LettersI Cannot Speak in the Presence of Two Different Mentalities (06/06/01)
LettersThe Worship of Govardhana-śilā (06/20/01)

Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s Understanding of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. (06/07/01)

Bhakta A___,

Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Sorry for the very late reply, but I have been quite busy these past few weeks.

I was reading your book “Authorized Chaitanya Saraswat Parampara” and I have a small doubt. There you cite a poem that Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura wrote in praise of Śrīla Jagannātha Dāsa Bābājī as an evidence of the former accepting him as his śikṣā-guru. But, the antiparty cites another poem that the Ṭhākura wrote in praise of Vipina Vihārī where Śrīla Bhaktivinoda praises him very much also. The anti-party quotes this to prove that Śrīla Bhaktivinoda held him in high esteem, which is against the views expressed in your book that Śrīla Bhaktivinoda and Vipina Vihārī had serious differences. How do we respond to this?

Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura maintained the position that it would not look good in the public eye if he took issue with Vipina Vihārī Gosvāmī, so the Ṭhākura kept his distance from Vipina Vihārī. Most of the ‘public’ at the time were favourable to family gurus and sahajiyā sects, and therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura tried not to disturb the minds of the less intelligent, but he tried to establish the principles of pure devotion.

Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s prayer to Vipina Vihārī certainly shows a formal respect, but the prayer that he wrote glorifying Jagannātha Dāsa Bābājī clearly states that Jagannātha Dāsa was ‘Vaiṣṇava Sārvabhauma’ the most renowned and venerable Vaiṣṇava. It is from this, and from the continuous association that Bhaktivinoda kept with Jagannātha Dāsa Bābājī, that lets us know that the Ṭhākura saw Jagannātha Dāsa Bābājī as sat-guru.

The only thing that I can say more than what I have already said is that it is quite clear historically that Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and his renowned disciples have spread the glories of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura to every nook and corner of this planet. This, in my humble opinion, means that not only did they understand Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura better than the sahajiyas, but Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and his disciplic succession have obviously received the fully blessings and mercy of Bhaktivinoda – otherwise how is it possible that they spread his glories all over the world?

I hope this meets you well.

Praṇāms,

Swami B.G. Narasiṅgha

LettersI Cannot Speak in the Presence of Two Different Mentalities (06/06/01)
LettersThe Worship of Govardhana-śilā (06/20/01)