Sri Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja
Class by Srila Vaman Maharaja SBVM_Exapalnati on To Bhakti_glories Of Jaganatha Babaji
[Translated from Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi Publication on the Life of the Four Vaisnava Acaryas: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada, Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja]
gauravirbhava-bhumes tvam nirdesta sajjana-priyah
vaisnava-sarvabhauma-sri-jagannathaya te namah
I offer obeisance to Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Sri Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. He indicated the pastime place of the appearance of Sri Gaurasundara, and he is very dear to the devotees.
Appearance and Introduction
In approximately 1764, Sri Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja appeared in a Sambhrant family in a Mandalakara village within the division of Tangail in the district of Mayaman Simha in present day Bangladesa. Some have the belief that he manifested his appearance pastime in the Tadasa village within the Pavana district of Bangladesa in a Varenda Kayastha family. Up until now we do not have a definite account or acquaintance of his previous asrama’s mother and father, or of the year, date and so forth of his appearance.
Whichever place or whatever family Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja may have appeared in; in reality he is Bhagavan’s eternally perfected associate and the manifested form (prakasa-vigraha) of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is fully realized in the current of the conception of Sri Sri Svarupa-Rupanuga; he is the sarvabhauma (emperor) of the empire of suddha-vaisnavas; he is the eternally worshipable of Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura; he is greatly enthusiastic in preaching the message of Godhead; he is the general in the army of nama-sankirtana, and he is a Bhagavat Paramahamsa gosthanandi (one who takes delight in preaching). Sri Vraja and Sri Navadvipa Dhama are his eternal places of residence.
While staying in his previous asrama, Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja acted out the pastime of accepting pancaratriki diksa and becoming the diksa disciple of Sri Rasa Bihari Gosvami, a descendent of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, and a resident in the provincial district of Puruliya. That Sri Rasa Bihari Gosvami had one other disciple—Svadhin Tripuradhipati—Svadhamagata Isanacandra Manikya Bahadura. Even today, Sri Rasa Bihari jiu, the worshipable Lordship’s of Sri Rasa Bihari Gosvami, are being served in his royal palace.
Coming to Sri Vraja Mandala
Understanding and seeing the life history of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, it is recognized that although he was a topmost devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu before coming to Sri Vraja Mandala, still, following the completely pure acara-pracara, out of greed to obtain the devotees transcendental association, he came to Sri Vraja Mandala.
Association with the Visuddha-Rupanuga-Acarya
Out of destiny, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja came to Sri Vraja Mandala and received the association of the Bhagavata Srila Madhusudan dasa Babaji Maharaja, who was acting out the pastime of being acarya, taking shelter of the method of rupa and rupanuga, and preaching in this way. Obtaining the association of Srila Madhusudan dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s heart, which was burning in enthusiasm for the association of rupanuga vaisnavas, was cooled. From him, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja received the deep process and tattva of bhajana in the line of the Sri Gaudiya-Vaisnava-sampradaya.
Day and night, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja began to perform honest service to his Gurudeva, looking after everything. He stayed under the complete guidance of Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja for a long time; residing on the bank of Sri Surya-kunda and showing the perfect example of sadhana bhajana. Seeing his honest service as well as unfathomable love for Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, and his desire for the supreme auspiciousness of the residents of the world, Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja gave him paramahamsa-vesa.
A Brief Life History of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s Vesa-guru, Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja
When Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja was only 12 years old, one devotee gave him the sri-harinama-mahamantra along with the 18 syllable sri-krsna-mantra. Although Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja began chanting the mantras at that time, still, in his adulthood he lamented again and again, “How unfortunate I am! I do not know the method of chanting sri-harinama and sri-krsna-mantra! I don’t even know the name of my Gurudeva who gave me the mantra! I never saw him again in my life! I never got the opportunity to serve him, what to speak of receiving any instructions from him. Due to the absence of guru-seva and instructions from him, my human life will pass uselessly. What will be my destination, not knowing the purport of my mantras and guru-parampara?”
Absorbed in these thoughts, he came to Sri Vraja Mandala searching for his Gurudeva. He stayed for some time in Kamyavana, then he traveled throughout many places in Sri Vraja Mandala searching for his Gurudeva; however, not being able to fulfill his desire, he was despondent. Finally, being deprived of the acquaintance of his Gurudeva and knowledge of the process of his mantra, with the intention of taking his life, he tied a very large sila of Giriraja Govardhana around his neck and jumped into Sri Radha Kunda. However, at that time, the supreme ruler of Sri Radha Kunda, Srimati Radhika and Her beloved Sri Krsna lifted him up with Their hands and placed him on the banks of the pond. They wrote on tala leaves the name of his Gurudeva, his guru-parampara, the process of chanting his mantras, as well as many other subjects, and placing them near him, They disappeared. By the causeless mercy of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna he became aware of all these subjects: his Gurudeva was a follower in the line of sri-rupanuga-vaisnava-pravara Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusan Prabhu—Sri Uddhava dasaji, who was engaged in sri-rupanuga-bhajana following the disciplic succession and doctrine of the Sri Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Vaisnavas.
A short time after, Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja began to reside at the supremely pure pastime place on the banks of Surya-kunda, in the kunja named ‘Madana-rana-vatika’ situated five miles north of Sri Radha Kunda. Once, when Srila Babaji Maharaja was sitting in his bhajana-sthali, ‘Madana-rana-vatika,’ the pastimes of holi in Vraja manifested upon the screen of his transcendental vision. While watching, Srila Babaji Maharaja entered into the pastimes with his perfected form. People nearby saw that many different colors were on his clothes as well as an unprecedented fragrance; hearing people murmuring, Srila Babaji Maharaja came back to his external senses. Since this occurrence, Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja is famous in Surya-kunda as ‘Siddha Babaji.’
There is a common saying or rumor that when Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja explained the Srimad-Bhagavata in his bhajana-kutira at Surya-kunda, a python would come daily with a fixed routine and hear his explanations. When they were completed, the python would offer dandavat-pranams and then go away.
Srila Babaji Maharaja bathed in Sri-Surya-kunda every day. One night Srimati Radharani appeared in a dream and told him, “In this kunda there is a Giridhari sila with My crown printed on it. Take this sila out and worship it.” Srila Babaji Maharaja woke and sat up from his dream, and in the morning, being extremely pleased at heart, followed the order of Srimati Radharani, and took the sila out of Surya-kunda. Even though the sila appeared to be approximately 2 to 2 ½ manas or 80-100 kilos, when Srila Babaji Maharaja lifted it, it became lighter then a flower. Since then, Srila Babaji Maharaja worshipped the sila every day.
Up to the present day, the sila worshipped by Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja, as well as the worshipable nama-brahma, or names of Bhagavana such as Sri Hare Krsna’ and ‘Sri Haribol’ written upon wood, are served in a temple on the banks of Sri Surya-kunda. Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja’s samadhi and his ancient worn out bhajana-kutira are also present.
At Surya-kunda, the disappearance day of Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja is followed on agrahayana suklastami.
Sri Gaura Bhakta, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja
After taking paramahamsa-vesa, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja wandered in different places within Sri Vraja Mandala and Sri Gauda Mandala for the welfare of the world, increasing the beauty of those places. Babaji Maharaja perceived Sri Gauda Mandala to be non-different from Vraja Mandala. In the same way that all of Sri Krsna’s qualities are showered upon the devotees of Sri Krsna, similarly, all the qualities of Sri Gaurahari such as deep honest taste for chanting sri-nama following—‘trnad api sunicena, tarorapi sahisnu, amanina manadena’ were manifest in Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja obtained all good qualities and became the most fortunate of the fortunate.
Sri Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja’s Departure
When the time came, by the will of Bhagavan, Sri Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja performed his disappearance pastime. Along with his other godbrothers, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja placed his Gurudeva in samadhi on the banks of Surya-kunda. Although he spent most of his time at Surya-kunda, still, he would sometimes go to Sridham Navadvipa for some days and then again returned to Surya-kunda.
His Preaching Pastimes as Acarya
For those who renounce everything and take the one-pointed shelter of Sriman Mahaprabhu, taking a vow to preach His message, then Bhagavan Sri Gaursundara accepts his bhajana. By thinking, “I am a low and destitute Vaisnava; however, by making disciples, my so-called humble bhajana, which is actually full of pride, will be destroyed.” Leaving this powerful arrogance of being a great devotee aside, and taking suddha-nama with humility, both showing by one’s own personal example, as well as preaching suddha-nama and taking the responsibility of being guru, then the waves of sense enjoyment in the form of material prestige will be diminished. Srila Rupa, Srila Sanatana, Srila Jiva and Srila Raghunatha dasa, as well as other great pure devotees gave instructions by the method of composing scriptures, while Sriman Narottama, Srila Madhvacarya, Srila Ramanujacarya and others accepted many disciples. Many foolish people became offenders at the lotus feet of the actual akincana devotees by thinking that such preaching activities were obstacles to the limbs of bhakti and were merely waves of sense enjoyment. Following the above-mentioned Vaisnava-acaryas’ magnanimous and lofty moods, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja followed the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 7.128
[Tell everyone you meet the instructions of Krsna. Under My order become a guru and deliver everyone in this land.]
Thus, when any person would naturally come to Srila Babaji Maharaja, he would immediately begin to deliver visuddha-hari-katha. Seeing the incomparable anuraga of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja towards Sri Gaurasundara, and the unfathomable enthusiasm towards Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s practice and preaching, many devotees were attracted to the shelter of Srila Babaji Maharaja, and passed their lives with great renunciation in his care, thus making their lives fortunate and successful. Many householders also followed Srila Babaji Maharaja’s instructions.
Strictly Following the Method of Sri Rupanuga-bhajana
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s chastisement was nirapeksa (neutral or indifferent), his strong instructions for the welfare of the soul were poignant. Srila Babaji Maharaja stayed for a long time in the shelter of the banks of Sri Radha-kunda. Following the method of Sri Rupanuga-bhajana, he would perform Sri Radha-Govinda’s eternal service with an attentive mind through the medium of nama-bhajana. Srila Babaji Maharaja stayed in this world for 142 long years, continuously performing sri krsna kirtana and inspiring others to also perform sri harinama. Babaji Maharaja never accepted any siddhanta or conception other than the one and only method of following all other limbs of bhakti through connection with kirtanakhya-bhakti. With mind absorbed intently in moods of separation, he would perform hari kirtana himself, and he gave instruction for others to do the same. He never patronized the pretense of full absorption in nama bhajana with an enjoying mentality, or hypocritically following solitary bhajana. Apart from chanting the 16 name, 32 syllable mahamantra that emanated from Sriman Mahaprabhu’s lotus mouth, he never patronized the nama-aparadhi’s who performed speculative, imaginary modern mantras full of rasabhasa and opposed to siddhanta.
Under the guidance of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s instructions, the followers of Sri Rupanuga never performed any rasabhasa singing or any type of nama-aparadha in the place of ‘suddha nama’ and ‘sri nama kirtan.’ Frivolously performing harinama with sraddha is one thing, but not giving up nama-aparadha, yet rather thinking it to be pure ‘nama’ and protecting or maintaining one of the nama-aparadhas amongst them all with such a foolish conception, thinking, “my sri harinama kirtana is going on nicely”—such patronizing self-deception is another thing completely. Srila Babaji Maharaja never tolerated anything opposed to siddhanta or anything with the fault of rasa-abhasa.
[Translated from Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi Publication on the Life of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, by Rasik Mohan dasa]
# 2nd Post
Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Instructions to Businessmen Reciters of the Bhagavat
When Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja and his one-pointed associates devoted to nama-bhajana in the family of paramahamsas were absorbed in the bliss of bhajana in Sri Vrndavana, one learned scholar of the Sanskrit language, a famous hired orator from the place of Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa pastime in Katwa, who had the occupation of reciting the Bhagavatam for a quantity of wealth, came to Vrndavan with the desire to reside in the tirtha with brahmanas. But there he started explaining the Srimad-Bhagavatam for collecting material wealth, worship, and fame. In other words, through reciting the Bhagavata, he became absorbed in filling his belly and other activities. Seeing that, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja and other bhajananandi-vaisnavas were indifferent to hearing his explanations on the Srimad-Bhagavata, which is the crown jewel of all scriptures. The gentleman asked why Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was disinclined to his recitation, to which Babaji Maharaja replied, “that person who makes a business out of the Bhagavatam is a nama-aparadhi; what comes out of his mouth is not the glories of the transcendental personality Sri Krsna. Such a person who sells his kirtan or Bhagavata recital to fill his body or tongue is more contemptible than an ordinary vaisya or merchant. By hearing from such a businessman orator, rather than the jivas getting any form of auspiciousness, the jivas will become more fallen. To have faith in objects of enjoyment in the place of faith in Krsna, and to perform hypocritical bhakti instead of honest bhajana, is the cause of inauspicious destinations for the jivas.”
The fortunate orator was not displeased to hear the strong and truthful speech of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, even though it was unpleasant; rather, he realized this as the mercy of Babaji Maharaja, and from that time he renounced the tendency of making a business out of the Bhagavat, understanding it to be contemptible. Accepting the mercy of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, the fortunate orator became a parama-bhagavata-vaisnava in the future. While staying in Sridhama Vrndavan he would even offer obeisance to donkeys, dogs, and dog-eaters. By the mercy of the detached devotees, his arrogance of caste, class, and learning were all dissipated.
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s Deities
By the help of Sri Bihari dasa (his sevaka), the residents of Surya-kunda built a room for Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja to stay in, as well as a small temple. Seeing the temple, Srila Babaji Maharaja told Bihari dasa, “Bihari! In this temple, we should establish Thakurji. Make arrangements for Deities.”
On the order of Babaji Maharaja, with the help of one landowner, Sri Bihari Dasji brought the deities of Sri Gaura-Nitai from the place called Danihat, and delivered them into the hands of Srila Babaji Maharaja. Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja established the Deities in the new temple and held a very large festival.
The powerful Vrajavasi Sri Bihari dasa was born in a Gopa’s home. He served Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja for approximately 40 years. Sri Bihari Dasa was not highly qualified in reading and writing from the perspective of worldly people; however, by the mercy of his Guru-pada-padma, he obtained the result of real learning—the great opportunity to be absorbed in constant practice of Sri Krsna bhakti. He would take Srila Babaji Maharaja in a basket on his head, and carry him from one place to another. Because of his great strength, he would go eight to ten miles at a time without any conveniences. He sat Srila Babaji Maharaja on his head in a basket and carried him to Navadvipa-dhama. Arriving in Sri Navadvipa-dhama, he built a kutira for Srila Babaji Maharaja with his hands, a spade and so forth, and also built four walls in the four directions surrounding the kutira. He was a witness of the transcendental affection of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja towards Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura ‘Prabhupada.’ Ease, power, and simplicity were manifest in whatever he did.
One day, some thieves came to Srila Babaji Maharaja’s kutira to steal the Deities, thinking them to be made of gold. Although, by the will of Bhagavan, the thieves could not steal the Deities, nonetheless, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja gave his servant Bihari dasa the order to take the Deities and leave Them in Sri Vrndavan. Sri Bihari dasa did so, following the order of Babaji Maharaja. In the present times, those Gaura-Nitai deities are situated in Sri Vrndavan at Gopala-Bhaga Dhopapad, and are known by the name, ‘Sonara Gaura’ (Golden Gaura).
The Sting of One Rupee
Once, as Sri Bihari dasji was carrying Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja on a pathway, a devotee gave Babaji Maharaja one rupee and Babaji Maharaja gave it to Biharidasa to keep. Two or three miles ahead, Srila Babaji Maharaja suddenly told Bihari Dasa to return it. After arriving at his Kuti, he called that devotee and gave him back the rupee, saying, “Brother, keep your rupee, I heard that you have many rupees. I don’t know how you can tolerate the biting sting of so many rupees, I am not able to tolerate the sting of even one rupee.”
Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Instructions to Those Unqualified for the Path of Raga
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja always gave instructions to perform hari-bhajana through one’s body, mind, and words. Some people among those with the desire to be his followers, taking loin cloth, or the dress of a babaji, thought that they would now not have to perform fatiguing physical work as householders do, for they were now bheka-dharis, (wearing the dress of renunciation). Consequently, they simply circulated their beads without care, trying to complete their regulated number of rounds by any means, thinking that then their daily activities would be finished. However, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja mercifully engaged all those nama-aparadhis in exhausting physical activities for the service of Krsna. Without keeping one’s senses absorbed in the service of Visnu and the Vaisnavas, Sri Krsna’s names will not manifest on the tongue, and one will not get the qualification to perform Sri Krsna’s names. For as long as one’s senses are present with the body and their sense objects, as well as those persons related to the body, until then the living entity will be attached to sense enjoyment, this is certain. “I am Bhagavan’s servant”— situated in this mood, one will have possessiveness towards the objects related to Bhagavan, thus one will engage his own body and the objects related to the body in the service of Bhagavan and the devotees, and the tendency of love and possessiveness will be towards them. Seeing the unperfected and foolish persons laziness in regards to Sri Krsna anusilana, for they were busily engaged in their own sense enjoyment, and to stop them from proceeding on the pathway to hell, Srila Babaji Maharaja engaged them in honest hari-bhajana, in such a way that finally their consciousness would be cleansed and they would obtain the qualification to perform sri-krsna-anusilana.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Meets Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja
In the month of sravana 1880, when Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was staying in the kunja of Sri Rupa dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura came to the kunja of Sri Radha Ramana Vasu, with the intent of having darsana of Sridhama Vrndavana. When Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was searching for some rare scriptures, he came to the kunja of Sri Rupa dasa Babaji Maharaja, and had darsana of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja for the first time. The pastime of the eternal vrajavasi guru and disciple meeting together in the Vraja of this world was manifest. In this place, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura authored the ‘dasa sloki’ in the name of Sri Nimbaditya.
Along with hearing the powerful hari-katha of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura realized him to be a great bhajananandi-mahapurusa, and offered himself for all time at his lotus feet. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura realized that the actual result of his pilgrimage had been obtained:
“tirtha-phala sadhu sanga, sadhu sange antaranga, sri krsna bhajana manohara”
[The actual result of going to the holy places is to obtain sadhu-sanga, because in sadhu-sanga one gets ‘antaranga,’ or the opportunity of receiving confidential instructions for Sri Krsna-bhajana, which steal the mind.]
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s travel to Sridhama Vrndavana was successful. In the same way that Sriman Mahaprabhu spoke the feelings of His heart when He had darsana of Sri Isvarapuri in Gaya, saying:
prabhu bale gaya yatra saphala amara
yatra ksane dekhilan carana tomara
samsara-samudra haite uddharaha more
ei ami deha samarpilan tomare
krsna-pada-padmera amrta-rasa pana
amare karao tumi ei cahi dana
Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi 17.50-52
Receiving the darsana of Sri Isvara Puri’s lotus feet, Sri Gaursundara said, “That moment I obtained the darsana of your beautiful lotus feet, My pilgrimage to Gaya was successful. Please save Me from the ocean of material existence, I have offered My body unto you! Please make Me drink the transcendental nectar of Sri Krsna’s lotus feet; this is all I beg from you!”
In this same way, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s mind became agitated, and prayers appeared on his tongue. Seeing a person so learned and well versed in the scriptures, with such a powerful natural enthusiasm to preach sri-nama-sankirtana as practiced and preached by Sriman Mahaprabhu, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Mahasaya was pleased, and encouraged Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura to more widely and strongly preach sri-gaura-nama, sri-gaura-dhama and sri-gaura-kama (Gaura’s desires) throughout the world.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura returned from Sri Vrndavan and began preaching extensively to fulfill the heart’s desire of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Mahasaya. If one reads the autobiography of Thakura Bhaktivinoda, one will understand from that time how he greatly preached the holy name, pure bhakti, and gave many eloquent lectures related to dharma in many places throughout Bengal.
Meeting again at Amla-Joda
After this first meeting, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had the great happiness to obtain the association and instructions of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja many times. Among these, Srila BhaktivinodaThakura wrote about some of the prominent meetings himself.
One time, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was staying in the place called Amla Joda within the district of Vardhamana, preaching the spotlessly pure sri-rupanuga-bhakti. At that time, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was going place-to-place preaching hari-katha and hari-kirtana with the plan of going to Vrndavan for sadhu-sanga and residence in the dhama. Going through the practice of this plan, when it was Ekadasi on Wednesday in the month of Phalguna, February-March on the 22nd day in 1891, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura decided to pause in Amla-Joda, where by the desire of Bhagavan he received the good fortune of the darsana of Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja.
The Ideal of how to Follow Ekadasi-tithi, Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Ecstasies, and Establishing Prapannasrama
Although Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura followed every Ekadasi-tithi excellently according to the account of Sri Ambarisa Maharaja in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, still, in Amla Joda, they stayed up all night doing hari-kirtana, and showed the unprecedented example of how to follow Ekadasi to all the general people. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explained the occurring’s in Amla Joda in his magazine ‘Sri SajjanaTosani’ as follows:
“After staying awake all night on Ekadasi, at eight in the morning all the devotees in the village gathered and went out on nagar-sankirtana. With Paramapujyapada Siddha Sri Jagannatha dasa babaji Mahasaya in front, everyone arrived at Prapannasrama.
(Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was highly respected and the recipient of great honor from the residents of Amla Joda. By the combined efforts of the protectors of the Sri Nama Hatta, Sri Yukta Ksetranatha Bhaktinidhi, Vipanipati, (Vikreta), and Sri Yukta Vipin Vihari Bhaktiratna’s, one asrama, ‘Prapannasrama’ was constructed in the village of Amla Joda in the middle of a garden.)
At the time of kirtana, all the bhavas that manifested in Babaji Maharaja are impossible to describe. At an age beyond 100, he would dance like a lion in premananda, and sometimes in the middle he would shout out:
“nitai ki nama eneche re, nama eneche namera hate sraddhamule nama diteche re”
Sri Nityananda Prabhu appeared on this Earth with what wonderful names! He opened the marketplace of the holy names and distributed this wonderful prema nama for the price of faith.
He would sing lines of poetry like this and others, shed incessant tears, and tumble in the dust of the Earth. Such an amazing scene occurred that cannot be found anywhere else. Seeing the ecstatic emotions of Srila Babaji Mahasaya and becoming submerged in the bliss of his kirtana, almost all present wept with hairs standing on end, and all danced ecstatically in kirtana for a long time with voices choked with emotion. When kirtana was completed after a long time, there was a brief lecture on the subject of nama-hatta. Being very pleased, that day Babaji Mahasaya gave the order for ‘Prapannasrama’ to begin. Vipani Pati Mahasaya, taking the approval of Babaji Mahasaya, completed the project to establish Prapannasrama. A school and medical dispensary were established, and the leader of the society picked by Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Mahasaya was qualified for the task in all ways. In whichever villages the Prapannasrama is constructed, they should be established in this manner.”
(Sajjana Tosani 4th Year, 23rd Prstha)
Srila Babaji Maharaja Absorbed in Singing the Qualities of Sri Hari
In this village called Amla Joda, day and night Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja spoke with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura about Gaura and Krsna, explanations on kirtana, Srimad Bhagavatam, and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja Coming to Reside Permanently in Sri Gaura Dhama
In the manifested lifetime of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, the Viviktanandi-sadhus were propagating that Sri Vraja dhama is the place for perfected personalities and sadhakas; that Sri Vraja Dhama is superior to Sri Navadvipa-dhama, and that just by arriving by any means in Sri Vraja Dhama one will get perfection. Considering Sri Gaura Dhama and Sri Krsna Dhama to be different, these offensive conceptions were prevalent. Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja took a firm vow to uproot this offensive conception completely and throw it far away. Hence, although being an eternally perfected Vrajavasi absorbed in transcendental pastimes, he, as well as Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Sri Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, went and resided in Sri Navadvipa. Showing the brilliantly pure (ujjvala) nature of Sri Gaura-Dhama, by staying there and giving the perfect example of performing hari-bhajana to their many followers. The previous Acarya Srila Narottama Thakura sang—sri gauda mandala bhumi, jeba jane cintamani, tara haya vraja bhume vasa.
Following this conclusive truth, Srila Babaji Maharaja stayed in Sri Gauda Mandala and entered into the transcendental pastimes here, performing kirtana of this siddhanta with a loud voice.
Staying in Kuliya Navadvipa
The place Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja stayed and did bhajana in Kuliya Navadvipa has become famous as ‘Bhajana-Kuti’. At the time when Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura stayed in Krsnanagara, considering him to be his dear associate, Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja told him to construct the compound called ‘Bhajana-Kuti’. Taking this order on his head, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura used his assets to have this compound made. Now, Srila Babaji Maharaja’s samadhi is present in the compound of this bhajana-kutira. Many times Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura came to this place to see Srila Babaji Maharaja and hear katha of Gaura and Krsna.
Giving the Giridhari sila to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
When Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja came from Navadvipa to Calcutta, he would usually go and meet Srila Bhaktivinoda in the Bhakti Bhavan, following the advice of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, “grhe va vanete thake, ‘ha gauranga’ bale dake, narottama mange tar sanga.” At the time when Srila Bhaktivinoda was performing the pastime of a householder, he would go for his direct meeting. To establish the perfect ideal of good behavior for the family members of Paramahansa Siromani Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja gave them Sri Giridhari (Govardhan Sila).
In 1293 Bangabda, when Srila Babaji Maharaja came to Bhakti Bhavan, for the satisfaction of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Vipina Bihari Gosvami took the caranamrta of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. At that time, the photo taken of Srila Babaji Maharaja on the roof of Bhakti Bhavan has become worshipable in the present times for the visuddha Sri Rupanuga Vaisnavas.
[Translated from Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi Publication on the Life of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, by Rasik Mohan dasa]
# Post 3
The Necessity of Service According to Qualification
While Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was staying in his bhajana-kutira in Kuliya Navadvipa, some household renunciants (grha-tyagis) came to him with the purpose of obtaining some instructions on bhajana. Considering their qualification, Srila Babaji Maharaja instructed them to give water to eggplant vegetables planted for serving Krsna. Having the false ego of being fully ripened in bhajana, they were displeased with this instruction of Srila Babaji Maharaja. They considered that since they had left their houses to become detached from this sort of sensual work, having come to Srila Babaji Maharaja, why should they again be made to do the materialistic work of householders? Some thought that if, after leaving material life, they had to perform this sort of work, then it would be better to return again to their homes. Srila Babaji Maharaja understood the mood of their hearts and from Daivakrama he brought all his disciples face-to-face with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After telling Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in brief about their subject matter, he said,
“You are the best deliberator, please consider the situation here.” Among those with the false ego of being detached loincloth renunciants, some had a lethargic nature and were full of anarthas, some were secretly vyabhicaris, performers of illicit activities, some kept independent desires, and some were anyabhilasis, full of ulterior desires. Considering all their different qualifications, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura advised one person among them to go on pilgrimage to the four holy places, some others he told to go back to their homes and perform authorized marriages, and he instructed other simple persons, who were nonetheless weak with the disease of anyabhilasa, to fully follow the instructions of Srila Babaji Maharaja without any consideration, and to fully surrender unto him. In this way, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja gave mercy to those in the grip of unwanted desires through Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
Srila Babaji Maharaja’s All-knowing Nature
Many people would go for the darsana of Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja and give him a lot of donations at their departure. He would keep all the donations in a small jug. Every fifteen days he would have the money counted and most of it spent. If the servant of Babaji Maharaja ever took out 10 or 15 rupees and put it in another place without telling him, Babaji Maharaja would become very sober and speak in a loud voice, “Oh! Where did the 15 rupees go?” Although Babaji Maharaja kept his eyes closed in the presence of his servant, because due to advanced age his eyelids would always be falling down, and only by holding up the eyelids with his hands could he see, and even though he didn’t count the money, Babaji Maharaja still knew everything. The servant would fearfully take out all the money and put it back.
Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Disdain for the Hypocritical Residents of the dhama
Whatever donations Srila Babaji Maharaja received, he would spend according to his desire. One time, Babaji Maharaja told his servant, “Go! Take 200 rupees of the collected donations and exchange them for rasagullas. I will feed rasagullas to all the cows of the dhama.” When the servant asked, “Why do you want to feed rasagullas to the cows of the dhama instead of feeding the Babaji Vaisnavas of the dhama?” Babaji Maharaja said, “You don’t know, most of the Babajis here associate with women. Taking the cloth of Babajis, they are having intercourse with women. Therefore, I am not feeding them rasagullas, but am rather giving the rasagullas to the cows.”
Sometimes Babaji Maharaja would give someone five or ten rupees. Sometimes he would give someone a shawl, blanket, or clothes; however, for those who desired their real auspiciousness, he would always give strong chastisement.
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja would take prasada on a large plate. One time, while staying in Kuliya Navadvipa, a female dog from a nearby hut gave birth to five puppies. When Babaji Maharaja would sit down to take prasada, the puppies would start eating from his plate, standing on all four sides. Because his eyes were closed, he would count them with his hand to see if all of them had come or not. If the servant was upset and tried to chase one or two of them away, then Babaji Maharaja would angrily say, “Go! Take my plate. Today I will not eat. They are all dhamavasis and you are always running behind them!”
Then the servant would bring back the puppies, feeling ashamed, and left them near the plate of Babaji Maharaja. When Babaji Maharaja counted that all were present, then he would happily take prasada with them from one plate.
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja is a maha-bhagavata. If an ordinary person imitates his practices then it will be inauspicious for them. The independent maha-bhagavata is beyond all rules, regulations, logic, and thoughts. They always perceive the dhama and guru; however, if an ordinary unqualified practitioner imitates them, they can commit offenses.
Protecting the Etiquette of the Paramahamsa dress
Many dishonest people would come near Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja to accept a loincloth or the dress of a Paramahamsa from him. One time, a babaji by the name of Gaura Haridasa was very insistent on taking vesa from Babaji Maharaja. However, Srila Babaji Maharaja didn’t want to give him vesa under any circumstance. Gaura Haridasa lay three days outside Babaji Maharaja’s hut without eating or drinking. In the end, Srila Babaji Maharaja didn’t give him vesa personally, but ordered his servant Bihari dasa Vrajavasi to give him.
Being Incapable of Tolerating Rasabhasa or Anything Opposed to Siddhanta
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja could never tolerate even a drop of anything opposed to siddhanta or anything that was rasabhasa. He said, “Just by having the arrogance of being the disciple of a great personality, one can’t actually be a real disciple. Those who don’t have the same character or mindset and who don’t fully accept chastisement and authority are disciples in name only.” Those with the arrogant self-conception of following Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja could never actually preach the message of Sri Rupa and Raghunatha. Srila Babaji Maharaja would become very angry seeing their independent nature. One time, a famous so-called babaji was coming near the hut of Babaji Maharaja singing a speculative imaginary song full of the fault of rasabhasa and accompanied with his group, Babaji Maharaja took a stick in his hand and shouted, “Forbid them from coming this way!” Seeing this, someone quickly told them not to go there.
The Ideal Example of Practice
When Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was coming from Sri Vrndavana to stay in Navadvipa Mandala, a gentleman of Calcutta came to Babaji Maharaja and propitiated him strongly, “Please mercifully be situated in Calcutta and place your lotus feet in my home.” There he wanted to accept the holy name from Babaji Maharaja. Srila Babaji Maharaja’s instruction was that even being invited, one should never accept any grains from an enjoyer. He was always unwilling to go to Calcutta. This person stayed outside Babaji Maharaja’s hut for fifteen days praying, showing how fixed he was. Finally, it was decided that Babaji Maharaja would not go to the gentleman’s house in Calcutta but would rather go to his garden in Kasipura, and there he wouldn’t take anything. Srila Babaji Maharaja went by boat with his servant Bihari Dasji to the person’s garden, and there sat and spoke lengthy hari-katha to him, giving him the instruction to chant sri harinama. That person tried very hard to give some donation or food to Babaji Maharaja, but he wouldn’t accept anything from a sense enjoyer. Then independently Babaji Maharaja went with his servant in the afternoon time to ‘Bhakti Bhavan’ (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s place of residence in Calcutta). Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was amazed to see Babaji Maharaja. Srila Babaji Maharaja begged and accepted food at the home of a pure Vaisnava. Srila Babaji Maharaja wouldn’t accept the grains of an enjoyer, even upon being begged to a thousand times by the materialistic devotee, he wouldn’t accept any object from him. In this way, Srila Babaji Maharaja showed the perfect example to protect the sadhakas’ bhajana.
Hearing of the character and practice of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, the meaning of the instruction of Sri Caitanya Caritamrta becomes apparent.
bhaktera dravya prabhu kadi-kadi khaya
abhaktera dravya prabhu ulti nahi caya
[Prabhu snatches away and eats the foodstuffs of the bhaktas, but He will never take the foodstuffs of a non-devotee.]
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada’s Preparation of the Sri Navadvipa Calendar by the Direction of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja
When Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja went to ‘Bhakti Bhavan’ he showed great affection to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Babaji Maharaja would be very satisfied seeing Srila Prabhupada’s truthfulness, one-pointedness, brilliance (tejasvita), eloquence or frankness, understanding of bhakti-siddhanta, firm vow of abstinence from bad association, and his love and attachment for harinama. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada went many times with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and took darsana of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja at his Bhajana Kutira in Kuliya Navadvipa and he would hear the discourses between Babaji Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. When Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura was merely 12 years old, he was greatly accomplished in knowledge of astrology and could perfectly discourse on the subject. Hearing of this amazing transcendental talent of the boy, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja set in motion through Srila Sarasvati Thakura the Sri Caitanyabda, Navadvipa calendar, and the Visnu named months, Var and Parva, festivals and dates approved by the Vaisnava conclusions. To this day, all branches of the Rupanauga Vaisnava Bhakti line follow according to the rules of dates and parva that came about through Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is in the disciplic line of Bhagavat parampara from Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Baladeva Vidyabhuusana, told that the appearance of Sri Visnupriya devi was on the fifth day of the bright half of the lunar moon in the month of Magha (January/February). Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura preached this news from Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja first in the world. With great care and effort Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja compiled dates of the appearances and disappearances of other associates of Gaura and gave them to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and they were then preached throughout the world by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
Srila Babaji Maharaja Placing His Lotus Feet in Surabhi Kunja at Sri Godruma
In 1893, in the month of Magha, the best of Paramahamsas, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, went with his associates to Surabhi Kunja in Sri Godruma and accepted a seat. On Wednesday of the 27th of Magha, Srila Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura met and an unprecedented festival of hari kirtana and dancing manifested. Sri Godruma is the island of kirtana. Everyone was shook and immersed in the flood of prema by the reverberation of the festival of kirtana that arose. From then on Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura would go almost daily for kirtana with the devotees, or would send devotees, showing the perfect example of following the ‘sri ajna tahal’ (Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Srila Haridas Thakura would follow the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and go to every house praying for all to sing Sri Krsna’s names, worship Sri Krsna, and follow the instructions of Sri Krsna.) Properly following this instruction of Mahaprabhu and giving the holy names to the people is called ‘sri ajna tahal.’
[Translated from Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi Publication on the Life of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, by Rasik Mohan dasa]
# Part Four
The Incarnation of Thanesvari Jagannatha
In 1642 Bangabda on the 6th of Phalguna (February-March), when Srila Prabhupada was beginning to explain the verse in Sri Gita Govinda, “meghair-madur-mamvaram,” and the verse in Sri Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu, “akhila-rasamrta-murtih” he called Vaisnava Sarabhauma Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja the incarnation of “Thanesvari Jagannatha.” (Thanesvari Jagannatha was an associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because of being a resident of the place called Thanesvar, which was situated on the banks of the Sarasvati coming from the eastern flow near Kuruksetra, he was famous as Thanesvari Jagannatha.) Srila Prabhupada wrote in his commentary on Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 18.221, “Some say that when Sriman Mahaprabhu was returning from Vrndavan He went to Kuruksetra and from there to Prayaga. Even today there is a Deity of Sri Gaura in Kuruksetra in the Bhadra Kali temple.”
It is commonly believed that Sriman Mahaprabhu came and stayed three days at the place near Kuruksetra called Thanesvari at the house of His devotee Jagannatha. Although his name was Jagannatha, Mahaprabhu would call him ‘Krsna Dasa’ (Sri Sri Gaudiya Vaisnava Lexicon, 2nd Part).
Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Inspiration to Manifest the Appearance Place of Sriman Mahaprabhu
In Kuruksetra, the dhama of separation, on the banks of the ancient river Sarasvati, at the place called Thanesvara which is marked by the lotus feet of Sri Gaura and Krsna, Sri Gaurahari placed His lotus feet in the home of His associate Sri Jagannatha. Similarly, at Surabhi Kunja, Godruma, situated on the banks of the river Sarasvati, when the inspiration to manifest—radha-bhava-dhyuti suvalita-tanu—Sri Gaursundara and His dhama entered as a guest into the separation filled cottage of the heart of Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, then Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja infused this guest in the form of inspiration into the heart of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
According to the statement of Srila Prabhupada, we offer prayers to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja in the form of ‘The incarnation of Thanesvari Jagannatha’ according to the statement of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada wrote in a brief introduction of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, “Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja indicated the location of the birthplace of Sri Gaura, and was the seniormost root of the assembly of the preachers of Sridhama Navadvipa. Sri Caitanyadeva sent him to this world for the salvation of the conditioned souls and to indicate the actual place of His appearance. (The Daily Nadiya Prakasha, 27 Caitra, 1339)
Apart from this circumstance, following under the guidance of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was very anxious to serve in manifesting Sridhama Mayapura, due to the inspiration of Sri Gaursundara, we can see this by reading that which was written by his own hand.
The Specification of the Birthplace of Sri Gaura through Srila Babaji Maharaja
In 1892, on the 20th of Phalguna, Thursday, Sri Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja came from Kuliya Navadvipa together with many people on an auspicious sankirtan pilgrimage reaching Sridhama Mayapura Yogapitha. Simply by touching that place, Babaji Mahasaya pronounced it to be the place of the house of Jagannatha Misra. Then, in the previously specified Khola Bhanga-Danga (Srivas Angan) under Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s guidance, while the devotees performed kirtana in the ‘sankirtan-mandala,’ one large mrdanga broke.
The power of Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Presence
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura narrated the events of the above-mentioned day in his Sajjana Tosani magazine in the following manner—“On Thursday, the 20th of Phalgun, at 11 a.m., three boats of devotees crossed the western side of Navadvipa. Bhakta Pravara Mahendra Babu brought the devotees across the River Ganga. Param Bhagavat Sri Yukta Jagannatha dasa Babaji Mahasaya was brought sitting in a palanquin. At that time, the number of pilgrims present in Sri Mayapura could not be counted. Sri Yukta Bhakta Pravara Dvarika Babu was waiting with great happiness for Babaji Mahasaya’s arrival. Reaching Sri Mayapura, it was seen that Dvarika Babu had arranged a ‘Sankirtan Mandali’ and placed many varieties of banners, which were undulating in the wind. When all the devotees climbed the birthplace mound and began to dance, an amazing effulgence spread throughout all of Sri Navadvipa Mandala. It seemed as if such an effulgence had not appeared since Mahaprabhu’s disappearance 400 years before. All the Vaisnavas sat down and decided that a place for continuous service must be established on Mahaprabhu’s birthplace and also in Srivas-Angan. Finally, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja concluded that on the birthplace there would be a house built for Sri Jagannatha Misra and Sri Saci-devi, and one other building with Kisora Sriman Mahaprabhu situated in the middle and Sri Visnupriya-devi and Sri Laksmipriya-devi on His left and right respectively. Panca-tattva would be established in Srivasa-Angan.” (Sajjana Tosani 4th part, page 234-235, ‘Appearance Festival’)
Enthusiasm for Preaching in Gaura-Dhama
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was so enthusiastic about preaching in Gaura Dhama that in the year Sriman Mahaprabhu’s Sri Vigraha was manifested in Yogapitha, Sridhama Mayapura in 1893. On the month of Phalguna, he invited many bhajananandi niskincana Vaisnavas from Sri Vraja-mandala to Sri Gauda-mandala. At that time there were no niskincana Vaisnavas equal to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja in years or as guru, and no honest bhajananandi Vaisnava Mahatmas neglected his invitation. The niskincana paramahamsa Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji who had performed bhajana in Vraja for 30 years came to Gauda-mandala on the invitation of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja and stayed there doing bhajana until the time of his disappearance understanding that Vraja and Sri Navadvip-mandala are non-different.
The Veteran General
In the same way that Jiva Gosvami wrote of Sriman Madhvacarya as a ‘veteran Vaisnava’, following in his footsteps, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura addressed Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja as ‘the Devotees’ Veteran General.’ Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja stayed manifest for a very long time preaching sri-harinama in this earthly realm. Because of his extremely old age, in the last times of his manifested presence he accepted a crippled figure. However, when he became maddened in sankirtana and began to dance, he would appear similar to Sriman Mahaprabhu with arms down to his knees, and bodily limbs slender like a young banyan tree, appearing like a seven or eight foot tall personality. In the bliss of kirtana he would dance astonishingly, leaping up many feet in the air even in his old age.
Srila Prabhupada’s Memories of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja
Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said, “In Yogapitha Sridham Mayapura there is a banyan tree, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja came there and danced under that tree, and Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja would sit there absorbed in the bliss of bhajana, hari-katha, and the ecstacy of kirtana.
When Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja came near the banyan tree he would exclaim, “Ha Gaura! Ha Nitai!” and in ecstatic moods he would dance, leaping into the air. It seemed then as if he was trying to jump to the highest branch of the banyan tree to catch Sri Hari, Kadamba-Bihari, who was sitting there. He would leap so high! Srila Prabhupada said that Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was Krsna’s intimate servant; therefore, he would dance on the shoulders of Adhoksaja Sri Vigraha. For this reason Srila Babaji Maharaja showed his powerful dancing under that banyan tree; for under that same banyan tree, beneath the temple of Sri Yogapitha during the time when they were excavating, the worshipful Deity of Sri Jagannatha Misra’s home, Sri Adhoksaja Visnu, appeared from the Earth. Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja danced in such ecstasy at the place where Adhoksaja Sri Visnu stayed. In the present times, at the place where Srila Babaji Maharaja danced and where Adhoksaja Sri Vigraha appeared, on top of that same place, is the beautiful temple of Sri Yogapita.
Srila Prabhupada said many times that Srila Babaji Maharaja was an intimate servant of Adhoksaja Sri Krsna. Srila Babaji Maharaja came many times to Yogapitha and in the mood of a dear friend of Krsna, he would say in the early morning, (pratah-kala 6:30-8:00) “Why are you not bringing foodstuffs to eat just now? Give quickly; have you not seen how much time has passed? It is now time to go cow grazing, Krsna and Balarama are standing waiting to go!”
Entering the Eternal Pastimes
In the year following the manifestation of Sri Gaura Dhama, the Deities at Sri Mayapura Yogapitha, and the construction of a preaching assembly in Sri Navadvip Dhama, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja performed his disappearance pastimes on the 25th of February, 1895, on Monday, the first day of the bright fortnight, at ten a.m. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote on this subject in the following manner in his Sajjana Tosani—The previous year, in the Bengali calendar year 1301, on the 14th of Phalguna (February-March), on Monday, in the morning at ten a.m., the devotees ‘Veteran General’ situated in his Bhajana-Kutir in Koladvip within Sri Navadvip Mandala, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, entered the transcendental dhama. Bereft of darsana of the perfected soul Babaji Mahasaya, the land of Gaura became filled with darkness when he entered the transcendental world. We will not be able to see his ecstatic dancing and kirtana again with our mundane vision. May he shower his mercy upon us from the transcendental world.”
(Sajjana Tosani, 2nd year, page 2)
Srila Prabhupada said that Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja had the place for his samadhi excavated himself before his disappearance.
Srila Jagannatha Dasa and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Just as Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja is the eternal worshipable object of Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura, similarly, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is also the dear associate of Srila Jagannatha das Babaji. Those people that judge who is dear to guru or great personalities through external reasoning cannot take this secret to heart. Srila Thakura Bhaktivinoda was not the diksa disciple of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji according to the pancaratrika system. Aside from this, he did not massage the hands, feet, and limbs of Srila Babaji Maharaja, nor did he perform other activities such as cooking for him. Also, he never performed the service of carrying the very old Babaji Maharaja from one place to another on his shoulders like some other disciples did. Nor from an ordinary perspective did he continually stay nearby him. However, according to the Sri Ruganuga current of thought, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura completely fulfilled the inner heart’s desire of Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, was his dear servant, and his close associate. The reason for this is that the propensity of heart and conception of siddhanta of Srila Babaji Maharaja was non-different to that of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In that place where the heart’s propensity of guru and disciple is non-different like hari-hara, then there the dearness and intimate relation they have will become manifested. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura incarnated to fulfill the heart’s desire of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji. Giving everything he possessed, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura performed service to guru. He did not perform partial service, nor did he perform service for any remuneration such as wealth, women, and fame, or any other type of deception.
Like the crest jewel of pure gurus, Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja gave the responsibility to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura to preach about Gaura’s holy abode, Gaura’s holy name, and Gaura’s desire, and through the medium of writing, to preach the message of Sri Gaurasundara to the learned division of society. Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s own powerful enthusiasm to preach the dharma of suddha bhakti was only manifest in his follower Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Obtaining direction from the enthusiasm of Srila Babaji Maharaja, the eternally perfected associate of Gaura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, offered his life to preach the heart’s desire of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga.
In present times, those who give their identity as the factual servants of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas under the shelter of Sri Caitanyadeva are all under the shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja.
The Ideological Current of Sri Jagannatha and Sri Bhaktivinoda
Many deceitful persons with ulterior desires came near Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja for instructions on hari-bhajana and accepted loincloth and the dress of Paramahamsas. Later, they gave their identity as disciples of Srila Babaji Maharaja; however, they didn’t even slightly follow Srila Babaji Maharaja’s practice and conceptions in their own lives. Consequently, even though they gave their identity as being devotees who were well versed in and following the ideology of Srila Babaji Maharaja, actually they were very far away from the lotus feet of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Only Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura protected the current of Sri Rupanuga-bhakti flowing from Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Aside from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and the disciplic succession following in the line of Bhaktivinoda-Gaura-Sarasvati, no others were able to preach. Those who preach tenets that are rasabhasa and opposed to siddhanta are not the followers of Sri Rupa-Raghunatha. Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura preached without any hesitation while staying in Sri Purusottama-ksetra with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
[Translated from Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi Publication on the Life of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, by Rasik Mohan dasa]
# Post 5
The Instructions of Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja
1) Never meet or associate with monkeys wearing the dress of renunciation who are hypocrites holding onto ulterior motives for wealth, women, and prestige.
2) Never take the food of a sense enjoyer, otherwise you will become one.
3) By the mercy of Gaura-dhama one will obtain residence in Vraja.
4) Worldly misfortune should be considered the compassion of Bhagavan.
5) One cannot be called a sannyasi simply by taking the exterior cloth of a renunciant; one is not a sannyasi until love and attraction for Sri Krsna’s service has appeared in his heart.
6) Although illnesses that give suffering to the bodies of those persons desirous of performing bhajana may be present, still, because they do not take rich, delicious foodstuffs, automatically the sicknesses will go away. Luxurious gentleman continuously take rich foodstuffs, thus illness stays with them for a long time.
7) “I did service,” thinking like this, one should not beat drums of glory for himself in his mind; such a person is not called a servant.
8) Don’t become lazy on the pretext of solitary bhajana.
9) Planting eggplants and watering them for the service of the Vaisnavas is more auspicious than carelessly chanting lakhs and lakhs of harinama. The result of service to the Vaisnavas is real sincere taste for nama.
10) Don’t imitate the Vaisnavas or you will be burnt to ashes. Pray for their honest service.
11) By enjoying the wealth meant for Hari’s service one will become the greatest of atheists.
12) An ordinary thief may at some point achieve auspiciousness; however, those who enjoy the wealth of Guru and Vaisnavas will never obtain any auspiciousness.
13) Just as Sri Krsna is the topmost amongst all bhagavad-tattva, similarly, a rupanuga-vaisnava is superior to other Vaisnavas.
14) By performing the service of Guru and Vaisnavas with ulterior desires, Guru and Vaisnavas give material gain, worship, and prestige and send those with the arrogance of being servants far away.
15) Those who serve me will never suffer from hunger unable to fill their bellies. However, those who become satisfied by getting delicious foodstuffs from me will never be able to obtain the service of Krsna.
16) The duty of all householders is to accept the shelter of the lotus feet of sad-guru and engage in the service of Giridhari.
17) The essence of the instructions of Sriman Mahaprabhu is to perform kirtana of Sri Nama without offenses.
18) Preach Gaura-nama following the guidance of pure Vaisnavas.
19) The best conduct is to follow under guidance; independence is corrupted behavior.
20) Thinking Sri Hari’s service to be merely one’s duty and being satisfied in that, actual service tendency will not manifest.
21) Service tendency will manifest when one remains unsatisfied (always wanting more service) although serving at all times, in all manners.
22) Follow Sri Ekadasi-tithi in the association of sadhus while staying awake all night.
23) Every Ekadasi one should examine himself to see whether his enthusiasm for honest hari-bhajana has increased or ulterior desires have increased. Carefully scrutinize this and offer yourself at the lotus feet of Guru and Vaisnavas.
24) Those who desire to perform hari-bhajana should be tolerant and not desire any respect from others, while giving respect to all others according to their position. One shouldn’t be troubled even in the presence of hundreds of obstacles and disturbances; rather, his enthusiasm for bhajana should only increase.
25) Do not live one moment without hari-katha, sravana, kirtana, and vaisnava-seva, otherwise maya will swallow you up.
26) Use all objects and all actions for the service of Visnu and the Vaisnavas.
27) If even the slightest amount of rasabhasa or opposition to the scriptures is present in the heart then one cannot obtain the qualification to be a Vaisnava. Understand this!
28) Rather than searching for the faults of others, endeavor to clean out the filth in your own heart.
29) Sravana and kirtana are not performed if one isn’t surrendered.
30) Without accepting a mahanta-guru and performing guru-seva one will never be free from the net of maya.
31) The method of artificial remembrance is not the path of the rupanugas.
32) Through sri nama kirtan, smarana will naturally occur, this is the gaudiya-siddhanta.
[Translated from Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi Publication on the Life of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, by Rasik Mohan dasa]
# Post Six
Sri Sri Jagannatha Astakam
rupanuganam pravaram sudantam, sri gauracandra-priyabhaktarajam
sri-radhika-madhava-cittaramam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (1)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He is the best of the rupanugas, fully in control of his senses, the king of the beloved devotees of Sri Gauracandra and, the giver of pleasure to the hearts of Sri Radha-Madhava.
prestha-svarupena virajamanam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (2)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence; who resided on the banks of Sri Surya-kunda, is compassionate, the most learned, and who is the dearest of Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja.
ekanta-namasrit-sadghapalam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (3)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He resides in Sridham Vrndavana, is the moon amidst the constellation of devotees, and is the maintainer of the devotees who take one pointed shelter of sri harinama.
sraddhayutesvadara-vrttimantam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (4)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He is ¬effulgent with vairagya-vidya and hari-bhakti, he is like lightning to wicked atheists and hypocrites, and he is full of respect for the faithful.
samprerito gaura-sudhamsuna, yascakra hi taj-janma-grha-prakasam
devairnutam vaisnava-sarvabhaumam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (5)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. Being inspired by Sri Gauracandra he firmly established the house and birthplace of Sri Gaura. He is worshipable to the devatas, and is the emperor of the Vaisnavas.
sancarya sarvam nijasaktirasim, yo bhaktipurne ca vinodadeve
tene jagatyam harinamavanyam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (6)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He showered all his sakti on Sri Bhaktivinoda, bringing the flood of harinama to this world.
sri-nama-dhamnoh prabalapracare, ihaparam prema-rasabdhi-magnam
sri-yogapithe krta-nrtya-bhangam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (7)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He is absorbed in endeavors to powerfully preach the message of sri nama and Sri-Dhama. He is submerged in the ocean of transcendental love, and he is devoted to dancing in Sri Mayapura Yogapitha.
mayapure dhamani saktacittam, gaura-prakasena ca modayuktam
sri-nama-gaunair-galad-asru-netram, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (8)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He is always attracted to Sridhama Mayapura and is filled with bliss when Sri Gaurahari’s sri murti is established, and whose eyes flow with tears at the time of sri nama kirtana.
he deva! he vaisnava-sarvabhaumam! bhaktya parabhuta mahendradhisnaya!
tvad-gotra-vistarakrtim supunyam, vande muhur-bhaktivinoda-dharam (9)
He Deva! O Emperor of the Vaisnavas! You humble the kingdom of heaven by your bhakti! Again and again I offer prayers to the bhaktivinoda dhara, which is supremely pure and enhances the family of devotees.