Our Affectionate Guardians: Chapter Two
by His Holiness Srila Bhakti Promod Puri Goswami Maharaja
Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Dev Goswami Maharaja exhibited profound natural and intrinsic spontaneous genius in the field of Sanskrit language, literature and thought. Thus a natural affinity was seen in him for composing articles and prayers in Sanskrit and reading Sri Gita, Sri Bhagavata, and all other lofty scriptures which have spontaneous relations with the nature of his divine original self.
In light of his Divine Knowledge, qualities, devotional services, realization in the field of pure devotional siddhantas and his having more advanced access in the opulent, mysterious world of transcendental devotional service, along with limitless devotional qualities as well as the extraordinary capability of retaining (storing up) the super excellencies of the devotional practices and preaching campaigns by special blessings of Srila Prabhupada (refers to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada throughout this chapter), he is always most worshipable to this insignificant jiva soul as one of my siksa-gurus.
We have especially seen the most brilliant example of Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja's service in visrambha mood (i.e. with full, firm wholehearted confidence and faith in Sri Guru). He has been unendingly blessed by our Paramaradhya Srila Prabhupada for his grand preaching campaign showing the superexcellency of the teachings of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. By the grace of Sri Guru the most efficient analogies, logical arguments and expert systems and techniques of establishing the susiddhanta (the higher truthful devotional conclusions) would always appear in his heart, with effulgent spontaneity, enabling the convincing refutation of opposing opinions and assertions.
Thus Srila Prabhupada was always glad to see the presence of Srila Sridhara Maharaja in any conference or sophisticated debating assembly. Srila Prabhupada highly praised the quality and poetic beauty of his many invaluable compositions. His explanation of Sri Brahma Gayatri, the mother of all Vedas, signifying devotional worship unto Srimati Radharani is deeply appreciated by those fortunate intelligent devotees who are aware of the relishable beauty of pure devotional service. I am bereft of the proper language to elucidate the profound meaning of Sri Gayatri as expressed by Pujyapada Maharaja in the depth of realization, which is that of exclusive devotional servitude to Srimati Radharani.
I have no adequate words to express the pain of separation in the absence of such a rare personality and exalted devotee of the Lord. During his lifetime the wealth of ever-new, beautiful, glorious hari-katha which emanated from the lotus lips of Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja captured my heart. He is Srila Prabhupada's own associate and he remains by his lotus feet in the nitya-lila, deeply pleasing him by his charming devotional services. Now it is my earnest prayer that he graciously take me over there and engage me in the service of Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada has directly defined Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja as Sri Rupanuga Bhakti Raksaka--The Guardian of Pure Devotion in the line of Sri Rupa and thus also the Guardian of the pure devotional line of Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode. Therefore, this lowly servitor of servitors prays for his grace. How will I be able to attain that most high Sri Vraja Prema without submission and devotion unto him whom Srila Prabhupada has directly and eternally absorbed into the Rupanuga family of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur.
From the very beginning of Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja's Math life, his adherence to the devotional services of his own Guru, Srila Prabhupada, was super-resplendent. His calm, quiet nature and bright, beautiful, divine appearance accompanied by full simplicity, solemnity and complete freedom from egoistic emotions, would always attract our hearts. He would so superbly explain each and every word of Sri Gurudeva (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta) in such an intensely devotional melodious way that we would be charmed. Although he was born in a high-class, wealthy family, was handsome and became famous for his scholarly achievements, no trace of false pride was ever found in his life or character. He was never known to give trouble to anyone in any way and never felt himself to be the loser when taking troubles from others. He was completely free from any tinge of malicious anger, which is opposed to pure devotional service. He would always heartily try, with great patience, to resolve any problems arising from the conflicts or disputes between his godbrothers. A natural, simple and most cordial behavior was always seen on the part of this spotless personality setting an exemplary standard for the brahmacaris and sannyasis of our mission.
He is an exalted devotee of the Supreme Lord, Sri Gaurasundara, and is always beautified with the affections of his guru vargas, Sri Guru, and the Vaisnavas. He possesses pure devotional qualities and benevolently blesses all with the Divine Message and matchless wealth of Sri Srila Prabhupada thereby fulfilling his desire.
He is all glorious, forever glorious, everywhere.