Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the Founder-Acharya
of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Nabadwip, West Bengal,
India. He appeared in the world in 1895 at Hapaniya, Burdwan,
From his childhood
he had inner faith in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, with a natural
attraction and affinity for nama-sankirtan; his scholarship and
worldly detachment was formidable. His first contact with Sri
Gaudiya Math was in 1923, and he fully commited himself to this
Mission of his Guru, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami
Prabhupad, in 1926. In 1930 his Guru gave him sannyasa, giving
him his transcendental name, Bhakti Rakshak [Guardian of Devotion].
He took a prominent part in the founding, organizing and preaching
of many of the Sri Gaudiya Maths all over India.
Maharaj composed many unique spiritual prayers and commentaries
in Sanskrit and Bengali, revealing a devotional stature in common
with that of the famed Goswamis of Vrindavan. Often thought even
more amazing was his special ability to represent those thoughts
in the international language of English. In this way, many of
his Holy Teachings have been published in the form of books.
Maharaj departed from the eyes of the mortal world in 1988. Thousands
from all over the globe had by this time taken shelter in him
as disciples. Prior to his departure, publicly, and in his Last
Will and Testament, he named his beloved Divine Servitor Srila
Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj as his successor.
A Brief Biography
Grace Sri Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, the
founder of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, 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 Sridhar Maharaj, from
his very childhood, had a natural affinity for the mission of
Sri Chaitanya Sankirtan -- the Grand Congregational Chanting
of the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord.
In 1926, Srila
Sridhar Maharaj joined the Sri Gaudiya Math, and became an initiated
disciple of its founder, the illustrious Srila Bhakti Siddhanta
Saraswati Thakur Goswami Prabhupad (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 Prabhupad 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 Sridhar Swami, as bhakti eka raksaka [Supreme Guardian of
Devotion] -- Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad gave
him the Tridandi-Sannyasa title of "Sridhar." Thus,
he became Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaj.
As a prominent
preacher in the Sri Gaudiya Math 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 Sankirtan
Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad also expressed high appreciation
of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Sanskrit composition, Sri Bhaktivinoda
Viraha Dasakam, considering it an omen of assurance that the
grand ideals and dignity of the Sri Gaudiya Sampradaya would
be perfectly upheld and preached by such a learned and sensitive
devotee as Srila Sridhar Maharaj.
As a testimony
to this fact, just prior to Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati
Thakur Prabhupad's departure from this mortal world, Srila Prabhupad
had Srila Sridhar Maharaj sing, in his presence, the holy prayer
most venerated by the entire Sri Gaudiya Vaishnava community,
Sri Rupa Manjari Pada.
passing of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Goswami Prabhupad,
Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Godbrothers, associates, and the public,
naturally revered him as the senior-most representative of the
Sri Gaudiya Sampradaya, although Srila Sridhar Maharaj himself
was more inclined to anonymity as a humble Vaishnava. Nonetheless,
by the call of divine duty and divine inspiration, he established
the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math at Sri Nabadwip Dham, hinting
in a short Sanskrit poem that the Math -- 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.
Maharaj 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.
his eighties, not only Indians, but persons from America, Europe,
and the world over, became attracted by Srila Sridhar 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 Sridhar Maharaj's taped discourses has been compiled
by his disciples, and from such recordings, the exquisite English
books -- Search for Sri Krishna, Sri Guru and His Grace, The
Golden Volcano of Divine Love, Loving Search for the Lost Servant,
and Srila Sridhar 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.
August 12th, 1988, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar
Dev-Goswami Maharaj 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 Union in Separation," was erected
at his holy shrine at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip,
and worship will continue throughout the generations.
Maharaj selected his most intimate and senior Sannyasi disciple,
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj, as his successor, blessing
him with the position of Acharya-President of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat
Math and its affiliated branches worldwide.
| Audios | Videos --------------------------------