Srila Govinda Maharaja’s Avirbhava

While recalling the glories of Srila Govinda Maharaja’s avirbhava (appearance) it seems appropriate to present the following digest of his life to our readers. Those familiar with it will feel renewed joy reading it again. For those to whom it is new it will inspire an interest to further explore “his life and precepts”. — Swami B.K. Giri

His Divine Servitor*

Om Visnupada Astottara-sata-Sri Srimad Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj made his Appearance in this world on 17th December, 1929, at Brahmanparha, District Burdwan, only about six miles from Sripat Hapaniya where his beloved Gurudev made his Advent, also situated in the Holy Area of Gauda-mandal. Revealing his Pastimes to the conditioned souls of this worldly plane, at the tender age of only seventeen years, Srila Govinda Maharaj manifest his coming to the Lotus Feet of his Gurudev Sri Srila Sridhar Maharaj in April 1947 on the Holy Appearance Day of Sri Nrsimhadev (Nrsimha-caturdasi).

If any of the dear readers of this short account may have, or have had, the opportunity of hearing directly from other stalwart veteran disciples of Srila Sridhar Maharaj (an opportunity the humble writer has fortunately had on many occasions), such as Sripad Bhakti Prasun Aranya Maharaj, Sripad Hari Charan Brahmachari Seva Ketan Prabhu, Sriyukta Krsnamayi Devi, Sriyukta Ramarani Devi, and Srila Guru Maharaj’s own revered brothers and disciples Sriyukta Satyendra Chandra Bhattacharya, Sriyukta Amarendranath Bhattacharya and others – any fortunate soul will be able to trace the unbroken line of continuous unalloyed Divine Affection that Srila Guru Maharaj bestowed upon Srila Govinda Maharaj, and continues to eternally bestow from his Holy Abode in the Nitya-lila (Eternal Divine Pastimes). 

On the Amavasya (dark-moon day) of 12th August, 1988, when Srila Guru Maharaj silently took his Form of Holy Samadhi at his beloved place of Bhajan, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip Dham, at that time all the devotees felt that the Exalted Moon had disappeared from their vision; yet, by his Divine Grace, Srila Guru Maharaj had already foreseen the devotees’ need for uninterrupted light, for the smooth continuation of their Devotional Services; and, therefore, three years before he conferred the Holy Order of Tridanda-sannyasa upon Srila Govinda Maharaj, naming him as his Illustrious Successor, as the guiding light to perfectly ensure that no darkness could enter into his Sampradaya (Divine Succession). 

The illustrious Acaryas or Divine Preceptors have often been described to be as brilliant as the sun. Their Divine Dispensation of Harikatha and Harikirtana are as the life-giving rays of the supreme sun, giving life and warmth to all creatures, moving and stationary. They are the merciful bestowers of the very kernel of Love Divine for the Supreme Lord which is the Absolute Life of all that lives (divya-bhagavat-premno hi bija- pradam) . In this way, it was no surprise that the faithful loving devotees of Srila Guru Maharaj could only receive with great transcendental joy the appearance in the Gaudiya firmament of Jagad-Guru Gaudiya- Bhaskaracarya Srila Sri Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj. In the Personage of his Dearmost Divine Servitor, Srila Guru Maharaj had long before selected our future Guardian. 

Highly learned in Sanskrit and Bengali, Srila Govinda Maharaj has, as did his illustrious Gurudev , given us many Divine Prayers and Songs most valuable for the cultivation of our spiritual life; his valuable natural talent coupled with his fine delivery of Harikatha (Holy Talks of the Supreme Lord and His Pastimes), and, on the practical side of Devotional Life, his untiring Services to his Srila Guru Maharaj in nurturing and upholding Srila Guru Maharaj’s India-wide and world- wide Mission from the very beginning to the present – it was none other than he who designed and supervised the building of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math – have, as we have seen with our own eyes, ever fulfilled the Divine Desires of Sri Gurudev (gurvabhista-supurakam) . 

By his Grace we have been able to continue our spiritual life and do some service to bring out this transcendental series of Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion. Gradually it will come into all languages of the world. May Guru Maharaj and his Divine Godbrother Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupada, and the most beloved Divine Servitor of them both, Srila Govinda Maharaj, cast their merciful glance upon us and our company, the fallen souls of the mundane world; with this prayer I beg to offer my humble sastanga dandabat pranam unto the Lotus Feet of them all. 

* An excerpt from: ”The Guardian of Devotion and His Divine Servitor” by Tridandi Bhiksu Sri Bhakti Ananda Sagar which may be found in the book Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion Volume Two which represents the aural teachings of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaj.