Gurudeva and his mission of Bhakti-yoga

The original guru is God Himself. Teaching, through his own example, how the living entities can serve to the Lord, the guru is the personification of service attitude to the Supreme Lord. Bonafide gurus are always very tolerant, merciful, friendly with all the living entities, have no enemies and are always very peaceful. Their hearts pain seeing the suffering of others, so, for this reason, they go to many different places of the world in mission. Their sole purpose is to enlighten everyone about the true nature of the soul and the true meaning of life.

Who am I? Why have I come to this material world? Where will I go after my death? — All human beings worthy of being called humans, at one point come to this stage of existence where they inquire about the soul and about God. — What is the difference between life and death? Is there anyone who really cares for me in this world?

Forgetful of our own constitutional position, we all, living entities, wander in the cycle of repeated birth and death. In this cycle, we obtain a different body and condition of life according to our previous activities (our karma).

When the soul develops a transcendental love for the Supreme Lord, he attains the complete self-realization. At this point, the soul delivers from this material world and from the cycle of birth and death and finally goes to the transcendental world, the abode of the Supreme Lord, also known as Vaikuntha-dhama or Goloka Vrndavana.

Actually, to perform loving service to God is the original nature of all the living entities. This is called Bhakti-yoga. Yoga means to unite; to unite the soul with the Supersoul (God), and bhakti means devotional service.

The best way to connect to Lord is through love, as Lord Krishna (God) Himself told in the Bhagavad-Gita (6.47), which is one of the most important sacred religious texts:

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

“And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshipping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.”

This message of Bhakti-yoga, this message of Love to God is the message that, in essence, all the religions carry. After all, as the Bible says, God is Love and Love is God and God is the embodiment of Divine Love.

Biography

Oṁ viṣṇu-pāda aṣṭottara-śata Śrīla Gurudev Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vana Gosvāmī Mahārāja appeared in this world in the Midnapura district of West Bengal in January 1959, near the pāda-tīrtha of Caitanya Mahāprabhu called Pichalda mentioned in the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

Since his boyhood, Śrīla Gurudev was very attached to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and worshipped Their lotus feet.

He received his Bachelor degree in Economics from Calcutta University in 1980. His uncle, Śrīpāda Bhaktivedānta Madhusudhana Mahārāja,who is to this day temple commander of the Devānanda Gauḍiya Math inspired him to dedicate his life to the service of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

In 1981, He joined the Gauḍiya Vedānta Samiti, and would regularly hear hari-kathā from paramapujyapada nitya-līlā praviṣṭa om viṣṇu-pāda aṣṭottara-sata śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Raksaka Śrīdhara Dev-Gosvāmī Mahārāja who blessed him and asked him to stay in his temple. However, Śrīla Gurudev’s heart was already taken by nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇu-pāda aṣṭottara-śata Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja.

In 1982, Śrīla Nārayāna Mahārāja gave him harināma and instructed Śrīla Gurudev how to enter in Vaiṣṇava philosophy. He received dikṣa from nitya-līlā praviṣṭa om viṣṇu-pāda aṣṭottara-sata Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vamana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, who was the president and ācāryā of the Gauḍiya Vedānta Samiti. And in 2000, at the Gaura Purṇimā festival, Śrīla Gurudev has taken the sannyāsa vowel.

Since ever, Śrīla Gurudev has been served Sri Mahāprabhu’s mission, travelling all the world, preaching and teaching by his own example how to serve the Divine Couple, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.


Srila Gurudev’s Vandana (Pranam Mantra)

nama om vishnu-padaya goura-presthaya bhutale srimate bhakti-vedanta- vana iti namine

vande 'ham bhakti cakoram gauranga-nija-prestthitam srimate bhaktivedanta svami vanam namas tubhyam

sri radha eka nisthitam rasayana-kathamrtam sankirtanam ananda-dham gosvaminam vanam namah

“I offer pranamas unto om viṣṇu-pāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, who is very dear to Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.”

“I offer my prayers and obeisances unto Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vana Gosvāmī Mahārāja who is like a cakora bird, always drinking the moon-rays of pure devotion and who is among Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s own dear ones.”

“He bestows upon us the life-giving nectar of hari-katha which culminates in exclusive devotion to Srimati Radhika and the blissful shelter (ananda-dham) of nama-sankirtan. I offer obeisances unto Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vana Gosvāmī Mahārāja who has perfectly mastered his senses (gosvami).”