Dhanurdhara Swami February 12th, 2001
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta?s Appearance Day
Srila Goura Govinda Swami?s Disappearance Day
“You shine forth as the natural leading monarch among the highest class of devotees, and you are the exclusive, ultimate aim of the highest class of devotees, and you are the exclusive, ultimate aim of the truly fallen due to your far-reaching merciful embrace. Your inconceivable lotus feet bestow full shelter for the cheater and the cheated. I eternally offer my respects unto that charming effulgence that shines forth from the radiant lotus toe-tips of Srila Bhaaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada.” (Sri Prabhupada-Padma-Stavah by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhar Maharaja)
It’s an auspicious day and I want to take advantage of it, but I?m inclined to honor Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur in a more secluded way. I have a quiet celebration at the japa-kutir. I do an arati to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, sing the Sri Prabhupada-Padma-Stavah, and then leave for Radha-Damodara to offer a garland at the puspa-samadhi of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta.
Srila Prabhupada said that the grandfather is more merciful than the father, so I remember Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s glories and pray for his mercy.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s father, Srila Bhaktivinoda, prayed for a ray of Vishnu?a great soul to revitalize the tradition and teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When a spiritual tradition needs to be revitalized, deep realization is required to make the teachings relevant to the times. If one lacks such realization, one might either fanatically maintain all the customary forms of the tradition?even if that makes the message of Krishna consciousness seem incommunicable or irrelevant?or liberally change the established forms of the tradition in the name of preaching, losing the essence of those teachings in the process.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, however, was a qualified Krishna conscious revolutionary. For the sake of spreading Krishna consciousness, he was able to radically alter some aspects of the tradition without compromising the essence of the teachings. Time has come to take me from Vrindaban. Although I have not left yet, I am already beginning to miss staying here. As it was my home for half my life, it is hard for me to analyze the depth of the spirituality of my attachment and separation for Vrindaban. Regardless, these feelings of separation and the tirobhava-tithi-mahotsava (the disappearance day) of Srila Gaura Govinda Swami inspired me to read his remarkable analysis of the intricacies of union and separation in his recorded lecture “The Fainting of Ramananda Raya.”
“There are three types of separation and they are all discussed in Rupa Goswami’s Ujjvala-Nilamani. Similarly, as there are three types of separation, there are also three types of union, milana. The three types of separation are bhavi, bhuta, and bhavan. First we will explain what is bhavi-viraha, what is bhuta-viraha, and what is bhavan-viraha. With concentrated attention one should hear about such topics and try to understand them. If Mahaprabhu will shower His mercy upon us it will be possible.
?Akrura has come to Vrindaban to take away Krishna. He has not yet taken Krishna away, though it must take place. When the gopis think of this, they feel some pangs of separation. This is bhavi-viraha It has not taken place, but Akrura has arrived and must take Krishna away. At that time they felt pangs of separation. This is known as bhavi-viraha.
?Then bhuta-viraha is explained in this way. After Akrura had taken Krishna away, day after day passed by. The more the days passed, the pangs of separation became more and more acute. This is known as bhuta-viraha.
?Then what is bhavan-viraha. The gopis are looking on, seeing Akrura taking away their prana-kanta, the most beloved of their eyes. Akrura is taken away their life. All the gopis came and through themselves before the wheels of the chariot. ?Our life is getting out. How can we survive? Let the wheels of the chariot roll on our bodies. Let our bodies be crushed. Let us leave these bodies.? They are rolling on the ground now. This is known as bhavan-viraha. The pangs of separation during this bhavan-viraha are most acute. So bhavi, bhuta, and bhavan?acute, more acute, and most acute.? (The Embankment of Separation, His Divine Grace Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja, p. 29)
The lady who came to my room two days ago returned to ask questions about Krishna. She asks many intelligent questions. An opportunity to preach like this in Vrindaban is a natural way to honor the spirit of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta on his appearance day. Gokula Taruni has also come and I have asked her to arrange a basic class for her while she is here.