Our organization, Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math has been spreading Krishna Consciousness throughout the world along with a message of balanced social development. Our mission is to bring peace in this tumultuous world. Our aim is to create an atmosphere of amity and understanding around us, so that people can have a better life having minimum dependence on others for their basic needs. At the same time they would be in a position to understand the purpose behind their existence on earth and can also progress in the path of self-realization, through the simple process of hearing the Lordˇ¦s pastimes and congregational chanting. This was one of the unique principles recommended by the Saint Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The idea behind it has a firm socio-religious background which has been time tested.
Although our organization is a religious institution in sprit, it has no dogmatic allegiance to any official religion. We draw our moral and spiritual strength and inspiration from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Needless to say, he was one of the greatest humanists. His boundless love had no barriers of religion and sect. Sri Haridas Thakura, originally a Muslim by birth, was one of his earliest disciples. Srila Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami were two of his most famous disciples, who were originally under the service of Hussain Shah, the then Muslim Ruler of Bengal. By virtue of receiving the titles of Sakar Mallick and Dabir Khas, they were belittled in the eyes of society, those days. Later on by the grace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu they completely surrendered to him and were instrumental in recovering the lost glories of Sri Vrindavana. Although he is held in high esteem as religious leader of the Hindu faith, he embraced into his fold, men and women of all religions and sects. In middle ages, his Bhakti movement spread far and wide, covering a large portion of India. As forecasted by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself, today, this movement is out to conquer the heart of every individual, throughout the world, by its unfailing message of love and compassion.
The opening of Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math in 1987 provided an additional doorway to that domain. By the Grace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is considered as the Incarnation of Supreme God, we have been able to establish this organization for the purpose of spreading his message of love, in this World, including India. Our mission is important because we believe that this movement can truly help mankind, by guiding them to a straight and simple path of self realization.
Our mission is: To practice and propagate the spirit and teachings of the pure Vaishnava Faith as described in the Srimad Bhagavatam and propounded by Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and practiced and taught by Gaudiya Vaishnava Acharyas in Amnaya Line (Bhagavatiya Guru Parampara) from Sri Damodar Swarup, Sri Sanatana-Rupa- Raghunatha-Jiva Goswamis down to Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode, Prabhupada Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur and Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj. To initiate, teach, train and minister to persons desiring to qualify themselves as true followers of this Society. To maintain and protect the character, status and interest of the pure Vaishnava Faith as manifested in a pure life of constant selfless devotion to the Absolute Person Sri Goura-Krishna and His Counterwhole associates and in the acts, apeeches and writings of the aforesaid Acharyas.
To revive in the minds of sincere souls the eternal spirit of unalloyed love and devotion for and to the Absolute Godhead Sri Goura-Krishna according to the spirit and purport of the writings, precepts and practices of Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode, Prabhupada Srila Saraswati Thakur and Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj and to encourage the study of pure Vaishnava Faith, its philosophy, doctrines, rituals and also the comparative study of and research into other systems of religious faiths, tenets, doctrines and schools of philosophy and ethics with a view to bring about universal harmony and brotherhood on a plane of Transcendence.
From its inception, this institution has been constantly trying to convey the message of Love and devotion to the general masses. Guidelines provided in the Vedic scriptures are followed through the performance of Samkirtana (congregational chanting) & Bhajana (worshipping of Deity and devotional meditation). Additionally lectures, seminars and religious discourses are held frequently. These are attended by eminent personalities from all walks of life like teachers, lawyers, administrators and by senior acaryas of the existing branches of Sri Chaitanya Math and Sri Gaudiya Math. It has been generally found that very useful inputs to Bhakti Movement are provided by such individuals. People have truly benefited from these exercises. We sincerely hope that they will also continue to benefit in future, from such activities.
We also have a long term planning for social development through religious and economic activities. We have already started providing free food, medicine, education and justice to the people living in the vicinity of our existing temples in India and abroad. So far, we have established our centers in Mayapur, Calcutta, Midnapore, Puri & Vrindavana in India and Sanfrancisco, Hawaii and Miami in USA, Costa Rica in Central America, Slovakia in Europe, Moscow in Russia.
Gradually we have plans to increase the number of centers for the well being of the people. Right now, our survey reveals that there are many persons throughout the world who want to extend their services for social & spiritual development, but their business or family commitments do not allow them to take part directly in such a movement. Yet through our varied programs, everyone can devote some of their time, energy and money in the scheme according to their capabilities and preferences.
At each centre, members take daily classes from our scriptures, perform Bhajanas, Kirtanas, Arati and provide individual instructions on the Science of Krishna Consciousness. Each centre holds a weekly festival and a vegetarian feast. Educational programmes are organized on festive occasions throughout the year. All programs are open to the public.
A publication department and a specialized library, having large collection of Vedic literatures have been added to the organization. This library is likely to grow in size through constant addition of titles and updating of materials and may, in the near future, firmly establish it as a model vedic-research center. At present the department is mainly involved in reviving the old Vedic scriptures, through translation into English and other languages. The numerous rare articles written by the earlier Achryas or the excerpts from their speeches are being compiled and consolidated so that these materials can be used, in future, by the devotees as well as persons interested in the Indian Heritage and Religion. About 15/20 titles have been published so far, and many more are in the process. The organization is also continuing publication and distribution of the quarterly, "Sri Bhagabat Dharma" both in Bengali and in English.
Action for laying the foundation of a Gurukula known as Sri Bhakti Pramode Vidya Nikatan (where children can receive the vedic teachings, under the guidance of qualified and capable preceptors) has been initiated. This will help proper and balanced development of personality of the growing children and finally teach them to become better human beings. As the institutional headquarters is in Mayapur, it was necessary to add a social service centre in the institution, which has resulted in the establishment of a free dispensary, essentially catering to the needs of the poor and needy. The mission has plans to establish many such centers at other Branches too.
The organization (a Registered Society) is being run now under the guidance of Srila Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan Goswami Maharaj, who has been nominated and appointed by Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj (Founder-Acharya) as the next life-long PresidentˇVAcharya of the aforesaid society. The society is operated according to the directions (instructions) and desires of the Founder Acharya. It has a Governing Body with specified & published scope and area of activities. This is represented by senior citizens, experts, technologists, social workers, administrators, acharyas and dedicated sannyasis of the order, who have been with the organization from the very inception. The Bye-laws implicitly provide scope for amendment of the constitution of the Governing Body to keep flexibility of operation and to give scope to the able, qualified and dedicated persons, who might be interested to join the organization, to offer their services involving book publication, building projects, agricultural projects and food distribution and many more. All are welcome to participate and help in these wonderful projects that will ultimately help our society for peaceful coexistence.
Talking about the lineage, we find in the ancient text of Padmapurana, a number of Vaishnava Sects, of which four are important. These are:
"Sree" founded by Sri Ramanuja,, "Brahma" founded by Sri Madhvacharya, "Rudra" founded by Sri Vishnuswami & "Chatuh-svana" founded by Sri Nimbarka.
Sri Ramanuja had propagated the idea of "Vishistadvaita-vada". It is believed that "Srila Vyasadeva" the prolific writer, had also introduced this philosophy, which was later elaborated by Acharya Boudhayana in 'Sutra-Bhasya". According to him, unity is always qualified by difference. Difference, as such, has no reality except as it modifies or determines the identical subject to which it refers. The essence of Brahman is always pure and it is only His body that undergoes change and this body is constituted by individual souls "chid" and matter "achid". The identity of these souls with Brahman is the last word. Their imperfections are due to ignorance and become false when souls realize themselves as forming the body of Brahman.
The Madhva, like Ramanuja, belives in God and souls and matter as three entities, which are eternal and absolutely real, though souls and matter are absolutely dependent on God. God alone is independent. He possesses infinitely good qualities. Existence, knowledge and bliss constitute his essence. He is the creator, preserver & destroyer of this universe. He has a divine body and is transcendent. He is also immanent as the inner ruler of all souls.
The souls are of three kinds - eternally free (nityamukta), freed (mukta) and bound(baddha). Though God controls the souls from within, yet it is a real agent and a real enjoyer and is responsible for its acts. Bhakti is the only means of liberation. Madva, however, is a rank dualist and had specially introduced the idea of worshipping the deity along with his consort; the ultimate culmination of which we find in the worship of Sri Radha-Krishna deities, together.
Rudra sampradaya is the third one. Sri Rudra has been depicted as the Destroyer in the vedic scripture who acts under the guidance of Sri Sankarshana. To them the God is the epitome of purity, hence the name "Suddhadvaita-vada" (suddha means pure). The deity is in a pure form and so is the individual who is involved in devotional service. All living beings and Maya, (illusory material nature), are controlled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They also worship the "Sri Radha Govinda" deity. This has also been mentioned by Sri Billa Mangala Thakura in his "Sri Krishna Karnamritam".
Nimbarka, like Ramanuja admits three realities-God, souls and matter, the last two being dependent on God. The individual soul is essentially of the nature of knowledge. The soul is the real knower, the agent and the enjoyer. It is dependent on God, is supported by God, pervaded by God and controlled from within by God. The souls are atomic in size and many in number. A soul suffers due to karma and due to avidya. Liberation is due to knowledge which is brought about by God which itself is due to devotion.
The beneficiaries of our activities and the projects, in fact, include people from all the religions, sects and creed. If food for work programs is expected to involve each family, it is obvious, that they would put in the requisite physical labor in turn. All development projects involving such labor would continue to provide food in the form of rice and other grains instead of cash. In the process, care will also be taken to provide housing, education, health and sanitation to such people engaged in their task. The idea of such development is that families or people not only become selfˇV supporting but also realize that they can get along without any further support. Slowly, with the success of existing areas of our projects, we can spread our activities to many more parts of the world for the benefit of one and all.
Once people get the basic needs, they will be able to apply their mind for spiritual upliftment through various programs and activities taking place at our centers.
A core list of activities are provided below:
With the combination of social and spiritual development programs, our organization is expected to bridge the gap between our material and spiritual needs, restore moral values in our daily life and establish unity and peace among the people of the world. Now more than ever the need is upon all of us, to support these programs and see them expand. Our thanks go out to all of those who have already stepped forward with their donations and support. And we hope that others will follow their examples and help us to reach our goal of self-sufficiency and self-realization to the people of this world without any discrimination.
It is due to the blessing Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that we have got immense response from all parts of the world in our mission. Especially in the west, where reckless industrialization and consumerism have reduced human mind to a slave of greed and passion, where the body has become a ruthless machine rather than the Temple of God, the message of love and piety as pronounced by Him has met with warm reception and enthusiasm. In particular, the Indians residing abroad consider our organization as a boon, which has provided them a opportunity to serve people in distress, whether physical or moral, and to uphold the message of the transcendental incarnation of their motherland.
In the above context, we have prepared several schemes to carry out our mission. We are duty bound to utilize the financial help received from abroad in the best possible way and without any delay.
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