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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 illness.
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 a disaster had occurred. On that day my uncle had arranged to feed brahmanas at the house. The feast was being hosted by the Kayastha community, but now the whole affair had to be called off.
50. After two or three days I learned that I would not be returning to Krishnanagar. My laxity in attending school was pleasant news from my parents' point of view, so I gave up reading and writing and stayed in Ula. At that time there was no longer a school in my grandfather's house.
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 puja 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 of the house]. My maternal grandfather's father had his residence in that house. Giving up the old house he moved into a new dwelling. Even so, my uncles had equal ownership of the common parts of the house. The teacher used to teach in the corridor area near the Deity, Krishna Chandra Raya, and I studied mathematics and other subjects there for a short time.
55. Within a short time the honourable Shyamlal Pran Mushtophi established a school there. Syamlal Pran 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 puja 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 pujas were performed in the house of a certain brahmachari [who resided in Ula]. There was a nice mandir outside his house and inside there was a garden and homa area. The worship of the brahmachari was performed according to the doctrine of tantra. Cups made from skulls were kept hidden away in a small room [in his house]. Some people said that if you gave Ganges water and milk to a skull it would smile. I tried to see this by giving water and milk to a skull but saw nothing. In that same place was the home of a learned man and I would go there to hear songs.
64. During the Durga festival there would be much eating and celebration at the homes of brahmanas. Sometimes, in the hope of getting some nice prasada, I would accept an invitation to eat. In some homes I would get good dahl along with vegetable curry and rice. In other homes I would get khichari and dahl cooked with jackfruit and other things. One could get the best curry at the house of Visvanatha Mukhopadhyaya. At every house you could get goat curry. All of the non brahmana residents of Ula would go to the homes of the brahmanas for three days and get prasadam. No one would eat at his own house. During the Durga festival giving food and eating were the highlight and not so much music and song. In other festivals specific arrangements for song and music were observed.
65. To the extent the Mustophi family declined to that extent the families of Ramanadas Babu and Sambhanath Mukhopadhyaya increased in prestige. In their homes, during the Jagadhatri puja, [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 pujas.
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 endure.
71. While this was transpiring, my father's grandfather's property, which was named Ramaparain and was in the district of Murashidabad, had not had its taxes paid and thus came up for sale. Hearing of this, my father sent Umacharan Vishvas there [to settle the matter] with 1500 Rupees obtained from my mother. The man arrived there just as the sale was going on. The money was therefore not used in that connection. On the death of my father's step-mother, Rani Radharani, my father gained control of six rent free villages. Umacharan 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 my father she came from Orissa, where my paternal grandfather lived, and stayed in her native Bengal. Yoga Pisi [my aunt] came and stayed with her when she lived in Ula at Girish Mitra's house.
75. When I rose at dawn I could not see father. There was no one around. At that time Lalu Chakravarti and Paramesvara Mahanti had come from Orissa, and they had carried my father to the bank of the Ganges. Seeing everybody crying, I also began to cry. My honourable mother, being in anxiety, was crying, and many people were trying to console her. By the second prahara everybody returned. Loud sounds of crying filled the house. My honorable grandfather closed the door.
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 murti of] Siva had no substance within.
79. One day I went to eat gamarul fruit in the garden near my grandfather's parlour. I heard that a ghost lived in the fruit tree and on that day I ran away in fear of the ghost. Another day I thought that if some remedy could be effected then I could go and eat the fruit without fear of the ghost. In the hot weather the gamarul fruit is very tastey. I made inquiries of many people about how to deal with ghosts, and no one said there was no such thing as ghosts. Being very disturbed, I asked Vachaspati Mahashaya, who said that ghosts were a particular form of living being. Their form is of the wind and their eyes are like the Kuncha fruit [very small and red]. Hearing the words of Vachaspati Mahasaya I became even more afraid of ghosts. But where there is no gamarul, there is no eating. The mother of Chiba was very expert in the occult. She was an exorcist for some people and she oversaw the storage room of my grandfather.
80. Upon questioning her she informed me that there is no fear of ghosts while one chants the name of Rama. She called for Jayakali, and a servant appeared who said the same thing. By way of experiment I went to the site of the Gamarul tree calling the name of Rama over and over again, and I saw no evidence of a ghost in any fashion. Knocking down some fruit, I ate two quarters. I understood that the name of Rama was protection against the ghost. At dusk I would always utter Rama Nama. When walking about in the streets and alleys I always chanted Rama Nama. I obtained great satisfaction in my mind and for many days after I took this medicine against the ghost. I heard that a ghost lived in the homa building. Uttering the name of Rama I chased the ghost away from the puja building. Now I would [not be afraid] to go outside at dusk.
81. There was an old carpenter who made backdrops for the goddess Jagaddhatri. I would go to him and ask him about many things. He would give answers to all my questions. One time I asked him, "When does the goddess enter the statue?" He said that on the day when the eyes are made the goddess resides in the statue. So on that day I eagerly went to see the goddess come but I did not see her take up residence in the statue. I said [to the carpenter] that Goloka Pal made the statue first with straw then with clay. Thereafter one uses chalk and dye. At no time did the goddess actully come. Then the old carpenter said that the goddess appears in the statue when the brahmanas chant the mantras. I tried to see [her come] at this time but saw nothing. Returning to the house of the old wise carpenter I asked him about all this. He said, "I have no faith in the worship of statues. I think that these brahmanas are cheating. They are acquiring money by means of social custom."
82. I had special regard for the words of this old sculptor. I asked him to tell me about Paramesvara and he said, "Let anyone say whatever [he may], I have confidence in no one but Paramesvara. The gods and goddesses are imaginary. Everyday I worship the Paramesvara." I had faith in the words of this old man.
83. I became even more inquisitive. There was a guard, Golama Khan, who would watch the door of the Koshadhan [the room where the valuables are kept]. I inquired of him and he said that God's name was Khoda. He was One and there was none other. Khoda took some stool [mala] from his own body and shaped it into a 'ruti' and tossed it into the water of the seas. The upper portion [of that ruti] became the sky, the lower portion became the earth. In this form the world was created and in the creation of Adam and Eve man was created. We are all the decendents of Adam. Hearing all these stories, I asked, "Please tell who Rama was." He said that Rama and Rahim were one, and He is Khoda. I then received confirmation on the mantra for [repelling] ghosts. Golam Khan spoke about ghost and said that all ghosts were sons of Satan. They fear the name of Rahim. My thoughts on the truth [of the matter of the Holy Name of Rama] were satisfied.
84. I was meditating a good deal [on the cause of the world etc.]. At one time I thought that this world was false and that Isvara alone was real. And I appeared to be Isvara. Like a man dreaming in his sleep I [only] imagined that I was suffering. When the sleep broke I laughed at this understanding of Isvara. Then I thought that I alone was the creator. I would frequently forget my position and then would fall into this suffering condition. Then I thought that I was Isvara and this was my leela. By the force of this leela all mistakes and forgetfulness would take form.
85. At the old house lived the father of Uncle Parasuram, Akhil Mushtophi. In the morning he would arise come and take a seat and read Vedanta. Thereafter, unfastening his kacha [the back part of the dhoti] he would recite the Kalma [a Muslim prayer] After that he would kneel down and worship Isvara [as a Christian]. He did not believe in the clay gods at all. Many people would say that he was very wise and others would say that he was less than a Christian. Once I went to him and asked him questions. He said the Isvara alone was Purusha. The Vedas know him as Brahman, in the Koran he is Allah and in the Bible he is God. I believed him. He warned me not to go to Parasuram, who was an atheist.
86. His son, Parasurama Mushtophi, studied law. In the beginning he had a little faith in Isvara. Later on he refuted the idea of Isvara. While he believed in Isvara he had two disciples, Raghu Mama and Nasu Mama. After he gave up his faith in Isvara, Raghu Mama and Nasu Mama accepted Ramamohan Raya as guru. I was greatly confused. I was innocent and had many questions. Seeing all this difference of opinion my mind was not happy. Parasurama Mama said to me, "O baba, everything comes from Nature. And that is Isvara There is nothing separate from Nature." Hearing all this talk I\went to the schools of the Bhattacharyas to ask them but what they said just confused me even more. Because all the conclusions were uncertain, I never gave up the name of Rama which warded off the fear of ghosts.
87. I was eleven years old when my father passed away. I was independant then. But what would become of me? I was struck by this thought. I could see [only] darkness in all directions. I had no blood relations who would look aftrer my welfare. At school I merely studied whatever [they instructed me]. You [Lalita] know what the limits of reading and writing are in a village school. At this time Master Hemacandra Bandyopadhyaya left Ula and Ramaachandra Dasa, the pride of the Kaivartta caste, became the headmaster of the school. I studied with care, but there was no one to help me study so my learning progressed very little. Somehow I did reasonably well in literature. I studied the fifth reader, grammar and geography.
88. Only in maths did I do exceedingly poorly. Kanti Bhattacharya and Lal Gopala Ghosa were good students compared to me. Even so the teacher showed a lot of affection to me. But I was helpless and gradually I was sinking lower. I was not able to say why, but I was becoming very listless and from then on was not able to go here or there [as I had previously done]. In fear of going to school, I would secretly take caster oil in order to make my stomach upset. Again and again my old fever would come back. In brief the only [good] thing I can say about this time was that I did not fall into any bad association. I thought about many things and tried to put my thoughts into poetry. At this time I wrote the Ulachandi Mahatmya. That book can not be found now.
89. After the death of my father, my grandfather, being very aggrieved in mind, went and lived in Bhavanipur. Having closed and bolted the door to the outer puja building he opened a passageway for going the between the outer building and the former building. I stayed in the parlour of Dasu Mama, and my grandfather cleaned out the chamber [mahalati] room of the family deities. Hanuman Sinha, Baladeb Sinha, Suba Sinha and Sital Teoyari Daraoyan stayed there.
90. Mother thought that my further advancement would be difficult. She felt that her husband and all her sons had gone. No property [wealth] had been acquired from the home of [her?] father in law. Grandfather gave her the house at Nabala and gave in writing a share on income from Dihi Dukhada that was lost by the trickery of scheming persons. Except for some property at Chotimangalpur she had no wealth. The two gentlemen, Yaduchandra and Umacharan Visvas, made some effort to assist in the matter, but in the end they were not able to help.
91. Then I was the only son and Hemalata, a seven year old girl,\was
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