Gaudiya Math

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Sri Gaudiya Math
Bengali: গৌড়ীয় মঠ
Gaudiya Math Bagh Bazaar.jpg
Sri Gaudiya Math, Bagbazar, Kolkata
SuccessorGaudiya Mission and Sri Chaitanya Math
Established6 September 1920 (101 years ago) (1920-09-06)
FounderBhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Founded atCalcutta, British India
Dissolved1937; 85 years ago (1937)
TypeReligious organization
PurposeEducational, Philanthropic, Religious studies, Spirituality
HeadquartersCalcutta, British India
Location
Region served
British India
British Burma
London, UK
Berlin, Germany
Official languages
Bengali, English
AffiliationsGaudiya Vaishnavism
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, the founder of Gaudiya Math.

The Gaudiya Math (/mʌt/, /mɑːt/; Gauḍīya Maṭha) is a Gaudiya Vaishnava matha (monastic organisation) formed on 6 September 1920,[2][1] about 30 months after Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati took sannyasa, the renounced order of life. On 7 March 1918,[2] the same day he took sannyasa, he established the Sri Chaitanya Math in Mayapura in West Bengal, later recognised as the parent body of all the Gaudiya Math branches.[2] Its purpose was to spread Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the philosophy of the medieval Vaisnava saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, through preaching and publishing.

From the beginning of Chaitanya'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,[3] a nineteenth-century magistrate and prolific writer on bhakti topics, and was institutionalised by his son and successor Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in the twentieth-century Gaudiya Math.[3]

Branches[edit]

The Gauduya Math branch in Puri, Odisha.

The Gaudiya Math had established 64 branches.[2] Most were in India, but preaching centres were maintained for a time in British Burma, England and Germany.[1][4] The first European preaching center was established in London in 1933 (London Glouster House, Cornwall Garden, W7 South Kensington) under the name Gaudiya Mission Society of London'. Lord Zetland, the English Secretary of State, was the president of this society.[4][5] The second European preaching center was opened by Swami B.H. Bon Maharaj in Berlin (W30 Eisenacherstr. 29).

History[edit]

Soon after the Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati's death (1 January 1937), a dispute began and the original Gaudiya Math mission divided by the court in 1948 into two administrative bodies which continued preaching on their own, up to the present day. In a settlement they divided the 64 Gaudiya Math centers into two groups.[6] Sri Chaitanya Math Branch were headed by Srila Bhakti Vilasa Tirtha Maharaj. Gaudiya Mission[7] were headed by Ananta Vasudev Prabhu, who became known as Srila Bhakti Prasad Puri Maharaj after accepting sannyasa for short duration.[8]

Many of the disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati did not agree with the spirit of these newly created two fractions, or were simply inspired to expand the mission of their guru on their own enthusiasm, started their own missions. Many of these autonomous missions are still known as Gaudiya Math. Some of the other notable new missions are:[5]

Some are very large missions, and some are smaller branches started by individual Vaishnavas. What they hold in common is that they are autonomous branches of the tree of the Gaudiya Math. Almost all of them have published books and periodicals and opened one or more temples.[5] There is little cooperation among these missions.[17] Nevertheless, in 1994 many of them formed united the World Vaisnava Association — Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha (WVA–VVRS).[17][18]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sherbow, Paul H. (2004). "A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami's Preaching in the Context of Gaudiya Vashnavism". In Bryant, Edwin F.; Ekstrand, Maria L. (eds.). The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 129–46. ISBN 0-231-12256-X. p. 130.
  2. ^ a b c d 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 978-0-945475-10-1.
  3. ^ a b Sherbow 2004, p. 139.
  4. ^ a b Jones, Constance A.; Ryan, James D. (2007). "Gaudiya Math". Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Encyclopedia of World Religions. J. Gordon Melton, Series Editor. New York: Facts On File. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-8160-5458-9. Archived from the original on 7 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Swami B. A. Paramadvaiti (1999). Our Family — the Gaudiya Math. A study of the expansion of Gaudiya Vaisnavism and the many branches developing around the Gaudiya Math. VRINDA The Vrindavan Institute for Vaisnava Culture and Studies. ISBN 3-927745-90-1. Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  6. ^ Sherbow 2004, p. 131.
  7. ^ Gaudiya Mission official website
  8. ^ Brzezinski, Jan (2004). "Charismatic Renewal and Institutionalization in the History of Gaudiya Vashnavism and the Gaudiya Math". In Bryant, Edwin F.; Ekstrand, Maria L. (eds.). The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 73–96. ISBN 0-231-12256-X. p. 89.
  9. ^ Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti official website
  10. ^ Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math official website
  11. ^ Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math official website
  12. ^ International Society for Krishna Consciousness official website
  13. ^ Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission official website
  14. ^ Science of Identity Foundation official website
  15. ^ Gaudiya Vaishnavite Society (Sri Caitanya Sangha) official website
  16. ^ Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Math official website
  17. ^ a b Brzezinski 2004, p. 90.
  18. ^ Jones & Ryan 2007, pp. 504–505.