The stories presented in this book were compiled from the lectures, letters and conversations of His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura by his disciples after his disappearance. Srila Sarasvati Thakura would often use examples in story form, presenting them in a concise and simple fashion to illustrate various points of Krsna conscious philosophy.
The original work in the Bengali language entitled “Upakhyane Upedesa” has now been translated into English for the benefit of English speaking people the world over, and is highly recommended for readers of all ages.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupsda was born at Jagganatha Puri in the year 1874 as the son of Srlla Bhakrivinoda Thakura, a prominant magistrate and the eighth acarya in the' Gaudiya Vaisnava disciplic line from Lord Caitanva Mahapr abhu, SrIla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvarni would later become the tenth,
Srlla Bhaktivinoda Thakura had once prayed to Lord Krsna, to send someone to help him in his mission of spreading Krsna consciousness. The Lord answered his prayer in the form or a wonderful son, who at birth had all thirty two bodily symptoms of a mahapurusa. When he was born his imbilical cord was wrapped around his body like a briihmaniis sacred thread. As a youth he became, I most brilliant student and could remember each .md everything he ever read or heard. He became known as the walking encyclopedia and was awarded the title Siddhiinta SaraS1.Jati by his tutors. He remained a naistika~brahmacari and in the year 1918. at the young age of forty four, accepted the renounced order of life Sannyasa.
From that point on Sriia Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami travelled extensively on preaching tours all over India, opening sixty four branches of his Gaudiva Math mission and initiated thousands into Krsna consciousness. He singlehandedly transformed the face of Indian religion and spread the teachings of Lord Caitanva to every part of the sub-continent. He even sent his senior disciples to places like Burma, Ceylon and even as far as London, in order to preach and open branches of the Gaudiya Math.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanra Sarasvati Gosvarni also established anumber of printing presses for puhlishing books on Krsn a consciousness. He used to call the press the "brhal~mrdanga" or the "big drum". He would say that the kirtan party could be heard for a few blocks, but the books printed at the press could be heard far and wide. He was a prolific author and wrote scores of books on Krsna consciousness philosophy, besides writing commentaries on all the important Vedic classics like Sri mad Bhagavatarn, Bhagavat Gita, Caitanya Caritamrta and Brahrna Samhita.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami was also known as the 'Lion Guru' because of his bold and fearless preaching. One of his greatest contributions to Lord Caitanya's movement was when he firmly established the truth according to Vedic scriptures, that any one regardless of birth, can become a brahmana if he has the proper qualifications, and that no one can claim to be a brahmana if he is not properly qualified - thus defeating the philosophy of the caste brahrnanas who claim to be brahmanas simply by birthright. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvam I also soundly defeated the various sahajiya sampraclayas prevalent at the time, as well as the maym'adi impersonalists - simply by his forceful and scholarly arguments. In fact he is known to have been the greatest scholar in the recent age and no one could ever defeat him in argument or debate.
In 1922 at the Gaudiya Mission in Calcutta, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati met for the first time a highly educated and cultured young man, who he requested to preach the message of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to the English speaking people of the world. That educated young man, who was at the time a supporter of Mahatma Gandhi's Freedom Movement, took this order of Sarasvati Gosvarni as his life and soul and later became not only Sarasvati Gosvarni's most brilliant disciple but also one of the greatest acaryas of the Gaud iva Vaisnava tradition. That person was non-other than His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, who being fully empowered by the blessinns of Sarasvati Gosvami. Sinalehandedlv spread the sankiirtan movement and the chanting of Hare Krsna to every nook and comer of the globe.
In the year 1936, after having firmly established the sankiirtan movement of Lord Caitanya as a spiritual force to reckon with, Srlla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami entered into eternal samadhi while at the birth-site of Sri Caitanyadeva at Sridham Mayapura in West Bengal. The profound legacy that he left behind is only now being fully understood and appreciated by thoughtful men the world over.
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