Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja

gauravirbhava bhumeh tvam nirdesta saj jana priyah
vaisnava sarvabhaumah sri jagannathaya te namah

gaura-(of) Lord Chaitanya; avirbhava-(of) the appearance; bhumeh-of the place; tvam-you; nirdesta-the indicator; sat-jana-(to) all saintly persons;priyah-dear;vaisnava-(of) the vaisnavas; sarvabhaumah- chief; sri-jagannathya- unto Jagnnaatha dasa Babaji; te- unto you; namah- obeisances.

I offer my respectful obeisances to Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji, who is respected by the entire Vaisnava community and who discovered the place where Lord Chaitanya appeared. Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja, a prominent spiritual master coming in the line from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, was the disciple of Srila Vishwanatha Cakravarti Thakura.

Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji was the Diksa Guru, or initiating spiritual master, of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a pioneer in spreading Krishna consciousness outside India. Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja, or Babaji Maharaja, as he was known, was born in West Bengal but later moved to Vrindavana, where Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura met him in 1880. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura could understand that Babaji Maharaja was perfect in devotional service to Lord Krishna.

From Vrindavana, Babaji Maharaja moved to Navadvipa, West Bengal, the holy land of Lord Chaitanya. He lived for some time in the area known as Koladvipa, and then in 1893 moved to Surabhi-Kunj in Godrumadvipa. Because of his pure spiritual vision, Babaji Maharaja was able to reveal many holy sites of Navadvipa, including Lord Chaitanya’s birthplace. It is said that although Babaji Maharaja was old and invalid, on finding Lord Chaitanya’s birth-site he danced joyfully.

When Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s son, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, was twelve years old, Babaji Maharaja, aware of the boy’s expertise in astrology, asked him to prepare a calendar for Vaishnavas (devotees of Lord Krishna). The boy pleased Babaji Maharaja by producing the Navadvipa Panjika, a calendar of festivals and appearance and disappearance days of devotees that is still used today.

Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja lived for about 140 years.