Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
[This latest installment from the archives of holy darshans of Srila Sridhara Maharaja provides a penetrating glimpse into his profound depth of realization. Follow the Angels leads us in our inner search for fulfillment, following the divine path of our spiritual preceptors. Topics covered include association with saints, the summit of theistic devotion, transcendental mellows, divinity and the divine and Sri Chaitanya Deva.]
[Since time immemorial, man has inquired about the origin of the soul. In the thinking of many neophyte devotees the soul falls down from eternal pastimes with Krishna due to mundane envy. In this brief essay, Srila Sridhara Maharaja answers this most vital of all questions: "Who am I? Where have I come from?]
mp3 audio file of lecture
The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute
[Bhagavad-gita Catur-sloki Commentary]
Loving Search for the Lost Servant
[Excerpt from Chapter 2]
Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear to Tread
[An informal talk at Nabadwip Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math on 03/13/81]
Dawn in the Land of Love
Vrndavan The Divine Civilization
First Two Official Meetings of Srila Sridhara Maharaja with the ISKCON GBC
[This talk formed the basis of the ISKCON GBC's 1978 paper entitled: "THE PROCESS FOR CARRYING OUT SRILA PRABHUPADA'S DESIRES FOR FUTURE INITIATIONS"]
Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamrtam
[Life-Nectar of the Surrendered Souls --- Positive and Progressive Immortality]
[Ten prayers expressing deep separation from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura]
Fossilism, Hypnotism, the Cosmos
[An exerpt from a conversation between Srila Sridhar Maharaj and neurophysiologist Dr. Daniel Murphey and physical organic chemist Dr. Thoudam Singh.]
The Success of Faith
[From Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion, Volume One -- Chapter Three]
Sri Gaura-kisora Namaskara Dasakam
[Prayers to Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja]
The Appearance Day of Srila Bhakti-Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaja
[by Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja]
by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
Over 900 audio files of Srila Sridhara Maharaja
(spanning the years of 1973-1987)
devam divya-tanum suchanda-vadanam-balarka-celancitam
vande tam subhadam mad-eka-saranam
His Divine Grace Sri Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaja, the founder of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Matha, was born in India in 1895, in a respected Brahmana family of the Bhattacarya order, at Hapaniya, District Burdwan, West Bengal. He received his education at Baharamapur University.
Having taken his pious birth in Sri Gauda-Mandal, the holy lands where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His divine pastimes on this earth, Srila Sridhara Maharaja, from his very childhood, had a natural affinity for the mission of Sri Chaitanya Sankirtana, the Grand Congregational Chanting of the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord.
In 1926, Srila Sridhara Maharaja joined the Sri Gaudiya Matha, and became an initiated disciple of its founder, the illustrious Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura Goswami Prabhupada (1874-1937). He later accepted the holy order of Sannyasa [monkhood] in 1930. Recognizing him as a faithful stalwart preacher of the perfect precepts of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada conferred upon him the name "Sri Bhakti Rakshak, " which means "Guardian of Devotion." And further echoing the statement of the great Vaishnava Preceptor, Srila Jiva Goswami - who referred in his Sanskrit writings to the renowned Srimad Bhagavatam commentator, Sri Sridhara Swami, as bhakti-eka-raksaka [Supreme Guardian of Devotion] - Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada gave him the Tridandi-Sannyasa title of "Sridhara." Thus, he became Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhara Maharaja.
As a prominent preacher in the Sri Gaudiya Matha mission, he travelled extensively throughout India and preached fluently in Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, and English, spreading the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on many levels in universities, public seminars, and Sankirtana festivals.
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada also expressed high appreciation of Srila Sridhara Maharaja's Sanskrit composition, Sri Bhaktivinoda Viraha Dasakam, considering it an omen of assurance that the grand ideals and dignity of the Sri GaudiyaSampradaya would be perfectly upheld and preached by such a learned and sensitive devotee as Srila Sridhara Maharaja.
As a testimony to this fact, just prior to Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada's departure from this mortal world, Srila Prabhupada had Srila Sridhara Maharaja sing, in his presence, the holy prayer most venerated by the entire Sri Gaudiya Vaishnava community, Sri Rupa Manjari Pada.
After the passing of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Goswami Prabhupada, Srila Sridhara Maharaja's Godbrothers, associates, and the public, naturally revered him as the senior-most representative of the Sri Gaudiya Sampradaya. In particular, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, who was at that time in householder life, assigned a large portion of his house in Calcutta to be used by Srila Sridhara Maharaja as his preaching hearquarters. Thus these two great personalities, Srila Sridhara Maharaja and Srila Swami Maharaja were intimately associated for many years in the early days and remained intimate friends throughout their lives.
Although Srila Sridhara Maharaja was more inclined to anonymity as a humble Vaishnava he, nonetheless, by the call of divine duty and divine inspiration, established the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Matha at Sri Navadwip Dhama, hinting in a short Sanskrit poem that the Matha -- as a sanctuary where the holy message of his Gurudev, Sri Rupa, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was preached -- would inevitably become renowned throughout the world amongst the sincere and pious seekers of Unalloyed Truth and Divinity.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja is the composer of numerous classical prayers and commentaries in Sanskrit and Bengali. His works are hailed as gems of pure Vaishnavism by scholars, philosophers, and devotees worldwide. He authored Sri Sri Prapanna Jivanamrtam, a Sanskrit devotional treatise on the subject of divine surrender, which has become a standard text-book for devotees everywhere.
Upon reaching his eighties, not only Indians, but persons from America, Europe, and the world over, became attracted by Srila Sridhara Maharaj's teachings and personality. He was known as a pure saint of the most simple living habits. He was respected and loved for his saintly simplicity, and his affectionate nature and dealings. He was revered by his Godbrothers, disciples, other devotees, and the general public, and was unanimously venerated for his formidable encyclopedic command of the revealed scriptures, and his unique and unprecedented style of casting newer and newer light upon the most internal philosophical and revelatory purports of pure Sri Gaudiya Vaishnava Siddhanta.
A vast library of Srila Sridhara Maharaja's taped discourses has been compiled by his disciples, and from such recordings, the exquisite English books "Search for Sri Krishna - Reality the Beautiful","Sri Guru and His Grace","The Golden Volcano of Divine Love", "Loving Search for the Lost Servant", and Srila Sridhara Maharaj's unique commentary and interpretation of "Srimad Bhagavad Gita - The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute", and many other books have been published. Many more publications are also anticipated.
On August 12th, 1988, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhara Deva-Goswami Maharaja departed from this world, to enter into his eternal pastimes. His departure did not herald the departure of one of the great stars of the Sri Gaudiya Vaishnava firmament, but that of the moon itself. Even the Earth herself trembled on two occasions, forecasting and punctuating the event. A divine temple, "The Temple of Unionin Separation," was erected at his holy shrine at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Navadwip, and worship will continue throughout the generations.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja selected his most intimate and senior sannyasi disciple, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaja, as his successor, blessing him with the position of Acharya-President of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math and its affiliated branches worldwide.