Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Regardless of how Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura’s worldly lineage is viewed by historians, the Thākura himself penned his real lineage on a placard and had it hung on one side of Bhakti-bhavana, his place of residence. We find the proper spiritual lineage of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thākura in the kirtana titled Guru-paramparā by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvati Thākura Prabhupāda. By deeply examining Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvati Thākura’s words that describe the essence of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thākura’s glories, the readers should establish their goal of determining Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura’s unprecedented specialties in the current age. They must repeatedly read these glories with great effort and patience to achieve their goal.
Although Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s sheltered servants (the Six Gosvāmīs) and other Gaudīya ācāryas wrote many books full of siddhānta in the Sanskrit language, people in general were unable to grasp the contents and deep purports of these granthas (sacred texts). Even the educated elite was deprived of a proper understanding of the scriptures. The most compassionate Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura wrote many kirtanas in simple and easy to understand Bengali, which embody the unparalleled philosophy of the Gaudīya Vaisnava Ācāryas. Thus, the elevated imports of the Gaudīya Vaisnava scriptures that were written in Sanskrit were made easily available and accessible to even those who didn’t understand Sanskrit. By singing and remembering these kirtanas under the guidance of Śrī Guru and the Vaisnavas, even an ordinary person will become free of ignorance, loose his aversion to Śrī Krsna, and become completely established in the philosophical principles of bhagavad-bhakti. Thus, he will continuously bathe in the nectarean ocean of devotion (Bhakti-rasāmsta-sindhu). By engaging in such śravana-kīrtana of the kīrtanas written by the predecessor ācāryas, the topmost limb of bhakti is duly observed.
After bathing in the nectarean Svarūpa-Rūpānuga-Bhaktivinoda line of thought, a sādhaka who desires to have audience of the pastimes of Śrī Rādhā Mādhava in Śrī Gaurasundara, and Śrī Gaurasundara’s pastimes in Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava, should engage in śravana-kīrtana of the songs written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thākura. He should do so in the association of like-minded devotees, who may be superior to himself (sajātīyāśaya-snigdha). Thus, all the desires of his heart will be fulfilled.