WVA MAGAZINE


Modern History
of the Vishva-Vaishnava
Raj Sabha

by Sripad Bhakti Niloy Giri Maharaja

Bhakti Niloy Giri Maharaj, a disciple of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, addressed the assembled devotees of the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabah at Srivas Angan on March 4, 1996. He discussed the re-establishment of the Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabah by Bhakti Siddhanta in 1919 on the appearance day of Srimati Vishnu Priya (Feb 5, 1919) with a big sankirtan of devotees. On that auspicious occasion, Srila Prabhupada also lectured on the ancient history of the Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha. Before this, many Gaudiya Vaishnavas did not know about the past history of the Visva Vaishnava Raj Saba and Srila Jiva Goswamipad. So Sripad Giri Maharaj read from the report appearing in the 21 Volume, #9 issue of the Sajjana Toshani weekly magazine of the Gaudiya Mission about that historic meeting for the pleasure of all the Vaishnavas.

The 9th issue (vol 21) of Sajjana Toshani contains a review of the history of the VVRS. This meeting took place in Calcutta at Sri Bhaktivinode Assan. Many devotees gathered for the occasion. This Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabbha had been re-established three times previously, after Mahaprabhu initially established it.

Eleven years after the dissapearence of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the six stallwart devotees (sada-goswamis) were trying to bring all the devotees of Mahaprabhu together. The senior disciples of Rupa and Sanatan took strong positions (notably led by Sri Jiva Goswami) in the Mela. They merely sought to follow in the footsteps of Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatan. So Sri Jiva Goswami (SAT SANDARBA) outlined the ideas of Sri Rupa (his gurudev) on the Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha in the SAT SANDARBHA.

Sri Lokanath Goswami, Sri Bhugarbha Goswami (bith of whom went to Vrindavan before the 6 gioswami's) and Srila Kashishwar Goswami and other great devotees were all in prominent positions in Mahaprabhu's Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha.
Aditionally, Sri Gaurasundar's other followers were appointed to many posts in the Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha -- chaturshasti. Sri Nityananda Prabhu's 12 companions or followers also decorated some of the leading positions of the Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha.

Following Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha, was the great writer, Krsna Das Kaviraj Goswami -- in this time, he took full charge of Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha.

Successively, then Narrotam Das Thakur took charge and also the great commentator, Sri Sripad Vishvanath Cakravarti Thakur and other shuddha-bhaktas maintained the Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha at different positions in existence. It was never a continuous line -- but, then after smetime, it would be re-established by the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The last time it was begun 399 years after the birth of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and it spread widely in the city of Calcutta by the express efforts of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur. Finally, Srila Prabhupada Saraswati took charge.

The different working commitees (groups) of Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha:

- Manad-Mandali -- those resonsible for nice tasteful arrangements for their Lordships and the shuddha bhaktas

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Pracar Mandali

1. Nam pracar division -- they go to different parts of the world and do naga-sankirtan, give bhagavat-katha and have taken shelter of the acaryas. They go to far-off places for preaching, lectures and the chanting of the holy names.

2. Shastra pracar division -- those who control the holy books of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and who publish, print, distribute and store them. They also work to keep old writings safe and in reprint condition and they research the history of these books and writers.

3. Shastra-shikshya Division -- those devotees who chronologically study the bhakti shastras and who give regular lectures to their students in Vedanta, bhakti, Surrender etc. They make examinations on the birthday celebrations of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu & Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur.

** Jijnasha Mandali -- (jijnasha -- those curious to know something ). Those who before selecting a person for any holy work, they study their character, background, etc.., nature, to see if they are fit for this kind of preaching work.

** Pashandadalan Mandali -- who defends the suddha-bhaktas by argument or objects to any offences to them by others, to defeat or object to any apa-siddhanta written, and in general who guards the storehouse of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's lila, Paraphernalia and devotees.

**Utsav Mandali -- those who take the responsibility of arranging for the birth, disappearance, anniversary celebrations of the Lord, his devotees acaryas, etc

** Bhaktyanushana Mandali -- those who have taken shelter of the acarya and who are therefor engaged in normally preserving and maintaining the holy places existing, and those who travel to different places for the purpose of establishing preaching centres and temples and maths and caring for those holy places existing from the past to maintain the Vaishnava Heritage.

Under the direction of Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakur and the other acaryas of the Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha, these departments initiated their word and they established their own organizing divisions within their own commitees and jurisdictions.

In the first year of this meeting, the following books were published:

1. Pratip Prianarthas Questions and Answers

2. Haridas Thakur

3. Adim-Nadiar Katha (an ancient history of Nadia)

4. Prakritarasa-Shatabushani

5. Sharanagati

6. Manashiksha

By the mercy of the acarya of Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Goswamipad, in the 25th issue of Sajjan Toshani-- the weekly publication of Gaudiya Mission established in 1917-- this matter was published.