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Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


In remembrance of the disappearance day of Bhaktivonda Thakura, we would like to share with you the following excerpt from a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada
"It was the desire of Bhaktivinoda Thakura to spread the life and precepts of Lord Caitanya in the western countries. So with this in view-of publishing the book Sree Chaitanya Ma-haprabhu, His Life and Precepts-he sent cop-ies to various universities' libraries, and one of the copies was found in the McGill Uni-versity in Montreal. After seventy-two years, this book was found in the library by one of our students, and he brought it to me. From a materialistic point of view, I was born in a different family, and Bhaktivinoda Thakura belonged to a different family, and my spiri-tual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Tha-kura, happened to be the fifth son of Bhak-tivinoda Thakura. Although at home Bhak-tivinoda Thakura was actually the spiritual master of my spiritual master, still he recom-mended Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, when he was a young man about eighteen years old, that, 'You go to Gaura Kishora dasa Babaji and become initiated by him.' Bhaktivinoda Thakura was a magistrate and my Guru Maharaja belonged to a very re-spectable family, so he narrated the story before us ... when he was recommended to be initiated by Gaura Kishora Babaji Maharaja. This Gaura Kishora Babaji Maharaja used to respect Bhaktivinoda Thakura as his guide, therefore we take it [that in our] disciplic succession that Bhaktivinoda Thakura guided Gaura Kishora Babaji Maharaja, and Gaura Kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja initiated my spiritual master. Therefore, Bhaktivinoda Thakura is accepted as the spiritual master of the spiritual master of my spiritual master. He is in the fourth generation, grandman spiritual master.
"So, Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Sa├Čkirtana Movement, which Bhaktivinoda desired in 1896, and somehow or other, coincidentally, I do not know what was his desire, I was also born in that year. And, by Krishna's desire, I came to the disciplic succession: [to] Saras-vati Thakura, and he asked me to go to the Western countries and preach Caitanya Ma-haprabhu's teachings. The spiritual line of understanding is different from the materialistic point of view. The idea is that I was born in a different family and Guru Maharaja was born in a differ-ent family. Bhaktivinoda was at that time a magistrate, a government ser-vant. By Lord Caitanya's desire we have come in the same line of disci-plic succession. What was taught by Bhaktivinoda Thakura in 1896, that these teachings of Lord Caitanya should be spread in the Western coun-tries, by chance or coincidence, it is now happening. We should take it for granted that whatever is happening at the present moment by my humble endeavor, it is all the grace of Bhak-tivinoda Thakura. Therefore, on this auspicious ceremony of Lord Caitanya's Appearance Day, it will be greatly beneficial for us to hear from Bhaktivinoda Thakura what he wrote seventy-two years before, and after seventy-two years, being a humble servant in that line, I am trying to distribute [his teachings]. There is a spiritual coinci-dence, and we should take advantage of Bhaktivinoda Thakura's book.
"Practically, this Caitanya Movement was-of course Lord Caitanya inaugurated this Movement five hundred years ago, and after that, so many psuedo-Caitanyites depreci-ated the whole thing-but the Caitanya Move-ment in its pure form, as it is, was restarted by Bhaktivinoda Thakura ...We should take it that Bhaktivinoda Thakura was the origin of the Krishna consciousness movement in its pure form.
"Bhaktivinoda wrote [almost] one hundred books ... Just imagine-he was a very respon-sible officer, a magistrate, and he was grhastha; [he] also had many children. Alto-gether he had ten children, and he had to take care of children, the office of magistrate and extra religious work. He was made su-perintendent of the Temple of Jagannatha, because the government knew that Bhaktivi-noda Thakura was a very highly advanced religious person. Whenever there was some religious question he was consulted. In spiteof all his responsibilities, as officer, or as family man with so many children, he executed his family life very nicely or else he could not have produced a child such as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. At the same time he served the Supreme Lord in so many ways. That is the beauty. He has written so many books and in spite of cumbersome duties. That is the beauty of his life ... he would come from the office in the evening and take his meals and go to bed. That was his program. And he'd sleep from eight to twelve at night, four hours, and then get up and write books until morning. That was his pro-gram.
"In this way, he wrote hundreds of books, some published, some in the course of [being] published. All this became possible because he was a sincere, faithful servant. To write so many books with so many responsibilities, for an ordinary magistrate is not possible. But because he was sincere, he got the strength from the Supreme Lord. One does not need to seek strength separate from the Supreme Lord. But if you are sincere the Supreme will give you sufficient strength. Actually, Bhaktivinoda Thakura brought my Guru Maharaja [to this world to be] his son. He prayed to Lord Caitanya that, 'Your preach-ing and teachings have been so much depreciated, it is not [in] my power to correct them.' He prayed to Lord Caitanya, and after his prayer Lord Caitanya sent my Guru Maharaja as his son. And he took up the matter very seriously.

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