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terça-feira, 4 de janeiro de 2011

Vrindavan Today Offer our Condolences

Today, Sri Krishna Navami Tithi, December 29, 2010, the beloved spiritual master of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaja, entered the eternal pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. The event took place at 03.00 AM in Sri Jagannath Puri. He was 89 years old.

This was also the day of the second Acharya-President of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti Srila Bhaktivedanta Vaman Maharaj’s appearance day.

Shrila Narayan Maharaj’s body will be taken to Nabadwip Dham where it will be buried according to the Vaishnava rites for samadhi burial.

Affectionate disciples from all over the world are grieving at his departure. Many, including hundreds of from the Braj area, where Narayan Maharaj has three maths–in Mathura, Govardhan and Vrindavan, will be making the trip to Nabadwip to attend the ceremony.

Narayan Maharaj had been affected by cancer over the past few months and left Govardhan after Karttik in the hope that the seaside climate would help him to improve his health.

Shrila Narayan Maharaj spent most of his life in the Braj area, leading one of the most successful 84-kos parikramas for Bengali and foreign devotees. But he will particularly be known for his production of translations and writings in Hindi, which were then translated into English, especially those that are in glorification of the pastimes of Radha and Krishna.

All of us at Vrindavan Today offer our condolences to those who are grieving his departure and hope that they will build on his contributions to attain their goal of prema-bhakti.

Srila Narayan Maharaj was born in Tewaripur near the Ganges in Bihar on February 16, 1921, into a Trivedi brahman family. Throughout his childhood he regularly accompanied his father in his brahminical activities, including kirtan and recounting the Puranic lore.

He met his spiritual master, the founder of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, Shrila Bhakti Prajnan Keshav Maharaj, in February of 1947 in Sri Nabadwip Dham and took initiation from him.

He was given the name Gaura Narayan, and later awarded the title “Bhakta-bandhava”, which means “friend of the devotees.”

He travelled extensively with Srila Keshava Maharaj on preaching tours throughout India over the next five years, and in 1952, on Gaura-purnima, his beloved Gurudeva awarded him initiation into the sacred order of sannyas. In 1954 Srila Kesava Maharaja posted him in charge of the newly opened temple in Mathura named Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha. Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaj began to spend part of the year in Mathura and the other part in Bengal, carrying on extensive services in both areas. This went on over the period of the next fourteen years.

He was also appointed by Srila Kesava Maharaja as Vice-President of his institution, the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, and Editor-in-Chief of its Hindi publications and the monthly magazine Sri Bhagavat Patrika. In 1968 Srila Kesava Maharaja passed from this world, and Srila Narayan Maharaja performed all the necessary ceremonial rituals for his samadhi burial.

During this time period, Narayan Maharaj began to organize the annual Karttika Braja Mandala Parikrama, which he continues to carry on up to the present day.

Srila Narayan Maharaj also met A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, who was also a close associate of his guru, Keshava Maharaj, in Calcutta in 1948. Narayan Maharaj considered him a senior and a friend. He performed the fire yajna when Bhaktivedanta Swami took sannyas in 1959.

Bhaktivedanta Swami maintained regular correspondence with Srila Keshava and Narayan Maharaj up until 1968 when Srila Kesava Maharaja entered nitya-lila. And after that, he continued to write Srila Narayan Maharaj until his own departure in 1977. He also requested Srila Narayan Maharaj to take complete charge of performing all the rituals for his samadhi burial after his departure.

Since November 1977, Srila Narayan Maharaj took it as a part of his mission to reach out to those who left ISKCON in search of advanced association and satsang. Narayan Maharaj felt that a taste for Vrindavan rasa, heard from rasika devotees, was a necessary step in advancement towards the mood of the Six Goswamis. This was, however, somewhat controversial in both ISKCON and the Gaudiya Math.

In this he was extremely successful and many thousads of devotees from all over the world, both new and old, continued to find inspiration from his deep insights into the literature surrounding Radha and Krishna’s lilas.

Shrila Gurudeva Enters Samadhi


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