I was in Vrindavan recently and had the privilege of visiting Shri Haridas Niwas. For those who don’t know, Maharajji was a scholar par excellence. Read more about him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haridas_Shastri
Maharaj ji was an absolute authority on the scriptures. In Hindi, I will say – unhone sastra par jo bhi kaha hai wah patthar ki lakeer hai – whatever he has said on scriptural matters is a line in the stone. I have frequently experienced this- in his many answers to the many questions, you always found a direct connection back to some where in the Sandarbhas. Sri Babaji told me that when he sat down to lecture, the listener would feel as if Bhagavān Himself was speaking. Maharajji was precise, consistent, and laser focused on the Goswamis’ books. We are profoundly lucky that Babaji met him, and by pure luck (yadṛcchayā), was able to receive the knowledge passed on in the paramparā, and is now able to so beautifully pass it on to the next generation. As I have said many times on this site, the Sandarbhas cannot be learned from self-study. They can only be learned from a teacher. Without the paramparā, there would be no access to the Sandarbhas today. That means, without Babaji and Maharajji, we would be nowhere today.
Maharajji was completely devoted to cows. He built a huge goshālā right next to the temple of Gaura Gadādhara and Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. Walking inside the temple, you can feel his organized, sharp mind which must have given input into the design of the temple. The corridors are broad, opening symmetrically into a central temple. Rooms line one side of the corridors. There is a second floor also which I did not get a chance to visit. Light pours in, and the deities are beautiful.
And then there are the cows. I lost count of the number of cows I saw! Finally, toward one side of the temple are two important places for our parivara – the samādhi of Maharajji and of his own guru. I include pictures below. If anyone knows Bengali, feel free to translate one of the signs. The rest are in Hindi which I include below.
Maharajji ki jaya!
The book Sri Guru Darsanam which is a compilation of some of the luminous teachings of Sri Haridas Shastri Maharaj continues to be an inspiration and light for me in my ongoing journey to better understand the mind and heart of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We are fortunate that such a great personality lived among men so recently.
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That is an amazing book, absolutely!
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The Bengali reads:
Om Viṣṇupāda Śrīla Vinoda Vihāri Goswamī
San(Date)-1280-1372, Pauṣa, Krṣṇā-dvitīyā
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