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Biographies of various saints.

Haribolananda Thakur - an exerpt from Saints of Bengal...

Sakhicharan - Fri, 04 Nov 2005 06:10:03 +0530
One of the disciples of Haribolananda Thakur was Sri Vipina Candra Cattopadhyaya of Makadadah. He was a great devotee and Thakur loved him more than his own self. Thakur visted him frequently. There were trees of coconut and betelnut in his garden. Thakur used to pick the twigs that fell from these trees and deliver them to him for cooking the bhoga of his Sri Murtis.

Vipina Babu was so close to Haribolananda and so free with him that he did not hesitate in asking him any question that came to his mind, nor did the Thakur hesitate in answering. They talked for hours about Gaura-lila and Krishna-lila. From the way in which the Thakura answered all kinds of questions relating to Gaura-lila it appeared as if he had observed it directly or had participated in it. This raised the a doubt in the mind of Vipina Babu regarding his identitiy.

One day when Vipina Babu was posted in Rajvan as subjudge and Thakur was staying with him he said to him, "Thakur! You have to disclose you identity today! Who are you?"

Thakur said, "What? I am Haribol, what else?"

But Vipina Babu would not believe him so easily. He continued to pester him with the question for three of four hours. But Thakur remained as reticent and secretive about his real self as ever. Then Vipina babu pointed a revolver at himself and said, "Look Thakur! Tell me at once or I will shoot myself!" The Thakur did not want to lose his dear disciple. He had to throw off the mask and reveal himself. He said, "Look, I am none other than Santipurnatha Sri Advaitacarya."

Vipina Babu said, "If you are Santipurnatha then say, I bless Vipina Candra Cattopadhyaya so that he will soon attain the lotus feet of Gaura." Thakur had to grant his prayer.

How much Thakur loved Vipina Candra is evident from the following portion of his letter written to another devotee after the death of Vipina Babu...

"There is no one now with whom I can talk about Krishna. I travelled thoughout India to find someone to whom I could open my heart and talk of Krishna. After ceaseless search I found someone. I was able to cool the suffering in my heart due to pangs of separation only by talking to him. How could I live until now, if I had not found him?"

What follows is some of the Thakur's valuable sayings that were taken from some letters he wrote to his followers...

1. I am the breath of Gaurahari and nothing else.
2. Gauranga-bhajan is of several kinds, but chanting aloud Sri Nama is the best.
3. There is only one boat to ferry you across the ocean of material illusion and that is the boat of sraddha.
4. Bhakta is bhagavAn-vizeSa (Special Bhagavan).
5. No asrama is better than grhasta-asrama. It is good to remain in the household and do bhajan secretly. The mango which is hidden among the leaves quickly ripens, while the mango exposed will meet with the beaks of birds and spoil.
6. My good lies in your devotion to Hari and nothing else.
7. In Haribol the names of Gaura, gopi, Radha, and Syama are included. To chant Haribol is to chant all these names.

Haribolananda Thakur had great love for Ramadas Babaji (sisya of Boda Baba). This is evident from the fact that immediately after he had left the body, Haribolananda came to the place where Ramadas Babaji was staying. He met with Advaita Das Baba and asked where Ramadas Baba was. Advaita Baba told, "He is inside." As soon as the Thakur went in he vanished from sight. Ramadas came out weeping to see him gone. He understood that he had left this world and had wanted him to know of it.