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Shrila Gaura Kishora das Babaji Maharaj's Samadhi
Shrila Gaura Kishora das Babaji Maharaj was the spiritual master of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada. He appeared in a vaisya family near to the Padma river in the area now known as Bangladesh. He was a grihastha in his early life, and he earned his livelihood as a grain trader. But he was even then always engaged in bhajan. When his wife fell ill and died, he immediately renounced family life. In the early 1860's, he went to Shri Vrindavan Dham and accepted Babaji initiation from a disciple of Shrila Jagannatha das Babaji Maharaj. For almost 30 years he performed bhajan throughout Vraja, at Radha Kunda, Shyama Kunda, Giri Govardhan, Varsana, Nandagram, Raval and Gokula. While performing his bhajan, he remained always in the mood of intense renunciation. He would chant two lakhs of the Lord's Holy Name each day as he sat in secluded and isolated places. At other times he would wander here and there in Vraja loudly chanting the names of Hari. When night came, wherever he found himself, he would lay his head under the first tree he saw.Around 1894, he came to know that the appearance place of Lord Shri Chaitanya had been discovered at Shri Yoga Pith. Knowing Shridham Navadwip as non-different from Vraja, he came to Navadwip Dham. Feeling great separation from the Lord, he began performing bhajan under various trees.
Always desiring to avoid the association of materialistic people, he used to loudly chant his rounds at a solitary latrine built by the Municipality. He would not open the door for anyone, even the district magistrate or the police commissioner. But my beloved spiritual master, Shrila Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Goswami Maharaj, who was then known as Shri Vinod Bihari Brahmacari, once went to this latrine desiring to have darshan of the guru of his guru. Shrila Gaura Kishora Maharaj considered him as a confidential servitor of his only disciple, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, opened the door and gave my guru maharaj his darshan and blessed him to always perform bhajan in a pure way.Many rich men begged him to allow them to build him a house. But he would not accept anything. The Maharaj of Kashin Bazaar even offered him residence within his own palace. But Shrila Gaura Kishorji, exhibiting his character at the personification of renunciation, refused, and requested the king to renounce his wealth. Babaji Maharaj suggested that the king and he could reside under a tree together, and jointly perform Hari-bhajan. He would often go to Swananda Sukhada Kunja in Shri Godrumadwip, Bhaktivinoda Thakur's place of bhajan, and would take great delight in the Thakur's Shrimad-Bhagavatam discourses. It was on the Thakur's advice that Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada took initiation from Gaura Kishora das Babaji. Shrila Gaura Kishora Maharaj was a perfected personality who was completely satisfied by performing bhajan. Like Lokanath Goswami he had not the slightest desire to accept any disciples. He attempted to avoid accepting Shrila Bhaktisddhanta Saraswati as his disciple by saying that the had not received the order of Mahaprabhu to initiate him. Shrila Bhaktivinoda encouraged his son to not become dismayed. He instructed him that the mercy of a true guru is not easily available and is only attained by a single-minded effort.
After repeated attempts to attain Shrila Gaura Kishora Maharaj as his guru, finally Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada humbly approached him with tearful eyes, Crying, he told Gaura Kishora das Babaji Maharaj that without receiving his mercy he had no need to continue his life. When Shrila Gaura Kishora saw Shrila Prabhupada's
sincere attachment to him, he agreed to accept him as his disciple. He never accepted a second disciple. Because of his intense renunciation, he became partially blind in his later years. But he still would incessantly chant in a loud voice the Holy Name of Krishna.Shrila Paramahamsa Gauia Kishora das Babaji Maharaj finished his manifest pastimes on November 19,1915, in Shri Koladwip, at the end of Kartik vrata, on Utthana Ekadashi, the day when Lord Vishnu wakes up after four months of sleep. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur personally prepared his guru's samadhi according to the rules and regulations given in the Samskara Dipika, at the place called Mutanchada. In 1932, finding that Mother Ganges had risen almost to a foot of his guru's samadhi and fearing that the samadhi might be swept away, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada had his beloved guru's samadhi brought here to Shri Chaitanya Math on the banks of Shri Radha Kunda. Haribol!