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30. His Writing
BHAKTIVINODA Thakura was an expert linguist, conversant with English, Urdu, Persian, Oriya, Bengali and Sanskrit. He had a taste for history and a keen mind for research. He was a voracious reader of the Puranas and other Vedic texts, as well as the writings of numerous ancient and modern European authors. He could cite passages from scriptures such as the Bible and the Koran on appropriate occasions. His habit was to uncover every facet of whatever subject matter he examined, and this thoroughness of endeavor never faltered. He was, above all, a self-realized soul whose numerous writings will inspire people for centuries to come. From the age of twelve, when he wrote Hati-katha and Sumbha-Nisumbha-yuddha, until his final days, his pen was never idle.
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's disciple, Shri Bhakti Pradip Tirtha, has written in his book, Thakur Bhaktivinode: "His writings have made the sacred teachings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu fully available to every modern reader and in a form which carries irresistible conviction and devotion. For this reason the works of Thakur Bhaktivinode require to be translated into all the languages of the world. The Thakur has written in a comparative manner so as to bring the teachings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu into relationship with almost every school of thought prevalent in the world, and his writings give us the full revelation of spirit and divinity to the fullest measure that is possible to be conveyed by the instrument of human speech."
The Thakura composed hundreds of poems and songs, combining the deep, transcendental emotions of their author with a wealth of Vaishnava philosophy. The world has inherited from him many wonderful books on Lord Chaitanya's teachings. At every step of his life the Thakura displayed a transparent godliness, a godliness evident in every page of his books. In his books he has clearly delineated the distinction between genuine transcendentalists and pretenders in order to thwart the pseudo-devotees who dress as Vaishnavas with the aim of filling their stomachs or indulging their senses. His clear signaling of this difference between genuine Vaishnavas and bogus pretenders (also a theme of his son, Shrila Sarasvati Thakura, and his son's guru, Shrila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji) awakened the intelligentsia of India, who had become cynical due to the so-called spiritualists, and caused them to appreciate the beauty of Lord Chaitanya's precepts. The Thakura was seen (and rightly so) as a God-sent pioneer of the Movement for re-establishing unalloyed devotion to God, for he exhibited the real meaning of Lord Chaitanya's doctrines by his preaching and exemplary behavior.
He always stressed that the jiva cannot realize his spiritual nature unless he whole-heartedly surrenders himself to an authentic spiritual master for guidance. He taught true renunciation by engaging all that he possessed in the service of Krishna. He radically opposed the bogus caste system, which judged a person's worth by his birth. With full scriptural support, he insisted that one's social position is to be determined by guna and karma-by one's quality and work. He vigorously denounced the doctrines of salvationists and elevationists for their being against the principle of pure devotion. He thereby made significant inroads toward the reformation of the materialistic mentality of many of his countrymen.