Today is the appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur. On this day in 1838 he was born in Birnagar, Bengal, India. He was to become a prolific author of books on the philosophical teachings of devotion to Radha-Krishna, a masterful songwriter, and the great-grandfather of the present day Hare Krishna movement. By his monumental, single-handed efforts the pure bhakti taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was rescued from the hands of numerous false teachers, charlatan yogis, and Anglicised Hindus.
He redefined the Gaudiya Vaishnava path, created a very popular movement with over 500 branches, and put the teachings of Rupa Goswami into English for the first time. His son was to later become Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, whose dear disciple was our Srila Prabhupada.
He once predicted that the sound of the mridanga and karatals, and the sound of the holy names of Krishna, would one day resound in the cities of the world. On another occasion he said that he would personally accompany anyone who took the harinam sankirtan to a new town.
Putting those two statements together, I pray that we gained the Thakur’s blessings and holy company last weekend when we went for the first time to the small town of Boscombe, on England’s south coast. (If anyone went there before us, please forgive me, the special blessing was yours alone!) May Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur bless all those who take the holy names of Krishna to an English town.
I have now uploaded three songs by the Thakur – plus some other favourites – and they can be downloaded from Radha Krishna Records under the title: The Hare Krishna Experience.