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Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura – Disappearance

July 13

About the year 1500 A.D., the incarnation of God Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began the Hare Krishna Movement in Navadvip, a city in the Indian province of Bengal. This movement, based on the philosophy of ancient Sanskrit texts of devotion to Krishna like the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, spread all over India within a short time. The movement popularized sankiritan, the congregational chanting of the maha-mantra Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, as the most effective means of God realization for the present Age of Kali, a time of rampant faithlessness, sin and materialism. After 1750 A.D., the influence of the Hare Krishna Movement seemed to wane. Many sects of sahajiyas (cheap pseudo-devotees) sprouted up, each claiming to be the true purveyors of Vaishnava-dharma (the religion of Lord Vishnu or Krishna). Because of their bad character, the sahajiyas brought disrepute upon the pure movement of love of God begun by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the 1800's, an eternally perfect devotee of Krishna descended from the spiritual world to the material world to revive the Hare Krishna Movement and to initiate its expansion beyond the borders of India. This was Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who was named Kedarnath Datta by his father (some say by his Godfather), was born in opulent circumstances on the 2nd September 1838., on a Sunday in Biranagara (Ulagrama) in the district of Nadia. He was the seventh son of Raja Krsnananda Datta, a great devotee of Lord Nityananda. He was also known as the great grandson of Madana Mohana and the third son of his Godfather Anandacandra. He would be known as 'daitya-kulera prahlada' (Prahlada in the family of demons). This was because Vaisnavism was not very much respected in his family; on his mother's side, there was no respect for Vaishnavism at all. His childhood was spent at the mansion of his maternal grandfather Mustauphi Mahasaya, in Biranagara. His environment at this time was very opulent. He got his elementary education at the primary school started by his grandmother. Later he attended an English school in Krishnanagara, started by the King of Nadia; he left that school when his older brother died unexpectedly of cholera. When he was 11 years old, his father passed away. Subsequently, the grant of land that had been conferred upon his grandmother changed owners; at this time the family fell into a condition of poverty - their great wealth proved to be illusiory. Still, the young Kedaranatha Datta passed over these difficulties with great endurance. His mother arranged a marriage for him when he was just twelve (1850 A.D.) to the then five year old daughter of Madhusudana Mitra Mahasaya, a resident of Rana Ghata. Around this time Kasiprasada Ghosh Mahasaya Thakur (Kedaranatha Datta's uncle), who had mastered under the British education, came to Ulagrama after the death of his maternal grandfather. He schooled young Kedaranatha Datta at his home in Calcutta; this was at first resisted by Kedaranatha Datta's mother, but by the time he was years of age he was allowed to go. The house was situated in the Heduya district of central Calcutta. Kasiprasada was the central figure of the literary circle of his time, being the editor of the Hindu Intelligencer; many writers came to him to learn the art of writing in correct English. At this time, and recognising Kedaranatha Datta's natural ability, he assisted Kasisprasada by judging manuscripts submitted to the newspaper. Sri Kedaranatha Datta studied Kasiprasada's books and also frequented the public library. He attended Calcutta's Hindu Charitable Institution high school and became an expert English reader, speaker, and writer. He became ill from the salty water of Calcutta. He returned to Ulagrama and was treated by a 'Muslim soothsayer' ('tantric') who predicted that the village of Biranagara would soon become pestilence-ridden and deserted. The Muslim also predicted Kedaranatha Datta would become recognized as a great devotee of Lord Krsna. At the age of 18 years (1856.) Kedarnatha Datta entered college in Calcutta. He started writing extensively in both English and Bengali; these essays were published in local journals. He also lectured in both languages. He further studied English literature at this time extensively, and taught speechmaking to a person who later became a well-known orator in the British Parliament. Between the years 1857-1858 he composed a two part English epic entitled "The Poriade", which he planned to complete in 12 books. These two books described the life of Porus, who met Alexander the Great. Sriman Dvijendranatha Thakur, the eldest son of Maharsi Devendranatha Thakur, was Sri Kedaranatha Datta's best friend during these scholastic years. He assisted Kedaranatha Datta in his studies of Western religious literatures. Affectionately Kedaranatha Datta used to call Devendranatha Thakura 'baro dada', or big brother. He was very taken by Christian theology, and regarding it more interesting, and less offensive than Hindu monism, 'advaita-Vedanta of Sankaracarya'. He would spend many hours comparing the writings of Channing, Theodore Parker, Emerson and Newman. At the British-Indian Society he gave a lecture on the evolution of matter through the material mode of goodness. At the end of 1858 Kedaranatha Datta returned to Biranagara and found the Muzzi's prediction about that place to have come true; the place was ruined and deserted. Sri Kedaranatha Datta brought his mother and paternal grandmother with him from there to Calcutta. Soon after he went to Orissa to visit his paternal grandfather, Rajavallabha Datta, who used to be a big man in Calcutta, who was now living as an ascetic in the Orissan countryside. His days were coming to a close. He could predict the future, so he knew it himself very well. He wanted Kedaranatha Datta to be with him when he departed this world, which he did in 1859, when Kedaranatha Datta was 21 years of age. After receiving his grand-father's last instructions, he travelled to all the monasteries and temples in the state of Orissa. As a young householder Srila Bhaktivinoda began to consider […]

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8:00 am

Sri Gadadhara Pandita – Disappearance

July 13 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Sri Gadadhar was the consant companion of Mahaprabhu from the time of their childhood. His father's name was Sri Madhva Misra and his mother's name Sri Ratnavati-devi. They lived very near the house of Sri Jagannatha Misra in Mayapura. Ratnavati-devi thought of Saci-devi as her own sister, and always used to visit her.

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