Special Class for disciples and well wishers of HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja.
We can read or hear something from Srila Prabhupad Lilaamrita, but I have not prepared for that, either from Ocean of Mercy by Srila Bhakti Charu Maharaja we can read but was not prepared , so my address is for all disciples of HH Bhakti Charu Maharaja and my disciples are also hearing and many others will also be hearing. This address has already started or maybe you will be thinking why Maharaja ji is not saying anything, Maharaja ji is only singing, Maharaja has to address us, so what we have sung was also an address. Me along with you all were praying to Lord Krsna, and to all we were praying to Radha Krsna, Radha Govind, Radha Madan Mohan, Radha Madhav, Sri Sri Pancha Tatva, Prahlad Narsimha, the acharya’s of our Parampara, we all were praying to all while we were singing, or while kirtan was going on because these prayers are powerful, prayers are powerful.
Doctors are also taking Care of Maharaja, he is in good hands. American doctors and Hare Krsna Doctors whole team is taking medical care of Maharaja. But our faith, Hare Krsna devotees faith and even my faith is not only in medical care, but we know that prayers are also essential. Doctors care and devotees prayer will take care, will cure . And as we all are praying and we are seeing that there is improvement in the health of Maharaja. Thank you Lord Narsimha, Madan Mohan or Srila Prabhupad, that they are bringing improvement , but we wish complete recovery. With full patience , good medical care and with prayers we must continue. We want Karuna, Krauna of Lord, Corona is not free to do whatever it want, Corona 19 is in the hand Lord, who said that
mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa caracaram (BG 9.10)
So Lord is in command, and it will happen in the way that Lord’s want. Thy will be done, it is written in Bible. Things will work as the Lord Krsna wants them to work. So we would like that Krsna’s Karuna defeat Corona virus. So let us keep praying, crying for mercy. We want Bhakti Charu Maharaja’s good health. We want him back with full revival or with good health and power. We want our Bhakti Charu Maharaja back in action.
So when two days ago, approximately same time, I was addressing the devotees. Daily we do Japa and Japa talk, devotees from all over the world join it. So when Japa talk was going on, I was given a news, and when I read it that it was about the health status of Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja, So as I read and announced that Maharaja ji is Corona Positive, Maharaja ji is suffering from Corona then I couldn’t talk any further. All the talk was stopped there. Then we started the prayers , we started the kirtan. So this news was unexpected and undesirable. So this news brought a shock wave in the whole world and whole ISKCON was worried with this news and we all started praying. That day, the day before yesterday was very difficult for me to digest this news. It became very difficult to concentrate on my services, on my sevas, as I was continuously thinking and worrying about Bhakti Charu Maharaja. While honouring prasadam I was hearing the of Bhakti Charu Maharaja. Srila Prabhupad, the founder Acharya , One seminar of Maharaja is World famous, I heard that and also I was hearing other preaching. So I was in touch with Maharaja and was also praying. Then I thought that everyone should pray and everyone is praying also. I was also thinking to form a forum for praying. So Ujjain devotees, disciples and ISKCON Harinaam Ministry together form a prayer “Kirtan fest globe was formed, who was praying for the health of Bhakti Charu Maharaja for his GET WELL SOON. This continuous Kirtan fest will continue for one week, and it will be open for 24 hours a day, and you all are welcome to participate in that global prayer for 7 days and 7 nights and many ISKCON leaders, Kavichandra Maharaja are going to sing today and many more, I don’t have full report, Eklayva prabhu is coordinating that global Kirtan Festival in form of a prayer so that Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja’s health condition will become better.
Few days ago, before going to America, Maharaja was in Ujjain. Almost 2 months Maharaja stayed there. And not only Maharaja stayed there, he showered so much mercy on the people of the whole world, Bhakti Charu Maharaja’s mercy. Everyday Maharaja was giving lectures in Bengali, in English, Bhagvat lecture and so many lectures. I was reading reports of his lectures. It was amazing. How engaged he was. Others were also doing, I was also doing but we didn’t do lectures and kirtans to that extent how much Srila Bhakti Charu Maharaja did inl one two months. And it was being released and broadcasted globally.
So one day before departing for America,Maharaja phoned me, I was surprised and pleased also when I got his phone. There is one documentary, lost village documentary, you must have heard or seen. So Maharaja had some free time due to lockdown so he saw that documentary, lost village, documentary related to my birth place, whose hero was I, myself. So Maharaja became so happy after watching that documentary that he called me and said, “I have to share this with you, I got to know you more”. He saw the documentary and was happy and impressed by it. Whatever environment or situation Coronavirus has created, Maharaja was telling the solution for this is natural living, simple living of the village, the way the villagers live. He saw all this in lost village documentary, it should be like this, we must promote this.
We had two days meetings, bureau meetings on conference, zoom meeting. So I was two days with Maharaja also with others, so we had a nice meeting. Bhakti Charu Maharaja made so many nice contributions during those meetings and then we were surprised that Maharaja reached America and then Coronavirus positive.
So, Disciples of Bhakti Charu Maharaja you are not alone, I am also with you. I was thinking Bhakti Charu Maharaja is Srila Prabhupada’s Bhakti Charu Maharaja, before becoming your Bhakti Charu Maharaja first he was Srila Prabhupada’s Bhakti Charu Maharaja and also my Bhakti Charu Maharaja. So Bhakti Charu Maharaja’s God brothers also have rights over Bhakti Charu Maharaja. Disciples should not make the exclusive claim that he is ours, no no he is your but also ours, his god brothers and God sisters. Bhakti Charu Maharaja is everyone’s, he has such a character, personality. He is dear to all the ISKCON devotees worldwide. Everyone likes and loves him, me too, I also love and like Bhakti Charu Maharaja so much. He is my brother and I thank Srila Prabhupada for giving us, giving me a god brother like Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja. And I am sure you are thanking or you should be thanking, if you have not thanked already for giving you Bhakti Charu Maharaja as your spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada gave you. Thank God, thank Guru, Gauraga. We are very thankful to specially Srila Prabhupada.
I think he is one of the last one who met Srila Prabhupada. Other disciplines were meeting and joining ISKCON in 1965, 1966, giving contributions to Srila Prabhupada. I also joined in 1971, 1972 but Bhakti Charu Maharaja joined in 1977, but it didn’t matter anyway.
How much association Bhakti Charu Maharaja got of Srila Prabhupada, very few out of thousands of Prabhupada’s disciples got, most of the disciples were bereft of Srila Prabhupada’s association. But as soon as Srila Bhakti Charu Maharaja came in contact with Srila Prabhupada, it was Kumbh mela of 1977, I was also there. In 1977’s January month, before that Bhakti Charu Maharaja was in ISKCON Kolkata and after that he went to Mayapur and from there he started his seva, Abhavanand prabhu brought him to Kumbh mela.
Bhakti Charu Maharaja eagerly wanted to meet Srila Prabhupad. Both of them Bhakti Charu Maharaja and Srila Prabhupad met in January. So, from January to 14th November, till post nitya-lila of Srila Prabhupad, Bhakti Charu Maharaja became the councilor of Srila Prabhupad. He was like the shadow of Srila Prabhupad; just like shadow follows us wherever we go, he followed Srila Prabhupad. Srila Prabhupad kept Bhakti Charu Maharaja next to him. There was a strong, close and dense connection between Bhakti Charu Maharaja and Srila Prabhupad. It was a very intimate relationship and dealings. Just in a year, Srila Prabhupad gave him first initiation, second initiation, and Sannyasa initiation. Haribol! That is why also Bhakti Charu Maharaja wrote the book Ocean of Mercy which describes Prabhupad’s mercy as ocean of mercy. Bhakti Charu Maharaja wrote his experiences with Srila Prabhupad like the rainfall of Prabhupad’s mercy or vision on him. He was the secretary of Srila Prabhupad, Prabhupad gave him transcription seva, letter writing in Bangla language. He was secretary of services, serving, cooking also, he was very good cook, there were some Bengali items which only Bhakti Charu Maharaja could cook. Hari Hari.
Prabhupad was in Vrindavan those days. After that, Prabhupad went to Hrishikesh and he took Bhakti Charu Maharaja along with him. He was with Prabhupad in the last days of Srila Prabhupad on the planet for personal care. OfcourseTamalkrishna Maharaja, Bhagvananda Maharaja were also there. In coordination with these Maharajas’ he was also serving. He served a lot. Prabhupad wanted to do the Vrindavan yatra and Govardhan yatra on a bullock cart. So, I got that seva of arranging and decorating the bullock cart. Prabhupad wanted to go to Vrindavan yatra but at that time some devotees were worried about Prabhupad’s health, how can he go on a bullock cart in this condition? Bhakti Charu Maharaja was one of those devotees. When he expressed his disquietness or worries in front of Srila Prabhupad, at that time one of the God brothers of Srila Prabhupad from Gaudiya math was also present; Prabhupad said, “See how much they love me”. All those who were requesting that Srila Prabhupad may face many difficulties while travelling on a bullock cart said, “Please do not go, do not go at this time”. In this way when Bhakti Charu Maharaja and other devotees were requesting, Prabhupad said “see how much they have love for me”. Srila Prabhupad himself expressed how much Bhakti Charu Maharaja loved him by saying, “see how much they have love for me.” So, Bhakti Charu Maharaja loved Srila Prabhupad and Srila Prabhupad loved Bhakti Charu Maharaja. Srila Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja ki Jai.
So, there are endless qualities of Bhakti Charu Maharaja. Who can describe the life and teachings of Bhakti Charu Maharaja? We used to call him, “He is Prabhupada man, he is Prabhupada man”. Who is he associated with? He is Prabhupada man. Bhakti Charu Maharaja is Prabhupada man; so much Prabhupada conscious and so much dedication. During the celebration of SrilaPrabhupad’s 100th birth anniversary, centennial, many disciples served him in several ways, dedicated their offerings, increased and expanded the greatness of Srila Prabhupad. At that time, Bhakti Charu Maharaja translated all the books by Prabhupad in Bangla language, every single book. Haribol! All the translation seva, he was making sure it is getting done or he was doing himself. He connected all the Bangla speaking men to Prabhupad’s teachings. Abhay Charan biography, you all must have seen, so this was Bhakti Charu Maharaja’s brainchild, this was all the concept of Bhakti Charu Maharaja. He prepared a movie, documentary based on the life of Srila Prabhupad named “Abhay Charan” which was then translated and into many languages along with subtitles. So that was quite a monumental herculean task making a long documentary of many many episodes based on the life of Srila Prabhupad. In the documentary, he covered the entire life of Prabhupada. When devotees conferred their shradhanjali to Srila Prabhupad on Prabhupad’s 100th birth anniversary, BhakiCharu Maharaja’s contribution is outstanding. As far as construction of a temple is concerned, I think this is first in ISKCON, Bhakti Charu Maharaja constructed a temple in Ujjain in just one year. Haribol… And we usually see the upbuilding of a temple takes 10 years, 20 years, 5 years, so many years, but Bhakti Charu Maharaja established a record; within one year. He invited all the Governing Body Commissioners along with so many other VIPs and other disciples like you all, I was also present there. It was the grand opening of ISKCON Ujjain temple, Radha Madanmohan temple, Krishna Balaram temple, Sandipani Muni temple.
I just remember one more thing, it might be during the 80’s. I had been to Kolkata and at that time, Bhakti Charu Maharaja was in-charge of BBT. He used to stay a few miles away from the temple. When I went to Kolkata, I stayed with Bhakti Charu Maharaja. The way Maharaja welcomed us, our hospitality, our lodging and boarding and eating prasadam, the arrangement and organization was very good. I was really impressed. Maharaja has also been cultural minister of ISKCON at some time; Gaudiya Vaishnav Sankriti. So, he is himself cultured. There exist many well-educated, but all the well-educated are not always well-cultured. They are highly educated but rarely well behaved. So, Maharaja is exemplary; Vaishnava etiquette. I think, 20 to 25 years ago in Vrindavan, as part of VIHE, Maharaja delivered a course – Vaishnav etiquette. This course which was delivered by Maharaja is followed today also. When any devotee conducts a course of Vaishnava etiquettes, they always take references from Bhakti Charu Maharaja. The syllabus is framed from his contents. Bhakti Charu Maharaja has taught the Vaishnava etiquettes to the entire world. He is a gentleman. Someone asked Prabhupada, “ How are your disciples going to be recognised?”. Prabhupada said in one word or few words, “as gentlemen”. So Bhakti Charu Maharaja is a Gentleman.
I forgot to tell, when I was in Kolkata for a few days with him, Maharaja made chinese noodles for me. Before that I had no clue what is even noodles, maybe when Maharaja was with Tamal Krishna Maharaja in Hong Kong then might have learnt it from somewhere. So he made noodles for me, we can’t eat noodles with a spoon or hand, we have to eat it with it’s sticks. There is a method to eat it so he also taught me how to eat it, pick it.
Whenever there are Mayapur meetings, Bhakti Charu Maharaja makes sure, Tamal Krishna Maharaja also used to do this in Vrindavan I remember. Everyday he used to call his God brother and God sisters to his room for lunch, for every batch special feast, theii favorite items, so I also got this opportunity many times. He is a good cook, so he makes menu, overseas cooking. At the time of serving also there is a method, a procedure, which item first then next, then next, this Bhakti Charu Maharaja only knows, I don’t know in which order item is to be served first or eaten first. He has perfected that art and science.
Maharaja is quite gifted. He is one of the big fundraisers in ISKCON. Amongst the leaders, Bhakti Charu Maharaja is the leading fundraiser within ISKCON and he collects millions of dollars, not millions of rupees. He also of course is very generous, generously donates. At one time GBCs didn’t have a good conference hall, Bhakti Charu Maharaja donated for the entire GBC conference hall, Bhakti Charu Maharaja spent all the money for it. That’s only one thing there are so many others. He raises funds and of course built Ujjain temple by fundraising and also his many other projects. He is into cow protection, cow and bull protection. He has bought a farm in Florida, America where he is establishing a Cow protection project. Right now the place where Maharaja is, nearby there is a hospital Deland, Deland there is Maharaja Headquarter, very grand, transcendental. I visited it last year when I was in America, Maharaja insisted me to come and meet him. So I spent little time with Maharaja. Now where Maharaja went, from India to America is the same place where I met Maharaja last year. So it was a very short and sweet visit. He offered me food to eat again and then I asked from Maharaja, we all are getting old, I also and Maharaja also, so what new are you doing in this old age, something new? Then he said,” I want to eat less in this old age”, so it was a lesson for me from that day I am also thinking about it, I should also do this. I wanted to learn something from Maharaja, I want to eat less.
Maharaja is gifted in so many ways. Maharaja’s memory is amazing, he remembers so many things, say Leela or sloka. When Maharaja gives lectures he speaks Slokas of Brahma Samhita, I remember only some. When I hear him, he remembers so many, so many verses.
At the time of appearance day of Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Thakur in Mayapur if Mangala Charan has to be spoken then Bhakti Charu Maharaja only manages it, all Acharyas pranam mantra Srila Bhakti Siddhant, Bhaktivinoda, Jagannath babaji. If I have to say, then first I have to keep a book in front, see and read, see and read but for Maharaja it’s very simple, he just remembers. So many bhajans, so many ashtakam Maharaja knows by heart, Radhika ashtak, very big and difficult verses and sanskrit is also very difficult and so its pronunciation. I remember during old Mayapur festivals, Maharaja used to sing new ashtaks, Maharaja used to sing them very simply and successfully. After hearing it, i also know some pronunciation but Maharaja’s pronunciation and remembrance.
Maharaja is a big scholar and he travels and preaches in the whole world for the whole year. In advanced age, I think Maharaja is 76, he is much more advanced than me and not only advanced by age (Vayo Vriddha) but also advanced in knowledge (Jnana Vriddha). After hearing the knowledgeable talks of Maharaja I am amazed, I am just surprised and impressed. Then I get inspiration, I can also do something like this, sing like this, say like this, slokas, mantras. Maharaja is Vayo Vriddha and also Jnana Vriddha, which is much more important. For being Vayo Vriddha you have not to do anything, just don’t die, you will become Vayo Vriddha. But for being Jnana Vriddha you need endeavour and effort, you need not do anything for being Vayo Vriddha, just don’t die.
Maharaja travels around and gives seminars on so many topics. He also takes good care of his disciples. So whichever country he goes to, he organises a three days seminar on a topic for his disciples and also for other devotees. If he goes to Mauritius then one topic, South Africa another topic, America this topic, England that topic. So Maharaja has disciples all over the planet, globe and to nourish them, to cater to their needs Maharaja goes to so and so country to give them his association and keep giving seminars.
Whole ISKCON is hearing his teachings, seminars, and kirtans. His bengali bhajan are very famous, nowadays Maharaja is singing hindi bhajan also, from the day he reached Ujjain, it’s a hindi belt. So Maharaja is speaking in hindi and singing hindi bhajans but his bangla bhajans are very famous because bangla is his, ‘Amar sonar bangla’, this language is very sweet. A survey was conducted some years ago and there was a declaration that the sweetest language amongst the whole world is bengali, bangla. It was the mother tongue of Srila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sachi mata. Sachi mata used to speak not in english, not in hindi but in mother tongue, bangla. The mother tongue of Gauranga is bengali, Srila Prabhupad had the same language and also Bhakti Charu Maharaja’s language was bengali. This is a special benefit, it’s very beneficial to have bangla language as your mother tongue especially if you are Gaudiya vaishnava because most of our Gaudiya literatures are in bangla, tikas of our acharyas. So Maharaja is very fortunate, because of having bangla language as his mother tongue he has access to all this treasure of jnana. He also sings in bangla, his sweet songs, there are so many CDs. Srila Prabhupada’s Gitar Gan, do you know what Gitar Gan is? Prabhupada wrote bhagavad gita in bengali, Sanskrit sloka to bengali, called payaar and this was named Gitar Gan, it was very famous. He wrote Bhagavad gita as it is later, whole translation, but every sanskrit sloka Dharmakshetre kurukshetre we wrote in bagla in a poetic way, whole bhagavad gita and it’s name is Gitar Gan. Bhakti Charu Maharj arranged a best bengali singer, so with music he sang it, Sangeetmaya Gitar Gan, it’s very famous in bengal. So the seva of making Prabhupada’s Gitar gan to Sangeetmaya Gitar Gan was done by Maharaja.
In his Vyasa Puja also, he is Prabhupad’s man so it is given the name ‘Prabhupada Memorial Festival’. It is not promoted as Vyasa Puja Memorial Festival but as Prabhupada’s Memorial Festival. And also his birth is around that time when Prabhupada reached America. So I was given an opportunity, I was in Surat for one year and Durban, South Africa one year with him, may be somewhere else also but these two places I remember, I attended those memorial festivals and got his association on his birthday.
I pay obeisance to the lotus feet of Bhakti Charu Maharaja,
kripa-sindhubhya eva cha
vaishnavebhyo namo namaha
at Radha madhav pancha tatva and Lord Narsingh Bhagwan lotus feet we pray that such Bhakti Caru Maharajaa whom I tried to glorify in some broken words. I tried to sing his glories just for my own purification.so Bhakti Caru Maharajaa is everyone’s. I spoke in relation to my Bhakti Caru Swami Maharaja. I am sure if a microphone is given to you you will definitely be able to speak something about your Bhakti Caru Maharaja. So whoever you are wherever you are. If you are a disciple of course you are very special. you have special relation with Bhakti Caru Maharajaa. we have to keep Maharajaa in our prayers. Remember the global kirtana festival is going on 24 hours it’s going on. on behalf of yourself or your temple or your bhakti vrusha or Namah ata or on behalf of different groups of disciples can perform kirtana. iskcon harinama ministry which is established it’s also called kirtana ministry it coordinates global kirtana festival as a prayer to the Lord of course so that Bhakti Caru Maharajaa recovers fast. so get well soon. with these thoughts you can take part in the kirtana festival. and otherwise also keep praying that what we can do rest is the will of the Lord. we can at least appeal to the Lord we can pray to Him. So let us continue our prayers.
His holiness Bhakti Caru Maharaja ki ..jai
Srila Prabhupada ki..Jai
Narsingh Bhagwan ki..jai