Satto Vriteh
Following in the Footsteps of Previous Acaryas
An offering of Swami B.A Paramadvaiti

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur

Srila Baktivinoda Thakur appeared in this world with the name of Kedarnath Datta, in the year 1838.  Even though Vaishnavism was not very respected by his family, he devoted his life to spread and practice the Vaishnava doctrine revealed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, fighting against the movements that had distorted its essence.

In his youth he became a great scholar, reader and writer in English.  He also began to meditate deeply on the reason for his existence, since he was not interested in leading a dishonest life like most traders and politicians of his time; instead of that, he became an English professor, becoming later on, the director of the Medinipur High School.  In this position he began to study different religious groups, their philosophy and practice, to conclude that the religion established by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was the most consistent and profound.

In 1861, he accepted the post of Deputy Magistrate and thereafter began to advance in positions related to the governmental regulations of Bengal.  At that time he began studying deeply the scriptures of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism from authors like Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Jiva Goswami, among others.  Between the years 1874-1893 he spent most of his time singing Harinama, without neglecting his obligations with his family and work.  He soon became the administrator of the Sri Jagannath temple in Puri, and re-established the regular service to the deity and maintained conferences of the Slimed Bhagavam.

Srila Bhaktivinoda prayed intensely to the Lord asking him to send him “A ray of Vishnu” that would spread Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message all over the world, thus, in the year 1874 the fourth son of Thakur was born, named Bimala Prasad, later known as Siddanta Sarasvati.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur gradually began to publish important books for the Gaudiya Vaishanivsim, such as: Krishna-Samhita, Kalyan Kalpataru, Sri Caitanya Siksamrita, and Vaishnava Siddhanta Mala, Prema Pradipa, Manah Siksa, Navadip Dham Mahatmya, and his prominent Vaishnava magazine called Sajjantosani, among others.  This work gave Thakur recognition among the circles of Indian and English scholars.

He established the Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha following the line of Srila Jiva Goswami, like a group dedicated to expanding the pure Bhakti revealed by Sri Caitanya.  After intensive investigations to find the location of the birth place of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, discovered the place called Yoga Pith, in the island of Mayapur, which later was confirmed by Srila Jagannath Das Babaji and established as the main center of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

The importance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur for the Gaudiya Vaishnavism is incalculable, his intense struggle to maintain the purity of Vaishanvism, his deep philosophical writings and his tireless work to expand the glories of Sri Caitanya are the confirmation for him to be known as the seventh goswami.

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Srila Goura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj

His name when he born was “Vamsidas”. After the death of his wife he left his family and his village and went to Vrindavan. He became completely absorbed in his bhajan and, while living in great austerity and renunciation, rendered devotional service to his Lord in the mood of pure devotion. Shortly after coming to Vrindavan, he took shelter of Shrimad Bhagavat Das Babaji, who was an intimate associate of Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj. Henceforth he was known as Srila Gaurkishor Das Babaji. For thirty years he lived in different places in the Vraja-mandal and intensely practiced his bhajan.

Around 1894, when by the divine effort of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura, Srila Gaurkishor Das Babaji Maharaj came to reside in the Gaura-mandal at the instruction of Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj. From then until his disappearance he stayed in different places in Shri Navadwip Dham. Seeing Srila Babaji Maharaja’s extraordinary renunciation and pure devotion, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura was always amazed. Sometimes Srila Babaji Maharaj would come and visit Srila Thakura Mahashay in his residence, called Svananda-sukhada Kunja, in Godrumadvip and discuss Shrimad Bhagavatam with him

In 1900, Srila Saraswati Thakura got initiated by Srila Gaurkishor Das Babaji, at the instruction of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura. Srila Saraswati Thakura was Srila Babaji Maharaj’s only disciple. Srila Babaji Maharaj was absorbed in his pure devotional bhajan and had had no desire to make any disciples. But due to the exclusive devotion and sincerity of Srila Saraswati Thakura, Srila Babaji Maharaj had to change his mind. It has been said that after being repeatedly requested by Srila Saraswati Thakura for initiation, Srila Babaji Maharaj told him he would give him initiation only if he received Mahaprabhu’s permission.

In 1915, Srila Gour Kishor Babaji Maharaj left this world (30rd of Kartik) in order to enter in his eternal pastimes.

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Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur appeared on February 6th 1874, in the holy city of Jagannath Puri in Orissa, India. At the age of only seven, Bimala Prasad Datta, who was later to be known as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, had memorized all seven hundred verses of the Bhagavad Gita and could explain each one. At the age of ten, he was initiated by his father into the Bhakti Yoga process.

Since 1895, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was attending the meetings of his father’s Vishva Vaishnava Raja Sabha in Calcutta. In 1901 Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura requested his son to accept Srila Gourakishor Das Babaji Maharaj,a very renowned Vaishnava saint of Navadvipa, as his spiritual master. On the beginning, babaji refused to accept such an erudite pandita as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, but finally the young man’s sincerity of purpose, accepted him as his only disciple.

In 1918, at the age of fourty-four, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati accepted the title Goswami Maharaja by taking the renounced order of life, sannyasa. On that same day he established his first Vaishnava monastery called Caitanya Math at Sridhama Mayapura. In 1933, eager to spread Lord Caitanya’s message beyond the borders of India, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura sent some of his sannyasa disciples to England to preach and open up Gaudiya Maths in the West.

Disregarding the requests of his medical advisors, up to the last moment he continued to deliver the message of the Supreme Lord to all people. This was the only purpose of his divine appearance in this world. He worked until the last moment of his life without any reservation, disregarding physical pleasure, comfort or relief to himself. The noble example of his life and conduct, his powerful speeches and numerous publications are evidence to this fact.

On December 31st, 1936 at the age of sixty-two, he left this mortal world and again re-entered in the sweetness of Braja Dham, the spiritual  reality.  At the time of his passing, he had opened sixty-four Gaudiya Maths for the propagation of spiritual life and Bhagavata philosophy. 

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Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Abhay Caranaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada arrived to United
States in 1965, and from there he travelled around the world several times to have
interviews different people, giving one or more daily conferences. He wrote more
than eighty books, illuminating people with his infinite wisdom.

Srila Prabhupada was an enlightened master, who had the most elevated Pure
Love for God, an exemplary disciple of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakur, who
spread Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message. He defeated atheistic science and
the modern and insensitive society, and rejected the bad behavior towards women,
racism and abuse from rich people to poor people.

Free from all prejudice, he accepted more than 1000 disciples from every race and
creed from around the whole world, and he taught them the Bhakti Yoga Science
and initiated them in the Brahmin Culture, (spiritual leaders of the society). In
that way, he guided them to become renunciants and cheered them to become
competent Spiritual Masters in order to continue his work.

His teachings consisted of concentrating and dedicating body, mind and words
only to transcendental activities. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s
meditation was to teach us to sing and remember the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra.

Srila Prabhupada promoted spiritual education for both adults and children through
Vaishnava Academies and the Bhaktivedanta Institute. He taught that Vaishnavas
must be active members at all levels of society, to show the world that the wisdom
from the Vedas is perfectly applicable to the current problematic, and for this
reason it should be studied deeply.

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Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaj

Srila Sridhara Maharaja since childhood had a natural attraction to Sri
Caitanyadeva’s mission, sankirtan, and congregational chanting of the Holy

In 1923, he was attracted by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur after listening

to his conferences in Calcutta. Later, in 1926 he joined to the Sri Gaudiya Math
and became an initiated disciple of his founder Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakur. Later, he took the order of sanyas (renunciation) in 1930.

Recognizing him as a loyal symbol of the preaching of the gaudiya-vaishnavism
precepts, Srila Prabhupada gave him the name of “Sri Bhakti Raksaka” which
means “The Guardian of Devotion”. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur gave
him the title of tridanda sannyasa “Sridhara”: From this moment he was known as
Srimad Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja.

After his master’s departure, he established the Sri Caitanya Sarasvat Math in Sri
Navadvipa-dhama, as a sanctuary where the saint´s message of his Gurudeva, Sri
Rupa and Sri Caitanya deva, was preached.

In August 12th, 1988 his Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva
Goswami Maharaja left this world to enter in the eternal pastimes.

A divine temple named “The Temple of Union in Separation” was constructed on
his sacred grave in the Sri Caitanya Sarasvat Math, Navadvipa and it is and will be
worshiped by future generations.


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Srila Bhakti Pamode Puri Maharaj

Srila Puri Goswami Maharaja took birth in Jessore district (in present-day Bangla Desh), on October 8, 1898. His parents named him Sri Promode Bhushan Chakravarti. Srila Puri Maharaja was still a young university student when he first came before Srila Prabhupada at the Yoga Pith in Sri Mayapur in 1915. Srila Puri Maharaja often recounted that as soon as he saw Srila Prabhupada and paid his obeisances to him for the first time, he knew in his heart that this was his spiritual master. On the auspicious day of Sri Krishna Janmastami in 1923, he accepted both Harinam and mantra diksha from Srila Prabhupada and was given the name Pranavananda Brahmachari.

He had accepted tridandi sannyasa in 1918 and by the early 1920’s had already assumed a formidable position in the Bengali spiritual firmament. This high standard of religious life was the hallmark of Sri Gaudiya Math and would be the thread that guided all of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, including Srimad Puri Goswami Maharaja.

After the disappearance of his Gurudeva in 1937, Srila Puri Maharaja continued his vocation of spreading the teachings of Sri Chaitanya through the Gaudiya magazine. In 1942, Srila Prabhupada appeared to Srila Puri Maharaja in a dream vision and imparted to him the sannyasa mantra, ordering him to accept the renounced order. After accepting tridandi-sannyasa from his godbrother Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhanasa Maharaja in Champahati in August of 1946, he toured parts of India with other godbrothers such as Bhakti Hridoy Bon Maharaja and Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja.

In 1989, at the age of 91, Srila Puri Goswami Maharaja established the Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Math in Ishodyan, Sri Mayapur, for the service of their divine lordships, Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhara, Jagannatha Deva, Radha-Gopinatha and Lakshmi-Narasingha Deva.

Srila Puri Maharaja departed this world for the eternal abode in the predawn hours of Narayana Chaturdasi, October 21, 1999, one day before the Rasa Purnima. He left a very big legacy, which is still spreading thanks to his disciples around the world.

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