[The following was published in Sajjana-toshani ("The Harmonist"), 15/1 and addresses the unhappy state of affairs in the house that Srila Prabhupada established some 40 years ago, a phenomenon that is a recurring theme in the lives of the great acharyas and devotees. We have all seen how shortly after the departure of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, quarrels and ambition erupted in his movement, which has since disintegrated. This happened likewise to the Gaudiya Math Society founded by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. It happened also to the preaching mission of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was a very powerful preacher and set a wave into motion that inundated Bengal with Krishna consciousness, but then suddenly, everything turned around, and so many opposing elements appeared, overwhelming his preaching efforts. In this autobiographical note, written as if it were a journal entry, Srila Bhaktivinoda explains the events that led him to withdrawing from preaching and taking to a solitary existence in a bhajan-kutir. He reveals that his preaching had become ineffective to check the disturbances, and that he had become heavy hearted to see it. At last he went to Puri, and there had a revelation that was to console him and confirm that the only recourse under such circumstances is to constantly recite or sing the holy names, which alone can purify the hearts of the living entities so that they will become receptive once more to Krishna consciousness in a future lifetime.]
Today we are sitting inside a bhajana-kutir
at Sri Purushottama-kshetra. Why are we living in this faraway place, leaving the great city of Calcutta, which is full of people and learned communities? A long time ago, when we published this magazine Sajjana-toshani, I had a desire in my heart. I thought that the more this pure Vaishnava
religion is spread through this magazine, the more the people of the world would benefit. We began to work with a free mind. Many educated gosvamis and babajis of Bengal came and pledged to help us. Some learned impersonalists joined us, and being overwhelmed by the beauty of devotional service, they began to help spread pure Vaishnavism. After hearing nice instructions regarding Vaishnavism, materialists also became attracted. Professional singers and players floated in the waves of pure hari-kirtan and considered themselves fully satisfied. Gradually many assemblies for chanting the holy names of Hari were established in villages and cities. In this way, the glories of pure Vaishnavism filled the hearts of the inhabitants of Bengal and overwhelmed everyone by their beauty and sweetness. On seeing such an unexpected response from the people of Bengal, we began to preach pure Vaishnavism with more and more enthusiasm.
Then by the influence of time, a sudden change took place. The glow-wormlike superstitions that were hidden in the scorching heat of the sun of Vaishnavism suddenly took various forms and came from four directions. The demoniac religious principle in the form of Mayavada, which was immersed within the deep water of forgetfulness for some time, again surfaced in the form of discourses, taking shelter of the boat of the smarta teachers. At the same time, some Indian and foreign yogis appeared as supporters of the smartas and created a revolution in the world of religion. Moreover, some useless people, who were fond of sense gratification, took shelter of unauthorized religious practices and began to create disturbance in society, identifying themselves as sahajiyas and baulas. Displaying the limit of their sinful propensity, a few wormlike people, who take pleasure in the stool of fame, began to advertise themselves as "the incarnation of the Lord" in the society of fools. Some other people even accepted names befitting a Vaishnava, acted as acharyas, and began to spread ideas that were opposed to Vaishnavism as if they were the religious principles of Vaishnavas.
After seeing all such unimaginable activities, our hearts began to shatter. When we try to search for the cause of such a change, we suddenly remember the following verse written by Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada, "The age of Kali is formidable and the senses of the human beings are very powerful. Now the path of devotional service is full of millions of thorns. Where shall I go? What shall I do? I am completely helpless without the mercy of Gaurachandra."
While crying and speaking in this way, I went to the birthplace of the Lord at Sri Mayapura. Still my mind did not become peaceful. Thereafter I left my place in search of the Lord and after arriving at Puri, I began to roll on the goldlike sand. At that time, the Lord informed me in my heart, "O well-wisher of the devotees. May you obtain peace! The nature that the living entities have developed, according to their respective karma from birth after birth in this world, influences them to engage in fruitive activities. Until desires opposed to devotional service are destroyed from the heart, no amount of good instruction can bring any auspiciousness. Such instructions will simply come out of the ear-holes and will not enter into the heart. No amount of preaching to them or discussing devotional service will produce a good result because of their bad karma. Your discourses and discussions will therefore not yield any result. My order to you is that you should live at the place where I kept My dear Haridasa and where I loudly chanted the holy names of the Lord. You should constantly sing the glories of the holy names for the benefit of the fallen souls. As a result of the piety that people will achieve by hearing from you, and the faith they will develop, they will attain unduplicitious faith in pure devotional service in a future lifetime."
Following these instructions of our beloved Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya, we built our bhajan-kutir in the tract of land surrounded by huge waves.