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Hindu Saints #12
Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji (1838–1915) is a well-known acharya from the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism, and is regarded as a Mahatma or saint by followers of his lineage. During his lifetime Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji became famous for his teachings on the process of Bhakti Yoga and for his unorthodox avadhuta like behaviour as a sadhu, or babaji in Vrindavan.
He was born on November 17, 1838 in a simple mercantile family in the village of Vagyana, near to Tepakhola in the district of Faridpur, part of modern-day Bangladesh. After the death of his wife when he was thirty years old, he accepted the life of a Babaji in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition under the tutelage of Jagannatha Dasa Babaji, after meeting the latter's disciple, Bhagavat Dasa Babaji. He became a mendicant, staying in the holy cities of Vrindavan and Navadwip, deeply absorbed in singing and chanting the sacred names of Radha and Krishna (Bhajan).
In 1900, Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji gave initiation (diksha) to Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. The former gave the latter the name 'Varsabhanavi devi dayita Dasa'. Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji's legacy would live on his only disciple Bhaktisiddhanta, as he would later go on to preach all over India with his Gaudiya Math. Bhaktisiddhanta in turn gave diksha to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who preached the philosophy and culture of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition on a worldwide basis through his International Society for Krishna Consciousness.