Gita Press, Gorakhpur is the cornerstone of Indian spirituality of Modern times. If Maharshi Veda Vyasa was the commentator of the 4 Vedas, Gita Press, is the channel through which the teachings of Spiritual Bharath has reached the audience of the world. Without Gita Press, it shall be safe to conclude that Bharath would have been long, spiritually dead. This is my personal opinion.
Gita Press, Gorakhpur was lit up by the souls of spiritual stalwarts. Three of them in particular. They are Shri Jaydayal Goyendakaji, Sri Hanuman Prasad Potdarji and Sri Radha Baba Maharaj. The founder of Gita Press, Gorakhpur was Sri Jaydayal Goyendakaji. A few months, into the establishment, he brought in Sri Hanuman Prasad Potdarji, to look into the affairs of the Press. In fact Shri Potdarji, was the main driving force of the Press and he facilitated the smooth functioning of the Press. The spirit of functioning within the Press was absolutely divine. The Press was run purely by force of spiritual fervor. There was nothing political in the functioning of the press. Both Sri Goyendakaji and Sri Potdarji were indeed sages of the highest order.
The two saints were joined later by Sri Radha Baba Maharaj, who, in his long association with the press outlived both Shri Goyendakaji and Shri Potdarji. Shri Radha Baba Maharaj was born in the Gaya district in the state of Bihar, Northern India, in the year 1913. In the earlier years, Shri Radha Baba was known as Chakradhar Mishra, brahmin by caste. He grew up to be an extremely sharp intellectual. He was born to extremely devout parents and had the seeds of Bhakti already sown in his heart, from a very young age. Chakradharji (later Radha Baba) was a man with a humble heart, humility was his visiting card. However his brothers had a sting of the poison of pride; pride, of belonging to the Brahmin caste. Chakradharji was saved of this blot. Chakradharji, continued his higher studies in Kolkata, West Bengal.
By the Grace of the Supreme Lord, he had the fortune of Satsanga. He would often listen to Sri Goyandakaji who would frequent Kolkota, as part of his Spiritual mission. Sri Goyandakaji, was a prolific speaker on the Bhagavad Gita and would engage in spiritual dialogues with the common folk, trying to awaken and enlighten people, taking the Vedic Scriptures, door to door. Sri Goyandakaji would conduct spiritual seminars and symposiums and would inspire people on the path of “Sadhana”, spiritual practice. He would encourage people to take up causes for the society at large and goad people to take up “Service as Sacrifice”. Even Kirtan (spiritual singing) was a regular part of Sri Goyandakaji’s programmes. It was during this period that Chakradharji got heavily influenced by Goyandakaji. He would never miss even one programme, when Goyandakaji was in town.
Goyandakaji’s influence on Chakradharji was so deep, that one fine day, Chakradarji renounced the world and took up the saffron clothes of a Sanyasi, a renunciant. He thus came to be known as Sri Radha Baba. Sri Radha Baba was particularly appreciative of Sri Goyadakaji’s views that the Supreme Spirit is formless and attributeless, because this view was in consonance with Sri Radha Baba’s own views about the Supreme Absolute.
However, Sri Radha Baba also observed that as Sri Goyandakaji entered a higher mood talking about the Supreme, he would suddenly switch gear and describe the Supreme as having Form and full of great attributes. He would somehow switch to an antipodal view of a Lord with qualities, a person, having the emotions, just as humans would have. These expressions of Sri Goyandakaji would confound and disturb Sri Radha Baba a great deal. Under such circumstances, Sri Radha Baba would spend sleepless nights. He would wonder, how can Sri Goyandakaji, who has realized the Attributeless, Formless Supreme suddenly talk of the Supreme as having a Form full of qualities? This was incomprehensible to the young Sanyasi.