110626 Antya 6 Mahaprabhu Meets Raghunath Das Goswami.mp3 (43 minutes, 19.9 MB)
Raghunath Das Goswami had been attempting to come to the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for a long time, and finally he left his home and met the Lord. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had gone to Shantipur on His way to Vrindavan, Raghunath Das Goswami had offered to dedicate his life at the Lord’s lotus feet. In the meantime, however, a Muslim official became envious of Hiranya Das, Raghunath Das Goswami’s uncle, and induced some big official court minister to have him arrested. Thus Hiranya Das left his home, but by the intelligence of Raghunath Das the misunderstanding was mitigated. Then Raghunath Das went to Panihati, and following the order of Nityananda Prabhu, he observed a festival (chida-dadhi-mahotsava) by distributing chipped rice mixed with yogurt. The day after the festival, Nityananda Prabhu gave Raghunath Das the blessing that he would very soon attain the shelter of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
(Excerpt from the summary of Chapter 6 from Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, translation and commentary by Srila Prabhupad)
120719 pm Srila Sridhar Maharaj Disappearance Day.mp3 (56 minutes, 32.3 MB)
An excerpt from Srila Janardan Maharaj’s lecture:
…Guru Maharaj [Srila Sridhar Maharaj] was doing guard duty early in the morning. He had done his guard duty and then retired but Srila Saraswati Thakur asked that the devotees would get him and bring him. Srila Sridhar Maharaj was called before Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur and asked to sing sri rupa manjari pada.
We heard how Guru Maharaj at first was hesitant because in the words of Srila Govinda Maharaj, “Guru Maharaj, he wasn’t known so much as a singer. He was known more as a dancer.” That was the way that Srila Govinda Maharaj phrased it. So Guru Maharaj began to sing but hesitatingly, and seeing that hesitation Kunja Babu, who was Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj–at that time Kunja Babu–he saw that hesitation and he asked another exalted vaishnava to sing. But, when he sang Srila Saraswati Thakur stopped him and said “No, I am not just interested in hearing the melody of the song. I want Srila Sridhar Maharaj to sing.” Then Srila Sridhar Maharaj began singing sri rupa manjari pada.
It is described how all those present could see there was occurring what was termed a “power transmission,” a transfer of the responsibility for the Sri Rupanuga Sampradaya from Srila Saraswati Thakur to Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Srila Sridhar Maharaj acknowledged and said, “I considered that I was being posted as a gatekeeper.”
After that time so many of the exalted vaishnavas in the line of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur came to get Srila Sridhar Maharaj’s association at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. A multitude of many exalted vaishanvas. For instance Srila Govinda Maharaj said that Bhakti Sharanga Goswami Maharaj, who was senior to [Srila Sridhar Maharaj], he took sannyas from Srila Sridhar Maharaj and he would come and offer his dandavat pranams to Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Srila Govinda Maharaj jokingly once said to him, “Why are you offering dandavats to Srila Guru Maharaj when you are senior to him?” Bhakti Sharanga Goswami Maharaj said in return, “You do not know what is in the sannyas mantra that he has given. It is the entrance into Radha dasyam. Actually Srila Sharanga Goswami Maharaj, he always looked to Srila Sridhar Maharaj…
120719 am Srila Sridhar Maharaj Disappearance Day.mp3 (13 minutes, 7.6 MB)
Today is the Divine Disappearance Day of Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. After leading mangal arotik, the morning kirtan, and the daily class on Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Srila Janardan Maharaj spoke briefly to honor the pastimes and qualities of Srila Sridhar Maharaj.
120127-1-JivanaDidi.mp3 (4 minuntes, 2.1 MB)
This is of course a super auspicious and happy occasion for us, to be able to celebrate the divine appearance of Srila Janardan Maharaj in our otherwise miserable wretched lives. I am sorry that I am so disqualified due to so many insincerities. There is a huge long list of disqualifications and we don’t want to go there. I am not the best person to properly glorify Srila Janardan Maharaj but even a someone like me can always say something about such a glorious personality.
We have had the supreme good fortune of knowing Janardan Maharaj for so many years in ISKCON and even beyond. Not to embarrass Janardan Maharaj, but his depth of humility is so astonishing and so deep and so inspiring. Even when he was in ISKCON he was very well known and he had temples and money and all kinds of devotees at his disposal, but when Srila Prabhupad departed and he heard about Srila Guru Maharaj, he wanted to come to Srila Guru Maharaj. He felt something in his heart so strong for Srila Guru Maharaj and he very easily just left everything behind him to come to Srila Guru Maharaj. I may be telling this story really wrong and Srila Janardan Maharaj has such a great memory; he’s given us so much nectar. Krishna gives him such good memory, so if I am saying it wrong just feel free to correct me and I will just try to go over the high details.
At that time he left everything behind and came to Srila Guru Maharaj and even I believe that one time he told the story that someone asked him, “Wow how can you leave? If you have Srila Prabhupad in your heart, what percentage is Srila Prabhupad and what percentage is Srila Guru Maharaj?” Janardan Maharaj said “Prabhupad is a hundred percent and Srila Guru Maharaj is a hundred percent.” That is always how Janardan Maharaj has been cent percent devoted to the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Mission and Srila Prabhupad, and given us so much inspiration. He said, “When someone is in your heart you really can’t take them out.” So he had a hundred percent for both of them. Thorughout all the years, his stalwart dedication to the mission, his inspiration, always staying so close to the devotees, and always staying so close to his Gurudev, has given us much inspiration.
He has so much affection for Srila Gurudev and Srila Gurduev loved Janardan Maharaj so much. He would always say so many beautiful things about him and just considered him one of his dear-most friends as well as a very qualified person for our mission. We are very fortunate for that. Srila Gurudev would sometimes comment how Janardan Maharaj at one point turned everybody over to Srila Gurudev with no hesitation, with great happiness, and Srila Gurudev was always very astonished at his beautiful humble mood and his genuine affection for him. I can’t say enough wonderful things about Janardan Maharaj, how much love and affection he’s given us, how much guidance he’s given us. He’s stuck through so many things, through thick and thin–never caring that we give him the proper respect or not. So many times we are always joking with him in so many ways, but deep in our hearts we are very grateful for Janardan Maharaj and I know that Yudhamanyu Prabhu would really wish to be here on this day. He could speak so eloquently about Janardan Maharaj. I am not such a good representative for him but on behalf of Yudhamanyu Prabhu I will say Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj ki jaya!
120603 Even liberated souls are attracted to Krishna.mp3 (46 minutes, 10.7 MB)
In this wonderful Sunday Feast lecture, Srila Janardan Maharaj tells many stories from the Srimad Bhagavatam to explain the famous atmarama verse. The verse is generally understood to mean that even liberated souls are attracted to Sri Krishna but in Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Lord Chaitanya explains the verse in myriad ways to show that everyone is attracted to Sri Krishna, even bees and birds. Janardan Maharaj tells the stories of Sukadev Goswami, the four Kumaras, Mrigrari the hunter, and a story from his experience with Srila Prabhupad involving a bee. In the last part of this lecture Maharaj compares the Krishna conception of Godhead to other conceptions of God.
In honor of Srila Ashram Maharaj’s visit to California, Jayanta Krishna Prabhu and Brajamohini Didi hosted a namahatta on a warm spring evening. All Brajamohini’s fragrant roses were in full bloom and many children were playing happily with a litter of kittens in the back yard when Srila Janardan Maharaj and Srila Ashram Maharaj arrived.
This namahatta had a theme; it was a pizza party to inaugurate the authentic brick pizza oven that Madhavananda and Jayanta Krishna Prabhus have constructed in the garden.
Srila Janardan Maharaj and Srila Ashram Maharaj led a wonderful kirtan including all the songs that are sung every evening in all the temples, and spoke words of encouragement and inspiration. Everyone gathered with them in the front temple room except the cooks (who were preparing a wonderful springtime feast). The lecture from that evening has already been posted (click here). When the program was over everyone enjoyed slice after slice of delicious hot pizza fresh from the oven along with fresh salads and special dishes prepared by the ladies.
All glories to Sri Sri Guru Gaurangasundar Mahaprabhu!
All glories to Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj!
All glories to Srila Bhakti Kusum Ashram Maharaj!
All glories to all the San Jose and Soquel devotees!
All glories to Jayanta Krishna Prabhu and Brajamohini Didi’s namahatta!
120423 Madhya 17.mp3 (78 minutes, 54.2 MB)
In this recording of the morning class Srila Ashram Maharaj reads from Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, elaborates extensively on various points, and answers questions from Dinabandhu Prabhu and Swarnangii Didi about sincerity and artificiality.
This informal discussion in full of beautiful points. The following point about Srimad Bhagavatam is just one of many:
“Every religious mentality, every religious personality, every religious attempt can find full satisfaction in the description of the Lord as a person full of qualities such as compassion, love, beauty, absolute character and so on and so forth… It is not a sectarian thing.”
All glories to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Giridhari!
All glories to Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj!
All glories to Srila Bhakti Kusum Ashram Maharaj!
All glories to Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya
Sri Srimad Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj!
On the auspicious occasion of Srila Ashram Maharaj’s visit to the Seva Ashram, Srila Janardan Maharaj gave Harinam initiation to Bud, now Brajanath Krishna Das. Srila Ashram Maharaj led the morning class on Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, reading about Lord Chaitanya’s travels through the Jarikanda forest. Immediately after class we all sang “Hari haraye nama Krishna” then the initiation ceremony began. Many devotees were at the Ashram that morning and everyone felt it was a very special and beautiful ceremony. For months now Brajanath Krishna Prabhu has been coming to Srila Janardan Maharaj’s morning classes, Sarvabhavana Prabhu’s evening classes and helping Hasyapriya Prabhu with maintaining the Ashram property on weekends. He is a very gentle and kind person and we are very happy to welcome him into our family.
Photos by Krishnapriya Devi and prepared by Jatindra Mohan Prabhu…
120423 Braja’s Namahatta with Ashram Maharaj.mp3 (56 minutes, 38.6 MB)
This lecture was recorded at a namhatta and pizza party for Srila Janardan Maharaj and Srila Ashram Maharaj. Both of them speak in the audio recording.
Janardan Maharaj talks about how Jayanta Krishna Prabhu and Braja Mohini Didi’s house used to be the 17th St. temple and it is where Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj stayed on his first world tour. Years later, after Kumkum Didi had purchased the Saint James St. temple and the deity, Sriman Gaurangasundar Mahaprabhu had moved there, Srila Govinda Maharaj expressed that he wanted to keep the 17th St. property. Jayanta Krishna Prabhu and Braja Mohini Didi took on the responsibility for purchasing and maintaining the beautiful house.
Srila Janardan Maharaj tells the story of this house, giving honor to many of the ladies who lived here for years, and sharing happy memories. He then explains how the devotees came to purchase the current Seva Ashram property in Santa Cruz in order to fulfill the expressed desire of Srila Govinda Maharaj.
After a history of the California branch of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Janardan Maharaj tells funny stories from his personal relationships with Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. The whole room erupts with laughter from hearing the funny stories and later Ashram Maharaj tells more funny stories.
All glories to Srila Bhakti Kusum Ashram Maharaj!
Srila Ashram Maharaj has filled his days here in Soquel with preaching programs. Tuesday he attened the Cabrillo College Bhakti Yoga Club meeting. The devotees were very inspired by his association and several very fortunate new guests attended the program.
110508 Causeless And Irresistible.mp3 (50 minutes, 34.7 MB)
In this Sunday Feast lecture Srila Janardan Maharaj reveals his personal struggle to understand one aspect of Krishna Consciousness. He is very humble and honest in revealing that he never felt like his service could be “unmotivated and uninterrupted” even though he often spoke the following famous verse from Srimad Bhagavatam (1.2.6):
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokshaje
“The supreme occupation, dharma, for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.”
Srila Sridhar Maharaj solved his dilemma by explaining to him a wonderful new meaning of that verse. His answer is illuminating and deeply satisfying. In summary, he says that divine service itself is “causeless and irresistible”. Causeless in that it is independent and irresistible like a tsunami.
This was the second annual Appearance Day Celebration honoring Srila Janardan Maharaj in Soquel and it was unbelievably sweet. For years Janardan Maharaj has traveled annually to Mexico around the time of his birthday. In Soquel we are always sad that Maharaj leaves and that we cannot join the celebration. Now the problem has been solved; we have started to celebrate his birthday according to the lunar calendar. After all, most vaishnava festivals are calculated according to the lunar calendar, including the appearance days of our guru parampara.
Due to his humility Janardan Maharaj only reluctantly agreed to allow this festival but what a wonderful festival it turned out to be! After singing many vaishnava songs all together in the temple room, several devotees were invited to glorify of Srila Janardan Maharaj. If there had not been some concern about finishing the program on time, perhaps many more devotees would have liked to speak. It was an evening program after all, and there was a feast to honor (the menu was selected by Maharaj himself and included his favorite preparations.) We were able to hear from Jivana Devi, Sanatani Devi, Vrinda Devi, Ramachandra Prabhu, Sarvabhavana Prabhu, Sureshwari Devi, Kalindi Devi, and Vimala Devi. Their short speeches were heartfelt and often humorous. The most common themes that arose were humility, humor, friendship and family. Maharaj himself was touched and happy with the devotee’s offerings.
…as for hearing everyone I appreciate their kindness and the sweet things they are saying. What can I say? “I just pray I can live up to eveyone’s expectations…The one thing I never wanted to be is a role model of anyone.” I didn’t like being a guru in ISKCON. It is easier to serve someone else than to take responsibility for getting respect from others.
…We have so much we really can’t complain about anything…”We should be ok.”
With that everyone laughed and I believe everyone felt very comfortable and happy. Maharaj was explaining that Srila Govinda Maharaj has given us everything we need and we can have faith that he will continue to take good care of us all. Janardan Maharaj’s mood was that of a gentle and wise father although he expressed himself as a brother. He said he feels like Srila Govinda Maharaj’s disciples are all his brothers and sisters (only some of the children are nieces and nephews.) It was really very clear, even to someone without any spiritual vision such as myself, that Janardan Maharaj is in fact as humble as all the devotees had expressed, and that his whole purpose in life is only to please his spiritual masters.
Jivana related a conversation that Janardan Maharaj had when he left ISKCON (after Srila Prabhupad disappeared from the world) to join Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Someone asked how much of his heart was for Srila Prabhupad and how much for Srila Sridhar Maharaj. He had explained that all three gurus, Srila Prabhupad, Srila Sridhar Maharaj, and Srila Govinda Maharaj occupy a 100% of his heart. “When someone is in your heart you really can’t take them out.” How fortunate are we to have as our friendly guardian this wonderful personality who personally served all three of these great vaishnavas?
I hope you will listen to the recordings from this festival, especially if you feel like part of Janardan Maharaj’s family. Happiness and affection ring out from the expressions of all the devotees and Janardan Maharaj expresses himself very nicely.
Click to listen to lecture: 120127 BPJ Appearance Day.mp3 (52 minutes, 36.2 MB)
Photos were taken by Murali Mohan Prabhu.
Please join us for worship and glorification of Srila Janardan Maharaj on the auspicious day of his divine advent. We are very fortunate that Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj is the guardian of our Soquel Seva Ashram and that we have his nurturing association. View invitation…
What is Bhakti Yoga? What is the highest level of consciousness? Srila Janardan Maharaj explains how bhakti is beyond hankering and lamentation in this short video from the Bhakti Yoga Club at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California in October 2011 at Srila Janardan Maharaj’s “Simple Living and High Thinking” lecture. Watch Video…
Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj
Sevaite-Acharya of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj first joined the Krishna Consciousness Movement around 1970 in Europe, where he took shelter of the lotus feet of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. He remained there actively helping with the preaching activities until Srila Swami Maharaj asked him and many other disciples to go to India to help expand the Mission there. Seeing that this was very important service Srila Janardan Maharaj immediately went there and helped with his full energy.
After serving in India for two years, Srila Swami Maharaj conferred the sannyas ashram on him and thus he began to lead various preaching and collecting programs throughout the length and breadth of India.
After doing all he could in that environment, he was asked by Srila Swami Maharaj to organize the program in Hong Kong, then finding that Srila Janardan Maharaj was fluent in Spanish, he was dispatched to South America where he headed many preaching programs and finally took full charge of the large Mission in Mexico.
After the disappearance of Srila Swami Maharaj in 1977, Srila Janardan Maharaj continued to preach, publish and manage the mission, but in his heart, he felt something lacking. So in 1987, his internal inspiration sent him to the lotus feet of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, an intimate friend and associate of Srila Swami Maharaj and whom Srila Swami Maharaj had described as “My siksha-guru.” After establishing a deep, heart connection with Srila Sridhar Maharaj, he was given the sannyas title of Sripad Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj. Shortly after this, he purchased the first “owned” Temple of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Mexico and he also began to spend more time preaching and inspiring the devotees in the United States.
It was around this time that due to a financial crisis, the former San Jose Temple was lost. So with great endeavor, and under the instruction and guidance of Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, Srila Janardan Maharaj, together with Sripad Yudhamanyu Prabhu Seva Vikram, were able to reestablish the San Jose Temple and a short while later, with the order and backing of Srila Govinda Maharaj, were able to purchase the magnificent Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram, located in the hills of Santa Cruz, California.
During this period, Srila Janardan Maharaj continued to travel and preach on behalf of Srila Govinda Maharaj and his relationship with him developed more and more and became deeper and deeper as the years went by. Srila Janardan Maharaj would visit India regularly and personally collected donations on behalf of the central Math. He would also participate in the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math Nabadwip Dham Parikrama in a glorious way bringing so much inspiration to the devotees and much joy to Srila Govinda Maharaj’s heart.
Finally, before leaving this world, Srila Govinda Maharaj declared in his Last Will and Testament “And in America Sripad Janardan Maharaj is a perfect personality. He is a perfect gentlemen. He will be Acharya. He is Acharya already but has given all the respect to me; I am giving in return to him. Sripad Janardan Maharaj will become the Acharya and Sevaite of the Soquel Math.” So, under Srila Govinda Maharaj’s instruction, Srila Janardan Maharaj has continued to care for and serve his divine mission.
In July Sridhar Prabhu and Madhumita Devi invited Srila B.P. Janardan Maharaj, Sripad B.S. Vaishnav Maharaj, and Sripad B.C. Parvat Maharaj to a namahatta at their house in the South Bay. Srila Janardan Maharaj told stories about Srila Gurudev’s world tours and answered questions posed by guests. The prasadam was lovely and everyone was happy.