Narrations on the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura - Appearance on Trayodasi
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 00:54:05 +0530
Today we are celebrating the appearance day of Kedarnath Datta Bhaktivinoda, aka. Bhaktivinoda Thakura. I am posting his autobiography, written in 1896 on the request of his son Lalita Prasad, which presents many touching insights into the life of this maha-purusha.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:01:29 +0530
SVALIKHITA JIVANI [Autobiography]
of Srila Bhaktivinoda ThakuraNote to first Bengali edition by Sriman Lalita Prasad Thakur
I have published this volume of Svalikhita Jivani, which was written by my father, for the sake of those who are favourable and who are very close to him. My honourable father ordered me not to misuse whatever was written to me by him. Such was his instruction to me. That is the reason that I cannot give this book to ordinary persons. Only one who has complete love and faith in my father can read this work. If anyone reads this volume and makes his own commentary that is against my father then he alone is responsible, not I.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:05:24 +0530
181 Manikatal Street Bhakti Bhavan
1. You have asked me for the details of my life. Whatever I am able to remember I have written down on paper for you. Please see that you do not misuse this story.
2. I was born in Sakabda 1760 on the 18th day in the month of Bhadra in my maternal grandfather's home situated in the village of Ula [or Ulagram] also known as Birnagar.
3. [Horoscope was originally appended.]
4. My birth corresponds to the following: Sakabda 1760; Sri Gaurabda 352; Christian Era, 2nd September 1838; Bangabda 1245.
5. As Birnagar was famous within the Bengal region as a wealthy village so was my maternal grandfather, Sri Isvara Chandra Mushtophi also famous as a prosperous landowner. His extraordinary liberality was known in many parts of the region. People used to come from all over the countryside to see his famous palace. In the district of Nadia the village of Birnagar [Ula] was known to be especially wealthy and happy.
6. I was born a descendant of Purushottama Datta, a Kanyakubja Kayastha. Among the five Kayasthas who came to the Gauda region at the invitation of King Adisura, namely, Makaranda Ghosh, Dasaratha Vasu, Kalidas Mitra, Dasaratha Guha and Purushottama Datta, Sri Purushottama Datta was the foremost. His community was settled at Baligram. Later on some individual in his lineage settled in Andulagram and became known as the chief of all the Kayastha community.
7. Sri Govinda Saran Datta was the 17th descendant from Purushottama Datta. Govinda Saran, giving over to his brother Hari Saran all the property of Andulagram, and having established a village called Govindapur on one bank of the Ganges through the generosity of the sultan of Delhi, made his residence there. In time Govindapur fell into the hands of the British and was converted into a fort [Fort William]. Thereafter, in exchange, the Datta family was given land at Hatakhola where they built a new settlement. From that time on the Datta family became known as the Hatakhola Dattas.
8. The 21st descendant from Purushottama Datta was the greatly famous Madanmohan Datta. He was foremost among the Hatakhola Dattas and known as a very religious man. All the residents of Bengal were aware of his famous works at Pretasila Hill in Gaya and at other places. My paternal grandfather, Rajavallabha Datta, was the grandson of Madanmohan Datta. Somehow or other Rajavallabha lost all of his wealth. Because of this my father, Anandachandra Datta, gave up his residence in Calcutta and made his residence in my grandfather's village, which is situated in Orissa. Therefore he was not present for my birth in the village of Birnagar. My father Anandachandra Datta Mahasaya was very religious, straightforward, and detached from sensual things. Regarding his beauty, many people used to say that in Calcutta there was no one at that time who was as handsome.
8b. My mother was [called] Srimati Jaganmohini. She was possessed of intellect, straightforwardness, and devotion to my father; it can be said that there was no one like her. My grandfather was robbed of all his belongings, so my father expressed a desire to go to Orissa. My grandfather said to him, "You come and see first, then after some time you can come to Orissa with your family." 8c. The village known as Choti Govindapur was situated on the bank of the river Virupa within the district of Cuttack in the state of Orissa. In that village my father and grandfather had their residence. His wealth was that village and other villages close by. When Raya Jagannatha Prasada Ghosh Mahasaya died there was no heir except for my father. Therefore, all of the property left by [Raya Jagannatha Prasada Ghosh] became the wealth of my father. While the vast wealth of my grandfather was undisturbed there was no desire on the part of my father and grandfather to secure it. Thus, after the demise of Rai Jagannatha all of the property remained in the hands of his Khanajat servants, of whom Ramahari Dasa was the chief. That servant took possession of everything. 8d. At the time my grandfather and grandmother, who were destitute in Calcutta, went to Chotimangalpur, but Ramahari Dasa, being disobedient, did not give up control of the property. On account of that, my father had to go there for almost three years until the end of the lawsuit. When my grandfather and grandmother moved from Calcutta to Orissa my father and mother moved to Ulagram taking Abhayakali, their first born, [with them]. During the time of their residence in Ulagram my elder brother Kaliprasanna was born. After remaining in Birnagar a few days my father went to Orissa and the request of my grandfather. The servant Ramahari Dasa would not give up the property unless my father was present.
9. Speaking [as above mentioned], my grandfather Rajavallabha requested my father to leave Ulagrama and come to Orissa for some time. I was only a few months in the womb when my father set out for Orissa. During the time he was staying in Orissa, my father received news of my birth. After the litigation was over we took possession of the property, therefore my father was delayed a long time from returning from Orissa.
10. My mother said that after my birth, she suffered labour pains for two or three days. When I was [being] born an astrologer sat marking the time with an hourglass. Also an English account of the time was kept. My maternal grandfather had incomparable wealth and a grand estate. There were hundreds of male and female servants. When I was born I was a good weight. I had an older brother named Abhayakali, who had previously died. A second brother, Kaliprasanna, was still living. I was my father's third son. It was said that of all my brothers I was a little ugly. But my mother said, "Very well, let this boy be the servant of the rest, just let him live a long time."
11. My mother said that when I was eight months old I got a boil on my thigh and as a result I became weak and emaciated. I also heard that while I was being carried in the arms of my nurse, Shibu, down a flight of stairs, I cut my tongue on my teeth. To this day I have a scar [on my tongue]. This happened around the time my teeth were coming in.
12. When I was almost two years old my father returned to Orissa. My nurse said that a few days before my father returned I saw a crow flying [to a perch] and sang a rhyme: kak, kal kal, jhingera phool/ baba aseta, nade baso [O crow, Kal Kal, flower of the Jhinga squash, father comes, sit aside.]
13. As I spoke the crow changed position. Some people nearby saw this and said, "Oh, your father must certainly be coming soon." It so happened that in a few days my father arrived at our home in Ula.
14. I cannot remember very much up to three or four years of age, so whatever I write has been told to me. I have some recollection of going to a school run by Karttika Sarkara when I was three years old. Even now it comes to mind, that cane he used to show. The school was situated on a long veranda of my maternal grandfather's pooja building. Many of the village boys used to attend the school. Maheshbabu, my maternal cousin, Kailasa Datta the son in law of my grandfather, Mahendra Vasu, Syamalal Mitra, etc. also used to attend. Karttika Sarkara had a very forbidding nature and we were all very afraid of him. In those days my mother's brother Girisha Babu died.
15. When I was growing up I was full with curiosity and tried to see everything. In my grandfather's house all kinds of festive occasions were celebrated. Jagaddhatri pooja was celebrated with much pomp. I can well remember Jagaddhatri pooja being celebrated, during the night especially. Hundreds of chandeliers would hang on the pooja house. Bachara would be [observed?] outside the pooja house. There, lanterns would be wrapped around all the pillars and columns. All the guards at the doors would be dressed in sepoy uniforms. Numerous stout men dressed in golden embroidered clothes would come from Ranaghat and Santipura. Many bodyguards and soldiers used to accompany all these men. In terms of people [the scene] was like a forest of people and in terms of lights it was like the battle of Kurukshetra. The scene was filled with fireworks and rowdy pomp. On the first night there was kshemat and bainat dancing. At that time people would be so overwhelmed with pleasure they would lose all sight of the religious occasion. Late at night there would be kabi gana [singing contests]. At dawn I used to listen, but the kavi wallas used to scream so loudly that it would hurt my ears. The deity would be dressed in the best outfits. The eating arrangements created the greatest pleasure.
16. The Durga seva used to be very nice. Everyday in the temple the goddess Jagattarini, who was very big and made of eight metals, was worshiped. At the time of Durga pooja the goddess was brought into the pooja house. I can remember that we used to have 25 or 30 brahmanas from west [Bengal] come and carry the goddess to the place of worship and perform the pooja. For three days the pooja was celebrated with very great pomp. On the sixth day two types of drums [tak and tol] would be beaten and the sound would shake the whole pooja house. On the ninth day many goats and buffalo would be sacrificially killed. On that very day the ladies of the house would worship the goddess Durga by carrying incense on their heads in some manner. During the Kali pooja we young boys would get together and go to the temple. The stone deity known as Dindayamayi Kali was always present in the temple named Navachooda. On the actual night of Kali pooja there would always be great fanfare. Everybody used to enjoy this occasion, except the goats and buffalo. Most of the Brahmanas and pandits used to come solely for the taste of mutton.
17. During the Dola Yatra festival there used to be singing and various kinds of sport. So much red dye was thrown about that everything appeared to be red or blood coloured. At this time even the guards took part in the festival. They would enter the temple courtyard singing and throwing dye. Because of all their commotion I would stay a little distance away from them. During the Dola yatra I used to enjoy watching the festival bonfire known as Merapora.
18. My mother's brother Girisa Babu passed away and immediately after this many inauspicious things happened to my maternal grandfather. Because of excessive expenses mounting up and swindlers who came, my grandfather fell into much debt. Gradually his land was lost and his mind became exceedingly disturbed. Seeing that all his sons had died, in the hope of having a son again, he married several times on the advice of some wicked persons. At that age marriage is fruitless, but he could not appreciate such wisdom due to the influence of the wicked persons. Because of this and the loss of his wealth he soon experienced much difficulty.
19. When I was five years old, according to the rule, I was sent to school. By then my former teacher, Karttika Sarkar, was no longer in charge. Yadu Sakara and others had successively taken charge of the school. After some days my younger brother Haridasa was also enrolled at school. We used to attend school in the mornings and in the late afternoons. The teacher would come very early every day. Many children used to read and write there along with us.
20. Amongst this group, those who were a little older used to act as agents of the teacher and would harass the younger of us. If we came late to school these older boys would apprehend us. The rule in that school was: whoever came to school first got hit with the stick once, whoever came second got hit twice, and whoever was third got hit three times and the number kept increasing in this way.
21. There was one older boy who the teacher used to beat and in return he would beat the rest of us. If for any reason you were absent from school you would face a great scolding [be spat upon?] on your return. The routine was of this sort: The youngest students used to write their ka kha ga's... [abc's] on talpata with black coal. After a year they would write their numbers on banana leaves and after that they made a copy on paper. All the older boys were taught accounting, which was the work of the office of the Zamindar. From time to time under the scrutiny of the teacher we would learn the deliberation of a court. The youngest boys would lodge a complaint and their witnesses and evidence would be deliberated [as] in a court.
22. In the end there would be the determination of punishment. All decisions of the court had to have the permission of the teacher. There were different kinds of punishment: twisting of ears, slapping, caning, naru gopala and paying a fine; these methods were employed by our teacher. We saw our teacher as the personification of Yama, and the older students used to act on behalf of the teacher as if agents of Yama. Sometimes these older students would act on their own and sometimes they would arrange a court on behalf of the teacher. Some boys used to make false complaints and bring false witnesses to court and other boys would administer punishment.
23. Therefore, as we could see no means to avoid the situation, we made an effort to keep these older boys pacified. During a school holiday the older boys once spoke to me, saying, "O Kedara, our teacher will have no food tomorrow morning, so bring whatever nice food you can from your house." Thus, the next day, from within our house I stole a little echonra [a ripened jack fruit] by hiding it under my school books, and these older boys gave it to our teacher. My teacher [was very pleased] and said, "This little boy will get knowledge!" The jackfruit was grown at home, and [when] my nurse [found out about the theft] she came and scolded [me?] and took the jackfruit back from the house of our teacher. My mother was extremely angry, and when my teacher heard about this he became frightened. He spoke to us and said that I should only take things that would not be noticed. "Don't bring big things!" The neighbours' children used to steal tobacco and give it to him, but in my father's parlour the servants kept his tobacco under lock and key. I used to steal soaked chickpeas and give them to my teacher [instead].
24. My brother Haridasa was very angry with this teacher. He could not tolerate the boldness of the older boys, so one day he took a machete and entered our teacher's house after he had eaten and lain down to sleep. At that time I just happened to be present, so I threw the machete away and Haridasa fled. Hearing all the talk our teacher woke up, handed in his resignation and left home that very day. For that reason, after he left another person became the teacher. In this fashion I studied under two or three teachers and eventually began writing on paper.
25. Our method of study was as follows: we would begin in the morning by standing and loudly reciting the multiplication tables, addition tables, 'ganda' tables, cowrie tables and sonakas. The older students would recite in a loud chorus. First the older students would together say, "Four cowries make one ganda." Then we in the younger students' group would immediately repeat after them, "Four cowries make one ganda." The recitation would proceed in this manner. When it was finished we would sit down and write it all out. During writing time our teacher would often declare, "Say it, say it, then write it." We would repeat a word in a loud voice and then write it. In the [resulting] tumult no one could understand the voice of anyone else. After one prahar [3 hours] there would be a rice eating break. We would enter [our home] with rapid steps and have por bhat [a particular type of boiled rice] and then return to the school within half an hour and again begin reading and writing. At the end of the second prahar [at noon] the school would close. We would return to school after half a prahar [1 1/2 hours]. By the time of evening sandhya we would again recite the tables then the school would close for the day.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:06:27 +0530
26. Up to the end of my sixth year, whatever instruction I received was in that school, and all that learning was in Bengali. I used to learn book keeping. I would write out Sevak Sripath, but my handwriting was poor.
27. At that time an English school opened in my maternal grandfather's home. A Frenchman named Dijor Baret from Chandananagar [also known as Pharsa Danga, French Town] became the teacher there. My mother's brother's son, Mahesa Babu, Kailasa Datta, Mahendra Babu, Rajakumara Ganguli and others used to study there. At the end of the second prahar when my school was closed I would go to that English school and study the English alphabet.
28. M. Dijor Baret talked to my father and suggested that I and my elder brother Kaliprasanna be admitted to the English school. Seeing my slight attempt to study English he became very fond of me. Even though this teacher was a Frenchman he liked Bengali habits and would wear a dhoti and enjoy eating khichari and other such dishes. Sometimes I used to stay with him. My brothers would be very restless and simply go away. Sometimes I used to go with my brothers but mostly I used to like to sit with that English teacher. On the days when our teacher went to Pharsa Danga [his home] I would go with my brothers after the time of the second prahar [afternoon] and play in the gardens and at the Khiraki Pushkarani. Entering the water, we would net Khalisa fish in a cloth. Wandering in the gardens, we would pick ripe mangoes and eat them. Not far from the mango trees my grandfather had a circular building.
29. We all would play under that building . My father used to keep a collection of different kinds of caterpillars. He kept the Korabi, the Akanda, the Kal Kasanda and many other kinds of caterpillars in a box. He raised them by feeding them the respective types of leaves. Best of all was the caterpillar which lived on the leaves of the Ishu Mul tree. When the caterpillars had grown and become butterflies he would let them go. Sometimes, in the afternoon, if I saw any of the different types of caterpillars I would save them and give them to my father.
30. At that time there were many beehives in the garden. We used to break the hives and eat the honey. Eating so much honey would make our bodies hot and my mother would be able to understand [what we had done] and would punish us. I was a little restrained, but my brothers would show no restraint whatsoever. One day the honey bees stung us. My older brother Kaliprasanna was an innocent fellow, but the bees stung him so much that he had a fever for several days.
31. Playing in the gardens, the ponds and the grain shed was not enough [for my brothers, who were inclined to get into trouble]. Seeing this, I left their association, and at midday I would sit close by the outer gatekeepers. The gatekeepers were western soldiers. They would all eat rotis made from a whole measure of atar wheat and a whole bati of urad dahl, after which they would sit down and eat on cots on the ground by the front gate. Thereafter, some of them would recite Tulsidas's Ramayana. Although the language was unfamiliar [to me] it sounded very sweet. One day, being charmed by the reading of one soldier named Srital Teoyari, I asked him to make the meaning of what he was reading clear. He told the story of the cheating crow [Bhushanti Kaka]. That story seemed very sweet to me. In the evening I retold this story to my mother and maidservant. [My mother was very pleased] and showed her appreciation to Teoyari by giving me chewing tobacco to bring to him. Out of affection for me, Teoyari would give me merotis, dahl and khichari. I would eat them and become very happy.
32. From the first day [of my attendance at the English school] I would study English with the teacher [in the morning] and in the afternoon I would again stay near him. As evening arrived we would enter the bedrooms. There, Mr. Ghosh's maid, my maid, who was named Shibu, and other 'wise' ladies would come together and tell many kinds of stories. While taking rest I would listen, and over and over again I would hear them relate stories of highway robbery, romance, tigers etc.
33. Sometimes I used to wake up late at night and sit by the window. At the fourth watch [3 A.M.] Officer Naph and Officer Sannasi would be carrying lanterns in the courtyard and pathways around the estate and would shout out the watch calls. Sometimes I used to call Officer Naph over [to the window] and would question him about many things. Naph was very old but still used to carry his lantern, stick, club and sword. Previously he was a prominent dacoit. His residence was at my maternal grandfather's estate in the district of Murshidabad. Fearing an attack at some time by dacoits my grandfather kept many Dvarabans from the west, stick guards, Muslim guards, and sepoys. Even though [he had all of these guards] my grandfather gave Officer Naph and two of three other guards the task of protecting the inner grounds. Once, when Naph was a dacoit, during a raid, he [accidentally] cut off the head of his own guru, and since that time the sound of 'Haribol' always issued from his lips. I used to call him over to my upper story window and ask him to tell me stories from his childhood and youth. I was only 6 or 7 years old and could not understand half of what he told me, but I used to like to hear these tales.
34. My mother was the daughter of a very wealthy man and was not able to tolerate much labour. The burden of our physical care was thus entrusted to our maidservant, named Shibu, who looked after us as if we were her own children. In the morning time she used to serve us a light breakfast and then take us to school. [Later in the day] she would bring us rice to eat. At noon she would find us wherever we were and supervise us while we took milk. In the evening she would take us home and put us to rest and lay down herself with us. She would give up her own happiness for our happiness. Even if her own daughter wanted to take her home, she would be reluctant to leave us.
35. I used to like to watch the doctors make different medicines. In the outer area [nat mandir] of the temple of the goddess Dindayamayi the doctors made various kinds of oil based preparations known as chandana, gurachya, mahavishnu etc. There were two doctors named Isvara and Umacharan from the village of Raghunathapur who were paid by my grandfather [to make medicines and care for our family]. They performed the difficult task of burning gold and oxidising iron and other metals [to make medicines]. I used to watch them make preparations out of rabbit oil and 'sivaghrita' [a kind of ghee] etc. They made loha jvar by breaking precious stones and mixing them with iron. Their students would also make different kinds of medicines and study many books as well. In the hallways of the temple of Dinadaya Mayi there dwelt [a person] named Vidya Vachaspati who ran a school there. He would recite many different hymns. He would cook rice and a preparation of chickpeas, offer it to Kali and then eat it. Vachaspati Mahasaya had many students. They would study grammar, vocabulary, and Bhatti [Bhartrihari?]. I used to hear their discussions on verses like "raveh kaveh kim" etc. Occasionally in the afternoons I would go to this temple and observe all these things.
36. During the afternoon we would go about playing in different ways within and around the house. Before I was born my older maternal uncle Karttichandra Mushtophi had died. He had had two wives. One was known as Ranga Mami and the other as Bari Mami. Ranga Mami was crazy. Bari Mami used to like me very much. When I went to her room she would give me nice things to eat and tell me many stories. Throughout my childhood I had a lot of [dental] cavities. Sometimes I used to cry all day on that account. Bari Mami used to tell me that common people thought cavities were caused by insects, but there was no such thing as insects in one's teeth. Cavities were the result of a disease within the teeth caused by eating sweet and sour things. It was untrue that 'vedinar' gypsy women could drive out these insects. Occasionally in the late afternoon I would sit in my father's parlour and I would tell stories with him. At sandhya prayer time it was snack time and he would give me a piece of sandesa to eat. Most of the time I would stay with my older brother Kali. My younger brother was known to be naughty and I would stay away from him. [My younger brother] Gauridas was a very beautiful boy, but because he was so small he could not stay with us.
37. At the time of the birth festival of the goddess Ulachandi all [the people] of Ula would enjoy themselves. There were many banyan trees [in Ula]. There was a particular stone covered with red powder and raised up on an elevated altar that was known as 'Ulachandi' [the 'Doorga of Ula']. On the full moon night of the month of Vaisakha Ulachandi pooja was celebrated with great fanfare. On that occasion two public poojas were celebrated in two neighbourhoods. One pooja was called Mahishamaddina pooja and the other in the southern neighbourhood was known as Brihat Durga pooja. During the Ulachandi worship people used to come to Ula from near and far and stay with their relatives for three days. The roads were filled with moving crowds. In each neighbourhood two bazars were set up and various entertainments would take place. The buffalo-elephant fights were the most entertaining. Numerous elephants were brought there from many places. The Mukhopadhyayas had a particularly huge buffalo and the horns of this buffalo would be covered in iron. One immense elephant would also have his tusks covered with iron. First there would be an announcement that the buffalo and the elephant would be set free in the middle of the town. Sometimes this buffalo, being very strong, would wound the elephants. Sometimes the elephants used to overcome the buffalo. We would be on the second floor roofs to watch it all. On certain days we would ride atop our elephant named Shibchandra, who would carry us to various places for entertainment [during the festivities].
38. In those days there was no suffering at all in Ula. There were fourteen hundred good brahmana families, and there were many Kayastha and Vaidya families too. The Mushtophi Mahasaya family was the most wealthy. No one in that village went without food. One could get on with very little in those days. Everybody was very happy, people used to sing, make music, and tell nice stories. You could not count how many jolly [fat] bellied brahmanas there were. Almost everybody had a good wit, could speak sweetly and was skilled in making judgements. Everyone was skilled in the fine arts, song and music. Groups of people could be heard all the time making music and singing, playing dice and chess. That village was a very happy place. If anybody was in need they could go to the home of Mushtophi Mahasaya and get whatever they required without any difficulty. Medicine oil and ghee were aplenty. The village was so large that at that time it took fifty six men to maintain it. The good people in Ulagram did not know the need of finding work in order to eat. What a happy time it was!
39. At that time I never saw any of the villages [beyond Ula.] It is not possible to compare the excellence of Ula. Not a single day went by without some festival being observed.
40. I lived in this way until I was about seven years of age. My older brother Kaliprasanna was nines years of age. My brother Hari was four years old. Around this time a college opened in Krishnanagar. The king of Krishnanagar, Srish Chandra, wrote a letter to my grandfather requesting that he send the children to the college. Whatever deliberations occurred I did not know, but we heard that my maternal cousin Mahesa Babu, my older brother Kali, myself, along with Kailas Datta, Mahendra Vasu and Yadunath Chandra, would all go to that college. From my point of view I felt extreme anxiety, and I was unable to exist at night without my nursemaid. My mother made the decision that our nursemaid would also accompany us to Krishnanagar.
41. We lived in a two story house in the midst of the bazar in Krishnanagar. Our sleeping quarters were upstairs and we cooked on the lower floor. The bazar and the street were at the front [of the house]. Above the stairs was a statue of Ganesha. There was a storage room for cooking oil downstairs, more specifically, to the side of the kitchen rooms. The door was kept closed, but seeds used to fall through the cracks in the door and we would fry them and eat them. [Our main diet would be] rice and dahl. The cooking was done by a brahmana, but his cooking was not good. From time to time our nursemaid would bring us a light lunch which we would eat. Sitting on the stairs, we could see into the room of the oilpress man. He was very old and would sit on a low seat. Because he was going to die soon he would have the Mahabharata read. A seat was arranged for the reader in his courtyard by means of an auspicious tent [a canopy]. From his raised platform a speaker would read the Bharata. A garland would be placed over the head of the speaker, who would from time to time make his recitation and sing a particular song. I very much liked to hear the Mahabharata and the stories about Bheema would especially attract my mind.
42. On certain days the speaker would get a lot of things to eat, and on those days he would be most eloquent. On those days when he received nothing his heart would be very depressed. Every Saturday we would return to our house in Ula. Hired bearers would carry us on a palanquin with great haste. We would be very happy on that day. Mahesa Babu, Kali Dada, and myself would go together on one palanquin. Soon we would reach our home and after seeing the feet of my mother we would feel great joy. On Sundays there would be no end to the stories [we heard]. Very early on Monday we would go to the residence of Goyara and after eating we would return to the college.
43. [In Krishnanagar] the college was held in the official residence of the local magistrate. The college had a playing field and many trees and shrubs, though these days the place has become something of a jungle. In front of the college was the main road. Across the road was the local police station and the heavenly residence of a barrister, the honourable Manmohan Ghosh. At the present time the chief post office is situated on a portion of that land. In that residence [where we went to college] we studied [at first] while sitting on mats. After some time chairs, tables and benches arrived. An Englishman, Captain Richardson, was the college principal, and Ramatanu Lahiri was the main native [Bengali] teacher. Mahesa Dada and Kailash Babu studied in the second year class, while Kali Dada and I studied together in a lower class. The king's son, Bahadur Satish Chandra, studied along with us. A few days [after our arrival] the son of the king of Kuch Behar arrived. Gadadhara, Dina Dayal, and others used to teach us. Master Gadadhara had a swollen neck and a cruel nature. He used to hit us with a broken piece of slate board.
44. Everyone said that I liked to study English. With some effort and practice I gained prestige in [my] class, and thus my teachers were kind to me. That year I passed an examination and got a class promotion and an award. Neither Mahesa Dada, Kali Dada or any other of our group received any award or promotion. In Ula an announcement was made that I was the best of the boys. By [the next] Sunday, at our home in Ula, my fame was broadcast all over. My [maternal] grandfather showed me a lot of affection and made me sit near him and take prasada. My father also showed me special affection.
45. My mother, Bari Mami, and others discussed the news about me everywhere. At this time my [former] teacher, Dijor Baret, came [to visit]. He praised me a good deal, but my father stopped him from praising me in my presence. Hearing all this praise my pride became much inflated. In my mind [the importance of] my reading and writing very soon amounted to nothing.
46. [As a consequence] I was no longer good in class. Again the teachers gave me trouble. Using this as an excuse, Mahesa Dada and others who had been envious of me gave me a very hard time. When I had been proficient in class everyone became very envious of me, but now their anger came out into the open. I could no longer memorize my lessons, and torment came from all sides.
47. I would start out to school on the palanquin but would not go to class. Instead I would stay in the woods until after school, then return home on the palanquin. Some days, on the pretext of being ill, I would stay at home. One [of our] servants, [called] Keshi, could understand my suffering and would take my side. At that time our nanny was no longer in Krishnanagar, for as soon as it was seen that we were able to live nicely in Krishnanagar she was kept back in Ula.
48. One day Deoyan Govinda Adach came to our house and cooked mutton. Late that night, after eating the mutton, my brother Kali Dada became ill with cholera. A doctor, Kali Lahiri, said that his affliction was very serious. We all decided that Kali and I should leave at dawn and return to Ula, so we two brothers set out on a palanquin. Kali Dada was sinking gradually into the illness.
49. While crossing the river Anjana I made a lot of effort to pacify his mind. By eight o'clock in the next morning the palanquin arrived at Ula. An hour later Kali Dada gave up his life. The women in the house gave up a cry and I knew that a disaster had occurred. On that day my uncle had arranged to feed brahmanas at the house. The feast was being hosted by the Kayastha community, but now the whole affair had to be called off.
50. After two or three days I learned that I would not be returning to Krishnanagar. My laxity in attending school was pleasant news from my parents' point of view, so I gave up reading and writing and stayed in Ula. At that time there was no longer a school in my grandfather's house.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:09:35 +0530
51. At the time I was eight years of age, and this condition [of no schooling] lasted for about three or four months. During this time I forgot all the English [I had learnt]. Soon, however, a few respected gentlemen had a meeting and established an English school in Ula. There was a small parlour room known as a 'tutabari' which adjoined my uncle's old house, and this is where the English school was [established]. Babu Hemachandra Bandyopadhyaya, who was a resident of Halisahar, came and acted as headmaster, and Raghava Bhattacharya, who was a resident of Ula, was a pandit [there]. I was [duly] admitted to the school. Bhagavan Vasu was the school's secretary. It was his idea that in the winter school should begin very early at dawn and that at other times of the year it could begin later in the day.
52. I made some effort and again began learning my A,B,Cs, and my previous learning quickly returned. On account of this, everyone considered me a good boy. I thus gained a good reputation and my honourable teacher showed me a great deal of affection. The scented tuber rose used to bloom at this 'parlour' school, and I liked its fragrance [very much]. Cricket was often played at the school. One day the bat struck me on the brow, causing blood to flow, and since that occurrence I stopped playing cricket. I had many friends at that school. I excelled in reading and reciting up to the third level.
53. At this time I learned maths and Bengali in the school at the old house. That old house was under joint authority and the honourable Mushtophi [my grandfather] had about 20 or 22 living apartments there. Just inside the [main] door way was a drum room. At the front was the 'bodhana tala' and the 'dola mandap' and a storage room. Entering the front door, just to one's left was the pooja room. The thatched room for the worship of the goddess Chandi was very beautiful. In front of that was a courtyard and to the side was a homa area. Facing the front and left of the Chandi Mandap were twin gabled bungalows.
54. Within the Deity, Krishna Chandra Raya, was gracefully present. The inner section of the house comprised a four sided courtyard, [surrounding which] there were many 'antar batis' [purdah areas]. The outer portion of that [quadrangle] was a drawing room for the grihapati [the master of the house]. My maternal grandfather's father had his residence in that house. Giving up the old house he moved into a new dwelling. Even so, my uncles had equal ownership of the common parts of the house. The teacher used to teach in the corridor area near the Deity, Krishna Chandra Raya, and I studied mathematics and other subjects there for a short time.
55. Within a short time the honourable Shyamlal Pran Mushtophi established a school there. Syamlal Pran Mushtophi lived in the southern part of my grandfather's house. My grandfather owned one quarter of that house. Therefore I studied with my teacher in the house of my own maternal uncle. Even though portions of the house were owned separately by different relatives one might say that the house was under one ownership. That dwelling was divided into four shares. My grandfather owned one share. Syamlal Pran had one share. Harisha Babu had one share. And Mej Thakurani [my second aunt] had one share.
56. At that time, Syamlal Pran was a civil court officer [a 'munaseph'] for Hatbar. Later on he became a magistrate [amin] at Krishnanagar. Harish Babu [who had a share of the old house] had no children. [He had?] two nephews, [called] Dashu Mama and Satakari Mama. They were Rudras from Vamsabad. Their mother was Gangamani Didi, who was known to be very fond of joking. She would also check your pulse and prescribe medicine in that way. Syamlal Babu had two sons, Sayaram Mama and Devendra Mama. Kailas Datta was their private tutor.
57. The teacher at the school of Syamlal Babu was expert at playing chess. That teacher, [who came] from Burdwan, was very strict about one's doing better. He was very expert in the mathematics of Subhankari, and he put a lot of effort into me and gave us [much] instruction.
58. At this age I was very independent, and I used to go everywhere with friends my own age. Mahesh Dada went to Calcutta to the house of his maternal uncle [Kasi Prasada?]. In the house in Ula there was gradually less activity, for my grandfather was becoming encumbered with debt. Somehow he maintained his status despite [his debts]. But our elephant Sibchandra died, the horse went, the horse carriage went, and nothing remained but the goat cart.
59. Now the Jagaddhatri pooja and and Durga festival were celebrated by taking out loans. Even so, 30 to 35 western guards were employed, and many respectable gentlemen would come and sit in my father's parlour. Girish Mukhopadhyaya, Ramesh Raya, Nabin Bhaduri and other good friends would come and sit. They would sing different songs. Mohan Datta, who was a drunkard, would come during the day and begin to sing a lot.
60. When there was recitation of the Mahabharata, Ramayana etc. at the old house I would go to hear. I used to like to hear about Hanuman crossing the ocean to Lanka and about the demoness Simhika. The honourable reader would speak along with the specific gestures and in my mind a great love would arise. I would make a regular habit of going to hear the reading after school. By hearing over and over again the reading of stories from the scriptures, we learned many things. At this time my younger brothers Haridas and Gauridas successively died. There was much grief in the mind of my mother, and my father fell into deep suffering.
61. Thereafter, there was only my sister, Hemlata, and myself. Our nanny would go around holding Hemlata on her hip and me by the hand. Because of [the death of my brothers] my mother was afraid none of her children would survive. [In order to protect us] she put many talismans about our necks. I would travel about the neighbourhood with my nanny, and going to school at the old house would see chess and cards being played in the courtyard's alley crossing. When one went from our house to the old house the Mitras' house was on the left.
62. There lived our Choti Didi [youngest aunt] and I would frequently go there. We had amusing talks outside that house. Parasuram Mama and others would play there and I would observe their play while going to school. [At school] under the direction of my teacher, I would read and write.
63. In whichever house a festival was being held I would go there and watch. Many poojas were performed in the house of a certain brahmachari [who resided in Ula]. There was a nice mandir outside his house and inside there was a garden and homa area. The worship of the brahmachari was performed according to the doctrine of tantra. Cups made from skulls were kept hidden away in a small room [in his house]. Some people said that if you gave Ganges water and milk to a skull it would smile. I tried to see this by giving water and milk to a skull but saw nothing. In that same place was the home of a learned man and I would go there to hear songs.
64. During the Durga festival there would be much eating and celebration at the homes of brahmanas. Sometimes, in the hope of getting some nice prasada, I would accept an invitation to eat. In some homes I would get good dahl along with vegetable curry and rice. In other homes I would get khichari and dahl cooked with jackfruit and other things. One could get the best curry at the house of Visvanatha Mukhopadhyaya. At every house you could get goat curry. All of the non brahmana residents of Ula would go to the homes of the brahmanas for three days and get prasadam. No one would eat at his own house. During the Durga festival giving food and eating were the highlight and not so much music and song. In other festivals specific arrangements for song and music were observed.
65. To the extent the Mushtophi family declined to that extent the families of Ramanadas Babu and Sambhanath Mukhopadhyaya increased in prestige. In their homes, during the Jagaddhatri pooja, [their] affluence was exhibited with dance and song. They had horses and elephants, and at their gates they kept increasing numbers of western guards. As a man increases his material possessions he shows off his increase. At night we would go to their houses to hear the loud celebration of song. In the houses of Deoyan Mukhopadhyaya and Krishna Mukhopadhyaya Babu I saw that there was very little fanfare.
66. In that village joy was full and thus everyone had a happy face and was free of worry. Everyone was expert at buffoonery, therefore many people got a name for being crazy. Many respectable people were known by names such as Ishe Pagal [Ishe 'Madman'], Ganga Pagal, Pesha Pagal, Sambha Pagal and so on. They would go around [both] local and distant places and collect money by tricky means for the public poojas.
67. At nine year of age I went to Jagat Bhattacarya in order to study astrology. Kailash Datta also was making an effort to practise this art. I kept notes. Whatever Bhattacarya taught us we wrote down and memorised and tried to understand.
68. The condition of my grandfather gradually declined. My father reflected over and over again that his paternal inheritance was lost and that his inheritance from my maternal grandfather was insignificant. [He thought,] "What will become of my child?" The [financial] situation of my father in law's household was also miserable. Therefore, he thought, "I should setup my own house in some other place." Thinking in this way, he would from time to time travel to Calcutta.
69. Thereafter, my paternal grandfather's residence was mortgaged. Chatu Babu from Simla respected my paternal grandfather and considered him an older brother, thus, after he had made many arrangements my grandfather received some property from him. Chatu Babu had the task of bringing him [my paternal grandfather] to Calcutta, so he personally went to see him at Mangalpur, which is on the road to Purushottama [Puri]. My paternal grandfather, Rajaballabha Datta, had a very firm resolve. He was not willing to come to Calcutta nor move any of his possessions to Calcutta. Consequently, not being able to do anything about it, Chatu Babu returned to Calcutta, sending the news to my father at our home.
70. My father then decided not to accept the property [from Chatu Babu] without the permission of my grandfather [his father]. To build a good house in Calcutta or to buy one was very costly, therefore, considering that it would be very difficult to maintain their previous prestige with little money, my father went in a boat with Dijor Baret [the teacher] to Pharasadanga to see a house, and then he returned. While returning my father met David Farland, a Satvadhikari [deputy financial officer?], who was dependent on my maternal grandfather, at Mollahati Kuti. Farland Saheb agreed to let my father have managerial responsibility of some property. My father thought that he would return to my mother in Ula and then acquire some money and buy a house in Pharsadanga and work with Farland Saheb. But a man's thoughts alone produce no result, only what God desires can endure.
71. While this was transpiring, my father's grandfather's property, which was named Ramaparain and was in the district of Murashidabad, had not had its taxes paid and thus came up for sale. Hearing of this, my father sent Umacharan Vishvas there [to settle the matter] with 1500 Rupees obtained from my mother. The man arrived there just as the sale was going on. The money was therefore not used in that connection. On the death of my father's step mother, Rani Radharani, my father gained control of six rent free villages. Umacharan Vishvas learned of this, but while he was returning to Ula my father died.
72. Two of three days after returning from Mollahati Kuti to Ula my father came down with a fever. By that time my grandfather's family had broken up and my father was the only [surviving] son. Umacharan Kaviraj made medicine [for my father]. My grandfather [also] gave him medicine made of eighteen ingredients, but gradually the disease worsened. After eight days there was a change for the worse. Many people came to see [him]. Many kinds of medicines were administered.
73. Nothing worked. Finally my father was brought from the inner bedroom and sat on a chair in the Simri room [room with stairs?] of the Pooja Bati. Haru Mama, Parasuram Mama, Mahendra Mama and many others began to arrive. At that time it was four dandas. At dusk, at the time of [his] coming downstairs, my father's mother was brought from the rented house of Girish Mitra. She was crying and crying and falling down saying, "Where will Babu go?" The entire house was filled with crying. My father stayed in the outer building. I stayed with my father all the time. Late at night I fell asleep. My father was brought to the bank of the Ganges at Santipur [while I slept].
74. I forgot to relate one matter. A year and a half before this event my father's mother came from Orissa and lived at my uncles' house in Sreepur. From there she [went to] stay at the house of Nabal for a few months. Thereafter, she stayed in Ula at a house that Girish Mitra rented [for her]. I used to go with my mother and see her at Nabal's in Sreepur. When she was with Girish Mitra I would go and see her daily. Not wanting to be very far from my father she came from Orissa, where my paternal grandfather lived, and stayed in her native Bengal. Yoga Pisi [my aunt] came and stayed with her when she lived in Ula at Girish Mitra's house.
75. When I rose at dawn I could not see father. There was no one around. At that time Lalu Chakravarti and Paramesvara Mahanti had come from Orissa, and they had carried my father to the bank of the Ganges. Seeing everybody crying, I also began to cry. My honourable mother, being in anxiety, was crying, and many people were trying to console her. By the second prahara everybody returned. Loud sounds of crying filled the house. My honorable grandfather closed the door.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:11:07 +0530
76. Even while father was living I began to become a little thoughtful. "What is this world? Who are we?" These two questions were in my mind when I was ten years old. On some days I thought I had the answers, on other days I had none. One day, in the evening, as the moon was rising, while I was wandering about on the roof of my father's parlour, I noticed that the moon was moving with me. I thought this must be the same moon that we saw in Krishnanagar, and that this small circular thing exists everywhere in the same fashion. I previously thought that in different places there was a different moon. But now, seeing the moon move, I concluded that it was the same moon everywhere. Some of the women used to say that the moon and the sun gods were two brothers, and would accept invitations to dinner. Their mother would say, "Bring some excellent food." The moon brought sandesa on the tip of his finger, but the sun brought nothing at all. Therefore, their mother gave an immortal benediction to the moon and she pronounced the curse on the sun, saying, "You will dry up the urine and stool of the world."
77. After a short time I came to know that these stories of the women were complete nonsense. I would read the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Kali Purana, Annada Mangala etc. from Bengali manuscripts and learned much lore in this way. I would discuss these edifying subjects with whomever I met who was a little learned. Haladhara Misra would worship Durga, Kali and Siva etc. I thought that Haladhara spoke to the gods. One day I asked him about this matter and he said that sometimes he did talk to them. I believed him and enquired of him, saying, "Very well, Mr. Misra; Vachaspati Mahasaya stays day and night in the deity house. Is there talk between him and the Deity?" He said, "There is." I asked Vachaspati Misra about this conversation. He said that Haladhara Misra was lying, and that there is no talk between man and the gods in Kali yuga.
78. Vachaspati Mahasaya was fat and learned and I had no faith in Haladhara Misra. Some days at noon during the second prahara, when no one was around, I would talk to the moortis at different Siva temples that were open. There would be an echo only. I thought that perhaps Siva was teasing me. I would touch Him and then run away. I reasoned that if Siva was real then he would catch hold of me, give me some pain or harass me [in some way]. Siva did nothing and I understood that [the moorti of] Siva had no substance within.
79. One day I went to eat gamarul fruit in the garden near my grandfather's parlour. I heard that a ghost lived in the fruit tree and on that day I ran away in fear of the ghost. Another day I thought that if some remedy could be effected then I could go and eat the fruit without fear of the ghost. In the hot weather the gamarul fruit is very tasty. I made inquiries of many people about how to deal with ghosts, and no one said there was no such thing as ghosts. Being very disturbed, I asked Vachaspati Mahasaya, who said that ghosts were a particular form of living being. Their form is of the wind and their eyes are like the Kuncha fruit [very small and red]. Hearing the words of Vachaspati Mahasaya I became even more afraid of ghosts. But where there is no gamarul, there is no eating. The mother of Chiba was very expert in the occult. She was an exorcist for some people and she oversaw the storage room of my grandfather.
80. Upon questioning her she informed me that there is no fear of ghosts while one chants the name of Rama. She called for Jayakali, and a servant appeared who said the same thing. By way of experiment I went to the site of the Gamarul tree calling the name of Rama over and over again, and I saw no evidence of a ghost in any fashion. Knocking down some fruit, I ate two quarters. I understood that the name of Rama was protection against the ghost. At dusk I would always utter Rama Nama. When walking about in the streets and alleys I always chanted Rama Nama. I obtained great satisfaction in my mind and for many days after I took this medicine against the ghost. I heard that a ghost lived in the homa building. Uttering the name of Rama I chased the ghost away from the pooja building. Now I would [not be afraid] to go outside at dusk.
81. There was an old carpenter who made backdrops for the goddess Jagaddhatri. I would go to him and ask him about many things. He would give answers to all my questions. One time I asked him, "When does the goddess enter the statue?" He said that on the day when the eyes are made the goddess resides in the statue. So on that day I eagerly went to see the goddess come but I did not see her take up residence in the statue. I said [to the carpenter] that Goloka Pal made the statue first with straw then with clay. Thereafter one uses chalk and dye. At no time did the goddess actually come. Then the old carpenter said that the goddess appears in the statue when the brahmanas chant the mantras. I tried to see [her come] at this time but saw nothing. Returning to the house of the old wise carpenter I asked him about all this. He said, "I have no faith in the worship of statues. I think that these brahmanas are cheating. They are acquiring money by means of social custom."
82. I had special regard for the words of this old sculptor. I asked him to tell me about Paramesvara and he said, "Let anyone say whatever [he may], I have confidence in no one but Paramesvara. The gods and goddesses are imaginary. Everyday I worship the Paramesvara." I had faith in the words of this old man.
83. I became even more inquisitive. There was a guard, Golama Khan, who would watch the door of the Koshadhan [the room where the valuables are kept]. I inquired of him and he said that God's name was Khoda. He was One and there was none other. Khoda took some stool [mala] from his own body and shaped it into a 'ruti' and tossed it into the water of the seas. The upper portion [of that ruti] became the sky, the lower portion became the earth. In this form the world was created and in the creation of Adam and Eve man was created. We are all the descendants of Adam. Hearing all these stories, I asked, "Please tell who Rama was." He said that Rama and Rahim were one, and He is Khoda. I then received confirmation on the mantra for [repelling] ghosts. Golam Khan spoke about ghosts and said that all ghosts were sons of Satan. They fear the name of Rahim. My thoughts on the truth [of the matter of the Holy Name of Rama] were satisfied.
84. I was meditating a good deal [on the cause of the world etc.]. At one time I thought that this world was false and that Isvara alone was real. And I appeared to be Isvara. Like a man dreaming in his sleep I [only] imagined that I was suffering. When the sleep broke I laughed at this understanding of Isvara. Then I thought that I alone was the creator. I would frequently forget my position and then would fall into this suffering condition. Then I thought that I was Isvara and this was my leela. By the force of this leela all mistakes and forgetfulness would take form.
85. At the old house lived the father of uncle Parasurama, Akhil Mushtophi. In the morning he would arise come and take a seat and read Vedanta. Thereafter, unfastening his kacha [the back part of the dhoti] he would recite the Kalma [a Muslim prayer]. After that he would kneel down and worship Isvara [as a Christian]. He did not believe in the clay gods at all. Many people would say that he was very wise and others would say that he was less than a Christian. Once I went to him and asked him questions. He said the Isvara alone was Purusha. The Vedas know him as Brahman, in the Koran he is Allah and in the Bible he is God. I believed him. He warned me not to go to Parasurama, who was an atheist.
86. His son, Parasurama Mushtophi, studied law. In the beginning he had a little faith in Isvara. Later on he refuted the idea of Isvara. While he believed in Isvara he had two disciples, Raghu Mama and Nasu Mama. After he gave up his faith in Isvara, Raghu Mama and Nasu Mama accepted Ramamohan Raya as guru. I was greatly confused. I was innocent and had many questions. Seeing all this difference of opinion my mind was not happy. Parasurama Mama said to me, "O baba, everything comes from Nature. And that is Isvara. There is nothing separate from Nature." Hearing all this talk I went to the schools of the Bhattacharyas to ask them but what they said just confused me even more. Because all the conclusions were uncertain, I never gave up the name of Rama which warded off the fear of ghosts.
87. I was eleven years old when my father passed away. I was independent then. But what would become of me? I was struck by this thought. I could see [only] darkness in all directions. I had no blood relations who would look after my welfare. At school I merely studied whatever [they instructed me]. You [Lalita] know what the limits of reading and writing are in a village school. At this time Master Hemacandra Bandyopadhyaya left Ula and Ramachandra Dasa, the pride of the Kaivartta caste, became the headmaster of the school. I studied with care, but there was no one to help me study so my learning progressed very little. Somehow I did reasonably well in literature. I studied the fifth reader, grammar and geography.
88. Only in maths did I do exceedingly poorly. Kanti Bhattacharya and Lal Gopal Ghosh were good students compared to me. Even so the teacher showed a lot of affection to me. But I was helpless and gradually I was sinking lower. I was not able to say why, but I was becoming very listless and from then on was not able to go here or there [as I had previously done]. In fear of going to school, I would secretly take caster oil in order to make my stomach upset. Again and again my old fever would come back. In brief the only [good] thing I can say about this time was that I did not fall into any bad association. I thought about many things and tried to put my thoughts into poetry. At this time I wrote the Ulachandi Mahatmya. That book can not be found now.
89. After the death of my father, my grandfather, being very aggrieved in mind, went and lived in Bhavanipur. Having closed and bolted the door to the outer pooja building he opened a passageway for going between the outer building and the former building. I stayed in the parlour of Dasu Mama, and my grandfather cleaned out the chamber [mahalati] room of the family deities. Hanuman Sinha, Baladeb Sinha, Suba Sinha and Sital Teoyari Daraoyan stayed there.
90. Mother thought that my further advancement would be difficult. She felt that her husband and all her sons had gone. No property [wealth] had been acquired from the home of [her?] father-in-law. Grandfather gave her the house at Nabala and gave in writing a share on income from Dihi Dukhada that was lost by the trickery of scheming persons. Except for some property at Chotimangalpur she had no wealth. The two gentlemen, Yaduchandra and Umacharan Visvas, made some effort to assist in the matter, but in the end they were not able to help.
91. Then I was the only son and Hemalata, a seven year old girl, was the only daughter. My nursemaid was thinking many things but was not able to ascertain any solution [to our plight]. Everyone in the house [i.e. the servants] was considering whether this boy [me] would live. They said to her, "One after another so many of the other children who were like Karttika [strong and handsome] have died, so what hope can there be for this ugly boy [me] to continue to live? Therefore, if you say that your wealth is in this boy you will not survive." Hearing these talks, my mother sold me for 9 cowrie and my sister Hemalata for 5 cowrie to Dhatri Mata. After a few months my mother heard that my aunt Mej undertook a marriage for my cousin Mahesh Dada.
92. Then she thought, "A marriage for my son will bring a better future." Having said this, marriage negotiations began. Some negotiations were [already?] underway. [Mahesh] Dada spoke to my grandfather [along with?] Krishnamati, the brahmani daughter of Krishna Mukhopadhyaya who always came to our house. At this time Jagat Bhattacharya Mahasaya would assist our family in many ways. He shopped for us. On Ekadasi days the brahmana would prepare a special vegetarian meal for us.
93. Mother sent Krishnamati to Ranaghat to see the girl [in question]. The girl's name was Sayamani and she was the five year old daughter of the first wife of Sriyukta Madhusudana Mitra. She was the granddaughter of Simhadiga of Khismar. Mitra Mahasaya was very capable. He was the financial officer of the Palacothur family and he came to see me riding on a elephant and then left. After seeing the girl, Krishnamati came and spoke to mother saying, "Oh, your future daughter-in-law is so beautiful. Even though she is a little dark in colour I do not see a better beauty." It was the opinion of Krishnamati that there was nothing in this girl that a man would find objectionable. Having expressed this opinion to mother she would not consider any other girls. Lala Gopal said that the colour of this girl was [dark] like a hookah. Mother said, "Her forehead is auspicious, that is her beauty, what does [a dark] colour matter?" The marriage was decided. Dasu Mama acted as the head of the family. Nanda Kumar began to make the jewelry. Stealing a large amount of gold from mother, he made different kinds of ornaments [for the girl] enough to cover her entire body. Dasu Mama gave the approval for everything. The expense was great.
94. There was a pleasure boat, a wedding palanquin, decorations, lights, English music etc. The marriage was between a twelve year old boy and a five year old girl and was exactly like a child's doll marriage. Drinking Ganges water and milk I arrived at the house of my father-in-law with a great, pompous crowd. The reception was very big. Many gentlemen of the Teli [oil] caste dressed in bright and varied clothes and wearing jari outfits came to the reception. Even though I was of such a tender age, I was able to understand that except for the Kayasthas and the Brahmanas [who were dressed nicely] the good clothes and ornaments did not look well on the others. I heard that the children of the Panti family came. Hearing the name Panti my panti doll comes to mind. Even though they were not exactly like my doll, my eyes did not see the beauty of the Panti children. Two reciters of genealogies read out the family histories of the Mitra and Datta families.
95. Gradually the marriage was completed. I said that I was not able to stay alone in the house of my father-in-law, so my nanny came and stayed with me. After one night everybody in the house considered me just like a son. The following day the bride and bridegroom came to Ula. Everybody at the home declared that the marriage was like a nice doll wedding. Sometime after the wedding, news of grandfather's sickness and death gradually reached Ula. Mother went to Bhavanipur with the child bride to see her stepmother.
96. Thereafter we came to Calcutta by boat. In those days Calcutta was a fearful place. Immediately upon arriving my nose was struck by a severe, foul smell. This smell took away my appetite. After residing in Bhavanipur for a few days we visited many places in Calcutta and Bhavanipur. We saw Kalighat. Being exceedingly disgusted I was not able to appreciate anything. When we returned to Ula I was the first to leave. Upon arriving in Ula, Mahesh Dada [whom I considered an older brother], Meja Mami and her brother, Raja Babu, performed Sraddha for my grandfather.
97. After staying a few days, Mahesh Dada returned to Calcutta. As before, I remained in Ula. My reciting and hearing [of my lessons] was poor. I worried a lot. According to the command of the older brother [Mahesh Dada] I had performed the cow pooja on the Bhodga Hill and the [appropriate] Deity worship, taking the money from the sale of coconuts from the estate and from whatever little money was sent [to us]. The worship was not good. I was never qualified to look after the affairs of the a few properties, all her wealth was lost.
98. At the time when my father went to Mursidabad he took Rupees 1,500 from my mother. That money was lost. On one other occasion my father went to extricate one of the sons of Mukherjee from some difficulty and loaned Rupees 2,500 from my mother's family with a security of jewelry [to that end]. Most of that money was never returned. My wedding cost almost 2,000 Rupees and my mother paid 1,000 Rupees of the expenses. Yoga Pisi had a debt and my father made the repayment. In this way there were numerous expenses and no money remained in my mother's hand. I was in complete anxiety.
99. My grandfather's house was huge. The guards were few, and I was afraid of thieves at nights. I thus gave the guards bamboo rods to carry. In this regard I was not lax. I began to study again, but I continued to be very poor at maths.
100. Mata Thakurani sent Sura Singha to Chotimangalpur. While digging through the floor of the house in Chotimangalpur the labourers unearthed an urn full of gold coins and jewelry. [However,] those coins and jewelry found their way to the tax office. In the hope of getting those coins and jewelry mother had sent Sura Singha. [However] power of attorney was vested in Paramesvar Mahati. My paternal grandfather [Rajaballabha] got the coins by means of that lawyer and paid off many debts. Therefore Sura Singha returned after some months with some brass pots only. Out of the profits from [the sale of the pots?], Mata Thakurani, heaving a sigh [of despair] paid his last few months wages. Seeing all this I suffered greatly.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:13:26 +0530
101. At this time I was about fourteen years of age. One time, being the husband of his grand daughter, I went to the house of the Simha of Khishma. In that place, many men very expert in playing chess spent the whole time doing just that. Due to eating too much food I got stomach trouble. I returned to Ula with Satkari Mama. While staying at Khisma the brother of our junior aunt, Yadu Chandra, cooked goat for us, which we ate. At that time, when I met English military men, I would go and talk with them. Seeing the finely dressed English women I was very curious. When the missionaries came to town I would go and see them.
102. My maternal uncle was the famous Bengali poet Kashi Prasad Ghosh, a descendant of Tulasirama Ghosh. He had brought his family by boat to Ula and stayed at the home of Syama Prana Mushtophi Mahasaya for a few days. The daughter of Syama Pran was his wife. She was my aunt. I went to visit Kashi Prasad Babu and he tested my ability to read and write. Once, when I was doing this, he gave me a mirror as a prize. I went into the house to show my aunt.
103. My aunt said, "Kashi said that I was intelligent, but there could be no [worthwhile] reading and writing in this place [Ula]. Come and stay in Calcutta and study there." I told this to my mother. At first she did not agree. Mother said, "I must get the advice of other relatives in Calcutta, then I will decide." I could see that she was only delaying making a decision.
104. I went and told my Aunt. My aunt then went and reasoned with my mother, saying, "I will protect Kedar like my own son." Everyone in the house spoke to my mother, saying, "The boy will not grow up if he stays in Ula. You send Kedar to Calcutta. Later on you can go and see that the arrangements are good." It was then decided that I would go to Calcutta to study.
105. Kashi Prasad Babu then left [Ulagram] and with difficulty I remained, passing the days until pooja time. The son of Syama Babu, Sayaram Mama, also intended to go to Calcutta to study. After the pooja season, during the month of Agrahayan, we left for Calcutta. I went in their boat. Arriving in Calcutta, Sayaram Mama, his mother, grandmother, and Devendrabhatta rented a house in Baghbazar. Hari Ghosh and I stayed in the house of Kashi Prasad Babu. This time I liked Calcutta a little. The house of Kashi Prasad Babu was on the north side of the Heduya pond. It had extremely thick pillars. The neighbourhood of Simla was like a village. On the banks of Heduya were several missionary's homes, the church of Krsna Bandor, Queens College, and the Bethune School. The neighbourhood was beautiful. The house we stayed in was likable. Through the efforts of my aunt and through the mercy of Kashi Babu I did well. I was enrolled in the Hindu Charitable Institution School.
106. I had many advantages in that school. Master Gagan Babu taught me maths with great effort. Because of him I understood maths [at last]. Isvara Chandra Nandi Babu taught me literature. What can I say? I had limitless faith in Isvara Babu. He was truthful, controlled his senses, was religious, knowledgeable in all the shastras and was well spoken. Through his mercy I prospered. I got first prize and obtained a medal in the annual examinations. Under the direction of Isvara Babu I gradually studied English literature and read a good deal.
107. Previously the suggestion had been made that I should enter college. But I made as much progress as could be desired at this school, and I continued studying there for four years. The ability to compose in English and write poetry gradually developed in me. But all of a sudden I fell ill. In the first year during the rainy season I developed an illness caused by salty water and dampness. I took whatever medicines were available but they were ineffective. I was troubled by blood dysentery, fever, and itching skin [scabies]. Everyone said I should return to Ula, but I did not like the idea of returning and giving up my studies. Just before Durga Pooja many gentlefolk came from Ulagram to visit Kashi Babu.
108. With great fanfare was the first Sraddha of Kashi Babu's mother celebrated. At this time I ate a pulao [a highly spiced preparation of fried rice] which simply increased my illness. I was very weak. I returned to Ula with the people from Ulagram. After disembarking we spent a day at the house of Visvasa at Khardaha, and at that place there was much fanfare. All the relations were gentlefolk. We reached Ula the next afternoon. I am not able to express the indescribable happiness [I felt] upon setting foot in Ula.
109. ajanani janma bhumis ca svargad api gariyasi "One's mother and land of birth are better than heaven." I was able to understand the meaning of this expression. "Soon I will see the feet of my mother. I will see the place of my birth. I will see affectionate Hemalata." Thinking all these things I arrived in Ula. Upon arriving, there was such joy, what more can I say. When my mother beheld my weak body, she was extremely worried. My paternal grandmother was also very concerned. After the death of my father my grandmother came and lived at my mother's house. She was practically dead. [At least] once a day she would loudly cry out the name of my father. I saw that Hemalata had blossomed.
110. After thinking a good deal about my complicated illness, mother spoke with a leather worker. He said he would bring a fakir the following morning and that he would cure me by means of exorcism. I waited in the morning and a very dark man of the leather working caste [a Muchi], who previously [I'd seen] playing the tol drum, named Fakir Chanda arrived. Using the leaves of the Bakash he performed the exorcism and then gave me gura leaves to eat. Then, [coming] close to me, he gave me a mantra and asked me to utter it regularly. [He told me] all would be revealed in a dream. He asked my mother to cook only vegetarian food for me.
111. He said to eat rice cooked with ripe tamarind. This was the prescription. After two days, while I slept, I dreamed that a black snake went out from my body. In the morning I related this to the fakir. He said that all danger had passed. "Now you do not have to follow the regulations. Go and take a bath and then eat. But continue to utter the mantra. Within two or three days your illness will be entirely cured." I then went and ate heartily. But the fakir declared, "You must not eat any meat, and by the strength of your mind you should call upon the Satya Purusha [the Supreme Person]. Neither should you eat any demigod's prasada. You should not worship any demigod."
112. My illness gradually became health. The fakir said, "Come, you should approach your Gurudeva!" I went with a happy heart. The residence of the fakirs was in the Muchi area of Beledanga. Gurudeva was also a Muchi, and previously he had made shoes. Gurudeva had several rooms. He stayed in one room in the temple of meditation and was sitting there [when I arrived]. He was on a raised clay veranda when I went and offered prostrations to him. He bestowed [his] blessings on my body with his merciful hand and gave me four pieces of muraki [puffed rice with molasses], which I ate with confidence. Gurudeva then said, "Your illness is completely healed?" I said, "The disease is completely gone, but the itching does not leave me."
113. Then Gurudeva gave the order, "Beat Kalu Raya and Dakshina Raya." Immediately upon hearing this order the fakir took a new broom and on a raised stone began to beat Kalu Raya and Dakshina Raya. Some emotion began to rise in Gurudeva and he began to cry and cry, and sang this song: "Once upon a time the feet of man began to sweat, therefore the Ganga began to flow."
114. When his emotions [bhava] subsided he commanded me saying, "Today your itching will become better. At night, whatever you dream you should come and tell [me] in the morning." Amazingly, during the night, my sores almost all dried up. In the night I dreamt that I put calcium powder on the sores. In the morning I related my dream to Gurudeva and he gave an order [that I was to be given] calcium powder. I used the powder, and after three days my sores were all gone. Now I began to eat good quality food and my body began to fill out. Gradually my strength and boldness increased. One day, Gurudeva showed me mercy by changing the mantra [given to me] and gave me a more appropriate mantra. Daily I chanted this mantra with devotion. I dreamt many kinds of dreams. Whatever was on my mind during the day that I dreamed about at night. Gurudeva gave me the order to heal others' disease. And that I attempted to do.
115. I would go to Gurudeva daily, at any time [I wished]. His name was Goloka. One day he said to me, "O Kedar Babu, our dharma is very pure. No harm [should be done] to any Jiva. One should not worship any demigod. One should be kind to others and [be of] good conduct: these are the foundations [of our creed]. Previously, Prabhu Aul Chanda preached this dharma by means of twenty two fakirs. Those twenty two fakirs established themselves in twenty two places and each extended the sampradaya. Among them one Ramasaran Pal of Ghosh Pada also preached but his actions were improper. Our own original fakir established the sampradaya at the village of Gontra, and his teachings were good. "We do not accept any Jati titles. Whatever is [generally considered to be] muchi is suchi if it is used for Krishna, and whatever is [generally considered to be] suchi is muchi if it is separate from Krishna. There is no fault in being married, but one should be sexually united with one's wife only once in a month, more frequent contact than that is not good. To the extent that semen is retained within the body to that extent it is beneficial. According to our teachings Radha and Krishna are the true couple. Even though They are a pair they are one. Though They appear to have form in fact They [have no material form]. They are like a Lord and [His] Lady. The doctrine that this couple is the pure male and female is very auspicious. Man should be like this, like a god and goddess immortal. O Kedar Babu, mercy has been bestowed on you; very soon you will know the truth of the divine couple."
116. I discussed all these matters to some extent with others and learned that our fakirs were Kartabhaja [a sect devoted to Sri Chaitanya]. In comparison with the Ghoshpara their behaviour was very good. Be that as it may, I had faith in the mantra and [their] doctrines. Even though Gurudeva was a muchi I had no lack of faith [in him]. One day he said, "Soon the village of Ula will be mostly destroyed. The people would die from fever and disease. How will the people remain in such a village?"
117. My ill health had improved and my wife was brought to Ula. Mother then said, "Arrange the marriage of Hemalata. You go to Calcutta and take me [with you]."
118. At the time I took mother and Hemalata to Calcutta. Having brought them there we stayed at the house of Kaliprasanna Datta [my mother's paternal uncle] in Simla [north central Calcutta]. Grandmother remained in Ula. By winter my sister was married and they returned to Ula. During the rainy season I again got blood dysentery. I had it in my mind to go to the fakirs in Ula for the purpose [of getting cured], but I had been at fault breaking the rules a little and so was not able to go to them. I had been eating fish, meat and demigod prasada and so the power of the mantra was defeated. [I was] like an elephant which takes a bath [and then throws dust upon its body], so what was the use of another mantra? This time I took the medicine [given by] a doctor named Isvara. Within month my illness was gone. Isvara was very expert in determining illness through reading the pulse, but he had a bad name because he did not have any medicine. In curing me to a large extent his bad name was removed.
119. By the third year in Calcutta I had made a lot of progress. I wrote in English a little for the newspaper Hindu Intelligencer of Kashi Babu. He edited all that I wrote. An association was started and I gave some lectures in English. At that time Krishnadas Pal and Shambhu Mukhopadhyaya came and made friends with Kasi Babu and afterwards began to write for the Intelligencer. Shambhu was a satirist. He employed many sharp words and after sometime his writing was no longer pleasing. From the beginning Krishnadas wrote essays. Gradually, as I improved, I joined them in writing.
120. In 1855 there was the Sanotal uprising and the newspapermen wrote a good deal on the subject. I read the papers. I had never seen the Sanotal district but I thought that they were becoming prominent and forming a new jati [caste] like the Hans and Bhantal. On Sundays some of us from our place used to go and see monuments and Barobazar and the Seven Pond Gardens in Calcutta. I was unable to get to know all the [multitude of] alleys and side streets in Calcutta. Even so, we would wander about and go to different societies like the Free Debating Club etc. On the strength of my little learning I did thought that no one [but me] had any knowledge.
121. In that year Mahesh Dada and Mej Mami went and stayed in Ula. Having opened the interior door which had been bolted by grandfather, Mahesh Dada [set up residence] in the parlour. Sital Teoyari and Hanuman Simha became guards at the main door once more. All in the house were happy because there was going to be a legal settlement with the opposing party. When I returned home for the pooja holiday I was very happy. I stayed in the parlour of Baro Dada. All of my former friends would come and talk, and I went to see my old school for half a day.
122. I would go and wander about my old house and my friends' houses. It seemed that all of Ula was faring well. After the wife of Baro Dada came to Ula, mother brought my wife. My wife was very small in those days and we would play together like children.
123. At the end of the school break I returned to Calcutta. While I was staying in Ula with my former friends I discussed many topics regarding the Supreme Controller [Isvara]. Uncle Parasurama had no faith in the Lord at all. At the time I came back to Calcutta I studied all manner of English books on philosophy. One by one I read all the books in the library of Kashi Babu. My teacher Isvara Babu helped me a lot with my reading.
124. I first enrolled in Hindu School in the year 1856. The Headmaster was Babu Mahesh Candra Bandyopadhaya and Isvara Chandra was my history teacher. Mahendra Soma taught mathematics to me. That year the University [was] started. College classes were held in Presidency College. The senior classes of Hindu School were held in the west wing, Sanskrit College was in the middle section and junior classes were held in the eastern wing.
125. In our class were Satyendra Nath Thakur, Ganendra Nath Thakur and Nabagopal Mitra and many others. For a long time I was inexpert at mathematics though in other subjects I did very well. At that time entrance examinations were first begun. I had so much competence in literature that I was respected by the teachers and the whole class. I began to write poetry which came to attention of the teachers and gradually came to the attention of the principal.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:15:23 +0530
126. At that time Keshava Candra Sen was a Hindu boy and he studied in the class above me. He was also not very good at maths and there was no chance of [his] passing in that class. Therefore, being strong in knowledge of literature, he established a sabha called the British India Society. English professors and Reverend Dal used to attend the sabha. Because I had a little literary knowledge Keshava requested me to become a member of the sabha.
127. At this time gas lighting was introduced in Calcutta. One evening Kashi Babu and I went to Narikel Place to see the gas company offices. Many dignitaries were invited to see the first use of gas lighting. Prasanna Kumar, Thakur Ramanath Thakur and many others came. Everyone was thrilled to see the gas lights.
128. Sarasvati pooja and Jhoolan Yatra were celebrated at the house of Kashi Babu and I went there to see and hear the dramas on several occasions. A lot of luchi, kachori, ksheera, and mohan bhoga was eaten. Madan Mastar and Dugo Ghadel were [among the] musical dramas that I went and heard. I had very little knowledge of music, but I liked to hear a song sung with emotion very much.
129. In those days I was able to eat a lot. When I went to the garden to Kashi Babu [to his house?] I would do a lot of eating. Some days I would eat a lot of phuti [a variety of green melon] and gur [jaggery]. Some days I would eat a lot of chatu [a chickpea dish], on other days I would eat a pana [20 gandas] of mangoes. Everybody would be amazed. My body was very thin even though I ate so much and everybody was very puzzled. O Lalu [Lalita], that rajavallabha batika [a pill for increasing the appetite] you used to make, with the help of [such medicine] I increased my appetite for a long time. At that time in the hot season Kashi Babu and his family lived in the gardens. I often walked from Pak Para [a district in Calcutta Paik Para Road?] as far the college at Patal Danga.
130. There was [then] a great commotion over cholera, but even so I was not averse to coming and going. From 1854 [onwards] I made acquaintance with my blood relations [by studying genealogy]. Kali Prasanna Dada helped me by giving me an old book [on the subject]. Kaka Bhola Natha Babu began to make money at that time and he helped by giving money to me for my tuition. I went boldly from the Hindu School to take the entrance examinations [to university?], the examinations being held in the town hall. On the first day my fever came on me in the town hall. Therefore, I was not able to take the examination.
131. Seeing that school [did not provide a proper] opportunity to study I began to acquire knowledge in another fashion. Everyday I would go to Metcalf Hall and read books. At that time Sriyukta Abhaya Kada was the secretary there and Pyari Charan Mitra Takhakar was the librarian. I gave lectures at many sabhas. I had learned discussions with Padre Dal and George Thompson. Thompson Saheb instructed me on how to become a good speaker.
132. He said that while he was going from the village [he resided in] to the parliament he would stand in the open fields and imagining the plants to be the members of parliament he would freely speak to them. Because of practicing in this fashion he became such a sweet speaker that everyone would be pleased upon hearing him. On the day that he told us that story Nabagopal Mitra and Keshava Sen were present. Keshava said that by talking to simple little children [as had Thompson?] I would begin to speak in that fashion [?].
133. By the end of 1856 I had written the first part of Poriyade. Gangacharan Sen Mahasaya read it and liked it very much. On his advice, I subsequently published the book in two parts. After reading the work, the Reverend Duff said that I had done very well. He said, "Write in the same fashion in English about the cruelty of the Zamindars." I realized that this was not a good idea. At that time I read all of Milton with the help of Reverend Duff. Near the Krishna Bandor [Street?] church lived a missionary named Grub Saheb. In the evenings Raju Basu of Ula used to come to his house and read Edison. I also went with him and read Edison. Day and night I would read the books of Carlisle, Haslett, Jeffrey, Macaulay and others. I composed short poems and they were printed in the Library Gazette. I was known as Mr. ABC.
134. One day, having invited me through Dal Saheb, Mrs. Locke looked over my poetry and read it. After chatting with me [for some time] she praised my poetry and accepted my book of poetry, which I dedicated in her name.
135. Before the entrance examinations I went to Ula with Raju Basu. After spending the night eating in the Mitras' house we set off in a boat during a great storm. There was much fear on the Ganges in the dark night. The next day, by the mercy of God, we reached the ghat at Ula without mishap. In the late evening in the month of Asvin the light of the moon was very splendid there. Prior to that evening I had received no news of Ula. From the time of Ashat in that year in the village of Ula there was a fearful epidemic. In the month of Bhadra the family of Mahesh Dada being ill had come to Calcutta, but had not said anything to me. In the month of Bhadra in a terrible fever my sister Hemalata gave up her life, but I had received no news of her. My wife was ill so she was sent to Ranaghat. What could I do in the night but think I should go to the house? Raju said, "Go, I will give you a man to accompany you to your house."
136. Upon disembarking I saw some people who were laughing and joking being mad with the happiness which comes from hopelessness. The village was empty. As they were under the influence of ganja they perceived no suffering. I questioned them but they gave no answers. Raju and I were amazed by the sight of them. Departing from the boat, we went to the house of Madhusudan. When we looked through the door we saw Madhusudan Basu sitting on a low wooden seat. I paid respects to him and he addressed me, saying, "O Kedar, stay here for the day; in the morning you go to your house." What was I to make of this? I said to myself, "I will go to the house this very day." I heard directly from him that an epidemic had killed many people in the village and some people of our house had died. I went there quickly, taking a man skilled in stick fighting.
137. While on the way this man described the horrible state of the village. He said, "Mahesh Babu became ill and went to Calcutta", [but?] he did not say what had happened. The main door [of the family residence] was open. I called and called many times, when from the deity house Sital Teoyari spoke, saying, "Babu, go inside the house." I felt very sick. I was unable to stand up. I went to the pooja house and calling repeatedly, until Sej Didi came. She opened the door and brought me into our room. She was crying and crying and said that Hemalata was no more. Your mother was very sick. Upon entering my mother's room I discovered that mother had been delirious with fever for the past ten to twelve days, but on this day she was a little better.
138. Seeing me, mother and grandmother began to cry. In sorrow I said, "Today we will leave Ula." During the night I did not eat or drink and I slept only a little. When I rose in the morning, I considered what to do. I heard that all the maids had died. Only one servant remained to bring water. In the morning I went to see Sayaram Mama and Dasu Mama and others at their house. Dasu Mama said, "Go to Calcutta. I will give you a man and a boat etc." Sayaram Mama was taking quinine. I brought two or three packets of medicine and from that day I began to take it.
139. I came to the old house calling to Haru Mama and Parasurama Mama. Because they wanted to come [with me] they began to sell some of their things. Jagat Bhattacarya Mahasaya brought a boat and set out with us on the journey on the third day. The day before we set out I went to many places in Ulagram. In a great number of homes there were no people [left alive]. At some homes there was [heard] the cry of pain of those who were sick. At some homes there were bodies lying around. At other homes there was little life. Others were making preparations to leave Ula. Many had already left. It was the time of Durga pooja but there was no happiness [anywhere].
140. Where thousands of people would sit together and take prasada, nobody could be seen. Though there were eighty to a hundred places of the image of Durga there was only five or six poojas [being performed]. Everybody said that at the house of the Brahmacari, Kailas Brahmacari had caused the disease. He then released a goat for the purpose of removing the cause of the disease. As far as that goat ran, that far the cholera subsided. The simple and crazy people of Ula concocted this story and they all began to believe it. It was also reported that two people came to Ula to practice medicine, but after two or three days they also had fallen in the grip of death. The fever was fearful. Whoever got the fever died within four or five hours. I heard that during the months of Asat and Sravan the fever was not very bad, but in the month of Bhadra it was fearful.
141. Taking the boat and arriving [at last] at the ghat at Ranaghat I received news of my wife. I heard that my wife's disease had changed for the better. Merely getting this news we continued to Calcutta. Upon arriving in Calcutta mother stayed at the house of Kalikrishna Kaka with my paternal grandmother. My mother was taken to the house of my aunt, who would care for her. She made a lot of effort and [took] medicine, and she [mother] gradually became well there. Grandmother became sick while on the boat. Through the efforts and love of Kali Kaka she gradually became well but later a stomach ailment and fever returned. At that time I was seventeen years old. I suffered terrible hardships. There was no money. There was no one to converse with. Everybody thought that my mother had almost a lakh of Rupees.
142. I said that we had only very little but no one believed us. At this time I studied on my own for the entrance examinations. Grandmother lived in one place, and mother in another place; there was no money and all the time I was overwhelmed.
143. Seeing sickness all around I was not able to study. I thought, "A man can not study amidst such difficulties". At this time, thrice in succession, I had fevers. The last time Kaliprasanna Dada brought me quinine which I took and became well. I went to take the examination but the fever again prevented me. I saw no hope. My mind became apathetic. The house was empty, there was no money, and I had no strength. Where were my family, where my illness, the impossibility of study, darkness in all directions. Grandfather and grandmother were both from famous families; knowing this fact I suffered. Solely to console my suffering I would sit and talk with friends my own age. Everybody thought that I was the son of a very rich person and that I had no financial needs. I was dying of pain in the heart. I did not speak much to anyone. I would attend meetings: I listened and spoke freely from my heart [as diversion?].
144. Nobody could understand the feelings in my heart. I ate at the house of Kasi Babu but had discussions on books at the houses of friends. Frequently in the evenings I visited the home of Sriyukta Debendranath Thakur, which was called Jora Shanko [the Tagore's family mansion] . The honourable Dvijendranath Thakur was the older brother of my friend Sriyukta Satyendranath Thakura and my older brother as well. If ever among men there was a close friend then baro dada was that close friend. He was charitable, of good character, had a pure love, and was honest, and my heart was enlivened by him. Upon seeing him all my troubles would go away.
145. I would sit by him and discuss many Sanskrit books. I had much affection for Satyendranath, but I was always overwhelmed by the great qualities of Dvijendranath Babu. He was without attachment for worldly things, and when I was with him I was happy and gave up thoughts of material things. Therefore, staying with him was all good for me, but staying with others was not so good. At that time I read many books on the science of God, which was the particular science that effected the removal of anxiety from my heart. When I discussed things with Dvijendranath there was help of Kant, Goethe, Hegel, Swedenborg, Schopenhauer, Hume, Voltaire, and Cousin.
146. Having discussed the books of many writers I concluded in my mind that dravya [substance] has no [real] existence. Guna [quality] alone exists. Dravya is but the sum total of the gunas. The gunas [actually] exist but there is no proof for the necessity of [there being a] gunadhara [upholder of gunas]. Dvijendranath heard my conclusions in the matter of philosophy and considered them and said, "O brother Kedar, your thinking is very deep. I am not able to defeat you."
147. Dvijendranath was a person who was a reservoir of intellect. In knowledge of the padarthas he was one without a second. Hearing his words my mental strength doubled. I was a guest speaker on philosophy at some learned societies. Tarkanath Palit was a classmate and good friend of mine and at that time he had not yet gone to England. He liked very much my presentation and proposed to me that I speak to the British Indian Society. In that assembly the Englishmen said that my presentation was deep. Dal Saheb asked, "What will be the benefit to mankind from acquiring knowledge of this sort?" At one other meeting of this sabha, having written in the form of a play in English "The twenty five stories of the Vetala" [Vetala panch vimsati] I recited it. On that day there was a great debate. And from that day my friends of my own age considered me a logician and began to tell everybody.
148. I studied the books and lectures of the Brahma Samaj. Belief in one God was good and for many days I had confidence [in them]. But at no time did I have any taste for the form of understanding of the Brahmos and the type of worship [they performed]. There were many discussions with Dal Saheb on the topic of theology. On his advice I was reading the Bible and various other Christian books. Canning Saheb had many books and I studied all [he had] on logic with the missionary associate of Rama Mohan Roy. In those days I was interested in books about religion and I went so far as to read Sale's Koran . I made a thorough study of all the books of Theodore [?] Parker and Newman. Previously I had read only books on philosophy but now I liked to read books on religion. Somehow, in this fashion, I developed a deep faith in Jesus Christ. Whatever I read I did not fail to discuss with Dvijendranath.
149. The Sepoy Mutiny occurred at this time. Every evening I read the newspaper in Dvijendranath's parlour. I was able to ascertain all the news before it was published in discussions with Banesvara Vidyalankar, the then editor of the Tattva Bodhini, and with others. In the house of Kasi Babu many discussions took place. At that time I had a desire to see other countries. I went to Burdwan with Banesvara Vidyalankar and a few other pandits. There I stayed happily for a few days in the hospitality of the Maharaj Mahatap Chandra. In those days Burdwan was an excellent place. Respectable people who became ill in Calcutta went there to regain their health.
150. This was the time of Dola Yatra. I went to see the court of the king and I gave a complimentary copy of my Poriyade to the king and he read some of it and liked it. Returning from Burdwan I saw that my maternal grandmother was bedridden in the house of Kali Kaka with grihinipira [?]. I was thinking many things, [such as] "I will study, I will make money, I will print books, I will lecture in many places. I will get somewhere where mother and grandmother and my wife can all live together." But there was no money. No help. Everyone was a calculating outsider. No one made even a little effort to help.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:18:04 +0530
151. My maternal grandmother was very ill. Kali Kaka made a special effort [to help her]. Kaka Bholanatha Babu sometimes made efforts to help. At this time many small things [happened]. One day a friend of mine, Biresvar Basu, suggested to me, "Let's go on a tour to Chuchara, Hugli and other places. Thereafter, Mahendra Mitra, Biresvar, Nabagopal and myself I went by rail to Pharasadanga and Hugli. My expenses were shared by them and we returned after three days. Their association was not very good. Upon returning I was put to shame. I was thinking to enjoy going on an excursion, but what was the condition of my grandmother that I did not know.
152. Upon returning to the house of Kali Kaka in the afternoon, I saw mother and Mej Didi calling me in the doorway. They said, "You immediately go to the ghat on the Ganga. Your Kali Kaka took your grandmother there." I had only one piece of cloth on but I went swiftly to Nimatal Ghat. There I saw my grandmother, and Kali Kaka was performing antarjali [final ablutions]. When she died, it took to almost 11 o'clock at night to finish the funeral rites. Afterwards, I took a bath, and returning to the house of Kali Kaka, I went to sleep. Indeed, there was sorrow on the death of my grandmother, but she was the daughter and wife of rich men. The only thing was that her final suffering was unbearable. Thus there was much benefit for her in her dying.
153. While I was living in Ula she was very good to me. I read Kali Kaivalyadayini and other books with her. Whenever new books were for sale [at the book shop] I would go there, buy them, and give them to her. She knew how to cook the best [of all others]. You could not find a women as frugal as she and would pay such painstaking attention to details. She would make various kinds of dishes and sweets. What she knew no others knew. She would prepare Chosir Payas, Amer Morabba etc. and others would not be able to. I would help her in all kinds of ways.
154. And she showed me affection. When I was a young boy I used to do foolish things. She had a very heavy pillow. She would leave this pillow [alone] at any time. At the house in Ula she often told Didi [an aunt] that inside her pillow were some gold Mohar coins. I was curious to see that pillow so once, when she went to the bathroom, I opened the inside of the pillow and took out a cloth bag, though I did not open it but replaced it in the pillow. She [somehow] could tell [that I had looked] but she was unaffected towards me. When she died I was not present and whatever was there she could not give to me. Kali Kaka said she had given her books to him [for me]. I was not upset by all of this, but went along with the request. The day after her death I went to the house of Kasi Babu. The doorkeeper, Itarup Simha, said, "You lit the funeral fire at your grandmother's head; you may not enter this house for three days." Being very young my feelings were badly injured. As I was hurt, I went and stayed at the house of Kali Kaka. The small cost of grandmother's Sraddha was met by uncle Bholanath Babu.
155. A few days after the Sraddha I thought, "I will rent a house and I will live there and bring my wife there." My wife was then at Dumdum in the house of Matul Gokulachandra Simha. A few months before, Mama Gokul and Siromani Mitra had taken me to Dumdum. I went there from the garden house of Kasi Babu. At that time my wife was almost twelve years old. Making repeated requests to me she begged me to ask mother to take her to Calcutta. I said, "I will bring you to Calcutta as soon as I get a job."
156. Among the employment I received were two private tutorships, and I made 12 Rupees a month. After a few months I took a position as a 2nd [grade] teacher at the Hindu Charitable Institution School for a wage of 15 Rupees. Then I said to my mother, "Let's go and rent a house." All this occurred in 1857 [during my nineteenth year]. At that time the [Sepoy] Mutiny was at its height.
157. In the Sunri district [the quarter inhabited by liquor dealers], very near his house, Charanmitra arranged to rent house number eight for 8 Rupees [per month?] from Vinod Sahar on my behalf. I brought my mother and all my things from Kali Kaka's house to the [new] house. Kali Kaka kept in touch from time to time. Buying one cot, two canopy beds, one table, two chairs, and one clothes rack I furnished the house. I also got a western servant and one maid. I got 15 to 20 Rupees plus whatever from the sale of Poriyade which we lived on. From time to time I would stay at the house of Kasi Babu. My friends Biju and Umacharan sometimes would come and visit me. I was writing English poetry then.
158. At that time Sayaram Mama from Ula and his family rented a house in the Sunri district. I would go and visit them. At that time Harighosa came down with cholera and doctor Hanigbenj performed an inoculation thereby curing him. I lived at the house in Sunri district for a few months and I brought my wife there. Again my income was deficient and I was unable to maintain my family. I thus moved my wife and mother to the house of Kali Kaka. Renting the house in the Sunri neighbourhood resulted in back rent of Rupees 60 to 70 [being unpaid] and mother sold a gold necklace in order to pay it off. At this time I printed the second volume of Poriyade.
159. At the time I lived in the house at Sunri I would frequently go to the house of Mrs. Locke, the poetess. She was an elderly woman. When she read my poetry, she was pleased and showed me a lot of affection. At the home of this lady I met with Jnanendra Mohan Thakur Babu. Mrs. Locke was a spiritualist and she showed me many 'spiritual' manifestations. She would have spirits come and dance on her table. She could see the spirits but I could only hear the sound of their dancing. Gradually I got into great financial difficulty. I could not secure a job. Employment was lacking, compared to the number in need of work. I began to ingratiate myself to a mucchddina of a particular merchant's house. He, considering the respectability of my family, sent me to purchase sugar etc. at the market in order to teach me the duties of chief accountant. [Once] when I bought a large quantity of sugar I obtained an [extra] sack of sugar. I noticed this and considered it irreligious to cheat the merchants. I therefore informed the merchant and he told me, "It would be good for you to become a teacher. Business will not be good for you."
160. I was thinking how to get a job, and at this time, from Chotimangalpur, Dada Mahasaya [my paternal grandfather, Rajavallabha] sent Lalu Chakravarti and Keval Das. Dada Mahasaya wrote to me, saying, "I will not live many more days. I desire to see you directly. If you come quickly then I will see you, otherwise I will not be able to."
161. In Calcutta there were no apartments. I was not able to live with a deficiency of money. Employment was not easy [to get] and whatever there was it was rooted in irreligion so I could not do it. Considering all this I consulted with my mother and wife and decided to go to Orissa with Keval Rama Das. The year was 1858 when I set out for Orissa. We stored the cot, the table etc. and numerous other articles at the house of Kali Kaka. In the month of Vaisakha we departed.
162. Taking a boat we went to Ulaber. On the way, seeing the huge waves, mother began to cry. I was also afraid. We arrived in Ulaber in the afternoon. We were unable to rent [even] a bullock cart there, and thus we went and sought the help of the police inspector of that place, Annada Prasad Ghosa. As if to introduce his nature this police subinspector gave a pointless order. In spite of that we were still not able to rent a cart. From Ulaber we set out on foot for Pansakura. Mother was the daughter of a very rich man and so she was not able to to travel easily. My wife was just a girl of 13 years. Our progress was extremely slow.
163. Arriving at the Ghat of Pansakura, we rented two carts and started for Yajpur. At Medinipur we met Baro Mami. Some time after Subarnarekha we saw the river which divides Bangladesh and Orissa. On one bank the colour was like a red pot and the language was Bengali, on the other bank the color was like a black pot and the language was Oriya. Gradually we passed Balesvar and Bhadrak and came to Yajpur. Kevalram and Lalchand used to occasionally fight with each other. Sometimes, after being shaved at the barber's shop, during their massage, they would wrestle and I would watch with great curiosity. Having staying in Yajpur for two or three days we left.
164. We stayed in one guest room in the garden house of a Panda [a tourist guide]. From there news [of our arrival] went to Chotigram. Dada Mahasaya sent two palanquins along with bearers. We stayed two nights in Yajpur performing pilgrimage activities. Thereafter, in the morning, we set out for Chotigram. Dada Mahasaya cried tears of love when he saw us. He had many cows, and they all had names, such as Ghumuri, Kahri etc. Bida, a milkman, would come and do the milking and his mother would boil the milk and make yogurt and ghee.
165. Dada Mahasaya would eat nothing at all during the day. Then at night, after two prahars [midnight], he would eat kachoris that he cooked himself. His kachoris contained so many chillis that I was not able to eat them. He would mix together 4 or 5 seers of milk with date sugar. He used to eat that. Dada Mahasaya wore crimson cloth like a sannyasi. During the day he only did japa. He kept many animals: pigeons, peacocks, swans etc. and he used to employ one or two boys to feed them. In the evenings many elderly Kali worshipers etc. who were ganja smokers came to smoke ganja. Dada Mahasaya did not smoke ganja. He only ever smoked tobacco. For his age he had considerable strength. Quickly pulling cobra snakes out of their holes, he would kill them on his wooden shoes. He had a good appetite and plenty of strength. He was never sick. Because he was a kali siddha he was able to talk about everything. He had made my horoscope. He told me, "You will secure a very good job at age 26 or 27."
166. In Chotigram we had 6 or 7 big residences and many smaller places, and in the middle were the temples of Radha Madhava and Jagannatha. Behind the house was the pond called Oyas. On all sides [of the estate] there was a fence made of sharp bamboo. There was no difficulty in eating [in Chotigram]. There the local king was Raj Ala. He lived with mush pomp and splendor. I had one bearer named Bhavani, but after working [for me] for [only] 4 or 5 months he left [and on that account] I took a small fine out of his wages. Ananda Raya, our minor partner [?], was a swine of a man. He counseled the bearer and filed a complaint in the king's lawcourt. The bearer was not seen for two or three days, after which he returned to me bringing an armed policeman like a Yamaduta. I realised that in the villages the decline of the kings was great.
167. I brought the chief police officer from Phunri, and I paid the bearer's wages in front of him upon which the king's policeman departed. After this incident I thought it good to stay in the main town three krosas [six miles] away from Chotigram, therefore I went to Kendrapur and spoke with Munseph Sivaprasada Simha. The merciful Isvara Candra Vidyasagara Mahasaya wrote a letter to Sivaprasada Simha about me [recommending me] and sent another letter addressed to Doctor Roer Saheb with me. Sivaprasada made some effort and established an English school in the district of Kendra and employed me as a teacher. At this time Judge Jelor and Commissioner Shore came there and I gave them a copy of my Poriyade and talked with them. Judge Saheb encouraged me to make progress in the school.
168. At the end of the rainy season Doctor Roer, Inspector of Schools South West Bengal, came there and I showed him the letter Vidyasagar Mahasaya wrote and I spoke with him. I visited his boat frequently, staying late into the night, and we discussed many things. He said, "The teachers' examination will be held in Puri; you go there and take the exam, I will help you." Considering that I would go to Puri in the month of May, I began to make plans. I had my residence in a shop in the Kendra district. On Saturdays I would walk to Choti and on Monday I would return to work on foot.
169. In the meantime I got the news that Dada Mahasaya was ill. Coming from Radhasyam Narendra of Kendrapara I went to Chotigram and took cinnabar [red dye from mercury oxide] and Patol leaves. I did not observe any particular illness [to be afflicting] Dada Mahasaya. He said, "Do not leave here for one or two days; my life is coming to an end." I remained just as he asked. On the morning of the third day he asked for some food for us. He had a very slight fever. Sitting up in bed in the courtyard he lay down and began to smoke tobacco. Durgaprasada Chakravarti, Kebal Ram Chakravarti, Lalchanda Chakravarti and 10 to 15 others surrounded him. Having eaten, I came [back to him]. Rising, Dada Mahasaya sat leaning against a bolster and began to smoke a lot of tobacco and perform Nama Japa.
170. The people of the Chakravarti family began to search for tulasi or belgach leaves, but he stopped them. Calling to me he said, "After my death, do not remain many days in this place. Whatever work you do at 27 years of age will be your main occupation. You will become a great Vaishnava. I give you my blessings." Immediately after saying this his life left him, bursting out of his brahmatalu [brahma-randhra]. One rarely witnesses such an amazing death. After completing his funeral rites according to the law I performed the first sraddha in the first month. We had many Khanejad servants. In that region they are known as sagar-pesha. Whenever one of us would die, they would carry [the body] on their shoulders, perform the cremation, and thus they would take the impurity [upon themselves]. Having done the shaving on the sraddha shaving day, they would put on new cloth and eat. In this fashion the [funeral] rites for my paternal grandfather were concluded.
171. Chakravarti Mahasaya was our family priest and it was he who completed the worship. In Orissa these things cost very little. Almost a thousand Brahmanas and Kayasthas came to the feast. Hurum, curd, date gour and chillis were served. All this cost very little. At this time Mahendra Mama had a job in Mursidabad. He sent fifty Rupees and I had some savings from my job in Choti. In this way the small expense was covered and everything was done.
172. Also at this time the following matter was settled. At Jagganathapura and other places in Mursidabad there were some properties - my grandfather's wife, Rani Radharani, had the mortgage. I settled with her [?] and received 800 Rupees, which I gave to Kashi Babu as savings.
173. In the month of May, Deravisha Babu, Ram Babu, Kurupa Bhandari and I took a trip to Cuttack [on the way to] Puri. From the residence of Dinu Babu in Cuttack, I took my relation, Saday, and went to Puri, where we stayed at the house of Kali Chauduri. There I met with Doctor Roer. While in Puri, I talked with many respectable gentlemen and stayed there happily for about a month. Muktesvar Babu and Yadu Babu and many others took care of us. Braja Babu was clerk to Roer Saheb. I got all the news [about the examinations] from him. The examination was held in the circuit house and I passed it. I write the certificate which I received below:
174. Certificate of Qualification for Teachers It is hereby certified that Babu Kedar Nath Dutt appeared before the Committee appointed for the Examination of candidates for employment and promotion in the Education Department at Poori in May 1859 and that he acquitted himself in such a manner as to be entitled under the Rules, to this certificate of the High Fourth Grade, rendering him eligible to any Situation of which the Salary does not exceed Rupees forty. Cuttack Sd. E.Roer Inspector of Schools, South West Bengal. The 30th of May 1859
175. Having taken the examination I returned on foot from Puri to Cuttack at the time of the Chandan Festival at Puri. There was happiness [we derived happiness?] from [consuming] lots of Prasadam. On the day of the festival, in the afternoon, we departed, and went 3 kroshas by mid-evening and stayed the night in a salt warehouse at Janakadepur. Very early the next day we set out and arrived in Bhuvaneswar that night. On the way we ate only chatu and torani mahaprasada. The sun was exceedingly hot. Sakshi Kurupa, Baburam and Saday were unable to proceed with ease. I assisted them, and on that day we traveled 17 kroshas [34 miles]. At nine o'clock at night we were in the jungle and were very afraid of tigers, but we finally arrived at a temple and stayed at the house of the panda [a tourist guide]. There, in the night, we took prasada and cool water and slept free of all troubles. Having looked around [the place] we left in the morning and arrived in the city by mid-afternoon. Saday remained there. We four men went to Chotigram as before. My mother and my wife were happy to receive me.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:20:10 +0530
176. In the light of the result of the examination I began to work as before, [but] hopeful of getting some governmental employment. By the first of September I got a position as a sixth grade teacher with a salary of 20 Rupees [per month] in Cuttack. I immediately went to Cuttack and joined the school. The headmaster was Yadu Nath Mukhopadhyay and he was very pleased to accept me. I brought my mother and wife to a residence in the Sahebjada Bazar. The eating was good in Cuttack. With a servant and a maid and a rented house for [just] 2 Rupees [per month], I was able to eat the best quality rice in the morning and all the luchi one could desire in the afternoon.
177. At that time the Munseph of Cuttack was Mahescandra Raya, a very good man from Santipur. He was a Brahmo among Brahmos [members of the Brahma Samaj]. His brother, Girish Babu, was the jailer and a very staunch Hindu. The chief sub-judicial officer was Tarakanta Vidyasagar. We used to have a lot of fun with him. Having become a prominent man in Calcutta he used to feed us [when we visited him]. On the day of Sarasvati Pooja he gave pens away as gifts. His associating with Yadu Babu was like [mixing] ginger and ripe banana.
178. At the time of living in Cuttack, I was eating less and my body became a little thinner. Mother was stricken with epilepsy. Many were the nights I would stay up with her. Among the teachers in Cuttack there was one Sunri [a low caste wine-merchant]. There was much joking about him.
179. At the time of living in Cuttack I used to talk with Sriyukta Healy Saheb. He was the Assistant Magistrate and School Secretary. In the Cuttack school district there was an assembly where, since 1859, ten policies had been enacted that were still under debate [by the teachers]. Hearing my speech [on these matters] Healy Saheb developed a special confidence in me. I stayed in his company for two months studying Ellison's 'Europe' and he had said that there was much extraordinary power in me. Gradually he developed a specific affection for me. I read many books on philosophy from the Cuttack school library. Upon receiving the position of Headmaster of the Bhadra School I left the Cuttack school on March 16th 1860.
180. When I arrived in Bhadra I got a house in the bazar. The bazar was on one bank of the river Salindi and the school was on the other bank. Because my place of work was far away and I daily had to travel back and forth I had to pay for a bearer and palanquin at six Rupees per month. In Bhadra I received 45 Rupees per month [540 Rupees per annum].
181. While in Bhadra I had a new house built and we lived there. At that time Sarjan Chandra Nath Visvas was the sub-assistant [?] for that place, Yadu Babu the Post Master and Bindu Babu the Zamindar. Now and then we all used to sit together in the evening [and talk]. We would have a lot of fun. The food was not bad. But my mother's epilepsy was gradually becoming worse.
182. Deputy Dear was a very good friend of ours. An Orissan brahmana came to Bhadra to recite the Ramayana. When he heard about my mother's illness he made a preparation of sandal and oil with conch powder and gave it to her. Due to him mother became healthy and beautiful. I paid the doctor and made him very happy. While living in Bhadra I wrote a book entitled 'Maths of Orissa'. In that same year, during the month of August, that is to say, the 8th of Bhadra 1267, my first son, Annada was born. Also in that year, a letter dated the 18th of December arrived appointing me to the school in Midnapur. We were very happy and began to make arrangements to arrive in Midnapur by the first of January.
183. While living in Bhadra I received a letter form Rivett Carnac as follows: "The fifth master can make whatever arrangements are most convenient to him for the transport of his family and goods but as his presence is immediately required at Midnapur he must join [us] without delay." Sd. Rivett Carnac. Secretary L.C.P.I. 5th Feb. 1861
184. At that time Midnapur was very conducive to one's health. At the request of Mahendra Mama, one employee, a Mahishadal named Haramohan Sen, reserved a rented house for me. Upon arriving there we met with Raj Narayan Babu. In accordance with his advice I rented a house in Karnelaganga and moved there within a short time. At that time the community of Midnapur was turbulent. Some folk were followers of Raj Narayan Vasu Babu, and thus they were Brahmos. Some folk were rigid Hindus and other folk were drunkards; others were without any dharma or karma. In every group there were two to four prominent leaders. Even though I worked closely with Raj Narayan Babu I was in the Hindu group. I spoke with the Matalas but did not associate with them. Gradually some people became my followers. They were generally young and learned or seeking learning.
185. In those days my thoughts on religion were to the effect that dry knowledge was best, and that the religion of the Brahmos was not good. I thought the brotherly philosophy taught by Jesus Christ was excellent. The taste [derived from such worship] was [due to the Christian] devotion [to Jesus]. I read all the books written by Theodore Parker and others, and books on Unitarianism I got from Calcutta. Because of [these books] my mind was attracted toward the devotion of Jesus. From the time of my childhood I had faith in bhakti. During the time I was in Ulagram hearing Hari Kirtan produced bliss [in me].
186. One day, one of my grandfather's servants chastised some Jati Vaisnavas [hereditary Vaisnavas] for the offense of fishing. They said that Vaisnavas' killing living entities was wicked. I heard this conversation and concluded that it was not proper for Vaisnavas to kill living beings. The Saktas perform sacrifices and kill animals and then eat the meat. Vaisnavas are [not really of] the material world. Moreover, I recall a Vaishnava named Jaga[?], who came to our house dancing and performing Nama Kirtan, and from whose eyes poured torrents of tears, and all these incidents created great faith [in Bhakti in me]. When I was ill the Kartabhaja made me healthy, and I realised the strength of the Vaishnava religion.
187. There was some substance in the Vaishnava dharma: there was bhakti-rasa and therefore I had faith therein. There were base practices in the Sakta dharma and the Brahmos were bereft of religion and rasa. This kind of understanding gradually took its place in my heart. When I went to Calcutta I would meet with Baro Dada and Satur, hear a little of the Brahmo dharma, read all their books and Tattva Bodhini Patrika, but there was a natural aversion towards the Brahmo dharma in my mind. I would have much deliberation and conversation with Dal Saheb and with other missionaries, and in comparison to the Brahmo dharma the Christian dharma was far superior.
188. Some books where sent to me by Dal Saheb. We discussed each of these books and I developed an attraction for pure bhakti, but I did not put any of it into practice. While I was at the school in Midnapur I thought that I would obtain and read books on Vaishnava dharma. At the Midnapur school there was a Jati Vaishnava pandit. I learned from speaking with him that Chaitanya Prabhu preached the Vaisnava dharma in Bengal. The history and thoughts of Chaitanya [he said] are contained in the book known as Chaitanya Charitamrita. I searched, but could not obtain a copy of the Chaitanya Charitamrita. I had faith that reading that book would produce happiness in my mind, but at the time Vaishnava books were not in print.
189. My grandmother became ill. Doctor Navagopal Ghoshal Babu cured her with much endeavour. In Midnapur there was a literary society [sahitya sabha]. Raja Narayan Basu, who was the speaker in the assembly, said, "O Kedar, a wage of thirty Rupees for a 5th grade teachership is unsuitable for you. You make some effort and you will get a better occupation." Gradually I got many followers and students. Seeing this, there was a little envy on the part of the Brahmos. The Brahmos had a school, and a pandit there endeavoured to make Raj Narayan Babu and me enemies. I lived with caution, taking care to surround myself with friends. I had a friend who was in the same group as me named Thomas who was an Anglo-Indian. He and I wrote for the newspaper, 'Phoenix'. Brajbhaduri and Jadunath Shil were two good friends of mine. There was always agreement in the field of literature between them and me. Braj Babu held many feasts.
190. In the month of Jyaistha my wife became ill and gave up her body. At that time Annada was ten months old and my mother began to raise him. When my wife was ill all my friends helped tremendously. I [personally] had a swelling of my lungs. I endured this grief like a warrior according to the 'Psalm of Life'. I had prayed, revealing these matters in my mind to God. Yet, even then the doctrine of formlessness had a place in my mind. But there was also the conviction that God had a distinct form. Formlessness and essential form -- how these two might both be true, that I did not understand.
191. After my period of impurity ended marriage negotiations began anew. A man named Nilambar Nag was a colleague of mine. His house was in Yakshpur or Yakpur, two krosas from Midnapur on the far bank of the Kamsa. He initiated marriage negotiations with your mother. Your maternal grandfather, Pitambar Babu, came to see me along with my elder maternal aunt and brought your mother to see my mother. Mother approved of the girl and consented to the marriage. Concerning this marriage matter, uncle Bholanath Babu in Calcutta wrote to Kasi Babu and Kasi Babu expressed his opinion. Uncle Kasi did not approve.
192. In spite of this there is no stopping the will of God in any circumstance. The marriage went ahead. The marriage was celebrated in the month of Sravan. In those days I was unable to pay the expenses, and because of this the second marriage was completed simply by the performance of some 'namo namos', like the Rishi Shraddha. Raya Mahasaya's family in Yakpur was wealthy and respectable. The grandchildren of their house were worthy of respect. Therefore, in Hindu society, the marriage was not blameworthy. But some English intellectuals said that it was not proper to remarry within only two months of the death of the first wife. Rajnarayan Babu said that if a marriage is performed in Jakpur there is [bound to be] a good deal of gossip.
193. During the Durga festival that year I kept my wife in Midnapur and went to Calcutta, and stayed at the house of Kasi Babu. At that time Bidhan street [College St.] was new. Seeing that neighbourhood altogether changed and having known the way it had been, I was pained as I traveled about.
194. Mahendra Nath Mitra, who was a brother to me, said that in Burdwan the chief Amin [tax collector] wanted a chief clerk who knew English. The pay was small but the miran [?] was nearly two hundred Rupees for the taking. "You will have to translate his English judgement into Bengali. If you wish, then you can get this position", he said.
195. Agreeing to this, and taking a letter from Mahendra Bhai, I went to Burdwan with Mahendra Mama. There I took meals etc. in the house of Janaki Mitra, the office superintendant of the chief tax collector, and I had a meeting with the saheb. Wright Saheb decided to give the job to me. I returned to Calcutta and from thence to Midnapur. After being in Midnapur for seven days I received a letter from Wright Saheb. Before resigning my post in the Education Department I was given a letter of recommendation by Doctor Roer, [which read] as follows:
196. "Babu Kedar Nath Dutt, a fifth-grade master of the English School at Midnapur, has been in the Educational Department for nearly two years. He was first employed in the English school at Cuttack and afterwards promoted to the Headmastership of the Anglo Vernacular School at Bhuddrack. He is a good teacher and has given me great satisfaction by the faithful discharge of his duties. Babu Kedar Nath Dutt has studied much for himself and has a taste for literature in general. He has not yet passed an examination for Senior Teachership, yet I have a high opinion of his talents and hope that he will fulfill the expectation I have of his distinguishing himself in the career he has chosen." Sd. E. Roer The 18th March 1861 Inspector of Schools South West Bengal
197. Having taking leave to depart, I went from Midnapur to Burdwan and took up the new job. My mother and wife stayed in Midnapur. After leaving the job in Midnapur and going to Burdwan, I wrote a letter to Rajnarayan Babu explaining that the whole matter was settled. I never returned to Midnapur. I sent a man to convey my mother and wife to Calcutta. Uncle Bholanath Babu assisted them and they stayed at a house in Patharighat in Calcutta. Then my wife fell ill with cholera so my uncle sent a telegram to me in Burdwan. I came and saw that my uncle was giving extensive medical treatment [to her]. My wife became well and on the advice of Doctor Umacharan of Radhanagar I moved everyone to the house [in Burdwan].
198. I was not happy in my position as a Nazir. The duties involved taking one assistant Nazir and 40 or 50 foot-soldiers. Warrants were issued. The foot-soldiers were the worst class of men. All the time there was fighting [among them]. I received a quarter of the money that was paid due to the threat from the soldiers as black money. I received 200 Rupees per month by cheating [taking black money], even though the salary was much less than that, and there was no pension. As long as I remained a Nazir I was doing work unfit for a human being. Wright Saheb was pleased [with me and] gave the following Certificate to me [when I resigned]:
199. Burdwan, 27th June 1863. Babu Kedar Nath Dutt served me as Nazir for 14 months, and I have much pleasure in certifying to his more than ordinary abilities and high character. He left me to my great regret for a better appointment in the collectorate, where I wish him every success. Wright Sudder Amean of Burdwan
200. I did not take pleasure in the duties of a tax collector. At that time the cheating of the Nazir came to the attention of the higher officers. Talk began to the effect that if the salary of the Nazir was increased a little then the government's cheating could be checked. At that time Chandra Shekar Basu was the Head Clerk Collector. Chandra Babu was a childhood friend from Ulagram and I respected him as an older brother. The man was truly first rate. Upon discussing my situation with him, he said, "There is a [vacancy for] a Second Clerk Collector, you apply for it." I had an interview with Collector Hoag Saheb. Hoag Saheb gave me the post of second clerk at a salary of 30 Rupees per month.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:22:35 +0530
201. Now money was in short supply and thus I kept my family at the house of Kali Kaka in Calcutta. I stayed in one small residence, which, after several days, Chandra Babu and I shared. Later I crossed the river Banka and rented a house in the village of Bhacchala and I brought my mother and wife there. With great difficulty I managed to survived. Hoag Saheb allowed me to become a Money Order Agent, so I began to get a little more money. During the time that I was a Collectorate Office clerk I wrote the poem 'Bijangram' and subsequently the poem 'Sannyasi'.
202. During that period I had some thoughts on religion and put them into verse. Thereafter, I presented them to the Vaishnava society in Bhacchala and that poem, 'Sannyasi', was printed. At that time I also wrote a small English work entitled 'Our Wants'. Chandra Babu was in the Brahmo Samaj. My old friend Keshab Sen also came to see the Samaj. Reverend Lalbihari De used to criticise Keshab Sen at that time, saying that he stole from the Bible [?]. At this time I had several philosophy students. They became members of the Brahmo Samaj because of Chandra Babu.
203. Therefore they said to me, "You resolve the two views." One day, pointing out the mutual relationship between Brahmo philosophy and Christian philosophy, I proposed a meeting between the members of both groups, but both sides became extremely angry with me. Padre Stern made one or two hostile speeches about me. I made one or two speeches in reply. I established the Bhratri Samaj. Chandra Babu and other Brahmo men were not pleased about this. Their group split and some of them began to come to my society.
204. Because of the enemy's increase great apprehension arose [in my party?]. A few men in our office, such as Tilochan Simha, were in my party. At this time Rakhaldas Haldar, who had [just] returned from England, became Deputy Collector in Burdwan. Our literary society met at the Burdwan public library and on that account I had disputes with Rakhal Babu. From time to time I would go to Calcutta. Sriyukta Healy Saheb, who was the Superintendent of Stationary, came to Burdwan. When I met with him he said, "I will endeavour to arrange a good position for you."
205. During one session of our Bhratri Samaj I gave a speech entitled 'The Soul'. A report of the speech was published in the newspaper, Public Engagement. When he saw the report Healy Saheb came to hear. He invited me to come to Calcutta to hear a speech in a meeting at the Dalhousie Institute on the subject of the Centralisation of Power. When I went to Calcutta I meet Dal Saheb and proceeded to the meeting in the Dalhousie Institute. After hearing the lecture I stayed at Baro Dada [Dvijendranatha Tagore's] house for the night. Early in the morning I returned to Burdwan without seeing him. Baro Dada wrote a poem in Bengali to me and I gave an answer in poetry. We exchanged a lot of poems and two of them were published in Sannyasi. Where all the others went cannot be determined.
206. I did not have a good job and there was a lack of money. Your mother became pregnant at the first attempt and for her good I sent her to Yakpur. I sent my mother and Annada to the home of Kali Kaka in Calcutta. For my part, I discussed Dharma Shastra and a good deal of philosophy, taught many persons, and wrote a lot. Brother Mahendra Nath Mitra was the Head Clerk of a small court in Chooadangah.
207. He wanted to take the law examination in order to enter the high court, so he took six months leave. George Linton Saheb invited me to take his position. The salary was 140 Rupees [per month]. Half of it had to be given to Mahendra Babu. At the time I was to go and do the job in Chooadangah, Hoag Saheb gave the certificate written below to me:
208. "Babu Kedarnath Dutt has served under me as Second Clerk in the English Collectorate Department for about eighteen months. He is a very intelligent, hard working officer and has discharged his duties to my satisfaction. He leaves his appointment at his own request and I am sorry to lose his services. Burdwan S.J.Hoag Collector"
209. Upon proceeding to Chooadanga I lived in a thatched house constructed by Mahendra Babu. Linton Saheb worked one week in Maherpur and one week in Chooadanga. The legal suits regarding the Indigo Workers were of many types; I spent one and a half years in Chooadanga. Mahendra Babu was on vacation but after a year he resigned the post. I requested Linton Saheb to obtain the position [for me] and he requested the government. During the time that I lived in Chooadanga I bought a piece of land in Ranaghat and built a house thereon. My father-in-law, Madhusudan Mitra Mahasaya, helped me purchase the land. It was very convenient to travel to Ranaghat from Chooadanga. I came on Saturday and returned on Monday.
210. On the 26th of Asvin 1271, Sal , your elder sister was born in Mama's house, in Yakpur. On the 20th of Asvin there was a great storm which resulted in widespread destruction. On the preceding day I left Chooadanga on the occasion of the [Durga] Pooja. I left the key to my thatched house in the custody of a servant and proceeded to Ranaghat. In the morning of the following day the storm began. Before evening time, due to the force of the storm, many trees, shrubs, houses, and doorways were destroyed. Mother and Annada were in Calcutta. I did not receive any news about what happened either to them or in Yakpur. The disaster was very extensive. The railway was in trouble at Chanka, so after three days I went to Calcutta. When I reached Calcutta I saw that mother and Annada were unscathed. After 5 or 6 days I received a letter to the effect that I had a beautiful daughter. During the storm there was a lot of damage done throughout the land. [Upon hearing the news of my daughter's birth] I became free of anxiety to some extent.
211. My house in Ranaghat was completed after the storm. A few months after the storm I attempted to bring my wife and daughter there. First I brought mother and Annada to the house and after continual insistence I brought my wife and daughter. We all lived in one place at last. I came [from my place of work] on Saturday and returned on Sunday.
212. While living in Chooadanga I endeavoured to improve the Chooadanga school and other matters. Towers Saheb gave this certificate to me:
213. "Sir: I have much pleasure in having an opportunity of expressing my opinion on your character and conduct during the period I have known you. You resided nine months at Chooadanga while I had charge of the Sub-division and although not directly subordinate to myself I had many opportunities of becoming acquainted with your position as a member of the School Committee, as in other ways. It gives me great pleasure to be able to bear testimony to the very high respect in which both the Native and European Community regarded you. Your departure from this part of the country will be a real loss to the residents, not only from the active and able part which you took in promoting every scheme for their advantage, but also by the removal from their midst of one who afforded his countrymen a high and rare example of honesty and right-mindedness. I have the honour to be, sir, Your most obedient servant, R. Towers. Asst. Mag. and collector of Chooadanga"
214. While living in Chooadanga I took the law examination in Burdwan. At this time Linton Saheb gave me this certificate:
215. "This is to certify that Babu Kedar Nath Dutt at present Officiating Clerk of the Chooadanga Court of the Small Causes has conducted himself to my entire satisfaction in the discharge of the multifarious duties with which he has been entrusted. I consider him to be a respectable and well educated person and a fit and proper person to appear as a candidate at the ensuing leadership examination and he carries with him my best wishes for his success. Chooadanga June 18th 1864 C.D. Linton."
216. When Mahendra Babu left his position Linton Saheb wrote a letter to the government on my behalf [in order that I might] continue in the post. At this time a small law court was established in Mursidabad and the clerk of that place was appointed to Chooadanga. Therefore, I resigned the position and went to the house in Ranaghat. Linton Saheb wrote a letter to the government on my behalf and the government responded saying that very soon they would give me a good posting.
217. I was acquainted with Healy Saheb. He had a Head Clerkship available, but he considered that the status of clerk was not suitable for me. He made known my situation to Secretary Sriyukta Eden Saheb. Healy Saheb spoke to me with much affection, saying, "You will soon get a good position. You stay in Ranaghat and wait." At this time Linton Saheb also gave a certificate to me.
218. As long as times are bad you can not see anything [but unhappiness]. But when times are good everything is happy in all directions. On the 9th of February I received three letters [of employment]. One was a letter from Linton Saheb. He wrote, saying:
219. "Rasika Babu, the clerk of Maherpur has died, and if you wish you can go to Maherpur and secure that position." The second letter was from Healy Saheb. He wrote, "My dear Babu, I am glad to say that you have been appointed Deputy Registrar at Chapra. If you have not yet got your letter of appointment you had better come down at once for it. Yours sincerely, Wilfred L. Healy."
220. The third letter was from the government. That letter was [about] my job in Chapra. Dated 5th February 1866, [I was given the post of] Special Deputy Registrar of Assurances with powers of a Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector of the 6th grade of the Sub Executive Service salary.
221. I was very happy to receive these letters. I went to meet my supreme benefactor, Healy Saheb, but he had gone to Orissa. When I learnt this I returned. Setting out with Srikanta Mukhopadhyaya and Yogendra Chatopadhyaya and one Western bearer, and with a dog named Tiger I got in Chooadanga, I [finally] arrived in Chapra. I took up residence in a second story apartment near the court house and began my work. The language of the west was Urdu. I [found] a teacher and I began to learn Urdu and Pharsi. Grey Saheb was the Collector then. Taking permission from him I went to Ranaghat and fetched my wife.
222. Everything in Chapra was good, only... I would have to take an examination. For that purpose I began to study law. When I took charge of the office of Registrar I went from time to time to see the villages in the Maphahsval. While going to Simuriya to verify a power of attorney I met Babu Brahma Dev Narayan. Godna was the place of Gautamashrama, ['Gautama Muni's Ashram']. It was there that Ahalya had become stone [when cursed by her husband, Gautama]. Gautamashrama was the place where the Nyaya Sastra [scripture dealing with logic] was born. 'As this is a sacred place, there should be a school of logic here' -- with this thought in mind I organised a meeting and gave a speech on Gautama. As a result of that speech I had a discussion with respectable gentlemen from all over the area. They considered me a friend who wished the best for the locality. At that time no effort was made to collect any money. I heard from the mouth of Bandhubar Raya, Taraprasad Mukhopadhyaya and Bahadur Ukil Mahasaya that there was a school of nyaya in Godna which was supported even by Europeans.
223. At the outset my relations with the English people of Chapra were not good. The Indigo planters, the doctor and the police saheb formed one group and made trouble for me. Even though each of them had separate affairs, nevertheless, everybody's intention towards me was bad. The European Indigo planters were trying to get preferential treatment from the [Registrar's] office over the native Zamindars. In this matter I was no help because [to offer any preference] would have been exceedingly wrong. The doctor saheb had previously been in charge of the Registrar's Office and he used to get a little money [on the side]. He did not get it any more because of me and he thus became hostile.
224. Because I was not able to bear any impropriety on the part of the police the police were unhappy. Be that as it may, Grey Saheb was not able to get a little money [?] and Holiday Saheb came and took over his post. My enemies whispered many bad things about me in the ear of this great soul. At first the feeling between Holiday Saheb and myself was very difficult. But gradually, after a short time, by the grace of God and with the help of Healy Saheb, I caused him to see the truth. And after he made some exertions [on my behalf] all of my enemies became my friends.
225. Everyone in Chapra became my friends. The lawyer, Kesab Babu, always supported my point of view. The Judge Saheb also was favourable towards me. The people of Chapra made many kinds of pickle. A certain type of vinegar pickle was the best. I began to make it. [Their] mustard oil pickle had a pleasant taste and I began to make that also. At that time I ate a lot of fish and meat. I had known that killing animals was bad for a long time, but I had a strong desire to enjoy fish and meat.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:24:24 +0530
226. I ate a lot of fish in Chapra, but it was not very good. Therefore, I ate more goat meat. After the prolonged eating of food of this kind combined with red chillies and mustard seed pickle, I developed a bleeding ulcer. The first [attack] occurred on a full moon day. Gradually I got pains every new moon and full moon day. It took 5 to 7 days from the day the pain started for it to go away. So much suffering! When the pain [started] I automatically suffered from vomiting and diarrhea for 10 to 17 hours. At first I went to the doctor, and a close friend, Manohar Babu, gave me medical treatment. Thereafter, I tried Moslem natural medicine. Finally, Mahendra Mama brought some Ayur Vedic herbs from the jungle and a local Vaidya made a little medicine.
227. But none of these things worked. The first time I went to Bhagalpur to take the examination I was unsuccessful. I was a little anxious because I was not sure if I would be able to take the examination. My health became very bad and I wanted to be transferred to another place. There being no opportunity for a mutual transfer, I traveled to the west [of India] during the pooja season. My office superintendent, Narasimha Prasad, and Kasi Babu, the Collector Head Clerk, a brahmana and one servant [accompanied me] on the trip. After 13 days we returned to Chapra, having traveled to Vrindavan, Mathura, Agra, Prayag, Mrijpur and Kasi. Moreover, while on the train I met Bimal Visvas Mahasaya who promised to send some medicine from Vidyasagara Mahasaya.
228. Even in those days there was no great firmness in Hinduism [Arya Dharma]. My bhakti was mixed with jnana. Therefore, I did not enjoy the happiness experienced by the pure bhakta while I was in Vrindavan. Instead, when I reached Kasi I had a cold from drinking Yamuna water. In Prayag I shaved my head and in Vrindavan I spoke with Raja Radha Kanta.
229. He was pleased to see me. At that time he was reading Garga Samhita. When I saw the temples of Sridham Vrindavan I became happy. But I did not properly honour the devotees. In Kanpur I fell into the hands of a false friend, but before he could show any strength from his hands I was rescued. The pandars in Prayag were the worst class of men. They tried to give us a difficult time, but they could do very little.
230. As soon as I returned to Chapra I received a herbal prescription [from Bimal Visvas?] but there was a delay while Multani Hing was searched for. The examination was approaching so I studied very hard. Mathuranath Teoyari made an astrological calculation and said, "This time you will definitely pass the examination." Because of the condition of my body I did not have so much confidence. That year [I suffered] the pain of colitis and various kinds of heart pains. Once more we [traveled and] went to see a fair in Sonapur, where we stayed in a tent. During this leave of absence the Registrar General, Beverley Saheb, came to see me at my office, but he had to wait [for my return]. When I returned I heard of his waiting and went to see him. He was very happy. He said, "This time you study hard for the examination."
231. When I went this time to take the examination in Patna I stayed at the house of my friend, Guruprasad Sena. Vamacharan Bandyopadhyaya accompanied me. I took the examination and then returned. Having taken the exam and returning to Chapra from Patna I saw that Srimati Kadambani had been born. This daughter was very beautiful. But once she almost died due to a stomach disease. At that time Sadu used to move around by crawling and she would play with Tiger. Babbling she would say, "Gaitha le ai le ai" etc. Kadu was born on the 29th of Caitra 1788. At this time Annada was making mischief, as he moved around he would wrestle with the servant, Makhan.
232. In the month of June I received news of being successful in the examination. Beverley Saheb wrote this note: "5th June 1867 My dear Baboo, You will be glad to hear that you have passed your examination. We met to consider the report this morning. Yours truly, H. Beverley"
233. I was very happy, but due to my physical condition I was not hopeful. I was waiting [for some improvement in my health] but did not see any change in my condition so I made a firm resolve to transfer.
234. During the time I was in Chapra there was no unhappiness except for my stomach ailment. Holiday Saheb was a close friend of mine. But there was a lot of pressure on me. I thus wrote to Beverley Saheb requesting a transfer and he exerted himself in this regard. While I was in Chapra, on the 8th of June 1867, in accordance with rule 21, I was appointed assessor. On the 16th of October 1867 Beverley Saheb secured me a position as the Sub Registrar of Assurances of the Sub Districts of Purneah and Krishnaganj.
235. Holiday Saheb was not happy to hear the news of my transfer and he said, "You are jumping from the frying pan into the fire. What illness will you [need to] be cured of [when you get to?] Purneah." But then I had a new position. I moved my family from Chapra to Ranaghat and then proceeded to Purneah with a bearers, Kali and Srikanta. I took an Examination in Bhagalpur and arrived in Purneah in the month of November and stayed in the house of Amrta Babu. On the way there was a mighty rain storm. There were no solid houses in the backwaters of Purneah. I constructed a straw house and stayed there. A few days after having the house built I brought my family there.
236. Everybody came to Purneah in order to attend to me in my illness. I stayed in Purneah for fifteen days and then I went to Krishnaganj for fifteen days. Wargan Saheb, the Collector of Purneah, became my friend. When I worked in the court at Krishnaganj, I stayed in a tent. During the time I stayed in Purneah I prepared the prescription sent by Vidyasagar Mahasaya. I could get Multani Hing nowhere except the Bathget Company. First 'khai' was prepared by measuring 5 tolas of ginger powder, 2 tolas of black salt and 2 tolas of borax.
237. A 16th of an anna of hing [was required]. First one mixes together the ginger powder in the juice from horse-radish skin; then one pounds in the black salt. Next, one pounds in the sohaga khai [borax?]. Finally one mixes in the hing. There is no measure for the amount of horse-radish-skin juice. To the extent [that one adds the juice] -- [the mixture must be sufficiently] well pounded. Fifty-four pills were made [in this fashion] and were kept in a stopped file. I took two pills twice a day with water. For twenty-seven days my convalescence diet consisted of aged rice, easily digested green vegetables cooked in aged ghee, and milk. I could not eat luchi, ruti, pitha [a sweet cake], methai [sweetmeats], kancha taila [fresh oil], taila pakva [aged oil], tarakari [vegetables cooked in their own juices with ghee and spices], bhuja, bhuji, amla, shak, dahl, chinra [flat rice], and meat, but fish, if fresh, could be eaten in aged ghee. This was the rule for what could and could not be eaten for exactly twenty-seven days. A little excess milk was not injurious.
238. I took the medicine while in Purneah. My bowel movements became free [of blood]. To the extent that I had the bowel movements there was an increase in strength. At this time I studied for a law examination, but the results were poor. As a result of taking these herbs my pain ceased. I received a letter of praise from the government, dated 21st of August 1868, for my good work in building up the offices in Purneah and Krishnaganj. Previously I had received a letter of recommendation for my work in Chapra dated September 10th 1867. Suddenly this letter arrived:
239. General Registry Office 5 Wellesley Place The 26th Feb. 1868 My dear Sir, As it is the intention of the Govt. to organize a separate Registration Service, distinct from the Subordinate Executive Service, I request that you will let me know whether you would prefer to remain a Sub Registrar as at present subject to such regulations regarding the constitution of the service as may be passed hereafter, or to be relieved of all Registration duties at once and be transferred wholly to the Judicial Department, that is supposing the Lieutenant Government is pleased to confirm your appointment. If you remain in Sub-executive Service you will of course be required to pass the usual department Examinations. I beg the favour of a reply by return of post. Yours truly H.Beverley To Babu Kedar Nath Dutt
240. I gave an answer as follows: Purneah 2/3/68 My dear Sir, I have this day received your favour of the 26th ultimo. I beg to reply as follows. As I do not understand the conditions and prospects of the new contemplated Registration Service I can scarcely submit a satisfactory preference either to the Judicial Department or to the new service. What I gather from your kind letter and specially from the concluding part of it, is that there will be no further examination to which I shall be subjected, were I prefer to be a Sub Registrar as at present, thrown apart from the Subordinate Executive. I must humbly submit that I shall gladly remain a Sub Registrar on condition that I shall have prospects of promotion without passing any more examinations at all. But in case His Honour the Lieutenant Governor be pleased to prescribe any further examination for me in the Registration Service, also my prayer is then to be transferred wholly to the Judicial Department Subordinate Executive service. Yours truly, sd. Kedar Nath Dutt
241. After writing the above letter I waited [for a reply] and during that time came down with fever. Because of that I had much trouble living in Krishnaganj, but I recovered. At this time Beverley Saheb came to Krishnaganj and inspected the office. When I told him about my illness, he said, "What the decision of the Lieutenant Governor Saheb will be I do not know. I will assign you to the Registrar Office and put you in the Mungar group in Bhajapur." I was pleased. In Purneah Kadambani had her first-grains ceremony. On the 18th or 19th of March I received a letter from Sriyukta Dampier Saheb.
242. Bengal Secretariate The 17th March 1868 My dear Sir, I have just seen your letter to Mr. Beverley of 2nd Feb. You write, I think under the misapprehension that the promotion in the Registry Department will be likely to be as good and to rise as high as it does on the Subordinate Executive Service. But there is a mistake: if such were to be the case of course there will be Examinations to pass in that Department also. Besides which, from the opinion which I was able to form when I had the pleasure of meeting you at Ranaghat I am sure you need be afraid of no Examinations, and that you will be much more valuable to the State as an Executive and Judicial Officer than as a mere Registrar. The Lieutenant Governor has therefore directed that you be employed in the regular line. You are to relieve Mr. Tweedle at Dinajpur who takes two months leave. Yours faithfully H.L. Dampier
243. After a couple of letters along these lines I became Deputy Magistrate in Dinajpur. Taking a palanquin, I proceeded to Dinajpur. My intention was to speak to many people and arrange for a permanent residence and bring my family there. But before that Ratneswar Babu appeared in Purneah. He stayed in my house in Purneah and I came to Dinajpur. I wrote to Dampier Saheb. He said, "Now you will likely spend a considerable time in Dinajpur." I took a palanquin and brought my whole family to Dinajpur. I stayed very healthy in Dinajpur. Mama Ratneswar procured the position of Assistant Clerk [in Purneah].
244. In Dinajpur the Vaishnava religion was fairly strong due to Raya Kamalochan Saheb. There were many Vairagis and Gosais coming and going there. A number of rich people supported many brahmana pandit assemblies. Some respectable gentlemen would regularly come to me and discuss Vaishnava dharma. I had a desire to know the genuine Vaishnava dharma. I wrote to our agent, Pratap Chandra Raya, and he sent a translation of Bhagavatam, and Chaitanya Charitamrita. I also brought a book named Bhaktamala. On my first reading of Chaitanya Charitamrita I developed a little faith in Sri Chaitanya.
245. On the second reading I understood that no pandit was the equal of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Yet there was a doubt [in my mind to the effect] that being this sort of pandit, and having revealed the reality of love to such a degree, how is it that He recommends the worship of the improper character of Krishna? At first I was amazed and I reflected on this. Afterwards I prayed to God with great humility, "O God!, please give me the understanding by which I may know the secret of this matter." The mercy of God is without limit. Seeing my eagerness and humility He showed mercy to me within a a few days, and I received the intelligence by which I could understand.
246. Then I could understood that Krsna Tattva is very deep [confidential] and the highest principle of the science of God. From this time on, I had knowledge of God in Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. I made constant efforts to converse with many Vairagi Vaishnava pandits, and I understood many aspects of the Vaishnava religion. The seed of faith in the Vaishnava religion was planted in my heart in my childhood, and since then it had sprouted. From the first I experienced anuraga [service to Krishna within the mind according to one's natural spiritual tendency under the guidance of one of the gopas or gopis of Vraja] and it was very good. I liked to read about Krishna Tattva day and night. Previously I had obtained Chaitanya Gita and I was known by the name Sachchidananda Premalankara in this book [?].
247. At this time there was a lot of fighting between the Hindus and the Brahmos in Dinajpur. The schoolmasters were Brahmos but almost everyone else was Hindu. The Hindus were endeavouring to put the Brahmos out of their caste. At that time the Brahmos invited me to come to their assembly and I wrote to them saying that I was not a Brahmo, but was a servant of the many followers of Chaitanya. When the Brahmos heard this they gave up hope of my [becoming a Brahmo]. The Hindus invited me to form a sabha [for the Hindus] and the first meeting was held in the house of Khajanji Babu. I gave a lecture on the Bhagavata which was published as a book. A few Sahebs heard the lecture and were impressed.
248. Previous to this meeting I had not heard Manoharshahi [a type of kirtan] singing. I was impressed to hear the Shreni singing, first of Shiromani Mahasaya and then of Madansimha Mahasaya. He who is able to sing the kirtan of Mahaprabhu Chaitanya Deva in the style of Manoharshahi -- that person alone will I hear.
249. At that time I had a son. But after one month and a few days he died. My wife was very sad. At the same time she also received news of the death of her father, though I kept it secret for one or two days. Deciding that it was time I told my wife and two unhappinesses combined and made one unhappiness. The Chaturthi Kriya [the obsequial rites performed by a married woman on the fourth day after the death of one of her parents] were completed. After this I thought of moving from Dinajpur.
250. According to the government order, on March 17th 1868 I became the assessor at Dinajpur. I met with Srikantaji. I saw the river Atreya. At that time I made an application for a vacation and on 29th of May 1869 I got three months privilege leave. In the month of Jyaistha there was a huge storm. Immediately afterwards I crossed the Hugli River and went to our house in Ranaghat with my family. At the time of my departure all the people of Dinajpur were unhappy. [Thereafter,] I traveled as far as Maldah by boat. I waited for the floodwater to subside and the storm [to cease] at the house of the Deputy Magistrate Ambika Chaudhuri. Then, I crossed Raj Mahal in an ox cart.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:30:08 +0530
251. I took the law examination in Dinajpur but I was unable to pass it. Mama Ratnesvara was detained in Dinajpur. We went and stayed at that house [?]. Mahendra Mama come to Ranaghat from time to time and stayed there. I visited many places with him and at the end of my break I returned to Dinajpur. I worked in Dinajpur for two more months then I transferred to Champarn. After reporting on time, I had hoped to go home [to Ranaghat for child's birth?], but the government did not permit it. Thereafter, Radhika Prasada took birth in the house in Ranaghat. I was not able to reach the house before he was born. Taking Srikanta I went to Champarn. At the year's end [the following] was written about my work in Dinajpur: "Babu Kedar Nath Dutt Dy. Magistrate is a good officer and improves with experience."
252. Radhika was born in Pausa Masa [winter time]. At the time I was in Matihari. Collector Metcalf Saheb liked me very much. He went to Nepal to settle the boundary and I remained in charge of the gaol. I had a minor dispute with the European doctor, but Metcalf Saheb was on my side and intervened. This time I studied law intensively.
253. I made a plan with Metcalf Saheb to the effect that I would take the examination in Chapra, proceed to the house [in Ranaghat] and return with the whole family. For that reason he requested Commissioner Jenkins for an additional fifteen day vacation [for me] and on the expectation of consent from the government he approved it. I went to the house and took the examination. At that time I spent a few days at the house and Metcalf Saheb wrote, saying, "You should come immediately. The Accountant General has stated that this is not the time for your leave."
254. Upon coming to Calcutta, I came to know that the Secretaries Office had transferred me to Cuttack. I had had a desire to go to Puri. I was told, "It is best that you go to Ranaghat; a letter of transfer to Puri is coming." I went to Ranaghat and after 2 or 3 days I received approval to proceed to Puri. At that time Radhika was a baby, so I decided to go ahead alone; thus, taking one Srimad Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita I went to Calcutta with the intention of going to Puri. While staying at the house of Bholanath Babu I made arrangements for [on behalf of?] the official government residence [in Puri].
255. Later, when I went to the Secretar[iat?] Office I heard that Metcalf Saheb was planning to take Metcalf Saheb [?] to Matihari. I did not want to delay so I made my way to Puri. Going as far as Uluberi by boat, I arrived in Midnapore by palanquin. Thereafter, I went to the house of my inlaws at Yakpur and then set out for Puri. After four days I reached Puri, one night being spent in Bhadrak, one night in Balesvar [Balasore] and one night in Cuttack. Upon arriving in Puri I went to see my old friend Yadu Babu at the official government residence. I rented a brick house in the neighbourhood of Baro Danda. Every day I went to see Jagannatha at Sri Mandir.
256. At the time of darsan I remembered the emotions of Sri Mahaprabhu and I felt very happy. All of the Mahatis there were Vaishnava and I began to appreciate the happiness derived from associating with them. A few days before I arrived Ambika Chaudhuri was also transferred there. He was an orthodox Sakta. He made a lot of effort in Sri Kshetra [the Dhama in which Puri is situated] but he was not able to establish himself. After this he transferred to Jajpur. For a few months I was alone, then, after the pooja season I brought all of my family there.
257. Srikanta Mukhopadhyaya remained behind, holding my possessions at my residence in Matihari. Metcalf Saheb detained him there. He made great efforts to bring me back to Matihari, but when he was not able he released Srikanta. Srikanta took my household things to Ranaghat and after that he came as far as Puri.
258. Kshetra Babu had a house and when Ambika Babu [the tenant] vacated it I took it over. Deputy Annada Ghosh came and stayed in my house at Mandal Kota. Because of Kshetra Babu my whole family came and stayed at the house. Mother, Annada, my wife, Radhika, Sadu, Kadu, Sej Didi and Nutan Didi stayed together this time. Everyone was happy to see Lord Jagannatha.
259. After two or three months Kadu came down with a fever. After several doctors had tried Dr. Stewart was finally able to cure her. At the time this was amazing. In Orissa, one Jagannatha Das had a sect called the Atibaris. The story is that in the beginning, on the order of Mahaprabhu, Jagannath was a follower of Haridas Thakur. Later on he gave up pure devotion and took shelter of Mayavada philosophy; Mahaprabhu rejected him and for this reason he is known as Atibari.
260. This Atibari group is secretive and extends throughout Bengal as do the Bauls. This sect has many forged books wherein it is written that Chaitanya will reappear. In this group there are some wicked people who imitate Sri Chaitanya, Brahma, Baladeva, or Krishna. One person, known as Bisakisan, a scoundrel who had obtained a little yogic power, was celebrated as Mahavishnu Himself. He had started to establish a Temple at Chatira Krosa within the jungle near Saradaipur with the help of his followers.
261. It was written in the Malika of the Atibaris that there would be a fight on the 14th of Chaitra and that Mahavishnu would then reveal His four armed form. When this news spread around, all the wives of the [local] Brahmanas deviated from the brahminical regulations and went to serve him. When there was some turmoil among the women of the Chaudhuris of Bringarpur the men of that place informed Commissioner Robins. He wrote to Commissioner Walton saying, "Send Kedar Babu to investigate and send the District Superintendent with him." Walton Saheb sent me and I went at night to the jungle and spoke in detail with Mahavishnu and he revealed his vow to destroy the English Raj.
262. Sitting behind me in a palanquin, the District Superintendent Saheb heard the entire conversation. With us were two Kayastha police and a few Sikh constables who also heard. That day we said nothing to him, but returned to Saradaipur and stayed there in a tent. The next day we went and got papers [and directed?] the police to investigate his group. I gave the order to arrest him. Mahavishnu had many followers, therefore, in order to fetch him back so they might not release him on the way, the District Superintendent brought many constables and chaukidhars and brought him to the Puri Gaol. I went to Bhuvanesvara. Back at my place in Puri Pandit Gopinath Misra and other pandits came and assembled. In the afternoon I visited Khandagiri. Khandagiri was the site of a Buddhist monastery. In the midst of Parvat Sreni was Griha Sreni which was very beautiful.
263. On returning to Puri the trial of Mahavisnu was begun. At the conclusion of a trial which lasted many days I sentenced him to one and a half years in jail. When his hair was cut his followers declared him to be a cheater and abandoned him. During the few days of the trial there were almost one thousand of his followers in Puri and there were disturbances all over the town. At that time there was a fire at the Puri School and all the people suspected him [as being responsible]. Also at this time Kadu came down with fever. Bisakisan had practised yoga, and by some means had acquired some yogic siddhi. I had obtained a lot of evidence against him. For 21 days he did not eat even a drop of water yet he did not exhibit any weakness and gave unfailing medicine to many many people. For his punishment Bisakisan was sent to the Gaol at Midnapur and there he died. In Yajpur Brahma took control of the group, and like Bisakisan he received punishment. In Khorada Baladev was beginning [to misbehave] and he also received punishment.
264. In Puri I made a lot of [spiritual] progress. I appointed Gopinatha Pandit to help with my study. With his assistance, I first studied the twelve cantos of the Bhagavatam with Sridhara Svami's commentary. I began studying the Bhagavata with Hariharadas Mahapatra and Markandeya Mahapatra, but after 5 or 7 days they lagged behind, so I began to tutor them. Previously they had been to Kashi and Nadiya to study Vedanta and Nyaya.
265. I did not have much skill in Sanskrit grammar. While in Calcutta I read books on literature with the help of Vidyasagar Mahasaya and Baro Dada [Satyendranath Tagore]. After that, in Midnapore, I discussed literature and thereafter in Dinajpur and Matihari. In Puri I studied books thoroughly. After finishing the Bhagavata I made a copy of the Sat Sandarbha and read it. Then I copied and read the Vedanta commentary, Govinda Bhasya, written by Baladeva. Then I read the Bhaktirasamrita Sindhu. Thereafter I made a copy of the Haribhakti Kalpalatika.
266. Little by little I began to write in Sanskrit myself. In Puri I wrote a book in Sanskrit entitled Datta Kaustubha. Many of the verses of the Sri Krsna Samhita were composed at this time. In order to improve the health of Kadambani I changed our house and moved for a while near the Brahmo leader Nilamani and rented a house from Kali Chaudhuri near Sraddhavali in front of the gaol. I performed abundant devotional service. Paramananda, Nityananda and a few others studied Bhagavat with me. At that time we would hold Bhagavata discourses in the gardens of Sri Jagannatha Vallabha.
267. Mahanta Narayan Das, Mohan Das, Uttar Parsver Mahanta, Harihara Das, and other pandits used to attend the meeting. Babaji Kantadhari and Raghunatha Dasa Mahasaya became angry about my meetings and prevented many people from coming. Raghunatha Dasa Babaji used to stay at Hati Akhada at that time. Babaji Mahasaya was a siddha-purusa, and thus he could know all matters. After a few days he became close friends with me and said, "When I saw that you do not have tilak or mala [neckbeads], I was disrespectful and have committed an offense. Please forgive me." I replied, "O Babaji, what wrong have I done? Tilak and mala are given by the Diksha Guru and thus far the Lord has not given me a Diksha Guru. I am reciting Harinama japa on beads only. Is it good to whimsically take tilak and mala?" Babaji understood all of this, praised me and showed mercy to me, and I became his follower.
268. The Bhajankutir of Sanatana was on the way to the samadhi of Haridasa Thakura, near the Temple of Tota Gopinatha. There the dispassionate Babajis would perform bhajan. Svarupa Dasa Babaji also performed bhajana there. Mahatma Svarupa Dasa Babaji was an incomparable Vaishnava.
269. Throughout the entire day he would perform bhajana within his kutir [cottage]. In the evening he would go out to his courtyard and make obeisance to Tulasi and sing and cry while performing Harinama kirtan. At this juncture all the Vaisnavas would go to see him. At that time some people would give him a little handful of mahaprasada. In order to satisfy his hunger he would consent to [accept] this [prasada], but he would not take much. Someone would then read Chaitanya Bhagavata or some other book and he would listen. By 10 o'clock at night he would retire to his kutir and begin his bhajana again.
270. When it was still dark out he would go to the shore of the ocean, wash his face and take a complete bath. He was afraid lest some Vaishnava would perform some service for him without his knowing. His two eyes were blind, so how he was able to go to the ocean in the night to take bath etc. only Mahaprabhu knows. There was no doubt that he was a siddha-purusa. He did not have a single material desire. Sometimes, I would go to take darsan of his lotus feet after nightfall. He would talk with the people and his speech would be very sweet. He had gave this instruction to me, "You never forget the name of Krishna."
271. When I stayed in Puri I made a lot of advancement in devotional service. I became more detached in my worldly life and there was no longer any misunderstanding that worldly progress might produce anything of lasting value. Generally I would go to the temple for darsan, nama kirtan, sravan, and sadhu sanga everyday in the evening. Any day that I did not eat adahar dahl [pigeon pea soup] I would not feel satisfied. As soon as I entered the temple someone would give me dahl.
272. On one side in the temple was the Mukti Mandap and there the brahmanas would sit and teach. All of them were Mayavadis. When I went near them my mind felt disturbed, therefore, I would sit near the Goddess Laksmi Mandir or the Sri Mahaprabhu Pada-padma. When we sat there many pandits from the Mukti Mandap would come and sit [with us]. I named this place Bhaktiprajnan. Our learned meetings at this place gradually developed nicely.
273. Just as the Jagannatha Temple is very lofty and beautiful so also was the seva wonderful. To see that pastime of service charms one's mind. Five- to seven-hundred people are daily present to behold the routine festivals such as the evening aratika. What bliss! Many kinds of participants come from all over India to attend the religious festivals. Seeing this the eyes are soothed. O Lalu, only when you see all these pastimes with a pure heart can the servants [of Jagannatha?] be understood.
274. There were many Yatras [celebrated there], such as Dola Yatra, Ratha Yatra etc. I had the responsibility of watching over these festivals. Taking many constables and several Karmacharis with me, I made so much effort to oversee the pilgrims that I cannot write of it. I would make favourable arrangements for the pilgrims to see the Deity and to take Prasada, and to hear complaints from the people. The king and suchlike, and the Karmacharis of the temple used to commit many illegal acts. I would go there to prevent all such things and thus I made enemies of the king and the king's men. Because I was helped by Lord Jagannatha no one was able to harm me in any way. I served Lord Jagannatha at my ease for almost five years.
275. While in Sri Purushottama Kshetra I changed my residence several times. Finally, by the grace of Ramachandra Atya, I got a house [of my own?]. On the night of the 16th of Magh 1278 [1872 A.D.] Kamala Prasada was born in the residence of Kali Chaudhuri by the pond, Sraddhavali. And then, on the 25 of Magh 1280 [1874 A.D.], Bimala Prasada took birth in the house of Ramachandra Atya. All of the auspicious ceremonies such as anna-prasanna [first eating of grains] were performed with Jagannatha prasada. We gave up all Karma-kanda activities and depended solely on prasada.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:33:58 +0530
276. As soon as I arrived in Puri I got all the registration work and because of that I received a minor [promotion]. In 1870 I was promoted to the 5th grade, for which I received a salary of 300 Rupees per month. And in that year I got the full powers of a Magistrate. I spent the time in Puri in great happiness, observing the festivals, and acquiring knowledge and devotion. Sri Purushottama Kshetra is directly Vaikuntha, what doubt is there? I did not like to leave this place but then Sadu was getting older and I had to return to Bengal in order to arrange her marriage. Thus, in November of 1874, I took a three month vacation. Sej Didi and Nutan Didi had already left. Mother, wife, sons and daughters took a train to Midnapur and I sent them on the road home.
277. Madhusudan Khutir was my host. He was extremely wealthy and a very good man. His assistant, Basu Upadhyaya, brought my family to Calcutta. I waited [in Puri] until I was free from work. In the month of January I was free and together with Bangli Babu, Haralal Mitra and Narendra Datta we came to Chandavali by palanquin and then took a boat. My family came to Calcutta and Bholanath Babu made arrangements for them to stay in a small house in Harivardhan street. When I arrived they were waiting and I took them to the house in Ranaghat.
278. Before I came Mahendra Mama was staying at the house in Ranaghat and he was faring well. Upon arriving in Ranaghat I began to look for a boy for Sadu. Being in Krishnanagar, I went to see Navadvipa Dhama, Samudragar Kalna, and Santipur and I returned to Ranaghat. This time I did not get any happiness in Sri Navadvipa Dhama. One is disinclined to practise religion and suchlike in the association of an atheist like Parasuram Mama. From this I learned that when one goes on pilgrimage it is absolutely essential to shun bad association.
279. Returning to the house on Ranaghat, I went from thence to Calcutta and met with Healy Saheb. At the time he was the Inspector General of Prisons and he was ill and very weak. He was very affectionate to me and he asked he many questions. He gave a letter to Secretary Thomson Saheb in order to get [me] a transfer to this region [Bengal]. I met with Thomson Saheb and he said, "Very well; take a vacation and let me know what you want and I will give you a transfer." I could not find a boy for Sadu and my leave came to an end.
280. While I was in Ranaghat Thomson Saheb sent news to me that according to the written opinion of Commissioner Robins the Governor would send me to Puri again. I immediately informed Healy Saheb. He was very concerned so he requested Robins Saheb to give me leave [from Puri]. Ah! the kindness of that gracious Healy Saheb. Receiving that letter, Robins Saheb gave me release from Orissa with much grief and he wrote, saying, "The residents of Orissa like Kedar Babu, whose returning to Orissa was worth praying for, but due to the request of Healy and the present [need for the] marriage of his daughter he does not have to return to Orissa."
281. At that time Thomson Saheb gave the Ararisa Sub division to me. The first time I went there I took my family. That place was excellent. Campbell Saheb was the magistrate for a few months. In the month of Agrahayan I sent my family home. Srimati Saudamini married Sriman Charuchandra Majumdar in Nihati. After taking an 8 day vacation during the month of Agrahayan at the time of the marriage I returned to the house. Mahendra Mama made all of the arrangements. Returning to Ararisa I came down with a urinary disease. Doctor Pickali Saheb said that it was diabetes.
282. With the help of the local [doctor] who had a machine, I discovered that the ailment was [due to] phosphatic urine. Though I drunk the juice of the Somanath and the Vasanta Kusumaka, I did not get any relief. Barada Prasada was born on the 15th of Asat 1283 Saka in Ranaghat. In the month of March 1878 Biraja [a girl] also took birth in Ranaghat. My illness was giving me trouble so on the 16th of July 1877, according to the order of the government, I received permission to take two months sick leave. My wife was with me. Mother and Annada were at the rented house in Calcutta.
283. Annada was studying in Calcutta. I stayed in Ararisa for three years. I made a beautiful garden there. Sir Richard Temple saw it and was delighted by it. George Ward Saheb was shown the garden and was pleased too. I would go to Calcutta and stay with Annada at Sundipara. Doctor Coates Saheb examined my urine and prescribed [a medicine consisting of] one drop of liquor of strychnine, one drop of nitric acid, goksuradi [?] and ghee [because previously taking this had helped] and gradually my health began to improve. Arrangements were made for Annada's marriage. I took a few days vacation and went to Ranaghat for the wedding. On the 27th November 1877 according to orders I transferred to Mahibarekha. There was a lot of work in Mahibarekha. The misbehaviour of the police was excessive. Because I was near Calcutta I wanted to stay there.
284. Umaprasad Ghosh made much effort for the marriage of Annada. At the time I stayed in Mahibarekha I visited places like Amta, Khanakul, Syampur, etc. I was delighted to see the Shiva Deity of Madan Babu at the Devi Temple in Amta. My place [?] is Gada Bhavanipur which was near Chitrasenpur.
285. That very place was the Bhursut Pargana dwelling of Bharatchandra Raya. After two months, in the month of February, I went to Bhadrak. Leaving Calcutta by the boat, Sargent Lawrence, I went to Chandravali and thence to Bhadrak. Chandravali is in the vicinity of Bhadrak. I liked old Bhadrak. Previously, when I was a teacher in Bhadrak, Diyar Saheb was a Deputy [Magistrate]. He and his wife had a lot of respect for me and they brought me to the Sub Divisional Residence. While I was staying at that house I had written a small English book named "Maths of Orissa". Doctor Hunter Saheb refers to my book in his "History of Orissa".
286. Becoming Deputy Magistrate myself I became the resident of that very house. I was very happy to see the hedges and trees in the garden. Robins Saheb wrote a very affectionate letter to me requesting me to return to Orissa. I stayed alone there for a month and I was not happy, so I brought my whole family. At this time Bholanath Babu had the post of [?] in the Midnapur gaol.
287. He helped my family on the way to Bhadrak. In Bhadrak the people who I had previously known were few. Balaram Basu, the son of Radhamohan Babu, would generally stay in my house. Sometimes Nimai Babu would come. There was not very much work for me so whatever I did I did with great attention. On the 11th July 1878 the government gave me Summary Power. At that time Norman Saheb was the Magistrate. On the 14th of August 1878 the government transferred me from Bhadrak to Narail.
288. I arrived with my family in Midnapur on the footpath by means of a palanquin placed on top of a wagon. I stayed in Yakpur for one or two days. At the time I was married in Yakpur it was beautiful but it had [in time] deteriorated. When I was in Midnapur I stayed for a day in the house of Doctor Bhuvan Babu and then proceeded to Yakpur. From Yakpur I took a boat along the canal and when I came to Ulaber I boarded a steamer. Thereafter I arrived in Ranaghat.
289. From Ranaghat I went by horse carriage via Chakdar straight to Afra Ghat and from there by boat to Narail. It was late at night [when we arrived]. I, my son-in-law, Annada, Radhika and Kamal then walked some distance to the house.
290. At the time Umacharan Ganguli Babu was the Deputy Magistrate. He gave food to us with particular attention. The next day I learnt that Umacharan Babu did not want to leave Narail. He tried to arrange [his staying there] through Magistrate Page. I wrote a letter to Secretary Cockerel and he wrote in reply that I should stay in Narail. Umacharan Babu then left.
291. There was a lot of work [to be done] in Narail. The Registrary Office was at hand and there was some advantage in that. Atul Babu was the Munseph [administrator of justice] there. It was good to tour about the countryside while in Narail. One could travel all around by boat. I would go at times to places like Laksmipasha, Kaliya etc. and hold court [there]. After five or six months I brought my family to Narail. When I was in Narail I made acquaintance with Brett Saheb, who came to Narail for the purpose of hunting. In Narail there were many important people but Chandra Babu was the foremost. His attention was focused on Hindu Dharma. I stayed in Narail for almost three years. The local people liked me very much. As I proceeded from village to village the local residents would serenade me with kirtan.
292. During the time I stayed in Narail I suffered serious fevers on two occasions. On one occasion I became very weak because of the fever. Because of my touring the Muphasel [?] had fallen behind schedule I traveled with my wife. I took medicine from a Kaviraj but I performed my duties with difficulty. Staying a few days in Naladi I went to Raigram. Doctor Sitanath Babu carefully examined me and he gave me electrical treatment. One would find very few as intelligent as he. We had great fun at the Raigram Fair. The respectable gentlefolk of Narail made great efforts to entertain visiting gentlefolk. The ladies would make a preparation of crushed coconut, and light snacks, and bring them to our tents. The gentlefolk brought many common household foods and it would have been very indiscreet not to accept them, so I would take a little and give the rest to the others to eat. There were many dishes [offered to us], such as condensed milk.
293. The green-coconut [dab] milk was very good in Narail. Samil, a servant [of ours?], could purchase a very big coconut for one Paisa only. I did not drink any water but drank only green-coconut milk.
294. Because of this my body became very healthy. Hrishi Babu and Baradadas Babu and others came to see me all the time.
295. In 1286, while residing in Narail, I published Krishna Samhita. After that, in 1287, I published the book Kalyana Kalpataru. Regarding the Krishna Samhita a European scholar, R. Rest Saheb, wrote [as follows]:
296. India Office London S.W. 16th April 1880 My dear Sir, A long and painful illness has prevented me from thanking you earlier for the kind present of your Sree Krishna Samhita. By representing Krishna's character and his worship in a more sublime and transcendent light than has hither to been the custom to regard him in, you have rendered an essential service to your co-religionists, and no one would have taken more delight in your work than my departed friend Goldstucker, the sincerest and most zealous advocate the Hindoos ever had in Europe. I am sending you a number of the Atheneum containing a notice of his Literary Remains, published last year, as the work may be welcome to many of his old friends in India. I trust you will pardon me for having ventured to draw your attention to it. It would be a good thing, if his views, literary and political were better known and more appreciated in India. I trust you will let me know if I can be of any service to you. Believe me to remain yours very truly, Reinhold Rest To Babu Kedar nath Dutt Dy. Magistrate
297. Waldo Emerson Saheb could not read Bengali, but he wrote this letter: 10th May 1886 Concord Massachusetts Dear Sir, I have received with pleasure the book you so kindly sent me. I am sorry that I do not know the language and cannot read it and can only send my thanks. Emerson.
298. When I published Krishna Samhita the people of this country had many opinions [about it]. Some said that this book was a new point of view. Others said it was good. The younger, educated people said the book was good. But no one could understand the essence of the book. The purpose of this book was to show that Krishna-tattva was transcendental. Some people thought that the entire matter [of the book] was psychological, but they were altogether wrong. There is a subtle difference between aprakrita [transcendental] and adhyatmika [psychological] which generally no one can grasp. Aprakrita has as its basis the absence of speculative knowledge. Kalyana Kalpataru was mostly received with affection and its many verses were sung.
299. While I was living in Narail I took diksha along with my wife. I had been searching for a suitable guru for a long time but I did not find one. I was very unhappy [on that account]. I had done much anxious thinking, and in a dream Prabhu diminished my unhappiness.
300. In the dream I got a hint. That day I became happy. One or two days later Gurudeva wrote to me saying, "I will come quickly and give you diksha." Gurudeva came and diksha was given. My mind was satisfied. From that very day the sin of meat-eating went from my heart and mercy arose [in me] towards the jivas.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:45:46 +0530
Here we will briefly interrupt the narration to present Bhaktivinoda's praise of his diksa-guru, Vipina Vihari Gosvami, a descendant of Vamsi Vadananada Thakura and an initiate in Jahnava-parivara in the line of Ramai Thakura.1. (Nityananda Prabhu) Jahnava Mata
The guru-pranali of Bhaktivinoda runs as follows:
2. Ramacandra Gosvami
3 Rajavallabha Gosvami
4. Kesavacandra Gosvami
5. Rudresvara Gosvami
6. Dayarama Gosvami
7. Mahesvari Gosvamini
8. Gunama˝jari Gosvamini
9. Ramamani Gosvamini
10. Yaj˝esvara Gosvami
11. Vipina Vihari Gosvami
12. Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Bhaktivinoda writes in his Bhagavat-arka-marici-mala, written in 1901:
vipina-vihari prabhu mama prabhu-vara
"My master, Vipina-vihari Prabhu, the greatest of my masters, is the brilliant moon in the family of Sri Vamsi Vadanananda."
Amrta-pravaha Bhasya on Caitanya Caritamrta, written in 1895:
vipina-vihari hari, tara sakti avatari
sri-guru-goswami-rupe, dekhi more bhava-kupe
uddharilo apana kinkara
"The eminent Vipina-vihari Prabhu, who is the manifestation of the transcendental energy of Lord Hari, Who sports in the forests of Vraja, has descended in the form of the Gosvami spiritual preceptor. Seeing me in the dark well of worldly existence, he has delivered this humble servant of his."
In the last verse of the Siddhi-lalasa of Gita-mala, Bhaktivinoda prays to Vipina Vihari Gosvami in his siddha-deha as Vilasa Manjari (written in 1893):
vilasa manjari, ananga manjari,
sri rupa manjari ara
amake tuliya, loha nija pade,
deha more siddhi sara
"Vilasa Manjari, Ananga Manjari and Sri Rupa Manjari, please uplift me and give me the shelter of your lotus feet, for by your mercy I shall be awarded the essence of all spiritual perfection."
The narration continues:
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:49:09 +0530
301. You were born in Ranaghat on the 15th of Asvin 1880. I saw auspicious signs on your body that indicated that later on you would be religious. At this time Sadu had a son. There was something in his appearance which gives rise to the fear of ghosts. When anyone would lay the child down next to you, you would laughingly push him away. You were born on Sri Ekadasi. In a dream I beheld an ugly monkey which came to me and said, "This child is very wicked and it will not live." Then Sri Narada appeared in a dream and said, "The monkey was Kali, do not heed his words. This boy was born on Harivasara [Ekadasi]. Taking initiation into the pure Vaisnava religion he will preach that dharma. No one will be able to kill him."
302. O Lalita! I hope that you will fulfill the predictions of Narada Gosvami. In this world there is no wealth that can compare to the wealth of dharma. The body lives for just a moment, it is here today and gone tomorrow. Prabhu has been kind to us; out of His mercy He has given His name and the treasure of prema to this world. You will understand this from the sadhu-guru when you are older. Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita are two books that are priceless gems in this world. Make some effort and consider this matter. There is no necessity of exhibiting [mundane] knowledge to this world, [rather] give the treasure of bhakti to the world. Live a sinless life according to religious principles and earn money to support your family and yourself. But never at any time forget the holy name of Krishna.
303. Around the time that I was living in Narail I had a desire to live in Calcutta. I asked Mahendra Mama to arrange for a house there. In those days there was a lot of malaria in Ranaghat, and thus I wanted to live in Calcutta. We have been residents of Calcutta for several generations. Previously I had said that it was impractical to maintain oneself in Calcutta and I had maintained a house in the villages. But [life in] that [particular] village had become difficult and it was better to arrange to have a house in Calcutta than go to another.
304. You and your relatives would live with the greater family. Acquiring knowledge and making money and such things were easy in Calcutta and so also was arranging the marriage of sons and daughters.
305. At this time one [other] thing occurred. I was sick in Narail. Because of the marriage of Kadambani my wife stayed for a few days at the house of Bholanatha Kaka Mahasaya at Pathurayaghat in Calcutta. It was very difficult to stay in Calcutta because we did not have our own house. Realising this, I wished to arrange for a house in Calcutta. Kadambani married Sriman Mani Madhav Mitra. I was not able to attend [the wedding]. Because of my illness everybody returned to Narail after Kadu's wedding. Within a few days [however] I became well.
306. While I was living in Narail Braja Babu of Navadvipa was my Sub Deputy. His activities were pure, but he had no faith in bhakti. I saw Vaisnavas in the area surrounding Narail but all of them were false. Raicharan Gayak and a vaidya [ayurvedic doctor] I saw were pure. On account of my desire to arrange a house in Calcutta I got a three month Privilege Leave in July of 1881. Abdul Kader came to take over in my absence but was delayed. I knew him from Puri.
307. I rented a house in Calcutta on Nimu Gosai Gali and stayed there with my family. During the rainy season [Sravan] I, my wife and you [Lalita] went on pilgrimage along with two servants. My mother-in-law also went along. When we set out we dined etc. at a place known as Mokama. In the afternoon we took a train from Moghal Sarai and eventually went to the house of Devendra Vasu at Prayag. At Triveni we performed Sraddha etc. and I came down with a fever. There we met Sitaram, a Brijbasi. Seeing my fever, he cautiously took me to Vrindavan in the reserve train. First we stayed at Kadarya Kunja. Afterwards we went and stayed at the Kala Kunja of Radhamohan. The fever did not go. I prayed to Prabhu, "Let there be fever afterwards, just let me enjoy now. While I am in Vraja let me be happy." Prabhu heard my prayer and the fever departed. From then on I associated with sadhus while in Vraja.
308. We got good prasada from the Kunja of Lalubabu. We saw Govindaji, Gopinatha and Madan Mohan. We arranged to offer a thali at the Gopinatha temple and there was a dispute [in that regard]. We took prasada at the kunja of Rupadas Babaji and there I received the Dasasloki of Nimbarka. I heard the recitation of Nilamani Gosvami in private. It was there I first saw Sri Jagannatha Babaji.
309. Going by palanquin I took darsana of Radhakunda and Govardhana. There I experienced the spitefulness of the Kanjhada [a gang of dacoits] so I made arrangements to stop it. Returning to Vrindavan again I took full darsana. You were a very young child. Due to your constantly eating prasada you passed urine [on the steps] on the way out of Madana Mohana temple.
310. We went to Lucknow from Vrindavan via Mathura. Staying at the residence of a landowner, Raja Kumar, we wandered all around the town. From there we went to Phaijabad, then on to Ayodhya. We returned to Phaijabad in fear of the corrupt pandars [in Ayodhya] before evening and stayed at the residence of one Bengali Babu. The next day we took a bath at Goprat ghat, and that same day we went to Kasi. In Kasi we stayed at the house of Tinu Babu. My mother- in-law was very happy in Kasi. From Kasi we returned to Calcutta to our rented house at Nimu Gosai Gali and everyone was in good health.
311. I stayed a few days in Calcutta and I went and viewed many houses. Because of its suitability I decided on one house in Rambagana. Bholanatha Babu and Mahendra Mama did not like it. While I was in Narail I was friendly with Commissioner Peacock Saheb. At this time Kamala [Prasada] had a cataract of the eye and Peacock Saheb helped in its removal. I employed Doctor Sanders Saheb for the purpose of excising the cataract. Doctor Sanders was new in Calcutta. He was not [at all] greedy. Thus, after a few visits I paid him 50 Rupees and thereafter 10 Rupees more. His removal of the cataract was successful, but the vision in Kamala's eye was not cleared.
312. I was transferred to Jashohara on the 30th of November 1881. At that time, according to my previous promise [the prayer for health while in Vrindavan], I came down with fever. As Peacock Saheb was not around I concluded that in my depressed condition in Jessore I must be experiencing a bad astrological period. Therefore, reconsigning my inevitable suffering, while in Jessore I stayed at the residence of Deputy Babu Navin Krishna Bandhyopadhyaya. My body was weak, and immediately on arriving I got into a dispute with Barton Saheb.
313. The place was exceedingly abominable. Fever had taken its residence in Jessore. At the same time I had problems with my eyes. From my childhood I was short-sighted. I saw well from the left eye but everything looked blurred from my right eye. At that time there was a tiny spot in my eyes. My short sightedness had gone, but my vision was hazy and I had some sort of ache in the eyes.
314. While in Jessore my health was not good and I was not able to work well. Peacock Saheb described my good work to Barton Saheb and Barton Saheb became very affectionate towards me. He took all the work from me except for the treasury duties. Doctor Cummings Saheb examined my eyes and said that my eyes were ailing and I must take leave. I went to Calcutta and had my eyes examined by Kelly [?] Saheb and he gave a certificate recommending Medical Leave. All of my family was living at the rented house on Nimugosai Lane there. I would not allow them to go to Ranaghat. I made a promise that I would stay there [in Calcutta] and buy a house.
315. I showed the certificate from Kelly Saheb [to the authorities] with the certificate from Dr. Cummings, and on 10 January 1882 I obtained three months medical leave. The officer who was to replace me arrived late. When he came I was relieved and went to Calcutta. During this time I treated [the disease] myself and looked for a house to buy. In the end I bought a house for 6000 Rupees from Chandra Kaviraj at 181 Manikatal street. Mahendra Mama did not agree to my taking the house, therefore he would not give me much help. I worked on my own raising the extra cash and I made the house suitable by having repairs done. On the advice of Bholanatha Babu we performed Griha-yajna before we entered the house. Realizing then that the house was good Bholanath Babu and Mahendra Mama had faith [in my decision].
316. Upon coming to the new house my whole family was very happy. Since the time we were in Puri my mother was afraid of getting cataracts. She went to doctors in Calcutta, but all of her relatives prevented her from having an operation because of her old age. I also decided that mother was too old. [I concluded that] there would be no problem for her if we gave her a bathroom [of her own] on the second floor. Although she was living in the new house she was not able to see it, and she suffered [on that account]. Rajani Ma was her private maid. All mother's work was seen to. There was a brahmana cook and my wife served her genuinely. Because everybody was working for her she was very unhappy.
317. I heard that the post in the Sub Divisional Office in Barasat was available. I felt that my eyes were much better and it would be good to reside there. I spoke to Catrel Saheb but he said that he had promised the post to someone else. I went and spoke with Peacock Saheb and he wrote a letter to Catrel Saheb. After a few days I got permission to go to Barasat. I received the order in 1812 on the 12th May. Before that I had taken another three months medical leave because of my eye problem and I spent the best portion of the vacation at Barasat.
318. I received a lot of allopathic medical treatment because of my eye disease and I got general improvement therefrom. Doctor Lalmadhav, Bholanath Babu, and mother all said that I should eat fish again even though I had given it up for a long time. They said eating fish heads daily is good for the health of one's eyes. [The thought] of eating fish after so long was painful. By taking medical treatment from Babu Rajendranath Datta, a homeopath, I improved. I had faith in homeopathic medicine. Rajendranath Babu then considered that there was no necessity for me to eat fish.
319. In Barasat I received charge from the Deputy Collector, Bankimchandra Chaturya. I went there with Radhika and Kamal. We had a very lovely house with a garden and pond in Barasat. I did not bring my wife to Barasat, as usual; whenever I was ill my wife would come. Court was held on Monday in Naihati. Having informed the collector, I used to come home on Saturdays. I would hold court on Monday, and then I would return to Barasat. There were not many cases [to be heard] in Barasat. But there was a great deal of municipal work in Barasat and Naihati.
320. There was a lot of bad- natured people in Barasat. In order to draw attention to themselves, they used to create a lot of mischief for me in many ways. Formally, when Lea Saheb was the Sub Divisional Officer in Barasat, there was a program called Athletic Exercise at the time of Sarasvati Pooja. There was also Jatra Gana. Over two years I spent almost 500 Rupees supporting these events. The expenses of the festival were covered by donations. All the important people would attend and the expenses, for the food etc., were paid by the Sub Divisional officer -- me.
321. Naihati was also a difficult place. There were two groups among the Commissioners, of whom Haraprasad Shastri was the chief, and they would quarrel. Their disputes were very difficult to settle. Moreover, the house of my son-in-law, Charu, was in Naihati. One had to be very cautious.
322. I was in Barasat for two years. I continually had to travel in the Maphasal. There was malaria at Barasat, and were I to stay longer [than necessary] there was always the fear of my contracting this disease. I was promoted to the 4th grade of Deputy Magistrates and Deputy Collectors on the 20th of March, 1883.
323. At the end of the year in Barasat I had a man named Kailas Babu [staying] with me. Kailas Babu said that he would read Chaitanya Charitamrita and meet me at my house in Calcutta. He knew a little grammar. At this time, Babu Sarada Charan Mitra, an advocate, purchased some Sanskrit books for me. Among those books were Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti's tikas on the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. I had yearned for a devotional commentary on the Gita for many a day. Upon seeing this book Kailas wanted to make a copy. I took the book to Barasat and I gave it to him to make a copy. After two or three months the copy [was complete]. Kailas' writing was very nice. He was the editor of a newspaper called Aryadarsan.
324. Kailas made a copy of the Gita and read the Charitamrita. At year's end, during the festival time, a pair of shawls was stolen from the house of Mahendra Mama. Being under suspicion, Kailas fled. [When he left] my Narottama Vilasa went with him. When there is a bad astrological period no one is able to counteract it.
325. I became depressed by the rude behaviour of some wicked person of that place stealing the shawls. At this time Annada became mad. While in Narail, as I was teaching Annada the work of the Registry Office, and because I was the Registrar General, I separated Singasopur from the Sub Registry Office in Narail. I appointed Annada the Joint Sub Registrar. Later Annada did accounting work as the Sub Registrar in two districts. When he had finished all the work, having requested Norman Saheb at Kurigrama, I arranged for him to be made the Sub Registrar at Ranpur. I sent Annada's wife and daughter there. He became mad, and hearing the news, I sent Mahendra Mama and two other men, released Annada from his duties and brought him to the house in Calcutta.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:51:47 +0530
326. The very day he came to Calcutta he left for his Mama [maternal uncle] Sharata in Majahpharpur. Not knowing where he had gone, everyone became very anxious. While in such anxiety, I asked Peacock Saheb for a transfer. At that time Peacock Saheb was the Secretary, and on the 1st of April, 1884, he gave me a transfer to Sri Rampur.
327. During the time that I was staying in Barasat, in the month of Karttika, 1884, Krishnavinodini was born at the house in Calcutta. There being a daughter after so long, everybody thought this was the last pregnancy. Mother said, "As this is the end, [having] a daughter is good."
328. In Sri Rampur my residence was beside the court. I was going and coming from the house every few days. The reason is that cholera had afflicted the servant named Gopinath in the temporary residence. After a few days I returned to the house. There was a lot of court business in that place.
329. Collier Saheb then was in Sri Rampur. I was the senior Deputy Magistrate and Nagendra Gupta Babu was the third Magistrate. I came to the house on a Saturday and I stayed in Sri Rampur on a Monday. Radhika, Kamal and Bimal stayed with me in Sri Rampur after sometime.
330. In the month of Bhadra of that year my mother died. I received one month privilege leave on October the 6th, 1884, for the purpose of performing sraddha for her. Annada, who previously had been in Majahpharpur, stayed in Sri Rampur for the first time. He was sent to the village Tiralumayi and was given a bangle [as a talisman against his mental problems], but there was no improvement [in his condition].
331. I realized it was my duty to go to Gaya to perform sraddha for my mother. I, my wife, Binu, Haridas Mushtophi and Jhapasi, a servant, left our house and went first to Vaidyanath. From there we went to Bakipur and from thence to Gaya. There we stayed in the house of Pasupati Babu. According to custom, on Tuesday the 28th of October we performed Sraddha in Gaya. After seeing the hill known as Ramsila Brahmayoni, we took a train to Pretasila. Binu [Bimal] sat on Jhapasi's lap. With great effort we climbed to the top of the hill. There were many big buildings there. My great-grandfather, Madan Babu, was well known [for his work there]. There were 395 steps up the hill. At the top of the step the name of Madan Mohan Datta was written. Outside my great- grandfather's temple I saw the inscription of the maker:
332. sri radha-krishnaya namah/ sri chaitanya-chandrodaya namah/ sri siva-durga-saranam/ jaya ramah/ ei bara magi prabhu tomara charane/savamse kusale rakha madan mohane Following this was this verse:
333. drishtva kastam naranam ativisama-patharohanayoddharanam/ pretadrer divysopanakam ativitatam saukhyam arohanaya/ kritva tapopasantya ritunabarasabhushamkhyasake'tra saudham/ sri-natha-preetaye sri-madana-parabhavan mohanakhyo hy akasit
334. sri madan mohan datta sam kalikata/ gomasta sri Ganga-narayana-karsam udishya/ grama gopalapur paragane baluvishi sarakar katak/tahaviladar kalicharan chaudhuri sam simalagadi paragane panduya arambha sakabda 1696 sanga 1696/ san 1182 sal/ moharar sri-rama-narayan raya sam chandahati paragane barddhaman/ hajarinavi sa-sri-narayana ghosa sam ragunathapura udishya
335. We arrived in Calcutta on Friday the 31st of October 1884 by morning. The vacation was over and we went back to work in Sri Rampur.
336. While I was in Narail, in the month of Vaisakha, 1288, my Sajjana Toshani newspaper was first published. When a new [printing] machine came to Narail its owners came to me requesting work, and thus I printed Sajjana Toshani there. After I left that place I was restricted [in what I could do], and the newspaper could not be published regularly. At the conclusion of my stay in Barasat I regularly spoke in English with Sri Upendra Gosvami. In 1883 an English edition came out but then the patrika stopped. In 1885 I had the Vaishnava Depository [a library?] at Rambagana. I stayed in Sri Rampur. Radhika, Kamal and Bimal studied in Sri Rampur. In 1885 I, Radhika, Kamal, Bimal and Prabhu went to Memari and Kulinagram. After that we visited Saptagram. At that time I made some effort and put out an edition of Sajjana Tosani. Around that time it was offered to the Visva Vaishnava Sabha, but the publication stopped. After 1892 Sajjana Toshani was revived and continued [to be published] regularly.
337. In 1886, while I was staying in Sri Rampur, I wrote and published Sri Chaitanya Sikshamrita. This book was well received in all quarters. In that year the Gita was published with my translation, Rasikaranjana, with the commentary of Sri Visvanatha Chakravarti. It was an extremely intellectual task for me to publish all these books. A book named Bhaktivinoda was published and I composed a Sanskrit commentary on its Siksha-tika [?]. Haradhan Datta of Badanganga in Kayapat came to Sri Rampur and offered me a very old copy of Sri Krishna Vijaya, which I published. At that time I established the Chaitanya Press and Sri Yukta Prabhupada [his guru?] ran it.
338. When we had printed two khandas of the book Chaitanya Charitamrita Sriram Narayan Vidyaratna requested that we stop. I got a very intense head ailment from all this intellectual work. There was one other cause: my nose was running constantly. Kaviraj Haricharan had me take Svarnabanga to stop it. Immediately after taking that medicine I got dizziness in the head. Because of that I got leave for one month 15 days in the month of May 1885 through the efforts of Rici Saheb. I tried many kinds treatments but my ailment did not go away. Old Gurugati Basu and Babaji Charan told me to smear ghee on my head.
339. I smeared ghee on my head. At that time I obtained some books by the Gosvamis on Rasa and [Krishna] Tattva. But I was not able to study at all because of the head ailment. I prayed to Sri Jiva Gosvami that the illness would depart. I considered that the suggestion of the Vaisnavas to put ghee on my head was perhaps the instruction of Jiva Gosvami. [I continued to apply] the ghee [to my head] and my ailment went away. Again I began to work and to read the books. On Sunday the 17th of Phalgun 1886 Syama Sarojini was born. In that year, in the month of May, I got leave for one month and 24 days. Annada's mental illness had worsened significantly. Vaidya Dattahari Mahapatra from Orissa arrived and made Sivaghrita. Annada's disease improved somewhat and he felt [significantly] better.
340. I transferred to Krishnanagar in the district of Nadia according to an order dated the 15th of November 1887. I will tell you the true reason [why]. I recovered from my head ailment and I studied the devotional literature a lot. While in the association of some bhaktas I began to become renounced in mind. I reasoned in my heart thus, "I have passed my days in a futile way and I have done very little. I have not been able to obtain even a slight taste of service to Sri Sach-chid-ananda Svarupa Radha Krishna. So if I am able, I will retire and get my pension and finding some little place in the groves near the bank of the river Yamuna in the Vrindavan-Mathura district, I will perform bhajana in solitude. However, because of the nature of the practices [of devotional service] and my physical condition I may not be able to remain alone, therefore I will live in the company of one other person."
341. I arranged for Sri Ramsevak Bhaktibhringa to be with me. Bringing him to Sri Rampur, I asked his advice and he gave his opinion on the matter. At this time I was writing Sri Amnaya Sutra. Ramsevak Babu went to Calcutta and I immediately went to Tarakesvar to work. While there the Lord spoke to me in the night while I slept, saying, "You will go to Vrindavan, but your house is so close to Navadvipa Dhama. Have you done all there is to do at Navadvipa?" Upon returning from that place I again called Bhaktibhringa and I told him all about this [dream]. Bhaktibhringa advised me that I should transfer to Navadvipa Dhama and I made this known to Peacock Saheb through Jnana Babu. He said that going to Nadia so soon was not proper: "After retirement [you can] study antiquity." Being disappointed, I stayed [where I was].
342. I forgot to mention one incident. Observing my writing books on devotional service, and being pleased with me, Sripad Acharya Kula [Vipina Vihari Gosvami and others] gave me the title 'Bhaktivinoda'. I reproduce the letter that he wrote to me:
343. sri-sri-rama-krishno jayatah/ sri-patubaghanpada-nivasibhir gosvamibhih sri-kedaranatha-dattaya- bhaktaya sishyaya kripaya bhakti-vinodopadhih pradattah/ sishyasya srimatah sadhor govinda-charanaisinah/ kedaranatha-dattasya jayo bhavatu sarvada/ pra-bhos-chaitanya-chandrasya matasya chanuvarttinah/ pracharakasya sastranam bhakti-marga-pravarttinam/ sri-radha-krishna-visayam tava bhaktim anuttamam dristva ko na vimuhyete lokesmin vaisnava-priya/ yam bhaktim labhitvam sasvat vanganti bhagavat-priyah/ tam bhaktim hridaye dristva dhnyo'si priyasevaka/ jivasya jivanopaya eka bhaktir goriyasi/ ato bhaktivinodakhya upadhih prati-grihyatam
344. sri-sri-caitanyabda 400 magha masa/ sri-vipina vihari gosvamina/ sri-tinakari gosvamina, sri-gopala'ndra gosvamina, sri-goran-chandra gosvamina, sri-ramachandra gosvamina/ sri-yajnesvara-gosvamina/ sri-vinoda vihari gosvamina, sri-yadunatha gosvamina, sri-vinoda vihari gosvamina, sri-yogendra-chandra gosvamina, sri-gopalachandra gosvamina, sri-hemachandra gosvamina/ sri-chandrabhushana gosvamina/ sri-kanai-lal gosvamina/ sri-haradhana gosvamina
345. I replied as follows to the Acharya's merciful letter: sri-sri-krishna-chaitanya-chandraya namah/ jayatah sri-rama-krishno vaghna-palli-vibhushanau/ ja... vivallabho rama-candra-kirtti- svarupakau/ vyaghyopi vaishnavah sakshat yat prabhava... bhuva tat/ va... pall...tmakam vande sripatam gaura-pavanam/ sri-vamsi-vadananda-prabhor vamsa-pradipakan/ acharyanumatan sarvvan mad- desika-varan prabhun/ tesham prasadaleshena jaropadhojate mama/ bhaktivinoda-prakhyati dasasya vidyatedhuna/ yeshiam kripalavenapi bhushito'ham upadhina/ tesham padasaroje me sa... dandatih/ sri- rama-paratah/ kritanjali nivedanam etat tesham chira-sevaksya sarvva-vaishnava-dasanudasasya bhaktivinodopadhi kasya sri-kedaranatha dattasya
346. The Acharyas gave me the title Bhaktivinoda, and this was also the desire of Mahaprabhu, yet in spite of this, seeing that my going to Sri Dhama Navadvipa was obstructed, I was very anxious. At that time Sriyukta Radhamadhav Basu was the Deputy Collector in Krishnanagar.
347. I proposed a mutual transfer to him. He was very earnest and expressed a desire to go to Sri Rampur. Sending his letter [requesting a transfer to Sri Rampur] to the government, I requested a transfer to Krishnanagar. By then Peacock Saheb had gone and Edgar Saheb was the Secretary. Seeing there was a delay, I sent a telegraph to Edgar Saheb. He was in Chapra with the Lt. Governor and he wrote [to me saying] that permission would come in time. A few days [later] permission to transfer came. The order was dated the 15th of November, 1887.
348. How shall I speak of the misfortunes [that then befell me]? Returning home in joy I became worried because at the same time that horrible fever came [upon me] and it did not cease. Collector Toynbee arrived and expressed a desire to postpone [any] substitution for me. But then I thought, "I'll live or I'll die, but I will go to Krishnanagar." I went to the [official residence in Krishnanagar] and the worst part of the fever went away. But the cough, weakness, and minor fever did not relent. At the time [?] I had not taken [or did not take?] a convalescent diet for almost 20 days [?]. Bholanatha Babu, Mahendra Mama and everyone requested that I take a vacation.
349. I realized that if I took leave I would not be able to go to Nadia. Thus I chose to go in my bed-ridden condition. My wife and Mahendra Mama accompanied me. There was a little difficulty on the way, but in the joy of going to Navadvipa the difficulties were not felt. When I arrived in Krishnanagar I met Collector Hopkins the next day. He said it was not good that I should come with my illness. They gave me charge over the treasury and the small claims court. When I drank milk and I was able to hold court then I had a little strength again, but when I left the court I would have to lie down [as if] dead. I saw Doctor Russell and he said, "You do not have the strength even to move. If you do not take medicine or a convalescence diet you will die." I had fever at night and I worked during the day. In 45 days I had eaten only 1 sera daily of milk, this is what I lived on. I thought from time to time, "Many obstacles are a good sign." Doctor Russell gave me 20 grains of Quinine to daily eat with a roti and other medicine. By following this system my body was a little healthier by Christmas.
350. During the Christmas break I took a train to Navadvipa with my wife. Arriving there and seeing the land in all four directions the hair on my body stood on end. Upon crossing the Ganga, I went to Rani's house and I made arrangements to cook for Srimad Mahaprabhu. Having taken darsan of the Lord with difficulty I honoured prasada at around 1 o'clock. After 45 days [of dieting], I took grains, anchar dahl [soup made with unripe jackfruit], mocha ghanta [banana-flour sabji] and soup etc., which were like nectar. Since my very birth I had not eaten such nectarean food. Even Binu [Bimal Prasada] ate everything on his plate, and with great devotion.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:53:50 +0530
351. We had to go to the house at Krishnanagar before evening and thus, buying some cooking pots and utensils, and quickly crossing [the river], we took the train to Krishnanagar. The next day I went to Baro Gosvami's house in Santipura, took prasada, and before evening returned home. At that time I was beginning to become strong. Every Saturday, I went to Navadvipa to search out the places of the lila of the Lord, but I did not find many and I was very unhappy. At the present time the people of Navadvipa only pay heed to their stomach etc. They do not make even a little effort in relation to the places of the lila of the Lord. One night, Kamal and a clerk and I went up on the roof in order to look around.
352. It was 10 o'clock, and was very dark and cloudy. Across the Ganga, in a northerly direction, I saw a large building flooded with light. I asked Kamal [if he saw it] and he said he had. I asked the clerk and he said, "I did not see anything." Because of that I was utterly amazed. In the morning I looked carefully at the place [where I saw the building] from the roof of Rani's house, and I observed that in that there was one Tal tree in that location. When I asked others about this place they said that this distant place was known as Ballaldighi and that the remains of the fort etc. of Laksman Sen were close by. That Monday I returned to Krishnanagar and the following Saturday I went back to Ballaldighi. I saw that wonderful phenomenon in that place again at night, and the next day I went to see the area on foot. Upon inquiring of the elderly people of that place, I was informed that this was the birthplace of Sriman Mahaprabhu. I gradually saw everything [in the area] and ascertained where all the small villages mentioned in the Chaitanya Bhagavata and in Narahari Thakura's Bhaktiratnakara and Parikrama Paddhati were.
353. While staying in Krishnanagar I wrote Sri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya and sent it to Calcutta to be printed. I explained all these matters to Dvarik Babu, an engineer from Krishnanagar, and through the strength of his intellect understood everything. He made a map of the area around Navadvipa for me. That also was printed in a reduced form in Dhama Mahatmya. While I traveled around Navadvipa Dhama and wrote Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya I saw that there was very little opportunity to do more.
354. Again I fell into difficulty with some illness. During the rainy season I was troubled by tonsillitis. I had sent my family to the house but I brought them back again. I had some medical treatment but nothing happened. A European doctor told me, "You will have to have your tonsils removed." On the 31st of January 1888 I received promotion to the third grade. Realising that my illness was serious I went to see Doctor MacLeod in Calcutta. He said, "There is no use in operating." He made arrangements to paint [my tonsils] with para-chloride of iron. In the meantime I applied for leave. On the 25th of November 1888 I received approval for a privilege leave for two months and twelve days. My replacement was delayed a few days and during that time I purchased the property called Sri Surabhikunja. Hari Pramodini was born on the 26th of May 1888 at the house in Calcutta.
355. In the month of Agrahayan I took my leave. Mahendra Mama, Ramsevak Babu, myself, Gopi, Jhapasi and the father of Kulada went to Surabhikunja. After staying there a few days we returned to Calcutta.
356. I forgot to mention something. The year I was in Krishnanagar, in the month of Vaisakhi, on the full moon day [or on the full moon day in the?] month of Jyaistha, I took the family in a horse carriage to Ula. I was very happy to see the place of my childhood after so long. After seeing the temple house, the pond called Kalisagar, and my birthplace, I went and stayed at the house of Dasu Mama [at the old house]. I saw poojas performed for the public and enjoyed many entertaining [dramatic] performances. There were lectures at the school. In the evening we ate and so forth at the house of the Varanasi Babus. The next day Kamal and I took the train back to Krishnanagar. The other children took a boat from Ranaghat to Calcutta.
357. Taking a vacation, I went to Calcutta and saw Commissioner Smith Saheb. I spoke to Edgar Saheb about a transfer. I said it would be good for me to move to a place more conducive to good health and a little drier. He transferred me to Maimansimha in the subdivision of Netrakona. At this time Radhika was married. The bride was the daughter of Visvambhar Babu and grand-daughter of Babu Gopal Mitra. After the wedding we went to the phulsajja house [house decorated with flowers during a wedding], and later I, Kamal, and the father of Kulada made the trip to Netrakona. Prior to that Mahendra Mama went to Godruma and sent my things and Jhapasi to Netrakona. On the ship I spoke with Radhavallabha Babu and his brother.
358. Before evening we reached Narayan Ganga. Thereafter we took a train, arrived in Maimansimha and proceeded to the house of Atul Babu, the Sub Judge. In the morning I met with R.C. Dutta Saheb. That day I arrived in Netrakona before the evening. The next day I took charge, and I lived in a tent [for some while]. I bought a few straw huts from the previous deputy. I stayed there three months and it was a good place. You could get anything [you wished] to eat. The Kakanrol fruit was plentiful. There was a lot of court business in Netrakona, for the citizens were very wicked. For the purpose of seeing the Garo Hills we stayed in a tent at Durgapur.
359. I went on a trip to the hills on an elephant. The people of the royal house of Susanga in that place got all kinds of news [?] from us. Barendra Brahmana was a fanatical sakta. On one occasion I invited the people of the Hajang for Hari Noot [?]. Their kirtan was good, with pure devotion. I saw that their devotion to Sri Gauranga was strong. For three months I did not go anywhere, then Dutt Saheb [R.C. Dutt] secured a transfer to Tangail for me. He was on vacation at that time; thus I went to see Magraw Saheb and then I left.
360. At the time of boarding a train Atul Babu brought a document and told Kamal, "You have passed the entrance [examination]." At that moment the train departed. We went at once to Taka. There I stayed at the residence of my old friend and cousin, Judge Mahendra Nath Mitra. Having met with the Commissioner, and going around seeing the sights of Taka, we eventually spent two days attending the Hari Sabha of the Basaks. From Narayana Ganja [close to Dhaka], we went to Goyaland [?] on a steamer. There was utter disruption in the strong wind on the river Padma. We arrived in Goyaland a little into the night, and went from thence to Calcutta by rail.
361. After staying a few days at the house, I, Radhika and Gopi took a trip to Tangail. Upon arriving in Tangail I heard that previously there had been a tornado and many people had died, I then started work, but observing that the Bengalis of that place were not so good I brought a house boat to Dhaka and began to travel around there. It was easy to travel about in the rainy season. After traveling all around for some days the former Deputy Babu's leave was over and he arrived. At this time Mahendra Mama wrote, "I was transferred back home." Eventually I saw the transfer to Burdwan and on the 5th of September 1889 I was transferred there. Because of a shortage of funds, money arrived through a telegraphed money order. We then went to Calcutta.
362. Immediately on arriving in Calcutta, I was told that I must go to Hugli, but that did not happen. I went to Burdwan [instead]. Janaki Mitra's sons made efforts to help our people by bring the luggage up to the house near the station [?] of Nalinyaksha Babu, and we stayed there. The sons of Janaki Mitra, namely Mammath Mitra and Giran Mitra, purchased the materials of that Chaitanya Press of mine. Some additional money was due from them from that [sale] but in the end it was not given. Death came [to them?], and it caused me the loss of 200 Rupees.
363. I moved from the house of Nalinyaksha and stayed in the garden house of a kshatriya. Fifteen days later I came to the house [?]. Lee Saheb was the first Magistrate and later McGraw Saheb came. I had a fever in Burdwan for two or three days. While returning from Mankar on one occasion, I contracted a fever. My wife came and Mahendra Mama also. Bholanath Kaviraj Mahasaya made good friends with me and gave me medical treatment. According to his desire Mahendra Mama brought a piece of rhinoceros' horn and gave it to him. The fever diminished, but in the night breathing became difficult and I slept in fear - in this way I was ill. At this time I began to take half a grain of opium on the advice of the doctor and Bholanatha Kaviraj. On that account there was some improvement.
364. Deputy Purna Babu of the Kalna district went on leave; I wanted to take his place and thus I went there. Previously, I had given some money to the Navadvipa Mandal of Svarupa Ganga for the purpose of developing Sri Surabhikunja. Having seen Surabhikunja in its natural state and observing how the work had progressed I came to that decision en route to Kalna [?]. There was the hope of going to see Sri Dhama Navadvipa and many other places from Kalna. On the 10th of March 1890, myself, Bimal, Jhapasi, and Pulin Babu went to Kalna via Santipura. On the 14th [I went] to Samudragad by boat and stayed in a tent. On the 16th, after inspecting the work in Godruma, there was a picnic.
365. On the 26th of March I went to Sripath in Baghnapada and sojourned there in a tent. I inspected the school there and performed court business. I took darsan of Sri Baladeva and took prasada. On the 30th I returned to Kalna. On the 31st of March Sasibhushan Pal from Jannagar sent a silver moodra [amulet] which he obtained in Parula Gram. On one side of the mudra was written: 'sri-sri-chandrakanta-simha-narendrasya' ['This belongs to His Majesty Chandrakanta Simha']. On the other side was the Saka date 1242 and I realized that at this time there was a small independent kingdom in Parula.
366. On the 9th of April I visited Nakula Brahmachari in Pyariganja [?] and on the 20th Ramsevak Babu in Kalna. On the 23rd of April I went to Kaigram. On the 25th I saw the residence of Vrndavana Dasa Thakura in Denuda. On the 27th the family came to Kalna and on the 9th of May we returned to Calcutta. On the 18th of May I went to Godruma. We went on foot to Indrarkapur with Kamal, thereafter, crossing the Ganga and coming to Kakshasali and Chupi, we arrived at the police station in Purvasthali and dined. The next day I went on foot to Kuliya in Navadvipa and I took darsan of the bhajana kutir of Jagannatha Dasa Babaji.
367. During the time I was staying in Krishnanagar, intending to perform some service for Babaji Mahasaya [Jagannatha Dasa] at his bhajana kutir, I arranged for a solid veranda [to be constructed for him] at a cost of almost 150 Rupees. On the 9th of June I gave charge [of my duties to a deputy?], and on the 10th I went to Godrum, via Santipur and Krishnanagar. There I planted a madhavi tree, and on the 14th I ate at the house of Srinatha Chakravarti Babu and proceeded to Calcutta. On the 27th of Asad 1297, Sal, Sailaja Prasada was born in Calcutta. On the 17th of June I went to Burdwan again. On the 18th of October I went to Amlayoda in the afternoon. I lectured at Gopalpur and Amlayoda. On the 20th of October I returned to Burdwan. On this day I was transferred to Raniganga.
368. I stayed in Raniganga only a few days. During this time ****. On November the 25th, 1890, I was transferred to Dinajapur.
369. I went to Dinajapur, taking Ram Sevak with me. When I was first at that place, I stayed in the thatched house. In the night my breathing [almost] stopped: that ailment [of mine] increased. I left that house and rented Basant Babu's house. Radhika, Kamal, and Bimal came there and stayed a while. At that time I was heavily involved in the census-taking. After copying out a Gita with my Bengali translation, Vidva-ranjan, with Baladeva's commentary, Ram Sevak Babu went to Calcutta. The whole family came to the house [in Dinajapur]. Not being satisfied there we went and rented a very good house. It was there that Krishna Vinodini and Hari Pramodini got intermittent fever from eating too much jackfruit and suffered for almost 40 days. We tried many kinds of medical treatment but nothing I did worked and time went by. Sri Yukta Mahendra Mama came there to help. A few months previous to this I had made an application to go on farlow [some kind of extended leave?]. On the 4th of August 1891 I received approval for a two year farlow.
370. Having reserved a coach I took the family and servants and all our luggage to Calcutta. Both of my daughters became well in Calcutta with the change of climate and the administering of the customary medicine.
371. During this time, in the month of Asvin, myself, Ramsevak Babu, Sitanath, and Sital Bhritya took a ship and went to Ramjivanpur for Nama Prachara [promulgation of the Holy name]. Previous to this we had held Nama Hatta [Marketplace of the Holy Name]. According to the desire of Yadunath Bhaktibhushan in Ramjivanpur, we went there first. Even though there were many bhaktas staying in Ghatal we did not go there first but went instead to Ramjivanpur. We performed Nama Prachara in many places in Ramjivanpur and we were very happy. From there we proceeded to Kayapath Badanganja and we gave a lecture. All of the bhaktas, brahmanas and pandits there were pleased. Having stayed 13 days in that area and concluding with a lecture in Ghatal we returned. We performed Nama Sankirtan everywhere.
372. After returning to the house [in Calcutta] I went to Surabhikunja. We also performed a lot of sankirtan there. In Krishnanagar there were many societies and I began to lecture [to them]. Monroe Saheb, Gupta Saheb, Reverends Walace and Butler all heard me lecture. After the rains Mahendra Mama became seriously ill in Dinajapur.
373. On the 15th of Phalgun 1892, myself, Bhaktibhringa and Tarak Brahma Gosvami went to Basiraha for Nama Prachara. On the 16th in Bajitpur we held Sri Nama Hatta. On the 17th I gave a lecture in Basirahat. On the 19th I gave a lecture and preached in Dandirhat. On the 27th of Phalgun 1892, I went on a pilgrimage to Sri Dhama Vrindavan taking the honourable Bhaktibhringa with me. That day we went to Amlayoda. With much endeavour I brought Mahendra Mama by palanquin to Kshetra Babu's house. I spent Ekadasi with Sri Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Mahasaya and the next day I established Prapannashram. One the 29th of Phalgun [I preached in] Gidhoda. On the 30th in Baksar...?. The 1st of Chaitra [I went] to the house of Umanath in Allahabad. On the 6th of Chaitra [I went] from Allahabad to Etwa. On the 8th of Chaitra [I preached] in Hatras. My purse was stolen from my pocket there. [I proceeded to] Vrindavan on the 9th of Chaitra. On the 11th, after taking a little time to see Bhandiravan, we established ourselves in Mathgram. [We went to] Manasarovar on the 12th of Chaitra.
374. On the 13th and 14th [we were] in Vrindavan, on the 15th in Mathura, seeing Gokula on the 16th, and on the 17th we went to Madhuban, Mahaligram, Krishnakunda, Talavan, Baladevakunda, Kumudavan [to eat], Santanukunda, and Bahulavan. On the 18th we went to Giri Govardhana via Radhakunda. I had fever that night [which persisted the next day]. On the 20th I went to Vrindavan alone. [We went to] Agra on the 29th of Chaitra. On the 1st of Vaisakha we went to Allahabad via Kanpur. We had a second trip [following the same route] then with a 3rd trip we came to Calcutta via Gidhoda. A few days later, on the 7th of Vaisakha, I reached Prayag and I received news of [Mahendra Mama?].
375. On returning to the house [in Calcutta] I preached and lectured here and there. At times I was in Godrum and at times in Calcutta. From time to time I lectured in Krishnanagar. The year 1893 arrived, and that year, bringing a large number of Vaisnavas [with him], Sri Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Mahasaya went to Sri Mayapura for a festival of darsan and to Sri Godrum for a festival of congregational chanting.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:55:40 +0530
376. After a year and a half of farlow it was almost time to go back to work. Bringing a letter from K. G. Gupta Babu and speaking with Cotton Saheb, I requested a posting in Krishnanagar. At that time Sarkar Bahadurer, who had need of a qualified man in the Subdivision of Sasaram, requested me to go there. I went there on the 2nd of April 1893 in the hope of [getting the position]. Prior to this I received a promotion to the 2nd grade. I took some time from my farlow and went to Sasaram because one does not get a result if one does not return to work [!].Thus Ends the Svalikhita Jivani of Thakura Bhaktivinoda.
377. My wife, Bimu, and Sailu went with me. It was at a very hot time in Sasarama, but with the help of a fan it was very soothing. Being in the midst of the village by the side of the river Sona, I was very happy. Anikat was in Dihir, working for the Government of Bengal, which was nearby [?]. Beholding the beauty of the River Sona [the river that girdled Ayodhya] and hearing the sound of the water's current, I was enchanted. While I was staying at that place there was a serious dispute between the Hindus and Moslems over cow slaughter. There had been very good relations between the Hindus and Moslems for many a year, but because of cow slaughter their good relations had ended. The feelings of hostility were mutual and there was constant fighting between them. For a long time Sasaram had been the home of the Moslems. Their ancestral father, Ser Shah Badasa, had his residence there.
378. In the town of Sasaram there were many alleys and lanes and Moslems and Hindus lived cheek by jowl. Because of this there was plenty of opportunity for disputes. Fighting would develop daily.
379. A certain Vaishnava sannyasi bought a small piece of land facing my court office, and he endeavoured to build a temple there. The Moslems insisted that the temple could not be built. The sannyasi spoke to me about the matter and I spoke to the Moslem Serestadara so as to know the thoughts of the local Moslems on this matter. The sannyasi did not wait for the results of [the talks] and he began to build the temple [anyway]. That particular day I was in Nasariganga. Moslems went [to the plot of land] with sticks and swords to fight. The leaders among the Moslems sent a telegram to the government and the Commissioner was informed that the sannyasi was building the temple over a [Moslem] tomb and that it was being done with the help of Hindu officers.
380. Many letters were exchanged concerning this matter. Being a Hindu officer it was difficult for me to remain in Sasaram [and remain impartial]. I made many attempts to get away from Sasaram. My superior officers gave much help to me and the government secretaries informed me that there would be a transfer elsewhere at a suitable time.
381. I traveled from place to place [at that time, and on one occasion] I conducted court in a bungalow in [one of?] the villages. That night I received a telegram from Magistrate Krin Saheb saying, "Go to Koyath as soon as possible", which I did. There was terrible hostility between the Hindus and Moslems in Koyath over cow slaughter. Gopal Babu of Yakpur was the Sub Engineer at that time. Immediately I sent word to my cook and servant at the bungalow in Sasaram to prepare a meal early in the morning. Late at night I took a carriage and set out on the trip. I arrived in Koyath at 4 o'clock in the afternoon having eaten in the morning at Sasaram and [having?] the carriage driven at speed. Koyath was about 40 miles away from Dihir.
382. I arrived extremely tired from traveling on that carriage. Later in the evening I consulted with Krin Saheb and the next day in the morning Krin Saheb gave me responsibility for management and went to Ara. While inspecting the court I came to know that in the village there was a excellent bull of a brahmana. At that time the brahmana went to Purushottama, but he did not take the bull. Upon returning, he searched for the bull and [when he could not find it] he concluded that the local butchers had killed and eaten it. The brahmana challenged the Moslem butchers and they replied, "What of your bull? In the future we will kill five cows in front of everyone on market day! What will the Hindus be able to do when they see this?"
383. Hearing this utterance, this brahmana was enraged and informed all the Hindus. He also wrote to the respectable citizens [of the town] in order to put an end to the cow killing. On the market day almost 4,000 Hindus from all over the region and beyond carrying missiles and swords, came to the house of the butcher, who fled. They made a slight disturbance but did not see the man in the enemy group and dispersed. In the afternoon the Moslem group grew, and taking guns and swords, some of them injured some Hindus. The injured persons had to be sent to hospital.
384. After some delay the police came, but they were not able to do anything. Finally, they saw the Moslems creating a disturbance, but because the fight was not started by the Moslems, but, rather, was started by the Hindus, the fault was considered to be the Hindus'. I instructed the police to bring the first case [?].
385. After carefully questioning witnesses from both sides I gave two year prison sentences to a few Hindu men. Then in the trial of the Moslems, after examining the witnesses against some of the Moslems, I gave two year prison sentences to some of them. They appealed to the high court against my decision in these two trials, but my decision was upheld. The government established a special police force [in Koyath] in order to keep [peace between] the two parties. 386. It was very painful for me to make the judgement in this case. I gave the same scrutiny to both groups and the same punishment. Because of that the Hindus said that being a Hindu officer the Magistrate should have been somewhat partial to the Hindus. The Moslems said that because the root of the problem was with the Hindus, why were they not meted out more punishment? Just observe, making decisions in this place was not pleasing in any way. While I was in Sasaram, Prabhavati was married in the month of Vaisakha and Kamal was married in Sravana.
387. I wrote to Cotton Saheb and he gave me a transfer to Nadia from Sasaram. The days of my trouble were over. In the month of October I came to Calcutta from Sasaram.
388. I did not delay, but went directly to Krishnanagar. At that time Bernard Saheb was the Collector. My residence was at Kasi Babu's house near the house of Manmohan Ghosa. I purchased a carriage and a pair of horses. While I was living at that house your older brother, Manibabu, Charu Babu and others all came there during the winter. Also Syam Sarojini came and stayed for some time. There was not very much work, but during the trial of one particular thief I became fatigued. Whenever the Collector went to the Maphasil I was the senior officer and all the responsibility for the principal towns fell upon me. At that time I would inspect the gaols.
389. You went to Krishnanagar in the month of December and by the month of February you were admitted to the college there. The time of my retirement was rapidly approaching, therefore, I sent you to Calcutta during the difficulties of the rainy season.
390. Bhaktavar Dvarik Babu told me one day that he had written a letter to Naphar Babu concerning [the arranging of worship?] of Sri Mayapur; I gave my approval and arranged a meeting at A. B. School in Krishnanagar in January 1884. On the 2nd day of Magha, on a Sunday, the meeting was held. All the scholarly men attended the meeting. Dvarik Babu and I explained the whole matter, and *** gave sanction for the prakasa seva [manifest, or external service] of Sri Mayapur. A society named Sri Sri Navadvipa Dhama Pracharini was established and Naphar Babu was declared the chairman of the society. Having collected funds at a public meeting according to the decision [of the society], approval was given for the installation service of Sri Murti.
391. On the 8th of Chaitra there was a huge Deity installation ceremony and innumerable participants attended. There was Manoharasari Kirtan, and Nama Sankirtan, all performed with great bliss. Much envy arose among the people of Navadvipa over the finding of Old Navadvipa. There began to be some gossip and a storm of abusive words against the worshipers of Gauranga, but why should those who have offered their life to the lotus feet of Gauranga retreat because of the talk of wicked people? Not paying heed to the talk of worldly- minded, envious people, they arranged to build a temple and worship the Supreme Lord there.
392. Our whole family and [my] students went to Sri Surabhikunja for the festival in Sri Mayapur. Previously, having left Kasi Babu's house, I made my residence in a rented house in the municipality of Krishnanagar. You were also there with me for some time.
393. Due to the endeavours of a landowner, Naphar Babu, permanent service was established in Sri Mayapura and gradually things progressed [there]. [Yet,] when I went there I observed that it was necessary for me [to oversee] even ordinary matters [due to mismanagement?]. It was necessary [for me] to raise funds from the public to build the temple. However, at that time I was Deputy Magistrate and thus I was not able to collect funds, and I also began to anticipate my retirement after so much labour. *** The service [at the temple] was proceeding with my monthly quota [donation?].
394. Commissioner Saheb came to Krishnanagar and advised me to work a little longer. I gave him my thanks, but I had no desire to continue working, and thus, on the 4th of October 1894 I retired, and moving all my things to the house at Sri Surabhikunja I went there [to live]. In that year there was an extensive flood and the water rose close to the street of Svarupa Ganga. Upon proceeding to Sri Surabhikunja I stayed there a month. I purchased 16,000 bricks, and used them to construct the boundary wall of the Kunja. For the entire month of October the river was swollen and I could not go to Sri Mayapur and so I went to the house in Calcutta [instead].
395. When I came to the house [in Calcutta] I began to beg with Ramsevak Babu on behalf of the temple at Sri Mayapur. By begging everyday in the morning, and collecting money little by little, I [gradually was able to] send 1,600 Rupees to Naphar Babu for [the purchase of] bricks.
396. O Lalita Prasada, whatever I can recollect up to my retirement I have written in this letter. You will know everything that happens from now on.
397. 21st June 1896 Bhakti Bhavan Calcutta Your father, Sri Kedar Natha Datta Bhaktivinoda.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:59:13 +0530
In 1908 Bhaktivinoda Thakura received the vesa of a renunciate from Gaura Kisora Das Babaji. Until 1910 he travelled between Calcutta and Puri, still writing books, but during that year he shut himself up and entered samadhi, claiming paralysis.
On June 23rd, 1914, at Jagannatha Puri, Bhaktivinoda Thakura disappeared from this world. This day is also the disappearance day of Sri Gadadhara Pandita.
Madhava - Fri, 20 Sep 2002 04:24:41 +0530
Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura serves the divine couple in the form of Kamala Manjari. He has revealed his innermost aspirations in the final chapter of Gitamala entitled siddhi-lalasa.