His Father

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur Mahasaya

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur Mahasaya

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur Mahasaya

After 1750 A.D., the influence of the movement started by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu seemed to wane. Many sects of sahajiyas (cheap pseudo-devotees) sprouted up, each claiming to be the true purveyors of Vaishnava-dharma . Because of their bad character, the sahajiyas brought disrepute upon the pure movement of love of God begun by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But in the 1800’s, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura apeared to revive this movement and to initiate its expansion beyond the borders of India.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who was named Kedarnath Datta by his father, was born in opulent circumstances on the 2nd September 1838., on a Sunday in Biranagara (Ulagrama) in the district of Nadia. He would be known as ‘daitya-kulera prahlada’ (Prahlada in the family of demons). This was because Vaisnavism was not very much respected in his family; on his mother’s side, there was no respect for Vaishnavism at all.

When he was twelve years old,  Kasiprasada Ghosh Mahasaya Thakur (Kedaranatha Datta’s uncle), who had mastered under the British education, came to Ulagrama after the death of his maternal grandfather. He schooled young Kedaranatha Datta at his home in Calcutta. The house was situated in the Heduya district of central Calcutta. Kasiprasada was the central figure of the literary circle of his time, being the editor of the Hindu Intelligencer; many writers came to him to learn the art of writing in correct English. At this time, and recognising Kedaranatha Datta’s natural ability, he assisted Kasisprasada by judging manuscripts submitted to the newspaper. Sri Kedaranatha Datta studied Kasiprasada’s books and also frequented the public library. He attended Calcutta’s Hindu Charitable Institution high school and became an expert English reader, speaker, and writer.

At the age of 18 years (1856.) Kedarnatha Datta entered college in Calcutta. He started writing extensively in both English and Bengali; these essays were published in local journals. He also lectured in both languages. He further studied English literature at this time extensively, and taught speechmaking to a person who later became a well-known orator in the British Parliament. Between the years 1857-1858 he composed a two part English epic entitled “The Poriade”, which he planned to complete in 12 books. These two books described the life of Porus, who met Alexander the Great.

As a young men, Srila Bhaktivinoda began to consider the question of the means of his livelihood. He was not interested in business, as he’d seen how the apparent ‘necessary dishonesty’ of the trade world due to competition for sales, had moraly weakened the merchant class. Their work ethics becoming removed from the principle of mutually helping others by which they would automatically be protected from failure to succeed, as well as being co-operatively assisted by the ‘natural laws of compensation’, ‘karma’.

He decided instead to become a school teacher and established a school for English education in the village of Kendrapara near Chutigrama, in Orissa, thus becoming a pioneer in English teaching in that state. He also could see the oppressive power wielded by the landowners of Chutigrama. After some time he went to Puri and passed a teachers examination; he got a teacher’s post in a Cuttack school and later became headmaster of a school in Bhadraka and then in Madinipura. His dedicated work was noted by the school-board authorities.

In Bhadraka, n 1860 he published a book that year in English that described all the ‘ashramas’ and temples in the state; this book received favorable mention in the work called “Orissa” by British historian Sir William Hunter; Hunter praised Kedaranatha Datta’s moral and religious character, as everyone did. As the headmaster of the Medinipura high school, Kedaranatha Datta looked into the various religious groups, their philosophies and practices. He could see that many of them were taking it all very cheaply. He came to understand that the only real religion that had ever been established in Bengal was that of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; unfortunately at present, His movement was not well-represented. Due to the misrepresentation, and coruptions and influence of the ‘Apa-sampradayas’.

The Thakura made an onslaught against those who belonged to the apasampradayas who were polluting Gaudiya Vaishnavism by basically thirteen deviant philosophies – Aula, Baula (2 types), Karttabhaja, Neda, Daravesa, Sani, Sahajiya, Sakhibheki, Smarta, Jatagosani, Ativadi, Cudadhari and Gauranga-Nagari. These deviant groups, mostly because of their boldness, had been seen by the public as the Gaudiya Sampradaya, though actually none were following the pure Vaishnava regulative principles strictly, as laid down by the followers of Sri Krishna Caitanya (namely the Goswamis). Being a follower of the Goswamis or not is interdependent on qualifying one to be a Gaudiya Vaisnava.

In the year 1861 Sri Kedarantha Datta accepted the post of Deputy Magistrate in the Government of Bengal. Then he became Collectorate Officer after seeing the corruption of the government workers. He established an organization called the “Bhratr Samaja”. He wrote an English book in 1863 called “Our Wants.” At this time he also constructed a home in Rana Ghata. Later in 1863 he stayed at Burdwan, where he composed two novel poems in Bengali: “Vijinagrama” (deserted village) and “Sannyasi.” Volume 39 of the 1863 Calcutta Review praised these poems, saying,“We hope the author will continue to give his countrymen the benefit of his elegant and unassuming pen, which is quite free from those objectionable licenses of thought and expression which abound in many dramas recently published. The want of the day is the creation of a literature for Hindu ladies, and we trust that many more educated natives will have the good sense to devote their time and abilities to the attainment of this most desirable aim.” The rhyme and style of these two poems were original; they gave birth to a new way of writing poetry in the Bengali language.

Sri Kedaranatha Datta was transferred to Purniya from Chapara where he took charge of the government and judicial departments; he was then transferred to Dinajapur (West Bengal) in 1868, becoming the Deputy Magistrate. At this time he received copies of the Srimad Bhagavatam and Caitanya Caritamrta from Calcutta, then he published a song about Lord Caitanya entitled ‘Saccidananda-premalankara’. In 1869, while serving as deputy magistrate under the government of Bengal in Dinajapur, he delivered a speech in the form of a treatise he had written on the Srimad Bhagavatam to a big congregation of many prominent men of letters from many parts of India and England.

In Puri, Sri Kedaranatha Datta studied Srimad Bhagavatam with the commentary of Sridhara Swami, he also copied out in longhand the Sat-sandarbhas of Jiva Goswami and made a special study of Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu.
Between the years 1874 and 1893, Bhaktivinode Thakur spent much time in seclusion chanting the holy name (though he still executed his worldly duties perseveringly); he wrote several books in Sanskrit such as Sri Krishna samhita, Tattva-sutram and Tattva-viveka; he wrote many books in Bengali such as the Kalyana-kalpataru; in 1874 he composted Datta-kausubha (in Sanskrit).

While in Puri he established a Vaishnava discussion society known as the Bhagavat-samsat in the Jaganatha-vallabha gardens, where Sri Ramananda Raya did bhajana. All the prominent Vaishnavas joined this group except for Raghunatha dasa Babaji, known as Siddha Purusha. He thought that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was unauthorized, as he did not wear ‘kanthi-mala’ or ’tilaka’; moreover, he advised other Vaishnavas to avoid Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s association. But soon thereafter Raghunatha dasa Babaji contracted a deathly illness for his offense. In a dream, Lord Jagannatha appeared to him and told him to pray for the mercy of Bhaktivinoda Thakura if he at all wanted release from the illness and death. He did so; Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave him special medicines and cured him, and also blessed Raghunatha dasa Babaji with a true awareness of Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s position. Others had a natural affection like Sri Swarupa dasa Babaji, who did ‘bhajana’ at Satasana near the ocean in Puri; he showed much affection for Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and gave him many profound instructions and insights from his own realisations on the bhajana of the holy name.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was one of this age’s formost devotional scholars, yet humbly presents himself as the insignificant messenger of the Lord as we can note from this following message of his; “The way how I got the inspiration to compile this book (Sri Srimad Bhagavata Arka Marichimala) is a Divine Mystery which I felt not proper from my part to disclose as it might be bridging spiritual conceit, but subsequently I realise that it would be an undoing to my spiritual master which might stand as an obstacle on the path of my spiritual progress therefore without any shame I record the fact that while under the benediction of my Guru Sri Bipin Bihari Goswami who belonged to the great heritage of Thakur Vamshibadananda, a faithful follower of my Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu I was deeply penetrating upon Srimad Bhagavatam, one day in a vision Sri Svarup-Damodara, the right hand personal Adherent of Lord Sri Caitanya, instructed me to compile the slokas of Srimad Bhagavatam in accordance with the principles of ‘Sambandha’, Abhidheya’ and ‘Prayojana’ as laid down by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu – so that the book will read with an easy understanding with great interest and delight by the loving devotees of the Lord. Sri Svarupa-Damodar Prabhu further guided me by giving a wonderful explanation of the first sloka of Srimad Bhagavatam and also showed me how I have to explain the slokas under the light of Gaudiya-Vaishnava Philosophy.”(B.P Yati. 1978. Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Sri Srimad Bhagavata Arka Marichimala. Chapter 20., supplication 3. inclusion. Page 479.)

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura became manager of Jagannatha Puri Temple; he used his government powers to establish regularity in the worship of the Deity. In the Jagannatha Puri Temple courtyard he established a ‘Bhakti Mandapa’, where daily discourses of Srimad Bhagavatam were held. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura would spend long hours discussing Krishna and chanting the holy name, especially at Tota-Gopinatha Mandir, the tomb of Haridasa Thakur, Siddha Bakula and Gambhira. He made notes on the Vedanta-sutra which were used by Sri Syamalala Goswami in the edition of the Govinda Bhasya by Baladeva Vidyabhusana that he published.

Near the Jagannatha-vallabha gardens, in a large house adjacent the Narayana Chata Matha, on the 5th day of the dark fornight of Magha in the year 1874, the 4th son of Bhaktivinoda Thakura took birth. Answering the prayer of Bhaktivinoda for the Lord “to send a Ray of Visnu” to preach the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. He was given the name Bimala Prasada.

In 1874 Bhaktivinoda Thakura discovered the Raja of Puri had misappropriated Rs. 80 thousand for sense gratification. This money belonged to the temple, so Bhaktivinoda Thakura forced the Raja to give Lord Jagannatha ‘bhoga’ 52 times daily. This diminished the money quickly; the ‘raja’ was angry at Bhaktivinoda Thakura and began, with the help of 50 ‘pandits’, a ‘Maran-karmani tantric yajna’ meant for killing Bhaktivinoda Thakura which went on for 30 days; when the last oblations were poured, it was the kings son and not the pure hearted Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura who died.

He left Puri on special business; returned to Bengal and saw Navadwip, Santipura and Kalana. He was put in charge of the subdivision Mahisarekha in Haora. After that he was transferred to Bhadraka. In August 1878 he was made head of the subdivision Naraila in the Yashohan district. While in Naraila his two famous books Sri Krishna-samhita and Krishna-kalpataru were published. In a letter dated April 16th., 1880, Dr. Reinhold Rost wrote to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura: “By representing Krishna’s character and his worship in a more sublime and transcendental light than has hitherto been the custom to regard him, you have rendered an essential service to your co-religionists, and no one would have taken more delight in your work than my departed friend Goldstuecker, the sincerest and most zealous advocate the Hindus ever had in Europe.” These two works brought the devotional attention of many of India’s pandits and educated men.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura took ‘pancaratrika diksa’ initiation from Bipin Bihari Goswami, descended from the Jahnava family of Baghnapara. Many people had adopted Vaishnavism at Haraila, but they could not tell who was a Vaishnava and who not; Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave them shelter and instructed them on this matter most exactingly.

In 1881 Bhaktivinoda Thakura began publishing ‘Sajjanatosani’, his Vaisnava journal.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had previously pilgrimaged to Kasi, Prayaga, Mathura and Vrindavana (‘Vraja Mandal’) in 1866. At the close of his stay in Naraila he desired to again see the land of Vraja. He took three months for this purpose. At this time he met Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji there, who had a program by which he moved every six months between Navadwipa and Vrindavana. Meeting him, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura accepted him as his eternally worshippable ‘siksa’ (instructing) ‘guru’.

From Vrindavana he came to Calcutta and bought a house at 181, Maniktala Street, now called Ramasha Datta Street, near Bidana Park. He started daily worship of Sri Giridhari (the transcendental form of Krishna who appeared in the form of Govardhan Hill) and called the house Bhakti-bhavan. He was appointed head of the subdivision of Barasa.
In 1881, in the course of excavating for the construction of the ‘Bhakti bhavana’ at Rambagan in Calcutta, a Deity of Kurmadeva was unearthed. After initiating his seven year old son, Bhaktivinoda entrusted Bimala with the service of the deity of Kurmadeva.

The well-known novelist Bankim Candra met Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura at Barasa. Bankim Candra had written a book about Krishna and showed it to Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who preached to him for four days, taking little food and hardly any sleep; the result was Bankim Candra changed his ideas (which were mundane speculations about Krsna) and his book to conform with the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura used to say, “knowledge is power”.

During the last year of his stay at Barasat (1886), Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura published an edition of the Bhagavad Gita with the Sanskrit commentary of Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur, which he translated into Bengali (the “Rasika-ranjana” translation).

From Barasat, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was transferred to Sriramapur, there he composed and published his masterly writing, Sri Caitanya Siksamrta, and also the Vaisnava-siddhanta-mala, Prema-pradipa and Manah-siksa. He was also publishing Sajjanatosani on a regular basis. In Calcutta he set up the Sri Caitanya Yantra, a printing press at the ‘Bhakti Bhavana’, upon which he printed Maladhara’s Sri Krishna-vijaya and his own Amnaya-sutra and the Caitanyopanisad of the Atharva Veda.

In Calcutta he started the Sri Vishva-Vaishnava Raj Sabha, dedicated to the preaching of pure bhakti as taught by Lord Caitanya. To publicize the work of the society, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura published a small booklet entitled Vishva-Vaishnava-kalpavi. Also he published his own edition of the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, with his Amrta-prabhava Bhasya commentary. And he introduced the Caitanyabda or Caitanya-era calendar, and gave assistence to the propagation of the Caitanya Panjika, which established the feast day of Gaura Purnima. He lectured and gave readings on books like the Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu (of Srila Rupa Goswami) in various Vaishnava societies; he published in the Hindu Herald, an English periodical, a detailed account of Sri Caitanya’s life. It was at this time that the learned Vaisnavas recognized Kedaranatha Datta and given the honourary titile as Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

In the year 1887 Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura resolved to quit government service and go to Vrindavana with Srila Bhakti Bhrinha Mahasaya Mahasaya for the rest of his life. One night in Tarakeswara, while on government service, he had a dream in which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared to him and spoke, “You will certainly go to Vrindavana, but first there is some service you must perform in Navadwipa, so what will you do about that?” When the Lord disappeared, Bhaktivinoda Thakura awoke. He apply for a transfer to Krishnanagara, even turning down offers of personal assistanceship to the chief Commissioner of Assam and the seat of the Minister of Tripura State. He even tried to retire at this time, but his application was not accepted.

During his stay at Krishnanagara, Bhaktivinoda Thakura used to go to Navadwipa and search for the birthsite of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One night he was sitting on the roof of the Rani Dharmasala in Navadwipa chanting on his ‘Japa-beads’, when he spotted a very tall Tala tree with some very strange substance attached to it; near the tree was a small building that gave off a remarkable effulgence. Soon afterwards, he went to the Krishnanagara Collectory where he began to study some very old manuscripts of Caitanya Bhagavat and Navadwipa Dhama Parikrama by Narahari Sarkar, and some old maps of Nadia. He went to the village of Ballaladibhi and spoke with many elderly people there, and uncovered facts about the modern-day Navadwipa; in the year 1887 he discovered that the place he’d seen from the dharmasalla rooftop was in fact the birthplace of Mahaprabhu. This was confirmed by Srila Jaganatha dasa Babaji, the head of the Gaudiya Vaisnava community in Nadia. A great festival was held there. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura published the Navadwipa Dhama Mahatmya.

Also in 1887, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura renovated the house of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji at Ravasghata. He took leave from office for two years and acquired a plot of land at Sri Godadrumadwipa, or Svarupaganga. He built a retirement house there for his ‘bhajana’, and called it Surabhi Kunja; in 1890 he established the ‘Nama Hatta’ there. Sometimes Jagannatha dasa Babaji would come there and have ‘kirtana’. Lord Nityananda had established His Nama Hatta at the same place; Bhaktivinoda Thakura considered himself the street sweeper of the ‘Nama Hatta’ of Nitai.

In 1888 he took charge of the village of Netrakona in the district of Mayamanasimha, because he could not keep good health in Krishnanagara and had requested transfer to a more healthful region. From Netrakona he came to Tangaila and from there he was transferred to the district of Vardhamana. There he would have ‘kirtana’ with the devotees from a place called Amalajora, headed by Kshetra Babu and Bipina Babu; they would sing poems like Soka-satana written by him.
He was put in charge of the Kalara subdivision in 1890, and from there would often visit such holy places as Godadrumadwipa, Navadwipa, Campahati, Samudragana, Cupi, Kasthasali, Idrakapura, Baghanapara, Piyariganga (the place of Nakula Brahmacari) and the place of Vrindavana Dasa Thakur at Denura. Soon Bhaktivinoda Thakura was transferred for a few days to Ranighata, from where he came to Dinajapura again. There, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote his Vidva-ranjana commentary and translation of the Bhagavad Gita; it was published in 1891 with the commentary of Baladeva.

1891 was the year Bhaktivinoda Thakura took leave from the government service for two years. He desired to preach ‘Sri Hari-Nama’. His base was at Godadrumadwipa; from there he used to visit such places as Ghatala and Ramajivana to lecture in clubs, societies and organizations. This he’d also often do in Krishnanagara. He travelled and preached in March of 1892 in the Basirahata District together with some other Vaishnavas. All the while he was writing also. He opened many branches of ‘Nama Hatta’ in different districts of Bengal. The ‘Nama Hatta’ became a self-sustaining success which continued to spread even after his return to government service.

In February 1891 he gave a lecture on his investigation into the whereabouts of the actual birthsite of Sri Caitanya; his audience included highly learned men from all over Bengal, who became very enthusiastic at the news. Out of this gathering the Sri Navadwipa Dhama Pracarini Sabha was formed for spreading the glories of Navadvipa-Mayapura. All the learned pandits, having deliberated fully on Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s evidence, agreed that the Yogapitha was the true birthsite of Mahaprabhu. That year, on Gaura Purnima, a big festival was held that witness the installation of Gaura-Visnupriya Dieties at the Yogapitha. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura personally, in a spirit of pure humility, went door to door collecting to raise funds to build a temple on the very site. In the Amrta Bazaar Patrika, December 1894, an article appeared: “Babu Kedarnatha Datta, the distinguished magistrate who has just retired from service, is one of the most active members. Indeed, Babu Kedarnatha Datta has been deputed by his committee to raise subscriptions in Calcutta and elsewhere and is determined to go from house to house if necessary and beg a rupee from each Hindu gentleman for noble purpose. If Babu Kedarnatha Datta sticks to his resolution of going around with bag in hand, we hope that no Hindu gentleman whose house may be honoured by the presence of such a devout bhakta as Babu Kedarnatha, will send him away without contributing his mite, however humble it may be, to the Gaura-Visnupriya Temple Fund.” His venture was highly successful and the temple was built.

In October 1894, at age 56, he retired from his post as Deputy Magistrate, though this move was opposed by his family and the government authorities. He stayed at Surabhi Kunja and preached, as well as revised his old writings. Sometimes he went to Calcutta; there he begged door to door for building the Yogapitha temple.

In July 1896 Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura went to Tripura at the request of the the king, who was a Vaishnava. He stayed in the capital for four days and preached the glories of Sri Hari-Nama. His lecture on the first day amazed all the local ‘panditas’; on the next two days the local Royal family and general public thrilled to his talks on the pastimes of Mahaprabhu.

His mercy far outreaches the geographical boundaries of India or even Asia, taking Krishna consciousness to the West.

Back in Godruma, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sent out a small booklet, written in Sanskrit, to Sri Gauranga-lila-smarana-mangala-stotram, with a commentary by Srila Sitikantha Vacaspati of Nadia. The intro, “Caitanya Manaprabhu, His life and precepts”, was in English This book found its way into the library of the Royal Asiatic Society in London, the library of McGill University in Canada (the year is 1896) and other respectable institutions. It was reviewed in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society by Mr. F.W. Fraser, an erudite European scholar.

Sri Sisira Kunara Ghosa was the founder of the Amrta Bazaar Patrika and the author of the Sri Amiya Nimai-carita. He had great respect for Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura; he also took up the preaching of the holy name throughout Calcutta and in many villages in Bengal. He published the ‘Sri Vishnu Priya O Ananda Bazar Patrika’ under the editorship of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In one of his letters to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura he wrote, “I have not seen the six Goswamis of Vrindavana, but I consider you to be the seventh Goswami.”

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s son Bimala Prasad (latter Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati) had been residing at Puri as a ‘naisthika brahmacari’ (celebate student) and was engaged in bhajan at the Gandharvika Giridhari Matha, one of seven ‘mathas’ near the ‘samadhi’ tomb of Haridasa Thakur on the sea-shore. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, desiring to help his son, had the monastery cleaned and repaired when he came to Puri himself at the beginning of the 20th century. After the young (Bhakti) Siddhanta Saraswati left Puri for Sri Navadwipa Mayapur, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura constructed his own place of ‘bhajana’ on the beach, calling it Bhakti Kuti; one Sri Krsnadasa Babaji, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s devoted assistant and disciple, joined him there at this time, and he became very dear to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and was his constant attendant up to the end of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s life.
He began solitary ‘bhajan’ (worship and devotional meditation) at this time; he had many visitors at this place, and some of them simply wanted to disturb him, whereas others were sincere and benefitted greatly from his spiritual inspiration.

In 1908, three months before he took ‘sannyasa’, a son of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura who was working in the writers building in Calcutta, came home to inform Bhaktivinoda Thakura that Sir William Duke, cheif secretary to the government, was in Calcutta; formerly Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had served under him as a magistrate. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura made an appointment to meet him the next day at the writers building. Sir William Duke met with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura on the street outside the building and personally escorted him in to his office. With folded hands, he asked forgiveness for having once planned to remove Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura from office of district magistrate; this was because he thought that if such qualified Indians take up such posts, the British would not last much longer in India.
In those days, while studying Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s activities (then Kedarnatha Datta), he’d come to his house and would be fed ‘puri’, ‘luchi’ and sweets by the Thakura’s wife. But now he was begging forgiveness as he was getting on in life; Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura answered, “I consider you to be a good friend and a well wisher all along.” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was pleased with him and gave him his blessings. Later Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura admitted he was astonished that Sir William Duke wanted to harm him in some way.

In the year 1908 Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura took the external ‘vesa’ dress of a ‘babaji’ at Satasana in Puri technically which is called his accepting ‘paramahamsa-sannyasa’, among the ‘Gaudiya sampradaya’; until 1910 he would move between Calcutta and Puri, and was still writing books. It was on June 23rd., 1914, just before noon at Jagannatha Puri, that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Prabhupada left his body; on the Gaudiya Panjika this day was also the disappearance day of Sri Gadadhara Pandita. But from Orissa his bodily remains were taken back to his beloved Godruma, in the land of Nadia. Amidst ‘sankirtana’ his remains were interred in Godruma after the next solstice; the summer solstice had just begun when Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Prabhupada had left his body.

Remembering His Divine Character.
In an obiturary about Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sarada Carana Mitra, Calcutta High Court Judge, wrote: “I knew Thakur Bhaktivinode intimately as a friend and a relation. Even under the pressure of official work as a magistrate in charge of a heavy subdivision he could always find time for devotional contemplation and work, and whenever I met him, our talk would turn in a few moments to the subject of ‘bhakti’ and ‘achintya bheda abheda’, ‘dvaitadvaita-vada’ etc., and the saintly work that lay before him. Service of God is the only thing he longed for and service under the government, however honorable, was to him a clog.”