.from Srila Bhaktivinode’s auto-biography- selected portions-
back to part 1,2,3- click here.
son, Parasurama Mushtophi, studied law. In the beginning
had a little faith in Isvara. Later on he refuted the idea of
While he believed in Isvara he had two disciples, Raghu
and Nasu Mama. After he gave up his faith in Isvara, Raghu
and Nasu Mama accepted Ramamohan Raya as guru. I was greatly
I was innocent and had many questions. Seeing all this
of opinion my mind was not happy. Parasurama Mama said
me, "O baba, everything comes from Nature. And that is Isvara
is nothing separate from Nature." Hearing all this talk
went to the schools of the Bhattacharyas to ask them but what
said just confused me even more. Because all the conclusions
uncertain, I never gave up the name of Rama which warded off
fear of ghosts.
was eleven years old when my father passed away. I was
then. But what would become of me? I was struck by
thought. I could see [only] darkness in all directions. I
no blood relations who would look aftrer my welfare. At
I merely studied whatever [they instructed me]. You
know what the limits of reading and writing are in a
school. At this time Master Hemacandra Bandyopadhyaya
Ula and Ramaachandra Dasa, the pride of the Kaivartta caste,
the headmaster of the school. I studied with care, but
was no one to help me study so my learning progressed very
Somehow I did reasonably well in literature. I studied
fifth reader, grammar and geography.
in maths did I do exceedingly poorly. Kanti Bhattacharya
Lal Gopal Ghosh were good students compared to me. Even so
teacher showed a lot of affection to me. But I was helpless
gradually I was sinking lower. I was not able to say why, but
was becoming very listless and from then on was
not able to go
or there [as I had previously done]. In fear of going to
I would secretly take caster oil in order to make my
upset. Again and again my old fever would come back. In
the only [good] thing I can say about this time was that I
not fall into any bad association. I thought about many
and tried to put my thoughts into poetry. At this time I
the Ulachandi Mahatmya. That book can not be found now.
the death of my father, my grandfather, being very
in mind, went and lived in Bhavanipur. Having closed
bolted the door to the outer pooja building he opened a
for going the between the outer building
building. I stayed in the parlour of Dasu Mama, and my
cleaned out the chamber [mahalati] room of the family
Hanuman Sinha, Baladeb Sinha, Suba Sinha and Sital
Daraoyan stayed there.
thought that my further advancement would be
She felt that her husband and
all her sons had gone.
property [wealth] had been acquired from the home of her?]
in law. Grandfather gave her the house at Nabala and gave
writing a share on income from Dihi Dukhada that was lost by
trickery of scheming persons. Except for some property at
she had no wealth. The two gentlemen, Yaduchandra
Umacharan Visvas, made some effort to assist in the matter,
in the end they were not able to help.
I was the only son and Hemalata, a seven year old
was the only daughter. My nursemaid was thinking many
but was not able to ascertain any solution to our
Everyone in the house i.e. the servants] was
whether this boy [me] would live. The said to her,
after another so many of the other children who were like
[strong and handsome] have died, so what hope can there
for this ugly boy [me] to continue to live? Therefore, if you
that your wealth is in this boy you will not survive."
these talks, my mother sold me for 9 cowrie and my sister
for 5 cowrie to Dhatri Mata. After a few months my mother
that my aunt Mej undertook a marriage for my cousin Mahesh
she thought, "A marriage for my son will bring a better
Having said this, marriage negotiations began. Some
were [already?] underway. Mahesh] Dada spoke to my
[along with?] Krishnamati, the brahmani daughter of
Mukhopadhyaya who always came to our house. At this time
Bhattacharya Mahasaya would assist our family in many ways.
shopped for us. On ekadasi days the brahmana would prepare a
vegetarian meal for us.
sent Krishnamati to Ranaghat to see the girl in
The girl's name was Sayamani and she was the five year
daughter of the first wife of Sriyukta Madhusudana Mitra. She
the granddaughter of Simhadiga of Khismar. Mitra Mahasay was
capable. He was the financial officer of the Palacothur
and he came to see me riding on a elephant and then left.
seeing the girl, Krishnamati came and spoke to mother
“Oh, your future daughter law is so beautiful. Even
she is a little dark in colour I do not see a better
It was the opinion of Krishnamati that there was nothing
this girl that a man would find objectionable. Having
this opinion to mother she would not consider any other
Lala Gopal said that the colour of this girl was dark]
a hookah. Mother said, "Her forehead is auspicious, that is
beauty, what does [a dark] colour matter?"
marriage was decided. Dasu Mama acted as the head of the
Nanda Kumar began to make the jewellery. Stealing a large
of gold from mother, he made different kinds of ornaments
the girl] enough to
cover her entire body. Dasu Mama gave
approval for everything. The expence was great.
was a pleasure boat, a wedding palanquin, decorations,
English music etc. The marriage was between a twelve year
boy and a five year old girl and was exactly like a child's
marriage. Drinking Ganges water and milk I arrived at the
of my father in law with a great, pompous crowd. The
was very big. Many gentlemen of the Teli [oil] caste
in bright and varied clothes and wearing jari outfits
to the reception. Even though I was of such a tender age, I
able to understand that except for the Kayasthas and the
who were dressed nicely] the good clothes and
did not look well on the others. I heard that the
of the Panti family came. Hearing the name Panti my
doll comes to mind. Even though they were not exactly like
doll, my eyes did not see the beauty of the panti children.
reciters of genealogies read out the family histories of the
and Datta families.
back to part 1,2,3- click here.
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