California, USA — October 18th, 2011

Sripad Jajavar Maharaj

Today is the disappearance day of Sripad Bhakti Vichar Jajavar Maharaj, the last sannyasi disciple of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.

When I wrote the You go, girl! blog to encourage Vishaka Devi Dasi (then the young Damayanti) to go to Navadwip to serve Srila Gurudeva, using the example of the young brahmachari who was discouraged by friends and family from accepting sannyas but was eventually persuaded by Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's forceful argument,

"Why are you frightened? It is this world that is a fearful place! All fear is confined here in this plane, but you are going to take shelter above this area of fear. You are going to take shelter in the abhaya pada, the fearless Holy Feet. You are going to enter into the fearless area; you are going to connect with the fearless world. Where is the fear? Fear is in this world, so do not have any apprehension..."

I didn't realize that the brahmachari was Sripad Jajavar Maharaj (or that he was the last sannyasi initiated by Srila Saraswati Thakur before his disappearance).

I was fortunate to meet Sripad Jajavar Maharaj when I went to Navadwip for Srila Guru Maharaj's Vyasa Puja in October 1983. On most mornings, after the darshan on Srila Guru Maharaj's veranda, I used to see him sitting on a chair on the veranda below Srila Guru Maharaj's room (where the main office is now) chanting on his japa mala in the warm sun, and would offer my obeisance to him.

He would often ask who I was (he was a little shortsighted) and sometimes, if I was a disciple of Srila Guru Maharaj. When I replied in the affirmative, he would nod approvingly. That was about the extent of our interaction, but I remember it fondly.

And now, after the disppearance of Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Gurudeva's abrupt departure, Srila Narottama Das Thakur's lament,

ye anilo prema-dhana koruna pracur
heno prabhu kotha gela acarya-thakur

Where did all the great Vaishnavas suddenly go?

becomes so much more poignant...

Tags: Gurus & Guardians


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