Svalikhita Jivani [Autobiography]
of Srila Sachchidananda
Original English Translation by Shukavak Dasa
[This version edited by KDA]
What follows is Sriman Shukavak Dasa’s translation of a
little known autobiography penned by Thakura Bhaktivinoda.
Without meaning any disrespect to Shukavak Prabhu, I must point
out that his preliminary English rendition of Svalikhita Jivani
is so eccentric as to leave me wondering at times whether it was
truly the work of an educated English-speaking person! Indeed,
parts of it were so badly composed as to throw a great darkness
of confusion over the subjects it was meant to illuminate. Thus,
some sentences were beyond interpretation and simply had to be
elided. Be that as it may, I have attempted to bring order out of
chaos and to present his translation in a readable form. Inasmuch
as I do not have access to the original Bengali text I cannot
vouch for the accuracy of the translation overall. I have not
dared to alter it too radically for fear of misrepresenting a
great Mahabhagavata, and thus my work as editor no doubt contains
many faults. I pray that Sukavak Prabhu, who was not unaware of
the roughness of his work and who perhaps employed some method of
working that is beyond me, will not be offended by what I have
said, but, in defence of my criticism, I felt I must alert the
reader to the possibility of there being some inaccuracies in
Another point that cannot go unmentioned is the strange
interpretation that Shukavak Prabhu has put upon the purport of
this extraordinary autobiographical work. He sees this book as
the history of an ordinary Hindu who progressed from the pit of
impersonalism and the practice of unpleasant habits to the plane
of pure devotion by the simple process, more or less, of
conversion to the Vaishnava faith. This seems to me to be an
extraordinarily dangerous opinion to foster even in the privacy
of one’s mind — let alone in the circle of mundane scholars,
where he intends the idea to be circulated!
That is not to say that there is absolutely no basis for this
interpretation, but rather, that it is wrong and potentially
calamitous. It is true, as the reader will learn, that
Bhaktivinoda gave some credence to the monist view in his youth.
It is true also that he followed some practices that the
Vaishnavas generally opine to be wicked and impure. However, such
things have been recorded about the very greatest souls, such as
the four Kumaras, Roopa and Sanatana, Bheemasena, and many
others. In other words, one should never judge great souls
simply on the basis of some apparent deviation from standard
scriptural regualtions, but rather on the depth of their devotion
to Krishna, which may not, by His sweet will, be manifest
throughout that great soul’s earthly life.
This text is practically new to all of us. Some of its
revalations have, however, come to the notice of the occaisional
ISKCON devotee, and thus Srila Prabhupada had occaision to
correspond on them on at least one occasion. The following
excerpt from one of his letters touches on some of the startled
questions that are bound to arise from the reading of this book,
and, moreover, confound Shukavak’s unfortunate thesis:
“Regarding your questions, ‘I read in a book sent from India
that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was sent directly by Lord
Chaitanya from the spiritual sky. I am not sure if that book was
bona fide. Is the above true? Someone, a Godbrother, brought up
that he had heard that Srila Bhaktivinoda was at one time an
impersonalist. Was he ever?’ Yes, what you have heard is alright.
Just like Arjuna is constant companion of Krishna, as it is
confirmed in the 4th chapter, Krishna says that both Arjuna and
He appeared many times on this world, but he had forgotten his
past appearances and Krishna did not. Krishna is like the sun,
and maya is just like darkness. Where Krishna is present there
cannot be any darkness of maya. So as Arjuna although always
in the presence of Krishna as eternal companion in friendship,
still he had some illusion in the battlefield of Kurukshetra,
and Krishna had to dissipate that darkness by the teachings of
Bhagavad-gita. The purport is, sometimes even a liberated person
like Arjuna plays the part of a conditioned soul in order to play
some important part. Similarly, Bhaktivinoda Thakura for
sometimes was associating with the impersonalists. And then he
exhibited himself in his true colour as pure devotee, exactly in
the same way as Arjuna exhibited in the beginning as a
conditioned soul, and then as a liberated soul. So there is
nothing to be misunderstood in this connection. Krishna and his
devotees sometimes play like that, as much as Lord Buddha,
although an incarnation of Krishna, preached the philosophy of
voidism. These things are conducted in terms of place, audience,
time etc. In the Chaitanya Charitamrita it is said that the
activities of a Vaishnava cannot be understood by the greatest
scholar… So there is no doubt about it that Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura is eternal energy of Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu. And whatever he did was just to suit the time, place,
circumstances, and etc. There is no contradiction in his
Notwithstanding the above conclusion, which proves Srila
Bhaktivinoda to have always been a Vaishnava of the highest
order, we must be cautious in approaching him through the medium
of his autobiography, lest we fall into the trap that Sriman
Shukavak has fallen in. I would also urge the reader of this work
not to pass it on to those who might misinterpret it and as a
consequence denegrate a very, very great soul, or who might have
his faith in the Vaishnava Acharyas in some way injured.
We would also do well to consider the following words of his
son, Sriman Lalita Prasad, who first published the work, and to
whom it was addressed.
Note to first Bengali edition by Sriman Lalita Prasad
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.
of Srila Sachchidananda
181 Manikatal Street
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 Biranagara.
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 Biranagara was famous within the Bengal region as a wealthy
village so was my maternal grandfather, Sri Isvara Chandra
Mustauphi 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
Biranagara [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
7. Sri Govindasaran 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 Preshtasila 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, straight forwardness, 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
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 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
8d. At the time my grandfather and grandmother, who were
destitute in Calcutta, went to Chotimanglapur, 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 Ramhari 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
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
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 bekabi 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 worshipped. 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 fan fare. Everybody used to enjoy this
occasion, except the goats and buffalo. Most of the Brahmanas and
pandits used to come solely for 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
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 and 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
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 sona
kas. 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.
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 Pharsadanga, 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 goÜwith
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
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.
Oneday 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 where western soldiers. They would all eat rotis
made from a whole measure of atar wheat and a whole bati of urhad
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 kichari. 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. Ghosha’s maid and 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, and tigers etc.
33. Sometimes I used to wake up late at night and sit by the
window. At the forth 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
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 Vaisaka 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
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. Some times 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 Mushtaphi 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 56 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
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 Kali Prasanna 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 heardÜthat 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 nurse maid
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
Kalidada 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
49. While crossing the river Anjana I made a lot of effort to
pacify his mind. By eight o’cock 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
aÜdisaster 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
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.
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 [vary much]. Cricket was often played at the
school. Oneday 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’
[purda areas?]. The outer portion of that [quadrangle] was a
drawing room for the grihapati [the master ofÜthe 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 Mustophi 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 an 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. 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
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 forÜsong and music
65. To the extent the Mustophi family declined to that extent
the families of Ramanadas Babu and Sambhanath Mukhopadhyaya
increased in prestige. In their homes, during the Jagadhatri
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
that 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.
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 Mollahatikuti.
Farland Saheb agreed to let my father have managerial
responsiblity 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
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 Vishvasa 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
myÜfather 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
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.
76. Even while father was living I began to become a little
thoughful. ”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. Oneday, 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 Diety?” 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
Haldhara 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
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] ther 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 splender. 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 counselled 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 Sahb with me. Sivprasada 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 Commisioner Shore came
there and I gave them a copy of my Poriyed and talked with them.
Judge Saheb encourged me to make progess 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
169. In the meantime I got the news that Dada Mahasaya was ill.
Coming from Radhasyam Naredra of Kedrapara I went to Chotigram
and took cinnabar [red dye from mercury oxide] and Patol leaves.
I did not observe any particular illness [to be aflicting] 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 andÜperform 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
ocupation. You will become a great Vaishnava. I give you my
blessings.” Immediatetly after saying this his life left him,
bursting out of his brahmatalu [brahma-randra]. One rarely
witnesses such an amazing death. After completing his funreal
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 Orrisa 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 Mahedra Mama had a job in
Murasidabad. 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 Murshidabad 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
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
inÜMay 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.
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 drived 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 travelled 17 kroshas
[34 miles]. At nine o’clock at night we were in the jungle and
were very afraid of tigers, but we finnaly 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. Hving 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.
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 anong 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 becomea a prominant man in Calcutta he used to feed us
[when we visited him]. On the day of Sarasvati Pooja he gave pens
aways as gifts. His associating with Yadu Babu was like [mixing]
ginger and ripe bannana.
178. At the time of living in Cuttack, I was eating less and
myÜbody 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
Sriyuta 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
where 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 develped 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 [sakabda?], 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
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 asÜhis presence is immediatley required at
Midnapur he must join [us] without delay.”
Sd. Rivett Carnac.
5th Feb. 1861
184. At that time Midnapur was very condusive 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 prominant 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 philosphy 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. Oneday, one of my grandfather’s servants chastised some Jati
Vaishnavas [hereditary Vaishnavas] for the offense of fishing.
They said that Vaishnavas’ killing living entities was wicked. I
heard this conversation and concluded that it was not proper for
Vaishnavas to kill living beings. The Saktas perform sacrifices
and kill animals and then eat the meat. Vaihsnavas are [not
really of] the material world. Moreover, I recall a Vaishnava
named Jaga[?], who came to our house dancing and 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 understading 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
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.
In the Brahmo 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, ‘Pheonix’. 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
trmendously. 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 coleague of mine. His
house was in Yakshpur or Yakpur, two krosas from Midnapur on the
far bank of the Kamsa. He initiated marriage negoiations 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 ofthe 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 Jakpur 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 intellectuls said that itÜwas 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 travelled 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 recomendation 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
movedÜeveryone 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.
Warants were issued. The foot-soldiers were the worst class of
men. All the time there was fighting [among them]. I recieved a
quarter of the money that was paid due to the threat from the
soldiers as black money. I recieved 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 [when I
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.
Sudder Amean of Burdwan
200. I did not take pleasure in the duties of a tax collector. At
that time the 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 [vacany 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
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’.
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 peom, ‘Sannyasi’, was printed. At that time
I also wrote a small English work entitled ‘Our Wants’. Chandra
Babu was in the Brahma Samaj. My old friend Keshab Sen also came
to see the Samaj. Reverend Lalbihari De used to criticise Keshav
Sen at that time, saying that he stole from the Bible [?]. At
this time I had several philosophy students. They became members
of the Brahma Samaj because of Chandra Babu.
203. Therefore they said to me, “You resolve the two views.”
Oneday, 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 estabhished 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
204. Because of the enemy’s increase great aprehension 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. Sriyuta Hilly Saheb, who was the
Superintendent of Stationary, came to Burdwan. When I met with
him he said, “I will endevour to arrange a good position for
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 Hilly 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 Insititute. After
hearing the lecture I stayed at Baro Dada Dvijendra Natha
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 Jakpur. 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 and taught many persons, and I
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, Hogg 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.
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
convienent 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 Jakpur. On the 20th of Asvin there was a
great storm which resulted in widespread destruction. On the
preceding I left Chooadanga on the occassion 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 Jakpur.
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 daughther’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:
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-dividsion and although not directly subordinate
to myself I had many opportunities of becoming aquainted 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
I have the honour to be, sir,
Your most obedient servant,
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:
“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 canditate at the ensuing
leadership examination and he carries with him my best wishes for
June 18th 1864
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
estbalished in Mushidabad 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 acquinted with Heeley Seheb. 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 Srijuta Eden Saheb. Heeley 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 everthing is happy in all
directions. On the 9th of February I received three letters [of
emphloyment]. One was a letter from Linton Saheb. He wrote,
saying, “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 Heeley 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. Heeley.”
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, Heeley Saheb, but he had gone to Orissa. When
I learnt this I returned. Setting out with Sri Kanta Mukhopadyaya
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]. Gautamashram was the place where the Nyaya
Sastra [scripture dealing with logic] was born. ‘As this is a
sacred place, there should be aschool 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,Ünevertheless, everybody’s intention
towards me was bad. The European Indigo planters were trying to
get perferential 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 impropiety 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 Heeley
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, alway 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.
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 sufferring! When the pain
[started] I automatically sufferred from vomiting and diarrhoea
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
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
tranferred to another place. There being no opportunity for a
mutual transfer, I travelled 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 travelled 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
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 [travelled 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
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.
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
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
235. Holiday Saheb was not happy to hear the news of my transfer
and he said, “You are junping 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 bearer,
Kali and Sri Kanta. 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-raddish 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-raddish-skinÜjuice. 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 stoppered file. I took two pills twice a day with
water. For twenty-seven days my convalesence 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
reconmendation for my work in Chapra dated Septmeber 10th 1867.
Suddenly this letter arrived:
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 reagarding 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.
H.Beverley To Babu Kedar Nath Dutt
240. I gave an answer as follows:
My dear Sir,
I have this day recieved 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 Resgistrar 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
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
Lietenant Governor Saheb will be I do not know. I will assign
you to the Registar 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 recieved a letter from Sri Yuta Dampier Saheb.
The 17th March 1868
My dear Sir,
I have just seen your letter to Mr. Beverley of 2nd Feb.ÜYou
write, I think under the misapprehesion 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 Judical 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.
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 Dianjpur. 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 Gosa¤is
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 geniune 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 degreee, how is it that He
recomends 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
theÜintelligence 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 Prem…lankara 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
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 Hoogly 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 travelled 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
AmbikaÜChaudhuri. Then, I crossed Raj Mahal in an ox cart.
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 transfered to Champarn. After
reporting on time, I had hoped to go home [to Ranaghat for his
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 Sri
Kanta 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
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 Commisioner 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
254. Upon coming to Calcutta, I came to know that the Secretaries
Office had transferred me to Cattack. I had had a desire to goto
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 offical 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 [eh?] to
Matihari. I did not want to delay so I made my way to Puri. Going
as far Uluberi by boat, I arrived in Midnapure by palanquin.
Thereafter, I went to the house of my inlaws at Jakpur 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
Upon arriving in Puri I went to see my old friend Yadu Babu at
the offical government residence. I rented a brick house in the
neighborhood of Baro Danda. Every day I went to see Jagannatha at
Sri Mandir. 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 transfered to Jajpur. For a
few months I was alone, then, after the Pooja season I brought
all of my family there.
257. Sri Kanta Mukhopaddhyaya 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 Sri Kanta. Sri Kanta took my
household things to Ranaghat and after that he came as far as
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,
Jagananth 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 immitate Sri Chaitanya, Brahma,
Baladeva, or Krishna. One person, known as Bisakishan, a
sconderel 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
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
brahmanical regulations and went to serve him. When there was
some turmoil among theÜwomen of the Chaudhuris of Bringarpur the
men of that place informed Commisioner Robins. He wrote to
Commisioner 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
Superindendent 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. Inthe 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 distrubances 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
Kadur came down with fever. Bisikishan 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 Bisakishan was
sent to the Gaol at Midnapur and there he died. In Yajpur Brahma
took control of the group, annd like Bisakishan he recieved
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 Markendeya 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 abandant 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
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. Raghunath 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 [rosary], 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
and praised me and showed mery to me, and I became his follower.
268. The Bhajankutir of Sanatana was on the way to the samadhi of
Haridas Thakura, near the Temple of Tota Gopinatha. There the
dispassionate Babji’s would perform bhajan. Svarupa Dasa Babaji
also performed bhajana there. Mahatma Svarupa Dasa Babaji was an
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
perfroming Harinama keertan. At this juncture all the Vaishnavas
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 bhajan again.
270. When it was still dark out he would go to the shore of
the ocean and 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-purusha. He did
not have a single material desire. Sometimes, I would go to take
his 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 Muktimandap 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 sevn-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
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 resdidence of Kali Chaudhuri
by the pond, Sraddavali. 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-prasana
[first eating of grains] were performed with Jagannatha prasada.
We gave up all Karma-kanda activities and depended solely on
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 Purushottam 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. Madusudan 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 then 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 Dhaama, 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 Hilley 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 Commisioner Robins the
Governor would send me to Puri again. I immediately informed
Hilley Saheb. He was very concerned so he requested Robins Saheb
to give me leave [from Puri]. Ah! the kindness of that gracious
Hilley Saheb. Receiving that letter, RobinsÜSaheb 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 Hilley 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 Majundar 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 permision 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 Arariya for
three years. I made a beautiful garden there. Sir Richard Temple
saw it and was delighted by it. George Ward Saheb was saw 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 constisting of] one drop of liquor of
stricnine, 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 Mahiberekha 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
theÜvicinity 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
months 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 Bhadrak. In Bhadrak the
people who I had previously known where 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
Jakpur for one or two days. At the time I was married in Jakpur
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 Jakpur. From Jakpur I took a boat along the
canal and when I came to Ulaberi 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
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 Munshef [administrator of justice] there.
It was good to tour about the countryside while in Narial. 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 acquaitance 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 my very much. As I proceeded from village to
village the local residents would seranade 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 my touring the Muphasel had fallen behind
scheduale I travelled 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
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 then
to our tents. The gentlefolk brought many common household foods
and it would have been very indiscrete 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. 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]:
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 serivce to your
coreligionists, 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 theÜAtheneum 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
To Babu Kedar nath Dutt Dy. Magistrate
297. Waldo Emerson Saheb could not read Bengali, but he wrote this
10th May 1886
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.
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 pupose 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
timeÜbut 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 sinful reaction from
meat eating went from my heart and mercy arose [in me] towards
301. You were born in Ranaghat on the 15th of Avin 1880. I saw
aspiuoius 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 hime 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
intiation into the pure Vaihsnava religion he will preach that
dharma. No one wil be able to kill him.”
302. O Lalita! I hope that you will fulfil 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 live according to
religious principles and earn money and 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
inÜCalcutta and so also was arranging the marriage of sons and
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 Mahashaya 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 Vaishnavas 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 Priveldge 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 Calucutta on Nimu Gosai Gali and stayed
there with my family. During the rainy season [Sravan] I, my wife
and you [Lalita] went on pilgramage along with two servants. My
mother-in-law also went along. When we setout we dined etc. at a
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 Brajbasi. 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
308. We goot 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
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 Mohan 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 [aat 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 Jashorhara 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 Jassore I must be experiencing a bad astrological period.
Therefore, recongising my inevitable sufferring, while in
Jessore I stayed at the residence of Deputy Babu Navin Krihsna
Bandhyopadhyaya. My body was weak, and immediately on arriving I
got into a dispute with Barton Saheb.
313. The place was execcedingly abominable. Fever had taken its
residence in Jassore. 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.
Mehendra 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 alopathic 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 Dattta,
aÜhomeopath, 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,
Bakimchandra 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 Comissioners, 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,
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].
Kailasa’s writing was very nice. He was the editor of a newspaper
324. Kailasa made a copy of the Gita and read the Charitamrita.
At year’s end, during the festival time, a pair of shawls was
stolenÜfrom the house of Mahendra Mama. Being under suspicion,
Kailas fled. [When he left] my Narottama Vilasa went with him.
When there is a bad astological period no one is able to
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 Registar. 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
326. The very day he came to Calcutta he left for his Mama
[maternal uncle] Sharata in Majahphabapur. 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. Collier Saheb then was in
Sri Rampur. I was the senior Deputy Magishtrate and Nagendra
Gupta Babu was the third Magistrate. I came to the house on a
Saturday and I satyed in Srirampur on a Monday. Radhika, Kamal
and Bimal stayed with me in Srirampur after sometime.
330. In the month of Bhadra of that year my mother died. I
received one month priviledge 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 talasmin against his mental problems?], but there
was no improvement [in his condition].
331. IÜrealized it was my duty to go to Gaya to perform sraddha
for my mother. I, my wife, Binu, Haridas Mustophi 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.
Vinu [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 sthe
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 panduyaÜarambha sakabda 1696 sanga 1696/ san 1182 sal/
moharar sri-rama-narayan raya sam chandahati paragane barddhaman/
hajarinavi sa-sri-narayana ghosa sam rayunathapura 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
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 coulde do], and the
newspaper could not be published regularly. At the conclusiion of
my stay in Barasat I regularly spoke in English with Sri Upendra
Gosvami. In 1883 an English edition cameout but then the patrika
stopped. In 1885 I had the Vaishnava Depository [a library?] at
Rambagana. I stayed in Sri R ampur.Radhika, Kamal and Bimal
studied in Sri Rampur. In 1885 I, Radhika, Kamal, Bimal and
Prabhu went to Memari and Kulingram. After that we went 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]
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 Vijay, 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.ÜImmediatetly 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 Vaishnavas 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 Krishna Nagar 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 Bhaktibringa and I told him all about this [dream].
Bhaktibringa 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 dissapointed, 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 theÜtitle
‘Bhaktivinoda’. I reproduce the letter that he worte 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-
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 gosvamina2
345. I replied as follows to the Acharyas 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 dattasya3
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 Sriyuta RadhamadhavÜBasu was the Deputy
Collector in Krishna Nagar.
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 Krishna Nagar. 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 Krishna Nagar.” I went to the [official
residence in Krishna Nagar] 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 goto
Nadia. Thus I chose to go in my bed-ridden conditon. 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 Krishna Nagar 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 convalence 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, and I went to Rani’s house and I made arrangements to cook
for Srimad Mahaprabhu. Having taken darsan of the Lord with
difficultly I honoured prasada at around 1 o’clock. After 45 days
[of dieting], I took grains, enchare 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 Biru [Bimal Prasada?] ate everything on his
plate, and with great devotion.
351. We had to go to the house at Krishna Nagar before evening
and thus, buying some cooking pots and utensils, and quickly
crossing [the river], we took the train to Krishna Nagar. 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 leela 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 leela 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 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 Krishna Nagar 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 Krishna Nagar 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 Krishna Nagar,
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 travelled
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 tonsilitus. 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
Maclaud 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 IÜapplied for leave. On the 25th of
November 1888 I received approval for a priviledge 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. nI the month of Agrahayan I took my leave. Mahendra Mama,
Ramasevak Babu, myself, Gopi, Jhapasi and the father of Kulada
went to Surabhikunja. After staying there a few days we returned
356. I forgot to mention something. The year I was in Krishna
Nagar, 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 Krishna Nagar. The other children took a
boat from Ranaghat to Calcutta.
357. Taking a vacation, I went to Calcutta and saw Commisioner
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 sub division of Netrakona. At this time Radhika was married.
The bride was the daughter of Visvambar 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 Radhavallabh
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 wicled. 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 [Sasanka?] in that place got all
kinds of news [?] from us. Barendra Brahmana was a fanatical
sakta.ÜOn one occasion I invited the people of the Hajang for
Hari Noot[?]. Their keertan 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 Seheb 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 Dakka], 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 Dakka and began to
travel around there. It was easy to travel about in the rainy
season. After travelling 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
362. Immediately on arriving in Calcutta, I was told that I
must go to Hooghly, 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
Naleenyaksha 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
rhinocerous [?] horn and gave it to him. The fever diminished,
but in the night breathing became difficult and I slept in fear –
– in this way was I 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 Svaroopa 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 [?]. On the 20th — Ramsevak Babu, in Kalna. On the
23rd of April I went to Kaigram. On the 25th I saw the residence
of Vrindavana 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
367. During the time I was staying in Krishna Nagar, intending to
perform some service for Babaji Mahasaya [Jagannatha Dasa] at his
bhajana kutir, I arranged for a solid vernanda [to be
constructed for him] at a cost of almost 150 Rupees. OnÜthe 9th
of June I gave charge [of my duties to a deputy?], and on the
10th I went to Godrum, via Santipur and Krishna Nagar. 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 transfered to Raniganga.
368. I stayed in Raniganga only a few days. During this time
****. On November the 25th, 1890, I was transfered to Dinajpur.
369. I went to Dinajpur, 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, Vidvad-ranjan, with Baladeva’s
commentary, Ram Sevak Babu went to Calcutta. The whole family
came to the house [in Dinajpur]. 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 sufferred for almost 40 days. We tried
many kinds of medical treatment but nothing I did worked and time
went by. Sri Yuta 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 Asin, 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 Sankeertan everywhere.
372. After returning to the house [in Calcutta] I went to
Surabhikunja. We also performed a lot of sankeertan there. In
Krishna Nagar 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 inÜDinajpur.
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 Bahalavan. 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 Gidhod. A few days later, on the 7th of Vaisakha, I
reached Prayag and I received new of [Mahendra Mama?].
375. On returning to the house [in Calcutta] I preached and
lectured here and there. At times I was in Grodrum and at times
in Calcutta. From time to time I lectured in Krishna Nagar. The
year 1893 arrived, and that year, bringing a large number of
Vaishnavas [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.
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 Krishna
Nagar. 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 [!].
377. My wife, Pimu, 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. AnikatÜwas 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 Comissioner was
informed that the sannyasi was building the temple over a
[Moslem] tomb and that it was being done with the help of Hindu
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 eleswhere
at a suitable time.
381. I travelled 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 Jakpur 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 travelling on that carriage.
LaterÜin the evening I consulted with Krin Saheb and the next day
in the morning [?] Krin Saheb gave me responsibilty 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 utterence, 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 and 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
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 Krishna Nagar. At
thatÜtime Bernard Saheb was the Collector. My residence was at
Kasi Babu’s house near the house of Monomohan 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
responsibilty for the principal towns fell upon me. At that time
I would inspect the gaols.
389. You went to Krishna Nagar 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 Krishna Nagar 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 Moorti.
391. On the 8th of Chaitra there was a huge Deity installation
ceremony and innumerable participants attended. There was
Manoharasari Keertan, and Nama Sankeertan, 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 worshippers 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 Krishna Nagar. You were also there with me for
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 IÜwas
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
394. Commisioner Saheb came to Krishna Nagar 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
Svarupaganja [?]. 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.
21st June 1896
Bhakti Bhavan Calcutta
Your father, Sri Kedar Natha Datta Bhaktivinoda.
Thus Ends the Svalikhita Jivani of Thakura Bhaktivinoda