Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura (1838-1914) was a pioneering spiritual leader, a magistrate working in colonial India under British rule, a prolific preacher, writer, and poet. One of his sons was Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, a highly influential spiritual leader in his own right, and the spiritual master of the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, Srila Prabhupada.
In the closing days of the nineteenth century, Bhaktivinoda Thakura was the one who reestablished the validity of the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, which by then had been largely misrepresented or lost. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote almost one hundred books to explain the science of Krishna consciousness. He worked tirelessly to expose pseudo-incarnations of God and defeat misconceptions about the path of devotional service. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was both an active preacher and the Deputy Magistrate for Jagannatha Puri, Orissa, as well as the father of ten children. One of his sons was Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. Biographers say that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura accomplished all his many duties perfectly.
Followers of Krishna consciousness generally observe Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s appearance anniversary by fasting until noon, singing some of his many bhajans (devotional songs), and reading about his life.