The Embodiment of Tranquility

Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj glorifies Śrīmad Bhakti Vichār Jājāvar Mahārāj.

In remembrance of the auspicious
appearance day of
Parivrājakāchārya Tridaṇḍi Swāmī
Śrīpād Bhakti Vichār Jājāvar Mahārāj

Excerpted and translated from a Bengali article
originally published in Śrī Gauḍīya Darśan,
Volume 1, Issue 10, Thursday, 10 May 1956

Amongst the renunciants who received Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s mercy directly, Śrīpād Bhakti Vichār Jājāvar Mahārāj was the last sannyāsī.

Although discussion of a renunciant’s previous history is generally forbidden, in special cases discussing their holy life benefits the world; such discussion is always appropriate for this noble purpose. We also desire to purify ourselves by briefly discussing the most holy life of Śrīpād Bhakti Vichār Jājāvar Mahārāj. We have faith that the readers of Śrī Gauḍīya Darśan will also be greatly benefited by this.

Almost forty-eight years ago, Gauḍīya Āchārya Śrīmad Bhakti Vichār Jājāvar Mahārāj appeared on the second tithi of the waxing fortnight in the month of Vaiśākh (the day before Akṣaya Tṛtīya) in the pious home of the virtuous brāhmaṇ Śrīyukta Padmalochan Śarmā Mahoday in the town of Durmuth within Kā̐thi Mahakumār in the district of Medinīpur. His name, given by his father, was Śrī Sarveśvar Śarmā. His father Śrī Padmalochan Śarmā was indifferent to worldly matters and enthusiastic about discussion of scripture. He would often strongly encourage his son and other family members to engage in meditation on higher truths and thought of the self. Personally he engaged in the Lord’s service at almost every moment. Śrī Sarveśvar’s mother was naturally simple, pious, and dedicated to pure devotion. She later, following her sādhu son, accepted initiation into the line of Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur.

From childhood, Sarveśvar was simple, enthusiastic, and hardworking, yet he was also detached from worldy matters. He was strongly attracted to the life of a renunciant. Although everyone in his home looked at him with eyes of affection, as he grew and matured, he gradually became anxious to associate with sādhus, and during his early youth, when he was about sixteen years old, he left his family, unbeknownst to anyone, and travelled to Śrī Puruṣottam Kṣetra with the hope of associating with sādhus. Fortunately, at that time, with the help of some of Śrī Gauḍīya Maṭh’s preachers, he attained the association and shelter of Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Goswāmī Mahārāj’s holy lotus feet.

From then on, he became known as Śrī Sarveśvar Brahmachārī and sincerely served Śrī Guru Pādapadma in various ways for twelve years. Thereafter, when an institute for higher learning was established at the birthplace of Śrī Gaura in Śrī Dhām Māyāpur, he spent his time there in the holy Dhām on Śrī Guru Pādapadma’s order studying the scriptures, worshipping the Deity, reciting Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, and performing kīrtan with devotees. Later he succeeded greatly in managing many of the newly established Maṭhs (of Śrī Gauḍīya Maṭh) in numerous places throughout Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

His ability to realise the scriptures’ esoteric conclusions and present them to common people in very clear language was his most extraordinary capability. He had a very sweet voice, and his chanting of the songs of the great souls was very sweet, heart-touching, and enlivening to the mood of the devotion of everyone who heard it. Many times Śrīla Guru Pādapadma was pleased to hear kīrtan from his holy mouth. Just prior to the revelation of his unmanifest Pastimes, Śrīla Prabhupād drew him from the Gayā Maṭh to Śrī Puruṣottam to hear his kīrtan and a few days later, being extremely pleased with him, mercifully gave him tridaṇḍi-sannyās, which was very rare to attain. Thereafter, he became known in the world as Śrīmat Bhakti Vichār Jājāvar Mahārāj and devoted himself with great zeal to the service of preaching Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga’s glory.

Eventually, while preaching in various places after the disappearance of Śrī Guru Pādapadma, he founded a grand establishment with help of his godbrothers known as Śrī Śyāmānanda Gauḍīya Maṭh. Later, he established preaching centres in Kā̐thi, Chandrakoṇā, Śrī Māyāpur, and other places, and engaged himself with intense enthusiasm in widely preaching Śrī Bhāgavat-dharma. He became the subject of all of the sādhus’ unreserved praise by publishing in book form the important chapter in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam known as ‘The Śruti’s Prayers’ (10.87), ornamenting it with commentary, translation, exposition, and so on, and making its complex conclusions readily understandable.

Śrīla Jājāvar Mahārāj, adorned with unlimited qualities befitting an Āchārya, is the embodiment of tranquility. Pure simplicity and goodheartedness are fully manifest in his serene form. His adherence to Truth, courageousness in performing good works, fearlessness in dispelling evil, great enthusiasm for genuine preaching, even greater eagerness for pure devotion, heartfelt intimacy amongst friends, natural love for the Lord and His servants, and a host of other good qualities, combined together, always attract the sādhus’ hearts. Although he is not so advanced in terms of age, very advanced, highly educated, virtuous, and honourable gentlemen and ladies are becoming attracted by his exemplary life of  devotional practice, taking shelter at his feet, and attaining the fortune of devotion themselves.

For the good of the world, we are praying at the holy feet of Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga on the birthday of this great Āchārya and preacher of pure devotion for the long continuation of his auspicious life of preaching  devotion.

—Tridaṇḍi Bhikṣu Śrī Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar