Who is Srila Prabhupad?


Srila Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur

A Great Preacher of Pure Devotion


Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, the illustrious spiritual leader and founder of Sri Chaitanya Math and Gaudiya Math, made an indelible mark in the world of Gaudiya Vaishnavism through his tireless preaching and propagation of pure devotion. Born as Bimala Prasad to Sri Bhagavati Devi and Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur on February 6, 1874, in Puri Dham, he dedicated his life to spreading the teachings of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This article will delve into the life and achievements of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, highlighting his significant contributions to the Gaudiya Vaishnav religion.

Early Life and Spiritual Awakening:

From an early age, Bimala Prasad displayed a devout and religious nature. His inclination towards spirituality led him to study various spiritual books in the library and excel in astrology. However, his pursuit of material education was short-lived as he embarked on a journey that would shape his destiny. By the divine grace of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, he encountered his spiritual master, Srila Gaur Kishore Das Babaji, who critically tested him before initiating him with Bhagavati Diksha on January 10, 1900. Thus, Bimala Prasad transformed into Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, embracing his life’s mission.

Championing Pure Devotion:

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur fearlessly challenged doctrines and practices that deviated from the path of pure devotion. In a world filled with unauthorized cults and wrong practices in the name of religion, he logically refuted their ideologies and vehemently advocated for the essence of pure devotion as prescribed in the scriptures. To commemorate Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur’s desire, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur organized the monumental One Billion Names sacrifice (Naam Yagna) during the auspicious period of Chaturmasya.

Divine Inspiration and Renunciation:

Following the heartbreaking demise of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur and Srila Gaur Kishore Das Babaji, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur experienced a period of disappointment regarding the propagation of pure devotion. However, a divine intervention occurred when Lord Gaursundar and previous Acharyas appeared to him in a transcendental dream, offering their guidance and assurance. Encouraged by their divine presence, he embraced the renounced order of Tridanda Sannyasa on March 27, 1918, and assumed the name Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, signifying his commitment to the path of pure devotion.

Establishing Sri Chaitanya Math and Preaching Centers:

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur established Sri Chaitanya Math and 64 other branches of Gaudiya Math to facilitate the widespread dissemination of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Recognizing the need to centralize the institution, he relocated the headquarters from Mayapur to Calcutta, where a magnificent temple was constructed in Bagbazar. This move marked a pivotal moment in the growth and expansion of the Gaudiya Vaishnav community.

Literary Contributions and Spiritual Exhibitions:

Understanding the power of literature in disseminating spiritual knowledge, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur established the renowned ‘Bhagavat Press