Sunday, July 11, 2010, is the disappearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur an Acharya in our Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya. ISKCON, Vrindavan also celebrated this festival.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was born on September 2nd, 1838 in Bir Nagar near Navadwip, in the state of West Bengal in India. His father is Bir Chandra Dutta and mother is Jagan Mohini Devi Dasi. He was given the name Kedarnath Dutta.
It was the critical and historical juncture for the Gaudiya Vaishnavas because the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the Goswamis were almost lost. At that time it took eight years for Bhaktivinoda Thakur to even find a single copy of Caitanya Caritamrita. He single handedly not only reestablished the teachings of Lord Chaitanya and the Goswamis, but also rediscovered the birth place of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur is considered as the pioneer and the grandfather of this Hare Krishna Movement, because he started world wide preaching by sending his book, “The life and precepts of Sri Caitanya” to the learned institutions and Libraries all over the world in 1896. He prayed for a ray of Vishnu, who could assist him in preaching the message of Lord Chaitanya. It is due to his prayers we were fortunate to have Bhakisiddanta Saraswati Thakur, who is the revered spiritual master of our Founder Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur also predicted, “Soon there will appear a personality who will preach the holy name of Hari all over the world.” It is clearly understood that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is that personality.
He served as an excellent magistrate under the British regime and solved many critical cases. It took only five minutes for him to solve a case whereas his contemporaries took two hours to solve the same. Even British Government was surprised by his superhuman activities. Despite of having so many responsibilities both in British Government and in his own family, he wrote hundreds of books, poems, songs, etc., glorifying Lord Krishna and his devotees. He gave to the world his immortal and precious works like Sri Harinama Chintamani, Bhajana-rahasya, Jaiva Dharma, Kalyana Kalpataru, Navadwipa Dhama Mahatmiya, Saranagati etc. To view more details about his writings visit site http://www.harekrsna.com/philosophy/bmgs/acaryas/bhaktivinoda/writings.htm
Here we quote a stanza written about the samadhi of Haridasa Thakur which Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur wrote to explain what influence a Vaishnava carries in this world even after his departure,
“He reasons ill who tells that Vaishnavas die,
When thou art living still in sound!
The Vaishnavas die to live, and living try
To spread the holy name around!”
In his final years, he performed intense nirjan bhajan (secluded worship) at Surabi Kunj in Navadwip, Bhakti Kuti in Puri, and also at Bhakti Bhavan in Calcutta where he disappeared in 1914 when he was 76 years old.
Jun 25, 2022
Radhapriya Chawla, ISKCON Toronto Communications