Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Between 1950-1965, Pandit Sri Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja, Bhakti-tirtha (Radha-Krishna nitya-lila pravista) would often meet with Srila Prabhupada in Bon Maharaja’s college in Vrndavana. The following memories of Pandit Sri Krishna Dasa Babaji come from a book titled, “Our Srila Prabhupada—A Friend to All”, penned by a Srila Prabhupada disciple named Mula-prakrti devi dasi.

May everyone relish the sweet and sometimes humorous exchanges between the liberated ones.

Pandit Sri Krishna Dasa Babaji:

“I was a Sanskrit student and scholar in the early 1960’s in Vrndavana. I was teaching in Bon Maharaja’s Sanskrit college across from ISKCON. At that time, Srila Swami Maharaja also was living in Vrindavana writing English translations and purports to the Srimad Bhagavatam.”

“At the college, some local Gaudiya and Vrajavasi scholars and writers would regularly meet to share their work and ask for suggestions regarding Sanskrit or philosophy. I attended those writers’ meetings and so did Srila Swami Maharaja. That’s how we began our acquaintance and friendship.”

“I remember how delightful Swamiji’s countenance was. He was very charming, full of realization, very humorous and affectionate. He was so kind upon me even though I was a much younger and junior in all ways. Yet Swamiji treated me just like a son or a very little brother. He always encouraged me, asked about my welfare, and shared Hari-katha from his writings.”

“He was a valuable friend during that time. Although his material circumstances were then so poor, he always seemed to me to be one of the richest devotees in spiritual blessings. He was a very learned and humble Vaisnava. He worked very diligently on his manuscripts, and often spoke about the order from his guru maharaja, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada.”

“I have one special remembrance of something that occurred during our regular meetings at Bon Maharaja’s college. Swamiji had every intention to somehow spread this Krishna knowledge in the West, despite all obstacles.”

“Prabhupada would often speak of this task of service, and was always looking for opportunities to somehow arrange to travel there. Most of us at that time were quite doubtful that he could succeed to go. He was practically penniless then, without sponsors or connections. Many of us were not so favorable for any Indian to go to the mleccha [western] countries, so we did not encourage him. Nevertheless, he was undaunted.”

“I recall how Swamiji came one day in great happiness and excitement. I think he had just completed his third volume of the Srimad Bhagavatam and he was carrying all three in his hands. He then explained to our group how he had finally printed the last texts and now the books were ready to go to the West.”

“In a very sweet way, he formally asked if we would all please bless his books that they would be able to go across the ocean and be successful in spreading Krishna consciousness in the western countries. Of course, we were willing to do that. So he carefully passed around the stack of three, brick-red, cloth bound books, and asked each of us to touch them and give our blessings, which we did.”

“Immediately after this he did something quite remarkable. Swamiji explained with deep seriousness how these Bhagavata books, now blessed, could not go across the ocean by themselves. Someone would have to take them to the west, popularize them, and distribute them properly to the public. So he then humbly requested, with folded palms, that our assembly would also bless him to accompany the books and preach on their behalf. In this way he took us all by surprise.”

“We all then felt moved to finally give our full blessings to his mission. I thought at that time how remarkable a Vaisnava he was, to request such blessings and to arrange for receiving them so wonderfully. I remember when I gave my blessings to him, I felt a spiritual surcharge in my heart.”

“Many years later, and now still it stands strongly in history how Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja [Srila Prabhupada] was successful in carrying our heritage and philosophy to the whole world. I feel honored to have been some very small part of that glorious success.”

Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Pandit Sri Krishna Dasji Babaji Maharaja ki jai!

Sajjana sadhu sanga ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sometimes people challenge devotees in the Advaita Parivar saying: “Since Gaura-ganoddesa dipika identifies Advaita Prabhu only as Maha-Visnu, how can He or His guru parampara give madhurya rasa?”

“It is clearly said in that book that Nityananda Prabhu is Balarama and also Ananga-manjari, the younger sister of Sri Radha. So in the form of Ananga-manjari, Nitai can give madhurya-rasa. But what about Advaita Prabhu?”

Before directly answering this question, everyone should understand that all the eternal associates of Caitanya Mahaprabhu have spiritual forms (siddha svarupas) in Vraja madhurya rasa. And all the traditional lines, parivars, i.e. Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, etc. coming from Mahaprabhu can and do bestow gopi-prema and manjari bhava. Outwardly, they may be famous for another rasa, but Gaurahari’s companions also have a position and seva in gopi-bhava.

Now we will quote some solid sastric proof from two very famous associates of Sri Caitanyadeva, Sri Murari Gupta and Sri Krishna Das Kaviraja, to establish the gloriously wonderful position and Vraja identity of Sri Advaita Prabhu.

In “Sri Krishna Caitanya Carita Mahakavya” (1.20), Gaura nitya-parisada (associate), Sri Murari Gupta says, “The great Controller Advaita Prabhu is the grand acarya for all the amorous arts of vraja madhurya-rasa (parakiya-bhava): sri yukta advaita varya, parama rasakala acarya, isha vireje.”

After Rupa Goswami recited his dramas Lalita/Vidagdha, Mahaprabhu asked Nityananda and Advaita Prabhu to embrace and bless him with gopi bhava, advaita nityananda adi sab bhaktagan, krpa kori rupe sobe koila alingan.” Caitanya Caritamrita 3.1.207). It is only because Nitai and Advaita possess the power of gopi-bhava within them, that Mahaprabhu asked them to give it to Rupa Goswami, who then became the rasa-acharya of gopi-bhava for the Gaudiya Sampradaya.

Now back to the post’s opening paragraph, citing Gaura-ganoddesa Dipika’s challenge to Advaita Prabhu’s qualification to give Vraja madhurya-rasa.

Kavi Karnapura’s book, Gaura Ganoddesa Dipika is only one of many authentic and old books revealing the eternal Vraja names and divine forms of various associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

When Kavi Karnapura wrote his book, it was popularly known that Advaita Prabhu is Maha-Visnu. So that’s what Kavi Karnapura wrote in his book. Because this is secret information, it is not revealed openly.

The true or complete identities of many other eternal associates of Mahaprabhu are also not clear or accurately presented in Gaura-ganoddesa dipika. The proof is that at least 25 times in his book, Kavi Karnapur uses the word ukta or uchu, which mean, “it is said” or “some people say” when he is not sure about the actual Vraja name or identity of a particular Gauranga associate. In fact, in one verse Kavi Karnapura says, “My father, Sivananda Sena says he is this person, but I think he is someone else.”

The same Kavi Karnapur, who says Advaita is Maha-Visnu, identifies Raghunatha Das as Rati Manjari. But throughout the Govinda-lilamrta, Krishna Das Kaviraja, who lived directly beside Dasa Goswami for 40 years in Radha-kunda, says he is Tulasi Manjari. He does not mention anything about him being Rati-manjari.

In their comments to Vilapa Kusumanjali, two great contemporary Gaudiya rasiks, Advaitavamsa Acarya Sri Ananda Gopala Goswamiji and Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja refer to Raghunatha Das as Tulasi-manjari and not Rati-manjari.

If Advaita Acarya is merely Maha-Visnu, and not a Vraja gopi too, then how could Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, a disciple of Advaita’s disciple Sri Yadunandana Acarya, become famous, worshipable and followed by all Gaudiyas as the par excellent acarya for gopi-bhava and manjari-bhava sadhana?

The exact Vraja identities of various Gaura-lila associates of Sriman Mahaprabhu is an extremely esoteric subject clearly known only to direct members of a particular parivar and not to outsiders. The Vraja names and forms of Gauranga’s eternal associates are passed down privately from Guru to disciple through each individual spiritual family, parivar.

Yes, Sri Advaita Prabhu is Maha-Visnu. But He is also Yogamaya or Paurnamasi, who arranges all of Krishna’s Vraja madhurya-lilas with Sri Radha and the sakhi/manjaris. This is true because the same book, Gaura-ganoddesa dipika, says that Advaita Prabhu’s direct female sakti expansion and eternal companion in conjugal love is the divine Sri Sita-devi, who is non-different from Him, is also known as Yogamaya or Bhagavati Paurnamasi in Vraja.

Like Bhagavan Sri Krishna, all the Visnu-tattva forms of Bhagavan i.e. as Maha-Visnu can expand into unlimited numbers of spiritual forms, each having a unique transcendental name, form and identity to lovingly serve either Sri Caitanydeva in Navadvipa or Radha-Govinda Yugala in Vrndavana.

Thus, Sri Advaita Prabhu is not only Maha-Visnu, but He is also Paurnamasi in Vraja. He also has other spiritual Vraja forms as a sakha, sakhi and a manjari! These secret gems of sweet truths are not shown to outsiders.

They are the private treasures of the parivar, only revealed to those fortunate souls who have surrendered to the sweet lotus feet of Sri Advaita Prabhu, and taken diksa in His most glorious transcendental family or parivar. (sastra courtesy: Sri Advaita Dasji Maharaja)

Vraja Madhurya-rasa and gopi-bhava ki jai! Sri Advaita Parivar ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

When Sri Sri 108 Pandit Sri Krishna Das Babaji Maharaja, Bhakti-tirtha was about 15 years old, three desires (sankalpas) mysteriously arose in his mind: “I will worship Radha-Krishna in the mood of gopi-bhava,” “I will study Srimad Bhagavatam!” “And I will chant Harinama and do Sankirtana!”

As a tender teen, Babaji Maharaja had no idea what is gopi-bhava. Nor did he know that the rest of long life of 101 years would be spent realizing these three desires. From where did these three beautiful, transcendental sankalpas come from? Bhagavan Sri Krishna answers in Sri Gita (6.44): purva abhyasena tenaiva, hriyate hy avaso pi sah, “Because of performing bhakti yoga sadhana in a prior life, one is automatically attracted to the same practices in this life.”

In 1918 (Magha Sukla Trayodashi), Babaji Maharaja appeared in Dakshina Khanda, West Bengal near the village of Gaura-Govinda nitya-parisada Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura. Babaji Maharaja appeared in wealthy Brahmin family of Krishna bhaktas hailing from the Kasyapa and Shandilya gotras. At the age of five, Babaji Maharaja lost his mother and was raised by his grandparents.

In 1940, Babaji Maharaja graduated with honors from high school, and then stayed home managing the family estate. Most of the day, he chanted Sri Sri Radha-Krishna Nama (aka Hare Krishna maha-mantra).

Babaji Maharaja recalls those days saying, “I felt so much bliss in my mind while chanting Hare Krishna that I lost all interest in material life. I decided that I will leave home, become a sadhu and live in a Himalayan cave doing bhajan like Dhruva and Prahlada Maharaja.”

“Detecting my mood of detachment, my uncle gave me a Gita to read, hoping that I would learn about duty, stay home, get married and so on. However, the Gita had the opposite effect and after reading it, especially 9.33, 18.65-66, I became even more determined to leave home and become a sadhu.”

“Then one night Radha-Krishna appeared in my dream. They looked very beautiful dancing together in a most exquisite and attractive way. I moved towards them, but then They vanished, leaving me with an intense thirst to see them again.”

A short time later, Babaji Maharaja’s uncle’s baby of two years old was visiting his home. He gazed at Baba and suddenly surprisingly said in a most distinct way, “Dada! I give you a blessing: Become a sadhu!” At first, Babaji Maharaja couldn’t believe his ears, but then he thought that Bhagavan Sri Krishna must be speaking through that baby’s mouth.

“Being a young Indian boy, however, I was afraid to leave home and I worried about getting food and shelter. Then Krishna appeared in a dream holding a club and said, ‘Don’t worry or fear. Just leave home and become a sadhu. If anyone tries to harm you, I will destroy them with this club!’”

Babaji Maharaja left home and went to Gaya for Visnu darsana, Ganga snana, then on to Haridvar where he arrived after a month of walking. Babaji Maharaja lived on the bank of Ganga under a tree, and in a garden house offered by a sympathetic devotee. Babaji Maharaja passed a few years in Haridvar staying in different places, chanting Hare Krishna and studying Bhagavad-gita.

Babaji Maharaja then came to Vrndavana Dhama in 1940 and did Vraja parikrama subsisting on madhukari before settling in Cakalesvara, Govardhana. There Babaji Maharaja met a niskincana sadhu who lived doing bhajan and madhukari.

Feeling the utmost respect and attraction to him, Babaji Maharaja took diksa from that Gaudiya Vaisnava saint named Sri Sri 108 Sanatana Das Babaji Maharaja, who was the favorite vesh disciple of the famous Govinda Kunda Siddha Baba 108 Sri Sri Manohara Das Babaji.

In 1941, Babaji Maharaja took sannyasa (babaji vesh) before Sri Raghnuatha Dasa Goswami’s Samadhi. Babaji Maharaja spent time with his guru in Radha Kunda and Govardhana studying sastra in the association of Sri Kunjabihari Das Babaji, Gaura-Gopala Dasji, Sri Dina Sarana Maharaja, Priyacharana Dasji Maharaja, Parameshvara Dasji Maharaja, and Sri Advaita Das Babaji Maharaja.

Babaji Maharaja studied Sanskrit for a few years in Vrndavana and received degrees in Sanskrit vyakarana, Vaisnava darsana tirtha and became a Bhagavata acarya. Returning to Govardhana Govinda Kunda, Babaji Maharaja did bhajan, and served his Guru and the other great Govardhana nivasi bhajananadi sadhus staying at Govinda Kunda.

Not only was Babaji Maharaja an amazing Pandita, a strict vairagi and a perfect gentle man, he was expert in cooking, book keeping and managing entire temples and ashrams. Appreciating Babaji Maharaja’s superb scholarship, honesty and impeccable behavior several Vrndavana temple trusts requested his service as mahanta.

For 35 years, Babaji Maharaja selflessly served as the Mahant of the Gwalior Mandir, Kusuma Sarovara; Mahant of Siddha Manohara Das’s temple in Govinda Kunda, and the Radha-Syamasundara Mandir in Prema Sarovara.

Of his 101 years as a sadhu sannyasi, Babaji Maharaja did Radha-Krishna bhajan in Vraja Mandala for 80 years. All his belongings fit into one shoulder bag. Babaji Maharaja never had a bank account, personal kutira or any land. He wandered here and there living a complete vairagi life—sometimes staying in Govinda Kunda, Radha Kunda, Kusuma Sarovara, Prema Sarovara and Varsana.

He initiated many devotees, wrote several books on Gaudiya Vaisnava tattva, sadhana and sadhya, and often went to Bengal, Assam and other places to discourse on the Srimad Bhagavatam, and preach suddha Radha-Krishna bhakti bhajan, and the prema dharma introduced by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

During his long life Babaji Maharaja freely taught Sanskrit and the secrets of the Srimad Bhagavatam to scores of eager brahmacaris and Babajis. As a service whenever Babaji Maharaja was requested by other Gurus like Sri Sri 108 Pandit Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja, he would give sannyasa vesh (bheka) to their disciples.

Babaji Maharaja was a gentle, humble, unassuming sadhu with a fantastic memory of slokas from the Bhagavatam, Gita and other sastra. He deeply knew all the Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhantas, and he would compassionately share his vast wisdom with anyone seeking his shelter.

Babaji Maharaja constantly stressed the need to take complete shelter in Harinama; always be completely humble; never offend any Vaisnava; and always remember the nitya-lilas of Radha Govinda Yugala. Govinda-lilamrta and Sri Raghnuatha Dasa Goswami’s Stavavali were his constant companions.

Babaji Maharaja satisfied the thirst of all seekers who came for his darsana. He emanated friendly warmth, care, and oceans of wisdom. Babaji Maharaja treated everyone like his own, making sure each and every devotee was satisfied and comfortable. And most importantly before leaving his sublime association, everyone just had to take Krishna prasadam, which he often personally served with the utmost love.

On January 11, 2019, at 7.10 A.M. Srimati Radharani came to Babaji Maharaja’s kutira in Varsana, and said, “Hey Baba! Now come with Me. We have to go to Nandagrama to cook breakfast for Sri Nandanandana.”

And thus Babaji Maharaja’s incredibly long life of Harinama, Gopi-Bhava and Bhagavata came to a beautiful close. He fulfilled his three sankalpas, perfected his bhakti sadhana bhajan, and went to Goloka Vrndavana to blissfully serve His beloved Radha Govinda Yugala for time eternal!
108 Sri Sri Pandit Sri Krishna Das Babaji Maharaja, Bhakti-tirtha ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Jai Gurudeva! Jai Gurudeva! Jai Gurudeva!