Nūtana Gaurāṅga (A New Gaurāṅga) was published in Sajjana Toṣaṇī, Vol 8 Issue 1 in 1896. In this editorial, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura speaks about the various devotional achievements in the last year, as well as the obstacles created by envious persons, and then goes on to mention how some persons have created a 'new Gaurāṅga' who has come to harmonise all beliefs.
(translated by Swami B.V. Giri)
By the mercy of Śrī Śrī Gaurāṅgadeva, we have entered the Bengali year 1303 (1896 CE). Let us discuss all the spiritual issues of the past year. In many ways, Śrī Gaurāṅgadeva’s Name has been victorious.
Due to the efforts of the Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma Pracāriṇī Sabhā, and the magnanimity of the general devotees, at this time, Śrī Mahāprabhu is sitting in a proper building in Śrī Māyāpura. The sadness in the hearts of the devotees has now vanished, concerning the fire and flood water in the cottage after the installation of the Deity. There are still enough bricks, and more buildings are hoped to be completed by the end of the year.
Some people, out of self-interest and jealousy, have made various difficulties for the development of Śrī Māyāpura. They have recently been disappointed to see the improvements in the dhāma. One or two of them are very envious and are still talking in some worthless magazines. There is no doubt that Mahāprabhu will soon suppress them. It is not easy to retaliate against the truth. Those who are determined to protest against truth take shelter of lies, and very soon fall into an abyss. Taking shelter of lies is a falsehood in itself. This world is illusory. As long as true bhagavat–tattva is victorious in this world, the falsehood of māyā is dispelled. It has also been observed that where care is taken to improve the truth, lies comes to the front and various misdeeds are committed in retaliation to the truth. This is also Bhagavān’s desire, because if actions from the opposition do not arise, then the principle of righteousness cannot gain strength. If darkness does not come, one cannot appreciate light. In the same way, if there is no endeavours from those persons who have taken refuge in lies, the victory of those persons who have taken shelter of truth would not be joyful. It is an amazing thing that for a long time, some people were careful to collect wealth and women by hiding the truth about Śrī Māyāpura. At the very moment the greatness of Śrī Māyāpura began to be revealed, all these kali-celās began to try and conceal the greatness of the dhāma to various degrees and by different techniques. But the Supreme Lord, whose truth is invincible, has thrown quicklime in the faces of these kali-celās over the last two years; the devotee world no longer believes their words. Therefore, they have embarrassed themselves. This is Kali’s game – showing Amāvasya as if it were Pūrṇimā, they began their work, but people suddenly understood their activities and everyone around them laughed. Now everyone understands that Śrīdhāma Māyāpura is the cuḍāmaṇi-pīṭha (crest-jewel of places) within Śrī Navadvīpa.
For many years, Kali had entered the hearts of some people and deceived the world by forbidding the pūjā and mantras of Śrī Mahāprabhu. They were not able to do that to Śrīmatī Viṣṇupriyā. She took away the power of those people and gave strength to the pure devotees of Gaurāṅga to suppress them. They fled from Vṛndāvana and took refuge in the Eastern provinces; the devotees there were very dissatisfied with any attempts they made against Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. Alas, in protesting against truth, such misfortunes happen. What could they do by banning the mantra and pūjā of Gaurāṅga? As a result, the worship of Gaurāṅga has become more prevalent amongst the pure Vaiṣṇavas. In Śrī Vraja maṇḍala, Śrī Gauḍa-kṣetra and Śrī Puruṣottama (Purī), the sādhus are amazed and are performing the eternal worship of Śrī Gaurāṅga with special care and teaching it to others. Probably those who are against Gaurāṅga will be completely extinct within this year. All glories to Śrī Śrī Gaurāṅga!
The pure devotees are aware that some people were trying to become a ‘new Gaurānga’ in various places. Such beginners in this type of activity are often māyāvādīs. In disguise, many fell into a trance during hari-kīrtana etc. Some were Gaurāṅgas, some were Nityānandas, some were Advaitas, and they would gather in groups and start hari-kīrtana. Their point was to mislead people. It is a strange thing that, during the kīrtana, they used to exhibit such an appearance that many people, seeing their condition, thought that Gaurāṅga had reappeared. Many of them are educated in English and are quite proficient in Western religious texts such as Theosophy etc. Some of them came and told us that, “When Gauracandra Himself has appeared and you can become His associate, why are you so complacent?” We asked them what is the necessity for Mahāprabhu to descend again? To this they replied that Śacīnandana Gaurāṅga had only preached the Vaiṣṇava doctrine of Dvaita (dualism). At that time, His work benefited the world, but now it is no longer beneficial. Nowadays, knowledge is especially influential, so at this time Gaurāṅga cannot implement only one philosophy. Māyāvādī, Theosophist, Brahmo, Christian, Muslim, Śaiva, Śakta, Vaiṣṇava – this Gaurāṅga has come to unite them all. We asked if the new Gaurāṅga was different from the old Gaurāṇga. They replied, “No, he is not different.”
So He who, four hundred years ago, was only in favour of Vaiṣṇava philosophy, will come again and preach a kind of all-encompassing philosophy instead. This will become the common dharma of the world. They further stated that if you take shelter in one doctrine, there will be no place for love in the world. When all beliefs are made into one, then love will arise in the world for the jīvas. We asked, “Is there any evidence that a new Gaurāṅga will appear?” Then they recited these two verses of Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata by Śrī Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura:
ei mata āro āche dui avatāra
kīrtana ānanda rūpe haibe āmāra
(“In this way I will accept two avatāras in the form of kīrtana and ānanda.” – Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-khaṇḍa 27.13)
āra dui janma ei sakīrtanārambhe
haiba tomāra putra āmi avilambe
(“While beginning this saṅkīrtana movement, I will soon accept two more births as your son.” – Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-khaṇḍa 27.47)
Caitanya-bhāgavata is the proof concerning Caitanya, so according to this evidence we are bound to believe in this new Gaurāṅga. When they saw that we would not abandon our traditional beliefs after seeing so many deceptive words, they became extremely restless. During the last two or three years, this new Gaurāṅga’s group has made a lot of noise in various places. In the past year, Śrīman Mahāprabhu has punished them extensively. Some of them have expired and left this world, while the rest have been in conflict with each other and have resorted to making this their own family business. One or two of them are still trying to reveal ‘Gaurāṅga’ but seeing that nothing has happened in civilised society, they have finally taken refuge in Ḍompāḍā – what a game of Mahāprabhu! As soon as Kali raised his head, Mahāprabhu immediately hit him on the head with a club and thwarted his attempts.
Just see how many activities have been done in the world of transcendence during the last year. However, the most merciful avatāra, Śacīnandana has eliminated all evil endeavours so that the sādhus may perform favourable activities.
In the middle of last year, with the remarkable generosity of the Pañcaśrīka ruler of Tripura, Paṇḍita Śrīyuta Rāma-Nārāyaṇa Vidyāratna Mahāśaya completed the printing of the Śrīmad Bhāgavata commentaries of Śrī Śrīdhara Svāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī and Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī along with the Dīpikā-dīpanī-tippanī. The Vaiṣṇava world is most thankful to Śrīman Mahārāja and Vidyāratna Mahāśaya for presenting this book. Our dearest brother, Śiśir Bābu has made many happy by publishing Śrī Amīya Nimāi Carita and Kālācāṅda Gītā. This Sajjana-toṣaṇī magazine has published Śrīmad Gaurāṅga Smaraṇa-maṅgala Stotra. The servant of the Vaiṣṇavas, Śrīman Rādhikā Prasāda Datta has satisfied the world by printing the complete Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta with the original verses and the commentary of Bhaktivinoda. Many have said that such a Caitanya-caritāmṛta has not been published before. Vaiṣṇava dharma is making special progress through all these books.
The revered Śrīyuta Rādhikānātha Gosvāmī Prabhu has done much work restoring Śrī Śyāma-kuṇḍa with special care. He is one of the brilliant jewels in the line of Śrīla Advaita Prabhu.
We have heard that the devotees are trying to so some service in Śrī Prayāga-kṣetra at Daśāśvamedha Ghāṭa (where Śrī Mahāprabhu instructed Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī). If this work can be done, then it will be good preaching for Śrīman Mahāprabhu. Also we have heard that in Śrī Gayā-kṣetra, where Mahāprabhu had accepted mantra from Śrī Īśvara Puri, on the outskirts of Phalgu Tīrtha, a nearby prabhu-santāna (a descendent of Advaita or Nityānanda) is taking special care to perform some service there. We are aware that a visiting Vaiṣṇava, Śrī Rāma-caraṇa Dāsa Bābājī, has established the service of Śrī Mahāprabhu in Maharājgañj under Chāparā District, and that Śrīyuta Tārāprasāda Mukhopādhyāya Bāhādur and his friends have made special contributions. Now it is still to be decided where Candraśekhara Bhavan (where Mahāprabhu gave instructions to Sanātana) is located in Kāśī-dhāma. Having ascertained that, some mahātmā must try to establish some service there. We hope that all these great deeds will be completed within this year.