After the disappearance of Srila Svarupa Damodar Goswami, Srila Ramananda Raya and the Six Goswamis, Srila Srinivas Acharya, Srila Narottama Thakur and Srila Shyamananda Prabhu, a dark age descended on the world of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Those unable to understand the transcendental purity of Sree Mahaprabhu’s dharm of love started numerous heretical sects or apasampradayas.
Srila Totarama Das Babaji named thirteen such heretical sects:
aul, baul, kartabhaja, neria, daravesha, sain
sahajiya, sakhibheki, smarta, jata-gosaïi
atibarii, curiadhari, gauranga-nagari
tota kahe ei teror sanga nahi kari
Educated upper class Bengali society was shocked and disgusted by the practices of these heretical sects and came to identify Sree Mahaprabhu’s religion with the lower classes, the uneducated and immoral. People of the gentle classes thus had no understanding or faith in Sree Mahaprabhu’s true religion. The most munificent incarnation Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took pity on these bewildered persons and in order to reclaim them for his path of divine love sent his eternal associate Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur into this world.
Possessed of superhuman prowess, the Thakur wrote more than a hundred books in several different languages with the goal of defeating all the unorthodox views opposed to the true doctrines of Sree Mahaprabhu’s religion.
The result was that many members of discerning society and others from all over the world came to recognize the un-equalled value of Sree Mahaprabhu’s teachings.
The founder of the Chaitanya Math and the worldwide Gaudiya Maths, Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupad, based His mission on the books and teachings given by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur and set into motion the fulfillment of Sree Mahaprabhu’s message, found in the Chaitanya Bhagavat:
prithivite paryanta ache jata desha-grama
sarvatra saïcara haibeka mora nama
My name will pervade every village and country in the world. (Chaitanya Bhagavat 3.4.126)