Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

“Svalikhita Jivani” – Autobiography of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, published after a century by Bhaktivedanta Research Center
By Khusboo Basan   |  Feb 25, 2023

HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj and HH Guruprasad Swami Maharaj launching the book, Svalikhita Jivani at ISKCON Leadership Sanga in Sridham Mayapur on 15th February 2023

Svalikhita Jivani, the autobiography of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura published by the Bhaktivedanta Research Center (BRC) in its original Bengali language was released at ISKCON Leadership Sanga by HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj and HH Guruprasad Swami Maharaj facilitated by HG Gauranga Prabhu and HG Braj Vilas Prabhu on 15th Feb 2023 as part of the ISKCON Leadership Sanga event in Sridham Mayapur. The event was telecast live on Mayapur TV.

Originally, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur’s autobiography was written by him in the form of a letter to his son Lalita Prasad in 1896 and it was posthumously printed by the latter in 1916. However, after the first print, the book went out of circulation and remained almost beyond access over the course of the next hundred years.


The editor Dr. Santanu Dey glorifies the significance of printing in colonial Bengal. He says,” The onset of print culture in colonial Bengal facilitated the emergence of new forms of individuality through new literary genres like autobiographies, biographies, journals, and novels. It also led to the widespread dissemination of devotional literature. As manuscripts began to be printed in large numbers, networks of readership gave visible expression to a public sphere, reiterating the link between education, service, and cultural production. Print also enabled the integration of sacred communities through new networks of readership.”

It is a great delight for the general Bengali readers, Gaudiya Vaishnava devotees and social science researchers, to get a reprint of this book after tallying it with the scanned manuscript of the original letter that was written by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur.

It must be mentioned here that in this book, there has been included rare photographs of Bhaktivinod Thakur and a detailed bibliography of his writings. In addition to this, an introduction has been included that specifies the role of Bhaktivinod Thakur in a broader perspective of colonial Bengal and contemporary currents of Vaishnava resurgence in the 19th century.


About Bhaktivedanta Research Center (BRC)

The Bhaktivedanta Research Center was founded in 2009 by HG Hari-sauri Prabhu and HG Pranava Prabhu in Kolkata. BRC is a Shastra Mandir, a temple of our sacred scriptures, with a mission to serve our sacred Shastras i.e. collect, preserve, exhibit, research, publish and teach their divine eternal wisdom to the devotees and the society at large through the most revered means of education in the contemporary society.

BRC has been accomplishing this by a mission to collect ancient manuscripts, a global library, a research center, and an academic institute. It houses the century-old personal library collection of HDG Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada with over 2300 books and 70,000+ pages of Gaudiya Vaishnava journals and newspapers. It has branches in Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Jagannath Puri, and Vrindavan at this time. BRC is conducting over 25 research projects in collaboration with renowned scholars and universities such as Oxford Center for Hindu Studies and Indiana University. It is affiliated with Mumbai University and Pune University and offers Master’s and Ph.D. degree programs along with various certificate courses.


About the Editor – Dr. Santanu Dey

Dr. Santanu Dey is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandir (a residential autonomous College affiliated with Calcutta University) located at Belur Math near Kolkata, India. He completed his Master’s in 2001 at Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, India, and an MPhil in 2004, also at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. In 2015, Dr. Santanu Dey did his Ph.D. on the topic ‘Resuscitating or Restructuring Tradition? Issues and trends among Gaudiya Vaishnavas in late Nineteenth and early Twentieth century Bengal’, likewise from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

He is also a Research Fellow at the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies, Oxford University, and a UK Life Member of Bangiya Sahitya Parishat and Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture Library, Golpark.


About the Publisher – Dey’s Publishers

Dey’s publishers are one of the most renowned publishers of Bengali literature in West Bengal as one of India’s most prestigious publishing houses.