Sripad Mahendraji, was the most beloved and intimate associate of Sri Sri Bandhusundar. In the Bengali year of 1323, he founded ‘the Mahanam sect’ with eight denunciated brahmachari youth members.
The great incarnation Prabhu Jagatbandhu Sundar, Lila combination of Sri Nitai-Gour and god for the wretched and downtrodden; became the resident deity of Mahanam sect. The philosophy of Achintovedaved, as defined by Sriman Mahaprabhu’s loving goswami- sixtets along with twatta or ontology of this New Incarnation of Sri Hari, is the core philosophy of Mahanam sect.
He was well connected to the-then eminent personalities, like Mahatma Gandhi, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, etc. Sripad Mahendraji was the combination of lover, poet, dearest ascetic of Braja and a man of strong personality. At the very first sight and introduction he could endear any person, specially young boys and youths, by his strong and mesmerizing power.
He prepared in his own hand, the second Acharya of the sect ‘Bhagabad-Gangotri’ Sriman Mahanambrata Brahmachariji who later became a world renowned Philosopher – Saint. In the language of Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari —
‘There was no doubt that Sripad Mahendraji was a man from Braja. Quoted below is a portion from a poem as written by Sripad, while describing his own Identity:-
“Gokuley Basati, Krishna Pati / Aviri Rupasi Ami ”
In another Poem he described his own self as –
“Lolita-Swafup-Milito-Anga Bandhur Seba Lagi.”
Sripad Mahendraji’s absorbedness in the services to Bandhusundar – in his Divine-Pastime of Mahauddharan, was equivalent to Lalita’s services at Braja or Swarup’s services ast Neelachal.’
In the biography of Sripad Mahendraji (Mahendra Lilamrita) Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari has mentioned (towards end of chapter ‘Kripar Dhara’) that Mahendraji directly revealed to him these three Identities of his.
AKHANDA MANDALAKARAM BAYPTAM JENA CHARACHARAM,
TATAPADANG DARSHITANG JENA TASHMAI SRI GURAVEH NAMAH.
Through this hymn of paying obeisance to the mentor, the identity of my mentor is perfectly manifest. Salute the mentor, who shows us the Lotus-Feet of that undivided, globular, all pervading entity of this whole universe. This philosophical knowledge about the mentor ought to be well-known to those who practice ascetic austerities. How it has manifested in whose lives are best known to those concerned only. To day I would reveal here the real identity of my mentor as it unfolded in this small life of such an unworthy person like me! I don’t remember whether I have talked about this earlier to anybody and anywhere. I shall talk about it today only as this book is an abridged version of the divine activities of my respected mentor. I am obliged to pen-down an introductory note for this book and right now I am on that job only! I would like to utilize this opportunity to unfold an incident that was enacted on the first set of the very fast act of my like-drama, just forty five years ago! This I have recollected regularly on number of occasions and now I would take the advantage of giving it a shape in literary form.
It was the month of Baisakh, 1326 Bengali era. I just crossed over to fifteen years from fourteen. We three youths, went to Faridpur from Barishal, virtually running all the way! All three of us were school students. We fled from school as well as from our homes. Asutosh Dasgupta and Rajendranath Dasgupta, were my companions. Ashu was fondly called as Sonai, while Rajendra was nicknamed as Maharaj. Both of them were senor to me in age. Hence it would be proper to identity myself as their companion, instead of the other way. Maharaj was the first guide in my life. When I was of the age of 12 years, then I dreamt of an exquisite angel idol. After a few days of that dream Maharaj called me. He showed me the divine idol of Sri Sri Prabhu Jagatbandhu Sundar and asked whether it matched with the deity as seen in my dream or not! I was overwhelmed to find that it was the same idol which I visualized in my dream! I was further astonished to think that how could Maharaj came to know about my dream? Even today, I don’t know as to how he learnt about it. Maharaj was about 17 / 18 years old. At that age never could I find such a youth intently devoted to truth and practitioner of ascetic austerities. In my childhood, he only was my path finder. At my early age of 13 / 14, it was Maharaj only who taught all such great spiritual knowledge as to; “who am I? Where could we find the fulfillment of life? What is the eternal thing in this world? What are the transitory things etc.” He was the first to sow the seeds of other worldliness in my life. Maharaj himself was apathetic to worldly interests, as a vaishnav anchorite he was named as ‘Sankarshan Das’ by Sripad Mahendraji. Sometimes he was called as Rajen, too. Maharaj was a very favourite person to Mahendraji. Neither Sonai nor Maharaj are alive now in this world! Sonai was my class mate. One day Sonai and myself, without informing our houses, went to Mr. Rajnat Das’s house, about 15 miles away, to participate in the 24 hours kirtan. Celebration of Prabhu Jagatbandhu. Our guardians lodged complaint to the school administration. Mr. Madhusudan Sen, our Headmaster of the school, whipped me hard with cane and said – “Take a vow to not to attend ‘Kiritan’ anymore!” I said – “No Sir, I won’t go again!” Thereafter he whipped Sonai twenty times, but he never replied in negative. He only uttered “Jai Jagatbandhu’ for a few times. Being totally perplexed, The Headmaster said – “I have seen Kali’s Pralhad!” Sonai too, was moulded by Mahendraji.
I took so much of time and space to acquaint you with my two companions. I indulged in so much elaboration because both these youths were highly influenced by Sripad Mahendraji. Now, I would come back to my track, again. Around 11 or 12 noon , we three arrived at Sri Angan. There were only a few persons at Sri Angan. We approached the temple gate. It was open, and only one person was standing at the door. On asking him, Maharaj could learn that Prabhu has gone out for a stroll along the western road. We also started running west wards along the Jessor Road . After about 5 – 7 minutes walk, we could hear the sweet sounds of ‘Kiritan.’ Within no time the ‘Kirtan-Troupe’ were right in front of us. Along with the Kirtan 5 to 7 persons were carrying an easy charier on their shoulders. Bamboo poles were attached with the stands of that easy chair. There was an exquisitely beautiful, bright fair complexioned person sitting on the chair. We were full to the brim by his beauty, charm and smell. We were watching this from a distance. As they approached near by, we laid prostrate on the ground to pay obeisance. Sripad Mahendraji only lifted me up by holding my hand.
Prabhu went out like that on consecutive two days. My life was quenched at the divine vision of God. But a strong desire to touch him, started growing within. Next day in the morning, we accompanied Prabhu in street-kirtan and returned. When the devotees, carrying Prabhu on easy chair, entered the temple, only with the aim of touching the divine body! An attendant devotee, named Rajweswar, got annoyed with me for my illegal entrance inside the temple. He forcefully ousted me. I entered the temple with a great desire. Due to this act of Rajweswar, I fainted while carrying vehemently. I did not recollect as to how long I was unconscious! When I regained my senses, I found myself within the Sanctum-Sanctorium of the temple. Sripad Mahendraji was seated by my side and before me, on a milky-white bed Sri Sri Bandhusundar resting supine. There was no one else. I did not know as to how was brought-in there. Later on I learnt that Mahendraji himself picked up my unconscious body on his lap and brought me there.
He wiped my eyes and caressed on my back saying:- “come, let me conduct your nuptials! Sri Hari is the only ‘Purush’ while all the living – souls are nature – the primordial female energy. The real marriage is accomplished only by the union of these two.” Though young at age, I could then understand the underlying meaning of those words. Sripad, took me by my hand and positioned me by the side of Prabhu’s bed; and ordered – “come on, put on basil leaves and sandal wood pastes on his divine feet.” Where could I find basil leaves and sandal wood? What a surprise? Right beside me, there were basil leaves and sandal-wood paste on the basil leaves, he passed it on to my hand Sripad instructed – “put it on his feet and get bonded to him forever.” Sri Sri Prabhu was lying on his sides. One foot was stretched near to me, while the other was tucked in.
The sole of his stretched foot was brilliantly red with all the marks of flags and thunder bolts. I could see them clearly as shown by him. As per instruction of Sripad, I offered basil leaves and sandal paste on the nearest foot. I had a desire to worship the other foot too; and with that wish, Prabhu stretched also the other foot! As per direction, I offered basil – leave and sandal – wood – paste on foot also. Thereafter, as per gesticulation, I took a handful of sandal-wood paste from the pot and smeared it on all the sides of the divine feet. What a charming – touch it was? All my body and mind turned insensate. A few flies were sitting on the divine body of Sri Sri Prabhu. Then a devotee fanned them out and put on the mosquito-net. Sripad hinted me to sit a bit away. Sitting a little aloof, I went on observing the radiant aura of the sacred body, while seeing this I totally forgot this mundane world.
Later on, Maharaj Rajen, after knowing everything, briefed me about the complete spiritual philosophy of Sri Hari:- “’Hari’ is the culmination of Guru, Gouranga, Gopi and Radhey – Shyam, Sri Hari Purush is the only ontological knowledge. By length and height, he is of four cubit in measurement; and being spherical in nature, he is globular also. The celestial body of Haripurush is not inanimate – a personifying (true) consciousness; condensed – blissful – consciousness. This element of consciousness is ever attached to t he whole creation, hence an all pervading entity. Sripad Mahendraji showed you, got you worshipping the sacred feet of Sri Purushottama, the absolute being; and introduced you to the pole-star of your life. You are fortunate to get such a mentor and a spiritual teacher!”
Those words of Maharaj still now jingle in my heart. I feel myself gratified. The epithet “Tatpadang darshitang jena ” has attained such a fulfillment in my life. That probably it seldom happened to many other’s lives! It seemed, as if, whatever occurred on that day was not merely an event; but a personified idol of eternal entity – expressing the true nature of the greatest preceptor’s philosophy.
There was no doubt that Sripad Mahendraji was a man from Braja. Sri Sri Bandhusundar being the combined from of the divine pastime of Braja and Gour; then his dear ones must be hailing from Braja. Goswami Acharya’s have instructed to consider Sri Gurudev as “Sent by Govinda.” My preceptor, was the most loveable among all the darlings of Govinda. Let us think in the same line as per the directive of our scriptures. Let me quote a portion from a poem as written by Sripad, while describing his own IDENTIITY:-
“Gokuley Basati Krishna Pati / Aviri Rupasi Ami / Brisha-Bhanu Nandini Kishori Bhamni / Bhalo Basita Dibajami / Swasur Nandaraj Sashuri Yashoda / Batsallayamoyee Dhanshata Annada / Adarey Tushita Shyam Nechey Jeta / Nupur Bajita Jhuwjhumi / Subaladi Saney Godhan Charato / Premey Mugdha Kanu Khaoa Fal Kheto / Rakhalera Kandhey Charita Charato / Tara Kanaier Sukhakami / Jakhon Nabani Khawato Janani / Nani Churey Dito Chatur Churamani / Ankhi Therey Mon Pran Kerey Nito / Prasad Loitum Mastak Nami.”
Another Poem he described his own self as – “Lolita-Swafup-Milito-Anga Bandhur Seba Lagi.” Sripad Mahendraji’s absorbedness in the services to Bandhusundar – in his Divine-Pastime of Mahauddharan, was equivalent to Lalita’s services at Braja or Swarup’s services ast Neelachal.
One day he said – “while cooking food for Prabhu’s consumption, it seemed to me, as if, how much can I serve? How much services can I render? These wood pieces are really fortunate to serve! They produced goods for services by burning themselves thoroughly. When can I be so fortunate to burn myself completely like a fuel-wood and dedicate to his service?”
While arranging the food for offerings, Sripad used to call Sri Sri Radharani Thakurani as ‘Didi.’ Inviting her, he used to say – “Come, please add your great divine emotions into these offerings. Bandhu Hari will not accept it unless some great-divine-emotions are mixed with these.”
I heard such charming words from his sacred mouth. My life is full of his words, emotions and thought-processes.
In his life time, Sripad Mahendraji accomplished two major activities. One was to form such a self-abnegating organization as ‘Mahanam Sampradaya’a and ‘Akhand Mahakirtan Yajna.’
Sri Sri Prabhu Jagatbandhu Sundar is at the epkentre of austerity for this sect.
“Chaitanya Leela Mrita Pur / Krshna Leela Sukarpur / Dohey Mili Hoi Sumadhurya. / Sadhu Guru Prasadey / Taha Jei Aswadey / Sei Janey Madhurya Prachurya.”
The greatest austerity practices of this sect is to savour this charming union. And to propagate this great philosophy is the life time religious austerities. “Happiness in renunciation and stoicism is our destiny” – work as guide lamp in the journey route of this sect. This sect has evolved out the austre practices of Mahendraji’s life. Let me cite an example as to how the followers of Mahanam sect looked upon Sripadji. Sripad Kunjadasji, was the Chief Assistant n this great propaganda of ‘Mahanaam.’ In a book named ‘Mahanam-mala’ he wrote its dedication note:-
“Drahey Mahen Dhara / Prem Bhakti Nahi More / Pranabandhurey Karaha Arpan.”
This is the underlying theme among each and every flower of this sect. It is the same mood as each member of Braja’s women server’s clan had towards their queen of the clan.
This great propagation attains complete fulfillment in the sacrificial – rituals of Mahakritan. Such a great propagation continued from 1322 to 1328 Bengali Era. Thereafter, on 1 st Aswin 1328 Sri Sri Prabhu entered into his last phase of mortal life. Mahendraji used to pay respect and devotion to Sriman Nabadwip Dasji as his preceptor. From him only he learned that Sri Sri Prabhu told him – “now you will find the state of thirteenth stage of life. It has three signs – beauty, childishness and total engrossness.” Listening to this message Sripad could feel in his meditation that it was the thirteenth state of Prabhu. At this state, the only savouring item was Mahanaam. ‘Mahanaam’ was the dual fruits of Mahakirtan; one was towards the internal domain, while the other was extraneous. Bandhu Sundar, under this state of ultimate stage was enjoying the charm of this ‘Maha Kirtan.’ The fulfillment of this savouring resulted in his great manifestation. This was the internal aspect, while the external aspect was – Bandhuhari had accepted the state of great-demise-stage by receiving the great catastrophic onslaught on his body. This ‘Mahakirtan’ would hinder the might of such a great catastrophe. This internally savouring self-charm, while externally controlling the great debacle. This was, as if, the effect of bhagabad, curbing the onslaught of the great catastrophe and offer the savouring of ultimate state of body. This is the function of the sacrificial rituals of Mahakirtan. This great sacrificial ritual, by the gracious wish of the Lord of Rituals, is still continuing by the austerity prowess of Sripad Mahendraji.
“Yagjaam sankritan Praijarjanti Hi Sumedhasah.”
This scriptural message has attained true life through this great sacrificial ritual. This ‘Sankirtan Jajna’ is still being continued. Sripad Mahendraji was the leader of this, sacrificial ritutal.
If such pacification of catastrophe and great liberation, be truly realized (we don’t have any doubt in that), then the contribution of Sripad Mahendraji, in this world, would be unique.
Let the devotees gather complete information about Sripad, by going through this book as authored by Yogi Dada. Our lives will be purified by studying this book. It will bring us nearer to Prabhu Bandhu Hari.
“Tatpadang Darshitang Jenah” – let me be gratified by lying prostrate in salutation to the lotus feet of Sri Gurudev.