Nūtana Patrikā (A New Magazine) - 1 was published in Sajjana Toṣaṇi, Vol.4, Issue 2 in 1892. In this article Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura reviews a new magazine published in Vṛndāvana and specifically discusses an article by a gosvāmī who criticizes Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa.
(translated by Swami B.V. Giri)
Since the last month of Pauṣa, a magazine called Śrī Caitanya-Mata-Bodhinī has been published from Śrīdhāma Vṛndāvana. One of our relatives sent us the first and second issues of this magazine. We were very happy to read these two volumes of the magazine. It is a happy thing that the aim of this magazine is to spread the message of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to the world. Viṣṇupriyā Devī herself is always immersed in the bliss of describing the līlā-rasa of her prāṇanātha (Lord of her life). We are preaching the teachings of Śrīman Mahāprabhu in Śrī Gauḍa-maṇḍala. Śrī Caitanya-Mata-Bodhini is preaching those teachings in Vraja-maṇḍala. Now our advice is that this magazine should be published regularly every month. The public’s faith is shattered when a magazine stops after one or two issues. Today, aspiring individuals are eager to publish magazines, but from the very beginning they think that they will simply bring out two issues and then stop. It seems that the writers and preachers of Śrī Caitanya-Mata-Bodhinī will not be as pretentious in that way.
It is also seen in the magazine that there was a meeting also called the Śrī Caitanya-Mata-Bodhinī. In regards to the observance of the first meeting, an article has been written by one respected gosvāmī. In that article, the respected gosvāmī discusses many issues in answer to the question,‘who is a teacher of Śrī Caitanya’s philosophy?’ We were not happy to read the whole discussion. He claims that of all the books written by the Gosvāmīs, who are pārṣadas of Śrīman Mahāprabhu, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa actually wrote the Gaura-gannodeśa-dīpikā, so it should be rejected.*
* Translators Note: The Gaura-gannodeśa-dīpikā was written by Śrīla Kavi Karṇapūra, the direct associate of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
By this act, the respected writer has hinted at his own misfortune. Simplicity is essential to determine paramārtha-tattva (the principle of the supreme objective). It is not a good move to insult a book which is cherished by all Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, in order to establish one’s own new philosophy. Attacking ancient beliefs has become a sign of erudition today. Some kind of respect should be give to Vidyābhūṣaṇa Mahāśaya, but the author did not do that. By reading his Govinda-bhāṣya, the author could become a scholar in the science of Vedānta, thus it is not a sign of a lofty intelligence to propose that the worshippable Śrī Vidyābhūṣaṇa Mahāśaya tricked the Vaiṣṇavas.
Tumi phula-bāgāne kāṅṭāra beḍā dite arambha kariyacha (“You have placed a barbed wire fence around a flower garden”) – this proverb resolves that the article is a sign of the author’s extreme mental weakness.* Especially, during discussions on the books of mahājanas, one should always use words full of respect. Śrī Vidyābhūṣaṇa and Viśvanātha Cakravartī Mahāśaya are two very dear friends of the Vaiṣṇava community. It is not that those who insinuate things in relation to them are avaiṣṇava – they are simply unable to understand tattva-vicāra (deliberations on spiritual principles). If the respected author is more careful in future, he may be able to protect his own dignity. We will also carefully review all the points that the respected author has discussed later on.
* Translators Note: In other words, you have spoiled a beautiful thing.
Surprisingly, the author, despite being acquainted with the gosvāmī-vaṁśa, has abandoned the practices of the previous gosvāmīs. Traditionally, they first place the name of Śri Nityānanda and then Śrī Advaita, yet it is not possible to understand why the respected author has placed Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu after Śrī Advaita Prabhu. We fear that such philosophies are due to the contamination of Kali within his heart. Our advice is to abandon such concoctions as soon as possible.