On September 8, 2022, Gaudiya Vaishnavas worldwide will celebrate the holy appearance day of His Divine Grace Srila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakur, the pioneer of the Krishna consciousness movement in the modern world. We all owe an eternal debt of gratitude to this great acharya for bringing the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu into our lives.
Through his efforts in writing, promoting, preaching and establishing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings, he planted the seed that eventually sprouted into the global Hare Krishna Movement through Srila Prabhupada. In his personal visions and heart Bhaktivinoda saw Krishna consciousness flourishing:
“The religion preached by [Chaitanya] Mahaprabhu is universal and not exclusive… The principle of kirtan as the future church of the world invites all classes of men, without distinction of caste or clan, to the highest cultivation of the spirit. This church, it appears, will extend all over the world and take the place of all sectarian churches, which exclude outsiders from the precincts of the mosque, church, or temple. Lord Chaitanya did not advent Himself to liberate only a few men of India. Rather, His main objective was to emancipate all living entities of all countries throughout the entire universe and preach the Eternal Religion. Lord Chaitanya says in the Chaitanya Bhagwat: “In every town, country, and village, My name will be sung.” There is no doubt that this unquestionable order will come to pass… Although there is still no pure society of Vaishnavas to be had, yet Lord Chaitanya’s prophetic words will in a few days come true, I am sure. Why not? Nothing is absolutely pure in the beginning. From imperfection, purity will come about. O, for that day when the fortunate English, French, Russian, German, and American people will take up banners, mridangas, and kartals and raise kirtan through their streets and towns. When will that day come?”
He also envisioned that “fair-skinned foreigners” would come to Sridham Mayapur, the land of Lord Caitanya’s birthplace, and together with the Bengali Vaishnavas raise their arms in blissful kirtan of the name Jaya Sacinandana. That prediction has become a reality today:
“Very soon the chanting of Harinama sankirtana will be spread all over the world. Oh, when will that day come when people from America, England, France, Germany, Russia will take up karatals and mrdangas and chant Hare Krishna in their towns? When will that day come when the fair-skinned foreigners will come to Sri Mayapur-dhama and join with the Bengali Vaisnavas to chant, Jaya Sacinandana, Jaya Sacinandana. When will that day be?”
Srila Prabhupada knew of this prediction by Bhaktivinoda Thakur and confirmed it in these words:
So, it was the desire of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura that Europeans and Americans would come here and chant Hare Krishna mantra. That prophecy is now being fulfilled, and that is my satisfaction.
Arrival Address – September 27, 1974, Mayapur
We who are followers of Bhaktivinoda Thakur are the most fortunate people in the universe. We are here on earth at this most auspicious time of Lord Brahma’s day, when Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has appeared, and are receiving an unimaginable opportunity to join in Lord Krishna’s eternal lila in Goloka Vrindaban. This rare window of time has given us an unprecedented door into the spiritual world never offered before.
The TOVP is a major element of Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s vision. It encompasses all his goals, teachings and missionary spirit. Srila Prabhupada knew that, as revealed to his disciple, Giriraja Swami:
In 1971, as a young devotee in Calcutta, Giriraja Swami approached Srila Prabhupada, “I have been trying to understand what your desire is, and two things seem to please you the most: distributing your books and building the big temple in Mayapur.” Prabhupada’s face lit up, his eyes opened wide, and he smiled, saying: “Yes, you have understood… If you all build this temple, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur will personally come and take you all back to Godhead.”
Please don’t miss chance to serve and please Bhaktivinoda Thakur. We are still in need of funds to complete and open the TOVP. A monumental, three-month long opening celebration is scheduled starting December, 2024 into Gaura Purnima, 2025. The TOVP 2024 Marathon is going on and we are all the winners who participate. Be a part of this historic milestone in Vaishnava history.
Even if you have already given, consider another offering during the Give To Nrsimha 2023 Campaign to open Lord Nrsimhadeva’s Wing in the TOVP in the Fall of 2023. Thank you.
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