Savitri and the Gaudiya Math
The Harmonist was the magazine of the Gaudiya Math, and was published between 1927 and 1936. The Gaudiya Math was founded in 1920 in Calcutta (today Kolkata), India by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati in order to propagate Gaudiya Vaishnavism throughout the world. Gaudiya Vaishnavism, which first emerged in Bengal in the sixteenth century, is a branch of Hinduism in which Krishna is believed to be the supreme God, and Gaudiya Vaishnavas worship Krishna and his avatars exclusively. While the Gaudiya Math continues to exist today, since the late 1960s it has been overshadowed by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), the followers of which are known as the Hare Krishnas, and which was founded by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati’s disciple A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
The Harmonist of June 27, 1935 reports that “a French lady” by the name of Maximiani Portas, Ph.D. visited the Gaudiya Math’s temple in Dacca (today Dhaka), Bengal on June 18 of that year. The Harmonist of July 12, 1935 reports that Maximiani Portas, Ph.D. visited the Gaudiya Math’s headquarters in Calcutta on June 28-29. The same issue prints a lesson on Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy that she purportedly received during her visit. Her side of the conversation is unfortunately not recorded.
This is interesting for two reasons: first, because it shows that Savitri had an interest in and contact with the Gaudiya Math during the first years of her stay in India; and second, that she was still going by her birth name at the time.
All references to Savitri in The Harmonist are offered below.
Savitri referenced in The Harmonist of June 27, 1935 (PDF)
Savitri referenced in The Harmonist of July 12, 1935 (PDF)
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