Bhaktivinoda Thakur
A close-up portrait of an old man with grey hair and thick wooden necklace beads
Bhaktivinoda Thakur, c. 1910
Kedarnath Datta

(1838-09-02)2 September 1838
Died23 June 1914(1914-06-23) (aged 75)
Shaymani Devi
(m. 1849⁠–⁠1861)
Bhagavati Devi
(m. 1861⁠–⁠1914)
ChildrenBhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Lalita Prasad,12 other children
SectGaudiya Vaishnavism
RelativesNarottama Dasa (distant ancestor), Kashiprasad Ghosh (maternal uncle)
SignatureClose-up on Bengali words handwritten with angular, jaunty letters
PhilosophyAchintya Bheda Abheda
Religious career
GuruBipin Bihari Goswami, Srila Jagannath Dasa Babaji Maharaj
Literary worksKrishna-samhita, Caitanya-siksamrita, Jaiva-dharma, Svalikhita-jivani. See bibliography
HonorsBhaktivinoda, "the seventh goswami"

Bhaktivinoda Thakur (IAST: Bhakti-vinoda Ṭhākura, Bengali pronunciation: [bʱɔktibinodo tʰakur] ) (2 September 1838 – 23 June 1914), born Kedarnath Datta (Kedāra-nātha Datta, Bengali: [kedɔrnɔtʰ dɔtto]), was an Indian Hindu philosopher, guru and spiritual reformer of Gaudiya Vaishnavism[3] who effected its resurgence in India in late 19th and early 20th century[4][5] and was called by contemporary scholars as a Gaudiya Vaishnava leader of his time.[6] He is also known along with his son Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, with initiating the propagation of Gaudiya Vaishnavism in the West and its global spread.[7]

He tackled the task of reconciling Western reason and traditional belief, by accommodating both modern critical analysis and Hindu mysticism in his writings. Kedarnath's spiritual quest led him at the age of 29 to become a follower of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1533). He dedicated himself to the study and practice of Chaitanya's teachings, emerging as a leader within the Chaitanya Vaishnava movement in Bengal.[5]

In his later years Bhaktivinoda founded and conducted nama-hatta – a travelling preaching program that spread theology and practice of Chaitanya throughout rural and urban Bengal, by means of discourses, printed materials and Bengali songs of his own composition. He also opposed what he saw as apasampradayas, or numerous distortions of the original Chaitanya teachings. He is credited with the rediscovery of the lost site of Chaitanya's birth, in Mayapur near Nabadwip, which he commemorated with a prominent temple.[8]

Bhaktivinoda Thakur led the spread of Chaitanya's teachings in the West,[4] in 1880 sending copies of his works to Ralph Waldo Emerson in the United States and to Reinhold Rost in Europe.

The revival of Gaudiya Vaishnavism effected by Bhaktivinoda spawned one of India's preaching missions of the early 20th century, the Gaudiya Matha, headed by his son and spiritual heir, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.[9] Bhaktisiddhanta's disciple A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (1896–1977) continued his guru's Western mission when in 1966 in the United States he founded ISKCON, or the Hare Krishna movement, which then spread Gaudiya Vaishnavism globally.

Bengali Renaissance and the bhadralok

Kedarnath Datta belonged to the kayastha community of Bengali intellectual gentry that lived during the Bengal Renaissance and attempted to rationalise their traditional Hindu beliefs and customs.[4]

Kedarnath's birth in 1838 occurred during the period of the history of Bengal marked by the emergence and influence of the bhadralok community.[10] The bhadralok, refers to "gentle or respectable people",[11] was a class of Bengalis (Hindus), who served the British administration in occupations requiring Western education and proficiency in English and other languages.[4][12] Exposed to and influenced by the Western values of the British, including the latter's condescending attitude towards cultural and religious traditions of India, the bhadralok started calling into question and reassessing the tenets of their own religion and customs.[13] Their attempts to rationalise and modernise Hinduism in order to reconcile it with the Western outlook gave rise to a historical period called the Bengali Renaissance[14].[15][16]

This trend led to a perception, both in India and in the West, of modern Hinduism as being equivalent to Advaita Vedanta, a conception of the divine as devoid of form and individuality that was hailed by its proponents as the "perennial philosophy"[17] and "the mother of religions".[18] As a result, the other schools of Hinduism, including bhakti, were gradually relegated in the minds of the Bengali Hindu middle-class to obscurity, and seen as a "reactionary and fossilized jumble of empty rituals and idolatrous practices."[16][18]

Early period (1838–1858): student

Birth and childhood

A gazebo-like stone structure pyramidal roof and a small dome
Bhaktivinoda Thakur's memorial at his birthplace in Birnagar, West Bengal
A tomb-like structure covered in while tiles with Bengali script at the entrance
A shrine at the actual site of birth
A brown domed structure with bamboo scaffolding
The entrance to Kedamath Datta's matemal home in Birnagar (Ula), West Bengal under renovation. 2014

Kedarnath was born on 2 September 1838 in the village of Ula (presently Birnagar) in Bengal, some 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of modern-day Kolkata.[19] Both his father, Ananda Chandra Dutta, and mother, Jagat Mohini Devi, hailed from kayastha families.[20]

After a village schooling, he continued his education at Hindu College in Calcutta, where he acquainted himself with contemporary Western philosophy and theology. There he became a close associate of literary and intellectual figures of the Bengali Renaissance, such as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, and Sisir Kumar Ghosh.' In his youth he spent time researching and comparing various religious and philosophical systems, both Indian and Western, with a view of finding among them a comprehensive, authentic and intellectually satisfying path. At 18, he began a teaching career in rural areas of Bengal and Orissa until he became an employee with the British Raj in the Judicial Service, from which he retired in 1894 as District Magistrate.

From the time of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1533), the paternal Datta lineage were Vaishnavas and counted among their ranks Krishnananda, an associate of Nityananda Prabhu. Kedarnath's mother, Jagan Mohini Devi (born Mitra), was a descendant of Rameshwar Mitra, a zamindar (landowner) of the 18th century.[21] Kedaranath in his autobiography Svalikhita-jivani refers to his father, Anand Chandra Dutta, as a "straightforward, clean, religious man"[22] and describes his mother as "a sober woman possessed of many unique qualities".[23]

Kedarnath was the third of six children of Anand Chandra and Jagat Mohini, preceded by older brothers Abhaykali (died before Kedarnath's birth) and Kaliprasanna and followed by three younger siblings: sister Hemlata and brothers Haridas and Gauridas.[4][22] Kedarnath evoked affection of his mother, who prayed for his survival.[19]

Prior to his birth, financial circumstances had forced his parents to relocate from Calcutta to Ula, where he was born and grew up in the palace of his maternal grandfather, Ishwar Chandra Mustauphi, a landowner known for his generosity.[22]

From the age of five, Kedarnath attended the village school in Ula. Later, when an English school opened there, he showed interest in the English language, attending the classes during lunch, that the headmaster of the school convinced Anand Chandra to let the boy study there.[4][24] At the age of seven Kadarnath was transferred to another English school in Krishnanagar.[24]

In the following years Kedarnath's family faced a series of calamities. All three of his brothers died of cholera, soon followed by their father, Anand Chandra. The financial situation of his widowed mother worsened as his maternal grandfather, Ishwar Chandra, incurred huge debts due to the oppressive Permanent Settlement Act and ended up bankrupt.[25] In 1850, when Kedarnath was 12, in accordance with the upper-class Hindu customs Jagat Mohini married him to a five-year-old Shaymani Mitra of Ranaghat, hoping to sever Kedarnath's connection with the ill fate of his own family and replace it with the good karma of the in-laws.[26] Soon after the wedding Ishwar Chandra died, leaving the responsibility for his troubled estate on the widow with two young children.[27] Kedarnath recalls:

Everybody thought that my mother had a lot of money and jewelry, so no one would help. All her wealth was lost except for a few properties. There was so much debt and I was full of anxiety. I was unqualified to look after the affairs of the estate. My grandfather's house was huge. The guards were few and I was afraid of thieves at night so I had to give the guards bamboo sticks to carry.[27]

These hardships made Kedarnath question the meaning of life and ponder over reasons for human sufferings. He felt unconvinced by conventional explanations and started doubting the reality of the many Hindu gods and goddesses worshiped in village temples. Exposed to contradictory views ranging from religious beliefs to tantric practices, exorcism, superstitions and atheism, Kedarnath found himself in a state of disappointment and philosophical confusion. It was at that time that an encounter with a old woman who advised him to chant the name of Rama made an impact on him, planting the seed of the Vaishnava faith that he maintained throughout his life.[28]

New challenges and responsibilities caused Kedarnath to visit Calcutta for the first time. The trip, further developed his curiosity for European life and customs. Back in Ula he continued struggling to maintain the property inherited from his grandfather. This took a toll on his education. Finally, in 1852 his maternal uncle, Kashiprasad Ghosh, a famous poet and newspaper editor, visited Ula and, impressed with the talented boy, convinced Jagat Mohini to send Kedarnath to Calcutta to further his studies. In November 1852, leaving his mother and sister behind in Ula, Kedarnath moved to Ghosh's house on Beadon Street in the middle of Calcutta.[29]

Education in Calcutta

Calcutta was a multicultural city, different from Kedarnath's experience.[30] His maternal uncle Kashiprasad Ghosh, a graduate of the Hindu College of Calcutta, was a champion of Westernisation, the editor of the English-language Hindu Intelligencer, a journal which propagated the ideas of the bhadralok, and a patriotic poet praised even by the British.[31]

Kedarnath stayed with Kashiprasad Ghosh until 1858 and became steeped in the lifestyle of the bhadralok and immersed in studying a range of Western philosophical, poetic, political, and religious texts.[32] Kadarnath studied at the Hindu Charitable Institute[4] between 1852 and 1856. There he met one of the bhadralok Hindu intellectuals of the time, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820–1891), who became his tutor, his mentor, and a lifelong friend.[33]

While excelling in his studies, especially in the English language and writing, Kedarnath started writing his own poems and articles.[34] Exposed to and influenced by the views of the acquaintances of Kashiprasad who frequented his home, Kristo Das Pal, Shambhu Mukhopadhyay, Baneshwar Vidyalankar, and others – Kedarnath started regularly contributing to the Hindu Intelligencer, critiquing contemporary social and political issues from a bhadralok viewpoint.[35] Eventually, Kedarnath felt confident enough in his studies and in 1856 enrolled in the Hindu College (Calcutta) where for the next two years he continued his studies under Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in the company of remarkable classmates such as Keshub Chandra Sen, Nabagopal Mitra, and the elder brothers of Rabindranath Tagore: Satyendranath and Ganendranath.[36] Becoming involved in the intellectual values of the bhadralok community, Kedarnath along with his classmates started taking public-speaking lessons from the British parliamentarian and abolitionist George Thompson (1804–1878).[36] At the same time, Kedarnath published his first major literary work, a two-volume historical poem titled The Poriade, which earned him both a name as a poet and some income.[37]

Kedarnath's health deteriorated due to poor drinking water and the challenging environment of Calcutta. He made regular visits to his mother and sister in Ula for recovery and convalescence.[38] However, when in 1856[39][a] an outbreak of cholera wiped out the whole village of Ula, killing his sister Hemlata and sparing his mother, Kedarnath took her along with his grandmother to Calcutta for good.[40] The devastation of Ula marked a turning point in Kedarnath's attitude to life. He writes:

At that time I was seventeen years old and I had to face terrible hardships. There was no money. I could hardly speak to anyone. Everyone thought that my mother had a lakh [100,000] of rupees, no one believed that we were poor. I saw no hope. My mind became apathetic, the house was empty. I had no strength and my heart was dying of pain.[41]

Finding himself disoriented, he sought shelter in his friendship with the Tagore brothers. There he overcame his crisis and started moving towards a religious rather than social and political outlook on life. Along with Dvijendranath Tagore, Kedarnath started studying Sanskrit and the theological writings of such authors as Kant, Goethe, Hegel, Swedenborg, Hume, Voltaire, and Schopenhauer, as well as the books of the Brahmo Samaj, which rekindled his interest in Hinduism.[42] At the same time, Kedarnath daily met with Charles Dall, a Unitarian minister from the American Unitarian Association of Boston posted to Calcutta for propagating Unitarian ideas among the educated Bengalis. Under Dall's guidance, Kedarnath studied the Bible and the Unitarian writings of Channing, Emerson, Parker, and others.[43] While developing a fascination for the liberalism of Unitarian religious teachings, the young Kedarnath also studied the Qur'an.[44]

Dire financial strain and obligations to maintain his young wife and aging mother caused Kedarnath to look for employment.[45] Finding a well-paid job in Calcutta – especially a job compatible with his high ethical values[b] – was nearly impossible.[47] After a few unsuccessful stints as a teacher and after incurring a debt, Kedarnath along with his mother and wife accepted the invitation of Rajballabh, his paternal grandfather in Orissa, and in the spring of 1858 left for the Orissan village of Chutimangal.[46][48]

Middle period (1858–1874): working years

Teaching in Orissa (1858–1866)

In Chutimangal, Kedarnath Datta was able to begin his career as an English teacher – first at the local village school, and then, after passing a qualifying examination, at a school in Cuttack.[4][49] From 1862 until 1865 he served as the first headmaster of Bhadrak High School (currently Zilla School) in Bhadrak.[49] His finances improved, allowing him to dedicate more time to studying, writing, and lecturing.[49] This established Kedarnath as an intellectual and cultural voice of the local bhadralok community, and soon a following of his own formed, consisting of students attracted by his discourses and personal tutorship on religious and philosophical topics.[50]

In August 1860 his first son, Annada Datta, was born. His birth was followed by the death of Kedarnath's wife ten months later.[51] Widowed and with an infant on his hands at twenty-three, Kedarnath married Bhagavati Devi, a daughter of Gangamoy Roy of Jakpore. She would become his companion and the mother of his other thirteen children.[52][53][c] After a short tenure at a lucrative position as the head clerk at the Bardhaman revenue collector's office, Kedarnath felt morally compromised as well as insecure with the position of a rent collector and settled for a less profitable but more agreeable occupation as a clerk elsewhere.[53][57]

These external events as well as the internal conflict between morality and need moved Kedarnath towards introspection in search for a more appealing concept of God, as accepted in Christianity and Vaishnavism.[58][59][60] Marking this period of his life was Kedarnath's interest in Gaudiya Vaishnavism and particularly in the persona and teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1533).[61] Kedarnath tried to acquire a copy of Chaitanya Caritamrita and the Bhagavata Purana, principal scriptures for Gaudiya Vaishnavas, but failed.[58][61] However, his interest in Chaitanya's teaching and example of love for Krishna, the personal form of God, coupled with Chaitanya's grace and ethical integrity became the decisive theme of his life and mission.[62]

This period was also marked with Kedarnath's budding literary gift. Taking advantage of the tranquility of his new clerical job, he composed the Bengali poems Vijanagrama and Sannyasi, lauded for their poetic meter, which incorporated the style of Milton and Byron into Bengali verse.[57] He also authored an article on Vaishnavism as well as a book, Our Wants.[63]

As Bhagavati Devi gave birth to Kedarnath's second child, daughter Saudhamani (1864), the need to secure a more stable income for his growing family made Kedarnath seek a job with the British government.[64][65]

Government service (1866–1893)

An Indian man in mid-50s dressed in an official-looking overcoat and cap
Kedarnath Datta in official magistrate dress, late 1880s

In February 1866 Kedarnath Datta received, with a friend's help, a position with the Registrar's office as a "Special Deputy Registrar of Assurances with Powers of a Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector" in Chhapra in the Saran district of Bihar.[66][67] In colonial Bengal a job at the executive government service, staffed by the bhadralok (except for the top management tier, occupied by the British), was the coveted achievement. It ensured one's financial security, social status, and protected retirement.[68][67] During the next twenty-eight years, Kedarnath rose through the ranks of civil service from sixth grade to second grade, which entailed authority.[69][65][d] Kedarnath gradually established himself with the British authorities as a responsible and efficient officer and a man of integrity.[70] The course of his government service took him and his growing family to twenty different locations in Bihar, Bengal, and Orissa.[71][72] This allowed him to study different cultures, languages, and religions. He also showed himself a linguistic savant, within a short time learning Urdu and Persian, required for his government duties.[73] He also mastered Sanskrit for his Vaishnava pursuits, enough to be able to read the Bhagavata Purana with traditional commentaries and to write his own Sanskrit poetry.[74]

When Kedarnath suffered from prolonged bouts of fever and colitis,[e] he took advantage of the paid sick leave to visit Mathura and Vrindavana – sacred places for Gaudiya Vaishnavas.[75][76]

His interest in Chaitanya Vaishnavism grew. After an eight-year search, in 1868 he found a copy of Chaitanya's biography Chaitanya Caritamrita by Krishnadasa Kaviraja and a translation of the Bhagavata Purana.[77][78] He became appreciative of Chaitanya's teaching but struggled to reconcile it with the prevalent perception of Krishna, Chaitanya's God described in the Bhagavata Purana, as "basically a wrong-doer."[77] He concluded that both faith and reason have their respective, complementary places in religious experience, and neither can be ousted from it altogether.[58][77] Kedarnath describes the transformation he went through while reading the long sought-after scripture:

My first reading of Caitanya Caritamrita created some faith in Caitanya. On the second reading I understood that Caitanya was unequalled, but l doubted how such a good scholar with so high a level of prema could recommend the worship of Krishna, who had such a questionable character. I was amazed, and I thought about this in detail. Afterwards, I humbly prayed to God, "O Lord, please give me the understanding to know the secret of this matter." The mercy of God is without limit and so I soon understood. From then on I believed that Caitanya was God. I often spoke with many vairagis to understand Vaishnava dharma. From childhood the seeds of faith for Vaishnava dharma had been planted within my heart and now they had sprouted. I experienced anuraga (spiritual yearning) and day and night I read and thought about Krishna.[78]

Accepting Chaitanya as the final goal of his intellectual and spiritual quest, Kedarnath soon started delivering public lectures on his teachings, culminating in his famous speech The Bhagavat: Its Philosophy, Ethics and Theology – his first public announcement of his newly found religious allegiance.[58][79] In The Bhagavat, delivered in masterful English but directed at both the Western cultural conquest and the bhadralok that conquest influenced,[58][80] Kedarantha attempted to reconcile modern thought and Vaishnava orthodoxy and to restore the Bhagavata to its preeminent position in Hindu philosophy.[58][79] His newfound inspiration in the teachings of Chaitanya and the Bhagavata made Kedarnath receive his next job transfer to Jagannath Puri as a blessing – Puri was Chaitanya's residence for most of his life, and the shelter of the principal Vaishnava shrine, the Temple of Jagannath.[81]

Service in Puri (1870–1875)

Following the annexation of the state of Orissa by Britain in 1803, the British force commander in India, Marquess Wellesley, ordered by decree "the utmost degree of accuracy and vigilance" in protecting the security of the Jagannath temple and in respecting religious sentiments of its worshipers.[82] The policy was followed to the point that the British army escorted Hindu religious processions.[83] However, under the pressure of Christian missionaries both in India and in Britain, in 1863 this policy was lifted and the temple management entrusted to the care of the local brahmanas, which soon led to its deterioration.[83]

When Kedarnath was posted to Puri in 1870, he was given the charge to oversee law and order in the pilgrimage site, as well as to provide pilgrims with food, accommodation, and medical assistance on festival occasions.[84] The government also deputed Kedarnath as a law enforcement officer to thwart the Atibadis, a heterodox Vaishnava sect that conspired to overthrow the British and was led by a self-proclaimed avatar, Bishkishan, a task that Kedarnath accomplished.[85][86]

However, while busy with governmental assignments, Kedarnath dedicated his off-duty time to nurturing his newly acquired inspiration for Gaudiya Vaishnavism.[87] He started mastering Sanskrit under the tutelage of local pandits and absorbed himself in intense study of Chaitanya Caritamrita, the Bhagavata Purana with the commentary of Sridhara Svami, and the seminal philosophical treatises of the Gaudiya Vaishnava canon such as the Sat Sandarbhas by Jiva Goswami (c.1513–1598), Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu by Rupa Goswami (1489–1564), and the Govinda Bhashya commentary by Baladeva Vidyabhushana (?−1768) on the Brahma Sutras.[58][88][87] Kedarnath also started searching for Gaudiya Vaishnava manuscripts and writing on the subject of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, authoring and publishing Datta-kaustubha and a number of Sanskrit verses, and commenced a major literary work, Krishna-samhita.[87]

A young Bengali boy looking forward
Kedarnath Datta's seventh child Bimala Prasad, age 7 (1881)

Soon Kedarnath formed a society called Bhagavat Samsad, consisting of the local bhadralok who were eager listen to his exposition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism.[87][74] This brought him at odds with the local pandit, who criticised him for lecturing on Vaishnava topics while lacking a proper Vaishnava initiation, or diksha, the tilak markings, and other devotional insignia.[89][90][f] Even though Kedarnath was following Gaudiya Vaishnava spiritual discipline like harinama-japa, or chanting the Hare Krishna mantra on beads,[g] their opposition prompted Kedarnath to aspire to find a diksha-guru and take initiation from him.[89]

While Kedarnath Datta was able to influence many bhadraloks towards the Gaudiya Vaishnavism taught by Chaitanya, he felt in need of assistance.[91] When his wife gave birth to a new child, Kedarnath linked the event to a divinatory dream and named his son Bimala Prasad ('"the mercy of Bimala Devi").[92] The same account mentions that at his birth, the child's umbilical cord was looped around his body like a sacred brahmana thread (upavita) that left a permanent mark on the skin, as if foretelling his future role as religious leader.[93] In the 1880s, Kedarnath Datta, out of desire to foster the child's interest in spirituality, initiated him into harinama-japa. At the age of nine Bimala Prasad memorised the seven hundred verses of the Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit.[94] From his childhood Bimala Prasad demonstrated a sense of moral behavior, intelligence, and an eidetic memory.[95][96] He gained a reputation for remembering passages from a book on a single reading, and learned enough to compose his own poetry in Sanskrit.[97] Bhaktisiddhanta's biographers write that even up to his last days Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati could verbatim recall passages from books that he had read in his childhood, earning the epithet "living encyclopedia".[98][96] Bimala Prasad later became known as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.

By the end Kedarnath's tenure in Puri his family had seven children, and his oldest daughter, Saudamani, 10, had to be married – which, according to upper-class Hindu customs, had to take place in Bengal.[99] Kedarnath took a three-month privileged leave from his duties and in November 1874 went with his family to Bengal.[99]

Later period (1874–1914): Writing and preaching

A group photograph of a large Indian family seated in rows around an old grey-haired man.
Kedarnath Datta's family ca.1900[100]
From left to right:
Back row: Bimala Prasad, Barada Prasad, Kedarnath Datta, Krishna Vinodini, Kadambini, and Bhagavati Devi (seated).
Second row: Kamala Prasad, Shailaja Prasad, unknown grandchild, and Hari Pramodini.
Front row: two unknown grandchildren.

After leaving Puri for Bengal, Kedarnath Datta decided to establish his family in Calcutta at a permanent home, which he called "Bhakti Bhavan." This afforded him more freedom for his traveling, studies and writing.[101]

In 1880 Kedarnath and his wife accepted diksha (initiation) into Gaudiya Vaishnavism from Bipin Bihari Goswami (1848–1919), a descendant from one of Chaitanya's associates, Vamsivadana Thakur. This formalised Kedarnath's commitment to the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya.[102][103] Later he developed a connection with the renowned Gaudiya Vaishnava ascetic Jagannatha Dasa Babaji (1776–1894), who became his principal spiritual mentor.[104][105][106]

In 1885 Kedarnath Datta formed the Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha ("Royal World Vaishnava Association") composed of leading Bengali Vaishnavas and established at his own house the Vaishnava Depository, a library and a printing press for systematically presenting Gaudiya Vaishnavism by publishing canonical devotional texts, often with his translations and commentaries, as well as his own original writing.[107][108][109] In his endeavors to restore the purity and influence of Gaudiya Vaishnavism,[4] in 1881 Bhaktivinoda began a monthly magazine in Bengali, Sajjana-toshani ("The source of pleasure for devotees"), in which he serialised many of his books and published essays of the history and philosophy of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, along with book reviews, poetry, and novels.[108][110] In January 1886, in recognition of Kedarnath's significant role in reviving Vaishnavism through his literary and spiritual achievements, the local Gaudiya Vaishnava leaders, including his guru Bipin Bihari Goswami, conferred upon him the honorific title Bhaktivinoda; from that time on he was known as Kedarnath Datta Bhaktivinoda, or Bhakivinoda Thakur.[111][112][108][106]

A face close-up of a marble statue of a man with wooden beads and white cloth around the neck.
Bhaktivinoda's shrine in Mayapur

On 4 October 1894, at the age of 56, Bhaktivinoda Thakur retired from government service and moved with his family to Mayapur to focus on his devotional practice, writing and preaching.[113] In 1908 Bhaktivinoda formally adopted the lifestyle and practice of a babaji (Vaishnava recluse) at his house in Calcutta, absorbed in chanting the Hare Krishna mantra until his death on 23 June 1914. His remains in a silver urn were interred at his house in Surabhi-kunj.[114][6]

Major works

See also: Bhaktivinoda Thakur bibliography

From 1874 till his departure in 1914 Bhaktivinoda wrote, both philosophical works in Sanskrit and English that appealed to the bhadralok intelligentsia, and devotional songs (bhajans) in simple Bengali that conveyed the same message to the masses.[115] His bibliography counts over one hundred works, including his translations of canonical Gaudiya Vaishnava texts, often with his own commentaries, as well as poems, devotional song books, and essays[116][115] – an achievement his biographers attribute in large part to his industrious and organised nature.[117][h]

Krishna-samhita, published in 1879, was Bhaktivinoda's first major work.[118][119] Composed in Sanskrit and Bengali, the book was intended as a response to criticism of Krishna by Christian missionaries, Brahmo Samaj, and Westernised bhadralok for what they saw as his immoral, licentious behavior incompatible with his divine status in Hinduism.[118] The critics drew upon the perceived moral lapses in Krishna's character to further their propaganda against Hinduism and Vaishnavism, challenging their very ethical foundation.[118] In defense of the tenets of Vaishnavism, Bhaktivinoda's Krishna-samhita employed the same rational tools of its opponents, complete with contemporary archeological and historical data and theological thought, to establish Krishna's pastimes as transcendent (aprakrita) manifestations of morality.[120] In particular, he applied what he termed adhunika-vada ("contemporary thinking") – his methodology of correlating the phenomenal discourse of the scripture with the observable reality.[80] The book evoked an intense and polarised response, with some praising its intellectual novelty and traditionalism while others condemned it for what they saw as deviations from the orthodox Vaishnava hermeneutics.[121] Bhaktivinoda recalls:

Some thought the book was a new point of view. Some said it was good. The younger educated people said the book was nice, but no one fully understood the essence of the work, which was to show that Krishna was transcendent (aprakrita). Some thought that my interpretations were strictly psychological (adhyatmika). But they were incorrect. There is a subtle difference between what is transcendent and what is psychological, which few understood. The reason behind this mistake is that no one had any understanding of transcendence (aprakrita).[120]

Undaunted by the criticism, Bhaktivinoda saw Krishna-samhita as an adequate presentation of the Gaudiya Vaishnava thought even for a Western mind and in 1880 sent copies of the book to leading intellectuals of Europe and America.[122] Soon Bhaktivinoda received a favorable response from an eminent Sanskrit scholar in London, Reinhold Rost, and a courteous acknowledgement of the gift from Ralph Waldo Emerson.[123] This became the first foray of Chaitanya's theology into the Western world.[122]

In 1886 Bhaktivinoda published another important work, Chaitanya-siksamrita, which summarises the teachings of Chaitanya and includes Bhaktivinoda's own socio-religious analysis.[124][125] Along with it came his own Bengali translation of the Bhagavad Gita with commentaries by Visvanatha Chakravarti (ca.1626–1708). He also published Amnaya-sutra, Vaishnava-siddhanta-mala, Prema-pradipa, his own Sanskrit commentaries on the Chaitanya-upanisad and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Siksastakam, and two parts of Chaitanya-caritamrita with his own commentary, entitled Amrita-pravaha-bhashya ("A commentary that showers nectar").[124] Tattva-viveka, his concise masterpiece designed to awaken higher intelligence in the individual, was published in 1893.[126]

A faded sepia photograph of an old man with neck beads on a deteriorated paper page.
A page with angular Bengali handwriting and a square diagram.
(left) Bhaktivinoda Thakur's photo with autograph and (right) the first page of his original Svalikhita-jivani. (1896)

In Jaiva-dharma, another key work, published in 1896,[127] Bhaktivinoda employs the fictional style of a novel to create an ideal, even utopian Vaishnava realm that serves as a backdrop to philosophical and esoteric truths unfolding in a series of conversations between the book's characters and guiding their devotional transformations.[128] Jaiva-dharma is considered one of the important books in the Gaudiya Vaishnava lineage of Bhaktivinoda. It has been translated into many languages and printed in thousands of copies.[129]

At the request of his son Lalita Prasad, in 1896 Bhaktivinoda wrote a detailed autobiography called Svalikhita-jivani that covered 56 years of his life, from birth up until that time. Tthe work described a life full of financial struggle, health issues, internal doubts and insecurity, and introspection that gradually led him, sometimes in convoluted ways, to the deliberate and mature decision of accepting Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings as his final goal.[130] Bhaktivinoda did not display much concern for how this account would reflect on his status as an established Gaudiya Vaishnava spiritual leader. It is telling that he never refers to himself as feeling or displaying any special spiritual acumen, saintlihood, powers, or charisma – anything worthy of veneration.[131] The honest, almost self-deprecating narrative portrays him as a genuine, exceptionally humble and modest man, serving as the best exemplar and foundation of the teaching he dedicated his later life to spreading.[132] The book was published by Lalita Prasad in 1916, after Bhaktivinoda's death.[133]

He edited and published over 100 books on Vaishnavism, including major theological treatises such as Krishna-samhita (1880), Chaitanya-sikshamrita (1886), Jaiva-dharma (1893), Tattva-sutra (1893), Tattva-viveka (1893), and Hari-nama-cintamani (1900). Between 1881 and 1909, Kedarnath also published a monthly journal in Bengali entitled Sajjana-toshani ("The source of pleasure for devotees"), which he used as the prime means for propagating Chaitanya's teachings among the bhadralok.[80] In 1886, in recognition of his theological, philosophical and literary contributions, the local Gaudiya Vaishnava community conferred upon Kedarnath Datta the honorific title of Bhaktivinoda.[5]

In 1896 another publication of Bhaktivinoda's, a book in English entitled Srimad-Gaurangalila-Smaranamangala, or Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, His life and Precepts, was sent to several academics and libraries in Canada, Britain and Australia.[107]

In February 2023, a new Bengali edition of the Svalikhita-Jivani, edited by Dr. Santanu Dey, was published jointly by the Bhaktivedanta Research Center and Dey’s Publishing.[134][135][136]

Bhaktivinoda also contributed to the development of Vaishnava music and song in the 19th century.[137] He composed many devotional songs, or bhajans, in Bengali and occasionally in Sanskrit, that were compiled into collections, such as Kalyana-kalpataru (1881), Saranagati (1893), and Gitavali (1893).[2] Conveying the essence of Gaudiya Vaishnava teachings in simple language, many of his songs are to this day known Bengal and across the world.[138][139]

Discovery of Chaitanya's birthplace

See also: Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Mayapur

A white ornate structure with a pyramidal pointed dome standing on the bank of a pond and surrounded by trees
The temple at Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's birthsite in Nabadwip established by Bhaktivinoda Thakur.

In 1886 Bhaktivinoda attempted to retire from his government service and move to Vrindavan to pursue his devotional life. However, he saw a dream in which Chaitanya ordered him to go to Nabadwip instead.[140] After some difficulty, in 1887 Bhaktivinoda obtained a transfer to Krishnanagar, a district centre 25 kilometres (16 mi) away from Nabadwip, famous as the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.[141] Despite poor health, Bhaktivinoda began to regularly visit Nabadwip to research places connected with Chaitanya.[142] Soon he concluded that the site purported by the local brahmanas to be Chaitanya's birthplace could not possibly be genuine.[143] Determined to find the actual place but frustrated by the lack of reliable evidence and clues, one night he saw a mystical vision:[144]

By 10 o'clock the night was very dark and cloudy. Across the Ganges in a northern direction I suddenly saw a large building flooded with golden light. I asked Bimala if he could see the building and he said that he could. But my friend Kerani Babu could see nothing. I was amazed. What could it be? In the morning I went back to the roof and looked carefully back across the Ganges. I saw that in the place where I had seen the building was a stand of palm trees. Inquiring about this area I was told that it was the remains of Lakshman Sen's fort at Ballaldighi.[143]

Taking this as a clue, Bhaktivinoda conducted an investigation of the site by consulting old maps and matching them against scriptural and verbal accounts. He concluded that the village of Ballaldighi was formerly known as Mayapur, confirmed in Bhakti-ratnakara to be the birth site of Chaitanya.[145] He soon acquired a property in Surabhi-kunj near Mayapur to oversee construction of a temple at Chaitanya's birthplace.[8] For this purpose he organised, via Sajjana-tosani and special festivals, as well as personal acquaintances, a successful fundraising effort.[146] Noted Bengali journalist Sisir Kumar Ghosh (1840–1911) commended Bhaktivinoda for the discovery and hailed him as "the seventh goswami" – a reference to the Six Goswamis, renowned medieval Gaudiya Vaishnava ascetics and close associates of Chaitanya who had authored many of the school's theological texts and discovered places of Krishna's pastimes in Vrindavan.[147]


A two-storey pink-and-yellow building with a sign in Bengali and English
Bhaktivinoda Thakur's house at Surabhi-kunj (Mayapur) that served as the headquarters of his nama-hatta preaching.

Kedarnath started a travelling preaching program in Bengali and Orissan villages that he called nama-hatta, or "the market-place of the name [of Krishna]".[148] Modelled after the circuit court system, his nama-hatta groups included kirtana parties, distribution of prasada (food offered to Krishna), and lecturers on the teachings of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, travelling from village to village as far as Vrindavan in an organised and systematic way.[149] The program was a big success, widely popularising the teachings of Chaitanya among the masses as well as attracting a following of high-class patrons.[150][151] By the beginning of the 20th century Bhaktivinoda had established over five hundred nama-hattas across Bengal.[152]

Opposing Vaishnava heterodoxy

Prior to Bhaktivinoda's literary and preaching endeavours, an organised Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya (lineage) was virtually nonexistent, as was a single, overarching Gaudiya Vaishnava canon in a codified form. In the absence of such theological and organisational commonality, claims of affiliation with Gaudiya Vaishnavism by individuals and groups were either tenuous, superficial, or unverifiable. Bhaktivinoda Thakur attempted to restore the once strong and unified Chaitanya movement from the motley assortment of sects that it came to be towards the end of the 19th century. He chose his Sajjjana-tosani magazine as the means for this task. Through his articles dealing with the process of initiation and sadhana, through translations of Vaishnava scriptures, and through his commentaries on contemporary issues from a Vaishnava perspective, Bhaktivinoda was gradually establishing, both in the minds of his large audience and in writing,[i] the foundation for Gaudiya Vaishnava orthodoxy and orthopraxy, or what a Vaishnava is and isn't.[154]

Gradually Bhaktivinoda directed criticism at various heterodox Vaishnava groups abounding in Bengal that he identified and termed "a-Vaishnava" (non-Vaishnava) and apasampradayas ("deviant lineages"): Aul, Baul, Saina, Darvesa, Sahajiya, smarta brahmanas, etc.[155][156] Of them, the Vaishnava spin-off groups that presented sexual promiscuity to be a spiritual practice became the target of choice for Bhaktivinoda's especially pointed attacks.[157] A more tacit but nothing short of uncompromising philosophical assault was directed at the influential jati-gosais (caste goswamis) and smarta brahmanas who claimed exclusive right to conduct initiations into Gaudiya Vaishnavism on the basis of their hereditary affiliation with it and denied eligibility to do so to non-brahmana Vaishnavas. [156] Bhaktivinoda's contention with them was brewing for many years until it came to a boil when he, already seriously ill, delegated his son Bhaktisiddhanta to the famous Brāhmaṇa o Vaiṣṇava (Brahmana and Vaishnava) debate that took place in 1911 in Balighai, Midnapore, and turned into Bhaktisiddhanta's and Bhaktivinoda's triumph.[158][159]

Reaching out to the West

See also: Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Gaudiya Math, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, and International Society for Krishna Consciousness

A black-and-white title page of an English book
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, His life and Precepts, the book sent by Bhaktivinoda to the West in 1896.

Although his Krishna-samhita made it into the hands of some leading intellectuals of the West, a book in Sanskrit had very few readers there.[160] Despite this obstacle, in 1882 Bhaktivinoda stated in his Sajjana-toshani magazine a coveted vision of universalism and brotherhood across borders and races:

When in England, France, Russia, Prussia, and America all fortunate persons by taking up kholas [drums] and karatalas [cymbals] will take the name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu again and again in their own countries, and raise the waves of sankirtana [congregational singing of Krishna's names], when will that day come! Oh! When will the day come when the white-skinned British people will speak the glory of Shachinandana [another name of Chaitanya] on one side and on the other and with this call spread their arms to embrace devotees from other countries in brotherhood, when will that day come! The day when they will say "Oh, Aryan Brothers! We have taken refuge at the feet of Chaitanya Deva in an ocean of love, now kindly embrace us," when will that day come![103]

Bhaktivinoda did not stop short of making practical efforts to implement his vision. In 1896 he published and sent to several academic addressees in the West a book entitled Gaurangalila-Smaranamangala, or Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, His life and Precepts,[107][161][j] which portrayed Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as a champion of "universal brotherhood and intellectual freedom":

Caitanya preaches equality of men ...universal fraternity amongst men and special brotherhood amongst Vaishnavas, who are according to him, the best pioneers of spiritual improvement. He preaches that human thought should never be allowed to be shackled with sectarian views....The religion preached by Mahaprabhu is universal and not exclusive. The most learned and the most ignorant are both entitled to embrace it. . . . The principle of kirtana invites, as the future church of the world, all classes of men without distinction of caste or clan to the highest cultivation of the spirit.[162]

Bhaktivinoda adapted his message to the Western mind by borrowing popular Christian expressions such as "universal fraternity", "cultivation of the spirit", "preach", and "church" and deliberately using them in a Hindu context.[163] Copies of Chaitanya, His Life and Precepts were sent to Western scholars across the British Empire, and landed, among others, in academic libraries at McGill University in Montreal, at the University of Sydney in Australia and at the Royal Asiatic Society of London. The book also made its way to prominent scholars such as Oxford Sanskritist Monier Monier-Williams and earned a favorable review in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.[162][161]

A black-and-white photo of a man with pen in hand looking pensively
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati editing an article. ca.1930s

Bhaktivinoda's son, who by that time came to be known as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, inherited the vision of spreading the message of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the West from his father. This inspiration was bequeathed to Bhaktisiddhanta in a letter that he received from Bhaktivinoda in 1910:

Sarasvati! ...Because pure devotional conclusions are not being preached, all kinds of superstitions and bad concepts are being called devotion by such pseudo-sampradayas as sahajiya and atibari. Please always crush these anti-devotional concepts by preaching pure devotional conclusions and by setting an example through your personal conduct. ...Please try very hard to make sure that the service to Mayapur will become a permanent thing and will become brighter and brighter every day. The real service to Mayapur can be done by acquiring printing presses, distributing devotional books, and sankirtan – preaching. Please do not neglect to serve Mayapur or to preach for the sake of your own reclusive bhajan. ...I had a special desire to preach the significance of such books as Srimad Bhagavatam, Sat Sandarbha, and Vedanta Darshan. You have to accept that responsibility. Mayapur will prosper if you establish an educational institution there. Never make any effort to collect knowledge or money for your own enjoyment. Only to serve the Lord will you collect these things. Never engage in bad association, either for money or for some self-interest.[164][k]

In the 1930s, the Gaudiya Math founded by Bhaktisiddhanta sent its missionaries to Europe, but remained largely unsuccessful in its Western outreach efforts, until in 1966 Bhaktisiddhanta's disciple A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (1896–1977) founded in New York City the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).[166][167] Modeled after the original Gaudiya Math and emulating its emphasis on dynamic mission and spiritual practice, ISKCON popularised Chaitanya Vaishnavism on a global scale, becoming the world's leading proponent of Hindu bhakti personalism.[167][168][169]


In 2023 the Bhaktivedanta Research Centre established an endowment to the Department of Sociology, Presidency University, Kolkata, in honour of Bhaktivinod Thakur, who was a student of Hindu College in 1853.[170] The scholarship aims to support academic endeavors related to the study of religion within the department.[171]

An archive has been compiled containing records of Hindu/Presidency College (Now Presidency University, Kolkata), developed through collaboration with the British Library and the University of Chicago. Among the documents found in this archive is an attendance register from Hindu College bearing the name of Kedarnath Dutta.[172][173]

Bhaktivinoda wrote an autobiographical account titled Svalikhita-jivani that spanned the period from his birth in 1838 until retirement in 1894. He died in Calcutta on 23 June 1914 at age 75. His remains were interred near Mayapur, West Bengal.


  1. ^ Other sources give 1857 as the year of the epidemic, but that contradicts the age of 17 cited by Bhaktivinoda in Svalikhita-jivani
  2. ^ Biographers cite an instance when Kedarnath quit a well-paid job that involved bargain due to feeling discomfort with having to "cheat the whole seller for profit".[46][47]
  3. ^ Kedarnath Datta's fourteen children are:
    with Shaymani: (1) Annada Prasad, son (1860);
    with Bhagavati Devi: (1) Saudamani, daughter (1864); (2) Kadambani, daughter (1867); (3) son died early, name unknown (1868); (4) Radhika Prasad, son (1870); (5) Kamala Prasad, son (1872); (6) Bimala Prasad, son (1874); (7) Barada Prasad, son (1877); (8) Biraja Prasad, son (1878); (9) Lalita Prasad, son (1880); (10) Krishna Vinodini, daughter (1884); (11) Shyam Sarojini, daughter (1886); (12) Hari Pramodini, daughter (1888); (13) Shailaja Prasad, son (1891).[54][55][56]
  4. ^ Kedarnath Datta in Svalikhita-jivani confesses to the discomfort of holding the position of authority that made his subordinates ingratiate themselves to him, out of fear and intimidation, by gifts and singing.[65]
  5. ^ In Svalikhita-jivani Kedarnath attributes his chronic intestinal disorders to his non-vegetarian diet up until his initiation in 1880, even while already practising Vaishnavism that strictly prohibits meat-eating.[73][70]
  6. ^ Kedarnath accepts this criticism as fair in his autobiography.[90]
  7. ^ with the only exception of his still non-vegetarian diet that he admits to following until his initiation in 1880
  8. ^ Bhaktivinoda would go to sleep at 19:30–20:00 but would rise at 22:00pm, light his oil lamp and write for six hours until 4:00 in the morning. He would then take a 30-minute nap, get up at 4:30 and chanted harinama-japa of the Hare Krishna mantra on beads. From 7:00 until 9:30 in the morning he would deal correspondence, study and receive visitors. From 10:00 until 17:00, with a break between 13:00–14:00 he would sit in court, hearing up to fifty cases a day and writing a detailed judgment for each. He would then get home, bathe, take a mean or rice, bread and milk, rest at 19:30–20:00 and resume his writing routine at 22:00.[117]
  9. ^ Many Bhaktivinoda's books appeared first serialized in Sajjana-tosani before being printed in single volumes.[153]
  10. ^ The book was also published under slightly varied titles, such as Chaitanya, His Life and Precepts.
  11. ^ The original letter was never recovered; however, Bhaktisiddhanta quoted these instructions by Bhaktivinoda, apparently considering them as seminal for his mission, in a 1926 letter.[165]


  1. ^ a b Svami 2000, p. 58.
  2. ^ a b c Dasa 1999, pp. 13, 288, 290.
  3. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. iv, 3, 90, 102.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hopkins 1984, p. 176.
  5. ^ a b c Gupta 2014, p. 2.
  6. ^ a b Fuller 2005, p. 6.
  7. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 7, 254–255.
  8. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 108.
  9. ^ Hopkins 1984, pp. 176, 182.
  10. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 15.
  11. ^ Sardella2013b, p. 17.
  12. ^ Sardella 2013b, pp. 17–18.
  13. ^ Sardella 2013b, p. 19.
  14. ^ Hopkins 1984, p. 175.
  15. ^ Sardella 2013b, p. 6.
  16. ^ a b Sardella 2013a, p. 415.
  17. ^ Ward 1998, pp. 35–36.
  18. ^ a b Ward 1998, p. 10.
  19. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 33.
  20. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 34–36.
  21. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 35.
  22. ^ a b c Dasa 1999, p. 36.
  23. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 37.
  24. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 39.
  25. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 40–41.
  26. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 44.
  27. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 45.
  28. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 42-43.
  29. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 46.
  30. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 46, 48.
  31. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 47.
  32. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 48.
  33. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 48–49.
  34. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 49.
  35. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 52–53.
  36. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 53.
  37. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 54–55.
  38. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 49–51.
  39. ^ Fuller 2005, p. 76.
  40. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 55–56.
  41. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 56.
  42. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 56–57.
  43. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 57–58.
  44. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 58.
  45. ^ Bhatia 2008, p. 130.
  46. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 59.
  47. ^ a b Fuller 2005, p. 78.
  48. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 78–79.
  49. ^ a b c Fuller 2005, p. 79.
  50. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 79–81, 83–84.
  51. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 80–81.
  52. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 65, 84, 300.
  53. ^ a b Fuller 2005, p. 82.
  54. ^ Sardella 2013b, p. 55.
  55. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 300.
  56. ^ Swami 2009, p. 6.
  57. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 66.
  58. ^ a b c d e f g Hopkins 1984, p. 177.
  59. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 64–67.
  60. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 80–81, 83–84.
  61. ^ a b Dasa 1999, pp. 64–65.
  62. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 65.
  63. ^ Fuller 2005, p. 83.
  64. ^ Dasa 1999.
  65. ^ a b c Fuller 2005, p. 91.
  66. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 67–68.
  67. ^ a b Fuller 2005, pp. 84–85.
  68. ^ Marvin 1996, pp. 93–94.
  69. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 69.
  70. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 71.
  71. ^ a b Dasa 1999, pp. 296–299.
  72. ^ a b Marvin 1996, pp. 334–337.
  73. ^ a b Fuller 2005, p. 85.
  74. ^ a b Fuller 2005, p. 90.
  75. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 85–86.
  76. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 72.
  77. ^ a b c Fuller 2005, p. 87.
  78. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 73.
  79. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 74.
  80. ^ a b c Gupta 2014, pp. 19–20.
  81. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 74–75.
  82. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 75–76.
  83. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 76.
  84. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 77.
  85. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 79–80.
  86. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 88–90.
  87. ^ a b c d Dasa 1999, p. 78.
  88. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 88, 90.
  89. ^ a b Fuller 2005, pp. 90–91.
  90. ^ a b Dasa 1999, pp. 78–79.
  91. ^ Sardella 2013b, p. 62.
  92. ^ Bryant & Ekstrand 2004, p. 81.
  93. ^ Swami 2009, p. 1.
  94. ^ Sardella 2013b, p. 64.
  95. ^ Swami 2009, p. 10.
  96. ^ a b Sardella 2013b, p. 65.
  97. ^ Sardella 2013b, pp. 64–65.
  98. ^ Swami 2009, pp. 9–10.
  99. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 83.
  100. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 84.
  101. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 85, 117.
  102. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 92–93.
  103. ^ a b Hopkins 1984, p. 184.
  104. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 96, 109.
  105. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 135, 257.
  106. ^ a b Hopkins 1984, p. 180.
  107. ^ a b c Hopkins 1984, p. 181.
  108. ^ a b c Sardella 2013a, p. 416.
  109. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 97, 100.
  110. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 96–99.
  111. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 95–97, 101–102.
  112. ^ Sardella 2013b, p. 56.
  113. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 69, 111.
  114. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 117.
  115. ^ a b Dasa 1999, pp. 283–294.
  116. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 3.
  117. ^ a b Hopkins 1984, p. 179.
  118. ^ a b c Dasa 1999, p. 87.
  119. ^ Gupta 2014, p. 20.
  120. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 88.
  121. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 87–89.
  122. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 89.
  123. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 89–90.
  124. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 100.
  125. ^ Bhatia 2008, pp. 134, 137.
  126. ^ Bhaktivinode Thankura (author), Vaishnava Foundation (translator), Tattva-viveka: Awakened Intelligence in AbsoluteTruth, 2nd ed.; Vaishnava Foundation: 2019
  127. ^ Fuller 2005, p. 161.
  128. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 185–199.
  129. ^ Fuller 2005, p. 185.
  130. ^ Fuller 2005, p. 42.
  131. ^ Fuller 2005, p. 42-43.
  132. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 43–44.
  133. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 9.
  134. ^ ""Svalikhita Jivani" – Autobiography of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, published after a century by Bhaktivedanta Research Center". ISKCON Desire Tree | IDT. 27 February 2023. Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  135. ^ "প্রকাশিত হলো ভক্তিবিনোদ ঠাকুরের স্বরচিত জীবনী গ্রন্থ - India's No1 News". 29 April 2023. Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  136. ^ "Svalikhita Jivani – Bhaktivedanta Research Center". Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  137. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 13.
  138. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 286.
  139. ^ Svami 2000, pp. 35–64.
  140. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 100–101.
  141. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 102–103.
  142. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 103–105.
  143. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 104.
  144. ^ Fuller 2005, p. 209.
  145. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 105.
  146. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 243–250.
  147. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 106–107.
  148. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 86–87.
  149. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 86–87, 109–110.
  150. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 288–314.
  151. ^ Dasa 1999, pp. 113–115.
  152. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 115.
  153. ^ Fuller 2005, p. 134.
  154. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 133–134.
  155. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 136–138.
  156. ^ a b Hopkins 1984, pp. 181–182.
  157. ^ Fuller 2005, pp. 136–137.
  158. ^ Bryant & Ekstrand 2004, p. 83.
  159. ^ Sardella 2013b, pp. 82–86.
  160. ^ Dasa 1999, p. 91.
  161. ^ a b Dasa 1999, p. 91-92.
  162. ^ a b Sardella 2013b, pp. 94–96.
  163. ^ Sardella 2013b, pp. 94–95.
  164. ^ Murphy & Goff 1997, p. 18.
  165. ^ Sardella 2013b, p. 87.
  166. ^ Hopkins 1984, p. 182.
  167. ^ a b Sardella 2013b, pp. 246–249.
  168. ^ Ward 1998, p. 36.
  169. ^ Hopkins 1984, pp. 182–183.
  170. ^ "Adieu to Vishwakarma & Ganesh and more news from Kolkata in pictures". Telegraph India. 20 September 2023. Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  171. ^ "Presidency University: ভক্তি বিনোদ ঠাকুরের নামে ছাত্র বৃত্তি প্রেসিডেন্সিতে". Aajkaal (in Bengali). Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  172. ^ "ভক্তিবিনোদ ঠাকুরের নামে বৃত্তি চালু হচ্ছে প্রেসিডেন্সি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে". 24 September 2023. Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  173. ^ গতি, নতুন (20 September 2023). "ভক্তি বিনোদ ঠাকুরের স্মারক ছাত্র -বৃত্তি চালু হচ্ছে প্রেসিডেন্সি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে". নতুন গতি. Retrieved 24 September 2023.