Issuu on Google+


His Divine Grace Brief Account of His Holy Life

Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj appeared in 1924 in Assam, India, on Sri Rama-Navami, the most auspicious appearance day of Lord Ramachandra. He was brought up in a pious environment and developed a strong inclination to search for the truth, which led him to take up the study of Philosophy in Kolkata University.

After completing his Masters Degree in 1947, he became attracted by the divine personality of his Spiritual Master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj, and fully dedicated his life to his service. Srila Madhava Goswami Maharaj, the Founder Acharya of the Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, is renowned as one of the foremost masters of the school of shuddha-bhakti, pure devotion to God. He was the beloved disciple of Thakur Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, the Founder Acharya of all Gaudiya Maths. Due to his outstanding service, Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj soon became the secretary of the Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math. The Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math is one of the oldest Gaudiya Maths and has twenty-six branches in India. In 1961, His Divine Grace was given sannyas, the renounced order of life. After the disappearance of Srila Madhava Goswami Maharaj in 1979, Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj was appointed as Acharya of the Math. In 1997, at the behest of his beloved Shiksha-Guru, Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj, he embarked on a preaching mission throughout the world, covering twenty-five countries including England, Holland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia and many places in the USA. In the same year he gave his approval to establish GOKUL, the Global Organisation of Krishnachaitanya’s Universal Love, responding to the repeated requests of many foreign devotees. He is also serving as the President of the World Vaishnava Association (WVA), which was founded by Srila Jiva Goswami. For the last six decades, Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj has been engaged in preaching the gospel of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s universal divine love. He is the most senior Vaishnava Acharya at present and one of the biggest preachers the world has ever seen. He has initiated over ten thousand disciples from all over the world into the chanting of the Lord’s Holy Names and Gaudiya-Vaishnava conducts and is continuing to do so even at the high age of eighty-nine. | | |

His Divine Grace His Way of Preaching


is better than precept” is his way of preaching. Preaching is not for

preaching’s sake. Without proper achara (devotional conduct), prachara (preaching) is lifeless. Sankirtan, the chanting of the Lord’s name, form, attributes and pastimes, is the best form of devotion or bhakti. While performing kirtan-bhakti, preaching is automatic. His Divine Grace has always practiced what he preaches – loving devotion to Sri-Sri Guru and Gauranga, full dedication to pure chanting, affectionate service of all Vaishnavas, compassion towards all living entities and complete detachment from material enjoyment. He is known for not deviating even one inch outside of the four corners of the prescripts of the holy scriptures. Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj exemplifies complete dedication of body, mind and speech to the service of Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas. Before his bodily activities decreased recently due to age, he used to lead all programs from early morning to late night himself, no matter how busy his preaching schedule was. He led the festivals and parikramas with most powerful kirtans and captivating sermons. During kirtan, he would dance and sometimes jump in the air, fully immersed in the bliss of sankirtan-rasa, oblivious to the external world. Even very reserved newcomers have found themselves singing and dancing blissfully in his kirtan as if spellbound. One of the most attracting qualities of Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj is his loving affection that he showers upon all people who come in contact with him. Due to the purity of his heart, people are unable to forget even a single “are you quite alright?” from his lotus-lips. His genuine care for the eternal welfare of all living entities and the absence of any selfish motive in his heart are matchless gems of his saintly character, which attract people’s minds like the nectar of the lotus flowers attracts the honey-bees. Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj is not only the most senior Gaudiya-Vaishnava Acharya at present – he also has all qualities required to serve in this position. By dint of his non-sectarian and all-loving nature, he is able to unite many devotees despite the differences between different institutions. During his 50th sannyas anniversary celebration in 2011, there were over thirty Acharyas of various institutions present – a number not seen elsewhere in this century. | | |

His Divine Grace Preaching Worldwide

Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj was chosen to be among the first disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada to travel to the West to preach the gospel of divine love of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He had already learned the German language and prepared all necessary papers, when Srila Prabhupada followed the advice of one senior devotee and sent an older disciple instead. When Srila Madhava Goswami Maharaj made Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj his successor Acharya, he also instructed him to learn the German language to prepare for his preaching abroad. During his USA tour in 1997, Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj addressed the United Nations’ “World Conference on Religion and Peace” and the World Peace Prayer Society in New York City, offering them a succinct outline for world peace based upon the spiritual tenets of the ancient Vedas. All participating in these meetings were very much taken by Maharaja’s sweet and humble personality. His preaching programs have also included many interesting interfaith dialogues with prominent Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Baha’i theologians, in such diverse settings as Universities, interfaith groups, churches, Hindu temples and a wide variety of metaphysical and private educational centers. All participants were invariably won over by his gentle and affectionate nature. He has also spoken on the sublime teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on many radio and television programs. | | |

His Divine Grace His Teachings


happiness and world peace can only be achieved by

getting pure love of God, Krishna-prema, as per the teachings of Lord Chaitanya. The most exalted moods of love of God are taught by the followers of Srila Rupa Goswami, the RupanugaGaudiya-Vaishnavas. The more esoteric teachings in this lineage are not discussed in large public gatherings due to the danger of misinterpretation. They are indicated in the eight-fold daily pastimes of Radha and Krishna which are remembered by means of special kirtans, especially in the holy month of Kartik. Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj often cites the following verse quoted by Srila Rupa Goswami in his Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.234) from the Padma-Purana: “The transcendental name, form, attributes and pastimes of the Lord cannot be grasped by the material mind and senses; however, to one who is truly inclined to the service of Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas, which begins with engaging one’s tongue in chanting the Holy Name and honoring prasadam, they will certainly manifest themselves out of their own transcendental potency.” Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj gives emphasis on the pure chanting of the Holy Name of Lord Krishna, as this will grant Krishna-prema. He is often heard saying,

“Chant the Holy Name from the core of your heart!” If we say from the core of the heart, “I don’t want wealth, followers or other mundane pleasures; I only want unconditional service to You!” – then Lord Krishna will come immediately. The problem is we don’t truly mean what we say. Impure chanting is also caused by committing offenses, especially to Vaishnavas. Knowing that many devotees are barred from spiritual progress due to this offense, Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj gives special emphasis on the teaching to not find fault in others. He scientifically reveals the knowledge which leads to such an all-reconciling attitude: God and His creation are all-good. We reap the fruits of our own deeds. Others may be instrumental for bringing us the reactions of our own karma, but they are never the cause of our suffering.

“Never blame others for your suffering – they are only instrumental! If you blame others, you will not get God. We should rectify ourselves. See good in others – see bad only in yourself.” | | |

His Divine Grace In this regard, Srila B. B. Tirtha Maharaj gives the examples of Dhruva and Prahlad, who were successful in their worship because they had carefully effaced from their hearts all enmity towards others, especially towards those who harmed them. Why did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu hear the biographies of Dhruva and Prahlad from Gadadhar Pandit hundreds of times? To teach us this lesson; that we can only meet success in bhajan if we remove all hostility towards others from our heart. Divine love means love of God and love of all in relation to God, who is the source of all living beings. If we truly love God, we will automatically love all living beings. Love for God is best cultivated by nama-sankirtana, the pure chanting of the Lord’s Holy Name. Nama-sankirtana is also the most effective way to achieve peace as it is a universal religion under which people of all faiths can unite. Pure chanting and other pure devotional activities can only be learned from a bonafide Guru, a pure devotee, not from someone who is under the spell of the material energy.

“Only an awakened soul can awaken in others pure loving devotion to Sri Krishna.” Many sleeping souls cannot awaken a single sleeping soul, but one soul who is awake can awaken many sleeping souls. For that reason we require bonafide Gurus. The main qualification of a Guru is that he has practical realization of the Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna. By associating with such a Guru, your eternal nature will be revealed and manifested. To invoke the grace of Guru, Vaishnav and Bhagavan, we should always remember them during all activities. By such remembrance, all hindrances are removed and one’s desires will be fulfilled (Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi 1.20-21).

“Wherever we shall devote our energy, we shall go there. Therefore, the wise always devote their mind, intelligence, senses, words and everything for the service of Sri Krishna.” | | |

His Divine Grace His Writings

Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj has written numerous books in native languages as well as in English. The following titles are available in English. An absolute classic of unsurpassed beauty and literary scope is his Sri Chaitanya – His Life and Associates, which contains chronicles of the holy lives of an entire lineage of Vaishnava saints from the tenth century to the present day. Relying on a vast range of historical and biographical sources, this precious volume brings the reader to a deeper understanding of the saintly personality of the associates of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It also provides esoteric insights into the intimate nature of the devotional relationships that exist between the generations of Gurus and disciples throughout the centuries. In Taste of Transcendence, Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj expounds the two main paths of life; the one that leads to eternal welfare and the one that leads only to fleeting pleasures of the senses. This collection of sublime discourses encapsulates insightful analogies and lucid commentaries on the essence of the divine teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the saints of ancient India. His Sages of Ancient India comprises an in-depth commentary on the holy lives and teachings of Dhruva and Prahlada. These two famous Indian stories of a thwarted prince seeking redemption and a saintly boy born to a demon king provide inspiration for overcoming difficulties on the spiritual path. Philosophy of Love offers a compact introduction to the path of bhakti-yoga. It explains the superiority of bhakti-yoga over other paths of yoga and offers a sublime philosophical exposition of the excellence of transcendental love of God. The book Suddha Bhakti details the path of pure devotion. It explains sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana, our constitutional position and relation with the Absolute, the best practice for spiritual perfection and the ultimate goal of existence. Affectionately Yours is a compilation of his affectionate letters. These letters exemplify the loving affection between the bonafide Guru and his followers as well as the importance of association with a self-realized devotee. The advice given in these letters provide expert guidance for both householder as well as renounced devotees. In his book Dasavatara (The Ten Manifestations of Godhead), Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj describes the various pastimes and reasons of appearance of the ten most prominent Avataras or Descents of the Supreme Lord from various holy scriptures. | | |

His Divine Grace Glorifications By disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada


Maharaj is a personal associate of Nayanamani Manjari (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada) in Goloka Dham”. - Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj, Founder Acharya, Sree Gopinath Gaudiya Math


worry about the future – my appointed successor is my most beloved disciple. He is extremely humble and will preach more than me!”

- Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj, Founder Acharya, Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math

“It would help me if someone educated and qualified

like you (Srila Tirtha Maharaj) could go abroad with me for spreading the Krishna consciousness movement.” - Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya, International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

“By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada I can say that your

Gurudeva, Tirtha Maharaj, is a true Sad-Guru. One who surrenders unto him will definitely be benefitted.”

- Srila Bhakti Kumud Santa Goswami Maharaj, Founder Acharya, Sri Gauranga Math, Sri Chaitanya Ashram, Sri Gaur Sarasvat Santa Gaudiya Math. | | |

His Divine Grace The following is extracted from an article penned by Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj in 1998.

“I am sending a few words about my beloved Tirtha Maharaj, who was bathed by the mercy of the Founder and PresidentAcharaya of the All India Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math organisation, most revered Nityalila-pravistha Tridandi Swami Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj, and installed by him as his successor. (…) Together with his Godbrothers and Tirtha Maharaj, the recipient of his special affection, Revered Madhava Maharaj performed pilgrimage to all the holy tirthas of Bharata–varsha (India), including Arya-varta (North India) and Dakshina-varta (South India). I also accompanied Maharaj. It was at that time that I took special note of Srila Tirtha Maharaj. Even on roads strewn with coarse gravels, he used to move very quickly, completely forgetting himself in dance and loud singing. No sign of fatigue was to be read on his face. From Revered Madhava Maharaj I also heard about Tirtha Maharaj, that from his very childhood he used to lose himself in kirtan. He is now approaching his eighties. Through his performance of incessant Hari–katha in English, Bengali, Hindi and other languages, we observe that only in pure loving devotees of Krishna can the truth of the statement krishna–shakti bina nohe taro provorton (without being empowered by Krishna’s potency it is not possible to spread His Holy Name) manifest itself. (…) All Vaishnava qualities naturally adorn Tirtha Maharaj, for the following words of Sriman Mahaprabhu are fully applicable to him: “Joyfully the Lord said, ‘Listen Swarupa Damodar and Ramananda Ray! In the age of Kali, Nama-sankirtana is the highest path! But how one should chant the Name so that the Name may give Prema? Regarding this, listen to a verse, Oh Swarupa and Ramananda Ray! One should be more humble than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree, paying due respects to others without expecting any honor for oneself. Possessed of these qualities one can constantly perform kirtan of Lord Hari’.” (Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Antya 20.8-21). In Srila Tirtha Maharaj, even at this age, we can easily observe strict obedience to this instruction. One will be dumbfounded to see even now his vigor in preaching. May Sri Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas gift him with a long life. May he remain in the best of his devotional life and thus increase the joy of his followers and of all of us – this is my prayer at the lotus feet of Sri Bhagawan.” | | |

His Divine Grace