OM VISHNUPAD PARAMAHANSA
108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Bhusan Bharati Goswami Thakur
(The Founder-President of Srimad BKAS Sevashram)
Om Vishnuspad Paramahansa 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Bhusan Bharati Goswami (lovingly called ‘Sri Guruthakur’ by the devotees) was the bona fide Jagat-Guru or World Preceptor appearing in the Preceptorial Line of Succession. He was the only preserver of the pure devotional line of Thakur Bhaktivinode in the present world after the disappearance of Srila Bhakti Keval Audulomi Goswami Thakur. He was a genuine custodian of Transcendental Love in the present time. Without his mercy it is utterly impossible for anyone to practise pure devotion, not to speak of attaining the final aim of Radha Dasya which is the only goal of all devotees of the Rupanuga (those following the teachings of Srila Rupa Goswami) line of devotion preached by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Guru Thakur was identical with Lord Nityananda. As Lord Gouranga always keeps His dearest Nityananda carefully concealed, (in Sri Chaitanya-bhagabat, Middle Part 8/19 the Lord says to Srivas, “Mor gopya Nityananda janila se tumi”) Srila Guru Thakur also was secretly placed by the Lord. He always wanted to remain hidden. In the Divine Garden of Vrindavan, he bloomed like a hidden jasmine “embowered in its own green leaves”. But sincere seekers of Truth were attracted by the sweet scent of this Divine Flower. They may be few in number, but those fortunate few are sure to attain Divine Love which is the summum bonum of life. There were, are and will be many orators, scholars and preachers possessing imposing buildings and a multitude of followers. They can satisfy our intellectual hunger. They can give even temporary mental relief. But only a God-sent Preceptor like Srila Guru Thakur can provide us with the food of our soul and make us realise the eternal peace and bliss of Golok.
Srila Guru Thakur possessed innumerable transcendental qualities of head and heart. But what impresses one most is his extra-ordinary humility. This should not be taken in the sense of mundane modesty or good manners. This dainya or transcendental humility is an eternal property of Srimati Radharani Herself. As an intimate associate of Srimati Radha Thakurani, Srila Guru Thakur had been naturally endowed with this transcendental quality. His appearance, clothes, words and behaviour were all marked by this divine quality of humility. The famous verse of Lord Goursundar “Tririadapi sunTchena” had been amply exemplified in his character. As he was absorbed day and night in the Divine Mood of Separation from Krishna, this humility was a spontaneous and natural quality in his character.
Srila Guru Thakur appeared in a village named Maishali in the district of Midnapore in 1925. He came of a religious, wealthy and aristocratic family. His father Sri Baikunthanath Pramanik, was an initiated disciple of Om Vishnupad Srimad Bhakti Keval Audulomi Goswami Thakur. (His 0name was Sripad Bishwambhar Das Adhikary). His mother, Srimati Vidyadhari Devi also took Harinam from the same Preceptor.
The childhood-name of Sri Guru Thakur was “Bimalananda” (meaning Unalloyed Joy). He was an extra-ordinary child, exceptionally meritorious and meditative in temperament. As a student he had to walk across vast, solitary paddy-fields to reach his school. He had a strange feeling of Krishna coming behind him. He would be constantly thrilled with the smell of Tulasi and sandal-paste and the sound of the jingling anklet of Krishna’s lotus-feet.
He passed his M.A. examination from Calcutta University and researched on a topic entitled “Sri Chaitanya’s Concept of PREMA” under Dr. Brahma Swarup Agrawal M.A., Ph. D. of Agra University. UP.
He founded a High School and became its Principal. He also served several other reputed schools as the Headmaster. He was a staunch moralist right from the beginning and his motto was “Plain living and high thinking.”
A voracious reader, Bimalananda would collect books from foreign countries. He took part in the Freedom Movement of India. He was a powerful speaker, singer, actor and writer from his young age.
In 1955 Sri Bimalananda first met his Divine Master, Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Keval Audulomi Goswami Thakur in Sridham Puri. Enchanted by the sweet personality and discourses of Srila Audulomi Thakur, Sri Bimalananda dedicated himself completely to his lotus-feet. After initiation, he was known as Sri Brajendranandan Das. Renouncing the world, he rendered intimate loving service to his Preceptor. He collected many valuable speeches of his Gurudeva and published them in Srila Guru-Maharajer Sri Harikatha (Ten Volumes) and Srila Guru-Maharajer Upadeshabali(Two Volumes). He wrote an immortal biography of his Divine Master. This huge book entitled Srila Audulomi Leela -madhuri consists of three volumes and is a unique contribution to Gaudiya Vaishnava Literature. It was he who composed the daily arati-kirtan of Srila Audulomi Thakur. He acted as the editor of Sri Bhaktipatra, a devotional magazine and was a prolific writer of articles of Vaishnava philosophy. He was a constant companion of his Gurudeva and was famous as “the Right Hand of his Preceptor”. Srila Audulomi Thakur loved him so much that he could not bear a day’s separation from him. Sri Brajendranandan came to be known as Tridandiswami Srimad Bhakti Bhusan Bharati Maharaj, after taking Sannyas-initiation from Srila Audulomi Thakur. Srila Bharati Maharaj toured widely, addressed many meetings in various parts of India and preached the message of Lord Chaitanya specially to the educated section of the society. Srila Audulomi Thakur selected him his private secretary and personal letter-writer. During his life time, Srila Audulomi Thakur hinted at the fact that Sri Bharati Maharaj was his able Successor. He would ask his disciples to go to Srila Bharati Maharaj and listen to his discourses and perform devotional services in accordance with his directions. He would often say “Sri Bharati Maharaj would distribute your respective services. Go and ask for his directions.” Even he asked some of his distinguished disciples to learn the esoteric meaning of the secret Diksha-Mantra from Srila Bharati Maharaj. Everyone knows that the Diksha-Mantra should be heard from none but the Preceptor Himself.
After the disappearance of his Divine Master, Srila Bharati Maharaj became almost mad and his pangs of separation were indescribable. He began to wander over various places in search of his beloved Gurdeva, weeping piteously like a fatherless and helpless baby. He began to sing the glory of his Guru day and night. He had not the least desire to act as the Spiritual Head of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. But apart from his Gurudeva’s desire and direct order to him, he received God’s direct command in a transcendental vision of Tota Gopinath in Sridham Puri (Gadadhar worshipped this Self-revealed Deity and Lord Goursundar finally merged in this Deity and disappeared from the world). He also received the direct order of Srimati Radharani in Vrindavan and ultimately emerged as the Divine Sun of the Gaudiya Vaishnava world.
After becoming Acharya, he laid more emphasis on the practice of Rupanuga Bhakti (the unalloyed devotion in the Line of Srila Rupa Goswami) than the preaching thereof. In the company of the sincere seekers of Truth, he began to reveal the secret of the most mysterious Nam-bhajan and the loving adoration of the Deity for 24 hours by the example of his own holy life.
Always absorbed in the Divine Mood of Separation, Srila Guruthakur left no stone unturned to infuse that Mood into the hearts of his followers. A transcendental poet, he has written innumerable poems and songs glorifying the previous Preceptors. He has written an original book on the secret of unalloyed devotion. The title of that authentic book is “Kebala Bhaktir Sadhan O Siddhi.” He published the lives and teachings of his previous Divine Masters. He spent lakhs of rupees in publishing more than thirty five books of devotional wisdom. These books are free of cost and distributed among the sincere seekers of Truth only. As a Preceptor, he used to think separately for each and every practitioner of devotion. True seekers of Truth will always continue to be guided by him with personal care, attention and affection. Srila Guru Thakur strained his every nerve in sowing the seeds of pure devotion among bona fide seekers and nurturing those seeds in all possible ways. He silently and secretly preserved the Line of Thakur Bhaktivinode and shouldered incalculable responsibilities as the previous Preceptors did, in the teeth of the opposition of the Dark Forces of Kali.
He built a beautiful temple at Godrum, Sridham Nabadwip and under direct instructions from Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur installed the Pancha-tattva Deities in the temple.
Srimad Bhakti Keval Audulomi Srikrishna-Chaitanya Sevashram, with headquarters in Swarupgunj, Nabadwip is an institution of unalloyed devotion founded by him after the disappearance of his Divine Master in 1982.
Srila Guruthakur entered Nityaleela or eternal service of Sri Sri Radha Krishna in Radha Kunda Goloka on 13th May 2005 in Sridham Navadwip during the auspicious Chandan Yatya time of Lord Jagannath.