Śrī Vaiṣṇavera Varṇāśrama (‘The Varṇāśrama of a Pure Vaiṣṉava’) was first published in Sajjana Toṣaṇī, Vol. 11. Issue 10 in 1900. In this article, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura explains how pure Vaiṣṇavas are transcendental to varṇa and āśrama because all of their activities are meant for cultivating kṛṣṇa-bhakti.
Vigata Vatsarera Samālocanā (A Review of the Previous Year) was first published in Sajjana Toṣaṇī, Vol. 11 issue 1 in 1899. In this review, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura describes the hardships of the previous year, in particular the outbreak of the Kolkata plague and lack of cow protection. He also describes some of the positive aspects such as the preaching and nagara-saṅkīrtana.
O Śacīnandana! There is no limit to Your mercy. In Your other avatāras, the activity of maintaining the world is quite obvious, but in the avatāra of Śrī Gaurāṅga one can see the culmination of Your compassion towards the jīvas. You are the deliverer of the fallen! You are the only saviour and friend of the jīvas of the age of Kali. If You had not descended, then that pure gem in the form of prema would have remained unattainable for the jīvas! You descended and distributed that nectar of prema which is rare even for Brahmā and Śiva to everyone – the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, caṇḍāla, yavana, mleccha, women and men.
The only way to make the tongue conducive to bhakti is to vow to honour the prasāda of Śrī Kṛṣna and the devotees. At the time of honouring prasāda, one does not think of becoming happy through enjoying, but only thinks of how the Lord of one’s life, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, has become happy by eating. At the time of honouring prasāda, if one feels happy enjoying himself, then there is no mood of anukūlya.
“O sajjana-toṣaṇī (one who gives satisfaction to the devotees)! May you attain peace! In this world, the natures that the jīvas acquire, influences them to engage in activities again birth after birth according to their respective karma. As long as desires that are opposed to bhakti are not removed, they may be given plenty of good advice, yet that will come out of their ears and never enter their hearts. Therefore, no matter how much you preach about bhakti, no matter how much you talk about bhakti, it will be of no benefit to them due to the defects of their own karma; so there will be no result from your discourses and discussions.
O readers! Come on – let us be careful and act in such a way that we never make an offence against Bhakti Devī. Firstly, let us become nirāpekṣa by worshipping Bhakti – this should be our vow. We will not speak nor do anything opposed to Bhakti in order to please some particular party. In all activities we will remain simple and straightforward. We will remain fixed within our heart, and not allow our conduct to be different. We will not make any endeavour to attain pratiṣṭhā by making a show of artificial symptoms to those who are actually opposed to bhakti. We will only favour śuddha-bhakti. We will never support any other type of siddhānta. Let our hearts and behaviour be the same!
In the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, in the narrative of Prajāpati’s teachings to Indra and Virocana, it is clear that Virocana accepted the gross Mleccha mentality and considered this material body as the ātmā, teaching his students the system of preservation of the material body after death. Apparently, his Egyptian followers taught the practice of mummification in their homeland. In other Mleccha countries, by changing that custom a little, burial has become the general rule. As scientific śāstra develops, all these things will become clearer.
This article, ‘Hindu’ was written by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in 1874 for the Ananda Bazar Patrika newspaper. Bhaktivinoda discusses the origins of the word ‘Hindu’ and explains why it was not used in the Vedas, Purāṇas etc. For a long time there has been a debate in the...
There are many human beings in the world and they are divided into two groups, Vaiṣṇavas and non-Vaiṣṇavas. Those who are bereft of bhakti, be they a scholar, a rich man, a strong man, a brāhmaṇa, a king or his subject – they are all non-Vaiṣṇavas. One who has bhakti, whether he is a householder or a sannyāsī, whether he is rich or poor, whether he is a scholar or a fool, whether he is weak or strong, he is a Vaiṣṇava.
If we say that He is formless, then we negate His eternal, spiritual, conscious, joyful form. He is not formless because He has no material form; His qualities are inconceivable.* If we say that He is only all-pervading, then we are saying that His qualities are limited. Although He is medium sized, He is simultaneously present in full everywhere—this quality is extraordinary and inconceivable
Many make great endeavors to show their religiosity externally. People will call them devotees, they will call them pious, and the desire for this is strong within them. Indeed, there is very little religiosity within them internally, for truthfully, when they have no feelings towards Bhagavān, they introduce themselves externally as supremely pious. It seems that they are not doing much. But what a grave offence it is to be at the feet of Bhagavān, not realising even once how far one has fallen. There is one song in which Bhagavān says:
Only those who have faith inSri Gauranga Mahaprabhu are part of His society After thorough deliberation we have concluded that mankind will greatly benefit through Sri Gauranga Samaja, the society of Sri Gauranga. Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura has said “ye va mane, ye...
by Srila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura Two divisions of sastra—smarta and paramartha The Vedic arya-sastras are divided into two sections—smarta (literature based on smrti) and paramartha (transcendental literature based...
The devotee who is in renounced order is rare. The reason is unless a person gives up all material desires and with good behavior engages in chanting the Holy name constantly only then will he be able to maintain his purity. Hence when the number of renounced people...