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Disappearance of Shri Baladeva Vidyabhushana

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Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
2010

[Dear Readers,
This year, 2019, Shri Baladeva Vidyabhushana Prabhu's disappearance day is June 11 and 12 around the world (see calendar). The following is Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's glorification of him from the preface of his book, Shri Utkalika-vallari:]

My supremely worshipable Gurudeva nitya-lila-pravishta om visnupada astottara-shata Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja demonstrated his veneration for Shri Gaudiya Vedanta and for Shri-gaudiya-vedantacarya Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana Prabhu by using Prabhu’s name in establishing the society ‘Shri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti’ and also in awarding his sannyasa disciples the title ‘Shri Bhaktivedanta.’ He wrote an article entitled Gaudiya-vedantacarya Shri Baladeva, in which he says, "Shri-gaudiya-vedantacarya Baladeva Vidyabhushana has an unbreakable relationship with Shri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, and because he is a rupanuga Vaisnava, the Samiti has completely embraced his conduct and concepts and his method of bhajana. His stature as a follower of Shri Rupa Gosvami is proven in his voluminous writings." He also writes, "When we talk about Shri Baladeva Vidyabhushana Prabhu, the first thing that comes to our mind is his commentary on Vedanta called Shri Govinda-bhashya, for which he is held in great repute by the Vaisnavas of the four sampradayas."

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who is non-different from Shri gaura-sakti Gadadhara, has proclaimed, "Vidyabhushana Mahasaya is a special luminous star in the Gaudiya Sampradaya. After the Six Gosvamis, no one has done welfare for the sampradaya as he has. By this, we understand he must be one of the eternal associates of Shriman Mahaprabhu."Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana Prabhu, in Jaipur at Galta-pahad, hoisted the victory flag for the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya, and in doing so he established its eminent position within the Madhva Sampradaya. This service to the sampradaya proves that he is indeed a rupanuga-gaudiya-vaisnava.

Shri Baladeva Prabhu was the initiated disciple of Shri Radha-Damodara, who is in the family of Syamananda, the follower of Shriman Mahaprabhu. Syamananda Prabhu was under the guidance of the one-pointed rupanuga Shrila Jiva Gosvami; this connection proves that Shrila Baladeva Prabhu is also a rupanuga Vaisnava. Furthermore, Shri Baladeva Vidyabhushana was the prominent siksa disciple of Shri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, who is well-known as ‘the second Shri Rupa.’ Therefore, there is no doubt about Shri Baladeva being rupanuga. Attaining the mercy of Shri Govinda-deva, who is the treasure of Shri Rupa Gosvami’s life, he was able to keep the Deity’s seva going without break. What doubt can remain regarding Shri Baladeva’s position as rupanuga when he has attained the mercy of both Shri Rupa Gosvami as well as his worshipable Çri Govindaji? He belonged to both the pancaratrika- (diksa) and bhagavat-paramparas (siksa), the two streams flowing together in him; yet he established the authenticity and the charm of bhagavat-parampara, which, as it is founded on the degree of proficiency in bhajana, is superior to pancaratrika.

Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana Prabhu has delineated the system of disciplic succession in his Prameya-ratnavali. By this it is clearly seen that the commentator, Shri Baladeva, is immersed in the Vedic teachings accepted in the Gaudiya line, and he is the emperor of the Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas. Our worshipable Shrila gurupada-padma om visnupada astottara-sata Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja has written a verse in praise of him:

sri madhva sampradaya sri-caitanya-kula-raksakah
vedantacarya-sardulo baladevo mahamatih

"All glories to Shri Baladeva Vidyabhushana, who is the opulence of the Shri Madhva Sampradaya, the decoration of Shri Chaitanya-deva’s dynasty, the protector of the Shri Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya, and a great-minded, lion-like acarya."

Shrila Gurupada-padma also said that any sampradaya that is reluctant to accept Shrila Baladeva as rupanuga is actually in error and is making an offense to a Vaisnava. Therefore, understanding such sampradaya to be bad association one should reject it and in this way show his real faith to Shrila Baladeva Prabhu. It has also been told that Mahaprabhu’s associate, Shri Gopinatha Misra, who along with Sarvabhauma had heard Mahaprabhu speak His commentary on Vedanta-sutra, later on appeared as Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana, the Brahma Sampradaya’s commentator.

Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana’s writings include Shri Govinda-bhashya; Sukshma-tika; Siddhanta-ratnam and its commentary bhashya-pithakam; Sahitya-kaumudi; Vyakarana-kaumudi; commentaries on Tattva-sandarbha and Isopanishad; Siddhanta-darpamam; Kavya-kaustubha; Gopala-tapani-bhashya; commentaries on Sahitya-kaumudi (Krishnanandini), Chanda-kaustubha, Laghu-bhagavatamrita and Chandra-loka; Natya-chandrika; commentary on Shrimad Bhagavatam (Vaishnava-anandini); Vedanta-shyamantaka; Prameya-ratnavali; Gita-bhusana-bhashya; Visnu-sahasranama-bhashya (Namartha-sudha); Saìkshepa-bhagavatamrita-tippani (Sharanga-raìgada); Stava-mala-vibhushana-bhashya; Pada-kaustubha; and commentary on Shri Shyamananda-shataka.

 

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