The Gaudiya Math (pronounced matt, IAST: Gauḍīya Maṭha) was formed on 6 September 1920, about 30 months after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura took sannyasa, the renounced order of life. On 7 March 1918, the same day he took sannyasa, he established the Sri Chaitanya Math in Mayapura, later recognised as the parent body of all the Gaudiya Math branches. Its purpose was to spread Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the philosophy of the medieval Vaisnava saint Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, through preaching and publishing.
From the beginning of Sri Caitanya's bhakti movement in Bengal, devotees, including Haridasa Thakur and others, whether Muslim or Hindu by birth, have been participants. This openness and disregard for the traditional caste system received a boost from the "broad-minded vision" of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a nineteenth-century magistrate and prolific writer on bhakti topics, and was institutionalized by his son and successor Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in the twentieth-century Gaudiya Math.
By the time of the founder's death (1 January 1937), the Gaudiya Math had established 64 branches. Most were in India, but preaching centres were maintained for a time in Burma, England and Germany.
Later other disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura established many different branches of Gaudiya Maths.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, was the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), which also became known as the Hare Krishna movement.
Another disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura named as Patita pavan goswami Maharaj founded a Math for the women according to the orders given to him by his spiritual master.this matha is named as " shri guru prapanna ashram".
References and notes
- Devamayī dāsi, "A Divine Life: Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda" in Prabhupada Saraswati Thakur: The Life & Precepts of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī, Mandala Publishing, Eugene, Oregon: 1997, pp. 24, 26, 49. ISBN 0-945475-10-1.
- Sherbow, P.H. (2004). "AC Bhaktivedanta Swami's Preaching In The Context Of Gaudiya Vaishnavism". The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant: p.139.
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