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Shrila Jagannath das Babaji Maharaj's Samadhi and Bhajan Kutir
Shrila Sarvabhauma Jagannath das Babaji Maharaj previously lived at Surya Kunda in Vraja. During the later part of his life, he felt the need to perform bhajan in Shri Navadwip Dham. So he came and began performing bhajan here. In his time, he was considered by all the Vaishnavas, including Bhaktivinoda Thakur, as the most advanced and rasik Vaishnava in Vraja Mandala, Gaura Mandala, and Purushot-tama Ksetra. He was, therefore, renowned as Vaishnava Sarvabhauma, or the chief of the Vaisnvas. This great personality, in 1893, at the request of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, confirmed the birthplace of Shri Krishna Chaitanya on the island of Antardwip in Shridham Mayapur at Yoga Pith. On his order a wonderful temple was constructed at the appearance place of Mahaprabhu Two years later, at the age of 144 years, Vaishnava Sarvabhauma Jagannath das Babaji Maharaj left this world to join Krishna's eternal lila. He was born in a village in the Mammon district of Pari around the year 1750. It is said that out of extreme compassion for all the conditioned living entities on this earth, he transferred his power of bhajan, his knowledge of sastras and his prema bhakti directly into the heart of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. He always would loudly chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra and also loudly perform kirtan.
One day, the disciples of Jagannath das Babaji Maharaj told Bhaktivinoda Thakur that they had renounced everything (wife, family, house, etc.) to be with their guru and learn to perform esoteric and confidential bhajan. "But instead of teaching and instructing us," they said, "Babaji Maharaj merely engaged us in growing Tulasi plants, raising flowers and harvesting vegetables for the Lord. He is not teaching us how to meditate on our svarup forms, nor is he revealing to us our eternal positions in Vraja."
Thus they requested Bhaktivinoda Thakur to request Babaji Maharaj to instruct them. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur became extremely grave.
"It is not helpful for a conditioned soul to meditate upon the astakala-lila of Shri Shri Radha Krishna because one who is unqualified will commit aparadhas. If one prematurely attempts to enter into the transcendental lila of Shri Shri Radha Krishna, his unqualified condition will bring about his own destruction. Neophytes on the path of devotion have inauspicious desires in their hearts, reactions from many sins as well as offenses. They can be freed gradually from all these anarthas by performing seva and by using the results of their work directly in the Lord's service. So by raising Tulasi, growing flowers, and harvesting vegetables and fruits, one will be gradually freed from all one's anarthas. If one does not perform these activities with full faith in one's guru's instructions, one will never be able to purely chant the Holy Name. If one tries to cook pure food in an unclean pot, everything is ruined. Similarly, if one tries to falsely promote oneself to Vraja lila without first being properly purified, one's bhajan will be also ruined and one will fall down." By following the instructions of Shri Gurudeva, all success is achieved. Shri Gurudeva always knows in all respects what is best for his disciples. If Shri Gurudeva feels that a disciple is worthy and qualified to enter into esoteric subject matters, then he will reveal them in full. Otherwise he will engage his disciples in purificatory activities to release his disciples from the pangs of material existence. Everyone is not qualified to enter Krishna's intimate pastimes and thus the intelligent disciple relies on his beloved Gurudeva and he need not make any independent effort beyond his gurudeva's prescription. Shri Gurudeva administers different instructions in different doses to different disciples. Yet all disciples are benefitted."
"All scriptural injunctions as well as all the previous acaryas have prescribed that the first limb of devotional service is accepting the lotus feet of Shri Gurudeva. Thus it is better to perform that sadhana in which Shri Gurudeva has instructed you," concluded Bhaktivinoda Thakur.Whenever Shrila Jagannath das Babaji Maharaj would receive a donation, he would put it in an old burlap bag in one corner of his bhajan kutir. One day he requested one of his servants to take these donations and purchase a big pot of rasagullas. When they had been bought, Babaji Maharaj offered them first to the Deities and then he instructed his disciples to distribute them all to the cows and the dogs of the holy dham. His disciples resisted this idea suggesting that it would be better to distribute them to all the sannyasis and babajis in the area. But Jagannath das Babaji told them that instead of feeding sahajiya sannyasis who secretly engage in illicit activities at night while exhibiting 'great' renunciation in day-light, we can gain more benefit by feeding the cows and dogs.
Saying this, he took the rasagullas and with his own hands distributed them to the cows and dogs of the holy dham. In his extreme old age, the eyelids of Shrila Jagannath das Babaji Maharaj drooped so much that he was unable to see. When mahaprasad was brought to him, he used to sit and wait for ten puppies who had just been born to smell the food and come and partake with him. He would count them with his fingers, and when all ten had begun eating, only then would he accept. When his personal servant Biharilal would lock the puppies up somewhere when it was time to eat, Babaji Maharaj, in an angry mood, would say to him, "These are the puppies of the holy dham. These are not ordinary living entities! You do not understand." Thus he would not eat until they were released and were allowed to share mahaprasad from his plate. This was the deep faith and surrender which he had for the holy dham.When he would want to travel, his servants would put him into a basket. They then placed him on their heads and they would carry him to Godrumadwip and Mayapur and various other places. In 1893, when he confirmed Lord Chaitanya's appearance place at Yoga Pith, he was 142 years old. Yet, he unaided, jumped out of his basket twelve feet into the air and began to dance in ecstasy and exuberantly perform kirtan.Let us fall down in the dust of this place and beg Jagannath das Babaji Maharaj for his mercy.