Draft:Srila Bhakti Srirup Bhagavata Goswami Maharaj
Amongst the uncountable rays of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, one of His most valuable rays is Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupada (Srila Prabhupada) in this Age of turmoil (Kali-Yuga). Once, Srila Prabhupada was instructed by all of our previous teachers that he should spread the loving message of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Also, they assured to send him the necessary manpower for assistance. Srila Bhakti Srirup Bhagavata Goswami Maharaj was one of the significant manpower sent for Srila Prabhupada.
According to the promise of our previous teachers in regards to sending assistance for Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhagavata Goswami Maharaj was born in 1906 during the full moon on the special bathing ceremony day of [Jagannath] in the village of Rudaghara in Khulna district of present day Bangladesh in a Haldar family. His father, Sri Sitanath Haldar, and mother, Srimati Kumudini Devi, both became extremely happy to see an effulgent baby boy. The parents and other family members together named the effulgent boy, Rupalal which means a boy of beautiful red color.
From childhood, Sri Rupalal was interested to keep appropriate equilibrium between both academic and spiritual practice. He had a daily routine of reading [Bhagavad Gita]. After completion of his academic study, he decided to spend some time in a holy place. In this regard, he came to Gaya, a significant holy place for the Hindu and Buddhist faiths. In March 1935, Rupalal was in Gaya for visiting his relatives. During the time, Srila Prabhupada, along with his preaching team, came to Gaya. Here Srila Prabhupada’s logical discourses on the Srimad Bhagavatam inspired Rupalal to lead a renounced life. Again, in November on the same year 1935, Srila Prabhupada came to Gaya temple for the deity installation ceremony. This time, through Srila Prabhupada’s causeless mercy, Rupalal received 1st and 2nd both from Srila Prabhupada; he received the initiation name, Rupavilas Das Brahmachari (Rupavilas Prabhu). Seeing Rupavilas Prabhu’s sincerity of spiritual practice and charismatic temple management ability, in a short period of time, Srila Prabhupada appointed him as Gaya’s temple president.
On the 1st day of January 1937, at 5.30 a.m, Srila Prabhupada physically left all of us from Bag Bazar, Kolkata Branch, the head office of Gaudiya Math. During that time, all Gaudiya devotees were facing lots of separation for Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence and were feeling a lack of spiritual inspiration. While almost everyone was in this state, Sri Rupavilas Prabhu performed Srila Prabhupada’s services under the supervision of Srila Puri Das Thakur, who was previously known as Sripad Ananta Vasudeva Prabhu. Eventually, Sri Rupavilas Prabhu’s service skill made him editor of the Bhagavat magazine in both the Bengali and Hindi languages. In 1938, Sripad Rupavilas Prabhu’s spiritual realization and various skillful devotional publications allowed him to get the spiritual title, ‘Vidyarnav’ which means ocean of knowledge, from Srila Puri Das Thakur.
From 28 years from September 1954 to 1982, Sri Rupavilas Prabhu continued his most important service as General secretary of Sri Gaudiya Mission. During that period, Srila Bhakti Kevala Audolumi Goswami Maharaj was Acharya of Gaudiya Mission. Seeing Sri Rupavilas Prabhu’s sincere effort to look after all missionary services, in 1969, Srila Audolumi Maharaj happily gave him sannyasa. Sri Rupavilas Prabhu received the name, Srila Bhakti Srirup Bhagavat Goswami Maharaj.
After Srila Audolumi Goswami Maharaj’s physical departure, Srila Bhagwat Goswami Maharaj was unanimously elected to become Acharya of Gaudiya Mission in 1982. During the period in the Acharya post, Srila Bhagavata Goswami Maharaj opened a new temple of the Gaudiya Mission at Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh.
In 1987, in order to bestow his mercy upon the conditioned souls, Srila Bhagavata Goswami Maharaj went to London (UK) along with his intimate associates, namely Sripad Nyasi Maharaj, Sripad Nandadulal Prabhu and Sripad Ananta Madhav Prabhu.
In 1992, Srila Bhagavata Goswami Maharaj intellectually and gloriously renovated the old temple of the Mumbai Gaudiya Math which was established by Srila Prabhupada.
The ultimate truth for all living beings is they must leave their mortal bodies. Srila Bhagavata Goswami Maharaj left his body on the 12th day of February 1993 at the Mumbai temple. However, his exemplary devotional teachings are keeping him alive eternally in the hearts of all Gaudiya devotees. Srila Bhagavata Goswami Maharaj’s tongue was constantly dancing with the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra or with Harikatha. He was one of the examples of ‘Kirtaniya Sada Hari’, which means eternally chanting the glories of Lord Hari, in the lineage of Srila Prabhupada.
According to the desire of Srila Bhagavata Goswami Maharaj, his visible transcendental body was buried in the premises of Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Gaudiya Math, Godrumdwip, Swarupgunj, Nadia, West Bengal.