H.H. 108 sri Sri Prana Krishna das
Due to his deepest humility and exalted bhakti (devotion to the Lord) Bhaghavat das Babaji conferred him the title of Babaji (renounced order of life), and he granted him the opportunity to reside in a kutir located at the right side of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath mandir where Sri Raghunath Das Goswami performed bhajan in Radhakund. Since that time Praphullo is known till today as Sri Prana Krishna Das Babaji Maharaja. One time Bhaghavat das Babaji asked him to perform 24 hour kirtan in Raghunath das Goswami Samadhi. He agreed and many sadhus attended the kirtan. He was begging daily for providing various foodstuff and milk for the temple of Mahaprabhu in Radhakund. He was very resolute in his daily parikrama of Govardhana (24 km by feet) and his prominent activity was kirtan.
Once another young devotee whose name was Bhaghavat das and was living previously in Nabadweep came to live in Vrindavan in Giridhari Mandir after the departure of his instructing Guru Vinod Bihari Goswami. Later on this devotee was staying in Govardhan doing kirtan and performing dandavat Parikrama of Sri Govardhan. During that time he met Babaji near Anyor village. There Babaji asked him why he was performing dandavat parikrama and Bhaghavat das replied that it was his inner wish. Babaji revealed him that in Gaudiya tradition it was not recommended because when one pay his homage bowing down his body should stay at the right of Govardhana. Babaji explained that in this way he will receive the result of parikrama but not of dandavats. One should offer prostrated obeisances at one place. At that time Babaji invited Bhaghavat das to stay with him in Radhakund to perform bhajan. That day in the place of Puchri ka lota deeply impressed by the personality of Babaji, Bhaghavat das received harinam initiation from him. He decided to follow Babaji in Radhakund and received later complete Diksa. His name became Bhagavan das and he lived for 1 year in Kamyavan and Jatipura. Finally he came to live permanently in Radhakund. Since that time he spend the last 15 years with Guruji. Just ten years back the temple of Sri Radhavinod was handed over Babaji and Bhagavan das (the present pujari of the mandir).
Previously this temple was in care of another old Babaji. After several babajis were offering their service for some week or for some month. When the local society wanted to hand over the mandir to Sri Prana Krishna Das Babaji and his disciple Bhagavan das the condition was terrible. Bhagavan das wanted to refuse but Babaji told him that the local society and Radha-Vinodji were unhappy not receiving proper care. Babaji promised that he will give his full support and that surely for the power of the extraordinary Divine Grace the temple will soon develop. Babaji than convinced his disciple to accept heartily the proposal to render service in the mandir. Madhusudhan babaji gave the key of the temple together with little uncooked rice, beans and kerosene oil. They arrive with these entire foodstuffs and the mandir was dirty, unclean and even utensils were not available or broken. There was one small pot where Bhagavan das gather all the ingredients and cooked for the Lord. Behind the mandir there was a garbage belt. Three days after occurred the celebration of Sri Lokanath das Goswami disappearance. Slowly on the place and the temple were cleaned and the worship proceeded accurately.
Lokanath das Goswami was a prominent Vaisnava and a storehouse of single-minded service to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda. He had a great desire to establish the worship of the deity and render service to the Lord of Vraja. Understanding Lokanath’s aspiration to serve Krishna, the Lord Himself appeared before him and offered Lokanatha Goswami a Vigraha, saying, “Worship this Deity here. This deity’s name is Radha-Vinoda.” After giving him this beautiful deity, Krishna disappeared. In order to protect the deity, he prepared a cloth bag which was his temple. Sri Radhavinoda became than like a jeweled necklace around his neck. The Deities were transferred to Jaipur later and the pratibhu murti is now present in Radhavinod Mandir. It is said that when Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami went to Lokanatha Goswami and asked his blessings to compile the Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Lokanatha Goswami granted him his blessing, but prohibited Kaviraja Goswami from mentioning his name in his book. Kaviraja Goswami impressed by his plea as a symptom of unflinching humility had to accept his request.
It is not astonishing so that Sri Radha-Vinodji desired to be worshipped in this present time by Sri Prana Krishna das Babaji whose life is a transparent example of unalloyed devotion to the Lord and uncommon humility. The day of Adivas arrived (preparative ceremony for the next day celebration of Sri Lokanath das Goswami disappearance). Guruji requested Bhagavan das to buy one kg of laddu (milk sweet) and offer it in two times to the Deities. So after the group invited for kirtan could receive some prasad. Bhagavan das started 24 hour kirtan and Guruji went outside. The next morning in Radha-Vinod was celebrated the feast of Lokanath das Goswami like never happened before in that mandir. Fifty Babaji received Prasada. Since that time there was no scarcity, the worship was rendered with great care and lot of prasada was distributed till today. Everything was accomplished for the mercy of Guruji and Gauranga. At present time the mandir is a simple, clean, sweetest and very suitable place were many dedicated Sadhu execute their bhajan. Since five years in Radhavinod mandir they are performing 24 hour Kirtan. In the beginning it starts for one month, then six months and nowadays is still going on together with Prasada seva for many sadhus. Regularly this service is kindly donated by a devotee living in Agra.
Babaji as an exemplar follower of Lord Mahaprabhu, posses a singular love for harinam and Kirtan. One time during his Giriraja parikrama he was carrying a small cloth bag that contain little madhukari roti and one chadar. Near Daan ghat where long time ago there were many forest, one thief came near him to ask what the bag was containing. Babaji understanding his intention consigned spontaneously the bag to him. Another time he was walking doing japa near Anyor village where he met one small boy late at night who told him to chant loudly together with his bela (musical instrument). Then the little boy disappeared. From that time Babaji started chanting and playing his bela as he was instructed probable by Lord Gopal Krsna Himself during his parikrama. Since that time he is famous as bela baba. Guruji is loved by everyone, even in Tripura they are carrying him on their shoulders when he visits like the vrajabhasis in Radhakund during the kirtan till now. Baba used to attend Hari katha and listens with rapt attention, although the speaker may be someone younger than him in all respects.
Till today Sri Prana Krishna das Babaji wakes up every day at 3 a.m. and take bath in Radhakund even in the cold and hot season, offer his worship to his Giridhari in his kutir and attend mangal artik at Radha-Gopinath mandir. After 4.30 a.m. he arrive in Radha-Vinod mandir for mangal artik and there he perform more puja. In the morning he execute his daily parikrama of Sri Govardhana and then come back in Radhakund approximately at 9 a.m.. Then he offers 108 dandavats to numerous deities of Radhakund. After he sits in his kutir for meditation and come back to Radha-Vinod to help to cook and perform bhoga artik. Then he serves prasada to the sadhus, to the guest, to his disciples and all the devotees. Finally he respect a little amount of simple food, boiled rice with fenugreek avoiding sweets and palatable fried dishes like rasa or fried vegetables. Immediately after his lunch he reaches his kutir to recite prayers and further meditation. He attends daily the kirtan at Raghunath Das Goswami Samadhi. In the evening he come back at Radha-Vinod mandir for the sandhia artik then leave again for the kirtan and parikrama. In this way he performs 7-8 parikrama of Sri Radhakund daily. Sometimes he falls asleep in the kirtan at Raghunath das Samadhi and go to rest only for few hours in his kutir till 3 a.m. Nowadays he wake up at 11 in the night and joins again the 24 hour kirtan and go to sleep at 1.30 a.m. resting only till 3 a.m.
Today at the age of 93 years Babaji is very devotionally fix in his daily routine of Bhajan and he is inspiring more and more devotees to surrender to the lotus feet of Kundeshwari Radhika by his unflinching bhakti and humility. Through his blessing many souls even not qualified like myself received the rare grace to reside at Swamini’s blissful kunda. Since few years also many young Brajavasi boys accepted Babaji as their beloved Guruji and created a kirtan group of extremely contagious enthusiasm for Harinam. Hearing such kirtan (impregnated with the immense mercy of a sat guru) has a very soothing effect on the mind and confers an unlimited sweet happiness to the heart of the listener and to whoever has the opportunity to follow them in parikrama even once. One can find their spectacular stories as a video in the Gallery.
His agility and alertness is amazing. Once the bone in his hip was displaced. The doctor strictly told him :bed-rest. After less than a week he was sitting behind a bicycle driven by his disciple, doing Radhakund-parikrama. After 17 days, he was up on his feet singing as usual. Sometimes he sits alone at Tamal-tala singing Mahamantra, not caring for anyone giving him company or not. He doesn?t care whether the devotees sing properly or not, as long it is Mahamantra he is happy if you join in. Sri Prana Krishna das Babaji belongs to a perfect disciplic succession descending from Janhava Mata (the wife of Lord Nityananda). He received a special mercy from his Guru and other illustrious Vaishnavs from his parampara line (see in the path of divine love, our Parampara). In the Holy scriptures Guru is mostly compared to a father who instructs his disciple just like a father guides his son. Babaji is instead compared more to a loving mother who grants her tender affection and singular care to his sons and daughters easily forgiving their offense. His prayers for his disciples enclose an undefeatable power against the illusory energy of this material world. In spite of being in the position of a Gurudev, just like a mother he often cooks and serves prasada with his own hands to the Vaishnavas. After he has fed everyone included matajis and children, he partakes what is left. He covers his spiritual children with unlimited warmth, protecting them from all miseries and posing them at the Lotus Feet of Radhaji. We heard many stories from his disciples of how they became free from material bondages and incurable diseases too, only by the extraordinary grace of Babaji. Being free from any unwanted selfish desire he treats everyone with the same love. Babaji cannot speak profusely English but somehow due to his rare qualities many western devotees recently surrendered at his divine feet. In Radhakund especially those who know him from long consider him as a real saint who with his infinite sweetness can perform the miracle of turning our miserable life in a jug of unlimited joy. Not only he loves everyone but he is also greedy to serve everyone. His weapon to correct his followers is not heavy scolding or hard discipline like a father could do to his naughty son. Babaji teaches with his perfect example granting his affectionate raining of unconditional mercy and tender affection.
Babaji is truly a marvelous Vaishnav and his splendid smile reveals the heart of whom has found happiness within himself.
His main instruction is :”Incessantly chant the Mahamantra, and never be without seva, doing so Maya (material illusion) will not be able to enter you.”
Infinitely indebted to Sri Gurudev I sincerely express my gratefulness to Sudhamsu das, Bhagavan das and all the Brajavasi disciples of Babaji. They provided us detailed information to compile the above biography. With their charismatic enthusiasm and unlimited sweetness they are always source of inspiration for our devotional path.
Jay Sri Radhe
Tulasi garden in Radha-Binod Mandir