Story of Sri Radha Baba of Gorakhpur | Gitapress Jayadayal Goyandka and Hanuman Prasad Poddar


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The view that God is full of qualities and has Form disturbed Sri Radha Baba Maharaj. He was especially hurt, because these descriptions came directly from Sri Goyandakaji, who was Sri Radha Baba’s very life and ideal. He would often wonder as to how a great Vedantin and Jnani such as Sri Goyandakaji, have such a “shallow” view about the Supreme? Sri Radha Baba had this understanding about Goyandakaji that He was a logician who had complete command over Indian philosophy and thought. Sri Radha Baba Maharaj had earlier, come to the conclusion that Goyandakaji’s commentaries about the Bhagavad Gita was incomparable to any other philosophical literature and that it reflected the highest Truth. How could such a personality callously make a statement that “God has form”?

Unable to hold himself back, he approached Sri Goyandakaji once, to resolve his doubts. To this, Sri Goyandakaji just chuckled, as a reply. He said to Sri Radha Baba, “It would only be appropriate for you to meet Sri Hanuman Prasad Potdar. You shall have all your doubts cleared”, he said. Sri Radha Baba, however, showed no interest in meeting up with Sri Hanuman Prasad Potdar. At a later point in time, Sri Radha Baba planned to meet Sri Goyandakaji, after having taken an official appointment with Sri Goyandaka. It was planned that Sri Radha Baba would travel to Gorakhpur to meet Sri Goyandaka, from Kolkata. The date was fixed and Sri Radha Baba happily arrived at Gorakhpur on the committed day. It so happened that Sri Goyandakaji was not present at the place of the meeting and was delayed at some place owing to a prior commitment. 

Perhaps it was the will of the Supreme Lord that, having come to the Gita Press at Gorakhpur, Sri Radha Baba decided to meet up with Sri Hanuman Prasad Potdar, because he had nothing else to do in Gorakhpur. He was just interested in knowing about Sri Goyandakaji’s programme and nothing more. This was the only reason for his meeting up with Sri Potdar. Sri Potdar was a Maha Bhagavatha ( An elevated man of God). He was a householder, from the Vaishya community. As was the custom prevalent in those days, householders would touch the feet of people in the renounced order. Sri Radha Baba Maharaj was a renunciant in saffron and also a Brahmin, a member of the higher class. As soon as Sri Potdar saw Sri Radha Baba approaching him at the main office at the Gita Press, he rushed out to greet the Baba and prostrated him, holding the Baba’s feet with both his palms.

When Sri Potdarji touched the feet of Sri Radha Baba, the Baba felt a heavy current of bliss passing through his spine. It was a transcendental experience for Sri Radha Baba. Such an experience was largely inexplicable. At that time he could feel within himself, as if he were in the transcendental realm of Sri Vrindavana Dhama, surrounded by the elevated Gopis, pure devotees of Lord Sri Krishna. Just with the touch of Sri Potdarji, Sri Baba could experience the joyous bliss of the Maha Raas, the divine dance that took place between the Lord and the Gopis. This was bliss of the highest order, words fell short in describing that bliss, Sri Radha Baba realized. It was a moment that transformed Sri Radha Baba completely, for good. The one who maintained that the Lord was formless, Advaita, was transformed into a Bhakta, a pure devotee of the Lord in Form. Internally, he became an ardent worshipper of Lord Krishna. Nothing could explain this change. His exhortation on Advaita left him from that moment onwards. He was now a seeker of Divine Love, Prema. Everything else, had now, lost all meaning. 

He spent the next few days in the company of Sri Hanuman Prasad Potdar. A few days later, Sri Goyandakaji arrived at the Press. He was happy to see the transformed Baba. The three sages happily spent their time talking about Bhakti and about the holy Land of Vrindavana.