[An article by Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Mahārāja from
the first edition of Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā, 14 March, 1949]
The nature of Śrī Patrikā
Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā is the main journal of Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti. The Samiti is wholly and solely dedicated to the service of the Navadvīpa-dhāma Pracāriṇī Sabhā, which was founded by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, and of the Śrī Viśva Vaiṣṇava Rāja Sabhā, founded by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. Since the Samiti is the foremost and very dear servant of both these assemblies (sabhās) it is the non-different embodiment of them. Hence, we should understand that the main journal of Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti is the main journal of both assemblies.
The form of Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā is non-different from Śrī Sajjana-toṣaṇī, the journal of the Navadvīpa-dhāma Pracariṇī Sabhā, and from the weekly Gauḍīya, the journal of the Viśva Vaiṣṇava Rāja Sabhā. Therefore, the mood, language and line of Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā are non-different from the mood, language and line of Śrīla Prabhupāda and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. In short, Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā exclusively promotes the message of Śrīla Rūpa and Raghunātha.
The circulation period of Sajjana-toṣaṇī and Gauḍīya
Under the editorial guidance of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Śrī Sajjana-toṣaṇī was first published in approximately 1881, sixty-seven years before the inauguration of Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā in 1949. He continued it for nearly seventeen years, after which Śrīla Prabhupāda was the editor for seven years, so the publication of Sajjana-toṣaṇī went on for about twenty-four years, finishing in 1905.
Later, in 1922, Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Mahārāja began to publish a weekly magazine called the Gauḍīya as the non-different form of the monthly Sajjana-toṣaṇī. This journal was also published for about twenty-four years, terminating around 1946.
The cause of the appearance of Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā
After the disappearance of Śrīla Prabhupāda, his staunch and intimate servants preached pure hari-kathā, following his internal moods. However, owing to various types of divine and demonic incidents, they were unable to continue the real service of the weekly Gauḍīya, and while feigning dependence on guru, it actually became independent. From then on, the principles on which Gauḍīya was based were changed without any check or opposition. It simply supported the policy, “Where there is pretence there is nothing of value.” [In other words, a third-class product was distributed on the strength of the Gauḍīya’s good name.] Many people tried to save the skeletal body of the Gauḍīya with poisonous and foul-smelling oil, but their hearts were completely devoid of the real essence, and the Gauḍīya gradually wasted away. The real nourishment of the Gauḍīya is the siddhānta of bhakti following in the footsteps of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and dedicated to the service to Śrī Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. It is impossible for the Gauḍīya to stay alive in the absence of this nourishment. There were countless preparations of inedible and improper foodstuffs, but since they were imbued with siddhāntic misconceptions and were rooted in disloyalty to śrī guru, they were useless and failed to save the life of the Gauḍīya.
After surviving somehow or other for twenty-four years, the Gauḍīya disappeared because of offences committed by its so-called managers. The Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava world was then deprived of the fortune of plunging into the stream of pure rūpānuga-bhaktivinoda, as practised and propagated by Śrīla Prabhupāda. Therefore, Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā has appeared to once again bestow this fortune.
The purpose of Śrī Patrikā
Nowadays, there are many different journals in the world of religion, but Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā is completely different from all of them. This journal will never make compromises in the fearless and impartial propagation of the truth. We have found many journals and books which imitate the pure bhakti-dharma but which are filled with misconceptions. Their points of view are opposed to the transcendental conception of pure śrī rūpānuga Vaiṣṇavism, as we will show in each respective case. Some invent the principle of observing festivals by mixing transcendental smṛti-śāstra with the mundane smṛti-śāstra. They do not know that the transcendental substance is never accessible to the mundane senses. Many other journals discuss illusory conceptions on the pretext of hari-kathā, and thus actually deal only with mundane subject matter. These periodicals can give no pleasure to the hearts of the followers of Śrī Gaurahari. In some places they instigate quarrels and alliances by relating stories that are opposed to bhakti, and elsewhere they are filled with self-praise. In this way they bring no happiness to the devotees’ hearts.
Some think that they can advance or modernize the path of bhakti by following materialistic conceptions, and trying to hide śuddha-bhakti. Others destroy the beauty of śuddha-bhakti by making concessions to a particular mundane sampradāya. Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā will stay far away from such journals. When sentiments that are actually opposed to śuddha-bhakti are unknowingly allowed in bhakti-kathā, they can prevent service from being revealed in the hearts of the devotees. With this apprehension, the patrikā will always try to caution its readers away from mundane topics. Those whose hearts are full of masses of non-devotional conceptions cannot perceive the happiness of bhakti because of their diseased condition. Śrī Patrikā will not be able to bring any delight to the hearts of such readers.
The connection of various ethics with Śrī Gauḍīya
Śrī Gauḍīya-patrikā will always engage in critical analysis of the current of Indian thought and in assessing the extent to which it is connected with the world of dharma. This patrikā will have no connection with political, social, economic and educational behaviour and activities. At the same time, it will not silently allow inauspiciousness to appear in the world when these ethics create an impediment in the behaviour and ideas that originate in the ethics of the eternal sanātana-dhāma.
When we assess the history of India before independence, we find that the ethics of dharma are the root and foundation of all ethics. Our indifference towards that dharma is the main cause of our fall down, but when we adhere to it, we can attain sovereignty of this world. Śrī Patrikā will warn all Indians by explaining and giving examples of this indifferent attitude in every aspect. Dharma is the speciality and also the life of India. Only because of dharma has India commanded a place at the head of the world. The key mantra that unfolds independent India’s victory flag at the head of the entire world is the best verse of Śrī Mahāprabhu’s Śikṣāṣṭaka: tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā / amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ. Śrī Patrikā will always perform kīrtana boldly to teach the people of the whole world the purport of this verse.
Dharma is India’s prestige and the bestower of peace
It is India’s honour to be a nation governed by dharma, which has guided India since time immemorial. The word dharma does not indicate any sort of narrowness, deficiency or uselessness. True dharma is not the same as the semblance of dharma. It is not proper to be disrespectful towards dharma, after seeing the false and narrow activities of the supposed flag carriers of dharma. Mortal conceptions degrade human beings and immerse them in the ocean of grief. Mere arrangements for food, lodging and clothing, however luxurious, cannot give eternal peace. Even those who have reached the ultimate limit of sense enjoyment are also immersed in the deepest anxiety. There is no need to explain this to everyone. Peace is a separate principle. The objects of this world can never bring about peace.
The language of Śrī Patrikā
Articles in every regional language will be published in this patrikā, so that it will be honoured in all parts of India. Those in Bengali, Sanskrit, Hindi, Assamese, Oriya and English will get first preference. This patrikā presents itself before the people of the world with a heavy weight of responsibility and its success depends on the internal sympathy and the good wishes of the residents of India.