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Srila Gaur Kishore Das Babaji Maharaj  


Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimad Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!


Srila Gaur Kishore das babaji appeared over one hundred years ago in the district of Faridpur next to a place called Tepakhola in the village of Vagyana, which is situated on the shore of the Padma River in what is today Bangladesh.

Srila Gaur Kishore das was born in a mercantile family and was nicknamed Vamsidasa by his father (not to be confused with Vamsi dasa babaji). During boyhood, his mother and father arranged for an early marriage. He remained in household life until he was 29 years old. As a householder he worked as a trader in the grain business. After the death of his wife, Srila Gaur Kishore das left his business and approached Srila Bhagavat dasa babaji in order to accept the traditional Vaisnava babaji initiation.

After taking babaji initiation from Srila Bhagavat dasa babaji, who was a disciple of Srila Jagannatha dasa babaji, Srila Gaur Kishore das travelled from village to village in Vrindavan, continually performing solitary worship of Lord Krsna for 30 years.

During this time he would sometimes travel to the holy places in northern India as well as in the nine islands of Navadvipa. He associated with other famous devotees such as Sri Svarup das babaji in Jagannatha Puri, Sri Bhagavan das babaji in Kalana, and Sri Chaitanya das babaji in Kuliya.

Srila Gaur Kishore das babaji became very famous among the paramahamsa devotees in Vrindavan during that peroid and was recognized as a bhajananandi, or solitary monk. Babaji Maharaj entirely rejected any attempts to glorify him and performed his pure, unalloyed devotional meditation in the deepest mood of renunciation.

In March of 1894, when the Yoga Pitha (Sri Chaitanya’s birth place) in Mayapur was revealed, Babaji Maharaj took the permission of Srila Jagannatha dasa babaji to go to Navadvip Dham from Vrindavan.

From this time until his disappearance, Srila Gaur Kishore das stayed in the area of Sri Navadvip Dham, living in different holy villages, realizing them to be non-different from Vrindavan. He would gather dry foodstuffs from the householders of the holy dham by begging and offer them to the Lord just by holding it up in his hands.

To cook, he would often collect dry wood from the pathways and wash discarded pots he found along the roadside near the Ganges. To meet his practical necessities such as clothing, he would go to the shore of the Ganga and collect and wash the discarded clothes that had been used to cover the corpses in the burning grounds. In this way he always remained independent of others by using rejected items that served no purpose for anyone.

In 1898, when Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was staying in Godrumadvipa, just after the garden of Svananda-sukhada-kunja had been built, he first met his spiritual master, Srila Gaur Kishore das Babaji . One day, humbly following the direct instruction of Srimati Radharani and chanting in a sad voice, Babaji Maharaj arrived in the beautiful garden of Svananda-sukhada-kunja.

This transcendental crown jewel of the renounced order was wearing a tigerskin cap and carrying a basket containing various paraphernalia used in his personal bhajana. Srila Gaur Kishore das babaji had previously received the basket and cap from his spiritual master, Srila Bhagavata dasa babaji, in Kalna. After his arrival, he offered Srila Bhakti Siddhanta four or five sets of Tulasi beads, a wooden stamp with the words "Hare Krsna", the tigerskin cap, and his other personal items which he used when worshipping. In January, 1900, Srila Gaur Kishore das initiated Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada in Svananda-sukhada kunja.

Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur often related the behavior of Srila Gaur Kishore das babaji as an example of "nirapeksa", or total indifference to worldly existence. He often discussed the matchless renunciation, pure dedication, and spontaneous attachment to Krishna that Babaji Maharaja displayed.

Sometimes Babaji Maharaja would visit Godrumadvipa, one of the nine islands of Navadvip where Srila Bhakti Vinod spent his last days in retirement. Srila Gaur Kishore das babaji would often go there to the Svananda-sukhada-kunja and hear discourses on the Srimad-Bhagavatam and other topics concerning the confidential conclusions of devotional service. This enhanced his mood of dedication. His entire wealth included a necklace of Tulasi beads and a set of Tulasi mala he kept in his hand for counting the Lord's names. He also cherished a few Bengali literatures, such as Narottama dasa Thakura's Prarthana and Prema-bhakti-candrika.

Sometimes Babaji Maharaj would not even wear Tulasi mala around his neck, but instead would be seen undressed, holding a torn knotted cloth in his hand for chanting and uttering harsh sounds in disgust for no apparent reason.

By 1908 Srila Gaur Kishore das babaji had seemingly lost his eyesight The following year he stopped travelling and decided to live in a bamboo hut in Navadvip and perform his solitary bhajan. Srila Babaji Maharaj would live in Pradyumna kunja and from there, visit or stay at Svananda-sukhada-kunja, where he would remember the Lord's holy names in solitary worship. Being free from gross physical consciousness, Srila Gaur Kishore das babaji often failed to recognize whether he was fully clothed or not. Thus, he often went unclothed to bathe at the Sarasvati River.

While Srila Gaur Kishore das’ eyesight was becoming weak, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta would plead with him to go to Calcutta for proper medical treatment. Srila Bhakti Vinod also requested him many times to go there, but Babaji would emphatically say, "I will never go to the world of 'maya', Calcutta!"

Although apparently blind, Babaji Maharaja once arrived alone at Sri Mayapura at the Yoga-Pitha at 2 o'clock in the morning. Later that morning, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta, amazed to see his spiritual master, inquired, "When did you arrive, Gurudeva?" Babaji replied, "I arrived at about two this morning." Astonished, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta asked, "Who brought you here so late in the night? How did you find someone to show you the path?" Srila Gaur Kishore das replied,"Oh, someone showed me the way."

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta then said, "Externally, you appear to be blind. If someone had not brought you that long distance by hand, then how could you have come? Was it Krishna who brought you here last night?" Hearing this, Babaji Maharaja could only smile. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta, sharing an internal relationship with his spiritual master, realized the purport of this exchange. In those days there were no footpaths to walk from Kuliya to Mayapura and no landing places for a boat. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta again inquired, "Who could have brought you across the river in the dead of night?" Srila Gaur Kishore das, in the same amused way, said, "Oh…one person took me across the river." His disciple then realized that the person was none other than Lord Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja.

Although Srila Gaur Kishore das babaji was not a learned Sanskrit pundit, the purport and conclusions of all the scriptures radiantly illuminated his heart and character. It was impossible for anyone to secure an opportunity to serve him. He was never eager to accept any manner of service from anyone. Whenever anyone saw his genuine state of renunciation, they could only remember the exemplary life of Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami.

Grandeur and opulence of every kind was always waiting with folded hands to serve him. He was always able to expose the cheating tendencies lying within the hearts of fake imitators. Although a person may have lived far away, Srila Babaji Maharaj could reveal the falsehood which they perpetrated in the name of the Lord's service, and save others from the hands of insincerity.

The ability to commune with the Lord in the heart was not Srila Babaji’s main virtue. He exhibited the highest mood of pure dedication to the Supreme Lord because his perfect character was the personification of deep separation realized in Lord Krishna's service. This mood of separation actually distinguished him from the other Vaishnavas and is what eternally spreads the luster of his lotus feet.

 

Srila Gaur Kishore das babaji Maharaj ki Jai !!

Jai Gurudev !

Jai jai Shri Radhey Shyam !