On 22 April 1958, a special festival was observed for Aksaya-trtiya and for the anniversary of the inauguration of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. Besides the lecture and kirtana, a special religious assembly was organized that day in Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha in Chunchura. Paramaradhya Srila Gurudeva addressed the assembly as follows.
“Aksaya-trtiya is the first day of Satya-yuga. It is on this day that the road to Sri Badri-narayana is opened every year, and on Aksaya-trtiya, sri candana-yatra also takes place in Sri Jagannatha Puri. Sri Jagannathaji’s whole body is smeared with Malayan candana and Sri Madana-mohanaji, the vijaya-vigraha of Sri Jagannatha-deva, is seated in a well-decorated boat in Sri Narendra-sarovara to perform His boat-pastimes.
“Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was inaugurated on this very day in 1940. Paramaradhya Srila Gurudeva established Srimad-Bhagavatam as Gaudiya Vedanta, following the verse from Garuda Purana, ‘artho ’yam brahma-sutranam – Srimad-Bhagavatam is the purport of the Vedanta-sutra.’ Gaudiya-vedantacarya Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana also composed Govinda-bhasya following this same verse.”
Srila Gurudeva went on to point out by comparative study that Sri Govinda-bhasya is the topmost commentary on Vedanta, and that after Govinda-bhasya, Sri Madhva Acarya’s commentary, Anu-bhasya, is superior to all the other commentaries. He further established that Sankara Vedanta is insubstantial and useless.
Preaching in Goloka-ganja, Assam
On 1 May 1958, paramaradhya Srila Gurudeva went with a preaching party from Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha to Sri Goloka-ganja Gaudiya Matha in Assam. He stayed with his sannyasis and brahmacaris in Santinagara Palli of Dhubadi city at the house of Sri Advaitacarana dasa Adhikari, a prominent servant of the Samiti. From there he went to Kalivadi and other places in Dhubadi to lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the hari-sabha-mandapa he gave three lectures: ‘The solution to the problems of today’, ‘The necessity of a religious (dharmika) life’ and ‘Sanatana-dharma’. The audience was highly impressed by his deep and powerful discourses.
In addition to Srila Gurudeva’s lectures, tridandi-svami Sri Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja and tridandi-svami Sri Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja [the author] also gave lectures in various places that were illustrated with slide-shows. Very educated and respectful people aided the preaching party with their body, mind, words and wealth.
Establishing a primary school and the method of teaching in Pichlada
Within the Medinipura district there is a small village named Pichlada, which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited on his way to Sri Jagannatha Puri. After receiving repeated requests by the village people, Srila Gurudeva established Sriman Mahaprabhu’s pada-pitha (an altar with the imprint of Sri Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet) and Sri Pichlada Gaudiya Matha.
Later, the villagers wanted to open a primary school in the village. For this purpose they formed a school board, which they duly registered. To run the school they needed a hall. On 23 December 1958, they sent a written request to Srila Gurudeva, who was at that time in Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, requesting him to donate the old house of the pada-pitha for use as a school. After reading their letter, Srila Gurudeva gave his ideas to the village people in the following letter:
- “Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti does not have even the slightest faith in the education provided by the present universities. I do not accept education which is opposed to Sriman Mahaprabhu’s teachings.
- I am not prepared to give up religious teachings (dharma-siksa) for rupees.
- Pichlada has become important by the touch of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet. The villagers should therefore live a life favourable for the seva of Sriman Mahaprabhu, and they should make this the focus of education.
- Pichlada pada-pitha is not an atheistic monument and Vedanta Samiti will not approve of the teaching of atheistic principles on its premises.
- I have no objection to signing the deed if the school board is willing to educate the students as per the prospectus provided by Vedanta Samiti.
- The village people should remember the strong reproach against the activities of the Kolkata University in the essay on acintya-bhedabheda in Sri Gaudiya-patrika’s 10th issue of the 10th year.
- In Sri Dhama Mayapura, I established a high school which was sanctioned by the university. The law of the university was broken when priority was given to religious education. This example should also be followed here.
- It is impossible for the country to receive any kind of benefit from disobedient students. Religious ethics are the principal policy.
- Our government recognizes many Christian missionary schools. There is no doubt, then, that the primary school in Pichlada should make religious education its main priority and still be recognized.
- There should be no interference of any sort that is contrary to the spiritual objectives of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti.
- Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti will approve the establishment of any college, school or Sanskrit school for expanding the field of education. Such a school would be managed by the Samiti’s committee, which would exclude any atheistic line of thought of the department of education.
- The demon Hiranyakasipu sent his son Sri Prahlada Maharaja to be educated at Sanda and Amarka’s school, where the education was controlled by Sukracarya. However, Prahlada Maharaja stressed education in visnu-bhakti, thus violating the orders of the emperor, his father, and the headmaster, Sukracarya. This is our ideal in expanding the field of education.
- Sriman Mahaprabhu instructed the jivas of the world about education in Sri Raya Ramananda Samvada in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. We accept these instructions and not any kind of demoniac ideals.
- According to the university’s rules and regulations, every college must observe Saturday as a half-day and Sunday as a full-day holiday. However, the Thakura Bhaktivinoda Institute in Sri Dhama Mayapura observed the holidays on Ekadasi and Pancami. This is contrary to the university rules. When local Christians and Muslims opposed this, the departmental inspector of the university came and issued an order against me, which I refused to accept. As a result, the financial support given by the university was stopped. In spite of this, the school in Sri Dhama Mayapura is still running today, and is still recognized by the government.
- This letter should be read to the villagers. I am establishing and organizing more schools, Sanskrit schools and colleges, so I am well experienced in this area. We are not at all obliged to follow government statutes. People in an independent country are not bound to follow the rules in that country. The school should be established in an impeccable manner and become an ideal for the whole Medinipura district. Please explain this to everyone.”