Before returning to Calcutta, Srila Gurudeva spent a few days in the Assamese capital, Guwahati. Through the efforts of Krishna Keshava Brahmachari and Chinta Haran Patgiri, he had the opportunity to meet many of Assam’s leading citizens and preach to them. Amongst these people were Assam’s chief minister, Gopinath Bardalai, Durgeshwar Sharma, Kumudeshwar Goswami, Bhuvana Goswami, Kanakeshwar Goswami, Rohini Chaudhari, Navin Bardalai, Girija Das, Dhiren Deb, Charitra Babu, Narendra Babu and others.
Arrangements were made for Srila Gurudeva (Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaja) to speak on the Bhagavat at the Chief Minister’s house. The people who came there to hear him speak the pure doctrines of the Bhagavat were enchanted. One day after Gurudeva’s lecture, Gopinath Bardalai came to him with great enthusiasm and praised his explanation of siddhanta. He said, “Upon hearing your Bhagavat-patha, I am convinced that your objectives and those of Mahatma Gandhi are the same. You give so many examples from scriptures and explain everything logically, and then you tell people to chant the names of Krishna. Gandhiji also ends his speeches, in which he talks about so many different things, by engaging everyone in ‘Ram-dhun.’ So both of you have the same goal-to make people chant the names of God. I don’t see any difference between your messages. What do you think of this opinion?”
Srila Gurudeva recognized that Gopinath Bardalai had great faith and affection for him. He did not wish to disturb his mind by saying something that would hurt him, so he decided to instruct him according to his level of understanding. He said, “If you don’t mind, then I will tell you what I think.”
The Chief Minister said, “I have been illuminated by all your valuable instructions. I have never heard such a learned discourse on the Bhagavat from anyone else before. How could I mind if you say anything at all for my benefit. Speak freely and say whatever you wish to say.”
Guru Maharaj then said, “Before I entered the math, I used to take part in the Independence movement. From Sabarmati, Congress used to publish an English magazine called Young India, which I often read. I read in one of the articles, that Gandhiji told his audience in a speech that he was ready to abandon even the chanting of the Holy Name for the sake of his country. As far as I can remember, his exact words were, ‘I can even sacrifice Ram-dhun for my country.’
“We, on the other hand, say exactly the opposite: ‘We can sacrifice our country for Ram-dhun.’ Our worshipable Lord Rama is not there for anyone. He is for Himself and everything exists for him. Western philosophers have defined the Absolute by saying, ‘The Absolute is for itself and by itself.’ We do not have refer ‘It-God’. Our Lord is the Supreme Person, the ‘He-God.’ So we prefer to say, The Absolute is for Himself and by Himself.’ The unlimited universes come out of Him, they exist within Him and he maintains them. So their existence is uniquely to fulfill His ends. If anyone wishes to worship the Lord, he must have a proper theological understanding.”
Gopinath Bardalai was so influenced by Srila Gurudeva’s powerful personality that he told him he wanted to abandon householder life and live in the math, dedicating his entire life to the service of the Lord. Unfortunately, his associates would not let him leave politics. Not long afterward he died and so was never able to do as he had wished. Politics are so entangling that once one has gotten involved in them, it is very difficult to extricate oneself.
As a result of the influence Srila Gurudeva had on all these important people in Guwahati, he became well known both in the city and outside it. After completing his preaching activities there, he returned to Calcutta.