by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada
Jagad-guru Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur is one of those spiritual masters who have been sent to this world by Sri Gaurangadev for the benefit of the jīvas of this world. That great personality who has given everyone the opportunity to know about pure devotional service and the disciplic succession is none other than Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur. He is dear to Gauranga and our only shelter.
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur considers devotional service to be preyas, for the immediate good. Previous ācāryas have considered devotional service to be śreyas, a process to bring us ultimate good. But Bhaktivinode Thakur, as a rūpānuga, has specifically revealed that bhakti is preyas. Those who do not consider devotional service preyas are godless non-vaiṣṇavas, devoid of their own ultimate good. Human beings consider sense gratification, fruitive activities, and mental speculation preyas; but one who considers service to the Lord as preyas and whose only concern is to gratify Krishna’s senses, becomes an intimate devotee. Srila #Bhaktivinode Thakur is such an intimate associate of Sri Gauranga and is nondifferent from him.
Accepting unalloyed devotional service as his primary duty, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur instructed everyone to practice it. People may say that all paths lead to ultimate good, but Bhaktivinode Thakur protected human society from such nondevotional propaganda. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur never discussed the incomplete, nor did he discuss nondevotional topics. His philosophy is distinct from those who try to reconcile spirit with matter and who maintain that devotional service and nondevotional service are the same. Nondevotional service and devotional service are never the same. Pleasing Krishna and pleasing Maya are not synonymous. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur had no love for anything other than pure devotional service.
Before Bhaktivinode Thakur appeared, the current of bhakti had been obstructed by the worldly masses. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur alone considered devotional service preyas and again made the current of bhakti flow.
My spiritual master is he whose life and soul is Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur’s teaching. Those who respect Bhaktivinode Thakur’s words are as good as my spiritual masters.
We are under the shelter of that spiritual master who considered devotional service to be the only goal and the only thing of value. We have no relationship whatsoever with those who consider Bhaktivinode Thakur, who was a dear associate of Gaura, an ordinary man. May we never for the rest of our lives see the sinful faces of any unfortunate persons who are envious of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur.
— Amrta Vani. A collection of statements from Srila #Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Originally compiled in Bengali by Sri Bhakti Bhagavat Mayukha Maharaja. Translated into English by Bhumipati Das. Pp. 120-121. Touchstone Media. Mumbai. 2004.
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