Disappearance Day of Sri Srila Gurupadapadma

by Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja

bvvamanM.jpg - 12679 Bytes [The following speech was given by Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja on the occassion of his appointment as the succeeding president and acarya of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. It was delivered upon the departure of the founder and governing acarya, jagad guru Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, into his eternal pastimes.]

Venue: Sri Devananda Gaudiya Math, Navadvipa, Nadiya
October 19, 1968

I offer my most humble obeisances to the most venerable chairman of this assembly, Sri Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja, my most revered Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaja, the most honourable Srimad Bhakti Vikasa Hrsikesa Maharaja, Srimad Bhakti Prapana Damodara Maharaja, other Tridandipada sannyasis, assembled Vaisnavas and my venerable godbrothers.

Today, on the disappearance day of Sri Srila Gurupadapadma, we have been hearing from the lotus mouths of my guru-varga present here, as they profusely sing his glories. I cannot think of anything to say that they have not already said. My sole duty is to chew what they have chewed, just like a servant who survives on his master's remnants. I have neither the capability nor the words to narrate the glories of Sri Gurupadapadma, but I will endeavour to describe his glories in brief so as to execute the order of the Vaisnavas.

Specifically, we can contemplate a few aspects of his glories that we have been hearing from the lotus mouths of the Vaisnavas. If we reflect upon the significance of his life, we find that his behaviour could be divided into two distinctly notable classifications. He exhibited them while he preached the innermost desire of his supremely adorable master, Srila Prabhupada. We can observe both types of behaviour in all mahajanas.

vajrad api kathoranmi
mrduni kusumad api
lokottaranäm cetamsi
ko nu vijnatum isvarah

[Who can comprehend the heart of exalted, supra-mundane personalities, whose natures are stronger than thunderbolts and more tender than lotus flowers?
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 7.73)]

"Vajrad api kathorani – stronger than a thunderbolt." This virtue was prominently illuminated in his charactar. "Mrduni kusumad api – more tender than flower." Yet this virtue was also consistently observed in him. Today we have heard examples from the lips of our guru-varga that clearly reveal him as a fearless preacher of the Truth. You yourselves have sufficient evidence of his kindness and soft-heartedness. In this sphere I want to convey that Gurupadapadma is our eternal friend and well-wisher. Those who have given up all sorts of material comfort, mundaine attachements and affections, and have taken shelter at his lotus feet by acquiring spiritual knowledge (siksa) and by taking initiation (diksa) are trying wholeheartedly to advance on the path of bhajana – for them the only destination is Sri Gurupadapadma.

Therefore, let Gurupadapadma’s ideals, directions and instructions be our exclusive life and soul. Today on the occasion of his disappearance our earnest prayer to his lotus feet is that, although we can no longer behold his form, he may bestow his unlimited blessings upon us. In this way we can abide by his words, orders and instructions in every respect and establish his glories meticulously throughout the world. May we also propagate the glories of his worshipable Lords, Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda Biharijiu.

Respectable speakers have yet to deliver their addresses, so I will keep my talk brief. I have already confessed my inability to contribute more than the previous speakers.

Finally, my humble entreaty to the venerable Vaisnavas and affectionate guru-vargas here today is that I am completely unqualified for the heavy responsibility that has now been conferred upon me. In fact I cannot comprehend its weight. But since taking this responsiblity is the order of my Sri Gurudeva, I must submissively comply May he and other venerable Vaisnavas consider my worthiness.

Nonetheless, I can assure them that I will not waver in abiding by the orders of Sri Gurupadapadma. This I solemnly vow. Therefore I pray for their kind cooperation, sympathy, benedictions and all else. With their mercy and blessings I may be able to acquire the strength and ability to carry out these responsibilities competently. Finally, I convey my humble submission unto the lotus feet of my godbrothers and pray for their sincere, whole-hearted cooperation. Without their cooperation, sympathy and help, I am unable to move forward a single step.

My earnest appeal unto the lotus feet of Gurupadapadma is that he shower his profuse blessings upon me, even though he is no longer visible to us. In this way I will be able to follow his order and execute his final instructions, thus making my life successful. My humble prayer to the Vaisnavas is that they bestow profuse benedictions upon me so that I can act in accordance with my gurudayitva (grave responsibility given to me by my Gurudeva.) I would like to conclude my talk here for today.

vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca
krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo
vaisnavebhyo namo namah

Translated from Sri Gaudiya Patrika, Year 56, Issue 11
by the Rays of The Harmonist team.
Published in English for the first time in Rays of The Harmonist No. 15 Karttika 2005

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