Prabhupada’s contribution to the world

1. Istadeva: Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Giridhari was his ishtadeva in Vraja-pattan, Sri Chaitanya Math, Mayapur. At the time of his passing from this world, he had opened sixty-four Gaudiya Maths for the propagation of spiritual life and Bhagavata philosophy. In all these Maths he established the worship of the archa vigraha (deity) of the Lord. This deity worship was executed according to the principles of Srila Sanatana Goswami’s book of vaishnava activities called Hari Bhakti Vilasa.

2. Plan by his vision: He always emphasized that material qualifications are not necessary to receive spiritual life. Anyone regardless of caste, sex, nationality, past background, etc., who sincerely desired to have a spiritual life, he would grant them entrance into divine love. He sent some of his sannyasi disciples outside of India to preach and open up Gaudiya Maths there.

3. Nama yajna: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati sent harinama parties into the world. He chanted the holy names throughout his life. He was the first spiritual master to allow his sannyasi preachers to wear western clothes and to travel in modern vehicles rather than on foot. Throughout the 1930s, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta expanded and increased his missionary work. Anxious that his work should continue, he urged his disciples to spread the holy name in his absence. He led the chanting of the Lord’s holy name on the streets, declaring this the utmost song in the entire world.

4. Schools: On April 3rd, 1931, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur opened the Bhaktivinoda Institute in Sri Mayapur, where he spoke on the difference between material and spiritual knowledge to the large assembly of people present for the occasion.

5. Vedas: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta adjusted the Gaudiya Math tradition to the technological and social conditions of the twentieth century. He considered the printing press the most effective means of spreading Krishna Consciousness throughout the world. He, himself, was the author of more than 40 books and publisher of around 500, as well as important translations, commentaries and philosophical essays.

6. Dana: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur helped the poor, hungry communities and saved the lives of many people by giving them Krishna Consciousness. After him, his disciples and grand disciples continued his philanthropic activities.

7. Sampradaya’s protection: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati made great efforts to protect the sampradaya from materialism and imitation. In his travels throughout India, especially South India, he enjoyed a reputation as an incredibly powerful debater and received the title Simha Guru (the Lion Guru). Various proponents of the mayavadi school would rather cross the street than confront him, because he was known to accost such scholars and chastise them for cheating the innocent public with false philosophy.

8. Women’s dignity and the first European female disciples: One of the greatest contributions of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur was the establishment of the Vishnupriya ashram or spiritual shelter for women. Concerned that women do not have a real transcendental refuge in this age of Kali-yuga, he gave women the opportunity to take shelter. In his classic Prema Pradipa, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur mentions the ashram of holy women and their highly respected leaders.

9. Politics: He involved even the British Government in Krishna seva

10. Divine News: He always stressed the importance of publishing and distributing vaishnava literature as a means of educating the ignorant masses. In order to
facilitate the printing of books and journals, he established four printing presses: The Gaudiya printing works in Calcutta (1923), The Nadiya Prakash printing works in Mayapur (1928), The Bhagavata press in Krishna Nagar (1914-15), and The Paramarthi printing works in Cuttack (1936). He called these presses the big mridanga (clay drums used for large congregational singing groups) because the sound that they would produce would be heard all over India. He took over as the editor of his father’s journal, the Sajjana-tosani, a monthly vaishnava newspaper in Bengali. Later on in 1927 he converted it into an English fortnightly called The Harmonist.

11. Architecture: He constructed very beautiful temples in different styles for Krishna’s pleasure, like Vraja-pattan and Yoga Pith in Mayapur, Bagh Bazaar Math in Calcutta, Radha Krishna Math, Chennai Math and others.

12. Art and Education: He opened theistic exhibitions in his temples and also established the Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur Research Institute (library for Krishna culture), and the varna ashram dharma (the spiritual division of society): brahmachari, grihastha, vanaprastha and tridanti sannyasi, which is the last step of total surrender to God. He established the pure Gaudiya kirtan. He was a perfect astrologer and he showed that surrender to God is above karma and education.

13. Shrines of Mahaprabhu’s footprints: It was Sarasvati Thakur’s wish to establish 108 shrines throughout India as memorials to the places Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had sanctified by the touch of His feet. These shrines or pada pith were prints of Gaura Sundara’s feet stamped in marble.

14. Ecology: Vraja-pattan is considered Vrindavan in Mayapur. It was the house of Candrasekhara acharya on Mahaprabhu’s lila. After rediscovering Mahaprabhu’s pastime places, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur established the Chaitanya Math and his ishtadeva, Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Giridhari. There he planted different trees of Vraja, Govardhana, Syama-kunda and Radha-kunda affirming that there is no difference between these places and Vraja dhama.

15. Divine organization: For the purpose of propagating Krishna Consciousness, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada organized the Gaudiya Mission with 64 branches. He was always dedicated to maintaining the purity of vaishnavism, so he reestablished the
Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha in 1919 and was the Navadvipa Dhama Pracharini Sabha’s secretary. He was also a powerful unifying influence on the various vaishnava sects by stressing the points of agreement shared by the four major sampradayas. He published the writings of the other vaishnava acharyas, especially Srila Madhavacarya and Srila Ramanujacarya, as well as accounts of their lives.

16. Dham Preservation: Between 1919-1929 he traveled constantly all over India. He lectured to crowds of thousands, debating, and defeating various bogus religious sects. He organized visits to holy places for his followers to establish education about the holy tradition by performing parikrama with his disciples to different sacred sites. He revived the annual parikrama or tour of Navadvipa, Vraja mandala and Puri dhama, seeking to improve the nagar sankirtan (congregational chanting of the holy names), the Hari katha (talks about God), the seva and the preservation of the holy places.