THE APPEARANCE DAY OF
SRILA BHAKTI PRAMODA PURI GOSVAMI MAHARAJA
By Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Sri Jagannatha Puri, 10 October 2001
The following is a holy puspanjali at the lotus feet of Parampujyapada
astottarasata Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja in his divine
All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga
November of 1946, I left my home and came to Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha in Sri
Dhama Navadvipa. After a short time, in 1947, at the end of Sri Navadvipa Dhama
Parikrama which was held on the occasion of the divine appearance of Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I took shelter at the lotus feet of my most beloved om
visnupada astottarasata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. He
made my life successful by initiating me with harinama and diksa. After
celebrating the holy festival of Gaura Purnima and Sri Dhama Parikrama, I
accompanied Gurudeva to one of the branches of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti,
namely Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha in Chinchurah.
It was there, at Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha, that I had darsana of
Parampujyapada astottarasata Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami's lotus feet
for the first time. He had already accepted the renounced order on March 3, 1947
at Sri Gaura-Gadadhara Matha, Campahatti, from nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
astottarasata Srila Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhanas Maharaja, one of the prominent
sannyasa disciples of jagad-guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami
I was very impressed by his darsana, and my most beloved Gurudeva, Sri Srila
Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, engaged me in his service. Every day I
used to go with him to take bath in the Ganges nearby, carrying his outer
garment, kaupin and kamandalu (water pot). After bathing I carried his wet
clothes and kamandalu, now filled with water, back to our Matha, and then I fed
him prasadam. Moreover, I obeyed the many instructions he used to kindly give me
on various occasions. I submissively put so many questions (pariprasnena) before
him, and he used to reply all my inquiries with great affection.
During our discussions in those days, he used to tell me some things about
his life history. His name was previously Pramoda Bhusana. His parents were
religious and from brahmana (Cakravarti) caste. He took birth on October 8, 1898
in the village of Gangananda Pura in the district of Jessore, in the present-day
Bangladesa. From his very childhood he was fond of hari-kirtana. He felt so much
pleasure in hearing hari-kirtana that sometimes he would become forgetful of his
During his student life he met a Gaudiya Vaisnava named Sri Bhaktiratnakara
Thakura. Sri Bhaktiratnakara Thakura was the first person to introduce him to
the books of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After receiving the books he studied
them thoroughly, and then he began to read Sri Caitanya Caritamrta in the
association of that Vaisnava.
After completing his B.Sc. degree at Calcutta University, he wanted to
continue his education, but the burden of maintaining his family fell on his
shoulders. He unwillingly left his studies and accepted employment at the Post
Commission in Calcutta. It was during that period that he met jagad-guru
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami
Prabhupada and was deeply influenced by hearing his powerful hari-katha. In
1923, on the auspicious occasion of Sri Krsna Janmastami, he received diksa from
Srila Prabhupada at Uttadanga Gaudiya Matha and was given the name Sri
Srila Prabhupada was immensely satisfied by his steadiness, full surrender,
loving service endowed with bhava, and especially his art of writing. Therefore
he was given the responsibility to manage sankirtana, preaching, hari-katha,
brhad-mrdanga, the Dainika Nadia Prakasa, and the writing of articles for Sri
Gaudiya Matha's journals. For the service of the brhad-mrdanga, he stayed at
different places such as Calcutta, Krsna Nagar, and Mayapura. For the sake of
preaching gaura-vani, the message of Gaurasundara, he traveled not only
throughout Bengal, but also to so many different places throughout India, and he
met with great success. He sometimes traveled with Srila Prabhupada and
sometimes with the senior intimate sannyasa disciples of Srila Prabhupada. In
this way he served his Gurudeva by internal, mano'bhista seva, fulfilling his
innermost cherished desires.
After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri
Gosvami Maharaja stayed for a few months with my beloved Gurupadapadma Sri Srila
Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami
Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaja, and other god-brothers.
I had a wonderful opportunity to serve him and hear his hari-katha during that
period. He had so much affection for me that he used to consider me his disciple,
and I used to respect him as I respected my Gurudeva. On numerous occasions he
blessed me with abundant kindness.
Once, when we were at Chinchurah Matha, we went together for bathing in the
Ganga. I was carrying his cloth and water-pot, and also my own lota (cup) that I
still had from my purvasrama (previous home life). I put them down on the ghata
and we both entered the water of Bhagavati Bhagirathi for bathing. After bathing
I found that my lota was gone. It had been carried away by the waves of the
Ganga, which was very near the ocean at that place. Pujyacarana Puri Maharaja
smiled and said, "You left your home, family, wife, son and wealth to
become an akincana-vaisnava, so what need is there to be attached to a lota?"
I was also smiling. Taking his wet clothes and water-pot, we returned to the
matha. As long as he was present, every time we met he used to remind me of this
pastime, and I also cannot forget the mercy he showed to me throughout my life.
After a long time, Prapujya-carana Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja was given the
responsibility of serving the Deity of Sri Ananta Vasudeva of Kalna. The King of
Vardhman was unable to serve this Deity. When he observed the pure disposition
and devotion of Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja, he was immensely impressed and
offered the service of Ananta Vasudeva to him. Later, he took charge of the
temple along with his disciples. I also went to have his darsana there many
times at Kalna.
I always saw him busy in writing. His pen never stopped. He used to spend
every moment in writing articles about suddha-bhakti, whenever a chance came
after completing his fixed number of rounds of harinama, serving the Deity, and
studying the sastras. He also used to submit many articles to the journals of
different Gaudiya Mathas. Especially, he was the editor-in-chief of "Sri
Caitanya Vani", the journal of Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami
In the last years of his life, he stayed in Sridhama Mayapura, where he
established Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha at Isodyana. In the last stage of his
life he stayed at Bankim Muhana Cakratirtha in Sri Purusottama Dhama. Finally,
he entered into nitya-lila on November 22nd 1999 at 2.07 am.
Whenever I used to go to Sridhama Vrndavana, Sridhama Mayapura or Calcutta, I
had the good fortune to have darsana of his lotus feet. At that time I used to
present to him whatever new publications we had produced from our Matha in the
Hindi language such as Jaiva Dharma, Caitanya Siksamrta, the Teachings of Sriman
Mahaprabhu, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's Bindu, Kirana and Kana,
Upadesamrta, Manah Siksa, Raga Vartma Candrika and also some English
publications. He was delighted to receive all these books from me, and in return
he inspired and instructed me to publish more books of Gaudiya Vaisnava
siddhanta. Whenever we would meet he would ask, "What new publications are
coming in Hindi?"
He was present to pacify us at the time our beloved Gurudeva entered into
nitya-lila and also when the Samadhi Mandira was established at Sri Devananda
Gaudiya Matha. During his visit, he told us with a melting heart, "Vinoda
Da (Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja) was very affectionate to us.
Whenever we knew that Vinoda Da was not in Mayapura, we would also cancel our
scheduled program to visit Mayapura." He said that there was no one as
warmly affectionate as Vinoda Da.
So Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja was fully surrendered and one of the internal
associates of Srila Prabhupada. At the time of performing kirtana and giving
lectures he would close his eyes, which were brimming with tears, being
incessantly immersed in the bhava of bhakti. He would express such deep
realizations while discussing bhakti-tattva and rasa-tattva that his whole
audience would be enchanted. He was the embodiment of Sriman Mahaprabhu's verse,
"trnad api sunicena". He was a parama-bhagavata and guna-grahi (deeply
appreciative of others' merit). Until this very day, I never saw him criticize
anyone, and he even used to give inspiration and respect to this insignificant
person who is thoroughly bereft of bhakti.
I always saw him walking with his danda, traveling barefoot in Navadvipa
Dhama and eighty-four krosa Vraja Mandala Parikrama. Even in his advanced age, I
saw him doing parikrama, without eating and drinking, always singing kirtanas
and speaking hari-katha.
I went to see him almost one month and fifteen days prior to his divine
disappearance. At that time he was not speaking at all and he kept his eyes
closed. I caught hold of his lotus feet and said, "I am your most
insignificant servant, Narayana Maharaja." Upon hearing this, he caught
both of my hands in his and gave me his blessings. Then he ordered his servants
to give me prasadam. I do not know if he spoke to anyone else again after that
moment. He entered into nitya-lila at the age of 101 years.
He was expert in all siddhanta and a pure devotee in the line of Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, and I felt so much inspiration
from his blessings and instructions. Now, after his entrance into the divine
aprakata-lila, I am bereft of the touch of that hand which used to confer upon
me profuse blessings and inspiration, and thus I feel a profound sadness in his
In this way I am offering sri sri puspanjali at the lotus feet of such a
parama-niscincana mahabhagavata, Sri Sri Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja.
May he be pleased to shower his causeless mercy upon me.
Tridandisvami Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja