SRILA BHAKTI SIDDHANTA SARASVATI THAKURA LIFE HISTORY – DIARY OF 50 POINTS!
(Spiritual master of A.C.Bhakti Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON)
(A) The situation in which Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura appeared:
(1) Sri Caitanya maha Prabhu established the Nama Sankirtana movement 500+ years ago.
(2) After his leaving this world, and during the period of Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura’s period, Sri Caitanya’s sankirtana movement was discouraged by the people particularly the vedic scholars, considering that as just a cult of fanasticism and emotional sentiments.
(3) Worried with this decline of Sankirtana Movement of Sri Caitanya maha Prabhu, Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura travelled all over India and preached the Sankirtana movement effectively and also wrote many books on the teachings of Lord Caitanya. Thus, the sankirtana movement was revived during the period of Srila Bakthi Vinoda Thakura.
(4) Srila Bakthi Vinoda Thakura was praying the Lord caitanya to send a successor to him to continue the sankirtana movement.
(5) Because of his prayers, he got a child on 06.02.1874. At that time, he was working as a magistrate in Jagannath Puri (Orissa). He was also the manager of the Jagannatha temple at that time.
(C) THE CHILD SENT BY THE LORD:
(6) When the child came out of the mother’s womb, his umbilical cord was wrapped around him like the sacred thread worn by brahmanas. The child was named as Bimala Prasad.
(7) When the child was six months old, during a Jagannath Puri Ratha yathra, the cart stopped in front of the house of Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura and it could not be pulled further. When the wife of Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura placed the child at the lotus feet of the Jagannatha deity a big flower garland hanging around the neck of the Lord fell down and encircled the child. This proved that the child was a blessed child of Lord.
(8) The child was taught Krishna Consciousness by Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura. Even in his age of seven, that child memorized al the 700 verses of Bhagaavad Gita and its meanings.
(9) Because the child ate a mango that was not offered to the Lord, his father told him that it is not the proper act for having eaten unoffered mango. The child vowed that he will never eat mango in his life and followed that throughout his life.
(10) The child Bimala Prasad , in his age 10 was initiated with Hare Krishna Maha Manthra and Narasimha Manthra. Then, he was known as Bhakti Siddhantha Sarasvati.
(11) Bhakti Siddhantha Sarasvati had an outstanding memory and during his college days, he read all of the books in the library and made private studies into higher mathematics, international history and philosophy and Vedic astronomy.
(12) He was a great debator in philosophy and theology.
(13) In 1897 : In his age 23 itself, he opened a school in Calcutta namely Sarasvata Chatuspathi that taught Vedic astronomy to many scholars of Calcutta.
(14) He also started and run two monthly magazines – JYOTIRVID and BRHASPATI in which he published many articles like SURYA SIDDHANTA on vedic astronomy
(15) Since 1895: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was attending the meetings of his father’s Vishva Vaishnava Raja Sabha in Calcutta.
(16) In 1899 : He was editing and writing for a weekly cultural magazine, the Nivedana.
(17) In 1900 : He wrote and published a Bange Sama-jikata.
(18) In 1901 :
He was initiated in the Gayatri mantra by Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji from Navadvipa who was a disciple of Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura. Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji had not accepted any disciples and hence first refused to accept Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati as his disciple. But Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura told his son to get initiated by Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji at any cost, otherwise, his life will be waste. Hearing this, Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati met Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji on a bridge and told him that he will jump into the river and die if Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji does not give initiation to him.
Seeing his determination, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji accepted him as his ONLY disciple.
(19) After that, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati compiled a Vaishnava encyclopedia named Vaisnava-manjusha.
(20) In 1900 : He started preaching Srimad Bhagavatham in Puri.
(21) In 1904 : He travelled and preached in East Bengal.
(22) In 1905 : He travelled and preached the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the far southern provinces of India to the places such as Simachalam, Madras, Tirupati, Kanchipuram and many other places.
(23) In 1911 : He lectured to an on the comparative position of a brahmana and a Vaishnava at an All-India Conference of Panditas at Midnapore, presided over by Pandita Vishvambharanandadeva Gosvami.
(24) In 1912 : He traveled and preached in different parts of Bengal.
(25) In 1913 : He established the Bhagavat Press in South Calcutta which was later moved to Mayapur and then to Krishnanagar, where he began to publish his many carefully edited books.
(26) Overall, he wrote and published 61 books and 8 magazines.
(27) He wrote the Bengali translations of the works of the Madhvacharya Sampradaya to the public in Bengal.
(28) He has taught the relative positions of different Vaishnava and non-Vaishnava schools of philosophy and he has brought out the difference between empiric and revealed methods of spiritual understanding.
(29) He always stressed the importance of publishing and distributing Vaishnava literature.
(30) For that purpose, he started four printing presses: (i) the Gaudiya Printing Works in Calcutta (1923); (ii) the Nadiya Prakash Printing Works at Mayapura (1928); (iii) the Bhagavat Press in Krishnagar (1914-15), and (iv) the Paramarthi Printing Works at Cuttack (1936).
(31) In 1914 : Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura disappeared. He took over as the editor of his father’s monthly journal, the Sajjanatoshani. In 1927 : He converted Sajjanatoshani into an English fortnightly called the Harmonist.
(32) In 1918 : He took sanyasa in the age of 44 and accepted the title Gosvami Maharaja
(33) On the same day of his renounciation, he established his first Vaishnava monastery, the Caitanya Math at Sridhama Mayapur which became his preaching headquarters.
(34) In 1918 : An important person in a popular religious organization met Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura and became his disciple. He would arrange for Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s transportation between Mayapura and Calcutta and he rented him a small house for him in Calcutta for expanding the preaching of Sri Caitanya’s teachings. The house became known as “Bhaktivinoda Agana” and was later known as Sri Gaudiya Math when it was later moved to a large marble building in the Baghbazaar of North Calcutta in 1930.
(35) Before he passed away from this world he had opened sixty-four Gaudiya Maths for the propagation of spiritual life and Bhagavata philosophy.
(36) 1919-1929 : He was touring and preaching all over India. During these travels he installed the footprints of Lord Caitanya in one hundred and eight places where the Lord had traveled during His sannyasa life. At those spots he also recorded the date when Sri Caitanya had been there.
(37) In 1919 : He completed his preaching tour over North and East Bengal
(38) In 1920 : He toured in East Bengal.
(39) In 1920 : He also toured the Bihar, Orissa and the Sonthal Parganas establishing temples in some of these places.
(40) In 1922 : He visited Vrindavana with hundreds of disciples and gave lectures at all the major temples and places of the Lord’s pastimes.
(41) In 1925 : An extensive tour of Bengal to all the holy places connected with the pastimes of Sri Caitanya.
(42) In 1926 : He toured in Assam.
(43) 1928-1929 : He travelled to Punjab and gathered many manuscripts of Vaishnava writings.
(D) PLOT TO KILL SRILA BHAKTI SIDDHANTA SARASVATI:
(44) Since Srila Bhakti Siddhanta made many devotees not born in Brahmana families as good brahmanas, the caste brahmanas were very much in an uproar about his turning those not born in brahmana families into brahmanas better than them. The Nityananda-vamsas especially plotted to assassinate him and went to the local police magistrate to bribe him so he wouldn’t apprehend them after the murder. The police magistrate told them that he could not be connected with the killing of a Sadhu, a holy man. The police magistrate then immediately informed Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and in this way Srila Saraavati Thakura’s life was saved.
(45) In 1933 : He sent some of his sannyasa disciples to England to preach and open up Gaudiya Maths in the West, but not being able to convince the Westerners to take up spiritual life, they returned to India unsuccessful.
(46) Then, he asked his most beloved disciple, A.C Bhakti Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada to spread Lord Caitanya’s Nama-sankirtana movement to every corner of the globe
(47) A.C Bhakti Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada later fulfilled the orders of his spiritual master by visiting all the continents and established Sankirtana movement in every corner of this world.
(E) DISAPPEARANCE OF SRILA BHAKTI SIDDHANTA SARASVATI THAKURA:
(48) In 1936 : He was residing in Jagannatha Puri
(49) 31.12.1936 : Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura left this world in his age of 62.
(50) AFTER 1937 : After his disappearance, the Gaudiya mutts established by him continued the preaching services. However, the dream of Bhakthi Siddhantha Sarasvati to preach Sankirtana movement outside India remained unfulfilled. It was started by A.C.Bhakti Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada in 1965 when he left for United States to preach. His objectives are now fulfilled by lakhs of devotees connected to ISKCON that all of us know very well.