2024.01.17 (Vrindavan Today News): The Gaudiya Vaishnava Community of Radhakund mourns the passing away of Shri Mathura Prasad Brajwasi, a leading figure among the Tirtha Purohits. As the message spread among the Vaishnavas around the world, the condolence messages poured in social media. Many of western devotees also knew him and expressed their deepest sympathy to his family and friends. He passed away on 16th January, 2024 (Tuesday).
Mathura Prasad was a great soul and a rare Brajabasi to take shelter of a Traditional Gaudiya Guru. He took diksa at a young age from Prabhupad Tinkadi Goswami. He was the most prominent tirtha Guru of Radhakund.
Excerpts from OBL Kapoor’s ‘The Saints of Vraja”:
Once a Vrajavasi lady came to Tinkadi Baba with her eight year old son, named Mathura Dasa and said, “Baba, I deliver this child to you. Kindly accept him. He will render all kinds of service to you.” Baba accepted him. He asked him to go and bathe in Radhakunda. When he had bathed he gave him mantra. The boy did not know the importance of a Guru. He regarded Baba as his Baba (grandfather) and loved and served him accordingly.
Baba also loved him, because he was a Vrajavasi. His presence reminded him of Krsna and his lila. He gave him to eat all the good things which people offered him. He was so free with him that he often told him the most secret things of his heart. Once Tinkadi Gosvami was circumambulating Radhakunda with Mathura Dasa, he proceeded towards the bhajana-kutir of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, he said to Mathura Das, “Mathura, look, I tell you one thing. In Caitanya Caritamrta what Kaviraja Gosvami has written about Sri Radhakunda is false.” “What has Kaviraja Gosvami written Baba?” asked Mathura Das. “He has written: sei kunde jei eka bara kare snana tare radha-sama prema krsna kare dana (anyone who bathes in Radhakunda but once, is blessed by Krsna with prema like that of Radha.) I have bathed in the kunda so many times. But neither has Krsna given me prema nor darsana. I shall now go to Bengal and preach that no one should go to Radhakunda and no one should believe Krsna, Because what Kaviraja has written about them is false.”
“Do not do that Baba, because that will hit us Vrajavasis, who depend on the donations made by the pilgrims.”
“Then why don’t you pray to Radha-Krsna for me? You are a Vrajavasi. They will grant your prayer.”
“Very well Baba. I shall pray.”
At that time the Manipuri ladies were doing arati of Giriraja at the spot where Radhakunda and Syamakunda meet. As Baba was proceeding in that direction, he stopped suddenly and said, “Oh! How beautiful! Mathura look, Radha-Krsna sitting on an altar, bedecked with jewels! The sakhis performing arati! Oh! How beautiful the kunda filled with milk and how beautiful it’s jeweled ghatas! Mathura, hold me or I shall fall.”
Mathura said, “Oh Baba! They are the Manipuri ladies, doing arati of Giriraja. Where are Radha-Krsna?” But as soon as he held Baba, he saw the kunda filled with milk, though he did not see Radha-Krsna. Mathura told Baba about this when he came to his own. Baba said, “You will see. You will see when the time comes. You do not yet have the eyes to see Rasaraja Krsna and Mahabhavavati Radha.” But how is it, one may ask, that Baba got the eyes to see immediately after he had threatened to preach against Krsna? The fact is that this son of Nanda is also too simple. He is scared even when a devotee gives Him a false threat and is compelled to do what he wants.
Once the father of Mathura Das had gone to Bengal, Mathura was with Baba and his mother was alone at home. At about nine in the morning, when Baba was meditating, he suddenly cried, “Oh! Ma has fallen!” Mathura became anxious about his mother. He gave him a jolt and asked, “What has happened Baba?” Baba
was at that time seeing some lila in smarana. His smarana stopped. He felt very bad. But he only said, “Oh! Nothing, nothing.” In the evening he
called Mathura and said, “Why did you jolt me this morning, when I was having lila-darsana?” Mathura said, “How could I know what you were doing? You said that Ma had fallen. I got anxious about her. So I jolted you.”
“Never do that again.”
“But why did you say that mother had fallen?”
“I did not mean your mother”
“Then whose mother?”
“You do not know. I saw that Nandalala was going with his friends to pasture cows. Yasoda Ma asked Rohini Ma to give Him some hot milk. Rohini Ma went to bring milk. The boys were restive. They asked her to hurry. In haste, while she was bringing the milk, she fell down. The boys cried, “Oh! Ma has fallen.” I also said. “Ma has fallen.”
Once some disciples of Tinkadi Gosvami took him to Nilacala. Mathura Das went with him. In Nilacala he always thought of Vrndavana. On seeing Cataka Parvata he felt that he saw Govardhana. On seeing the sea he thought he saw the Yamuna and said to Mathura Das, “Look Mathura, how Yamuna is in spate.” One day some devotees offered him cheese to eat. But he did not eat. When Mathura asked him to eat, he said, “Mathura, I have no appetite. Only a short while ago I took roti in Radhakunda.”
Mathura said, “Baba! You are lying. You are here in Nilacala. How could you go to Radhakunda to eat roti?”
“No, you ask your mother. She was circumambulating Radhakunda. I saw her near Lalitakunda. She was wearing a green sari and carrying milk in a small pot. I said, ”Ma! I am hungry. Give me roti.” She said, “Come to my home after I have done parikrama.” I went to her home. She gave me a roti and some vegetable. If you think I am lying, you can write her a letter and inquire.“ Mathura wrote to his mother. She confirmed all that Tinkadi Gosvami had said. The fact is even if he lived in Nilacala or Navadvipa physically, in his subtle body he lived always in Radhakunda.
Since Tinkadi Gosvami desired to go to Vrndavana, Murarimohana, the deity in his asrama in Vrndavana also became restless for his company.
Tinkadi Gosvami received a letter from Kisori Das Baba of Kesighata Thaura, in Vrndavana. He wrote, “Baba! I saw in a dream this morning a black boy saying to me ’You people sent Gosain away from here in the midst of Bhagavata-saptaha. Now go and bring him here at once.’ I said to the boy, ’Who are you?’ He replied, ’I am Murarimohana.’ Therefore, Baba you come here at once.”
The letter was read to Baba. On hearing the letter he became silent. His eyes closed. Two days later, on Phalgun Krsna Navami of the year 1984, he suddenly shouted, “Jai Nityananda Rama! Jai Nityananda Rama!” and left the body to go and meet Murarimohana in Vrndavana. At that time Mathura Dasa was in Radhakunda. The next morning at 5:00 a.m. he saw Tinkadi Goswami in a dream. He said to him, “Mathura! Look, I have come to Radhakunda. Let us go bathe.” Mathura told his mother about the dream. She said, “Probably Baba has left the body and come to Vrndavana in his siddha-deha.” The next day Mathura dasa received a telegram which confirmed what she had said.