About The Author
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaja
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A Short Biography of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaja
"About the Author"
(From Venu-gita, The Song of Krsna's Flute)
His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaja is the
disciple of Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami
Maharaja, who was one of the foremost leading disciples of Om Visnupada Sri
Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada.
Srila Narayan Maharaja was born in a village named Tewaripur located
near the bank of the sacred Ganges river in Bihar, India. The area was
renowned for being the place where Lord Ramacandra and Visvamitra Muni came
and killed the Taraka demon. He was born on the Amavasya (new moon) day of
February 16th, 1921, into a very religious Trivedi brahmana family.
Throughout his childhood he had many opportunities to regularly accompany
his father when he would go to attend kirtana and pravachan assemblies.
In February of 1947 he had his first meeting with his Gurudeva in Sri
Navadvipa Dhama, West Bengal. He had traveled there from his village after
meeting a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura named Srila
Narottamananda Brahmacari, who was touring and preaching the message of Sri
Caitanyadeva in the area. After initial discussions with this devotee, he
was convinced of the paramount position of the philosophy given by the
acaryas in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, and within days he
left home to join the mission of his spiritual master and surrender his
When he arrived in Sri Navadvipa Dhama, the annual parikrama was under
way and he joined with the group. Upon its completion on Gaura-purnima, he
was given both harinama and gayatri initiations by Srila Kesava Maharaja
and received the name Sri Gaura Narayana. Very soon afterward, his Gurudeva
also awarded him the title of Bhakta-bandhava, which means "friend of the
devotees," because he was always serving all of the Vaisnavas in a very
He traveled extensively along with Srila Kesava Maharaja on preaching
tours throughout India over the next five years, and in 1952, on
Gaura-purnima, his beloved Gurudeva awarded him initiation into the sacred
order of sannyasa. In 1954 Srila Kesava Maharaja posted him in charge of
the newly opened temple in Mathura named Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha. Srila
Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaja began to spend part of the year in Mathura
and the other part in Bengal, carrying on extensive services in both areas.
This went on over the period of the next fourteen years. He was also
appointed by Srila Kesava Maharaja as Vice-President of his institution,
the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, and Editor-in-Chief of its Hindi
publications and the monthly magazine Sri Bhagavat Patrika. In 1968 Srila
Kesava Maharaja passed from this world, and Srila Narayan Maharaja
performed all the necessary ceremonial rituals for his samadhi burial.
During this time period, as a humble servitor of the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta
Samiti, Srila Narayan Maharaja began to organize the annual Karttika Vraja
Mandala Parikrama, which he continues to carry on up to the present day.
Srila Narayan Maharaja was requested by his Gurudeva to translate the books
of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura from Bengali into his native language, Hindi.
He has carried out this request by translating some of the Thakura's most
prominent books, such as Jaiva Dharma, Caitanya-siksamrta,
Bhakti-tattva-viveka, Vaisnava-siddhanta-mala, to name only a few. All
these books are also presently being translated into English by his
followers. He also continues to lecture in Hindi, Bengali and English
throughout India. All of his discourses are tape-recorded and are gradually
being transcribed as well as translated into English for publication.
A significant relationship in the life of Srila Narayan Maharaja was his
association with His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja
Prabhupada, the world-famous preacher of Gaudiya Vaisnavism and
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. They
first met in Calcutta in 1948 on the occasion of the inauguration of a new
branch of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti (co-founded by Srila Bhaktivedanta
Svami Maharaja) on Ghosh Para Lane, where they had both come to render
their services. Their association continued a few years later when Srila
Narayan Maharaja accompanied Srila Kesava Maharaja to Jhansi where Srila
Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja had been attempting to start a Vaisnava
society named The League of Devotees. A few years later in the early 50's,
Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja came to reside at Mathura in Sri
Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, by invitation of his godbrother, Srila Kesava
Maharaja, where he stayed for some months. By having regular devotional
exchanges with him and deep discussions of Vaisnava siddhanta, Srila
Narayan Maharaja developed a very intimate relationship with him during
this time period, regarding him both as his senior and superior, as well as
In 1959 Srila Kesava Gosvami Maharaja initiated him into the sacred
sannyasa order, giving him the sannyasi name and title Sri Srimad
Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. The ceremony of Vedic fire yajna and all the
rituals were performed by Srila Narayan Maharaja.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was already residing in Vrndavana
during this period, first at the Vamsi Gopala Mandira and a few years later
at the Sri Sri Radha Damodara Mandira. Srila Narayan Maharaja would often
go there to visit with him. He would cook for him, honor the prasada with
him, and have intimate discussions on Vaisnava philosophy.
When Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja went to preach in the West, and
succeeded in starting the first Radha Krsna temple in America, Srila
Narayan Maharaja sent the first mrdanga drums and karatalas to him to be
used for sankirtana. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja maintained regular
correspondence every month or two with Srila Kesava Maharaja and Srila
Narayan Maharaja up until 1968 when Srila Kesava Maharaja entered
nitya-lila. And after that, he continued to write Srila Narayan Maharaja
until his own divine departure.
Toward the end of his life, he personally requested Srila Narayan
Maharaja several times to kindly give his association to his Western
disciples and help them to understand the deep truths of the Vaisnava
philosophy in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada. Srila Narayan
Maharaja humbly agreed to honor his request, considering him to be one of
his worshipable siksa gurus. He also requested Srila Narayan Maharaja to
take complete charge of performing all the rituals for his samadhi burial
after his departure. Both of these requests by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami
Maharaja clearly demonstrated the firm and utter confidence that he held in
Srila Narayan Maharaja.
For a period spanning over two decades since his departure in November
1977, Srila Narayan Maharaja has unwaveringly been carrying out this final
request by providing insightful guidance and loving shelter to all who come
to him seeking such, and through the medium of his English books he is now
giving his purifying association and divine realizations to sincere
searchers of truth all over the globe.
For half a century Srila Narayan Maharaja has demonstrated and
exemplified the pure, unadulterated life of utter dedication and loving
service to his Gurudeva, Sriman Mahaprabhu, and the Divine Couple,
Yugala-kisora, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. Srila Narayan Maharaja, as Their
intimate servitor, continues to illuminate the path for those who wish to
discover and dive deep into the ecstatic ocean of radha-dasyam, service to
the radiantly beautiful lotus feet of Sri Krsna's dearly beloved, Srimati
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