(H H Kadamba Kanana Swami, Cape Town, South Africa, 3rd July 2012) Lecture: Sanatana Goswami’s disappearance day

You have all kinds of things in Bengal. You got the ‘apasampradāyas’ who were prominent. There were vaisnavas; there were ‘daraveśa‘ – a mixture of vaisnavas and Muslims. Somehow or other it was all mixed up. Then there were those who were in the mood of:

‘Well, aren’t we all gopis?’

So men started to dress up in saris and then they were dancing in them movement. There were all kinds of things going on. Anyway they were the ‘sakhībekhī’– you think I’m joking but I’m being serious, since these things were going on.

So there was a lot of confusion in Bengal, and it was from a school in Vrindavan where at one point they had sent all the books to the Bengal, and when these books finally reached Bengal then they organised some big festivals, and in these festivals they distributed these books. When these books were distributed then that was sort of when the different schools came together – when Vrindavan and Bengal came together, but you can see it today.

If you go to Vrindavan, you see that the learning is still more on the Vrindavan side, and Bengal is still more on the kirtan side. It’s like every Bengali has a voice and can play the drum. You saw in Bangladesh, that even our drummer was impressed. The first night we were in Bangladesh, in East Bengal Vraj played the drum and then a local boy came with a big mrdanga (who had little extensions on sticks, which were on his fingers) and he showed him something. Vraj was sweating and he had to use all his African power to show them, and he did. He started to jump up and swirl, but they jumped back! Even the Africans have to work hard to keep up, and usually it’s like:

‘Give me that drum.’

No, not in Bengal. So yes there is that culture and shakti. The kirtan still lives there. The libraries of the Goswamis were in Vrindavan, and still many of them have been recovered. Many of the books are still there. Now there is a Vrindavan research institute where all of them are kept. Radha Kund is still the complier of the manuscripts, as Kaviraja knows.

So in this way it came together. From Jagannath Puri we got Ratha Yatra, and in this way the movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu took shape. We got the right aims of the Goswami’s, we got the Bengali kirtans. From Jagannath Puri we got the Ratha Yatra. We got Lord Jagannath and the Panca Tattvas. We saw the Panca Tattvas deities everywhere in Bangladesh. That is very common, and we got the sweetness of Vrindavan!

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