The Spirit of the Harmonist

Sajjana_Tosani_front_pageBy Harmonist staff

In 1879, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura began publishing Sajjana Tosani, a Bengali journal that sought to express the depth of Gaudiya Vaishnava theology in light of contemporary thought. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura launched an English version entitled The Harmonist in 1927 and in 1944, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami introduced Gaudiya thought to America with his Back to Godhead magazine.

In the same spirit, this online edition of Harmonist seeks to continue sharing the deep philosophical conclusions of Gaudiya Vaishnavism in the context of post-modern sentiment and spirituality. This effort creates an environment where both practitioner and non-practitioner alike can appreciate the breadth and depth of Gaudiya conclusions in consideration of present-day spiritual plurality. We seek to maintain the great dignity of our living Gaudiya tradition by preserving the inclusive spirit of the guru-parampara and we invite all spiritually-minded people, both inside and outside the tradition, to participate in the discussion.

In addition, as the modern scientific community struggles to find the emergent origin of consciousness within matter, we eventually expect to find common ground in a contrary credence: subjective conscious experience gives meaning to matter. Science has progressed from its religious roots, through agnosticism to modern atheism, and we now consider it to be at the precipice of modern mysticism.

The nature of subjective experience and the significance of its primacy over objective matter is an ancient concern that today represents a link between the scientific and spiritual communities. Vedanta has much to say about this link and possesses the methodology to plumb the depths of consciousness—a particular specialty of Gaudiya Vedanta as exemplified by Sri Caitanyadeva and his followers. The Harmonist will continue to publish articles that underscore this point and thereby continue the efforts of our preceptors to share Gaudiya Vaishnavism with the modern-day world.

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