1893 and 1933, The Landmark years for the Epoch-making First and Second Conference of World’s Conference of Faiths of Religion, held in Chicago city of America; where Swami Vivekananda and Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari – The two Great Personalities from the same country at two different eras, Shared the same platform. But they made glorious representation of the same soul of India to the western world. In commemoration of that event the Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture started the memorial lecture series in the name of Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari which will be held every year. This first function was presided over by Swami Sarbobhutananda, Secretary, Ramkrishna Institute of Culture, Kolkata and Dr. Ramaranjan Mukhopadhya, Ex Vice Chancellor, Rabindra Bharati University presented the Key-Note Address.
Swami Sarbobhutananda, Secretary, Ramkrishna Institute of Culture, Kolkata( on the left ) and Dr. Ramaranjan Mukhopadhya, Ex Vice Chancellor, Rabindra Bharati University on the dias during the lecture.
On 12th November, 2009, Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture introduced this commemorative lecture series in the name of Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari. There is a special significance of introducing this memorial lecture serials on Mahanambrata Brahmachair, by the Mahanam Sevak Sangha through the auspices of Ramkrishna Mission. In 1893, Swami Vivekananda, from Ramakrishna Mission, represented India, in the First World Conference on Religion; held in Chicago, America. Again in 1933, Mahanambrataji, Participated as the 2nd Indian Representative, in the Second Conference of World’s Faiths & Religion – held in Chicago. Thus, two eminent personalities from the same nation, at two different point of times; represented the one and only soul of India. Such a presentation of the soul-of-India, to the Western World by two stalwarts in two different Era, carries a great significance. By introducing the commemorative lectures on Mahanambrata, Ramkrishna Mission has truly evaluated the significance of such historic events. This memorial lecture series contains the acknowledgement & glory to Dr. Mahanambrataji’s representations as India’s envoy to elaborate on Vaishnav religion of love and humanism.

Swami Sarbabhutananda Maharaj, Secretary Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata graced the lecture-conclave as the president.EImminent educationalist and cultural-erudite, Prof. Dr. Ramaranjan Mukhopadhya; Ex Vice Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University and Burdwan University, was the main speaker.

While delivering his speech, Dr. Mukhopadhya said – “ This lecture is specially dedicated to Mahanambrata Brahmachariji; while Ramkrishna Mission of Culture, where this lecture has been arranged; is associated with the sacred name of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa Dev.”

He went on adding – “Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari was not a mere personality, but a complete institution. The speciality of Mahanambrataji lies in the fact that the work which Swami Vivekananda started in the west; Mahanambrataji made further progress in that front. In other words, the philosophy of Indian Humanism and Spiritualism, that descended along the flower-bedecked through-fare; he led that superior humane-philosophy forward. There lies his credit. 40 years before Mahanambrataji, the kind of humane-philosophy, as preached by Swamy Vivekananda; took the whole western world by storm and they experienced a magnanimous marvel. For the second time Mahanambrataji spread the same message.”

He continued – “There is a very deep relationship between religion and philosophy. When religion shuns the path of philosophy, then it assumes the state of fanaticism.

To emancipate the purest form of religion from the dark well of fanaticism; eminent personalities, like Chaitanya Dev, Vivekananda, Rabindranath and Dr.Mahhanambrata, have given clarion call at different points of time.

“Strike the walls of religious prison with thunder,
The altar of religion being awashed with blood;
Bang, Bang, Bang it thoroughly today.

While speaking on Goudiya Philosophy, Dr. Mukhopadhya said “The function of philosophy is to search for the truth. Religion will establish that truth in real life. That is the significance of religion. The philosophy that fails to apply the acquired truth in real life situation, is not a live philosophy; it is a dead one. And that is known as religious fanaticism.”

While elaborating on Mahanambrata’s philosophy of humanism; Professor Mukhopadhya recapitulated as follows:- “when Bangladesh (Erstwhile East Bengal) was engaged in the freedom – struggle, then Pakistani forces brutally gunned down eleven ascetics, chanting kirtan, at Sri Angan, Faridpur. Grief stricken Mahanambrataji took a vow, not to consume cereals till East Bengal attains freedom and get rid of tyranny. He kept that solemn vow. This exemplify his philosophy on humanism.” He recollected another incident:- “In New York Synagogue, where a felicitation was organized to Mahanmbrataji; he was enchanted by observing a flock of small whistling canary birds in a big cage. After the inaugural session of this felicitation ceremony During the lunch break, he again stood before that cage on the corridor. But there were no canaries at all. He came to know that those birds had been cooked as a palatable lunch-menu. Mahanambrata broke into tears. Aggrieved Mahanambrata came out of the Synagogue and refused to accept any felicitation. This is the philosophy of love towards living-soul, as well as, for humanity.” Professor Mukhopadhya continued, “I have observed Mahanmbrataji from close proximity. I have experienced compassion, love and sympathy in his heart and streams of tears in his eyes for the down-trodden. During those days I felt, as though, I am having direct vision of Chaitanyadev in him.”

“The Goudiya vaishnav philosophy is characterized for the exposure of living beings on one side, and God on the other side. The prime objective of this philosophy is to strike a perfect relationship between these two, living-soul and supreme-soul. In order to establish such relationship, some proposes actions, while some others through wisdom and even some proclaims devotion or penance of asceticism. India has synthesized all ‘ISMS.’

“Traikasthang Jagat Kritsang Prabibhaktamaneykadha,
Apashyadevadevayasha Sharirey Pandavastuda.” - Unquote
“While having glimpses of the universal vision Arjun noticed that this multidimensional and diverse universe has merged into that one and only spot, i.e. Srikrishna. Diversity culminated into unity. This is the guiding principle of our cultural heritage.”

“Among the varieties of Vedanta Philosophy, we find the non-dualism of living and supreme-soul, as propounded by Shankaracharya of adwaita Vedanta; and among the Vaisnabite interpretations of Vedanta, dualism or dwaita - ism of living-soul & supreme-soul, was preached by Madhwacharya. According to Ramanuja, an eminent protagonist of ‘dwaita-ism,’ the supreme-soul being the combination of these two energies, is the eternal truth.” However, Professor Mukhopadhya stated “on the existence of both the living-beings and God; as per the Gouriya Vaisnad scriptures of combined dualism and non-dualism. This is an exquisite theory as per the stalwarts of Gouriya Vaisnaba Philosophy. This is known as the ‘theory’ of uncomprehensible combined dualism and non-dualism.

While describing the significance of the advent of Chaitanyadev, Dr. Mukhopadhya asserted that – “Vaishnav Acharyas opined that earlier Sri Krishna and Sri Radha assumed separate physical forms. While quoting from the couplets Gour’s description he added:-

“Sri Radhaya pranayabikritih hladini shaktibasmat,
Ekatman bapi bhubipura deha vedang gatou bhou.
Chaitanyakhyang Prakatamdhuna deha bhedang gatou tou,
Radha bhaba-dyuti subaleytang joumi Krishna Swarupang.”

“Chaitanyadev arrived with the melt-down aura of Sriradha’s emotions. Goursundar only appeared to realize the depth of Sri Radha’s love, the extent of Sri Krishna’s self-charm and Sri Radha’s blissful joy while savouring that charm.” He referred to the fact that “Sankarachary and other Acharya’s desired for attaining salvation of the souls. In fact, they craved for non-isolation from God. But Vaishnav Acharyas won’t ask for that. By being non-differentiated, if we become God-like, then we won’t be able to savour God’s grace and charm.”

Incidentally, he discussed on the flowing streams of Vaishnav Padavali (Lyrics). “The Ardent anguish of the inner-souls of all Bengalis are exposed in those Padavalis (Lyrics). In Gour Hari, Bengalis could find new emotions, new gestures, new music and new hymns. These wonderful Padavalis (Lyrics) manifested as unique and exquisite creative-art. Vaishnav Padavalis (Lyrics) got thorough nourishment from the life-style of Gour.”


“Nearly five hundred years ago, when social derangement shackled human beings and crippled society and administration; then Mahaprabhu, with his magnanimous loving religion, liberated humanity. Gour only could show in practice, Gita's maxim of “Lower than grass and more tolerant than trees.” He only exhibited impartial view among mankind.”


While explaining the divine union of Radha-Krishna, he expressed that “as Sri Krishna was eager to unite with Radha, Similarly Radha too was extremely eager. Both the living soul and supreme-soul were highly eager to unite.

But for us to attain this supreme-soul, no amount of religious-discourses, erudition & explanations are capable of effecting it. Whoever gets the compassion of the supreme-soul, can only attain him. Through this divine compassion love is aroused in a devotee's heart. According to the treatise ‘Chaitanya-Charitamrita,' when love for Krishna is aroused in a devotee's mind, then everything is forgotten.”


Quoting from ‘Chaitanya-Charitamrita,' he said:-

“Ahaituki Krishna-prem jena jambo-nad hema,

Ai prem nrilokey na hoy.

Yadi hoy yoga, na hoy biyog,

Biyog hailey praney na jiyaaya.

Takhan Janha Janha Drishti parey,

Tanha Krishna sfurey,

Sarbatra hoy tar ishta dev sfurti.”

English Translation:-

“Unconditional love for Krishna is like the golden flow of river Jambo,

Such love is unforeseen in this mundane world.

If ever attained, it is never lost,

As then without it, life is sacrificed;

At that point of time, wherever one glances at,

Krishna manifests there only;

Every where there is manifestation of his divine idol.”


“The theory of ‘Sadhya-Sadhan' was expressed during the dialogue between Mahaprabhu and Rai-Ramananda. While negating all his queries as ‘Not this, not this,' ultimately Mahaprabhu showed Ramananda his blessed self-vision. There in lies, Mahaprabhu's form as unification of ‘Sri Krishna, the King of Divine-flavour and Sri Radha, the embodiment of the highest and purest emotional feelings.”


Subsequently, while speaking on ‘Universal-culture' Dr. Ramaranjan Mukhopadhya, elaborated – “The day a human being is born, since that every day, he aspires for spiritual salvation, divine illumination, a bright young morning and profound tranquility. This is the only prayer for the whole mankind.” He further added – “Despite such prayers, we could not establish universal peace. During the Second World War, President Roosevelt dreamt of a combined league of nations. Its main objective was to establish world-peace, eradication of violence between various groups of races, founding of mutual harmony, re-establishment to humanity and peaceful co-existence among all the nations at international level.


Here also, we find the concept of co-existence; i.e. the existence of unity in diversities; and be engrossed in God. The loving hymns and generosity of Goudiya Vaishnav Philosophy can only show that path.”


While eulogizing on Dr. Mahanambrataji's Vaishnav Philosophy, Humanity, Magnanimity and theory of love; Dr. Ramaranjan Mukhopadhya spoke:- “As Vaishnavacharya Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari, was one of the pioneer spokesman of Vaishnav Philosophy, so he pursued the basics of Vaishnav Philosophy, and thereby tried to firmly establish the dignity of humanity. As he preached the doctrine of love, being the prime religion, by mixing the philosophy of Chaitanyadev along with the paths of various other Indian thinkers leaders; we selected today's topics – “Goudiya Vaishnav Philosophy and Universal Cultural.”


Swami Sarbobhutananda, Secretary, Ramkrishna Institute of Culture, Kolkata( on the left ) and Dr. Ramaranjan Mukhopadhya, Ex Vice Chancellor, Rabindra Bharati University on the dias during the lecture.

“Only through the various principles of Goudiya Vaishnav Philosophies, numerous problems of the world, like Global temperature rise, terrorism, melt-down of economy etc. can be resolved.” – thus spoke Professor Mukhopadhya. “God exists only among the human beings and rendering services is the prime aspect of attaining world-peace.”

Quote from Vivekananda:-

“Whoever loves the living beings, only serves God.”

“In order to love living beings, one has to visualize God.

Sri Chaitanyadev, Swami Vivekananda and Mahanambrata Brahmachari; All attained such a state. ‘Visualising God among human beings as well as all living beings – these two are complementary to each other' – As spoken by Prof. Mukhopadhya.

Compiled by: Prof. Chidananda Goswami