Excerpt from Kuladananda Brahmacari’s Sat Guru Sanga, a biography of Vijay Krishna Goswami
Sometimes Sādhu bābā is proclaimed to be a reincarnation of Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī, but I do not agree. There were many similarities but also many differences between the two famous descendants of Advaita Acarya. Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī practiced and preached Homa, Gāyatri Japa, prāṇāyāma nāma (chanting the holy name combined with breath-regulation, which Bābā occasionally preached too) and Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī‘s favorite books were Mahābhārat and Guru Granth Sahib. In this also my Bābā was very different. Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī showed no inclination towards rāgānugā bhakti, while Sādhu Bābā practiced and preached this. Sādhu Bābā was less ecumenical too. Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī accepted many Gurus and ashrams. Nonetheless Bābā admired Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī and often spoke about him. This is from Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī’s disciple Kuladānanda Brahmacārī’s original Bengali Sat-guru Sanga-books. Though not all stories from the books are equally interesting or agreeable to me, still there are some extraordinary stories which I would like to quote here -
In the first volume of Sat Guru Sanga it is described that once Goswāmījī became terminally ill, and his disciples saw four ancient mahāpuruṣas in subtle bodies standing on each side of his bed – some were shaven up and others had full beards and jaṭās (matted locks), some had śyāma complexions and others had brightly golden complexions. Sometimes they were manifest, sometimes they disappeared. Some of those present saw them as bad omens and became very much afraid while others felt relieved, thinking them to be representatives of a mahātmā. Goswāmījī then lost consciousness and his pulse stopped. Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Bābu picked up an Ekatāra and began to sing the glories of the Lord. Suddenly Goswāmījī regained consciousness and jumped up, shouting ‘Haribol! Haribol!’ He then began to jump and run around. The delighted disciples, who were fully surrendered to Guru, then began to praise the Lord, saying ‘Bol Haribol’ and so. The doctors were astonished and acknowledged that their medical scriptures did not reach up to such solutions.
Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī’s eccentric disciple Śrīdhar saw some boys playing on the āsan of Swāmiji (Hari-mohan Chauduri, a sannyāsa-disciple of Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī’s). They complained to him “We were having so much fun at Girirāj! Now nobody gives us bath and food! Someone put us back!” The boys were incarnations of the Govardhan shilas Swāmiji had secretly taken from mount Govardhan. When Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī heard this he ordered Swāmiji to bring the 12 shilās back.
Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī – “You should not easily believe someone or have faith in someone, and once you have faith in someone you should not so quickly give up such faith. Look at Rāmakrishna Paramahamsa - he was illiterate but great jñānis came and took shelter of him.”
Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī condemned some bābājīs’ practise of living with women, after a young brahmin widow came to him complaining that bābājīs harrassed her and told her to 'take bhek (bābājī-sannyāsa) and become their concubine, otherwise it is no use living in Vrindāvan'. Bhekh was considered the gateway to illicit behavior. Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī told her “Wicked persons are trying to destroy you. No śāstra says you cannot do yugal upāsana without cohabiting with a man illicitly”.
Bhagavān protects chaste women:
1. A young woman was on pilgrimage and was assaulted at night by a powerful sannyāsī. As he threw her on the ground she cried out for Mā Jagadambā and a tiger came and killed the 'sādhu'. The villagers saw the dead body in the morning and said there were never tigers in the village. Jagadambā had protected her (the tiger is the vehicle of Durgā-devī).
2. A woman was on pilgrimage with her husband who was addicted to opium. At one point he ran out of opium and was about to die of withdrawal symptoms. He asked his wife to go look for opium. She found a big crazy addict who had the stuff but he would only give it if she had sex with him. She did not want to do it but her husband was about to die so finally she fell at the man's feet and told him he could do with her whatever he wanted. Her chastity was so strong that the man had a change of heart and fell at the Satī's feet begging her forgiveness, giving her the opium while himself giving up all drugs. When the wife returned to her husband he threw the opium away and repented 'Alas, my wife is so chaste! I will give up drugs now!”
Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī says – “Just as a heap of garbage is burned gradually by making a fire under it, all karma is gradually burned by doing Guru bhakti. Guru-śakti does its works.”
“No two things are the same in God's kingdom. If everything was the same there's no beauty in creation. A garden is beautiful if there's a variety of flowers, not if all flowers are same. If mankind can see this, all contradictions will flee and as long as they don’t there is trouble.”
Q - Should one take revenge against atrocities?
Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī - Rām Rām! Never! One should tolerate and forgive everything, and leave it to God. He will punish the miscreants for sure. One of Rāmakrsna Paramahamsa’s disciples had done Nirjalā Ekādaśī on the Ākāśa Gangā-mountain in Gayā, and on Dvādaśī he was very hungry. He needed just some water and a bātās (small hollow sweet) to break the fast so he begged it from a shop. Because he repeated his plea a few times the son of the shopkeeper got angry and beat him up with a stick. He was so weak from fasting that he fell on the street helpless. He went to tell his Guru. When they came back to the shop they found that the boy had been bitten by a snake for assaulting an innocent sādhu. Rāmakrsna Paramahamsa took him down the mountain to show him that the culprit had already been punished by Ramji.
Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī on sāra grahana, taking the essence like a swan –
“There was a sādhu who started living with a woman and was thus thrown out of the samāj (society of sādhus), but Gaurakiśora Śiromani (a leading Vaiṣṇava at the time, not to be confused with Gaurakiśora dās Bābājī) invited him for a feast and seated him in a line with the sādhu sannyāsīs. The sādhus protested 'He is a great sinner, we will not sit with him!' Gaurakiśora Śiromani said 'This saint came here to offer his blessings to us all. He is far greater than me'. He then proceeded by telling all the sādhus of the sins he had committed before he became a devotee. The sādhus blocked their ears and said: “Prabhu, stop stop!” And accepted the fallen Bābā in their midst in the line.”
Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī said that during Kumbha-mela amidst one lakh sādhus only 3 were realized.
Kuladānanda said – “I experience the senses get wilder the more I try to control them.”
Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī – “Yes, just before his final defeat the enemy gets more ferocious than ever before. This is a hard stage in which your faith is attacked and you must take full shelter of nāma gotten from Guru.”
Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī gave brāhmacarya-vows per year to his disciples, extendable after one year. Each śiṣya took a vow of 1 year brāhmacarya at a time. Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī gave many tips for celibacy -
Don't eat sweets or too much dairy, too salty or spicy food or condensed milk.
Don’t wear others’ clothes.
Don’t lend your clothes to others.
Don’t sleep in others' beds.
Goswāmījī considered celibacy to be crucial for sādhana and said that svapna doṣa (nocturnal emission) can be avoided by sitting on an āsana for 2 hours straight doing harināma japa. Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī taught – “As long as there is a mind, there will be man-woman attraction. Even great souls fall down, and it may take a long time before this happens. Desires can manifest even shortly before death. Nothing is certain, right until the moment of death.”
Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī’s dāughter Śānti Sudhā had a son named Dāuji. Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī loved his grandson, putting flowers on his head and bowing down to him, saying jay dāuji! jay baladev mahārāj! Dāuji could not speak yet, but when he heard the mrdanga and karatalas of kīrtan he became stunned. Only by chanting hare kṛṣṇa in his ears would he regain consciousness. Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī said Dāuji remembers his last life and all 84 āsanas he practised then. Dāuji was a reincarnation of a Dāuji deity Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī had installed in Vrindavan in Dāmodar Pujārī's kuñja. Bijoy Kṛṣṇa Goswāmī understood that because the child did not resemble his father or mother at all. He said he would lose his jāti smara (remembrance of past life) as soon as he learned speaking. In his last life Dāuji was a renunciant who criticized his Guru and chastised him for being too friendly with a woman. Though he was a siddha puruṣa, for this aparādha he had to take another birth, his Guru thought that better for him.
The mystical crow named Bhusundi was sceptical if Rāma was param brahman. Rāma dropped some food for him on the ground and Bhusundi flew from his hand to the ground to pick it up. Rāma stretched His hand out and Bhusundi got scared so he flew away but Rāma's hand pursued him throughout the cosmos. He could not escape anywhere so he flew back to King Daśarath's yard and into Rāma's mouth where he saw all the universes floating, and hundreds of Rāmas performing Their pastimes in each universe. He flew back out but still his doubt was not fully gone. Rāma then showed him he was advaya brahma (the non-dual Absolute Truth) and saguna bhagaval-līlā tattva (the Personality of Godhead performing so many pastimes).