Colonial Bengal and Bhaktivinoda through the Lens of Bhaktisiddhānta

How to Cite

Ferdinando Sardella. (2022). Colonial Bengal and Bhaktivinoda through the Lens of Bhaktisiddhānta: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 23(1), 193–207. Retrieved from


Kedarnath Datta (1838-1914), known in Vaishnava circles as Bhaktivinoda Thakura, developed during the middle phase of the colonial period a vision for the globalization of bhakti that gradually unfolded through his devotional writings and institutional efforts. In 1885 he started the Viśva Vaiṣṇava Sabhā, the World Vaishnava Association, an institution with roots in the 16th century that was first inaugurated in Bengal and its nearby states, but was designed to spread Vaishnavism beyond to other parts of India and the
world. Despite some sporadic attempts, however, Bhaktivinoda’s aspiration remained largely unfulfilled, but his efforts created an important missionary precedent that in the 20th century was pursued by his son Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī (1874-1937) and his successors, and led to the ultimate global spreading of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. In 1919, Bhaktisiddhānta revived the Viśva Vaiṣṇava Sabhā in its original name, Viśva Vaiṣṇava Rāja Sabhā (Royal World Vaishnava Association), and the association became popularly known as the “Gaudiya Mission.”

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