Gaur Kishor Das Babaji: A Guru who didn’t want disciples. Today is the disappearance day of Gaur Kishor Das Babaji. GKD Babaji is included in the parampara of several sampradayas, but he never wanted recognition. In fact, he was so involved in his own chanting that he would lock himself in the bathroom when people came to see him, so that he could continue chanting without being disturbed. While he was not insensible to the smell coming from the toilet, he felt it was better than the perfume of materialistic persons.
GKD Babaji was born in 1838. After the death of his wife, he devoted himself to bhajan and lived by eating only remnants, for thirty years. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Maharaj was a disciple of GKD Babaji. BSST Maharaj used to say that GKD Babaji was the greatest scholar of Srimad Bhagavatam, but Babaji was not a scholar. Babaji was the embodiment of simplicity and unpretentiousness. These lines from Babaji’s bhajan, ‘Kothaya Go Premamayi Radhe Radhe’, show his mood:
“Raghunatha dasa wears simple cloth which appears to be dirty because he is always rolling on the earth crying out, ‘Radhe! Radhe!’. Calling out, ‘Radhe! Radhe!’ his eyes are bursting with a flood of tears. He wanders throughout the lanes of Vrindavan crying out, ‘Radhe! Radhe!'” (Original Bengali translated by KK Songs)
GKD Babaji recommended that, while chanting, it is useful to write the letters of the mahamantra and concentrate on their shape. GKD Babaji did not invent a new process – the method of writing while chanting was shown by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself. It is mentioned in Chaitanya Bhagwat 1.6.6. that Mahaprabhu would write the letters of the mahamantra day and night. GKD Babaji left his body on this day in 1915. Today, temples all around Vrindavan are holding feasts and kirtan in his honour. Read more (Hindi)
A Reinvigorating ‘Patotsav’ Festival at Anand Dham. On Wednesday, devotees filled the Anand Dham temple on Parikrama Marg for a ‘Patotsav’ festival. There are different opinions in regards to the purpose of Patotsav festivals. Some say that its purpose is to reinvigorate the divinity within Thakurji, which becomes more distant due to:
- Any laxity by the pujari in offering devotional worship.
- The sheer volume and weight of the requests and desires heaped at the lotus feet of the deity by devotees overwhelmed by maya.
Other’s believe that Paramatma’s divinity never dissipates and that it is only our bhava, our devotional love, that ebbs. Yesterday, at the Anand Dham patotsav program, Acharya Gopanand Ban Maharaj presided over the festivities and Bhaktivedant Tirtha Madhusudan Maharaj spoke about Thakurji’s glories. In the evening, keeping the words of their Maharaj in mind, the assembled devotees did Vrindavan parikrama together. Read more (Hindi)
Hema wants Mathura Station to look like a temple. Yesterday, MP Hema Malini visited Mathura railway station and said that it needs to be refurbished, with murals of Radha Krishna lilas and a replica of Goverdhan at the entrance. Hema’s suggestions echo the words of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who visited the station a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, residents of Malini’s adopted village, Rawal, are complaining that not much has changed. Many are still living in shacks that they constructed themselves, without even any mortar between the bricks. Read more (Hindi)