Today I am very delighted because I am able to present
this second edition of "Divine Intoxication" which
reveals at least a portion of the life of the exlusive
mahabhagavata devotee known as Sri Krsna Dasa Babaji
Maharaja to the public. This edition has a significant
increase in content as well as pictures. I hope you will
find as much joy in reading this biographical work as I
did in writing it!
At first, my appreciation for this dear most contemporary
of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was
sparked by hearing just a few anecdotes about him,
which were being commonly circulated throughout
ISKCON and the greater body of the S17 Gaudiya Math.
Age with most young devotees, I heard these pastimes
with interest, but at the time I did not emotionally attach
myself to them in any way or even slightly realize their
However, as time went on in my devotional life,
became increasingly interested in hearing all about
the inspirational acaryas and saints of the gaudiyavaisnava parampara (guru-disciple lineage). I began to relish reading about the life of my own dear-most
paramgurudey, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada and some of his more prominently known
god brothers such as $17 Srimad Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhardev Goswami, Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Keshava
Goswami, Sri Srimad Bhakti Promote Puri Goswami,
and Sri Stimad Bhakti Vaibhava Purj Goswami.
I also read as much as | could about Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada, Srila
Gaura Kishore Dasa Babaji, Sri Vamsi Dasa Babaji,
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Srila Jagannatha Dasa
Babaji. Going back even further into the historical]
record, I also eagerly relished the stories of Srila
Narottama Dasa Thakura, Srila Srinivasa Acarya, Srila
Syamananda Prabhu, as well as the, "The Six Goswamis
of Vrndavana" and al] of their contemporaries.
As you could probably imagine, I also very much had an
affinity for hearing about S17 Caitanya Mahaprabhu and
His direct associates. The otherworldly spiritual epics of
their lives as detailed in Sri-Caitanya-charitamrta, Sri
Chaitanya-Bhagavata, and other similar biographical
works, all acted as very strong devotional impetuses for
And they still do to this day!
Actually, there are simply too Many saintly vaisnavas and their stories to list here. Fortunately for us, many of
their lives have been recorded by their associates and
eventually organized into biographies, which in due
course were translated into English and other languages.
Readers interested in these saints’ lives may find many of
them online for free.
Soon after I began reading these biographies, I found
myself deeply infatuated with the superbly mystical,
otherworldly devotional character of these uncommon
Vaisnava "goliaths." Along with reading Sri-Caitanya-
charitamrta and Sri Chaitanya-Bhagavata, I also
started getting into books such as Sri Bhakti-ratnakara,
Prema-vilasa, Narottama-vilasa, etc. similarly became
enthralled by modern works such as Sri-Bhaktisiddhanta-
Vaibhava, Acharya-Kesari, The Six Goswamis, The
Seventh Goswami, Two Beyond Duality, Lives of the
Vaisnava Saints, etc.
At this time in my life, I remember very eagerly
searching for every possible gaudiya biographical work
that I could. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading about
Sri Ramanuja Acarya, Sri Madhvacarya and other
Vaisnava saints who are not directly related to Caitanya
I can’t say for certain when ] first heard about Srila
Krsna dasa Babaji. Maybe I had heard some of his soul-
stirring kirtanas first, then some stories here and there !
about his extraordinary character and his friendship
with my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. |
C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It’s no surprise,
though, that Babaji Maharaja easily became something
of a hero among the devotees who heard about him. After po
all, we were all immersed in the sankirtana movement,
and he was all about kirtana. And his kirtana was ,
thrilling, enthralling, coming so clearly from the core of
Because I visited India only twice, in the early 1980s,
I only met Babaji Maharaja briefly on a couple of
occasions. I do remember how delighted I was to
encounter him when he joined us on parikrama in
Jagannatha Puri in 1980. Another day during that visit
a friend and I decided to visit the §ri Caitanya Gaudiya
Math located where Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura, our grand spiritual master, was born. As we
crossed the courtyard toward Srila Sarasvati Thakura’s -
room, we heard the sound of a mrdanga. Then my hair stood on end as I recognized Krsna Dasa Babaji’s voice
chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. I stopped, looked at
my friend, and whispered, ‘""That’s Babaji Maharaja."
He nodded back in assent. And there he was, sitting
at the foot of his spiritual master’s bed, eyes closed,
playing mrdanga and chanting like no one else could.
We struggled with competing impulses: enter the room
and join him, or, fearing we may disturb his mood, stay
outside and just listen, drinking in that mood from a
distance. We chose the latter, sitting outside the door, just
out of Babaji’s sight, until he was done. Only then did we
dare to enter, but only to offer obeisance, thank him, and
take our leave.
When I heard he had passed from this world a couple
of years later, I felt particularly sad because I wouldn’t
be able to have his company again. Every devotee I
have met who had any contact with Babaji Maharaja
treasured every minute spent with him; every single one
was deeply impressed by his immersion in the chanting
of the Hare Krsna mantra, his unbounded good humour,
and his affection for all devotees of Lord Caitanya. Over
the years, I would hear anecdotes about his life and his
interactions with Western devotees and I’d get copies
of snippets of his kirtanas and bhajans on cassette tape.
Eventually my friend Agnideva gave me a couple of CDs
full of Babaji Maharaja’s kirtanas, in which I have often found solace, much as I have in Srila Prabhupada’s.
I was happy to hear from Babhru Dasa that he had
undertaken the task of compiling and curating as
comprehensive an account of Babaj1 Maharaja’s life and
character as possible. I am grateful for the trouble he
has taken to produce this volume, and I have found it a
pleasure to offer some assistance in his effort. I hope that
many vaisnavas will find inspiration in reading about
Krsna Dasa Babaji Maharaja as a result of this work. I
hope further that others who had the good fortune of his
company may feel inspired to come forward and share
their experiences for future editions.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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