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2/3/68

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 Executive service.

Yours truly, sd. Kedar Nath Dutt

241. After writing the above letter I waited [for a reply] and during that time came down with fever. Because of that I had much trouble living in Krishnaganj, but I recovered. At this time Beverley Saheb came to Krishnaganj and inspected the office. When I told him about my illness, he said, "What the decision of the 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.

242.

Bengal Secretariate The 17th March 1868

My dear Sir,

I have just seen your letter to Mr. Beverley of 2nd Feb.You write, I think under the 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.

Yours faithfully

H.L. Dampier

243. After a couple of letters along these lines I became Deputy Magistrate in Dinajpur. Taking a palanquin, I proceeded to Dinajpur. My intention was to speak to many people and arrange for a permanent residence and bring my family there. But before that Ratneswar Babu appeared in Purneah. He stayed in my house in Purneah and I came to Dinajpur. I wrote to Dampier Saheb. He said, "Now you will likely spend a considerable time in Dinajpur." I took a palanquin and brought my whole family to Dinajpur. I stayed very healthy in 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 Gosais coming and going there. A number of rich people supported many brahmana pandit assemblies. Some respectable gentlemen would regularly come to me and discuss Vaishnava dharma. I had a desire to know the 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 theintelligence 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 Premlankara in this book [?].

247. At this time there was a lot of fighting between the Hindus and the Brahmos in Dinajpur. The schoolmasters were Brahmos but almost everyone else was Hindu. The Hindus were endeavouring to put the Brahmos out of their caste. At that time the Brahmos invited me to come to their assembly and I wrote to them saying that I was not a Brahmo, but was a servant of the many followers of Chaitanya. When the Brahmos heard this they gave up hope of my [becoming a Brahmo]. The Hindus invited me to form a sabha [for the Hindus] and the first meeting was held in the house of Khajanji Babu. I gave a lecture on the Bhagavata which was published as a book. A few Sahebs heard the lecture and were impressed.

248. Previous to this meeting I had not heard Manoharshahi [a type of kirtan] singing. I was impressed to hear the Shreni singing, first of Shiromani Mahasaya and then of Madansimha Mahasaya. He who is able to sing the kirtan of Mahaprabhu Chaitanya Deva in the style of Manoharshahi - that person alone will I hear.

249. At that time I had a son. But after one month and a few days he died. My wife was very sad. At the same time she also received news of the death of her father, though I kept it secret for one or two days. Deciding that it was time I told my wife and two unhappinesses combined and made one unhappiness. The Chaturthi Kriya [the obsequial rites performed by a married woman on the fourth day after the death of one of her parents] were completed. After this I thought of moving from Dinajpur.

250. According to the government order, on March 17th 1868 I became the assessor at Dinajpur. I met with Srikantaji. I saw the river Atreya. At that time I made an application for a vacation and on 29th of May 1869 I got three months privilege leave. In the month of Jyaistha there was a huge storm. Immediately afterwards I crossed the 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 Ambika Chaudhuri. 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 law intensively.

253. I made a plan with Metcalf Saheb to the effect that I would take the examination in Chapra, proceed to the house [in Ranaghat] and return with the whole family. For that reason he requested 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 leave."

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 in Cuttack.

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 Puri.

258. Kshetra Babu had a house and when Ambika Babu [the tenant] vacated it I took it over. Deputy Annada Ghosa 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 his followers.

261. It was written in the Malika of the Atibaris that there would be a fight on the 14th of Chaitra and that Mahavishnu would then reveal His four armed form. When this news spread around, all the wives of the [local] Brahmanas deviated from the brahmanical regulations and went to serve him. When there was some turmoil among thewomen 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 Jagannath Vallabha.

267. Mahanta Narayan Das, Mohan Das, Uttar Parsver Mahanta, Harihara Das, and other pandits used to attend the meeting. Babaji Kantadhari and Raghunatha Dasa Mahasaya became angry about my meetings and prevented many people from coming. 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 imcomprable Vaishnava.

269. Throughout the entire day he would perform bhajana within his kutir [cottage]. In the evening he would go out to his courtyard and make obeisance to Tulasi and sing and cry while 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 understood.

274. There were many Yatras [celebrated there], such as Dola Yatra, Ratha Yatra etc. I had the responsibility of watching over these festivals. Taking many constables and several Karmacharis with me, I made so much effort to oversee the pilgrims that I cannot write of it. I would make favourable arrangements for the pilgrims to see the Deity and to take Prasada, and to hear complaints from the people. The king and suchlike, and the Karmacharis of the temple used to commit many illegal acts. I would go there to prevent all such things and thus I made enemies of the king and the king's men. Because I was helped by Lord Jagannatha no one was able to harm me in any way. I served Lord Jagannatha at my ease for almost five years.

275. While in Sri Purushottama Kshetra I changed my residence several times. Finally, by the grace of Ramachandra Atya, I got a house [of my own?]. On the night of the 16th of Magh 1278 [1872 A.D.] Kamala Prasada was born in the 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 prasada.

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, RobinsSaheb 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

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