Thakur Bhaktivinode, the writer of this little volume, was born at Ula---once a very prosperous village in the district of Nadia. To the public he was a very competent and renowned member of the Bengal Provincial Civil Service and Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
To the devotees, Thakur Bhaktivinode is a personal and eternal devotee of Sri Bhagavan, appearing in a human form in obedience to his Lord's happy Will of pumping off the stagnant and insalubrious waters to the channel of pure devotion, casting off the dregs and thus putting a stop to the decay of righteousness and exaltation of unrighteousness, whereby the real devotees are protected and apparent ones disappear. He fulfilled his Master's Will by establishing pure and unflinching devotion to Sri Bhagavan and by fully and gladly adopting in his own life the true and highest ideals of Bhakti(service, devotion) and propagating them in speeches and writings of which these pages are but a short and faint gleam. His (1)"Sajjanatoshani",(a monthly), (2) "Jaiva Dharma", (the natural and inherent religion of the soul or Jiva), (3) "Sri Chaitanya Shikshamrita", (the sweet teaching of Sri Chiaitanya Deva), (4) "Tattva Sutra", (5) Sri Bhagavat-arka- marichimala", (6) "Bhajan Rahasya", (7) "Sri Krishna Samhita", (8) "The Bhagavata Speech", (9) "The Gautama Speech", (10) "The Mutts Orissa", (11) "Commentaries of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita", (12) "Kalyan Kalpataru", "Gitavali", "Saranagati", etc. are all living monuments of his real kindness to us.
Thakur is faithful and obedient servant of the Supreme Lord. These few pages on 'Lord's Life and Precepts' are neither scribbing of an imaginative pen nor the Produce of the hack-writer's den but the actual display of Thakur's eternal and constant devotion. His own doing and sayings are but embodiments of these Precepts. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is his riches. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is his property - his all in all.
Thakur adopted fully in his own life the Precepts of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabu and proved wonderfully and brilliantly that attachment in the grab of perfect indifference, as is characteristic in the monkeys is detrimental to pure devotion and that this world cannot obstruct the flow, and cloud the display of devotion in him who has the good luck of gaining the graceful favours of a Sad-guru (a preceptor submerged in devotion and thus versed in the principles of the Vedas) and surrendering himself fully and sincerely to Him.
The precepts of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are embodied in eight slokas uttered by Himself at Puri, which go by the name of Shikshastaka. Thakur practised in his own life Shikshastaka. He proved that mechanically humiliative bending of the body is not the inherent humility of a devotee, and that seeming abstinence form eatables etc. is not devotional growth. He nicely avoided the two extremes of attachment for and detachment from all objects of enjoyment. His boldness, strictness and sternness in accepting and establishing pure devotion and dispelling the apparent one are rarely found.
Those, who being fathers of children and living in their midst shrink at the very thought of devotion and faint at the mention of renunciation, may find solace enough in the life of the Thakur who established, may find solace enough in the life of the Thakur who established before the world the ideal life of a devotee, and proved that Brahmacharya and Sanyasa are not incompatible with the life of a house-holder (Grihasta) and that performing worldly duties bar in no way the Brahmacharya and Sanyasa of a devotee.
Thakur was visible in this world from 1838 to 1914. In this span of seeming birth and death all his activities were directed towards removing the eternal distress of the human-kind, the eternal oblivion of the real blissful condition of the soul and its consequent stuporous identity with the body and the mind and weeding out the field of brought to book, and the real places of the Birth and earliest Pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu been brought to light. It was Thakur Bhativinode who located the holy Birth-site of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Sree Mayapur, a village in old Navadwipa on the eastern bank of the Ganges, and pointed out its false and prevalent identification with the present town of Nadia or Navadwipa which is Kulia or Koladwipa, one of the nine islands of Navadwipa. The old city of Navadwipa was fabulously prosperous and populated and one of the greatest centres of Sanskrit learning. The circumference of this is thirty two miles, and it consists of nine islands:-
(1) Antardwipa - (Sree Mayapur)
(2) Simantadwipa - (Simulia)
( 3) Godhrumadwipa - (Gadigacha)
( 4) Madhyadwipa (Majdia)
(5) Koladwipa - (Present town of Navadwipa)
( 6) Retudwipa - (Charnpahati etc.)
( 7) Jahnudwipa - (Jannagar)
( 8 ) Modadrumadwipa -(Mamgachi)
( 9 ) Rudradwipa - (Shankarpur or Rudrapara)
All these nine islands are circumbulated every year in nine days just before the full moon in Falgoon -- the Advent- day of Sri Chaitanyadeva--under the lead of Sri Chaitanya Math when thousands of pilgrims from different parts of India flock together and visit the place of interest.
In fine I invoke the devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Himself Whose Mercy and Blessings only will melt the seal of their works.
"We salute over and over again all His devotees who are to us like so many 'purpose-trees' yielding the fruition of all our devotional desires, who are oceans of kindness and purifiers of the fallen".
"We salute Him Who is the most Munificent - the free Giver of the Love of Krishna-- Who is Krishna Himself and Whose Name is Krishna Chaitanya and the glow of Whose Body dims the lustre of molten gold",
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