In 1838 Srila Bhakti vinoda Thakur, named Kedarnath Datta by his parents, was born at Birnagar (Ulagram) in Nadia district of West Bengal. He was the seventh son of King Krishnananda Datta, who was a great devotee of Lord Nityananda. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was a prominent preceptor of Acharya in a succession of spiritual masters and disciples of Lord Krishna. He was a leading spiritual leader, a householder, a magistrate working in colonial India under British rule, a great preacher, writer and a poet. He composed hundreds of devotional songs describing the Glories of Sri Krishna to uplift the consciousness of the people suffering in this world. Bhakti vinoda Thakura discovered and excavated the birthplace of Lord Caitanya. With his devoted wife, Bhagwati Devi, he raised ten children, including Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.

The Life Of Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur

Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur spent his childhood in his maternal grandfather’s house in Birnagarh. His conduct at that time was very grand. He received his primary education in the primary school started by his grandmother. He later attended an English school in Krishna Nagar, started by the king of Nadia. He left that school when his elder brother died of cholera.

It was 1849 when he was 11 years old, and his father passed away.

In 1850 when he was only twelve years old, his mother fixed his future marriage to the

Five-year-old daughter of Madhusudan Mitra Mahasaya, a resident of Ranaghat. Kedarnath helped his uncle select relevant articles to be published in the newspaper, studied his books, and continuously made the public library recognized. He later attended the Hindu Charitable Institute High School in Calcutta.

In 1856 when he was 18, Kedarnath Datta got admission to a college in Calcutta. He began writing extensively in English and Bengali. He studied English literature and taught oratory to a man who later became a well-known writer in the British Parliament. Instead of becoming a school teacher, he decided to establish a school for English education in the village of Kendrapara in Orissa. After a while, he went to Puri and passed the exam, after which he became eligible to be a teacher. During his post as Headmaster of Medinipura High School, Kedarnath Datta observed various religious sects, philosophies, and practices. He could see that people were taking religion very lightly. He understood the unique importance of the Sankirtana movement, which was instituted in Bengal by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This movement was all about spreading the love of the Lord through chanting his name.

In 1861 Kedarnath Datta accepted the post of Deputy Magistrate in the Government of Bengal. But the corruption of government servants was too much to bear for him, so he decided to become a collectorate officer.

in 1866. Kedarnath took over the position of deputy register in Chhapara district with the power of a deputy collector and deputy magistrate. He became proficient in Persian and Urdu. He was one of the first Bhakti scholars of his time, yet he always humbly presented himself as the Lord’s insignificant messenger.

Lord Jagannath Blessings

 1874 when Srila Bhakti vindo’s fourth child was born, Bimla, he got special mercy. When Bimla Prasad was six months old, Lord Jagannath‘s car was taken in procession for three days in front of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’ house in Puri. Bhaktivinoda asked his wife Bhagwati Devi to visit Lord Jagannath and get his blessings for their child. As she placed the child in front of the Lord, a garland of the Lord fell and surrounded the child, and at that time, the first cereal ceremony was performed with the sacred food (Prasad) of Lord Jagannath.

In October 1894, at 56, he retired from his position as deputy magistrate, although the move was opposed by his family and government officials. He stayed in Surabhi Kunja, where he preached and revised his old writings. Sometimes he used to go to Calcutta and beseeched for contribution at every door to construct the Yogpitha temple.

Books Written By Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thkur

1) Harinama Cintamani

2) Saranagati

3) Sri Caitanya Siksamrta

4) Jaiva Dharma

5) Sri Harinama

6) Tattva Viveka

7) Caitanya Siksamrta

INITIATION – Srila Bhakti vinoda Thakur received formal initiation from Vipin Bihari Goswami. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s behavior with his Diksha (initiation) guru was always exemplary. Bhaktivinoda always played the role of a humble disciple.

Pranam Mantra Of Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur

namo bhaktivinodaya saccidananda-murtaye gaura-sakti-svarupaya rupanuga-varayate

I offer my obeisances to you, O Bhaktivinoda, the form of eternity, knowledge and bliss, the incarnation of Gaura’s potency and the best of the followers of Rupa Goswami.

Left His Body – Srila Bhakti vinoda Thakura Prabhupada left on June 23, 1914, just before noon at Jagannatha Puri. 

Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur – Our Inspiration

Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur was always charitable to Brahmins and was equally friendly with other castes. He never showed pride, and his friendly nature was a distinctive feature in his life. On the auspicious day of his appearance, we should pray from Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur to grant us the true serenity and practice bhakti in such a way that we may get the opportunity of serving Sri Radha Shyamsundar in Golok Vrindavan.

Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur Ji Ki Jai

Sri Sri Rukmani dwarkadhish Ki Jai

Shobha Radhika Devi Dasi

(ISKCON-Dwarka New Delhi)