Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj explains Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur’s vision of Ratha Yātrā in Śrī Nabadwīp Dhām.
Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur has written in his aspiration for Dhām-līlā, “When will the day come when, from near Śrīvās Aṅgan, I shall look at the sannyāsī clad Śrīman Mahāprabhu and try to bring Him back to Śrīvās Aṅgan just as Mahāprabhu looked at Jagannāth in Purī and the gopīs looked at Kṛṣṇa in Kurukṣetra?” In Kurukṣetra, Kṛṣṇa is not on the gopīs’ level, and they aspire only for union with Him in Vṛndāvan. Mahāprabhu in Purī also, while taking Kṛṣṇa from the Jagannāth Temple to the Guṇḍichā garden, had the same aspiration—taking Kṛṣṇa to Vṛndāvan—as Kṛṣṇa promised in Kurukṣetra, “I will come very soon to Vṛndāvan.” Similarly, Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur expressed his aspiration, his inner earnestness: “The sannyāsī clad Chaitanyadev is not desirable to us. We want the Gaurāṅga who continued saṅkīrtan day and night in Śrīvās Aṅgan. When will we get that Gaurāṅga? The Gaurāṅga of our home, not the sannyāsī Gaurāṅga. It gives much pain to the hearts of the devotees to see Him practising the penances as a sannyāsī. The devotees cannot tolerate it. So, we aspire for the Gaurāṅga who was with the devotees of Nabadwīp, who always continued Nām-saṅkīrtan.”
bahiraṅge saṅge kare nāma-saṅkīrtana
antaraṅga saṅge kare rasa-āsvādana
[“With the public, the Lord performed Nām-saṅkīrtan, and with His intimate associates, He tasted rasa.”]
“We want the gṛhastha Gaurāṅga, and not the sannyāsī Gaurāṅga.”
Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur has mentioned this aspiration in his bhajan-lālasā. If chariot Pastimes should take place in Nabadwīp, then they should take place from Vidyā Nagar to Śrīvās Aṅgan, not otherwise, as this is in consonance with the eternal līlā of Nabadwīp. A chariot, as it is done in Purī, may take sannyāsī Gaurāṅga, that is, Dvārakā Kṛṣṇa, to Śrīvās Aṅgan, which is Rāsa Sthalī of Vṛndāvan. That was the idea of Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur. He has explained it in his bhajan-lālasā, that these things are his inner aspiration. You can go through that booklet. It is a songbook. I do not know if anyone will come to satisfy that hint for practice.
Student: He wanted to have a Ratha Yātrā from Vidyā Nagar to Śrīvās Aṅgan?
Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Yes. You can find reference for that one of his books, perhaps the name of the book is Bhajana-lālasā.
Sannyāsī Gaurāṅga has been compared to Dvārakā Kṛṣṇa. He is not desirable to the residents of Nabadwīp or the associates of the Lord there. They feel, “We lost Gaurāṅga.” As Mahāprabhu left to help others—the many souls in bondage—so Kṛṣṇa left His Vṛndāvan-līlā to organise help, political help, for the people at large. The Kaṁsa administration, Jarāsandha administration, and other administrations at that time were very bad, demonic. To release the public from that sort of maladministration, Kṛṣṇa left Vṛndāvan to help. Similarly, Mahāprabhu left His Nabadwīp-līlā to help ordinary souls get out of their bondage. But just as the gopīs did not like that Kṛṣṇa will leave to help the public by improving the general administration of the country, so also the people of Nabadwīp did not want that Mahāprabhu would leave Nabadwīp and go to work for the public throughout the world, leaving them alone here.
dekhiyā kanaka-kānti sannyāsa-murati
bhūmi paḍi’ vilokiba kariyā ākuti
dvārakāya rāja-veśe śrī-kṛṣṇe dekhiyā
kā̐dila yemana gopī yamunā smariyā
(Śrī Navadvīpa-bhāva-taraṅga: 69)
“Seeing the golden lustre of the Lord’s sannyāsī form, I will fall to the ground and longingly gaze at Him like the gopīs, who cried remembering the Yamunā upon seeing Śrī Kṛṣṇa of Dvārakā in the garb of a king.
āmi chāi gaurachandre la-ite māyāpure
yathāya kaiśora-veśa śrī-aṅgete sphure
yathāya chā̐chara keśa trikachchha-vasane
īśodyāne līlā kare bhakta-jana sane
(Śrī Navadvīpa-bhāva-taraṅga: 70)
“I want to take Gaurachandra back to Māyāpur, where His youthful dress, dhotī tucked in three places, and wavy hair shine on His divine form, where He performs Pastimes in the garden with the devotees.
sei vaṭe ei yati āmi sei dāsa
prabhura darśana sei ananta vilāsa
tathāpi āmāra chitta pṛthu-kuṇḍa-tīre
prabhure la-ite chāya śrīvāsa-mandire
(Śrī Navadvīpa-bhāva-taraṅga: 71)
“In truth, Gaurachandra is this sannyāsī, I am His servant, and this appearance of the Lord is one of His infinite Pastimes. Still, my heart longs to take the Lord back to the home of Śrīvās on the bank of Pṛthu Kuṇḍa.”
Spoken on 8 July 1982.