Sri Sri108 Siddha Manohara Dasa Babaji Maharaja of Govinda Kunda was a paragon of intense vairagya, japa and lila-smarana absorption. In 1847, he took birth in Madhavapura in Nadia Dt. He lost both his parents by the time he was thirteen, and thus became completely detached from material life. Leaving home, he went to Simuliya and took diksha from Advaita vamshacharya, Sripad Nandakishore Gosvami. While in Navadvipa, Siddha Baba studied Sanskrit grammar, alankara, and nyaya. After sometime, he accepted virakta-vesha [babaji initiation] from Sri Rupa dasa babaji, who was his siksha guru.
In 1881, at the age of 34, Manohara Dasa moved to Vrindavana and spent five years learning bhakti-shastras from Sripada Gopilala Gosvami Prabhu, a sevait of Thakuraji Radharamana. Afterwards, he did bhajana in Kamyavana, Nandagrama and Kusuma Sarovara before coming to Govinda-kunda in 1915, where he stayed in a cave.
All day long, Siddha Baba did nama-japa and asta-kaliya smarana in his cave, and only came at night to beg some flour for making a few rotis. While doing lila-smarana, Siddha Baba often had sphurtis [deep visions] of Radha-Krishna’s pastimes which he recorded in his diary.
Many stalwart Vaisnavas studied Srimad Bhagavatam under Manohara dasa. He also taught smarana-anga bhajana to the famous siddha saint Sri Sri 108 Kishorikishorananda Das Babaji (Tin Kudi Goswami). With their thoughts, words, and actions, these two powerful siddha mahatmas showed the way of pure raganugiya bhajana.
Despite Siddha Baba’a elevated birth, erudition and detachment, he considered himself to be very fallen and destitute. In this mood, he always criticized himself, offered dandavats to everyone, and never allowed anyone to touch his feet. He lived alone oblivious to his surroundings. He slept and spoke very little so he could spend all his time in bhajana.
Siddha Manohara Dasa Babaji defined bhajana as: “A state of being mentally absorbed in meditating on Radha-Krishna, while rejecting any other thought as poison.”
Once a Vaisnava asked him, “How can we conquer the obstacles in performing bhajana?” He replied, “If one tries to do bhajana with all his heart and strength, Bhagavan Sri Krishna will become pleased with his earnest endeavor, and then open the gates of bhajana. Strong bhajana will gradually cleanse the mind and remove all hindrances. One must practice bhajana with eagerness, intensity, patience and determination.
“To purify the wayward mind one must give up all attachments to the material world. Pure bhakti will not appear in an impure mind. And without pure devotion, one will never attain realization of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.”
In 1917 a.d., Siddha Manohara dasa opened a temple of Sri Madana Mohana on the southern bank of Govinda-kunda near Madhavendra Puri’s Baithaka. He wrote two books titled Vaidagdhi-vilasa and Namaratna-mala. In 1947, after 66 years of doing ekanta-bhajana in Vraja, in Sravana month (July-August) on Sukla Trayodashi, Siddha Baba entered the eternal pastimes of Radha Madana Mohana. In nitya-Vrindavana, Siddha Baba is called Mani-manjari.
Siddha Manohara Dasji Maharaja ki jai! Ekanta-bhajana ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!