vande bhakti-vinodaṁ śrī gaura-śakti-svarūpakam
(Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj)
“I offer my obeisance unto Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur, the embodiment of the potency of Sri Gaurasundar. He is the king of all knowers of the scriptures of pure devotion and an ocean of the nectar of devotion for Srimati Radharani.”
A Brief Biography
Srila Sachchidananda Bhakti Vinod Thakur, the nineteenth century pioneer of Krishna consciousness, was born in 1838 in Bengal. He worked tirelessly to preserve the spiritual tradition and literature of India; he composed, edited, and published more than 100 books in Sanskrit, Bengali, and English.
The pioneer of pure devotion, it was Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur who foretold that people the world over would join under the banner of Sri Chaitanya Maharabhu’s Hari-nam-sankirtan (congregational chanting of the Holy Names of Lord Krishna). By his profuse writings, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur infused the current which was to be the renaissance of a devotional civilization, which had become overgrown with spurious interpretations und misrepresentation.
He advocated exclusive surrender (sharanagati) to the service of the Supreme Lord’s pure devotees as the life of devotion, and to this end he composed a great stream of books, prayers, poems, and commentaries in Sanskrit, Bengali, Hindi, English, and other languages, which are now revered by the genuine devotees as scripture. His style of presentation was chiefly analytic, simple, and appealing. He taught that the apparently sophisticated philosophies and doctrines which deviate one to materialism, salvation, voidism, etc. (karma, jnan, sunya-vad, etc.) must be abandoned by the true aspirants of devotion; yet, he acknowledged that from the universal standpoint such ‘charming’ distractions served to segregate the insincere from the sincere. Thus he foresaw that inevitably the intelligentsia of the world must come to appreciate the all-attractive path of divine love given by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The Thakur inaugurated the worship of Lord Chaitanya at the holy site known as Sri Yoga-Pith, the advent location of Sri Chaitanyadev in the holy Sri Dham Mayapur.