Sri Sajjana-toshani magazine and newspaper

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

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Sajjana-toshani was a monthly periodical in Bengali which Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura began to publish and edit from 1881. There are 17 volumes extant.

– What is the meaning of Sajjana-toshani?

– The pure state of the living entity’s constitutional propensity is "love of God." That is the ultimate goal of the living entity.

The lives of those who can revive that propensity even while remaining in the conditional state are glorious.

Those who have not awakened pure love of God but are aiming to do so in their life are also glorious, because within a short time they will also become glorious.

These great personalities are called sajjana. The purpose of this newspaper is to satisfy such personalities. Therefore the name of this newspaper is Sajjana-toshani. (Sajjana-toshani 2/4)

– What are the principal precepts of Sri Sajjana-toshani magazine?

– This spiritual magazine, Sajjana-toshani, is meant to destroy unlimited miseries of the living entities, to award transcendental feelings toward the Absolute Truth, and to please all the devotees of the Lord. (Sajjana-toshani Vol. 4)

– What subject does Sajjana-toshani discuss? Is Sajjana-toshani the supplier of mundane news?

– Sajjana-toshani will not discuss temporary news of the material world. Such news is published daily in various newspapers. The aim of this newspaper is to discuss the eternal constitutional duties of the living entities. (Sajjana-toshani 2/4)

– I am a poor Vaishnava. I have no interest in big, big mundane topics such as the battle between Britain and Russia, the demarcation of Afghanistan’s border, and the qualification or incompetence of the Governor Generals.

I do not need to waste my time in this way. My only duty is to award spiritual benefit to the Indians, particularly the Bengalis.

While carrying out that duty, whatever topics I need to discuss I must do it.

I do not have any special connection with mundane newspapers. Still, to see how much the hearts of the Indians are turning toward devotional service to Krsna, I read almost all the newspapers.

When I read some articles regarding the fight between the British and the Bengalis in those newspapers, I feel hurt in my heart. (Sajjana-toshani 2/5)

– We have a strong desire to elaborately publish the glories of the great personalities, but we cannot fulfill this desire, because the poor Sajjana-toshani is extremely thin. If pious people ever make Sajjana-toshani bigger and healthier, then our desire can be fulfilled. (Sajjana-toshani 2/6)

– Is Sajjana-toshani the first spiritual newspaper in Bengali? Did its preaching bring any success?

– At one time, Sajjana-toshani was the only spiritual newspaper, but now the Sajjana-toshani has brought so much spiritual excitement in the minds of many people that many other spiritual newspapers are being published. This is indeed an auspicious symptom. (Sajjana-toshani 12/1)

– What is the history of Sajjana-toshani?

– Sajjana-toshani first was published at Nadala in April 1882. When some residents of Nadala established a new printing press and asked me for some work, I printed my first edition of Sajjana-toshani there. Later on, we kept moving place and could not publish the newspaper regularly.

Finally, when I stayed at Barasat, I published in English the journal Nityarupa-samsthapanam, written by Sri Upendra Goswami. When this English edition was published in 1883, the Sajjana-toshani was temporarily suspended.

In 1885, a Vaishnava fund was established at my house in Rambagan. Thereafter I spent some time at Saptagrama. Then, the Sajjana-toshani started coming out again.

Later, Sajjana-toshani was again discontinued as an individual newspaper and merged into Sri Visva-Vaishnava Sabha.

From 1892, Sajjana-toshani again began to come out regularly. (Svalikhita Jivani)

– What has been the good result of circulating the newspaper Sajjana-toshani?

– In the beginning, the Vaishnava society did not have a newspaper. Now we can see that being encouraged by the success of Sajjana-toshani, a newspaper called Ratnakara, which preaches Vaishnava-Dharma is being published in Dhaka; a newspaper called Sri Hari Bhakti Pradayini is being published in Balesvara; and a newspaper called Vaishnava is being published in Calcutta.

Sajjana-toshani also aims to preach Vaishnava-Dharma among modern societies. The supremely pure Vaishnava religion is gradually entering into the hearts of the members of modern societies. We hope that these members soon achieve devotional service to Hari.

Sajjana-toshani has also become quite effective among the pure Grihastha Vaishnavas. Seeing the good result, the publisher of this humble newspaper, who is an unalloyed servant of Sriman Mahaprabhu, is feeling great pleasure. (Sajjana-toshani 2/12)

– Why was Sajjana-toshani not published for 2 years?

– Sajjana-toshani was "sleeping" for almost 2 years. For various reasons we had no opportunity to break her sleep. Being encouraged by members of the Vaishnava Sabha, I have requested the "sleeping girl" to please wake up and again sing the glories of Hari and explain the science of Hari. Out of love, the ecstatic girl again took up her duty. Now the devotees can hear her words attentively.

Previously, Sajjana-toshani was alone, now she will be together with her sister named Premapracarini and will shower the nectarean science of Sri Hari. We hope that the hearts of the devotees will be satisfied. The more the devotees express their eagerness, the more the 2 girls carry out their duties perfectly. (Sajjana-toshani 2/1)

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Harih Om Tat Sat.

Natural Brotherhood (Bhaktivinoda Thakura):

BhaktiVinoda Thakura

"Gradually, when the offensive portions of the established religions are destroyed, there will be no more differences in the bhajana performed by the various Sampradayas nor any quarrel between them.

Then as brothers, the people of all castes and countries will spontaneously chant the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord together.

At that time, no one will hate anyone or consider others dogeaters; nor will anyone be overwhelmed by the pride of high birth.

The living entities will not forget the principle of natural brotherhood."

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2 Responses to “Sri Sajjana-toshani magazine and newspaper”
  1. subalsakha das says:

    hare krishna and dandvat pranam

  2. Nimai Pandit dasa [Auz] says:

    Brilliant.
    Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is absolutely brilliant.
    Thanks for printing this info.

    Your lowly servant,

    Nimai Pandit dasa.

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