Shrila Bhaktikumuda Santa Goswami Maharaja
by Shri Caitanya Ashram / Calcutta
Sannyasa Gurudeva of Bhaktiratna Sadhu Swami
The appearance of His Divine Grace Srimad Bhakti Kumud Santa Gosvami Maharaj occurred in the Medinapur district of West Bengal, an auspicious place, which is also the appearance site of Srila Shyamananda and Srila Rasikananda. He appeared mercifully on the second day of Vaisakh in the 1321st year of the Bengali calendar (AD 1913), in the house of the greatly renowned astrologer, doctor and land owner, Sri Vaikunthanath Roy, in the village called Narma. His mother, Srimati Ratnamayi Devi, was a devout lady always absorbed in worship. He was the third and youngest son of his father, who gave him the name Radharaman. As a child, Radharaman would immerse himself in the worship of Sri Anantadeva and Sri Gopala deva, rather than passing his time playing as the other children would.
As per the divine plan of Lord Krishna, the stalwart disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada, such as Srila Bhakti Hriday Bon Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharaj and Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaj, could recognize the supra-normal attitude of young Radharaman and were astonished by him. Radharaman's father also discussed with the devotees the possibility of Sri Radharaman studying at the Gaudiya Math. When they discussed this point with Srila Prabhupada, he readily permitted the young boy to join the devotees at the Math. To see whether the child could adjust to the lifestyle of a monastery, the eleven-year-old Radharaman was taken to the Gaudiya Math by his father. The child was immediately attracted by the effulgence of the divine lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada, and demonstrated his inclination to stay with him. He was admitted to the New Indian School, near the Scottish Church College of Calcutta. During his study, Radharaman used to participate in the kirtan and programs of the Math. His natural aptitude for sankirtan and sweet voice pleased Srila Prabhupada and the other sannyasis. During his study, he was given Sri Harinam initiation. After the completion of study at the school, he was sent to study Sanskrit with Gour das Pandit at Sri Mayapur.
In 1930, Srila Prabhupada organized a colossal spiritual exhibition from 3 to 17 March at Sri Mayapur and engaged Sri Radharaman in various services. Pleased by the service aptitude of Sri Radharaman, Srila Prabhupada awarded him the saffron dress on 20 March 1930. Srila Prabhupada then organized an equally unparalleled exhibition in Dacca on 6 January 1933, with the intention of extending Vedic knowledge to the public. At this exhibition he had the opportunity to observe Sri Radharaman s unexpected capability of explaining to the visitors the subject matter of the exhibition based upon scriptural evidence. Being pleased by this, Srila Prabhupada sent him with Sri Srimad Bhakti Hriday Bon Maharaj on a preaching program to several places in present-day Bangladesh. Afterwards, Srila Prabhupada entrusted him with the responsibility of Sri Prapanna Ashram, located at Brahmanpara in the district of Howrah. Satisfied by his efficient and single-handed management and preaching, Srila Prabhupada also sent him to Raj-Bareili, Shikarpur, Karachi, Pune and other places for the purpose of disseminating Krishna- katha in the Hindi language.
On 8 March 1936, Srila Prabhupada sent Sri Radharaman on a preaching tour of Burma. When Sri Radharaman was leaving for Rangoon, Srila Prabhupada came personally to see him off and, while adorning him with his prasadi mala, said, "Dear Radharaman! You are crossing this ocean at a very young age. May the Lord bestow His mercy upon you." While reading Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita during his preaching tour at Mandley, he came across the verse "jiver svarup hay krsner nitya das which inspired him to write an article that he entitled, "Guru Dastava Hay Mor Paricar". He sent this article to Srila Prabhupada for publication in the "Daily Nadia Prakash". As he went through the article, Srila Prabhupada became extremely pleased at its flawless content. He blessed Radharaman and instructed Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharaj to print it in the daily paper. Later, Sri Radharaman went to perform the holy parikrama pf Sri Mayapur, following the order of Srila Prabhupada. Pleased by his selfless service, Srila Prabhupada bestowed his blessings upon him by awarding him the title, "Raga Kumud", and wrote the following praises:
brahmacari padanka sri radharaman sangyine
dhan parcarinisamsat satyaistasmai pradiyate
rag kumud ityaitadupanamadya sadaram
sunisuvasusubhramsu sake mayapure vare
phalgun purnimayat sri gauravirbhava vasare
Thereafter, the word "Kumud" was used in the sannyasa name of Srimad Bhakti Kumud Santa Gosvami Maharaj.
Srila Prabhupad installed Sri Vigraha in the Madras Gaudiya Math on 23 January 1932. After the completion of Sri Navadwip-dham parikrama, Srila Prabhupada sent Sri Radharaman das to Madras for preaching with the sannyasis, where he remained for an extended time. But, on 1 January 1937, 5 AM, at Sri Gaudiya Math, Baghbazar, Calcutta, Srila Prabhupada entered Supreme Lord Sri Krishna s eternal lila, leaving his disciples drowned in an ocean of separation and distress. This news greatly aggrieved Sri Radharaman. He left Madras at once and returned to Calcutta with Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaj, after which they proceeded to Sri Chaitanya Math in Mayapur.
After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada from this world , Sri Radharaman travelled extensively, taking darshan of different places of pilgrimage with Srila Bhakti Bhudeva Srauti Maharaj. After the completion of this pilgrimage, he returned to his place of birth and performed austerities and bhajan near the temple of Sri Sri Radha Kisori Mohan Jiu. During this time, Srila Prabhupada appeared before him in a dream and ordered him to accept the renounced order of life and preach the teachings of Lord Chaitanya. Following the order of his spiritual master, Sri Radharaman das took sannyasa from Srila Bhakti Vichar Yayabar Maharaj at the auspicious premises of their Lordships Sri Sri Ksira Chora Gopinathji, at Remuna on 12 February 1942. He was then named Srimad Bhakti Kumud Santa. For the next 32 years, he preached continuously throughout India and directed the Mayapur Navadwip Dham parikram along with Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj. He rendered the service of offering melodious bhajans and eloquent lectures for the pleasure of the Vaishnavas, which is still fondly remembered by senior devotees.
His Divine Grace inspired the fallen souls to take darshan of the holy places by organizing spiritual tour programs, at which he used to present elaborate outlines of the importance of each divine site. In 1975, he travelled abroad in order to propagate the timeless teachings of Srila Prabhupada, and inundated with spiritual nectar, countries like Great Britain, West Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland and Belgium.
Srila Santa Maharaj installed his loving deities, Sri Radha-Gopinathji, Sri Radha-Govindaji and Sri Radha-Madanmohanji, respectively at Sri Gauranga Math (Kesiary), Sri Chaitanya Ashram (Kharangpur) and Sri Chaitanya Ashram (Behala, Calcutta). They are always being served with the utmost devotion by him and his disciples. Later on, due to the repeated loving insistence of his disciples, he started Sri Chaitanya Ashram Puri, where the deity is called Sri Radha-Raman, after Srila Santa Maharaj's brahmacari name. At Chheketi, located in Uttar 24 Parganas, Sri Sri Radha Madhavaji is served with love in Sri Gaur Saraswat Santa Gaudiya Math.
His contribution to Vaishnava literature is also noteworthy. His books, such as "Samlape Shiksha", "Patre Upadesh", Geeta Siddhant Sar", "Santa Vani", "Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhur Jiveni", "Sadhan Kan", "Damodar Vrat Mahatmya", "Bhakti Geeti" and "Diksha" have shed a divine light on the royal path of pure devotion. Besides these books, Srila Santa Maharaj also translated the books, "Moh Mudgar" and "Mog Kuthar" into Bengali.
Since the tender age of 11 years (29 years as a brahmachari and 65 years as a sannyasi) , Shrila Santa Goswami Maharaja has incessantly served Shri Shri Guru and Gauranga, the assembled Vaishnavas and the entire world.