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Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura is our Parama Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada’s very beloved spiritual master. Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura appeared as the son of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura in 1874 in Jaganatha Puri on this very day. Bhaktivinode Thakura was the Deputy Magistrate of that area at that time, he was also the custodian on behalf of the Government of Jaganatha temple at that time. Bhaktivinode Thakura seeing the enormity of the responsibility to spread Krishna Consciousness movement fulfilling Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s prediction that it would spread in every town and village all over the world Bhaktivinode Thakura prayed to Lord Jaganatha for an assistant for somebody who would help him in this mission. As a result of the Lord Jaganatha sent Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura as his sixth son. Bhaktivinode Thakura named him as Bimala Prasada because Bimala devi is one appearance of Yoga Maya who is in that Jaganatha temple area, in Jaganatha Puri there are many different expansions of the Lord. Bimala devi is in custody of all of Jaganatha’s Prasada and the Prasada is actually distributed. It first comes to her and then it is distributed to everyone. Bhaktivinode Thakura considered that this particular son was Lord Jaganatha’s Prasada and that Prasada actually came through Bimala devi and he called him Bimala Prasada. He was extremely beautiful, the description of his beauty has been given, he was very tall and his body was very tender, the complexion of molten gold, his beauty is defeating the pride of a golden lotus, an extremely beautiful person. As a baby you can well imagine how beautiful he must have been. When he was six months old it was time for Lord Jaganatha’s chariot festival, Ratha Yatra festival in Jaganatha Puri and Bhaktivinode Thakura’s house was right on that road to Gundica temple and surprisingly at that time when the chariot was going the chariot stopped in front of Bhaktivinode Thakura’s house. It’s a common pastime of Lord Jaganatha’s chariot and it happens and is happening from time immemorial. When Lord Jaganatha refused to move nothing in this world can move Him. They would bring elephants; they would bring thousands of people but nothing would move Lord Jaganatha. It happened that time also and right in front of Bhaktivinode Thakura’s house and Jaganatha’s chariot did not move for two days. Then Bhaktivinode Thakura’s wife, Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s mother Bhagavati devi, she took the opportunity to take the little child to Lord Jaganatha. It is very difficult for anyone to get into Jaganatha’s chariot but Bhaktivinode Thakura’s position as Deputy Magistrate allowed her to go there with the baby and it has been described that Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura as a baby just reached out to Lord Jaganatha to embrace Him with his little hands and right at that time the garland of Lord Jaganatha fell from His neck onto the child. This child was blessed by Lord Jaganatha’s mercy to achieve something wonderful. In this way from the very beginning of his appearance it was clearly indicated that he came to fulfill a very special mission. Bhaktivinode Thakura was a great astrologer so right after his birth he calculated and he found out this child is very special and he is going to achieve something very wonderful. He also related that to his prayer to Lord Jaganatha and he recognized that this is the assistant that Lord Jaganatha had sent.  Bhaktivinode Thakura had brought him up in a very very special way, of course Bhaktivinode Thakura himself was an ideal personality, he was an extremely exalted devotee, a pure devotee of the Lord. Not only spiritually exalted he was also materially exalted. He brought his children up with a lot of care and attention but he was exceptionally careful about this particular son. Bhaktivinode Thakura wrote that he never got into any bad association and was never exposed to any bad association especially when he was young because this young age is very impressionable and at that age if we don’t get proper association our life may be ruined then only thing that can save us is the Hare Krishna movement. Bhaktivinode Thakura brought him up very carefully and personally taught him and got him to study under very qualified and exalted teachers. Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura was displaying some exception qualities, he could hear once and remember it, extremely brilliant and his character was extremely upright. An example has been given when he was a little child a basket of mango was brought to the house and Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Bimala Prasad just like any other child took a mango and ate it and Bhaktivinode Thakura told him you ate the mango even before offering it to the Lord. Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura felt so bad that he took the mango without offering to the Lord first that he took a vow as a young boy that he will never take mango in his life and he stuck to his vow throughout his life. That is how upright Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s character was. At that time he was in Calcutta and with his friends in the house of Bhaktivinode Thakura he started a society called the August Assembly, the assembly of pure and exalted personalities. One of the vows that the members of the assembly had to take was that they would have to maintain life long celibacy and the only one who maintained that vow was Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura himself, he remained a celibate throughout his life. Even from his childhood his achievements were extremely remarkable. He left college and he said the reason why he dropped out if I continued and had good results and be materially very qualified that would have been a hinderance to my spiritual involvement and that is why he didn’t complete his studies. He was accepted by the King of Tripura to become the private tutor of the King’s son. The King of Tripura also was a very nice person and now due to the influence of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura he also became spiritually inclined and his son also had a very strong influence on him. After a while Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura gave up that service but the King was so reluctant to let him go and was so grateful to him that he gave him a lifelong pension, like the money that he was giving him, he continued to give that payment. Then Bhaktivinode Thakura directed him to take initiation from Srila Gaurakishore das babaji Maharaja. 


As one develops his attachment to the lotus feet of Gauranga Mahaprabhu due to heaps of pious activities, accordingly all of a sudden from the heart springs for the nectar that emanates from the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani. What is the nectar that emanates from the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani? Brajaprema. The way to receive Brajaprema is to follow the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to serve the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And that mission has been established today all over the world by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada the true disciple of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura.


The way to receive Brajaprema is to follow the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to serve the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

(The content of this E-magazine was based on a lecture given by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami on the Appearance day of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura on 5 January 2003)

(Compilation & editing by Hemavati Radhika dasi)