Lecture given by HH Tamal Krishna Goswami on 11th July 1991 in Dallas.
Today is the disappearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Gadadhara Pandit. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura worshipped the deities of Gaura Gadadhara and chose to leave this world on the same day as his worshippable deity Gadadhara Pandit also left.
We cannot calculate the debt which we owe to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Practically this Krishna consciousness movement is based upon his design because it is he who revived the mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and who gave it a modern outlook towards expanding the preaching mission worldwide.
As Srila Jiva Goswami organized the preachers after the departure of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, so Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura personally himself and through others organized the spreading of Krishna consciousness to all parts of the world. It was he who in 1896 sent a small book about the Teachings of Lord Chaitanya to McGill University in Canada. and of course in that very same year was the appearance of His Divine Grace Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had a very well rounded education and he happened to have the opportunity to study the teachings of Lord Chaitanya and when he compared all that he had read and learned with the Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, he recognized that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings were the ultimate of all transcendental knowledge. Actually Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is an eternal associate of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Sri Radha Krishna who came specifically to broadcast Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings. The book which Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote proved beyond any doubt that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his associates are actually the personality of Godhead coming into this world to perform transcendental pastimes to deliver the people of this age.
In every way Bhaktivinoda Thakura established the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
-by his erudite scholarship and research throughout Vedic literatures in order to substantiate Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s position and established the true birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
In his excavation of all the places of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and his associates eternal pastimes, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura exactly emulated and reminded everyone of the direct disciples of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the work they did, the six Goswamis of Vrindavan. They also studies carefully the Vedic literatures and presented the conclusive truths regarding the position of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and they also excavated the transcendental places of Krishna’s divine pastimes in Vrindavan Vraja Dhama.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura did the same in Navadvipa. At that time, there was arguments amongst those who were not knowing as to where was the exact birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Bhaktivinoda Thakura using his intelligence, scholarship and devotion could recognize the real birth site and brought his spiritual master, Jagaanatha das Babaji to that place who confirmed the birth place by expressing transcendental joy upon being brought to that location.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura inaugurated Sri Nama Hatta which means the preaching of Krishna consciousness, the holy names of the Lord by establishing the transcendental market places.
That means by establishing centers where those who were pure devotees would give the holy names to those who had the proper price. What is the price? Sincerity. Genuine longing for being able to chant and glorify the holy names of Lord Krishna with all purity and devotion.
Those who were found to have that price were given the holy names in the market place. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura set for himself the job of being a sweeper in the market of the holy names. Just like in any market there is someone who sweeps away all the dirty things and keeps the market clean, so Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura personally took responsibility to protect the market- to protect the salesman and in everyway protect the process of pure devotional service from all kinds of impurities which may come within the heart of those who are materialists or mixed devotees. He kept everything clean and pure by his powerful preaching and powerful example.
When later on, he felt the need to have assistance, he prayed to Lord Krishna that the Lord will send a ray of Vishnu, that the Lord would send one of his own associates from the spiritual world to assist him, and in answer to his prayer, Krishna sent Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati, a ray of Vishnu himself to assist his father in spreading Krishna consciousness.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura predicted that a great personality will come who will be able to spread this Krishna consciousness movement worldwide. In fact, that same statement was made by Nityananda Prabhuwho predicted that a great temple will rise in the heart of Navadvipa which will give light to the whole world. So in fulfillment of Nityananda and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s prediction, Srila Prabhupada appeared within this world and took upon himself the task of spreading Krishna consciousness worldwide.
In his elderly years and even before that in his writings Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura revealed his very deep devotion to the lotus feet of Sri Radha Krishna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In some of his writings, he describes his meditations, how he meditates in his original form as a maidservant unto Radharani and engages in her divine service under the guidance and jurisdiction of her associates and servants.
He gave all details revealing everything to be known about science of devotion, and he did it in such a way that even common men like us could can understand clearly the teachings of Lord Chaitanya. So our movement, Srila Prabhupada says, is based upon the teachings, the process, the means, the method which Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura inaugurated and therefore as the pioneer of Krishna consciousness in the entire world and throughout the Western world therefore this movement is based upon him rests on him and depends even now upon his blessings. Therefore on his disappearance, we offer him ourselves eternally in his service. We pray that he may always allow us to engage us as a servant of his servants and we pray that he will continue to bless us with his benedictions so that we can properly advance in the path of spiritual life.