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Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati – A revolutionary guru
October 20, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

Richard (now Radhanath Swami) met Asim Krishna’s guru, Swami Bon Maharaj. He showered warmth and affection upon Richard and revealed to him that his coming to Vrindavan was not a chance occurrence; the Supreme Lord had personally directed him to his eternal home, Vrindavan. Bon Maharaj also offered Richard to be his special guest who could come and go as he pleased. Bon Maharaj was a highly educated devotee and distinguished in character. At the age of twenty he had met his guru Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati, and upon hearing his powerful message and seeing his spotless character, Bon Maharaj offered his life to the path of devotional service.

Asim Krishna explained to Richard that Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati was a very special guru who boldly declared that no one should be categorized on the basis of race, nationality, or caste, that we are all eternal souls, not the temporary body. He taught that people must be respected according to their personal qualities, not their birth. Boldly exposing the modern perversion of the caste system, he faced plots to end his life. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati emphasized the spirit of genuine devotion, or bhakti, and dismissed mundane superficialities and pseudo spirituality. At the young age of twenty-three, Bon Maharaja took the vows of a sannyasi, lifelong celibacy, and began to preach throughout India. He was among the first of Bhaktisiddhanta’s disciples to be sent to England and Germany in the 1920s.

Radhanath Swami lovingly refers to Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati as his ‘grandfather guru’, the spiritual master of his own guru, Srila Prabhupada. Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati was a prolific scholar of Vedic scriptures and spoke English fluently. In the early twentieth century, Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati spread the message of the urgent need for all human beings to seek out God and render the highest good to humanity by educating people about the eternal soul and the soul’s eternal relationship with God.

Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati displayed symptoms of divinity even as a child, and as a young boy mastered Sanskrit, Mathematics and Astronomy. He received the epithet ‘Siddhanta Saraswati’ as recognition for his erudition. I heard from Radhanath Swami an interesting aspect of Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati’s character. I would assume such a scholar to be drowning with books and scriptures. However in 1905, Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati undertook a vow to chant the Hare Krishna mantra a billion times. Radhanath Swami is prayerful and grave in his demeanour when glorifying great acharyas, teachers of the past like Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati. Without their blessings, Radhanath Swami says, it’s impossible to make advancement in our spiritual life. “To the degree we consider ourselves as instruments in the hands of the previous acharyas, to that extent, we facilitate the flow of grace”, expresses Radhanath Swami, “and to the degree we feel we are the doers, we restrict the flow of the blessings of the previous masters.”

Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati was also revolutionary in the sense he knew the austere living under trees and mountains may not be possible for modern people. Therefore he introduced the idea that devotee householders could live in palatial homes and the devotee monks could live in big temples.”.  While previously Bhakti-yogis would not have had anything to do with the mechanized contrivances introduced by the British, Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati, on the authority of scripture, was demonstrating a higher understanding. That one is perfectly detached from all materialistic worldly entanglement not when one gives up everything but when one employs everything for the service of God. This is understood to be perfect renunciation in yoga.

Radhanath Swami, humbly following the footsteps of Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati echoes the same mood, “If God is good, then His energy is also good; material things should not be used for one’s own personal enjoyment, but they could be and should be used for the service of God.”

I once heard Radhanath Swami give a detailed description of the disciplic succession of spiritual masters, coming down systematically for generations. He mentioned that Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati also comes in one such unbroken lineage of gurus.

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125 Comments


  1. thanks for sharing

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  2. Its really great pride that we have such exemplary gurus and their followers.

    Good to read

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  3. “If God is good, then His energy is also good; material things should not be used for one’s own personal enjoyment, but they could be and should be used for the service of God.”

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  4. Thank you for sharing nice article.All glories to Guru-shishya
    Parampara.

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  5. What a great understanding of truwe renunciation! thanks for sharing.

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  6. what a powerful & revolutionary personality BhaktiSiddhanta Saraswati Thankur was! Radhanath Swami Maharaj very aptly described the glories of him.

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  7. Radhanath swami’s mood of being an instrument of compassion in the hands of the previous acharyas is heart melting

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  8. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati,Srila Prabhupada and Radhanath Swami come from a rich tradition of succession bonafide spiritual masters.We must take advantage of their rich legacy.

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  9. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura ki jai…

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  10. Bhakti Vinod Thakur prays to gurudeva in ‘Gurudeva Krpa bindu diya…’: It s your mercy alone that I am made up of.

    Maharaj also beautifully points out : if we think we are the doer then the mercy will be blocked but if we depend on the mercy of previous acaryas and become an instrument in their hands then there is no limit to our advancement.

    All our acaryas are glorious who took pity on us, fallen souls and descended to material world to preach the message of God.

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  11. sangharatna bhamare

    “To the degree we consider ourselves as instruments in the hands of the previous acharyas, to that extent, we facilitate the flow of grace”, expresses Radhanath Swami, “and to the degree we feel we are the doers, we restrict the flow of the blessings of the previous masters.”………..

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  12. Radhanath Swami has truly received the grace of the previous acharyas & his sincere followers shall receive it too.

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  13. Siddharth Hindlekar

    All glories to Srila BhaktiSiddhanta Saraswati Thakur

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  14. Thank you Radhanath Swami for speaking about one of the most revolutionary acharyas of our time – Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanatha Saraswati thakura.

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  15. We should be very very grateful to all the previous Acharya in our Prampara, who descended to this earth only to save us from the illusion of Maya. They are teaching us to utilize everything for the service of the Lord and not for our personal enjoyments, and this is perfect renunciation Yoga.

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  16. Thank you for sharing these teachings by Radhanath Swami.

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  17. Radhanath Swami always demonstrated respect of highest order towards previous acaryas, especially to his Guru. As Radhanth Swami says and follows, without the mercy of previous acaryas we can not progress in spirituality.

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  18. thank you very much

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  19. It is always wonderful when we hear the glories of HDG Bhaktisiddhant Swami from Radhanath Swami.

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  20. no doubt, radhanath swami is empowered by the disciplic succession of the great acharyas and spiritual masters,

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  21. I think this realization of Radhanath swami ji is key to happiness.
    “If God is good, then His energy is also good; material things should not be used for one’s own personal enjoyment, but they could be and should be used for the service of God.”

    Thank you swami ji

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  22. thanks for sharing,nice post

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  23. All GLories To H.H.Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    What an elaborate description of the spiritual experiences of Maharaj.

    Hare Krishna

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  24. M Pandu Rangayya Shetty

    Radhanath Swami clearly teaching the importance of disciplic succession. One should have all respects to his predecessors. It is very good training from Radhanath Swami. All glories to Radhanath Swami.

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  25. Nice and comfortign to know that Radhanath Swami comes in line of such exaled spiritual masters and is following the same personality

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  26. Its difficult for us to understand the seriousness of the situation when Bhakti Siddantha Saraswati Thakur preached in India against the so called caste system of birth, against impersonalists, against the sahajiyas etc.

    So many ways the absolute truth was covered by these incorrect followers of religion.

    He was called the Simha(Lion) Guru for boldly preaching the true message of the sastras.

    If not for saints like Radhanath Swami, we would have never got this opportunity in our life to hear about such a glorious person – what a waste our life would have been?

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  27. Sheetal Maheshwari

    Wonderful article. Thanks.

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  28. Radhanath Swami following in the footsteps of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur teaches his disciple to follow Yuktavairagya i.e. use the material things / expertise in the service of the Lord if possible.

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  29. Amazing article.

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  30. Thank you for sharing.

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  31. Madana Kishore Das

    I see 2 advantages to not seeing oneself as the doer: one is that our ego is not pampered and the other is that the blessings of our grand and great grand acaryas flows to us. Thanks for highlighting that.

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  32. Mitali kallianpur

    Thank you Radhanath Swami.

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  33. Thanks to you Radhanath Swami!

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  34. so glad that’s ok to use computer & internet to have the opportunity to learn about such a great personality, and that he approved of no restrictions on practice because of bodily designations!

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  35. If god is good then his energy is good – a very profound statement made by Radhanath Swami

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  36. HDG Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakur was also know as the lion Guru, as he was fearless in the face of opposition. I like the way Maharaj refers to Him as ‘grandfather’ guru. We are so fortunate to belong to this Paramapara. Jai!

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  37. Thank you for sharing

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  38. Its so amazing Radhanath Swami is simply following in the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada and Srila BhaktiSiddhanta Saraswati Thakur

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  39. hrishikesh mafatlal

    This disciplic line of succession of genuine saints is our life line, without which we have no hope to gain any wisdom or blessings.

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  40. Radhanath Swami Maharaj takes special pleasure in glorifying our previous Gurus!

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  41. Yogita Jagannathan

    We are so fortunate to learn about all these exalted personalities from Radhanath Swami and to be able to pray to them and seek their blessings.

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  42. thank you for sharing this one.
    HH Radhanath swami maharaj ki jai

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  43. We feel really happy for getting connection with such a loving parampara. Maharaj ki jai.

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  44. Doing some mumbo –jumbo in the name of spiritual practice can lead one to disillusionment, we have know that since time immemorial how bogus sadhus/gurus have brought disrepute to spiritual practices. Radhanath Swamis book unfolds this aspect and guides one in a systematic way for seeking a bonafide guru. Strange as it may sound for all education we generally are careful to assure ourselves of the reputation of the institution and whether it has proper recognition, yet when it comes to matters concerning our soul, we get carried away by some allurement and we put our faith on mere hearsay.

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  45. Bhakti Sidhanatha Sarsvati character is very inspiring

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  46. No hope in spiritual life without the blessings of our previous acharyas.

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  47. Bhakti Vikas Swami, the illustrious god brother of Radhanath Swami has compiled a biography of Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. It’s a must read……

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  48. Thank you for sharing the revolutionary and at the same time deeply devotional teachings of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati.

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  49. Radhanath Swami has made such a profound statement here … the flow of grace comes to the extent we consider ourselves to be instruments in the hands of the previous acharyas. Thank you.

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