Sri Krishna-Chaitanya

by Nisikanta Sanyal | 1933 | 274,022 words | ISBN-10: 818919500X

The present work is an attempt to offer a theistic account in the English language of the career and teachings of Sri Chaitanya (representing the Absolute Truth in His full manifestation). Sri Chaitanya came into this world to make all people understand that in reference to their eternal existence they should have nothing to do with non-Godhead. A...

Chapter 17 - Triumphs of Learning

The Lord taught His pupils in all places. His usual resort for the purpose in the evening was the side of the Ganges. On His arrival there He took His Seat, as at the Academy, in the midst of His pupils. The Performances of the Lord as Teacher on the bank of the holy stream remained indelibly impressed on the memory of all beholders. Sri Brindavandas Thakur searched all the Scriptures to find an analogy by an event of the triple universe. He rejected the following suggestions after due consideration of their claims. The analogy of the Moon surrounded by the stars of Heaven was rejected on the ground that the Moon is spotted-and. subject to the processes of waxing and waning whereas the Nature of the Spotless Subject of comparison is Eternally ‘Full’. Brhaspati, teacher of the gods, does not furnish a proper analogy in as much as he happens to be a partisan of the devas, whereas our Lord is the Partisan and Help of all sides. Cupid god of worldly amour, does not offer the requisites of a proper analog. The mind in which he makes his appearance is distracted, whereas on the Appearance of the Lord in one’s mind all other bonds are snapped and the mind attains the state of supreme purity and satisfaction. In the same way all other analogies also appeared to be seriously defective. There could be found only one exception. There is real analogy with the Pastimes of the Son of Sri Nanda, surrounded by the cowherds, on the banks of the Kalindi (Yamuna). It seemed to all people as if the Selfsame Krishna Chandra, in the company of those very cowherds, having put on the Form of the twiceborn, now re-enacted His Identical Pastimes on the bank of the Ganges.

All those, who were privileged to have the Sight of the Lord discoursing to His pupils on the bank of the Ganges, experienced a gladness that baffles all description. They were no less impressed by the display of His Power, and everybody secretly opened his mind to others on this subject. Some said, ‘Such Power does not belong to man’. Some declared that the Brahmana was the Integral Portion of Krishna Himself. Others said that ‘He seemed to be the Person of the prophecy that a Brahmana will be King in Gau_a, and held that his conclusion was confirmed by the fact that He had all the Bodily Signs that prognosticate the King of Kings. Every one made these remarks regarding the Lord in accordance with one’s own particular bent of mind.

The Lord expounded the Scriptures on the bank of the Ganges, adversely criticizing the teachers. He exposed the falsity of their interpretations by establishing their contradictories and, after refuting all different opinions, reestablished them all. He challenged every one to disputation with Himself and promised to recognize as a real scholar every one who would fairly meet Him only once. He denied that any one possessed the power of holding his ground in controversy against Him even by accepting the very interpretations that He offered. Thus did the Lord make His Boast and His Bragging Words destroyed all vanities of every one who listened to them.

There was no end of the pupils of the Lord. They formed themselves into innumerable groups and pursued their studies at many different places in the town. Every day ten or twenty Brahmana boys prostrated themselves at the Feet of the Lord and begged to be allowed to study under Him. They prayed for His mercy that they might have the good fortune of being enlightened by Him to the least extent. The Lord laughed at their words observing that what they said was most excellent. The number of the Lord’s pupils went on increasing apace every day in this manner.

Thus the Lord held His learned sessions surrounded by His countless pupils by the side of the Ganges. It was a most edifying Sight that was witnessed by His fortunate contemporaries. The whole of Nabadwip was rendered free from all cause of sorrow by the Holy Influence of the Supreme Lord and all those, who were privileged to witness the learned Performances of the Lord, were regarded in subsequent years as persons of rare good fortune the very sight of whom had power to free one from the bondage of the world. Sri Brindavandas Thakur laments his misfortune for not having been born at that time, and cherishes the hope that he might retain his recollection of those Activities of the Lord at every birth and be born as His servant wherever Sri Chaitanya and Nityananda manifest Their Divine Activities

The above, from the pen of His first biographer, who had his information from Nityananda Himself, un-contradicted by any other writers of that or subsequent period, proves conclusively, apart from the evidence of His associates and followers regarding the Substantive Teaching of the Lord, that Sri Chaitanya enjoyed an extraordinary reputation as Disputant and Exponent of the Shastras among His contemporaries. Those contemporaries were specially given to the cultivation of the Science of Polemics which had been perfected at Nabadwip to a point never rivaled anywhere else either then or since. Lest this fact fail to be sufficiently grasped by posterity Thakur Brindavandas repeats it over and over again and in a most definite manner. As for instance he gives prominence to the fact that the Lord was never chary of denouncing the interpretations of other Professors, although Nabadwip was at the time full of a countless host of the most eminent teachers, proverbially jealous of their scholastic reputation to whose ears the denunciations of the Lord were sure to be carried in no time. But no Professor in all the different branches of learning, which were cultivated with equal zeal at Nabadwip, ever dared to meet the Lord in open controversy on any issue. Every one was terribly afraid of Him, showed the greatest deference to His Views and avoided any direct disputation with Him. And if the Lord was pleased to speak kindly to any one that fortunate person became at once His most devoted servant. All the people were fully aware of His Extraordinary Cleverness even from Infancy and all dreaded and obeyed Him. They also knew that no one had really the power to excel or teach Him anything new. Yet no one suspected that He was any other than an ordinary mortal.

The language of Thakur Brindavandas, coming from one who, although an admirer of the Lord and using the poetic diction, and after making every allowance for so-called oriental hyperbole that is supposed by unimaginative empiric thinkers of this country and elsewhere to specially characterize all religious literature, makes it plain that Sri Chaitanya was not a particularly submissive kind of a person, nor did He seek to serve Godhead in the current manner, but was certainly not an opponent of rational, or even empiric inquiry on any subject. He was also at the same time a scoffer of all self-sufficient superficial pedantry. These qualities were misunderstood by the orthodox Vaishnavas also, among whom were persons distinguished for their secular learning as well as piety. This Incomprehensible Nature of the Young Professor, Who scorned everybody and submitted to none, marked Him out as a most extraordinary Person and extorted the unwilling admiration of friends and foes alike. That it was not willing admiration in all cases we shall know from the sequel. His uncompromising attitude and hostile talk gave deep offense to the learned pedants, who only waited for the opportunity of indulging their furious animosity against the dreaded Scholar Whom they could not meet in honest controversy.

The attitude of the learned circles of Nadia demonstrates the radical defect of empirical intellectualism which does not at all realize the gravity of the misfortune of its divorce from the Absolute Truth. Its abstract idealistic speculations are a sorry refuge from the dangers of the grosser forms of materialistic positivism. This material world is not an illusion. The idealist, who affects to look down upon it, is bound to be brought to grief in no time by the actual force of the very circumstances that he pretends to contemn. The scientific instinct revolts from the sterile and fictitious triumphs of the mere idealist. It seeks to satisfy the need of our nature for the substantive Truth by creating opportunities of expanded materialistic activities in defiance of barren idealism. Sri Gaursundar, however, did not meet the idealists with the weapon of grosser materialism. He was content to point out the glaring defects of their synthesis with the help of empiric logic itself, as they could not fail to understand such argument. By the very nature of the case it is possible by means of empiric logic to demolish its own false constructions and to demonstrate the necessity of a change of method of investigation for the attainment of the Real Truth.

The difficulty begins after this critical juncture has been reached. Even those, who are prepared to admit their defect in controversy, do not always realize the necessity of accepting the conclusions of their victorious enemy. The out and out sincerity of judgment, that would lead to such acceptance, is very rare and implies to an attitude of causeless devotion to the Truth for His Own sake. The pedants of Nabadwip did not care to learn the Truth from Sri Chaitanyadeva. Neither is this an absolute and immediate drawback for progressing in empiric knowledge. A person can improve his empiric knowledge by self-application unassisted by any other person by the study of books. Sri Gaursundar led His campaign against the futility of this method for attainment of the knowledge of the Absolute. Such knowledge, He contended, can only be obtained by submitting to receive it from person who is in possession of it.

The necessity of personal mediation of the teacher for attainment. of the Knowledge of the Absolute introduces a condition which it is not possible to establish fully by the method of empiric logic. The necessity of the acceptance of the principle of personal subordination is also consistently enough denied by the empiricists in respect of their own achievement. Their misunderstanding is due to the fact that they cannot realize the identity of the Teacher of the Absolute with the Message itself. They want to accept the Message by leaving out the Bearer of the Same. They have evidently less respect and necessity for the servant than for the Master. Their own logic should be able to tell them that the Absolute must by His nature be unattainable by any form of conditional submission. The mundane egoistic reservation is to be completely discarded if one is to approach the Presence of Sri Krishna. The Bhattacharyas and Misras of Nabadwip, proud of their learning and fallacious self-sufficiency failed to understand the necessity and duty of absolute submission to the real teacher of the Word of God.

They preferred to continue on the path of admitted ignorance and sinfulness. This course appeared to them to be less intolerable than absolute submission to the servant of Krishna. Such persons are by temperament doomed to eternal perdition and the only method that was applicable to their case was that of merciless castigation in the form of elaborate exposure of their sophistries, by which method alone they might be prevented from misleading less wicked foolish people from the path of the pure service of the Lord. The fact, that the Bhattacharyas and Misras were not redeemed by Sri Gaursundar, has been used, by dishonest pedants who are not on principle prepared to inquire with an unbiased mind into the nature of the issue itself that divided the two parties, as a circumstance that proves the unconvincing nature of the position taken up by Sri Gaursundar. There cannot well be a grosser form of impiety under the garb of piety than the unholy assertion that the suffrage of the ignorant people of this sinful world establishes the claim of the Absolute to our unconditional allegiance to His Holy Feet. Such perversity of judgment is the punishment that justly overtakes all insincere natures who, while professing to seek the Truth, are willfully bent upon amassing the means for the gratification of their own ignorant vanity. To those abnormal people the uncompromising attitude of Sri Gaursundar’s advocacy of the Truth appeared to be only an instance of ignorant arrogance greater than their own. They were so completely blinded by their insatiable passion for sensuous gratification that they were unable to distinguish between their own selfish vanity and the Arrogance of Sri Gaursundar which their own vanity necessitated and which was intended to break their impious perversity, or at any rate, to lessen the same, or prevent it from grossly misleading innocent people to the utter ruin of both.

This Attitude of Sri Gaursundar was also in glaring contrast to that of the other Vaishnavas who did not care to oppose in this drastic manner the pretensions of those graceless atheists; but it was none the less best calculated to promote-the real well-being of all those who are disposed to draw a distinction between arrogance directed to the service of the Absolute and humility practiced with the same object in favour of the latter, make out difference which does not really exist. Real humility, that submits unconditionally to the Absolute, never submits to minister to the pleasures of the atheists. When those, who are not disposed to submit to the Absolute, pretend to be humble in their relations with worldly people, they do so for gaining the reputation of humility. The really humble person has no selfish ambition and is, therefore, in a position to serve the Truth and nothing but the Truth under all circumstances. The true and constant servants of the Absolute alone are privileged to understand how Godhead may be best served by loyal arrogance and most basely betrayed by self-seeking show of humility. Godhead is never served by external conduct. Good manners in themselves have no value. They have their value in and through perfect loyalty to the Truth, which is the one thing needful. Good manners, practiced by worldly people, are but a snare and a most insidious form of gross impiety.

The above considerations enable us to understand that no one can know the Lord unless the Lord makes Himself known to him of His Own accord. Sri Gaursundar, during all this period while He was engaged in the task of silencing the proud scholars of the centre of learning of the Age by exposing their utter ignorance of all subjects, failed to be recognized as the Lord of all learning alike by pious Vaishnavas and the atheistical teachers of Nabadwip. But we need not suppose that His Activities were, therefore, less important or a lesser evidence of His highest beneficent Mercy. The Lord is ever full of unlimited beneficence; but He reserves the right of manifesting the true Nature of His Divine Activities only to such persons Whom He chooses to favour. During all the time that Gaursundar was indulging in these learned Pastimes not a single person in the whole Nabadwip recognized His Divinity, although these Performances were most extraordinary even from the point of view of empiric scholarship. In this connection the following remarkable incident, which took place at this time deserves our most attentive consideration.

A great scholar of the name of Keshab Bhatta came to Nabadwip. He was a famous controversialist and had assumed the proud title of ‘Conqueror of all quarters’ to proclaim His victories over the scholars of all parts and also as an open challenge to the learned whom he summoned to recognize his superiority if they did not venture to engage in open discussion through fear of public exposure of their inferiority. It was the traditional ambition of the Pandits of this country to seek the proud distinction of being the recognized superior of all learned persons, or as the Conqueror of all quarters, (digvijayi). The conditions, that such a claim gave rise to, were that the vanquished had to put down in writing the fact of their defeat and hand over to the victor their written confession of inferiority.

Keshab Bhatta, after defeating in controversy the Pandits of other parts of the country, appeared in Nabadwip, which was then reputed as the greatest center of learning in India, with the object of compelling the great Pandits of Nabadwip also to admit his superior scholarship. Keshab Bhatta was fully confident of his ability to defeat the Pandits of Nabadwip for the reason that he had ordained the assurance of the goddess of learning herself to the effect that he would never suffer any defeat in controversy. Keshab Bhatta had discovered that all the Shastras appeared on the tip of his tongue without any effort on his part by the grace of the goddess of learning, and the questions, that constantly suggested themselves to him, were such that no antagonist was ever in a position to offer any satisfactory reply. His questions alone were sufficient to silence his adversary, and it never came to a discussion at all.

When the fame of Nabadwip reached his ears he hastened thither in great state, escorted by a numerous retinue mounted on richly caparisoned horses and elephants, defeating m controversial encounters all those Pandits who met his challenge on the way. His arrival at Nabadwip caused a great fear to fall upon the community of the Pandits who took counsel together apprehending the imminent loss of the prestige which they enjoyed in the learned world if this ‘Conqueror of all quarters’ from afar succeeded in carrying off the laurels of victory by defeating them in their very stronghold. They were unnerved by fear at the prospect of contending with one whom Saraswati herself had been pleased to grant the boon of invincibility in controversy. All the leading Bhattacharyas of Nabadwip left off all work and racked their brains over their impending discomfiture.

On every side the ominous cry was loudly expressed that the occasion had arrived which was to settle what gift of intellect the Pandits of Nabadwip really possessed. The students soon carried the tidings to Gauranga. ‘A certain Conqueror of the quarters (digvijayi), having won the favour of Saraswati, is touring all places and vanquishing in controversy all Pandits. He has in his possession the certificates of his victories from all the vanquished. He has a large following of horses, elephants, litters, attendants. He has recently arrived in the town and is actually settled in Nabadwip. He wants to engage in controversy any rival who may offer himself. If no antagonist is prepared to take up his challenge he demands that every learned association must forthwith supply him with written confession of their defeat.

On hearing this the Lord laughingly told the truth to His pupils. Listen to Me, brothers. I am telling you the real truth. The Supreme Lord in no way tolerates self-conceit. The Lord always takes away whatsoever intoxicates a person to indulge in excessive vanity. Humility is the constant nature of the fruit-bearing tree as of a person endowed with all good qualities. Have you not heard of the fate of all the mightiest Conquerors of old such as Haihai, Nahusha, Bena, Bana, Naraka, Ravana? Was there ever any person whose vanity was not brought low? Godhead never tolerates excessive conceit. For this reason I assure you that all the pride of his learning will be completely humbled at this very place,.

Having said so, the Lord came on to the bank of the Ganges in the evening with His disciples and, having touched with reverence the holy water of the Ganges and made His obeisance to the sacred stream, Divine Gauranga assumed His Seat in the center of His pupils. The students sat round Him in many different groups, and a brisk and cheerful discussion went forward regarding many a topic on dharma and the Shastras. As the Lord was seated in this joyous manner He thought of a plan of conquering the ‘Conqueror of all quarters’. He did not like the idea of defeating him in open controversy in a public assembly, as such defeat would kill outright the Brahmana who was so much puffed up with inordinate vanity by reason of his victories which had filled him with the notion that he had no equal in the whole world. Moreover such defeat would also expose him to the jeers and violence of the populace who would fall upon him and plunder his belongings. If the Brahmana were vanquished in a private encounter he would be cured of his vanity without suffering the terrible pain of a public exposure. While the Lord was maturing His plan ‘the Conqueror of all quarters' himself came to the very spot that evening.

What ensued after the arrival of ‘the Conqueror of all quarters,’ has been graphically described in all its bearings by Thakur Brindavandas. The night was most beautifully illuminated by the gorgeous splendours of the clear moon of Bengal. The Bhagirathi wore her most hallowed aspect of indescribable glory. The Supreme Lord, Whose Beauty captivates the hearts of everything, was Himself Present with all His disciples. The charming Face of the Lord was constantly lit up with a Gracious Smile and His Two Beautiful Eyes wore the Eternal Look of Divine Benediction. His Fine Teeth, set between His Ruddy Lips, scorned the beauty of pearls. His Whole Frame was most delicately soft and overflowed with kindness. His Beautiful Head wore a profusion of the most charming curls of the Finest Hair. His Neck was posed like the Lion’s. His Shoulders were broad as that of the elephant. His Attire was in keeping with His Figure. The Holy Form was of the most generous dimensions, with a most Beautiful Bosom which was encircled by Sri Anantadeva in the Form of the sacrificial thread. His Fine Forehead was marked with the long beautiful tilaka pointing upwards. His Exquisite Hands reached to the Knee. The Lord wore His Cloth in the style of the yoga patta and, being Seated with His Right Foot placed in the loop of the Left Thigh, was engaged d in expounding the Shastras, establishing the contraries of all negative and positive conclusions. All His disciples were seated in many a group, on different sides of Him, and formed a most picturesque Assembly.

‘The Conqueror of all quarters’ was much surprised on beholding this wonderful Sight and thought within himself, ‘Is This perhaps Nimai Pandit?, and, stopping unnoticed, gazed on the Beauty of the Lord without taking off his eyes for a long time. He then inquired of one of the disciples, ‘What is His Name?, and was told in reply, ‘He is, indeed, the Great Nimai Pandit Himself’. Thereupon, making his obeisance to the Ganges, ‘the Conqueror’ made his way into the midst of the Assembly of the Lord. A Slight Smile played round the Lips of the Lord as He welcomed him with cordiality, inviting him to take his seat.

‘The Conqueror of all quarters’ was of a most fearless disposition. But nevertheless he experienced a feeling of great awe at the Sight of the Lord. The Lord, after exchanging a few words with the Brahmana, began to he inquisitive in His Joyous Mood. He began by observing ‘that the poetic powers of ‘the Conqueror’ were boundless and there was no subject to which he could not apply his powers with success. That they would all be delivered from their sins if he would favour them with a poetic account of the glories of the holy Ganges.’ On hearing these words of the Lord ‘the Conqueror’ began immediately the praise of the Ganges in verses composed on the spot and with such facility and in such varied figures that his recitation appeared to possess the amplitude and dignity of the voice of the clouds. Saraswati herself was present on the tongue of ‘the Conqueror,’ and, therefore whatever he said was perfect in every way.

No human being possessed the power of impeaching the same or even comprehending the full extent of the profound learning that marked his utterances. All the students of the Lord, who were counted by thousands, were astonished by listening to the description. ‘Rama, Rama,’ they ejaculated, ‘It is most wonderful! Can such words come from any mortal?’ The description was most richly laden in every part with all the rhetorical embellishments conceivable for adorning the human speech, that are to be found in the whole world, and to such supreme perfection that even those, who were deeply versed in all branches of the Shastras, found it most difficult even to follow him. In this fashion ‘the Conqueror’ poke on for the space of a quarter of the night and did not yet finish.

When ‘the Conqueror’ at last ceased Sri Gaursundar said laughingly ‘that the real purpose of the words, woven into the verses by him, was not intelligible to them unless he himself was pleased to explain. He would, therefore, request ‘the Conqueror, to supply the explanation of his own words which were undoubtedly perfect in their import.’ These sweet Words of the Lord induced ‘the Conqueror’ to an attempt to explain his own verses. But no sooner did he begin to expound the Lord began to criticize at every step. The Lord said in effect ‘that the words that had been employed by ‘the Conqueror’ apparently transgressed against all the established principles of the Shastras and that it was, therefore, necessary to know all other special purpose which ‘the Conqueror’ had in view in using them.’

The great ‘Conqueror of all quarters,’ the pet child of the goddess of learning, the victor of a hundred controversies, was powerless to offer any explanation, and all his intelligence seemed to desert him at this crisis. The Brahmana began to talk at random, but could establish nothing; and Sri Gauranga was most prompt in pointing out all the defects of his arguments. All the genius of ‘the Conqueror’ forsook him and he did not understand what he himself had said. Then the Lord asked Him not to mind it but give them something fresh. But ‘the Conqueror’ found that he no longer possessed his former power of impromptu composition.

When ‘the Conqueror of all quarters’ was in the throes of the agony of his decisive defeat the pupils of the Lord made a gesture of laughter at his expense. But the Lord forbade all incivility and spoke kindly to the Brahmana. ‘The Conqueror’ had made an exhausting effort by composing those wonderful verses and was naturally very much fatigued by his exertions. The night was far advanced. So the controversy might be postponed to the next day. Let them all part for that night with mutual good-will and ‘the Conqueror, should return to his lodgings for rest without feeling discouraged,. The Lord was ever tender to His opponents in His Dealings with them. Those, whom He vanquished in controversy, did not experience any sorrow. The Lord behaved in the same way towards all the Professors of Nabadwip. Although. He defeated them all, He pleased them all by His Conduct after His victory. ‘Let us,’ He would say, ‘Go home to-day and look up our authorities so that we might be in a position to answer everything correctly tomorrow.’ The Lord never broke the spirit of the vanquished. Hence all were pleased with Him. Such were the Pastimes of the Lord. It was for this reason that every one, of all those Pandits who lived at Nabadwip, was in his heart of hearts well-disposed towards the Lord.

The Lord made His way home in the company of His disciples. ‘The Conqueror of all quarters’ felt extremely ashamed at heart. In his distress the Brahmana thus mused within himself, ‘Saraswati herself gave me this boon. I have met in controversy all those who were well versed in Nyaya Shankhya, Patanjala, Mimansa, Vaiseshika and Vedanta philosophies. I found none in the whole world who could even advance a plausible view in opposition to mine.’ The question of their ability to defeat me was, therefore, necessarily remote. But such is the contrivance of Providence that this Brahmana, Who is merely a teacher of Vyakarana which is a subject for infants, should be able to actually defeat me! The boon of Saraswati herself would seem to be unsure! There is good cause for the greatest anxiety in this. Some offense against the goddess must have been engendered in myself and due to this the power of my genius has been lessened. I must find out the cause of it this very day., Thinking thus the Brahmana sat down to the recitation of the mantra and, having finished the due quota, betook himself to his bed with a sorrowful heart. In his dream Saraswati appeared before the Bipra and, casting her merciful glance on the fortunate Brahmana, began to tell him secrets that are most carefully hidden in the Scriptures. Saraswati said,, Listen, good Brahmana. I am going to tell you the hidden secret of the Vedas. If you disclose this to any one your life will assuredly be cut short. He, at Whose Hands you have suffered defeat, is most assuredly the Lord of the endless universe. He is, indeed, the Self-same Lord Whose Lotus Feet I ever serve. I feel ashamed of myself even to appear before Him. My function is to delude all creatures into the vanities of the false ego. This function has no admission into the Sphere that is lighted up by the Glance of Vasudeva. It is I who speak through your tongue. But I have no power in His Divine Presence. It is not merely my little self who feels so helpless but even the Divine Sheshadeva Himself, Who expounds the Vedas by His thousand Mouths and is the Worshipped of Aja, Bhaba and all the great gods, is bewildered in the Presence of the Supreme Lord Whom you have seen face to face in the Form of the Brahmana. He is Transcendentally Great, Eternal, Pure, Indivisible, Irredible and is Present in His Fullness in the hearts of all. From Him proceeds work, knowledge, learning, all good and evil, the visible and the invisible, in fact everything which it is not possible for me to fully recount to you. All the creatures from Brahma downwards who are subject to suffering undergo tribulation by His Command. All the Avataras, such as the Fish, Tortoise, etc., of Whom you have heard, are no other than He. It is the Same Lord Who restores the world in His form of the Boar, the Same Who protects Prahlada in His Form of Man-lion. He is the Life of Bali in His Form of Vamana Whose Lotus Feet are the Source of the holy Ganges. It is He Who Appeared in Ayodhya and killed the wicked Ravana by His Endless Wonderful Activities. Him we call the Son of Vasudeva and Nanda. He is at present, as the Son of Brahmana, actively engaged in the Pleasures of learning. Not even the Veda Himself is aware of His Appearance in the world. One can know Him only if He makes Himself known. Who has power to know otherwise? All the mantras, that you have recited to me up till now, are not really fulfilled by yielding as their fruit the status of ‘the Conqueror of all quarters’. The real fruit of my mantra you have at last obtained only now, in as much as you have had a Direct Sight of the Lord of the countless worlds. Bipra, go quickly to His Feet and surrender your body to Him. Don’t consider these words as an idle dream. I have divulged to you the hidden knowledge of the Vedas under the influence of the mantra. Saying this the goddess Saraswati disappeared and the Brahmana woke up from his sleep.

The Brahmana immediately made his way, at early dawn, to the Presence of the Lord. The Bipra made prostrated obeisances to the Lord Who thereupon lifted him up into His Arms. The Lord asked, ‘Brother, what is the meaning of this behaviour?’ The Bipra made reply, ‘Even so is the Merciful Glance of Thy eyes’. The Lord asked, Being yourself ‘Conqueror of all quarters’ why do you behave in this way to Me? ‘The Conqueror’ said, ‘Deign to listen, Prince of Brahmanas’ All work is fulfilled by serving Thee. Thou art Narayana in the Form of the twice-born in the Kali Age. Who has power to recognize Thee? The suspicion grew in my mind the moment my power of speech deserted me as Thou questioned. Thou art declared by all the scriptures to be the Breaker of all worldly vanity. I have truly experienced this undoubted truth. Thou overcame me three times and yet preserved my reputation. Is this possible Otherwise than by the Power of the Supreme Lord Himself? Wherefore it is most certain that Thou art Narayana. In all the learned societies of the world, in Gauda, Trihut, Delhi, Kasi, Gujrat, Vijayanagar, Kanchipuri, Anga. Vanga, Tailanga, Odhra and other places, there is no scholar who could even understand my words, far less find fault with them. I, who am so clever, failed to establish anything in Thy Presence. Whither did all my wits depart? This Feat of Thine is not at all wonderful. The goddess of learning herself told me that Thou art her Lord. Most auspicious, indeed, was the planetary conjunction under which I let my foot at Nabadwip, that I, so sunk in the deep mire of the world, have obtained the Sight even of Thyself. Bewitched by the wily entanglements of ignorant selfish desires I have long wandered astray, utterly deceiving myself. By good fortune I have now obtained the Sight of Thee. Be pleased to deliver me by Thy Merciful Glance. It is Thy Nature to do good to all. There is no one except Thyself Who is the Refuge and Who is Truly Merciful. Be pleased, Great One, so to instruct me that there may never again arise any evil desire in my mind.

The ‘Conqueror of all quarters,’ most humbled, praised the Lord in many various ways, in terms of sincere penitence. On hearing the fervent words of the Brahmana Sri Gaursundar smiled as He thus Replied, ‘Listen, illustrious Brahmana. You, on whose tongue Saraswati herself abides, are, indeed, most fortunate. The use of learning does not lie in conquering all quarters. That scholarship alone is genuine which serves the Supreme Lord. Consider this well and attentively. When a person leaves his body his wealth or any human qualifications never accompany their quondam possessor. It is for this reason that all who are pure-souled, apply themselves with a firm purpose to serve the Supreme Lord, discarding every other occupation. Therefore, Bipra, giving up all evil ways make haste to worship the Feet of Sri Krishna without delay, and continue to serve Krishna with firm conviction until you are overtaken by death. Know for certain that the only due fruit of learning is obtained if one’s mind and work continue to abide thereby at the Lotus Feet of Sri Krishna. I declare to you the highest advice. Devotion to Vishnu is the one thing that is true in all these countless worlds’. Having said so, the Supreme Lord being pleased with the Brahmana, embraced him. Being favoured by the Embrace of the Lord of Vaikuntha the twice-born was released from all his worldly fetters. The Lord said, ‘Brahmana, give up all vanity. Betake to the service of Krishna by being merciful to all beings. Whatever Saraswati might have told you, never divulge to any one else. By speaking out the Hidden Truth of the Scriptures the span of life is cut short and such a person verily suffers the bad consequences of such conduct in the next world.’

The great Brahmana, on receiving the Command of the Lord and after making many prostrated obeisances to Him and repeatedly doing homage to His Lotus Feet, departed thence, having thus obtained the highest fulfillment of all his endeavours. By the Command of the Lord that very instant devotion, want of attachment to things mundane and the true knowledge manifested themselves simultaneously in the person of that Brahmana. The vanity of being ‘Conqueror of all quarters’ completely disappeared. The Bipra became humbler than a blade of grass. After bestowing on fit persons the gift of every earthly possession that he had, his elephants, horses, conveyances, wealth and all equipments, that ‘Conqueror of all quarters’ set out on his journey companionless. Such is the Pastime of Sri Gaursundar. It is the Natural Quality of His Mercy that a person, who obtains it, betakes himself to the occupation of begging, giving up the kingly state. In this Kali Age Sri Dabirkhas bore testimony to the truth of this by preferring the retreat of the forest to a princely position. Wealth and power, which are coveted by all the world, are discarded by the servant of Krishna after having been gained. The state of a king and such other temporal things, are deemed pleasant only just so long as one is ignorant of the bliss of devotion. Even the pleasure of emancipation from all the miseries of the world is considered by the devotees of Krishna as trivial, not to speak of such happiness as accrues from the possession of kingdoms and other coveted things of this world. Nothing is of any worth except the Kind Glance of the Supreme Lord; for which reason all the Scriptures proclaim only the service of the Lord.

Thus did ‘the Conqueror of all quarters’ obtain his final deliverance. Such is the wonderful Career of Sri Gaursundar. The news of the Lord’s victory over ‘the Conqueror’ quickly spread to all parts of Nadia. All the people were overwhelmed with astonishment and instinctively realized ‘that Nimai Pandit was undoubtedly a Very Great Scholar. They had not yet heard of another scholar who could have defeated ‘the Conqueror’. They confessed that Nimai Pandit had every justification for His Pride and it was only now that the Real Greatness of His Learning was made patent to all. Some said ‘If He had only read Nyaya He could have easily attained the position of Bhattacharyas’. Some proposed ‘that all the people should join together and confer on Him the title of Vadisimha (Lion of controversy).’ These estimates, says Thakur Brindavandas, show the triumph of His Deluding Power who prevented the people from recognizing His Divinity, even after they had seen all this. Thus all over Nadia all the people discoursed about the Achievement of the Lord. The citizens of Nabadwip are worthy of the homage of everybody inasmuch as they are privileged to witness these Activities of the Lord. Those, adds Thakur Brindavandas, who listen to this Narration of the Victory of the Lord over ‘the Conqueror of all quarters’, never have any further occasion of suffering defeat in their own case. We reserve the treatment of this remark of Thakur Brindavandas for the next chapter.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: