. Because of fulfilling their desires, he became famous and well-known as a great devotee. This brought about a great disturbance in his life. He was free from the desire for wealth, women and presitige, always compassionate to all living entities, and exemplary in character. Gradually, along with the fame of a pure devotee, he became very annoyed. Some time later that great soul had one of his very wealthy followers in Calcutta employ a young, beautiful wife of a sweeper a monthly salary to sit in front of his solitary place of bhajana. Consequently, people would come and think the elevated soul was having illicit sex with the young girl and collecting money out of greed. Others would come but because their material desires remained unfulfilled they would discontinue meeting him. He was actually a great Vaisnava devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When pure devotees of the Lord compassionately manifest their mercy the faithful are attracted and surrender unto them. Eventually the surrendered soul realizes the spiritual identity of guru-deva. Extremely fortunate persons are not deprived of the Lord's and His devotees mercy. Real Vaisnavas often deceive persons in various ways in order to obscure their spiritual identity. If you want to know the spiritual identity of the mahabhagavat devotee then with the deepest sincerity and heart-felt aspiration, pray unto the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya. By the causeless mercy of Lord Gauranga and Nitai Prabhu your heart becomes free from pride and filled with humility. Sri Sri Goura Nitai then reveals the pure vaisnavas spiritual identity in such a pure heart. The pure Vaisnava makes Sri Sri Gaura Nitai known to all and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai introduces the self realized Vaisnava. Therefore in the Caitanya Caritamrta the author Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja has stated,

ei dui bhai hrdayera ksali andhakara
dui bhajavat sange karana saksat kara

"Those Two brothers, Sriman Mahaprabhu and Sriman Nityananda Prabhu remove the darkness of the heart and introduce the direct spiritual identity of the great elevated souls."

Imitating The Pure Devotee

One celebate student, brahmacari who was born in a brahmana family came to see Srila Gaurakisora pretending to be interested in bhajana. Shortly following this many persons came to offer respect to the celebate student. The brahamacari, after some time, decided he would also begin to live in the same way as Srila Gaurakisora. He secretly collected money which he used to build a small grass hut for his bhajana like Srila Gaurakisora's on the bank of the Ganges river. The brahmacari thought that he would approach Srila Gaurakisora and get his permission to begin his solitary bhajana. When he approached Srila Gaurakisora, who was in direct contact with Supersoul, Srila Gaurakisora stood up and said, "If you want to perform bhajana, then it is very good. But if you enter into the house of maya, then you will be captured by even more impediments then now. You should give up your idea of living in that hut, and just live under the nearby trees in the area."

One proud devotee who considered himself a follower of Srila Gaurakisora asked, "You first told us to lock ourselves up in small huts and to perform our worship of the Supreme Lord. But now you are giving the instruction that we should leave our huts and live under the trees in order to perform proper worship. What is this?" Srila Gaurakisora then manifested his pastime of anger, and said, "I have given the correct instructions. The body is like a hut and the eyes are like the window shutters. A person who closes the wooden shutters of his hut in order to imitate the activities of the elevated devotees by simply copying what he sees them doing is not factually closing the shutters. The only alternative for such a person is to take shelter beneath a tree. If you follow the instructions of the devotees and the Lord, then you will be able to obtain what is to your real benefit. In this way, if one is faithful to the service of the devotees and the Lord he will be able to carry out those instructions. But if one imitates the character of the great devotees of the Lord, he will quickly be checked and fall down."

Later on, after the brahmacari had left, Srila Babaji Maharaja said, "Just see how the ordinary public's intelligence has become spoiled. They simply want some cheap adoration from the people in general by living in a secluded hut on the side of the road. But after a short time they become attracted to gaining wealth, and must leave. Persons who are not even properly acting in the lower stages of devotion, want to obtain to the higher stages of realization as exemplified by the pure devotee paramahamsas!" Not long after this, the brahmacari wanted to return to his previous home.

Afterwards one person came to Srila Gaurakisora and asked about the whereabouts of the brahmacari, "Why did that brahmacari become influenced by maya? How is this possible after he received the association of the devotees of the Lord? If one contacts the devotees of the Lord, how can he fail to reap the beneficial results of their association?" Srila Gaurakisora replied, "It is not enough to only act like one is associating with the Lord's devotees. If someone abandons the association of the elevated devotees before the desired result, he will remain deprived of the ultimate attainment. Maybe that brahmacari will not eat meat or fish, and maybe he will follow some external codes of moral conduct, but he will never be able to enter into the realm of pure dedication, hari-bhajana.

Other Desires

The day before the Rathayatra car festival Srila Gaurakisora called over some nearby residents and asked, "Will all of you attend the Rathayatra car festival tomorrow? There will be a grand festival at the Podamatala in Navadvipa with a large chariot. Another car festival will be held at the residence of a famous landowner in Purvashali. If you go there, you will able to eat various sweets such as rasagulas and flat rice with sweet yogurt."

In this way, Srila Gaurakisora told different persons in five or six places about the Rathayatra festival which would take place the following day. The people began to think that Srila Gaurakisora was inviting them to attend the Rathayatra festival.

Several literatures such as the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Caitanya Bhagavat and the Srimad Bhagavatam were read daily by varying residents in the presence of Srila Babaji Maharaja. Srila Babaji Maharaja would comment on the ultimate conclusions of these literatures. Srila Gaurakisora used to like to hear the pastimes of Prahlada Maharaja again and again. He often said that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu also used to relish hearing the pastimes of Prahlada Maharaja. Sometimes Srila Gaurakisora would hear the Premabhakti-candrika and Prarthana of Narottama dasa Thakura and explain their deep devotional siddhanta. Persons would come and read these different books, but it was Srila Gaurakisora who would actually explain their purport.

The next day everyone assembled at the festival of the Rathayatra. Because everyone was gone to the festival there was no one to read from any of the literatures. On that day Srila Gaurakisora came outside and sat before his small hut with a sweet smile on his face. He commented, "Today I have found new life. Everyone has gone. Those who are offenders of the holy name leave the association of the devotees and the glorification of the Lord's names and qualities to go and see the Rathayatra festival. There they will see many beautiful young women and have a chance to associate with ordinary people. Persons simply enact a drama in the association of pure devotees but because they are not loyal to them, they drift away with the current of their material desires." All alone, Srila Gaurakisora began to loudly chant the glories of the holy name of the Lord. After seeing the Rathayatra festival, the residents gradually returned. They came before Srila Babaji Maharaja who was sitting in the gravest mood, not speaking to anyone.

The Devotees Deceit

When Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was enacting his pastimes of illness at his home in Calcutta at Bhakti-bhavan, a materialistic Goswami came to Navadvipa to visit Srila Gaurakisora for some deceptive purpose. In order to put the gentleman off, Srila Gaurakisora said, "You should go to Calcutta, place Srila Bhaktivinoda on your head and bring him back to the holy abode of Navadvipa. Kindly go there and rescue him from Calcutta." The caste Goswami, who was materialistic in nature, was not perceptive to the exchange that these two self-realized personalities and intimate associates of Lord Caitanya were enacting.

tomara hrdaye sada,govinda-visrama
yathaya vaisnava gana, sei stana vrndavana
sei sthana ananda asesa
The Supreme Lord Govinda resides in the hearts of His exhalted devotees. Wherever the great Vaisnavas reside is the same as the holy abode of Vrndavana. The residence of the exhalted devotees is the abode of untold joy.

By appearing in this world, the vaisnava automatically brings the paraphernalia of the divine abode of Goloka and engages himself twenty four hours in the service of the Divine Couple. The prayer written by Srila Bhaktivinoda containing the lines, "grhete goloka bhaya" depicts his personal bhajana with the intimate associates of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Those who have become free from the delusion of the fleshy eye can directly realize this spiritual example. The worldly Goswami went to meet Srila Bhaktivinoda in Calcutta and told him what Srila Gaurakisora has requested. Srila Bhaktivinoda, hearing this, simply indicated that he extended his full blessings for Srila Gaurakisora's devotional bhajana. Later, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada elaborately explained to the Goswami who was unable to interpert these exchanges as follows, "When the great devotees notice our crooked intelligence they deceive us as mentioned by the logic in the verse,

ye yatha mam prapandyante tams tathaiva bhajamyaham.

As My devotees surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.

The great devotees recognize the mentality of those who approach them. They know that such persons are not interested in their real spiritual interests. Therefore, the mahabhagavata devotee will often speak with self-interested persons in such a way to favorably appeal to their worldly tastes. In this manner the pure devotee continues his internal solitary engagement in the Lord's service with no impediment. When materialistic persons would approach Srila Gaurakisora and express their different fruitive interests they would be deprived of their real interests when they would hear what satisfied their mundane endeavors. Some persons received the opportunity to become more involved in material affairs when they heard ordinary stories concerning rice, wheat, mustard oil, betel nut, potatoes, and kitchen vegetables. Devotional association cannot be obtained if an exploitive mentality based on insincerity accompanies the practitioner. The pure devotee exclusively eulogizes divine and eternal truth in the presence of those who are devotionally inspired and self surrendered.

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 celebate brahmacari all my life. By the mercy of Srila Gaurakisora, I have never acted like a monkey-like renunciate, seceetly 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 devestated." Hearing this, the superintendant 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 superintendant 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 priviledged 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 purifictory 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.

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