THE HOROSCOPE OF SRILA SRIDHAR MAHARAJ
To my dear Gurudev,
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Persons of such a scale, of such a spiritual level, like Srila Sridhar Maharaj, the spiritual master of my Gurudev, come to this world not according to the law of karma, but by their own will. They come by the call of their heart, full of mercy and compassion for all living beings. They descend here to accomplish a special mission, special service to the Supreme Lord.
Their appearance, deeds, and departure are the pastimes of the Lord (transcendental pastimes). Their life is not a subject of the laws of karma, they are simultaneously situated both in the material and transcendental worlds. However, the law of accordance, permeating the universe, helps to lift up the veil of mystery of their presence in this world.
When Krishna Himself appeared in this world, His father, Nanda Maharaja, made a feast and invited the brahmanas and sages. One of them, the great sage of the universe, Maharishi Garga Muni, compiled the horoscope of Krishna and said: “All the stars and planets have taken the most favorable position in heaven, it happens only once in Maha Yuga. Your son is Bhagavan, the Supreme Lord!”
Looking at the horoscope of Srila Sridhar Maharaj, we immediately see completely unusual combinations of planets that are extremely rare.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Born October 12, 1895, 23.57, Burdwan, West Bengal, India
The pious, brahminical sign of Cancer rises, and both the exalted Jupiter, the owner of the 9th house, the house of spirituality, and Moon, the owner of the 1st house, the house of the personality, are situated there. This conjunction forms in the 1st house the four most powerful "spiritual" combinations of planets, which are an indicator of the Masters of all mankind. This is Gaja-keshari-yoga, indicating the highest spiritual level of personality, Maharaja-yoga (yoga of spiritual masters), Raja-yoga (fame, glory, the strength of personality), and Hamsa-yoga (purity, compassion, and mercy). In addition, Jupiter is the owner of the 6th house, the house of service, and its exalted position in the 1st house, and the involvement in the yoga of high spirituality says about the highest ideals of serving God, a life filled with self-dedication and Divine love.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj said: “A man should be judged by his ideal, his aspiration for higher things. If the ideal is great, the man is great. What should be the highest ideal? Love. Love is the supreme thing. It is the rarest and precious thing. Divine love and beauty is the highest thing ever known to the world...”
The 1st house of the horoscope is the house of the main direction of life, and the location of the Moon and Jupiter there, the owners of the 1st, 9th and 6th houses, shows that this person will dedicate his whole life to the ideal—serving the Lord.
Srila Sridhar Maharaja’s horoscope is amazing as his whole life—the feat of dedication and unconditional love.
The Sun is located in the sign of Virgo, a sign of purity and service, and Sun is connected to Mars, the yoga-karaka (the planet of power) of the entire horoscope. This connection takes place in the 3rd house, the house of one’s own efforts. From there Mars illuminates the 6th house (house of service), 9th house (house of spirituality), and 10th house (house of activity). It is the aspects of Mars, the yoga-karaka, show the focus of the efforts of the person; and its connection with the Sun indicates that the efforts will be decisive and uncompromising.
Mars, the owner of the 5th house (children) and the 10th house (career) is burned—Srila Sridhar Maharaj had no children, he also refused a brilliant worldly career. He had a European and traditional brahminical education—he learned Sanskrit from childhood, knew deeply the sacred scriptures of India, was well versed in Western philosophy, knew European languages. He was a bachelor of arts and a master of law. Nevertheless, he chose the path of a monk preacher and at the age of 35 he accepted sannyasa (renunciation from the world), dedicating his life to the service of the Lord. In his horoscope there is the strongest sannyasa-yoga, the combination of planets indicating the greatest spiritual experience and the ability of full self-dedication to God.
Saturn is connected with Mercury, and both of them are located in Swati nakshatra. Swati means “priest”, and a sword is the symbol of the nakshatra. Saturn and Mercury are the owners of the Kama houses—7th and 3rd, and their location in Swati, as well as in the 4th house, the house of moksha, shows that this person is able to "cut off" all the material attachments.
In addition, Saturn, the planet of yogis and saints, is exalted in the horoscope of Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Exalted (i.e. having the strongest positions in the entire zodiac) Jupiter and Saturn, while situated in the corner houses of the horoscope, making a unique combination. Jupiter is the most favorable planet in astrology, personifying the mercy and love of God, and Saturn represents such qualities as fidelity, devotion, humility, awareness of one's true nature as a particle of the Lord, the divine servant. Srila Sridhar Maharaj said that fidelity and devotion are the rarest qualities of this world and the most exalted.
Exalted Jupiter and Saturn show the unusually exalted qualities of the person, partially reflecting in the mirror of the material world his genuine greatness and divine radiance.
It is difficult to overestimate the authority of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj in the succession line of masters of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. His spiritual master, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, just before passing away, asked Srila Sridhar Maharaj to sing a special song, the anthem of all the sampradaya (disciplic succession), thereby entrusting him the care of maintaining the purity of the teaching. His name, Bhakti Rakshak, received from Srila Saraswati Thakura, means "the Guardian of Devotion.”
Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), revered Srila Sridhar Maharaj as his shiksa guru (mentor). In fact, it was Srila Sridhar Maharaj whom Srila Prabhupada requested to give him the sannyasa initiation, it was with whom he discussed his unfading purports on the "Bhagavad-gita As It Is" and the Srimad Bhagavatam, and it was he whom Srila Prabhupada asked to lead the Vaisnava society in the West (ISKCON).
And Srila Sridhar Maharaj, the outstanding inconceivable personality, recognized in the 17-year-old boy after only a week's acquaintance with him, his future spiritual successor, seeing in this boy unusual transcendental qualities. Sridhar Maharaj did not change his decision until his departure, throughout the 43 years that his beloved disciple spent serving him.
It was my spiritual master, Srila Govinda Maharaj, who today, March 27, 2010, early in the morning, left his body at 80 years old and went to another world...