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HDG Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura at Bhaktivinode Asan
Blessings of Vaishnavas
Inauguration : Phase – 1
This is the very buliding from where Shrila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur had started his missionary works in 1918, just after accepting renounced order or Sannyasa. His missionary work grew into a pan India movement named Gaudiya Math, with 64 temples by the end of Shrila Saraswati Thakur’s worldly pastime.
Here Shrila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur had met many of his prominent and leading disciples for the first time. Their spiritual journey began here. Later they had become exponent of the Bhakti movement and connected many more in this path. Thus, this place is extremely significant in the entire history of Gaudiya Vaishnavaism. Practically, this place is the like the root of organized propagation of Krishna consciousness in the modern history.
In one evening of 1922, in such a meeting here, Shrila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur had met one enthusiastic young Bengali gentleman, Abhay Charan De, who later became his disciple. After a few decades this Abhay Charan De became famous as Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, the worldwide Hare Krishna movement.
In the very first meeting only, in the terrace of this building, young Abhay Charan De got a Profetic instruction from his spiritual master, ” You are educated young man. Why don’t you preach Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s message throughout the whole world? ” This seed instruction later fructified in form of worldwide Hare Krishna movement which is most popularly known as International Society for Krishna Consciousness, or ISKCON. In that sense, this buliding is the spiritual birthplace of ISKCON.
This property of Bhaktivinode Asan was on the name of a deity called Sridhar Thakur jiu. There is an old Sridhar Thakur jiu temple within 100 m of Bhaktivinode Asan. According to Indian law, deity can have properties. In 1918, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada had rented this property in monthly Rs. 50. It was quite a high amount that time. Later when Bagbazar Gaudiya Math had been constructed and all the devotees shifted there, this property came back to the hand of Sridhar Thakur Jiu trust.
From that time to 2003, three tenants were staying here in this property. Most amazingly, by Krishna’s inconceivable arrangement, though all the contemporary buildings around this building had been replaced by new constructions, this building remained untouched. Though several attempts were made to demolish the building, those attempts didn’t succeed.
In between, one devotee from ISKCON padayatra, HG Krishnanda Pr identified this place as and requested ISKCON, Kolkata Management to take over it. So, devotees started putting their efforts. Finally, two tenants were peacefully relocated with negotiation. And in 20008, this property got registered in the name of ISKCON. Still one tenant was remaining. In 2017, they were also relocated peacefully. So, ISKCON got full possession of the property.
After that in 2018, by the mercy of all the GBCs and Vaishnavas, the restoration work began.
Presently the building has been renovated or reconstructed the way it was. From the colour of the door to design of the windows, from the kadi-barga roof to the design of the sunshades, from the old stair case to the red flooring, everything together takes us 100 years back. In word of one devotee, it’s a transcendental time machine.
Presently it has a deity room, a deity dress room, a kitchen, a dol mandap, a Tulsi mandir, two guest rooms, a meeting room, a grand museum, an office, two rooms for sevaks and a central ‘Thakur Dalan’ or in the ground floor. In the first floor there is that terrace where Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada used to give class. His personal room, his kitchen and his personal washroom is also there. The exact place of meeting between Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada and our Srila Prabhupada, Abhay Charan de, has been specially beautified with a shade. Other than that, two room has added in the terrace as brahmacari ashram.
It is a best place for meditation, contemplation and offering prayers.
In future, the pratibhu deities of Sri Sri Gandharbika Giridhari and Sri Sri Guru Gauranga, who were originally established and worshiped here by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati thakur, will be established and served here.
After the phase-1 inauguration of the renovated building on 21 st February, 2022, now the Bhaktivinode Asan has been made available for darshan of general public and devotees from all over the world. Presently it is functioning as a small preaching centre under ISKCON, Kolkata temple. We have alekhya (laminated photographs) of Sri Sri Radha Govinda dev, Sri Goura Nataraj and Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra Maharani here. We are having Mangal Arati at 04:30 am, followed Nrisimha Arati, Tulasi Pranam, Siksastakam, Japa session, Darshan Arati, Guru Puja and Srimad Bhagvatam Class, every day.
It is not only a divine place of worship but also a national heritage building. On top of that, space is very limited here. Therefore, for protection of this divine property and human safety we are following certain rules and regulations.
1. As yet work is in progress, this place in open for all only on Monday and Wednesday from 10 am to 1 pm.
2. No entry with half pants, three quarters, shorts, miniskirts, night dresses etc. As it is a traditional place and it belongs to His Divine Grace Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada, let us dress ourselves, the way we can show our respect to Him.
3. No entry in alcoholic state. Smoking is not allowed. No entry with any kind of chewing intoxicants e.g. pan or gutka.
4. No entry with any food items or beverages.
5. As the space is limited, maximum 15 persons are allowed in one go.
6. Touching of walls, artefacts, paintings and furnitures and deities are prohibited.
7. Silence is appreciated. In necessity a low indoor voice must be used.
8. P your steps. Dont run, jump or play in the corridor.
9. Photographs with flash lights are prohibited.
10. Cell phone are to be kept in silent mode.
11. As the space is limited, everyone is requested to move ahead fast to give others chance to take Darshan. Its recommended that visitors keep their stay limited between 10 to 15 minutes.
12. We are trying to be utmost attentive, sensitive, careful and prayerful while visiting this place.
For taking Darshan in a group, organizer has to contact our office and book the date and time of the darshan in advance.
For booking Darshan please contact HG Parananda Das in +91 9903000921.
His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura at Bhaktivinode Asan
This hallowed building which was formerly known as “1, Ultadanga Junction Road” holds a very special position in the history and evolution of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism. It was here that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada (1874-1937), the renowned Vaishnava Acharya and revivalist, established the Bhaktivinode Asan in November 1918. This building also housed the first Gaudiya Maṭh in 1920. And in 1922, in terrace of this very building, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada had sown the seed of ISKCON in the heart of young Abhay Charan De, who later became popular as Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON.
The Bhaktivinode Asan and later the Gaudiya Math became the nodal center for a diverse range of devotional activities for the propagation of suddha bhakti. Worship, congregational chanting of holy name, lecture discourses, informal and formal interaction between devotees and celebrated guests were among the regular programs conducted from here. It was also the venue for the editing and publication of Vaishnava periodicals. From here Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur’s travel for devotional propagation across Bengal and India was initiated. The following list provides a brief preview and historic account of these glorious activities:
In the month of December 1918, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada started his preaching from Bengal to various other parts of India and in present day Bangladesh.
• First preaching had started from Bengal in 1918 and then he went to Dhaka and various other parts of present-day Bangladesh.
• On the appearance day of Vishnupriya Devi on 5th February 1919, he re-established the Sri Viswa Vaishnava Raj Sabha at Bhaktivinode Asan.
• In early April 1920, Sri Bhaktivinode Asan was culminated into the Math after all the grihasthas (householder devotees) had moved out.
• On 6th September 1920, on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur installed a large deity of Mahaprabhu and two small deities of Radha & Krishna and named them Sri Sri Guru Gauranga & Sri Sri Gandharvika Giridhari. From this day onward, the Sri Bhaktivinode Asan was also named as Sri Gaudiya Math. (Thought we will refer it here as Bhaktivinode Asan only).
• In the second week of September 1920, king Damodar Varman visited Sri Bhaktivinode Asan. Also, renowned personalities such as Sir Debaprasad Sarbadhikari, Ray Bahadur Radhacharan Pal, Jatindranath Chaudhuri, the zamindar of Chaki came to listen to the discourses of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
• On 26th September 1920, Sir Manindra Chandra Nandi Bahadur, the king of Kasimbazar in Murshidabad visited Sri Bhaktivinode Asan.
• The former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University, Bhupendranath Basu, on a number of occasions, came to meet and hear Hari Katha from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur at Bhaktivinode Asan.
• In 1922, in a prophetic meeting here, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada had sown the seed of ISKCON in the heart of young Abhay Charan De, who later became popular as Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, the worldwide Hare Krishna movement. Before any preliminary formalities of conversation had begun, Saraswati Thakur immediately said to Abhay, “You are educated young men. Why don’t you preach Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message throughout the whole world?”
• In 1923, due to the desire and efforts of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, the “Gaudiya Printing Works” was established near Bhaktivinode Asan (243/2, upper circular road).
• On 24th February 1924, the devotees of Bhaktivinode Asan introduced the first Vyasa Puja of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada when he had reached the age of 50.
• In July 1924, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur established the Sri Saraswat Asan at Bhaktivinode Asan. This was a set up to facilitate the teaching and study of the students of the Nabadwip Saraswat Pitha who were preparing for Bhakti Shastri exams.
• On 6th September 1924, Raut-Roy-Saheb (a relative of the king of Mayurbhanj, Maharaja-Bahadur), Manmathanath Mukhopadhyay (the honorable justice of High Court), and Professor Sri Khagendranath Mitra Bahadur and many other esteemed guests visited the Bhaktivinode Asan to hear lectures from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
• In October 1924, the prime minister’s son of the independent king of Nepal, His Excellency general Punya Samser Rana Jang Bahadur along with his private secretary Sri Bhabendranath B.L. and a court scholar arrived at Bhaktivinode Asan to meet and hear lectures from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. He delivered a lecture for more than two hours on Srimad Bhagvad Gita and the doctrines of Vedanta on this day.
• On 17th April 1925, Friday, Pandit Madanmohan Malaviya, renowned Sishir Kumar Ghosh’s talented son Pijuskanti Ghosh, Pandit Panchanan Tarkaratna’s son Sri Jiva Nyayatirtha and a few others came to Bhaktivinode Asan to have darshan of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
• On 24th May 1927, the devotees of Bhaktivinode Asan delivered lectures on the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Darbhanga Building, Calcutta University.
• In June 1927, Sree Sajjan Toshani or The Harmonist Journal was published in English for the first time to make the people of India and abroad acquainted with the philosophy of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
• On 20th April 1928, Father P. Johans, a Jesuit priest and a teacher of philosophy of St. Xaviers College visited Bhaktivinode Asan and met Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
• On 16th September 1928, Dr Morano M.L.C president of A.I.C visited Bhaktivinode Asan to meet Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. He was deeply motivated by the speech of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur on Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and inspired Saraswati Thakur to preach the doctrines of Lord Chaitanya in Europe.
• On 26th September 1928, the ground laying foundation ceremony of Sri Bagh bazaar Gaudiya Math was organized.
• In 1928, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur and many of his associates delivered lectures at several conferences at Albert Hall, Calcutta.
• In August 1929 by the desire of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, the Visva Vaishnava Conference and Exhibition was organized at the ongoing construction site of Bagh Bazar Gaudiya Math. People across the world who had been interested in Gaudiya Vaishnavism attended the ceremony.
• Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur along with associates entered the newly built temple at Bagh Bazaar on 5th October 1930 from Bhaktivinode Asan.
• On 5th October 1930, on the auspicious occasion of the ceremony of installation and entry in the new Math, the mayor of Calcutta, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had participated in the grand festival and met Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. (On 12th October 1930, the English daily ‘Liberty’ newspaper published this news)
During his stay at Bhaktivinode Asan, through the preaching programs initiated by him, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur enlightened many educated personalities and erudite scholars of that time. Many royal personalities were also deeply motivated by his interpretations of Bhagavata philosophy. It was during his stay at this house between 1918 to 1930, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur had established several big and small temples in various parts of India and Bangladesh and sent preaching missions. Everyone had sought his divine association and the preaching programs went to every village, town, and cities of India and Bangladesh. Indeed, this devotional preaching had touched the hearts of many national and international scholars, kings, and zamindars of different states and finally many of them became deeply imbued in the ocean of love and devotion of Gaudiya theology.
Blessings of Vaishnavas
1. HH Jai Pataka Swami Maharaj
2. HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj
3. HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj
4. HG Ananga Mohan Prabhu
Inauguration : Phase – 1
Inauguration paragraph here….
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