Srila B. S. Bhagavat Maharaj

Srila Bhakti Srirup Bhagavat Maharaj

His Divine Grace Bhakti Srirup Bhagavat Goswami Maharaj appeared in Khulna District of what is today known as Bangaldesh in 1906, on the Snan Yatra Day of Lord Sri Jagannatha. Named Ruplal , he was a son to Shri Sitanath Haldar and Shrimati Kumudini Devi. Without a blemish on his character right from his childhood , he always detested telling lies, quarrels and unnecedssary gossip. He went to school in Dumaria and received a degree in arts from Daulatpur College.

He was always sober, grave, humble,noble, bereft of any trace of false prestige, helpful and above all, completely non-envious. He had no vices whatsoever and maintained a strict vegetarian diet from the early life and he even used to cook his own meals while in college.He exhibited his divine tendencies from the very start of his life. Srimad Bhagavad Gita was his constant companion from his boyhood days.

Srila-Bhakti-Srirup-Bhagavat-Maharaj2During his preaching tour, when His Divine Grace Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj, Srila Prabhupada, visited Rudaghada village on 27th March 1935,Ruplal had to be away on urgent work and hence considered himself very unfortunate for missing the opportunity of darshan of Srila Prabhupada.

However, in the following month, he visited Gaya and took the opportunity to hear the spritual discourses of Srila Prabhupada, the divine nature of whose personality left a deep and permanent impression on the young mind of Ruplal. After assimilating for a few hours , the transcendental nectar from Srila Prabhupada, he felt thoroughly convinced that his life’s mission was instantly fulfilled.

On his next visit to Gaya in November of the same year, Srila Prabhupada installed the deities of Sri Sri Radha Krishna and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. On the same day he initiated Ruplal Haldar into chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra as well as Gayatri Mantra by conferring on him the initated name Rupvilas Das Brahmachari. Srila Prabhupada also made him the head of the Gaudiya Math centre there .

During the Chaitanya Jayanti celebrations in March 1938, considering his mastery over the study of Shad Sandarbha, the six – volume thesis on Srimad Bhagavatam and his ability to grasp metaphysical presentations of various schools and the thorough understanding of doctrinal superiority of Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy over others, Ruplal was honoured with the title of Vidya Arnav, the ocean of transcendental knowledge.

He firmely believed that the spreading of the message of Srimad Bhagvatam would contribute towards the unprecedented worldwide, spritual rejuvenation in this Kali Yuga, an age of dissension and dispute with increasing turbulence. He always excelled in explaining the transcendental philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Like any other exalted Vaishnava, He was contantly immersed in the nectar-bearing rivers of discussion of the innumerable enchnating pastimes of Krishna with great exuberance. Even in advanced age, he recited many Bhagvatam verses, enthusiastically highlighting the intrinsic significance of their purports , in line with the previous Acharyas of the Parampara to the visiting devotees every day. In short, he spoke, meditated upon and breathed the Bhagvatam.This was evident as he was christened as Bhatki Srirup Bhagavat Maharaj when he was awarded , the order of renunciation, Sanyasa. The external Apperance of a spritual master does not reveal his reality. One is required to surrender completely to realise his true glory.

A spritual teacher who is a fully surrendered devotee is, in reality , an emissary from the spritual world deputed by Krishna himself for the sake of teaching the love of God to the people of the world. Substantiating this, the supreme Lord Krishna informs Sri Uddhava, “Acharyam mam vijaneeyat,”i.e “Know your spritual teacher to be Myself .” Therefore, service to Sri Guru means service to Lord Krishna.

Service to the spritual teacher is two –fold. Assisting him in his daily needs of maintaining the body (Vapu) is one, and the other is to sincerely carry out his instructions (vani) in letter and sprit.In the early stage , it may be very helpful and inspiring for an earnest disciple to render diligent service to the spritual teacher’s Vapu, during his physical presence but the real service to him means following his Vani, instruction,faithfully. This is how a diciple makes spritual advancement . When the disciple seriously contemplates upon his instruction , it becomes clear in greater and greater depth.This is the highest perfection in meditation.

One may lack the necessary ability to serve, it does not matter but an honest intention to serve must be there. It is said, “Yogyata Vichare kichu nahin pai tomara karuna sara” meaning that” I have no qualification but am able to serve you because of your mercy”. On noticing the intense desire for rendering service, the spritual master infuses in the required capability in a disciple to enable him or her to serve effectively. Not realising this fact, if one becomes egoistic, for being able to render inimitable service because of his own dexterity , he will then be considered merely a vinoda patram or a circus clown. Even by performing any amount of service over any number of lifetimes, a disciple will never be able to repay his spiritual teacher for the mercy he has received. This has been appropriately stated by Prithu Maharaj in the following verse of Srimad Bhagavatam 4-22-47:

yair idrsi bhagavato gatir atma-vada

ekantato nigamibhih pratipadita nah

tusyantv adabhra-karunah sva-krtena nityam

ko nama tat pratikaroti vinoda-patram

How can such persons, who have rendered unlimited service by explaining the path of self realisation in relation to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and whose explanations are given for our enlightment with complete conviction and vedic evidence , be repaid except by folded palms containing water for their satisfaction? Such great personalities can be satisfied only by their own activities , which are disturbed amongst human society out of their unlimited mercy.

Hare Krishna