30 years brahmacharya, 19 years of sannyasa, and 17 years of all-dhams-vasa in Bhakti Yoga. Grand-disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. Soul-stirring kirtaniya and speaker. Inspired author on Harinam, Namlekhan, Nityananda Bhakti, Ekachakra, Gauranga, Navadvipa, Puri, and Radha Kund Tattvas.
An overview of the life of Bhaktiratna Sadhu and his Gurupadapadma Srila Bhaktishastri Parampada das Maharaj.
🐾 Summary of Bhaktiratna Sadhu’s Journey and Writings over the Years:
● 1971-1989: Kirtan and Tirtha Yatras With Parents
● 1989: Chaitanya Charitamrita Reading Glories in University
● 1989-2001: Laksha Nam, Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, Shastra Vitarana Glories. Gave Thousands of Daily Kathas in Temple, Sony TV, Ashram, etc. Published and Distributed Millions of Vedic Books.
Parivrakacharya Sannyasa (2001-2018)
● 2001: Hare Krishna Maha Mantra Glories and Laksha Nam
● 2002: Nityananda Gauranga Nam Glories & Puri Dham Vasa
● 2003: Gauranga Bhakti and Gauranga Nam Glories
● 2004: Navadvipa Dham Vasa and Glories
● 2005: Jagannatha Puri Dham Vasa and Glories
● 2006-2012: Chaitanya Bhagavata, Kirtan & Pancha Tattva Glories
● 2013: Radha Kund Dham Vasa and Glories
● 2014: Radha Kund Bhakti Glories
● 2015: Nityananda Namlekhan Glories
● 2016: Nityananda Bhakti Glories
● 2017: Ekachakra Dham Vasa and Glories
Paramhansa Sannyasa (2018 Onwards)
● 2018: Nityananda Lila Shravan Kirtan Glories
● 2019 Onwards: Jiva Doya by Nityananda Prema Dana Glories
🐾 Elaboration of the Above Summary
● Upto 1989
Born in a Vaishnava family and raised with hours of daily kirtan-practice by his mother and father. Seeker from birth.
Found and read Chaitanya Charitamrita 5 times in University. Learnt Bengali for the same. Distributed thousands of Gitas and helped in organizing hundreds of programs.
Attracted to Harinam and chanted Harinam for 6 hours daily while studying at the University.
Brahmacharya order in temple. Gave kathas and distributed lakhs of Vedic books. Holds records in the highest number of Gitas (3500) distributed in a day, the highest number of sets (700 Cc sets) distributed in a week, and the highest number (75 sets) of 108 volume-sets of Srila Prabhupada’s entire collection ever distributed.
Spoke 120 Gita episodes on Sony TV and became one of the number one spiritual speakers on Indian TV as per the ratings during that time. Managed and redesigned the temple book stall. Used to give on an average of 3 kathas daily in the temple for almost 7 years to various audiences. From new devotees, youth, congregation, book distributors, Bhaktivedanta University, etc. Started self-cooking group for the devotee kitchen. And so much more..
Published millions of Vedic Books in 5 languages and 200 titles as the Production Manager of BBT and broke all printing records. Printed 5+ lakhs Gitas in the December month via roll-paper printing.
Shiksha from his eternal Shiksha Gurudeva Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada via his Vaniseva for 12 years.
Harinam and Gayatri Diksha from his eternal Diksha Gurudeva Srila Bhaktishastri Parampada das Maharaj.
Tridandi Sannyasa Diksha from his Sannyasa Gurudeva Srila Bhaktikumuda Sant Goswami. All his three above Gurus (Diksha, Shiksha, and Sannyasa) were godbrothers and the direct disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada.
Wrote many books on Harinam including his first books on Mahamantra and Laksha Nam, did many Dham Parikramas, resided in Dhams, and continued to practice long hours of Sankirtan in Puri, Radha Kund, etc. for 17 years.
Accepted the dress of the 4th Paramhansa stage of Sannyasa in Gaudiya Matha, progressing from the 3rd Parivrakacharya stage in Mayapur. He accepted it from Gaudiya Matha’s Srila Nitya Krishna Das Babaji. Srila Nitya Krishna Das Babaji had received it from Srila Bhaktipramoda Puri Goswami, the Shiksha Guru of his own Diksha Gurudeva.
● His Principles
He does not give Harinam Diksha to new uninitiated devotees unless they are willing to wait for at least 5 years to deeply understand his mood and teachings about Bhakti. He wants aspiring disciples to seriously practice and make tangible progress first at least in uniting Krishna’s form with the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra and fully develop their relationship with Nityananda, under his guidance. He gives both the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra and the Gayatri Mantras together in the right ear in the form of Diksha, as traditionally given in Gaudiya Matha. So he prefers to thoroughly know the mood of the disciple for at least 5 years first.
He is in no rush to accept disciples, because he prefers serving the devotees and does not ask or expect anything from anyone. He does not like taking a higher position over any devotee including disciples, and does not want to become a famous Guru with too many disciples.
However, he is always available in the Shiksha service of all devotees who need his guidance, via asking in the comments here on this website (recommended), and by personal email; in their sincere quest to chant Shuddha Harinam.
He sleeps on hard wood and eats simply once in a day. He does not get involved in constructing of huge projects, or in any kind of management, meetings, and fund-raising for that matter. He emphasizes the awakening of the temple of Shuddha Harinam in everyone’s hearts through written and recorded Vani and through Nam-Lila Sankirtan and Namlekhan.
He believes in the long-term power of freely-distributed written or recorded Vani, much more than the quickly lost spoken word or the construction of perishable structures. He believes that Deity Worship, Varnashrama, and all other secondary Bhakti activities are for developing Hare Krishna Rasa, and not vice versa.
He tries not to judge any Vaishnava or Vaishnava group and appreciates their jiva-doya activities, which is all that matters. Nor does he re-initiate disciples of other Gurus. With all respect, he withdraws far away from some devotees to avoid even knowing about their critical mentality, wrong siddhantas, and faults. So that he does not have to judge them (out of sight, out of mind).
Instead of trying to correct others, he prefers to focus on his own daily Kirtan and Vani which will awaken Shuddha Harinam for himself and for those who depend on his guidance.
He has realized over the past decades that if the majority of devotees can’t accept or are not interested in the most hidden secrets in the scriptures, these secrets should never be forced upon them or even told to them. These secrets should be carefully kept hidden as they were, otherwise it leads to mass-scale offenses against the most merciful Lords and Their devotees, thus actually harming those who belittle these secrets, instead of benefitting them.
Premyogi Society and this Hare Krishna Rasa Community is not a cult. Bhaktiratna Sadhu is a very simple, humble, transparent, and a non-imposing Guru who does not promote his own worship. His primary interest is to share realized writings, videos, and audios on Bhakti Yoga online for one and all, with the help of the voluntary support he receives. He has no interest in raising or canvassing for funds.
Nor does he hoard money or construct huge projects or ashrams which are prone to misuse and politics, from the voluntary donations he receives. He does not encourage anyone to leave everything and come to him. Nor is he interested in having a lot of disciples. He gives Harinam Diksha only after knowing the keenly interested disciple for at least five years. He does not re-initiate disciples of others bona-fide Gurus who are in good standing.
Anyone can study his vani online and implement it in their lives if they want. He is not attached to getting more disciples or losing them, or in wasting money by travelling around the world in the name of “prachar” especially in this age of the internet where everyone can be reached online. He is not interested in starting any construction projects just for the sake of raising funds. His expressions in his videos are due to the bliss of Bhakti Yoga only. He has never consumed any intoxicants, drugs, or non-veg foods from his birth.
Bhaktiratna Sadhu meets devotees in person only a few times in a year and by prior scheduling only. He rather prefers to peacefully produce realized ever-lasting vani on Raadhaa.com for the future generations. Because this vani of his can reach even to those in the present and future who can never meet him in person (vapu). He does not meet matajis alone in private or public, without a few devotees present, due to his utmost respect for all mataji devotees. He has never had a female secretary nor does he touch or hug matajis or his spiritual daughters even in public. He never accepts personal massages or intimate personal services even from male devotees what to speak of matajis.
He believes more in giving his powerful always-on-record vani-sanga on Raadhaa.com than his easily lost and forgotten spoken vapu-sanga. At the same time, he gives his full public guidance on all questions here on raadhaa.com or personal / private guidance through email within 24-96 hours.
● My Gurupadapadma Srila Bhaktishastri Parampada das Maharaj
Bhaktishastri Parampada das Maharaj Pranama Mantra
nama om vishnupadaya
parampada iti namine.
● His Parents
My eternal gurupadapadma Srila Bhaktishastri Parampada das Maharaja (1901-2004), the eternal resident of Ambika Kalna and Navadvipa, was the dear disciple of my parama-gurudev Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, who was the original founder of Gaudiya Matha and one of the foremost followers of Srila Rupa Goswami.
My Gurupadapadma’s father Sriman Krishnadasa Kaviraj das was a completely dedicated disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada. Being an Ayurvedic kaviraj doctor, he would eagerly serve and treat all the devotees of Gaudiya Matha by giving free Ayurvedic treatment.
Srila Gurudev’s mother was also a very sincere and advanced initiated disciple of Srila Sarasvati Prabhupada. She was always engaged in the service of Sri Sri Gaura Radha Giridhari.
● His Childhood
His father was so faithfully surrendered to Srila Sarasvati Prabhupada’s service, that much before Prabhupada decided to start his mission and establish his first Chaitanya Matha (the origin of all Gaudiya Mathas in Vrajapattan) in Sridham Mayapur in 1918, he took his wife and son and came to stay and serve in Sridham Mayapur. In this way, his father surrendered his life without hesitation to humbly assist his Gurudev, even though Mayapur was a total jungle at that time and not suitable for families.
● His Gurudev
Thus, my Gurudev was so fortunate to get the direct association of and abundant mercy from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada from his very childhood, especially during those early days of the Gaudiya Matha in Mayapur. He would directly sit on the lap of His Divine Grace. Srila Parama Gurudev would love and take care of him as his own child.
In his later days, when I was with him, the name “Prabhupada” was like one of his mantras and would bring tears to his eyes due to his extreme attachment to his Gurudev. It was because of the supreme affection Srila Prabhupada showed to him from his childhood.
● His Service in Mayapur
When he was a child, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada gave him a very special service of going to the Ganga very early in the morning, during the brahma-muhurta, to bring fresh Ganga water and then give it to all the Matha devotees, for putting their tilaka.
He became so enchanted by the beauty of Mayapur and considered it as his home, even though living there was very austere at that time. He would enthusiastically perform various devotional services instructed to him by Srila Prabhupada, by his father, and by his godbrothers.
● His Diksha
He accepted both harinam and diksha directly from Srila Sarasvati Prabhupada in Mayapur in 1920. Parampada das was the spiritual name given to him by his Gurupadapadma. After diksha, he became very attached to chanting the holy names constantly throughout the day while doing his services in Mayapur. He would take every chance he got during the day and night to loudly read and sing from the holy books of Srila Sacchidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
● His Attraction
Whatever attraction I have for the vani of our dearmost Bhaktivinoda Thakura is due to my Gurudev’s causeless mercy and sidelong glance upon me. I would cry in bliss observing his unflinching attraction to Srila Bhaktivinoda’s song book Sharanagati, which he would always hold in his hands close to his heart. Without doubt, it was more dear to him than everything else in this world.
No wonder, he later went on to become the headmaster of the Bhaktivinoda Institute High School next to the Mayapur Yogapith, which was personally established by Srila Sarasvati Thakura.
● His Title
For many years, my Gurupadapadma taught Thakura’s books to young children in English and Bengali. He was given the title of “Bhaktishastri” by Shrila Sarasvati Prabhupada himself, due to his scholarly knowledge and deep realization of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura‘s books.
The service he always wanted me to do was to sing the verses of Sri Saranagati for him. He would hand me his book and close his lotus eyes. Tears of pure love would trickle down from the corners of his eyes on hearing me sing those verses, even though I could not sing them so well.
● His Worship in Kalna
Later on, Srila Sarasvati Thakura specifically instructed him to accept the grihastha-ashram, in order to serve his father and mother for as long as they live, because his parents were unalloyed devotees of Sri Guru and Sri Bhagwan. He carried this order on his head and devotedly served his vaisnava-parents till their last breath.
Though he wanted to reside at the lotus feet of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada in Mayapur eternally and serve his Gurudev there, he had to go with his parents to reside in Ambika Kalna on the opposite banks of Shantipur to serve them, as per his Gurupadapadma’s orders.
Ambika Kalna is the holiest of all towns, around 30 kms from Mayapur, where Lord Hadaisuta married Jahnava and Vasudha. It is also the esoteric meeting place of Lord Gaura with Srila Gauridas Pandita, who is none other than Radha’s nija-jana.
I would sit outside his bhajan-kutir in the night and hear the sound of his sweet enraptured voice chanting the holy names, which would never stop for the most part of the night.
● His Deities
My Gurudev’s wife left this world quite early. He dedicated himself fully to nam-bhajan in Ambika Kalna at the lotus feet of his own Gaura Radha Giridhari, under the shelter of Gauridas Pandita’s dancing deities at Mahaprabhu-badi, near Jahnava mata’s house.
These deities had personally jumped from the altar and danced with the real Lords who were visiting from Mayapur.
● His Avoidance
Due to my Gurudev’s very advanced yet very simple and renounced nature, his illustrious godbrother Srila Bhaktipramoda Puri Maharaja became his intimate friend. He would invite him to stay in his Gopinath Gaudiya Matha in Ambika Kalna. He repeatedly offered the sannyasa order of life to my gurudev. Also, my Gurudeva was dear to my sannyasa-gurudeva Srila Bhaktikumuda Santa Goswami, who in turn was made a devotee by my Gurudeva’s bosom friend Srila Bhaktipramoda Puri Maharaj.
But due to my Gurupadapadma’s extreme humility, he did not want to accept the external robes of the renounced order of life or be part of some big organisation, because it would bring name, fame, and followers. He would always shun respect and offer all respect to others, till the very end of his manifest pastimes.
It was absolutely clear to everyone who had the divine darshan of my Gurudev that he had no desire for fame or disciples. He preferred not to get involved in the internal workings and management of Mathas since he never wanted to see others’ faults or to judge any devotee. He did not join any faction after the disappearance of his Gurudev because his only meditation was on his own kirtan and service to Srila Prabhupada.
● His Extreme Humility
In fact, he was such a personification of humility, that he was extremely pained when I used to offer obeisances to him. He would also bow down and offer obeisances in return to everyone, even at the ripe old age of his body at 100.
His guileless, innocent, and pure nature brings tears to my eyes whenever I remember him. He would personally arrange for prasadam for all visiting devotees, and constantly ask them whether they are fully satisfied in his sweet loving voice, which was always imbued with his natural humility.
● His Simplicity
It was clear to me that he was constantly feeling intense separation from his divine Gurudev Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada by observing how fondly he talked about him. He never ever cared for his own personal comforts. He stayed in a very simple bhajan kutir opposite his Sri Sri Radha Giridhari temple for decades with not even a fan. He always honored simple prasadam, which I served him with my own hands.
He had so much staunch and intense love for his gurupadpadma Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada and his family that he never ever took sides or even heard a single negative thing about his own godbrothers or any devotee for that matter. He never knew what duplicity is, which is why he could take constant shelter of Saranagati kirtan throughout the day and night.
● His Friends
He was very dear friends with my most beloved shiksha-guru Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who was directly empowered by his Gurudev to spread the holy name all over the world. They met many times in Sridham Mayapur and used to discuss hari-katha together.
I had served and published the vani of my beloved shiksha-gurudev Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada for 12 years in the brahmacharya order before accepting Diksha from my Gurudev on September 14, 2001.
Everyone who met my Diksha Gurudev fell in love with his simplicity and child-like devotion, and thus respected him very much. I remember how I miraculously got the maha-garland of Sri Sri Radha Madhava in Mayapur on accepting the sannyasa order, when the pujaris heard that I am his disciple.
● His Instructions
My Gurupadapadma used to take me to Hadaisuta’s marriage place in Kalna, which was his favorite place. I would sit at his lotus feet there with great ecstasy almost in a trance.
On the day of Diksha, he instructed me the same verse which he had directly received from Srila Sarasvati Thakura, “nam bhaja, nam chinta, nam kara saar…” which means “Remember and meditate on the Name, and make the Name as the essence of your existence.”
When I asked whether I can bring new souls to him for initiation, he laughed and said that he was too old to accept any more nam-aparadhas of new disciples as stated in Harinam Chintamani.
He put his lotus hand on my head and authorized and ordered me to start initiating disciples myself. I can never forget that day when he empowered me in this way due to his causeless mercy. I always consider that all my disciples are being sent by him to engage me in guru-seva and bhakta-seva.
● His Order To Accept Sannyasa
It was he who ordered me to go to his beloved godbrother Srila Bhaktikumuda Santa Goswami in Shri Chaitanya Ashram, Behala, Kolkata for accepting sannyasa-diksha. Srila Santa Goswami mercifully smiled and agreed to grant me his blessings in the form of the sannyasa-order on September 18, 2001, simply by hearing the name of my Gurudev.
Srila Bhaktikumuda Santa Goswami was almost a century in the renounced order of life. He also did bhajan in this world for almost 100 years like my Gurudev. He came to Srila Prabhupada’s shelter when he was 11, again just like my Gurudev. He was a brahmachari and sannyasi for a total of 80-85 years.
● His Separation
Srila Bhaktishastri Parampada das Maharaj’s divine disappearance from this world was in 2004. He rejoined the Lords and his own Gurupadapadma Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada in Their eternal pastimes in Vraja and Navadvipa-Ekachakra in Goloka. He left me in an unbearable grief of separation from his divine lotus feet and his divine remembrance. The pangs of separation from one’s beloved spiritual master is the greatest misery in the whole of creation.
● A Small Offering
Even though I am completely unqualified to even understand or describe a tiny drop of his glories, I humbly offer this small biography at his lotus feet in the hope to attain his causeless mercy and service life after life. I hope he forgives my inadequacy to properly glorify him. Jaya Sri Gurupadapadma! Jaya Srila Gurudev! Jaya Guruvarga! Hare Krishna! हरे कृष्ण!