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Shrila Bhaktivedanta Vaman Maharaj Speaks on Shrila Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Goswami
om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai shri gurave namah
"I invoke my obeisances unto my Divine Master Om Vishnupada 108 Shri Shrimad Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Goswami Maharaj, who with the torchlight of knowledge, has opened my eyes which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance."
namo om vishnupadaya acarya sinharupine
shri shrimate bhaktiprajnana keshava iti namine
"I offer my most humble obeisances to Shrila Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Goswami Maharaj, who never forgets the lotus feet of Shri Shri Radha Krishna and who, like the lion, never fears, being always situated firmly in the service of siddhanta."
My dear godbrother Tridandi Bikshu Bhaktivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaj has already been relishing the ambrosial nectar of the pastimes of our most beloved Divine Master Om Vishnupada 108 Shri Shrimad Parivrajacarya Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Goswami Maharaj. Still it will not be superfluous for me to also glorify His Divine Grace Shrila Keshava Goswami. At one time my divine master was the executive director of all 64 temples throughout India established by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada. I will now savor the delectable flavor of whatever remnants remain and relish that nectar while feeling waves of bliss. It is well known that Shrila Saraswati Thakur introduced on a massive scale the circumambulation of Shri Navadwip Dham by leading huge parikrama parties from 1920 onwards. The Deities were mounted in grand royal style, accompanied by the sound of conch shells, drums and karatais, on the backs of elephants amidst thousands of pilgrims and devotees. The kirtana could be heard throughout the universe.
On one particular parikrama of Shri Navadwip Dham in March of 1925, here, on the island of Shri Koladwip, some malicious and evil-minded men who were intent on committing Vaishnava aparadha, attacked the parikrama party with such a flurry of bricks that Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta's very life was endangered. The pilgrims and devotees had to flee for their lives. All of Shrila Prabhupada's intimate associates and confidential servitors immediately fled to seek safety, with the exception of our brave and fearless Divine Master, Shrila Keshava Maharaj, who was known at that time as Vinod Bihari Brahmacari. Responding quickly to the needs of the situation, he resourcefully interchanged his brahmacari garments with the sannyasa garments of Shrila Prabhupada. Protecting his guru, he led him to safety without injury.
Shrila Prabhupada had been vigorously refuting the concocted conclusions of the thirteen deviant Vaishnava sects, the Aulas, the Baulas, the Kartabhajas, etc. He also was condemning compulsory monetary remuneration for darshan of the Deities in the temple. In addition, he strongly objected to the abominable practice of charging fees for recitation of Shrimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. He also was preaching the actual truth that Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Maha-prabhu appeared on the eastern bank of Ganges in Shridham Mayapur on the island of Shri Antardwip, not on the western bank of Ganges at present day Navadwip as was falsely claimed. For these reasons, all the smarta brahmanas, pandits and other sects organized a heinous attack against Shrila Prabhupada.Fortunately, our courageous and venerable gurudeva was close by his side, as Kuresh was at the side of Ramanujacarya and protected him by exchanging his grhastha dress with his guru's sannyasa dress at the cost of his own eyesight. Shrila Keshava Maharaj thus exhibited this rarely seen quality of cent percent unadulterated devotion for one's spiritual master, even to the extent of preferring the safety of his guru to protecting one's own life.My gurudeva always used to mourn the disappearance of his beloved Divine Master, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada, and many times we have seen that by recollecting a particular pastime they had shared, or by even hearing his gurudeva's name, tears would profusely flow from his eyes. He also avidly promulgated book publication, as evidenced by the many books he personally wrote as well as his compilations and translations of books by the Vaishnava acaryas, Shrila Prabhupada, and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur who both had researched, studied and understood the essence of world religions from a scientific point of view.
Shrila Keshava Maharaj always taught us that the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna Himself, and His absolute transcendental name reaches our hearts through the purified ear, not through the defective and deceiv-ing organ of the eye. This principle is eternal and is embodied in the doctrine of the Amnaya, the preceptorial line of succession, which is the factual repository of the Absolute Truth. Through this medium of the acaryas in bona fide parampara from the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya, the Absolute Truth is transmitted into the hearts of surrendered and sincere devotees. All the acaryas, therefore, from Brahmaji to Narada to Vyasadeva to Madhva, and downwards to Madhavendra Puri, Isvara Puri, Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord Himself, all appeared in disciplic succession. From Mahaprabhu onward all the acaryas accepted in totality Mahaprabhu's conclusions regarding bhakti and devotional service.On purnima night October 6,1968, in the month of Kartik, here, at Shri Devananda Gaudiya Math on the island of Shri Koladwip, in his own bed, surrounded by his devotees, Shrila Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Goswami Maharaj entered into aprakata lila. In his original svarupa as Vinod Manjari, he went back to Goloka Vrindavan and joined his beloved Divine Master Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada in his svarupa as Nayana Manjari, an eternal associate of Shrimati Radhika and Krishna.
vancha kalpa tarubhyas ca kripa sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah