Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari and First World Fellowship of Faiths at Chicago - 1933
In the First Fellowship of Faiths, held in Chicago, U.S.A. in 1933, Sri Mahanambarata Brahmachari, a young Ashramite monk of Mahanam Sampradaya, Sri Angan, Faridpur, India (now Bangladesh) was sent on a mission to represent his religious order. Sri Mahanambrataji reached there and delivered four Lectures in that First World Fellowship of Faiths in Chicago. The speeches of Srimat Mahanambrata Brahmachari at the Chicago Religious Conference and during the period of five-and-a-half years subsequent thereto and his contribution towards mutual and cordial understanding between various religious faiths of the World and in attainment of universal brotherhood and fraternity were highly appreciated by the Western World.
Mahanambrataji renounced domestic life at a tender age. He acquired his deep love for humanity from his mother Kamini Sundari Devi and his scholastic habits and knowledge of scriptures from his father Kalidas Dasgupta. He was born as "Bankim" in the Khalisakota village in Barisal of present day Bangladesh on December 25, 1904 A.D., the most auspicious Christmas Day which seems quite significant and meaningful having a bearing on his future life and works, dedicated solely to the religious cause, pertaining to moral and spiritual upliftment and deliverance of people. All along a scholarly boy, he left home and embraced Ashramite life as a monk of Mahanam Sampradaya at the age of seventeen. He obtained his M.A. (Sanskrit) degree with First-Class-First position from Calcutta University and also appeared at M.A. (Philosophy) Examination in 1932 and passed successfully. Before its result had come out, he was to proceed to Chicago for attending the World Religious Congress.
Mahanam Sampradaya is a Vaishnaba Religious Order worshipping Sri Radha-Krishna, Sri Nitai-Gouranga and Prabhu Jagadbandhu as Supreme Beings, following the ideals and teaching of those Divine Personalities and practising almost mendicancy. Sripad Mahendraji, an ardent and devout follower and Sebait of Prabhu Jagadbandhu was the Founder-President of this Sampradaya. When Sri Mahanambrataji started for the Chicago Conference, he could not be provided with the necessary passage money. Relying solely on the mercy of Prabhu Jagadbandhu and having the conviction of his desire to fulfil a mission through him. Sri Mahanambrataji reached his destination in a miraculous way after much ordeal. It was equally miraculous that his boarding and lodging in America were arranged without a penny in his pocket; his Traveller's Visa was changed for a Student's Visa - he stayed in America for long five and a half years in place of 3 months. He obtained Ph. D. in Philosophy from Chicago University for his profound scholarship in research work expounding the Philosophy of Sri Jiva Goswami and had the unique distinction of working as Intercultural Secretary of the World Fellowship of Faiths and becoming the International Secretary of the said World Organisation in 1937 and was ultimately sent by them on a goodwill lecture - tour in all the leading cities of America during the major part of 1938.
Though he had arrived late in Chicago, Shri Mahanambrataji was allowed to deliver four lectures in the Main Session of the World Religious Conference - World Fellowship of Faiths in Chicago.
Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari returned to India in 1939 with a vast treasure of fame associated with his name and glory to his religion and country. But he was as simple, unassuming and spiritually inspired as ever. He dedicated wholeheartedly to the work of preaching the most noble and highest ideal teachings of Hindu Scriptures the Gita and Bhagabatam and specially of Sri Prabhu Jagadbandhu and Sri Chaitanya Deva, the incarnation of Divine Love. Moral and spiritual elevation of people in this Dark Age (Kali Yuga) and to emancipate them from sorrows and sufferings on the basis of those ideals and teachings were the object of his life. Mingled with his high spirit of universal brotherhood and magnanimous tolerance towards other religions his preachings gave a new impetus and meaning to adherants of all faith and religion.
His work was suspended due to the outbreak of the Second World War. Independence brought a divided India. Formation of East Pakistan on the eastern region of Bengal set on a peril to the life, culture and religion of minority Hindus. All Hindu religious institutions left the country except Mahanam Sampradaya of Dr. Mahanambrata Brachmachari. His vast and erudite scholarship and most witty and outstanding oratory rendered yeomen's service to save the life, culture and religions of minority Hindus and to maintain communal harmony there. He also had to pay a heavy price in the Sacrifice of lives of eight young Brahmacharies during the Pak Military action at the time of liberation of Bangladesh. He enjoyed respect of both Hindus and Muslims for the charming spell of his eloquence. His writings of religious books and booklets - Gour-Katha, Chandi-Chinta, Uddhav-Sandesh etc, and his expositions on Gita, Upanishad and Bhagabatam were considered exceptionally good and valuable.
He had to his credit the establishment of Maths and Temples for Prabhu Jagadbandhusundar in Nabadwip, Puri, Vrindaban, Krishnanagar and Calcutta (including the latest Mahanam Angan in Raghunathpur on VIP Road) in India and at several places in Bangladesh.
With all sincerity of heart and deep gratitude we remember the most noble and outstanding works and contributions of his life. He worked silently and sowed the seed of Prema-Dharma, i.e. Religion of Universal Love irrespective of caste, and creed, and religion of Sri Gouranga Mahaprabhu for the first time in the Western World. We sincerely believe that His Religion of Universal Love will spread far and wide in course of time and bring peace, concord, prosperity and happiness to the troubled world and suffering mankind.
JAI JAGADBANDHU HARI!
JAI MAHAUDHDHARAN LILA!
Sri Sri Mahanam Angan
Raghunathpur, Calcutta - 700 059