Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura

Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura—(1838-1915) the great-grandfather of the present-day Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, the spiritual master of Śrīla Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī, the father of Śrila Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, and the grand-spiritual master of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was a responsible officer and a householder, yet his service to the cause of expanding the mission of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is unique.

He has written many books on the philosophy of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; Appearing in this world in 1838 and departing it in 1914, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura is one of the great teachers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the disciplic succession of spiritual masters. He is famous in Bengal for having located the exact site of the birthplace of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This site at Śrīdhāma Māyāpur, near the city of Navadvīpa about 90 miles north of Calcutta, had been lost for centuries due to the shifting course of the Ganges river. The Ṭhākura’s discovery rapidly transformed Māyāpur into an important place of pilgrimage for Kṛṣṇa devotees.

The Gaura-Viṣṇupriya temple he founded in 1891 was the first of many holy places of worship now visible at Māyāpur. In 1896, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura announced the saṅkīrtana mission to the Western world by sending a copy of one of his small books Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: His Life and Precepts to McGill University in Canada. Many of his Bengali songs are available in Songs of the Vaiṣṇava ṁcāryas, published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura predicted that the saṅkīrtana movement would spread from India to the great cities of the Western world.

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