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1 I 



Chapter I. 

Solicitude of Hindu Parents to marry 

their daughters ... ... 1 — 5 

/ Chapter II. 

Duty of childless Widows to Remarry 

Advantages of Remarriage... ... 6—11 

Chapter III. 

Shastric Authorities for the Remarri- 
age and its consequent validity 
under the Hindu Law ... ... 12—49 

Chapter IV. 


yalidity of Widow Marriage under 

an Act of the British Indian Legisla- 
ture ... ... 49—58 

Chapter V. 

Act XV of 1856 is Defective and 

requires Amendment ... 58—69 


Solicitude of parents to marry tlieir 


It is. I think, a matter of common Solicitude 

' 7 or parents 

knowledge that Hindu parents have a to marry 

... their 

great desire to see their girls married daughters. 
as early as possible. This hankering 
after the marriage of children probably 
owes its existence to the religious faith 
that every person must be married so 
as to be able to perform the religious 
duties more efficaciously. It is, per- 
haps, also due to the natural desire of 
procreation as well as to enjoy the 
Grihast Ashram or conjugal life. Last- 
ly, it, perhaps, owes its origin in the fact 
that the best walk of life for women is 
the married life. 

It may not be out of place to men- 
tion here an instance of this solicitude 
which I have noticed in common par- 
lance among women on the subject of 
marriage. In the meeting of Hindu 
ladies the mother of an unmarried girl of 

( 2 ) 

fourteen or fifteen is addressed thus:*— 
" Sister ! " is the common taunt " how 
do you manage to digest what you eat 
and drink when you have got a grown^ 
up girl to marry " f 

Now, where all this solicitude of 
the Hindus is gone as soon as a girl be- 
comes a widow f Why should the Hin- 
dus become so callous and cruel to 
women when they lose their husbands 
for no fault of theirs ? Even raw girls 
whose marriages have not yet been 
consummated are debarred from re- 
marriage. I can not resist the tempta- 
tion of making the following quotation 
from the late Pandit Ishwar Chandra 
Yidyasagar's book on Marriage of Hindu 
Vidyasagar's Widows: — " Countrymen ! how long 


will you suffer yourselves to be led 
away by illusions. Open your eyes for 
once and see that India, once the land 
of virtue, is being overflooded with the 
stream of adultery and foeticide. The 
degradation to which you have sunk ia ^ 
sadly low. Dip into the spirit of your 

( 3 ) 

Shastras, follow its dictates, and you 
shall be able to remove the foul blot 
from the face of your country. But 
unfortunately you are so much under 
the domination of long established pre- 
judice , so slavishly attached to custom 
and the usages and forms of society, 
that 1 am afraid you will not soon be 
able to assert your dignity and follow 
the path of rectitude. Habit has so 
darkened your intellect and blunted 
your feelings that it is impossible for 
you to have compassion for your help- 
less widows. When led away by the 
impulse of passion, they violate the 
vow of widowhood, you are willing to 
connive at their conduct. Losing all 
sense of honour and religion, and from 
apprehensions of mere exposure in so- 
ciety you are willing to help in the 
work of fseticide. But what a wonder 
of wonders ! you are not willing to 
follow the dictates of ^our Shaqras, to 
D ive them in marriage again, and thus 
to relieve them from their intoler- 

(4 ) 

able sufferings, and yourselves from 
miseries, crimes and vices. You per- 
haps imagine that with the loss of their 
husbands your females lose their nature 
as human beings and are subject no 
longer to the influence of passions. But 
what instances occur at every step to 
show how sadly you are mistaken. 
Alas ! what fruits of poison you are 
gathering from the tree of life, from 
moral torpitude and a sad want of re- 
flection. How greatly is this to be 
deplored ! Where men are void of pity 
and compassion, of a perception of right 
and wrong, of good and evil, and when 
men consider the observance of mere 
forms as the highest of duties and the 
greatest of virtues, in such a country 
would that women were never born." 

Wretched However young the widows may be 

condition. ... . .. „ ... 

they are, m a majority or communities, 
not allowed to put on good dress and 
jewellery, nor are they allowed to use 
other similar articles to which they 
were accustomed in their married life. 

( 5 ) 

They have to keep fasts so often as 
really to starve themselves. In some 
places their heads are shaved. They 
are not allowed to take part in such 
ceremonies as are considered auspicious 
among married women, nor are they 
allowed to associate with married 
women on occasions of joy. In fact 
they are looked upon as objects of Di- 
vine curse and wrath. Sometimes 
elderly women of the deceased hus- 
bands* families curse them in words 
that they devoured their husbands Of- 
ten the burden of the entire household 
work is put on their shoulders and they 
are treated more as wretches than hu- 
man beings. The real object of all 
this cruel treatment seems to be to 
make them feel their dejection and 
despondency so that physically their 
passions might always remain curbed 
and checked. It is really a living 
homicidal treatment. 


( 6 > 

Duty of childless widows to re-marry. 
Advantages of re-marriage. 

According to Manu women are al- 
ways to remain under the protection of 
mm. He has enjoined: — " In childhood 
must a female be dependent on her 
father; in youth, on her husband; her 
lord being dead, on her sons ; if she have 
no sons, on the near kinsmen of her 
husband; if he left no kinsmen, on those 
of her father; if she have no paternal 
kinsmen, on the sovereign; a woman 
must never seek independence," (Manu 
Cha. V, Verse 148.) 

Therefore, so long as the women are 
unmarried they are naturally in the 
protection of their parents or the latter's 
relations in their absence. Erom the 
time they are married they go into the 
protection of their husbands. They 
should, therefore, be remarried as soon 
as they become widows. Most of the 

( -1 ) 

crimes arising from un chastity of 
widows will be obliterated by their : re- 
marriage. The following remarks of 
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar a e appro- 
priate here: — "An adequate idea of the 
intolerable hardships of early widow- 
hood can be formed by those only whose 
daughters, sisters, daughters-in-law and 
other female relatives have been de- 
prived of their husbands during their 
infancy. How many hundreds of 
widows, unable to observe the austeri- 
ties of a Brahmacharya life, betake 
themselves to prostitution and faBticid© 
and thus bring disgrace upon the fami- 
lies of their fathers, mothers and hus- 
bands. If the marriage of widows be 
allowed, it will remove the insupport- 
able torments of life-long widowhood, 
diminish the crimes of prostitution and 
fseticide and secure all families from 
disgrace and infamy. As long as this 
salutary practice will be deferred, so 
long will the crimes of prostitution, 
adultery, incest and faeticide flow on in 

Crimes of 






( 8 ) 

an-ever incresing current — so long Trill 
family stains be multiplied — so long will 
a widow's agony blaze on in fiercer 
flames.' ' 

Women's From the experience of married life 

desire Tor we must conscientiously admit that wo- 
marriage. menna Ye as much liking for married life 
as men. Row, if widowers marry so soon 
there is no reason why widows should 
remain unmarried. "When widowers, not 
only knee-deep but even neck-deep in 
their funeral pyre, go in for remarriage 
it is all the more naturally necessary 
that the sooner the monstrous custom, 
which stands in the way of the remar- 
riage of young childless widows, is done 
away with the better. For in the one 
case the manifestation of illicit felicity, 
or sin you may call it, may remain hid- 
den, but in the other case nature would 
abhor, in a majority of instances, such a 

In order to force the widows to their 
miserable lot they are often lulled with 

( 9 ) 

the superstitious belief that in the next 
world they will regain their former 
husbands. A little reflection will dis- 
close that this superstitious belief works 
out a curious fun. If a woman is to 
get back her former identical husband 
in the next world, then a fortiori men 
will get all their wives and thus a wo- 
man who has remained contented with 

one marriage only in this world will 
find herself a loser, seeing that she has 
to join with one or more rivals to burn 
her heart. Here is an illustration. A's 
first wife X dies, He marries a second 
wife Y who also dies leaving him a 
widower a second time. A marries a 
third wife Z who is ultimately left a 
voung widow on A's death. Z does not 
re-marry. In the next world she gets 
her former husband A with two rivals 
(X and Y). ^ 

From the very bottom of their heart 
most of the young widows desire their re- 
marriage. I3ut when asked they would 
always answer a 'no', because of the force 

( 10 ) 

of the pernicious custom. They also see 
that virgins are, as a rule, never consult- 
ed regarding their marriage. They are 
rather forced into matrimony. Similarly 
widows naturally want that they should 
also be forced into re-marriage. 

marriage Early marriage of girls would be 

checked. greatly checked by the free introduction 
of widow re-marriage. As the state of 
the Hindu society now exists virgins are 
available both for bachelors and widow- 
ers. The latter naturally and generally 
desire to unite themselves with grown- 
up girls. Pew parents like to give the 
hands of their girls to widowers. They, 
therefore, naturally desire to secure 
bachelor matches as early as possible to 
obviate the emergenpy of having re- 
course to widower matches; and thus 
the early marriage is encouraged. It 
would also be a very salutary and equit- 
able rule of practice if widowers were 
never to marry a maiden but always a 
widow. It will, perhaps, be better to 
notice here that some of the opponents 

( n 1 

of the widow marriage may object that 
widowers should not marry at all. I 
must answer at once to this objection 
that in this world it is impossible 
for widowers generally not to re- 

Re-marriage of Hindu widows would 
greatly prevent their losing the Hindu re- 
ligion. I remember of an instance. A 
respectable old Khatri gentleman had 
an only son who died soon after his 
marriage. The young widowed daugh- 
ter-in-law of this old man in order to re- 
marry herself became a Christian and 
thus entered into a second marriage. 
Another instance is to be found in a 
case (Abdul Aziz Khan versus Musam- 
mat Nirma) reported in 20 Indian Cases, 
page335(=I. L.R> 35 Allahabad, 466), 
It is a case decided by the Allahabad 
High Court and has been described 
with detailed particulars in Chapter V. 
There are other similar instances ; and 
it is no use to describe them in detail. 

( 12 ) 

Shastrie authorities for the re-marriage 

and its consequent validity under the 

Hindu Law. 

In the Kali Yuga the authority of 
Parasara is of paramount importance. 
The late Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidya- 
sagar has very ably discussed that au- 
thority on this question and I can not do 
better than quote his observations in this 
matter: — "After all this, it can neither be 
denied nor questioned that the Parasara 
Sanhita is the Dharma Sastra of the 
Kali Yuga. Now, it should be enquired, 
what Dharmas have been enjoined in the 
Parasara Sanhita for widows. We find 
in the 4th Chapter of this work the 
following passage: — 

r^ *\ r\ r> 

q^PKg *mror mw\ mm n 
fits: ^rsttrtf =*r qrPr €\mft vm i 

( 13 ) 

"On receiving no tidings of a husband, 
on his demise, on his turning an ascetic, 
on his being found impotent or on his 
degradation — under anv one of these five 
calamities, it is canonical for women to 
take another husband. That woman, 
who on the decease of her husband ob- 
serves the Brahmacharya (leads the life 
of austerities and privations), attains 
heaven after death. She, who burns 
herself with her deceased husband, re- 
sides in heaven for as many Kalas or 
thousands of years as there are hairs 
on the human body or thirty-five mill- 

"Thus it appears that Parasara pre- 
scribes three rules for the conduct of a 
widow; marriage, the observance of the 
Brahmachary, and burning with the 
deceased husband. Among these, the 
custom of concremation has been abol- 
ished by order of the ruling authorities ; 
only two ways, therefore, have now 
been left for the widows ; they have the 
option of marrying or of observing the 

( J4 ) 

Brahmacharya. But in the Kali 
Yuga, it has hecome extremely diffi- 
cult for widows to pass their lives in 
the observance of the Brahmacharya ; 
and it is for this reason, that the 
Philanthropic Parasara has, in the 
first instance, prescribed marriage. Be 
that as it, may, what I wish to be clear- 
ly understood is this — that as Parasara 
plainly prescribes marriage as one of 
the duties of women in the Kali Yuga 
under any one of the five above enumer- 
ated calamities, the marriage of widows 
in the Kali Yuga is consonant to the 

" It being settled that the marriage 
of widows in the Kali Yuga is conso- 
nant to the Sastras, we should now con- 
sider whether the son born of a widow 
on her re-marriage, should be called a 
Paunarbhava (a son born of a woman 
married a second time. In the prior 
Yuga the Paunarbhava was considered 
as an inferior sort of son). There is a 
solution of this question in the Para- 

( 15 ) 

sara Sanhita itself. Twelve different 
sorts of sons were sanctioned by the 
Sastras in the former Yus:as, but Para- 
sara has reduced their number to three 
for the Kali Yuga. Thus: — 

4 'The Aurasa (son of the body or 
son by birth), the Dataka (son adopt- 
ed) and the Kritrima (son made)", "(fn 
the text there appears an enumeration 
of four diffierent sorts of sons, but Nan- 
da Pandita in his Dataka Mimansa, has, 
by his interpretation of this passage, es- 
tablished that there are only three diff- 
erent sorts of sons in the Kali Yu?a, 
the son of the body, the son adopted, 
and the son made. I have followed his 

"Parasara, then, ordains three differ- 
ent sorts of sons in the Kali Yuga, the 
son by birth, the son adopted and the 
son made; and makes no mention of the 
Paunarbhava. Hut as he has prescribed 
the marriage of widows he has, in effect, 

( 16 ) 

legalized the son born of a widow in 
lawful wedlock. 

"Now, the question to he decided is, 
whether this son should he called Aur- 
asa (son of the body), Dattaka (son ad- 
opted), or Kritrima (son made). He can 
neither be called Dattaka nor Kritrima, 
for the son of another man, adopted 
agreeably to the injunctions of the Sas- 
tras is called Dattaka or Kritrima ac- 
cording to the difference of the ritual 
observed during the adoption. But since 
the son begotten by a man himself on 
the widow to whom he is married is not 
another's son, he can be designated by 
neither of those appellations. The de- 
finitions of Dattaka (son adopted) and 
Kritrima (son made) as given in the 
Sastras, can not be applied to the son 
begotten by a man himself on the widow 
married to him, but he falls under the 
description of the Aurasa (son by birth). 

*rrar fan m ^rar wm-. jw?ft i 

( 17 ) 

" The son given, according to the 
injunctions of the Sastras, by either of 
the parents, with a contented mind, to a 
person of the same caste, who has no 
male issue, is the Dattaka (son adopted) 
of the donee". 

p 3^1* - a ft%*rcg fm.- it 

u He who is endowed with filial vir- 
tues and well acquainted with merits 
and demerits, when affiliated by a per- 
son of the same class, is called Kritrima 
(son made)". 

<wfr«i fc*tffar^ - p switch ii 

"Whom a man himself has begotten 
on a woman of the same class, to whom 
he is married, know him to be the Aur- 
asa (son of the body) and the first in 
rank." Manu Chap. IX. 

"The indicia of an Aurasa (son by 

( 18 ) 

birth) as above set forth, apply, there- 
fore, with full force to the son begotten 
by a man himself on a widow of the 
same class to whom he is wedded. 

"Since the Parasara Sanhita prescrib- 
es the marriage of widows and out of 
twelve legalizes only three sorts of sons 
in the Kali Tuga ; since the indicia of 
the Dattaka (son adopted), and of the 
Kritrima (son made), do not apply to 
the son born of a widow in lawful wed- 
lock, while those of the Aurasa (son by 
birth) apply to him with full force, we 
are authorized to recognise him as the 
Aurasa or the son of the bod v. It can 
by no means be established that Para- 
sara intended to reckon the son of a 
wedded widow in the Kali Yuga as a 
Paunarbhava by which name such a son 
was desisfnated in the former Yusras ; and 
had it been necessary to give him the 
same designation in the Kali Yuga, Para- 
sara would certainly have inducted the 
Paunarbhava in his enumeration of the 
different sorts of sons in the Kali Yuga. 

( 19 ) 

But far from this, the term Paunarbhava 
is not to be found in the Parasara Sanhita. 
There can be no doubt, therefore, that 
in the Kali Yuga, the son begotten by 
a person himself on the widow to whom 
he is wedded, instead of being called 
Paunarbhava, will be reckoned as the 

" It being settled by the arguments 
above cited, that the marriage of widows 
in the Kali Yuga is consonant to the 
Sastras, we should, now, inquire whether 
in any Sastras, other than the Parasara 
.Sanhita, there is a prohibition of tins 
marriage in the Kali Yuga. Eor it is 
argued by many that the marriage of 
widovYS was in vogue in the former 
Yugas, but has been forbidden in the 
Kali Yuga. It should be remembered, 
however, that in the Parasara Sanhita the 
Dharmas appropriated to the Kali Yuga 
only, have been assigned; and among 
those Dharmas the marriage of widows 
has been prescribed in the clearest man- 
ner. It can, therefore, never be main- 

( 20 ) 

tained that widows have been forbidden 
to marry in the Kali Yuga. Under 
what authority this prohibitory dogma 
is upheld, is a secret known only to the 

(l Some people consider the texts of 
the Vrihannaradiya and Aditya Puranas, 
quoted by the Smartta Ehattacharya 
Haghunandana in his article on marri- 
age, as prohibitory of the marriage of 
widows in the Kali Yuga. Those texts 
are, therefore, cited here with an ex- 
planation of their meaning and pur- 

Vrihannaradiya Purana. 

^rcrafa ^rar: - ^(^^ ^ i 

■^•^ • 

$m\ vah 'fas 3 * - fR?^i*Nrffa; 11 

( 21 ) 

" Sea- voyage ; turning an ascetic } 
the marriage of twice -born men with 
damsels not of the same class ; procrea- 
tion on a brother's wife or widow ; the 
slaughter of cattle in the entertainment 
of a guest ; the repast on flesh-meat at 
funeral obsequies; the entrance into 
the order of a Vanaprastha (hermit) ; 
the giving away of a damsel, a second 
time, to a bridegroom, after she has 
been given to another; Brahmacharya 
continued for a long time ; the sacrifice 
of a man, horse, or bull ; walking on a 
pilgrimage till the pilgrim die, are the 
Dharmas the observance of which has 
been forbidden by the Munis (sages) 
in the Kali Yuga'\ 

" Nowhere in these texts can any 
passage be found forbidding the mar- 
riage of widows. Those, who try to es- 
tablish this forbiddance on the strength 
of the prohibition of ct the giving away 
of a damsel, a second time, to a bride* 
groom, after she has been given to an- 
other", have misunderstood the real pur- 

( 22 ) 

port of this passage. In former times 
there prevailed a custom of marrying a 
damsel, who has been betrothed to a suit- 
or, to another bridegroom when found to 
be endued with superior qualities. Thus:— 

u A damsel can be given away but 
once ; and he, who takes her back 
after having given away, incurs the pe- 
nalty of theft: but even a damsel given 
may be taken back from the prior 
bridegroom, if a worthier suitor offer 

" The Vrihannaradiya Purana alludes 
only to the prohibition of the custom, 
prevailing in the former Yugas and 
sanctioned by the Sastras. of marrying 
a girl betrothed to one person, to a wor- 
thier suitor. It is absurd, therefore, to 
construe the prohibition into a forbid - 
dance of the marriage of widows in the 
KaliYuga. Nor is it reasonable to under- 
stand this text of the Vrihannaradiya 

( 23 ) 

Purana, by a forced construction, as 
prohibitory of such marriage, while the 
plainest and most direct injunction for 
it is to be found in the Parasara San- 

Aditya Purana. 

5#jj s^tafrT - ^ttt &m %im 11 
^wr*Tfl^jRr - mm fe*m%ft: i 

^. «v r r>M\ 

T^i^r^m - Wf-r^ m II 

«Ci ■»». «v 

^tHWcKTFS - p^=r <TfW: I 

C ftfs 

#Fsqi*Rn wws - dHfaifi^ ii 

SKflfcrccFW - f sif^w a«rr ii 

( 24 ) 

ct Long continued Brahmacharya ; 
turning an ascetic-, procreation on a 
brother's wife or widow; the gift of a 
girl already given ; the marriage of the 
twice-born men with damsels not of the 
same class 5 the killing of Brahmanas, 
intent upon destruction, in a fair com- 
bat ; entrance into the order of a Vana- 
prastha (hermit) ; the diminution of the 
period of Asaucha (impurity) in pro- 
portion to the purity of character and 
the extent of the erudition in the Ve- 
das ; the rule of expiation for Brah- 
manas extending to death ; the sin of 
holding intercourse with sinners; the 
slaughter of cattle in the entertainment 
of a guest ; the filiation of sons other 
than the Dattaka (son adopted) and the 
Aurasa (son by birth) ; the eating of 
edibles by a Grihastha (householder) of 
the twice -born class, offered to him by 
a Dasa, Gopala, Kulamitra and Ardha- 
siri of the Sudra caste ; the undertaking 
of a distant pilgrimage ; the cooking of 
a Brahmana's meat by a Sudra; falling 

( 25 ) , 

from a precipice; entrance into fire; 
the self dissolution of old and other 
men— these have been legally abrogated, 
in the beginning of the Kali Yuga, by 
the wise and magnanimous, for the 
protection of men". 

11 Nowhere also in these texts can 
any passage be found prohibiting the 
marriage of widows. That the interdict of 
the ''gift of a girl already given", cannot 
be construed into such a prohibition, 
has already been shown in examining a 
similar interdictory passage in the 
Yrihannaradiya Purana. 

n Some people say that the prohibi- 
tion of the filiation of sons other than the 
Aurasa (son by birth) and the Dattaka 
(son adopted) in the Aditya Purana 
leads to the forbiddance of the marriage 
of widows. They argue in the follow- 
ing manner: — In the former Yugas, the 
sons of widows, born in wedlock, were 
called Paunarbhavas ; now, as there is 
a prohibition to filiate any other sons in 

( 26 ) 

the Kali Yuga except the Aurasa (son 
by birth) and theDattaka (son adopted), 
this prohibition extends to the filiation 
of the Paunarbhava ; the object of 
marriage is to have male issue ; but; if 
the filiation of the Paunarbhava begot- 
ten on a wedded widow be interdicted, 
the marriage of widows is necessarily 
interdicted. This objection appears, at 
first sight, rather strong and, in the 
absence of Parasara Sanhita, would have 
succeeded in establishing the prohibition 
of the marriage of widows. But thev who 
raise this objection, have not, I believe, 
seen the Parasara Sanhita. It is true, 
indeed, that in the former Yugas, the 
son of a wedded widow was called 
Paunarbhava ; bat from what 1 have 
argued above in respect of the appli- 
cation of the term Paunarbhava to the 
son of a wedded widow in the Kali 
Yuga, it has been already decided that 
the distinction between a Paunarbhava 
and an Aurasa has been done away 

with. If then the son, born of a widow 

( 27 ) 

in lawful wedlock, instead of being call- 
ed a Paunarbhava, be reckoned as 
Aurasa in the Kali Yuga, how can the 
prohibition, in the Kali Yuga, of the 
filiation of sons other than the Aurasa 
and Dattaka lead to the interdicton of the 
marriage of widows in the Kali Yuga ? 

"It will now appear from the man- 
ner in which I have expounded the 
spirit of the above quoted texts of the 
Vrihannaradiya and Aditya Puranas 
that they do not prohibit the marriage 
of widows in the Kali Yuga. But if 
the prohibitionists, not satisfied with the 
explanation, contend against the con- 
sonancy of this marriage to the Sastras, 
by citing the above texts as prohibitory 
of the marriage of widows, we have then 
to consider the following question : 
The marriage of widows is enforced in 
the Parasara Sanhita, but interdicted in 
the Vrihannaradiya and Aditya Puranas ; 
which of them is the stronger author- 
ity ? That is, whether, according to 
the injunction of Parasara, the marriage 

( 28 ) 

of widows is to be considered legal, o*, 
according to the interdiction of the 
Vrihannaradiya and Aditya Puranas, it 
is to be held illegal. 

f* To settle this point, we should en- 
quire what decision the authors of our 
Sastras have come to in judging of the 
cogency of two classes of authorities, 
when they differ from each other. The 
auspicious Vedavyasa has, in his own in- 
stitutes, settled this point. Thus:— 

" Where variance is observed be- 
tween the Veda, the Smriti and the Pur- 
ana, there the Veda is the supreme au- 
thority; when the Smriti and the Pur- 
ana Contradict each other, the Smriti 
is the superior authority". 

u That is, when the Veda inculcates 
one thing, the Smriti another and the 
Purana a third, what is then to be done? 
Which Sastra is to be followed? Men 

( 29 ) 

ought to regard all the three as Sastras, 
and if they follow only one of them, 
they disregard the other two ; and by a 
disrespect of the Sastras they incur sin. 
The auspicious Vedavyasa, therefore, 
has settled the point, by declaring that 
when the Veda, the Smriti and the Pur- 
ana are at variance with one another, 
then we should, instead of following 
the injunctions of the latter two, act up 
to those of the former ; and in the event 
of a contradiction between the Smriti 
and the Purana, we should, instead of 
following the ordinances of the latter^ 
act up to those of the former. 

"Mark now, in the first place, that 
from the above exposition of the Vri- 
hannaradiya and Aditya Puranas, they 
do, by no means, appear to prohibit the 
marriage of widows ; secondly, if by any 
forced construction, they can be made 
to imply such a prohibition, then there 
arises a palpable contradiction between 
the Vrihannaradiya and Aditya Puranas 
and the Parasara Sanhita, The Para-* 

( 30 ) 

sara Sanhita prescribes, and the Yriha- 
nnaradiya arid Aditya Puranas inter- 
dict the marriage of widows in the 
Kali Yuga. The Parasara Sanhita is 
one of the Smritis, while the Vriha- 
nnaradiya and Aditya Puranas are Pur- 
anas. The author of the Puranas 
himself ordains, that when the Smriti 
and the Purana differ from each other, 
the former is to be followed in 
preference to the latter. Hence, even 
if the texts of the Vrihannaradiya and 
Aditya Puranas were made to imply a 
prohibition of the marriage of widows 
in the Kali Yuga, we should, in spite of 
it, follow the positive injunction for the 
marriage of widows in the Parasara 

" It can now be safely concluded 
that the consonancy of the marriage of 
widows to our Sastras has been indis- 
putably settled. A fresh objection, 
however, may now arise that though the 
marriage of widows be sanctioned by 
our Sastras, yet being opposed to ap- 

( 31 ) 

proved custom, it should riot be practis- 
ed. To answer this objection, it should 
be inquired in what case is approved 
custom to be followed as an authority. 
The Auspicious Yasishtha has settled 
this point in his institutes. Thus: — 

sfft for m ftffm w*fr i 

u Whether in matters connected 
with this or* the next world, in both 
cases, the Dharmas inculcated by the 
Sastras are to be observed : where there 
is an omission in the Sastras, there ap- 
proved custom is the authority. 

" That is, men should observe those 
duties which have been inculcated by 
the Sastras; and in cases where the 
fcastras prescribe no rule or make no 
prohibition, but at the same time a 
practice, followed by a succession of 
virtuous ancestors, prevails, then such 
practice is to be deemed equal in au- 
thority to an ordinance of the Sastras. 

( 32 ) 

Now, as there is in the Parasara Sanhita 
a plain injunction for the marriage of 
widows in the Kali Yuga, it is neither 
reasonable nor consonant to the Sastras 
to consider it an illicit act, merely because 
it is opposed to approved usage ; for it 
is ordained by Vashistha that approved 
custom is to be followed only in cases 
where there is an omission in the Sastras. 
It is, therefore, indisputably proved 
that the marriage of widows, in the 
Kali Yuga, is, in all respects, a proper 

Manu and other sages are also not 
against the widow marriage. They 
have in a way sanctioned it. On this 
point Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar has 
observed thus: — 

•' When, therefore, Manu, Yajnaval- 
kya, Yishnu, and Yasishtha admit the 
re-marriage of women under certain 
contingencies, the conclusion that the 
marriage of widows is against the opin- 
ion of Manu and other Smriti writers 

( 33 ) 

must be quite unfounded. It would 
seem that this conclusion has heen ad- 
vanced by persons, who have not thor- 
oughly studied Mann and other Jurists. 
It would be uncharitable to suppose, 
that with a full knowledge of the sub- 
ject they have brought forward such an 
unfounded and a false statement. 

" The fact is, that the marriage of 
widows is not contrary to the opinion of 
Manu and other Jurists, The only* thing 
to be marked is, that they designated 
the re- married females Punarbhus, and 
the sons, born in such second wedlock, 
Paunarbhavas : while, according to Para- 
sara, such females and such sons are 
not to bear those designations in the 
Kali-Yuga, This much is the extent 
of the difference of opinion between 
Parasara and the other Smriti writers. 
Had Parasara intended to continue 
those designations in the Kali-Yuga, he 
would certainly have assigned the term 
Punarbhu to surm females and reckoned 
the Paunarbhava in his enumeration of 

( 34 ) 

the several kinds of sons. That, in the 
Kali — Yuga, such females are not to be 
called Punarbhus and such sons, instead 
of being designated Paunarbhavas, are 
to be reckoned sons of the body, is borne 
out by the prevailing practice. Mark, 
if after troth verbally plighted, the 
suitor happens to die, or the match is 
broken by some cause or other, before 
consummation of the marital rite, the 
marriage of the damsel takes place with 
another person, In the preceding ages, 
such females were called Punarbhus 
and their issues Paunarbhavas. Thus;-* 

^WRRr m ^ - w ^ <?n%s(hlfar \ 

"Seven Punarbhu (remarried) dam- 
sels, who are the despised of their 
families, are to be shunned ; the Vag- 
datta, she who has been plighted by 

( 35 ) 

word of troth; the Manodatta, she 
whom one has disposed of in his mind; 
the Krita-kautukamangala, she on 
whose hand the nuptial string has been 
tied ; the Udaka-sparsita, she who has 
been given away by the sprinkling of 
water ; the Pani-grihita, she in respect of 
whom the ceremony of taking the hand 
has been performed ;' Agnim-parigata, 
she in respect of whom the marriage 
ceremonies have been completed; and 
the Punarbhu-peabhava, she who is born 
of a Punarbhu : these seven kinds of 
damsels described by Kasyapa, when 
married, consume like fire the family of 
their husbands/' 

" Now-a-davs the marriage of four 
kinds of Punarbhus, out ol the seven 
enumerated above, namely the Vag- 
datta, the Manodatta, the Krita-kautuka- 
mangala, and the Punarbhu-prabhava 
has become current. Such females 
have no distinctive appellation, and are 
regarded, in all respects, equal to the 
wives married for the first time, though 

( 36 ) 

in fortner Yugas they were designated 
Punarbhus, and the sons born of them, 
instead of being called Paunarbhavas, 
are to all intents and purposes, consider- 
ed the same as the sons of the body. 
They offer funeral cakes to their parents* 
succeed to their estate, and perform 
all other stated duties just like a son of 
the body; never, even by mistake, are 
they called Paunarbhavas. 

u It should now be observed, that, as 
the marriage of four, out of the seven 
kinds of Punarbhus of by-gone ages, is 
now current, and they are deemed as re- 
putable as women married for the first 
time bearing even no distinctive appella- 
tion and^. their issues undistinguished 
from the Aurasa putra(son of the body); 
if the second wedding of the remaining 
threePunarbhus were to come in vogue, 
by parity of reasoning, there would be no 
bar to their being regarded in the same 
light as wives married for the first time, 
and their sons being acknowledged as 
Aurasa putras (sons of the body)". 

( 37 ) 

The authority of Parasara enjoining 
the widow marriage is not inconsistent 
with the injunctions of the Vedas. 
"The following is the Vedic Text", says 
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar " cited by 

Oppositionists ": — 


«ft*R»K ^55 £ tuft m^m - ^m\*\ I *rft #% t 

" As round a single Yupa (sacrificial 
post) two tethers can be tied, so a man 
can marry two wives. As one tether 
cannot be tied round two Yupas, so a 
woman can not marry two husbands.'' 

tC Their assumption that the marriage 
of widows is an anti-Vaidie doctrine, rests 
on this Text alone. My adversaries on 
meeting with the passage 4 a woman can 
not marry two husbands \ have jump- 
ed to the conclusion that the marriage 
of widows is opposed to the Vedas. This 
is not, however, the real purport of this 
Text of the Vedas. The meaning of 
the above cited passage is, that aa 

( 38 ) 

round a single Yupa two tethers can at 
the same time be fastened, so one man 
can at the same time have two wives ; 
and as one tether cannot at the same 
time be tied round two Yupas, so one 
woman cannot at the same time have 
two husbands ; not that, on the death 
of the first husband, she cannot have a 
second. The interpretation is not merely N 
the result of my individual cogitation ; 
it is corroborated by a Text of the 
Vedas themselves, quoted by Nilakan- 
tha, one of the commentators of the 
Mahabharata, and by his exposition of 
that Text. 


" A woman cannot have manv hus- 
bands together." 

i% The word Saha (together) in this 

( 39 X 

Vaidic Text means that a woman is 
prohibited from having many husbands 
at the same time, but her having many 
husbands at different times is not repre- 

"Thus, the attempt of my adver- 
saries to prove the marriage of widows 
as opposed to the Yedas has failed. 
They ought to have considered that the 

Eishis, who are admitted to have com- 


piled in their Sanhitas the spirit of" the 
Vedas, would never have permitted such 
marriage, nor could the practice have 
prevailed in ancient times, had it been 
interdicted in the Yedas." 

Some of the critics of the widow 
marriage are so fastidious as to raise an 
objection to the effect that as a woman 
has been once given away on her mar- 
riage to her first husband she cannot be 
given away a second time. Indeed, there 
is a ceremony of the nature of gift 
made at the celebration of the marriage. 
But this gift is not of the quality of a 

( ^0 ) 

gift of moveable or immoveable property 
so as to vest the ownership of the wo- 
man in her husband absolutely. Eor a 
■woman is not a property. This gift is, I 
think, a mere ceremonial form of the 
making over of the custodv of the wo- 
man in her youth by her father or other 
guardian, on marriage, to her husband. 
As 'already mentioned above in Chapter 
II, it is enjoined by Manu that a female 
must be dependent on her father in her 
childhood and ''in youth on husband". 
Thus, as soon as the husband of a young 
woman dies, she is unprotected ; and it 
is, therefore, all the more necessary that 
she must be re-married in order to be 
placed under the protection of a hus- 
band. No sooner she becomes a widow 
than she is naturally placed under the 
protection of her father or other pater- 
nal guardian because of consanguinity. 


cl We have at present in our coun- 
try", says Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, 
"two sorts of marriasje-the ' Brahma ' and 
* Asura', that is, by a gift or sale of the 


( 41 ) 

daughter. Here the words 'gift' and 
' sale ' do not exactly mean what they 
mean elsewhere. In ordinary cases, a 
man can make a gift or sale of a thing 
if he has a right in it. He loses his 
right in that thing, if he once makes a 
sale or gift of it, and consequently can 
not make a sale or gift of it again. 
Prom time immemorial, this law pre- 
vails with reference to the gift or sale 
of land, house, garden, cattle, etc. There 
seems, however, to be no analogy be- 
tween such sale or gift and sale or gift 
of a daughter. In the case of land, cattle, 
etc., no one can make a gift or sale if 
he has no right therein. Should he 
happen to make such a gift or sale, it 
becomes null and void. Bat this rule 
does not hold with reference to the srift 
of a daughter. Gift in marriage is not 
actual but merely nominal. The framer s 
of our Sastrashave enjoined the disposal 
of the daughter in marriage under the 
designation of gift. The marriage 
is consummated on any one's making 

( 42 ) 

this gift. The marriage is valid and com- 
plete by the gift of the bride by a person 
Trho could have no right whatsoever in 
her, equally with her gift by him who 
mavhave an actual right in her. In the 
case of ordinary things, no person can 
make over by gift a thing to another 
when he has no right in that thing, while 
a bride can be made over in gift by any 
person of the same caste. 

" Thus :— 

mm ^rt% *mr - *$ ft *ft ^^ i 

* 4 The father should himself make 
the sift of the daughter, or the brother 
should do so with the permission of the 
father. The maternal grandfather, the 
maternal uncle, persons descended from 
the same paternal ancestor, and persons 
with whom there are ties of consan- 
guinity, shall make the gift of the 
bride. In the absence of all these the 

( 43 ) 

mother, if she is in her sane state, shall 
make the gift, if she is not, the gift 
shall he made by persons of the same 

"Mark now, if it had been the in- 
tention of the framers of our Sastras, 
that the same rule shall hold with re- 
ference to the gift of a bride as with 
reference to the gift of land, cattle, etc., 
that is, he alone who has a right in her 
shall be entitled to make the snft, then 
how could persons of the same caste be 
entitled to make the gift ? If any one 
has a right in her it is her father and 
mother alone. The others can have a 
right in her by no possibility. If the 
rule had been that like the gift of land, 
cattle, etc., the gift of a bride shall be 
made bv him alone who has a ri^ht in 
her, then the framers of the Sastras would 
not have stated the maternal grandfather 
etc., as persons entitled to make the 
gift, or why would they make the 
mother the person last entitled to make 
the o if t ? She should have been in that 

( 44 ) 

case held second to the father only. In 
fact there cannot he the same right in 
a daughter as there is in land, cattle, 
etc ; if there had been, the giving away 
of a bride in • marriage without the 
knowledge and consent of the father by 
any other person wauld have been con- 
sidered null and void, being a gift by a 
person who had no right whatsoever. 
But it is not a rare occurrence that 
sometimes persons give away females in 
marriage under such circumstances. 
"Why are such marriages valid ? Why 
cannot the father lay complaints before 
a court of justice and make void the t>if t 
of his daughter by a person who had no 
right whatsoever in her ? The gift of 
another's land and cattle is never valid. 
It becomes void when a complaint is 
lodged before a court of justice. Erom 
all these considerations, therefore, the 

gift of a bride is merely nominal and is 
founded on no right whatsoever. If 
then the gift of a daughter is founded 
on no right whatsoever in her, and 
if it is a gift merely nominal, and is 

( 45 ) 

enjoined by the Sastras as only a part 
of the marriage ceremony, there is no- 
thing to prevent the father to give her 
away in marriage again, if her husband 
is dead, or in any other contingencies 
specified in the Sastras. As in the Text 
quoted above, sanction is given to the 
gift of a female on her first marriage, 
so in other Texts like sanction is given, 
in certain contingencies, to the gift of 
her on her re -marriage. 


11 If after wedding, the husband be 
found to be of a different caste, degrad- 
ed, impotent, unprincipled, of the same 
Gotra or family, a slave, or a valetudi- 
narian, then a married woman should 
be bestowed upon another decked with 
proper apparel and ornaments/' 

"Mark, sanction is given here to 

- ( 46 ) 

give away again a wedded female in 
marriage in due form. If the circum- 
stance of having given away a daughter 
once in marriage were a bar to her be- 
ing made a gift of on the occasion of 
re -marriage, then the great sage Katya- 
yana would not have given clear sanc- 
tion to her being made over to another 
as a gift, on her husband being found to 
be degraded, impotent, valetudinariafn, 
etc. Moreover, it is not only thai^ we 
find a mere sanction, but clear evidence 
is found that a father did make the gift 
of a widowed daughter on the occasion 
of: her re -marriage. 


" Thus :— 

sri^nw afar - Pncnjrsrre Cr^r^ i 
sot! sTprcr^ - srra: m^ $m\ n 

"By Arjuna was begotten on the 
daughter of the Nagraja a handsome 
and powerful son named Irayan, When 

( 47 ) 

her husband was killed by Suparna, Aira- 
vata, the magnanimous king of the Nagas, 
made a gift of that dejected, sorrow- 
stricken, childless daughter to Arjuna." 

" When, therefore, the gift of a 
daughter is, as proved above, not found- 
ed on right, but only forms a part 
of the marriage ceremony, when there 
is clear sanction in the Sastras to make 
the gift of a daughter on the occasion 
of her re-marriage with all the rites 
and ceremonies of marriage, and when 
we have clear evidence of a widowed 
daughter having been made over as a 
gift on the occasion of her re-marriage, 
the objection that after the gift of the 
daughter the father has lost all his 
ri^ht in her and therefore cannot give 
her away a second time in marriage is 
altogether unreasonable. • The fact is, 
those parties, who are entitled, accord- 
ing to the Sastras, to make the gift of 
a female on the occasion of her first 
marriage, can also do so on the occasion 
of her re-marriage." 

( 48 ) 

The Mantras to be used on tlie occa- 
sion of a second marriage are the same 
as used on the occasion of the first 
marriage, This is a matter of common 
knowledge of all the Hindus. The 
second and every other marriage of the 
males is celebrated by the same Man- 
tras as the first, Similarly, the re-mar- 
riage of widows should be performed by 
the same Mantras as the first marriage. 
On this point Ishwer Chandra Vidya- 
sagar has observed as follows : — 

"When therefore, Manu, Vishnu, 
Vasishtha, Yajnavalkya, Parasara' and 
other writers of our Sastras, have en- 
joined the re -marriage of women under 
certain contingencies ; when they have 
denominated such marriage ' the Sans- 
kara of marriage' ; when the word ' Sans- 
kara' can by no means be applied to a 
mere intercourse of the sexes, not sanc- 
tified by Mantras; when they have 
legalized the issue of such marriages ; 
and when, at the same time, they have 
not prescribed a different set of Mantras 

( 49 ) 

for them, the Mantras now used in first 
marriages should certainly be used in 
the second, especially as there is no- 
thing: in those Mantras which would 
make them inapplicable to re-marriage 
of females." 


Validity of widow marriage under, 

an Act of the British Indian 


Pastidious critics may still delight 
in the entertainment of their doubt as 
to the validity of the widow marriage 
under the Hindu Law though it has 
been very clearly established in the fore- 
going Chapter that such a re-marriage 
is legal and valid under the Shastras. 
It must now be brought home to them 
that under Act XV of 1856 our British 
Indian Government has made the vali- 
dity of the Hindu widow re-marriage as 
elear as broad day light. For their in- 

( 50 ) 

formation as well as for ready reference 
the Act shall be quoted literally in this 
Chapter later on. 

Now, the widow marriage being as 
valid under the said Act as the mar- 
riage of maidens the pernicious 
custom — howsoever ancient and deep- 
rooted it may be— prohibiting the 
former is illegal and should be pat 
an end to. A custom which is illegal 
cannot be enforced. Such a custom 
should not be countenanced for a 
moment and the sooner, therefore, it is, 
obliterated the better. Let us cite an 
illustration. Suppose, there were a 
custom prohibiting marriage of virgins. 
What would be the fate of such a 
custom ? The marriage of virgins is ad- 
mittedly and clearly valid. The custom 
prohibiting such a marriage would be 
illegal and would not, therefore, exist 
even for a second. 

Some people have a sentimental 
objection to the marriag8 of widows. 

( 51 ) 

They have got this idea in their heads 
that a widow who has once enjoyed 
conjugal felicity is not a fit subject for 
nuptial union to a man a second time. 
This objection, on the very face of it, 
owes its existence to the selfishness and 
high-handedness of man. Why is a 
widower, who has similarly enjoyed the 
conjugal felicity, a fit subject for an- 
other marriage ? The marriage of a 
widow being as valid under law as the 
marriage of a virgin, there is as much 
reason for discountenancing the one 
as the other on mere sentimental 

ACT XV OF 1856. 


(Passed on the 25th July 1856.) ' 

r An Act to remove all legal obstacles 

to the marriage of Hindu 


Whereas it is known that, by the Preamble. 
law as administered in the Civil Courts 

( 52 ) 

established in the territories in the pos- 
session and under the Government of 
the East India Company, Hindu widows 
with certain exceptions are held to be, 
by reason of their having been once 
married, incapable of contracting a 
second valid marriage, and the offspring 
of such widows by any second marriage 
are held to be illegitimate and incapable 
of inheriting property ; and whereas 
many Hindus believe that this imputed 
legal incapacity, although it is in 
accordance with established custom, is 
not in accordance with a true interpreta- 
tion of the precepts of their religion, 
and desire that the civil law administer- 
ed by the Courts of Justice shall no 
longer prevent those Hindus who 
may be so minded from adopting a 
different custom, in accordance with 
the dictates of their own conscience ; 
and whereas it is just to relieve all 
such Hindus from this legal incapacity 
of which they complain, and the re- 
moval of all legal obstacles to the 



( 53 ) 


marriage of Hindu widows will tend to 
the promotion of good morals and to the 
public welfare ; It is enacted as 
follows : — 

1. No marriasre contracted between Marriage of 

. . Hindu 

Hindus shall be invalid, and the issue of widows 
qo such marriage shall be illegitimate, e s dlze • 
by reason of the woman having been 
previously married or betrothed to an- 
other person who was dead at the time 
)f such marriage, any custom and any 
interpretation of Hindu law to the con- 
:rary notwithstanding. 

2. All rights and interests which Rights of 

° widow in 

iny widow may have in her deceased deceased 

, , . » husband's 

lusband s property by way or main- property to 
penance, or by inheritance to her hus- 
band or to his lineal successors, or by 
virtue of any will or testamentary dis- 
position conferring upon her, without 
Bxpress permission to re-marry, only a 
Limited interest in such property, with 
qo power of alienating the same, shall 
upon her re-marriage cease and deter- 

cease on her 

his widow. 

( 54 ) 

mine as if she had then died ; and the 
next heirs of her deceased husband, or 
other persons entitled to the property 
on her death, shall thereupon succeed 
to the same. 

Guardian- 3. On the re-marriage of a Hindu 

ship of child- w ^ ow if neither the widow nor any 

ren of de- * •* 

ceased bus- other person has been expressly consti- 
re-marrige of tuted by the will or testamentary dis- 
position of the deceased husband the 
guardian of his children the father qr 
paternal grandfather or the mother or 
paternal grandmother, of the deceased 
husband, or any male relative of the 
deceased husband, may petition the 
highest Court having original jurisdic- 
tion in civil cases in the place where the 
deceased husband was domiciled at the 
time of his death for . the appointment 
of some proper person to be guardian 
of the said children, and thereupon it 
shall be lawful for the said Court, if it 
shall think fit, to appoint such guardian, 
who when appointed shall be entitled to 
have the care and custody of the said 

( 55 ) 

children, or any of them during their 
minority, in the place of their mother ; 
and in making such appointment the 
Court shall be guided so far as may be 
by the laws and rules in force touching 
the guardianship of children who have 
neither father nor mother. 

Provided that, when the said child- 
ren have not property of their own 
sufficientfor tlieir support and proper 
education whilst minors, no such ap- 
pointment shall be made otherwise than 
with the consent of the mother unless 
the proposed guardian shall have given 
security for the support and proper 
education of the children whilst minors. 

4. Nothing in this Act contained Nothing in 

this Act to 

shall be construed to render any widow render any 
who, at the time of the death of widow cap- 
any person leaving any property, is a 
childless widow, capable of inheriting 
the whole or any share of such property 
if before the passing of this Act, she 
would have been incapable of inheriting 

able of in* 

( 56 ) " 

the same by reason of her being a child- 
less widow. 

Saving of 
rights of 



except as 


in sections 2 

and 4. 

5. Except as in the three preced- 
ing sections is provided, a widow shall 
not, by reason of her re-marriage forfeit 
any property or any right to which she 
would otherwise be entitled ; and every 
widow who has re -married shall have 
the same rights ol inheritance as she 
would have had, had such marriage been 
her first marriage. 

valid mar- 
riage to have 
same effect 
on widow's 

6. Whatever words spoken, cere- 
monies performed or engagements made 
on the marriage of a Hindu female who 
has not been previously married, are 
sufficient to constitute a valid marriage, 
shall have the same effect if spoken, 
performed or made on the marriage 
of a Hindu widow; and no mar- 
riage shall be declared invalid on the 
ground that such words, ceremonies or 
engagements are inapplicable to the 
case of a widow- 

( 57 ) 

7. If the widow re-marrying is a 
minor whose marriage bas not been 
consummated, she shall not re-marry 
without the consent of her father, or if 
she has no father, of her paternal 
grand-father, or if she has no such 
grand-father, of her mother, or, failing 
all these, of her elder brother, or failing 
also brothers, of her next: male relative. 

All persons knowingly abetting a 
marriage made contrary to the provi- 
sion of this section shall be liable to 
imprisonment for any term not ex- 
ceeding one year or to fine or to both. 

Consent to 


of minor 


for abetting 
made con- 
trary to this 

And all marriages made contrary to 
the provisions of this section may be 
declared void by a Court of law; Provided 
that, in any question regarding the 
validity of a marriage made contrary 
to the provisions of this section, such 
consent as is aforesaid shall be presum- 
ed until the contrary is proved, and 
that do such marriasre shall be declared 
void after it has been consummated. 

Effect of 
such mar- 

( 58 ) 

Consent to y n the case of a widow who is of full 


of major age, or whose marriage has been con- 
summated, her own consent shall be 
sufficient consent to constitute her 
re -marriage lawful and valid. 



Act XV of 1856 is defective and 
requires amendment. 

There are some defects in the Hindu 
Widows' Re-marriage Act (XV of 1856) 
which, I think, constitute by far the 
greatest obstacle to the working of the 
Act and mainly account for as to why 
the Act has remained almost a dead 
letter. It is high time now that these 
defects should be removed ; and I have 
made some suggestions which, I hope, 
if carried out, will greatly facilitate the 
marriage of Hindu widows. 

The second section of the Act, so 
far as it divests a Hindu widow of the 
property which has already vested in 

( 59 ) 

her by succession to ber husband or to 
his lineal successors, practically prohib- 
its the marriage of a widow who has 
succeeded to the estate of her husband. 
For though such a widow would natural- 
ly, from her heart of hearts, desire a 
moral matrimonial alliance in the way a 
widower of similar status would desire, 
yet for fear of loss of the property to 
•which she has succeeded she cannot 
carry out her wishes. 

Subsequent unchastity cannot divest 
a Hindu widow of an estate which has 
already devolved on her see (1) 
Matunjinee Debea v. Joy Kali Debea, 
14 W. R., 0. C, 23 ; (2) Kerry Kolitany 
v. Moni Ram Kolita, 19 W. R. 367 ; 
I. L. R„ 5 Cab, 776 (P. C.) ; (3) Nihalo 
v. Kishen Lai, I. L. R., 2 All. 150 
(F. B.); (4) Bhawani v. Mahtab Kun- 
war, I. L. R„ 2 All. 171; and (5) Keshav 
Ram Krishna u. Govind Ganesh, I . L. 
R., 9 Bom., 94]. 

Thus a widow has more encourage- 
ment for leading an immoral unchaste 

( 60 ) 

life if she so chooses to degrade herself, 
bat has no encouragement to lead a 
moral married life. In this view I am 
supported by the following quotations 
from Mittra's Hindu Widow (Tagore 
Law Lecture, 1879) pp. 213 and 
214: — 

" There is a singular contradiction 
ai between Act XV of: 1 856 and the case 
" of Kerry Kalitany (19 W. R., 367), 
s * If a widow re-married she will lose her 
" husband's property by section 2 of the 
" Act bat if she became unchaste, she 
J{ will continue to hold the property, 
18 Therefore, an honest widow who from 
" conviction re-marries, is subjected to 
" the forfeiture of her rights ; but a 
" libertine widow is protected from 
" similar forfeiture. Does not the de- 
" cision in the case of Kerry Kalitany 
et as compared with Act XV of 1856, 
" hold out inducements to widows to 
" become unchaste rather than remarry 
* under the ^m^tTTTrruI law aJiiLreliffloiL 
sanction of law and religion ? " 

( 61 ) 

Act XV of 1856 is an enabling and 
not a disabling Act. I would therefore 
surest that its second Section be so 

v_, ZJ 

amended as to remove the forfeiture of 
the property already vested in a widow. 
The reversioners' position cannot be said 
to become worse. For on the death of 
a widow the property would pass to the 
reversionary heirs of her first husband. 
Nor can it be said that her subsequent 
husband will waste the property. Eor a 
widow's waste can be checked by the re- 
versioners. She should not be placed in 
a worse position than an unchaste widow 
for fear of anv waste. iStill less is the 
forfeiture clause supported by any reason- 
able sentiment of her former husband's 
relatives. Eor this sentiment should 
be affected more keenly by the \\n- 
chastity of the widow than by her re- 

To remove this forfeiture is quite 
consistent with the preamble of the Act 
which provides to the effect that the 

( 62 ) 

marriage of Hindu widows will " tend 
to the promotion of good morals and to 
the public welfare." 

If necessary a provision be added to 
the effect that the children, if any, of 
the widow by her re-marriage will not 
inherit her former husband's property 
which will pass, on her death, to his 
reversionary heirs. 

Under Section 7 of the Act a minor 
widow of the age of 13 years, whose 
marriage has been consummated, can 
re-marry with her own consent; but a 
widow of the age of 15 years whose mar- 
riage has not been consummated cannot 
contract a valid marriage without the 
consent of her guardians in the order 
enumerated in the section. It does not 
appear under what principle the con- 
sent of the former is sumcient while 
that of the latter is not. It cannot 
be reasonably said that consummation 
of marriage adds to the discretion of a 


( 63 ) 

girl. It is the age and experience that 
contribute mainly towards discretion. 
Then the order in which the guardians, 
whose consent is necessary to validate 
the marriage of a minor widow, are 
enumerated is a practical check to such 
marriages. It has occurred more than 
once that the mother of a minor widow 
is ready to re-marry her but her father 
is against the remarriage. Consequent- 
ly no valid marriage can take place. 

The second sentence of the section 
which imposes criminal liability has a 
verv srreat deterrent effect, I think 
the ordinary criminal law relating to 
kidnapping, abduction, etc., contained 
in the Indian Penal Code is quite suffi- 
cient. I would, therefore, suggest that 
the second sentence of section 7 should 
be repealed altogether. The other parts 
of the section should be so far amended 
as to allow a widow of the age of 15 years 
no matter whether her marriage has or 
has not been consummated to re-marry 
without standing in need of the consent 

( 64 ) 

of any of her guardians. Her own con- 
sent should be sufficient to constitute 
her marriage lawful and valid, In case 
of a widow whose age be less than 15 
years and whose marriage has not been 
consummated the consent of one of her 
parents and, in their absence, of the 
guardians in the order enumerated in 
the section should be required to vali- 
date her marriage. 

To avoid the effect of the provisions 
of section 2 ol the Act, several widows 
have to adopt the artifice of conversion. 
They lose their religion by becoming 
converts to the Mohamedan faith and 
thus keep in their possession their late 
husband's estate. As an illustration of 
this artifice I am quoting below the 
judgment of the Allahabad High Court 
reported in 20 Indian Cases, p. 335 
( Abdul Aziz Khan V. Musammat 
Nirma ) corresponding to I. L. R., 35 
AIL, 4<66. The judgment is dated the 
5th June 191 3 and runs thus: — 

<; 65 ) 

u This appeal arises under the follow- 
ing circumstances. One Musammat 
Parbati, the widow of one Ganga Ram, 
who was a Hindu, instituted a suit 
claiming that she, in exercise of her 
le^al rights wished to make a well and 
build a temple on a portion of the pro- 
perty in the possession of which she was 
as a Hindu widow. She alleged that the 
defendants to the suit were preventing 
her from exercising her lesral rights and 
she claimed an injunction to restrain 
them. The plaintiff got a decree in the 
Court of first instance. The defendants 
appealed. While the appear was pend- 
ing Musammat Parbati became a con- 
vert to Mohamedanism and married Gne 
Wali Mohammad. She then put in a 


petition stating that she no longer wished 
to prosecute her suit and prayed that 
her suit might be dismissed. There- 
upon the present respondent, Musam- 
mat Nirma, the mother of her husband, 
who would have been entitled to the 
estate for her life if Musammat Parbati 
were then dead, made an application 

( 66 ) 

that she might be brought upon the re- 
cord and allowed ip defend the appeal. 
The Court below allowed this applica- 
tion. Hence the present appeal. 

u The appellants contend that Musam- 
mat Parbati did not lose her estate 
upon becoming a convert to the Mohame- 
dan religion but that her right to her 
husband's property was protected by- 
Act XXI of 1850', and that beings a 
Mohamedan she was entitled to con- 
tract a legal marriage with her present 
husband. On the other hand the res- 
pondent contends that under section 2 
of Act XV of 1866, the re-marriage of 
Musammat Parbati worked a forfeiture 
of her interest in her first husband's 
estate, and that, therefore, there was a 
devolution of interest to the present 
respondent. It was further contended 
that even if this be not so, Musammat 
Parbati, though she represented her 
husband's estate so long as she re- 
mained a Hindu widow, ceased to do so 
when she changed her religion and 

( 67 ) 

married again, and that, therefore, the 
present respondent, as next reversioner, 
ought to be allowed to continue the pro- 
ceedings and protect the estate. 

" In our opinion her conversion 
to the Mohamedan religion did not 
divest Musammat Parbati of her in- 
terest in her first husband's estate in 
view of the provisions of Act. XXI of 
1850. This has been repeatedly held 
in this Court and by their Lordships of 
the Privy Council. The last case to 
which we may refer is the case of 
Khunni Lai Y. Gobind Krishna Narain 
(8 A. L. J., 552; 10 Indian Cases, 
477 ; I. L. U„ 33 AIL, 356), We are 
also clearly of opinion that section 2 of 
Act XV of 1858 does not divest her of 
her interest in her first husband's estate. 
Section 2 of Act XV of 185fi cannot 
possibly include all widows. It is 
necessarily confined to "Hindu widows" 
Musammat Parbati was not a Hindu 
when she married her present husband. 
This Court has consistently held that 

( 6S ) 

the provisions of this Act do not apply 
to cases where the second marriage is 
valid irrespective of the provisions of the 
Act. Therefore, on the main ground of 
appeal, we think that the contention of 
the appellant is correct. Oar attention 
has been called to the ruling of the Cal- 
cutta High Court in the case of 
Mafcimsjini Gupta V. Ram Rattan Rov 
( i. L. R., 19 Cal., 289 }. This ruling is 
inconsistent with the rulings of our own 

" With regard to the second conten- 
tion, namely, that Musammat Parbati 
in the events which have happened 

L i. 

ceased to represent her late husband's 
estate Ave need only point oat that the 
sole ground upon which the respondent 
could oe substituted for Miisammat 
Parbati would be that there had been a 
devolution of the estate, which, for the 
reasons already stated is clearly not the 
case. No doubt, if anything detri- 
mental to the estate is done by Musam- 
mat Parbati or by any other person, the 

( 69 ) 

reversioners may have a right to take 
steps for the protection of the estate 
bv instituting a suit of their own. This 
is a very different thing to being subs- 
tituted for Musammat Parbati in a suit 
which she instituted of her own motion 
and which she does not choose to pro- 

To sum up, if a Hindu widow for 
the maintenance of her morality and 
religion re-marries she is deprived of 
her former husband's estate. But, on 
the oth^r hand, if she leads an unchaste 
life or becomes a convert to another re- 
ligion and then re-marrisg0 she does 
not lose that estate*. ^ 





mSf 1 




(A Brief Survey of the Poet's Inspirations) 



What can be greater than to be a poet like 
Tagore ? Philosophers have lived and died, their 
schools of philosophy have grown up and been 
forgotten. Kings have lived and died and who 
remembers then their names and dynasties they 
founded ? Great generals have achieved glory and 
been forgotten. But the poet lives for ever, he lives 
in the hearts of today, he lives in the hearts of to- 
morrow and a poet like Tagore who loved his 
country was none the less a lover of alt countries. 
Even in every fibre of his being, in every silvery 
hair of his head, in every rich red drop of his blood. 

QJ arojinx ^/ laiclu 

Let us go back to the early period of the 
nineteenth century when the history of the Bengal 
Renaissance was in the making. The sixteenth 
century is particularly known for the revival of art 
and letters under the influence of classical models 
in the Western Europe. The course adopted by the 
Bengal Renaissance Movement in the nineteenth 
century was surprizingly similar to that of Europe 
in the sixteenth century. 

Of course, similar efforts conclude in a similar 
manner and similar actions have similar re- 
actions. The history of mankind has preserved 
thousands of such instances that go a long way 
to bear testimony to this fact. The history of 
the Ancient India is dyed red with the blood of the 
Drivadians, so ruthlessly shed by the Aryans. 
The other chapter of the history opens with the 
murder and massacre of the Aryans, the tyrants, 
by the foreigners. The Brahmins charged the 
Sudras with hot-melted lead in their ears ; the 
Brahmins were disgraced and disregarded by the 
Mohammedans. The Mohammedans, with the 
avarice of victory, plundered the freedom of the 
world ; the Mohammedans were compelled to be 
on their knees before the superior might. In the 
same way, when we look into the pages of the 


history of Europe we find that the Roman em- 
perors, while riding their horses, used to put their 
feet on the shoulders of the submissive sovereigns ; 
but the time came when Romans had to suffer 
for the oppression and barbarity they had rendered 
to other nations, intoxicated with their imperialistic 
pride, kingly grandeur and grand civilization. 
The invisible hand of Nemesis gave such a heavy 
slap on the majestic face of the Old Rome that 
the Roman imperialism was obliged to knock out 
its true nature — the mockery of civilization. 

Similarly, we can take the case of an indivi- 
dual, a group, a nation or a country, and can, very 
confidently, say that nature, according to its un- 
changeable principle, does not exempt any party 
from getting proper reward or retaliation for its 
good deeds or misdoings. - 

Just in the same manner efforts put forth for 
the right cause produce good results'though at one 
time at an early stage and at the other at a later 
one. In accordance with the law of nature the Re- 
naissance Movement of Europe brought out the best 
results awakening the people of Europe to a new 
life. Exactly the same law was applicable to the 
results of the Renaissance Movement of Bengal. 

To the West the shock was given by the con- 
cussion of the Arabic civilization and the faith of 
Islam. The insensibility of the intellectual suffer- 
ings of Europe — a visible insignia of the Dark Ages 
— turned into the sense of reason. This shock was 
the foreshadow of the intellectual progress in 
Europe. There happened afterwards the revival 
of the Latin and Greek antiquities giving 
rebirth to Latin and Greek art and culture. The 
shock was also followed by a new interpretation of 

the Christian Scriptures. Both revival and inter- 
pretation A acting together, formed the full Refor- 
mation and Renaissance. 

To the East the shock was given by the con- 
cussion of the Western civilization which infused 
something uncommon and new in the East, helping 
forward its remarkable rebirth. There happened 
afterwards the movement for bringing back into 
vogue the Sanskrit classics — the treasures of the early 
Aryan Age. The shock was also followed by the 
reformation from within of the ancient Hindu my- 
thology. Both revival and reformation, acting 
together, gave prominence to the Bengal Renais- 
sance Movement led by the most enthusiastic 
leader — Rabindranath Tagore. 

During the time of Sir William Bentinck, Lord 
Macaulay planned for introducing the English 
language as the medium of instruction in India. 
His famous minute was written in 1835. In support 
of his scheme he himself said that it should be 
their endeavour, as far as possible, to create such a 
mass in India as would do the intermediary work 
by conciliation and compromise between them and 
millions of subjects. In Bengal it was then a burn- 
ing question whether the introduction of the 
English language in accordance with Macaulay's 
minute should be encouraged or not. It was one 
of the most momentous questions ever discussed 
.under the sun. Perhaps one may doubt the im- 
portance of the question but no wise brain, aware 
of the issues involved, not for Bengal only but for 
the whole of the East, will find any exaggeration in 
the significance of the question. 

It was no less than Macaulay's folly to dis- 
regard Sanskrit classics and Bengali literature. 

He was guilty, in the eyes of our countrymen, of 
pouring contempt upon the Sanskrit language. 
Nevertheless Macaulay had the upper hand ; 
people's voice fell on deaf ears. However the 
people received a shock. Their sentiments were 
aroused and they were naturally compelled by 
their conscience to go deep into the Sanskrit classics 
and there came the hour of revival. 

Prof. Wilson in 1853 while delivering a speech 
before the Parliament expressed his opinion about 
Macaulay's minute saying that in reality they had 
created a mass of the English-knowing people who 
had no sympathy with their countrymen and if 
they had had any, it was of no avail to them. 

In a way, Prof. Wilson was right. Just after 
the introduction of the English language the new 
life which first appeared led to the shaking of old 
customs and ancient convictions, and the social 
sphere was disturbed to an utmost extent. The 
people were thrown in a vast ocean and they had 
to strain every nerve to reach the shore. They 
needed from without a shock and they had got it. 
They struggled to get out of the commotion. At 
this stage Wilson's insight proved practically at 
fault. Quite reverse to his expectations, the 
English-knOwing people proved true sympathisers 
of their countrymen and every unit of their sym- 
pathy was of real use to their motherland. The 
language which can express most modern and 
scientific ideas immensely increased the potentiality 
of our Indian vernaculars. 

Raja Rammohan Roy was the one prominent 
personality whose noble presence played a great 
part, at this juncture, in saving Bengal from mis- 
fortune. His self-command, distinctive character 


and tutelary spirit singled him out among hi* 
contemporaries. His prophetic vision made him 
one to gauge, quite accurately, the force of every 
new current. He also had the qualities to foresee 
the results of every movement and guide the 
people in his own way with an accuracy incapable 
of missing the mark. Raja Rammohan Roy was 
not the least of an opportunist. He could never 
tolerate to wait for dead men's shoes. He was 
rather of the belief that chances are always at our 
threshold and we are to pick them up. He paved 
out a new road, vehemently promoting the new 
Western learning and helping forward Macaulay's 
programme with all his zest and zeal. But his 
efforts put forth in this respect did not, in any way, 
correspond to Prof. Wilson's version. The best 
spirit of his remarkable life was prone to fill the 
hearts of Bengalees with a true reverence for the 
I Indian past. It would naturally lead to the revival 
of the Sanskrit classics, for the Indian past was 
bright mostly with the same. Taken in this sense 
Raja Rammohan Roy w r as the crown of the 
revival movement. Besides, he never neglected his 
own vernacular, the Bengali language, rather 
recognized its full value by bringing it back into 
literary use. 

Our Poet's father, Maharshi Devendranath 
Tagore, was the next prominent personality known 
for the literary revival in Bengal. The Maharshi 
got his early education at the school founded by 
Raja Rammohan Roy and was influenced by the 
teachings of the latter received by him through his 
teachers in the school. The Maharshi was same 
to Raja Rammohan Roy's kingdom of thought as 
Akbar was to Babar's kingdom of India. The 

Raja rooted a plant deep in the soil of Bengal and 
the Maharshi watered it, protected it and made it 
grow into a fruitful tree. 

The Maharshi enjoyed a life of eighty-eight 
years. During this long period of his life he ever 
remained busy with his Brahma Samaj work. He 
personally went from place to place preaching the 
Brahma religion and establishing branches of the 
Brahma Samaj. To him ancient India was the. 
cradle of all that was pure in morals and religion.? 
" He was a man," says his son, Satyendranath, 
" more deeply imbued than any one in modern 
times, with the genuine spirit of the ancient rishis. 
It is singular that the one field of religious inspira- 
tion which was foreign to him was the Hebrew 
Scriptures. He was never known to quote the 
Bible, nor do we find any allusion to Christ or his 
teachings in his sermons. For him the Indian Scrip- 
tures sufficed. His religion was Indian in origin 
and expression, it was Indian in ideas and in 
spirit." The Maharshi's religious character and 
moral strength gave spiritual light to that age with 
an eminence of its own. His holy personal influence 
was immensely impressive and he was known as 
' Maharshi ' not only among his Brahma Samaj circle 
but the title was given to him by universal consent. 
During the days of the collision of foreign and 
Indian civilizations his spiritual authority held 
his country close to its own historic past. Raja 
Rammohan Roy was the strongest influence in 
moulding the life of Devendranath. Devendranath, 
like Raja Rammohan Roy, did never hesitate to 
stand against old, hackneyed convictions, harmful 
to the society of the day. He was the prominent pro- 
moter of the Adi Brahma Samaj, Sadharan Sama*~ 


and Brahma Samaj. " To my mind,'* says Prof. 
Max-Muller, " these three societies seem like three 
branches of the one vigorous tree that was planted 
by Rammohan Roy. In different ways they all serve 
the same purpose ; they are all doing, I believe, un- 
mixed good, in helping to realize the dream of a 
new religion for India, it may be for the whole 
world — a religion free from many corruptions of 
the past, call them idolatry, or caste, or verbal 
inspiration, or priestcraft, — and firmly founded on 
a belief in the One God, the same in the Vedas, 
the same in the Old, the same in the New Testa- 
ment, the same in the Koran, the same also in the 
hearts of those who have no longer Vedas or 
Upanishadas or any sacred Books whatever between 
themselves and their God. The stream is small 
as yet, but it is a living stream. It may vanish 
for a time, it may change its name and follow new 
paths of which as yet we have no idea. But if 
there is ever to be a new religion in India, it will, 
-I believe, owe its very life-blood to the large heart 
of Rammohan Roy and his worthy disciples, 
Devendranath Tagore and Keshab Chandra Sen." 

Devendranath instilled spirit and life in the 
hearts of his people who had great love and rever- 
ence for him. They followed him to reach the 
inner cores of their hearts and moved their senses 
for higher ideals — to bring in a creative period in 
the Bengali literary history. This movement brought 
home awakening of Bengal. Owing to this move- 
ment there also set in a creative period in the 
history of the whole of India, giving a beginning 
of a new era for the East. 

Besides other lively factors the conflict between 
the new Western learning and the revived Sanskrit 


classics left its deep impressions upon the face of 
the Bengal Renaissance. Toru Dutt, alive with 
her womanly grace and charm, gave vent to her 
feelings in a foreign language but the fragrance of 
the Sanskrit past is so beautifully macerated in 
her writings that our ancient culture is conspicuous 
of her songs rendering them to be a valuable 
jiational asset. Michael Dutt was a wonderful 
poet. He encircled the world's heart with the 
~depth of his poetry. He began by composing his 
poems in English verse, and while his beauti- 
ful expression of his elevated thoughts had 
won name' and fame for him and besides his being 
considered one of the best English poets his lite- 
rary powers were still at their height, he bade 
good-bye to his pen which had a swift flow in 
English verse. It was just the time when he 
accorded enthusiastic welcome to his mother 
tongue resulting in the richness of the Bengali 
literature. All his later poems, in Bengali, are 
written in a strikingly resonant and majestic metre. 
He was truly, as he was called, the Milton of the 
Bengal revival. Bankim Chander's novels remind 
us, when we read them, of the romance writings 
in the West. They clearly reveal the zest with 
which the young Bengal was exploring its new- 
found treasure. 

This period is important from another point 
of view. The writers of this era evinced an unusual 
interest in the study of the English language but 
at the same time they stuck to their own ancient 
ideals. They drank deep at the Pierian spring of 
the Western knowledge but their love of Indian 
thought and culture was not affected in the 
least. They were not swept away by the 



influence of English studies. They simplified the 
language as also the subject-matter so as to suit 
the exigencies of their own people. They did not 
dwell upon the far-fetched themes but depicted 
the village life of Bengal in their works. They 
chose their subject-matter from the rich store of 
their glorious, past. Thus they tried to inspire 
their readers with the ancient culture of their 
own country ; to infuse a broad and liberal kind 
of nationalism into their minds and to bring them 
into contact with the best that had been thought 
and done by their forefathers. 

Young Rabindra was the torch-bearer of 
this ideal. His indefatigable zeal for revival of 
ancient Indian culture accomplished more than 
any other of his contemporaries. Bankim, the 
celebrated novelist, has been called the pioneer of 
ithe Bengal Renaissance. Tagore may be called the 
f high-priest of this movement. 

Art comes easy to Rabindranath. Highest 
art, it has been said, is unconscious and Rab- 
indranath's art is undoubtedly unconscious. It is 
said of him that a certain gentleman approached 
him to interpret a poem of his, which had baffled 
his understanding for long and Tagore's retort 
was, " Ah ! who knows what it means ? " He 
wrote through vision and his vision was quick and 
open. Though not on purpose, much of his works 
are replete with the gospel of his father in his 
own inimitable simple style. 

It was not more than three decades back that 
he came into limelight. Even his countrymen did 
not recognise his genius before he was lionized by 
the West with the Nobel Prize. His early poems are 
subjective but the subjective tone is replaced by 


the prophetic one in his later verse. No longer he- 
sits in the remote corner to enjoy himself the 
ravishing delights of nature. He is out to rub 
shoulders with the common humanity, to share 
their lot of sorrows and sufferings, to face the 
pangs of hunger and poverty, to make a bold 
stand against the icy hand of death without any 
fear, and realize God in his contemplations. 

Fame and honour did not make him intoxicat- 
ed. He never forgot his humbler friends. He 
was never indifferent to them even when at the 
highest rung of the Fortune's ladder. 

He drew his inspiration from the soil of 
Bengal and in turn his songs and poems inspired, 
enchanted and guided the Bengalee youth. Most of 
his compositions are symbol of the rising hopes and 
aspirations of his own people. He has filled their 
hearts with rosy dreams of " Golden Bengal." 
Bengal is the acknowledged land of song and music 
and through Rabindranath's influence all the song 
and music has been directed at realizing that dream. 

The Poet is a man of vision and in his sub- 
conscious mind there is a sacred sense of awe that 
God has visited his people and through his music 
and literature he has filled the mind of his people 
with this awe. Verily India retains even today 
her living faith in the Unseen. 

For a true understanding of the temperament 
and character of Rabindranath Tagore, it is well 
worth to recall the environment in which he was 
nourished and brought up. When his father, the 
Maharshi, was present in the house, all the house- 
hold became still and hushed, as if anxious not to 
disturb his meditations. 

He was quite young when his mother died. 


Her face, when he saw it for the last time, was 
,calm and beautiful in death and awakened in him 
no sense of childish terror ; it did not excite even 
wonder ; all seemed so peaceful. It was much 
later that he was conscious of death's real 

In his childhood he was too much given to 
loneliness. He remained away from his father, yet 
iris father's influence was the deepest on Tagore's 
life. To him he was literallv the fountain-head of 
inspiration. When the icy hand of death had 
bereft him of mother's fond love, he was kept in 
the charge of the servants of the household. He 
would sit day after day in his room and peeping 
through the window would roam in a world of 

Since his infancy he worshipped nature. 
To him a mere piece of cloud coming up in the 
blue sky would make feel with joy. Nature 
supplied him the food for his imagination in his 
leisure. He never felt the loneliness of his early 
life. To him nature was a loving companion, that 
never forsook him and always revealed to him new 
treasures of beauty and joy. 

He would get up from sleep early in the 
morning and would roam about in his garden and 

!the meanest flower that grew there filled him 
with thoughts too deep for tears. A mere breath 
in the open sunshine would awake him to new 
life. The trees, the green grass, the chirping of 
sparrows, all conspired to thrill him through and 

The renowned Bengali poets, Chandi Dass 
and Vidya Pati, wielded a very great influence 
in arousing his creative talents. He had been a 


serious student of these master minds since his 
adolescence and enjoyed their study to his heart's 
content. Not infrequently a line or couplet would 
make him leap with joy. He imbibed their 
spirit in his youthful verses composed after their 
style and published some of his poems under the 
nom de plume ' Bhanu Singh Thakur.' For a time 
at least this Bhanu Singh baffled literary Bengal. 
They wondered who this weird Bhanu Singh could 
be. Like that of Coleridge most of his juvenile 
poetry was conventional and imitative written 
after the classical models but undoubtedly it showed 
the trend of his taste. It showed the iuture poet, 
as morning shows the day. 

Later on he forsook the classical style and 
began to compose his verses in the romantic vein* 
The poems published under the name of Sandhya 
Sangit (Evening Songs) bear testimony to this 
fact. This shocked the older generation but 
the younger generation hailed him as their leader. 
The chief source of his inspiration was the religious 
literature of early Vaishnavas. He did not resort 
to the English models unlike most of his contem- 
poraries. These poems composed in the religious 
fervour have been very dear to him even in his after 
life and their influence is marked in his later poetry 
especially in the lyrics of the famous Gitanjali. 

The Poet realized the inner beauty of the 
soul one fine morning in the Free School Lane, 
Calcutta. He felt as if the thick veil of ignorance 
was rent asunder with a dramatic suddenness. His 
mind was unusually calm and reposeful. He was 
lost in watching the sunrise from the Free School 
Lane. All of a sudden he felt dazzled of an inner 
vision. The veil was rent, the darkness had gone. 


He felt that everything was self-luminous ; every 
noise a perfect rhythm, every creature saturated 
with godhood. He realized that there was unity 
behind all diversity. He beheld one behind many. 
The distinction of form and colour was 
lost. Every person, even the tiniest of living 
beings, was invested with the glory and freshness of 
a dream. A solemn glee possessed his soul. He 
was wrapped in meditation. His heart was full 
of love and gladness born of it. 

Then he went to the remote places ; he scaled 
the dizzy heights of the Himalayas in search of such 
ethereal joy ; such inner vision of things but he 
sadly failed. He felt ever since that this world 
is brimful with joy and glory visible to those 
who have pierced the thick veil of ignorance. The 
thick wall of sorrow vanishes like a cloud in the 
radiant light of love. Love transforms the most 
commonplace thing to a thing of beauty and joy. It 
seemed as if his capacity for love was challenging 
all limitations. He loved everything great as well 
as small. He saw his God where the path-maker 
was breaking stones ; where the tiller was tilling 
the ground. He loved the labourers whose 
garments were covered with dust and face withered 
with fatigue. 

This ecstatic mood possessed him for several 
days on end. His brothers decided to have a 
pleasure trip to Darjeeling. Tagore accompanied 
them. He thought he might have a greater thrill 
of this blissful experience — oneness at the core of 
all things. He expected to find more harmony 
and severity in the height of the Himalayas than 
in the busy thoroughfare of the Sadar Street. But 
alas he found that all along he had been labouring 


under a delusion. He wrongly thought that truth 
could be got from outside. The majestic and 
lofty peaks could whisper no truth into his 
eager ears but the concourse and noise of people 
in the Sadar Street had done that. The Almighty 
Lord ; His wonder works. He works alone, un- 
fathomed and unknown. He can open the whole 
universe in the narrow space of a single line ; He can 
exhibit the whole world in a grain of sand ; can 
hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity 
in an hour. 

The volume of his poems entitled Morning 
Songs is the expression of 'Poet's ecstatic period — 
his first vision. He is impatient to realize the 
beauty of the world. But for lack of practical 
experience his lyrics though full of imagination 
are not intimately related to common human 

Circumstances, however, so conspired that it 
was no longer possible for him to live in an 
enchanted land of dream and imagination. His 
father soon gauged the sensibilities of the poetic 
genius of his son and felt that his intellectual 
development was tending to become lop-sided, if 
he did not rub shoulders with the practical men of 
the world. With this end in view he sent him 
away to supervise the family estate right on the 
bank of the Ganges. This change was a double 
blessing to the youthful Tagore. Firstly it brought 
him into contact with moral life of Bengal. Day 
after day he moved and talked with the native 
village-folk and dealt with the practical affairs. He 
began to understand and appreciate their rising 
hopes and also the fears that were looming large 
before their eyes. He awoke to the pangs of 


poverty and misery. He had never understood 
these monsters before. The second advantage 
that he derived from the change of environment 
was he had a fine scope to commune with nature. 
He could find no better place than the sacred 
bank of the Ganges for nature study. The calm and 
tranquillity inspired him to " ecstatic heights in 
thought and rhyme." He would roam from village 
to village in his boat and breathe fresh life. 

Most of his time he passed in silence. For 
many days at a stretch he would not exchange a 
single word with any living being till his voice 
became thin and weak through lack of use. During 
his boat excursions he had the chance to study and 
converse with the village-folk, to watch their 
customs and traditions, to share their joys and 
sorrows and feel their wants and limitations. This 
gave him enough material to take to short story 
writing. Many of the short stories written in those 
days are excellent and some think these to be 
superior to many of his well-known lyrics. 

Another great consequence of his stay among 
the rural folk of Shilaidah was that he developed a 
great love for Bengal, the land of his birth. The 
great national movement had not yet set its foot in 
the soil of Bengal but the forces that worked its 
way were silently working through the Bengal's 
sensitive sons. Rabindranath too was being fired 
with flame of patriotism. He had already an 
invincible faith in the destiny of his countrymen. 
His contact with the village people only confirmed 
this faith. He did not minimise the danger that 
threatened the native life through its contact with 
the West-fangled ideas, but he had an ultimate 
hope in the new national life of his province. 


Next phase in the life of Tagore begins since 
he went to Santiniketan from Shilaidah. When 
he was supervising his father's estate, he was feeling 
restless like a young eagle to fly away and find 
wider scope for his talents. The monotonous life 
at Shilaidah was only a long period of preparation. 

As time passed on he was becoming aware 
of an inner call to give up the present work and 
dedicate his lite to the service of his country. At 
last he could not control this passion. He first 
came to Calcutta and then to Santiniketan and 
decided to found a school. The difficulties to 
realize this aim were manv. The main was of 
raising funds. He spared nothing that belonged 
to him. He sold his books, his copyright and 
everything that he could lay hand on but the task 
he had assigned for himself demanded much more 
than he could give. For a time it appeared that 
the mission he had chosen would fail ; but he carried 
on the struggle and the trials and tribulations 
that beset his way worked a great and wholesome 
change into the life of the Poet. These very 
obstacles proved to be the birth-throes of a 
greater man in him. They worked a great change 
in his own inner life. 

At forty, his wife died. He had scarcely 
recovered from this rude shock when his daughter 
developed symptoms of consumption. Her pre- 
carious condition compelled him to give up school 
and nurse and tend her but all his efforts proved 
in vain. She succumbed to illness leaving gap in 
the Poet's sensitive heart never to be filled again. 
But the worst had yet to be. The Poet's youngest 
son, upon whom he -bestowed more care than 


others, fell suddenly ill with cholera and died 
within a few days. 

Death had preyed upon three of his dearest 
ones within a small interval but made herself the 
loved companion of the Poet — no longer an object 
of fear ; but a bosom friend. He had realis- 
ed by this so-called calamity that death was a great 
blessing in disguise. It was his belief that not 
even an atom in this universe is lost. He was 
aware of a sense of completeness. To him death, 
in the last analysis, was not a calamity but a 

It was during this period of travail that 
Gitanjali was written. The original was written in 
Bengali. " I wrote these poems," the Poet said, 
" for myself. I did not think of publishing them 
when I was writing." He has attempted to 
express fullness of human life, in its beauty as 
perfection. These lyrics are full of subtlety of 
rhythm, of untranslatable delicacies of colour, of 
metrical inventions. The work of a supreme 
culture, they yet appear as much the growth of the 
common soil as the grass and the rushes. 

The last phase of his life is that of the traveller, 
the pilgrim. He began to keep indifferent health 
and was compelled to set out to Europe for a 
change. But the outward change worked a 
spiritual change as well. He felt a new spiritual 

As soon as he left the Indian shores or was 
sailing in the Atlantic, he realised that his own soul 
was overgrowing the limitations imposed by outside 
factors. He imagined himself a voyager to the 
open road ! to the emancipation of the self ! to 
the realization of Love. 


In a letter to Dcenabandhu Andrews dealing 
with the meeting of the conflicting races of the 
world and the removal of colour prejudice he observ- 
ed that the meeting of the races on equal footing was 
the greatest question that concerned the fate of 
Homo Sapiens and that no sacrifice would be too 
great to solve this vexing problem once for all and 
achieve the victory of God in Man. 

Oversea travels had completely changed his 
outlook. He began to face questions and problems 
of international interest. He cast aside the narrow 
nationalism which had been the dominant and the 
most insistent feature of most of his poetry and 
songs. The philosopher was awake in the poet. He 
began to weave a philosophy of his life and thoughts 
and interpret the deeper meaning of life. It should 
not, however, be construed from the above that his 
lyrical zeal had cooled down by this time. He had 
been pouring his musical strains till the very last 
day of his life. 

He himself carried out the translation work of 
his Bengali poems. He was so unconscious of his 
own genius that he felt very diffident while show- 
ing the manuscript of translation to some of his 
English friends and said that he had to strip his 
Bengali verses of all their grande ornaments and 
clothe them in the simplest English dress. 

That English setting has since been acknowl- 
edged by the great men of letters. W. B. Yeats 
wrote a lengthy foreword to the English translation 
of Gitanjali and he pays him the tribute for his 
command of a foreign language in the following 
words : 

" I know no German, yet if a translation of a 
German poet had moved me, I would go to 1 the 


British Museum and find books in English that 
would tell me something of his life and of the 
history of his thought. But though these prose trans- 
lations have stirred my blood as nothing has for years, 
I shall not know anything of his life and of the 
movements of thought that have made them possible. 
It is unquestionably a great triumph on the part of 
an author translating his own poems into a wholly 
new language thus giving his message to two peoples 
at once in a noble literary form." 5 

The Gitanjali has resulted in bringing the East 
and the West close together in a common fellowship 
and understanding. The Poet has been able to 
bring about a remarkable synthesis of culture of 
the East and the West. To achieve success in this 
field in the face of so much racial prejudices and 
religious conflicts is no mean achievement. 

The coming generations will hail him as an 
angel of peace and goodwill towards mankind and 
by following in his footsteps shall so behave towards 
one another that struggle and strife will become a 
thing of the past. 

Printed by Narain Das Kumar at the Indian Printing Works, Lahore 
and published by R. I. Paul for Tagore Memorial Publications , Lahore. 






[Beautifully Bound in One Volume) 

PRICE Rs. 4/- 

At all 

Railway and Other Bookstalls 

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Tagore's Sriniketan 
Tagore's Philosophy 
Tagore ? Man & Poet 
Tagore in Russia 

Pria -/fi/- *acA 

AT ALL 64a 



Chaitanya Chandramrita 


S ,-emat 

Saraswati Prabodhananda. 


Love alone is the chief good 
of human life. 

Translated into English 


Bidhu Bhushan Sarkar B.A. 





Translated into English 



Sahityabhushan, Bidyabinode, 
Head Master of a High English School. 

July, 1935. 

Price Eight annas. 
Eight pei ce (foreign) 




Printed by Rajani Kanta Nath at the 
Sankar Press, Comilla. 

^'x/' /~> /•' s^ j~\j^ • - 2 



Srce Chaitanya Chandramrita is an authentic book 
written by Saraswati Prabodhananda on the true 
attributes of Sree Gauranga as he appreciated Him. 
This great savant — the author of the book — did not 
write it on second-hand information $ he came in direct 
contact with The Lord and took to His lotus feet 
after great deliberations, and he was a great intellectual 
giant — the greatest erudite scholar of his time. So, 
what he says in this book can be safely relied on without 
the least hesitation or doubt. It was for this reason, 
that, that saint of a man, Babu Sisir Kumar Ghosh, the 
well-known founder of the Amrita Bazar Patrika, who 
carried home into the minds of the educated public the 
tenets and teachings of Sree Gauranga by writing 
books like "Amiya Nimai Charit" in six parts in Bengali 
and 'Lord Gauranga in two parts in English, very 
kindly asked me to bring out the translation of this 
book ; and so is my humble attempt. Babu Sisir 
Kumar saw it and left a remark in writing—-"lt is good. 
I like it." 

I admit my weakness both in my knowledge of 
English and in my conception of the true attributes of 
The Lord ; so, I fear, I have not been able to hold 

( 1) 

before all the true spirit o\ what Saraswati Prabodhananda 
meant in these verses of his. Still, I hope, this will help 
the reader in getting a glimpse of Sree Gauranga. 

I agree with Hegel, a philosopher of the west, that 
religion is a matter of revelation. And I believe that 
this revelation comes through concentration and prayer. 
\nd if we pray for some time — "Oh Lord ! Open 
mine eyes," Truth will be revealed to us. This translation 
of the book, I hope, will awaken in the reader's mind 
a desire to know about Gauranga, and so he may be 
inclined to pray to God for the revelation of the Truth 
about the Lord. 

It will not be out of place here to give a short 
sketch of the life of Saraswati Prabodhananda, for, 
unless we know the life of the author, we may not be 
inclined to accept the truth he realises. 

Life Sketch of Saraswati 

Saraswati Prabodhananda's native home was at 
Belgundi, a village near Seringapatam on the river 
Caveri in Mysore in the Deccan. From his very boy- 
hood he was of a thoughtful turn of mind. In his early 
life he studied the Vedas and the six schools of Hindu 
Philosophy, specially the Vedanta ; and the nothingness 
of the world as delineated by Sankaracharyya in his 
well-known commentaries on the Vedanta Philosophy 

( 3 ) 

» r^r\ r\ '•- f\ r\ t 

so much impressed him, that he renounced the world 
at a very early age, even before his marriage, and turned 
a Sanyasi by embracing the cult of Sankaracharyya. 
He now settled at Benares, the then greatest centre of 
learning in western India. At that time there were 
two main centres of learning in India — one at Benares 
and the other at Navadwip ; the former was well-known 
for the culture of the Vedanta Philosophy and the 
latter for the Nyaya Philosophy. Saraswati Prabo- 
dhananda was the leader of the Vedantists and Basudev 
Sarbabhaum was the leader of Naiyayiks ( the followers 
of Nyaya ). Both of them were distinguished intellec- 
tual geniuses. Basudev belonged to Bengal and 
Prabodhananda belonged to Southern India. Prabodha- 
nanda's former name was Prakasananda before he was 
blessed with the grace of The Lord. 

Formerly Nyaya Philosophy was cultured only in 
Mithila or modern Behar ; and the scholars of this 
philosophy there did not allow this philosophy to go 
outside Mithila, lest their fame should be cast into shade, 
for, they feared, that people of greater intellect of other 
provinces might surpass them, if they could get an 
opportunity to have the whole book written and spread 
in their parts of the country. They specially feared the 
Bengali intellect. This was in the fifteenth century 
when there was no printing press. The only way of 
access to the book was to write it out and thus spread 
it from place to place • but it was not allowed. So 


students from other provinces would go there to study 
this philosophy. And, it happened, that Basudev 
Sarbabhaum of Navadwip went there as a student, and 
so sharp was his memory, and so keenly did he feel the 
want of this great philosophy in Bengal, that he 
committed the whole book to memory and brought 
it to his own province. It was he who first started 
at Navadwip a to I or school for teaching Nyaya 
in a most attractive way. Mithila was thus really 
thrown into the back ground and students from various 
provinces began to flock to the feet of this great teacher 
Sarbabhaum. And this was an age of learning, and, 
students came by thousands. Not only Nyaya, other 
branches of knowledge also were cultured here at 
Navadwip which was then a very big city. Sarbabhaum's 
renown spread far and wide. 

Raja Pratap Rudra the then mighty independent 
Hindu king of Orissa heard of his reputation and made 
him his court-pundit. So great was his influence, that 
next to Jagannath he was adored by one and all of the 
whole of Orissa. He shifted his home from Navadwip 
and lived with his family at Puri near to the temple of 
Jagannath. The big house known as Gangamatha 
Matha at Pari still stands to remind one of the vast 
erudition of this great scholar. Though not a sannyasi 
himself, he was the preceptor of many sannyasi stud- 
ents and these came from different parts of the country 
to study at his feet. That was the day of the Vedanta 

( 5 ) 

>«SV> - "X- v . » - ,, K. v v - V - . . V . w V V 4"\ yX/Tv /~^s ■*S\.f\./**,*-**S 

k*"'**'*. »>i,*-x /\rv/\/\/v * v , .,, v . l >/^' , './\/\/\y>, 

philosophy as expounded by Sankaracharyya. The 
learned Basudev therefore was well-versed in this philo- 
sophy as well, nay, he was well-versed in all the 
philosophies and all the sacred Hindu Scriptures as a 
great scholar of his reputation should have to be. He, 
too, was a great follower of Sankar except in the fact 
that he did not embrace the sannyasa stage of life. 
He cherished the theory of Sankar in high esteem and 
considered it to be the highest goal of human life. And 
what is this theory in short ? It is this. True salvation 
consists in the absolute merging of the human soul in 
the Great Divine Soul. The cuit of- Bhakti and 
prem was unknown to them, or at least not recog- 
nised by them. Sarbabham had seen before his very 
eyes at Puri various expressions of Bhakti, for, 
millions of people from different parts of the country 
flocked there to be blessed with the sight of Jagannath, 
they all bowed before Him, fell prostrate before Him, 
prayed to Him in various ways with folded hands, gave 
many offerings to Ja^annath, and so on ; and he per- 
ceived no doubt that the people were doing all this out 
of firm devotion or bhakti ; but, still he beleived, that 
bhakti was not an end in itself, he thought that it 
was only a means to the attainment of that Jnana 
which was preached by Sankaracharyya and which 
speaks of the absolute disappearance of the human 
soul in Brahma — The Great Being. Thus did Sarbabhaum 
pass his days in Puri. 

Sree Gauranga the Latest Incarnation of God 
or better, Who is God Incarnate, came down to the 
world at Navadwip, and, from the very beginning of His 
descent up to the age when He was twentyfour years, 
He transformed the whole of Bengal into a land of 
bliss by His sweet Kirtan. One writer puts it beauti- 
fully thus that Santipur was almost immersed and the 
whole of Nade (Navadwip) was flooded by the ocean 
of love revealed and swollen by the holy Kirtan 
introduced by The Lord. He loved all equally. He 
made no distinction of caste or creed. The virtuous 
and the sinful found equal solace in His warm embrace. 
The learned and the ignorant, the educated and the 
illiterate, the rich and the poor, the high and the low, 
all found equal shelter at His lotus feet and they were 
equally graced by His look of love. Equality of man 
was established by His superior love. People began to 
love one another as their brethren. This universal 
brotherhood The Lord wanted to spread all over India. 
So he left Navadwip and in the garb of a Sannyasi 
travelled over the whole country on foot. At first He 
went to Nilachal now called Puri. Sarbabhaum had 
a long controversy with Him and was converted, and 
the whole of Orissa with Raja Pratap Rudra and his 
spiritual guide Kasi Misra followed Sarbabhaum, and 
they all looked upon The Lord as God Incarnate. They 
all began to worship Sree Gauranga as the most Perfect 
Embodiment of Bliss, Beauty and Love. 

( 7 ) 

Now that Basudev Sarbabhaum became a staunch 
devotee of The Lord, he came to realise what a dry and 
unpleasant life he lived so long by following the path of 
jnan. Now by worshipping Sree Gauranga and 
enjoying the sweet bliss of His love he fully appreciated 
that his life was now what it should be, and that such a 
life is worth living. He now found the world 
around him all blissful. And again, this thought crossed 
his mind how many a man like him was sadly deprived 
of this sweet bliss of life by treading in that dry path 
of jnan. Specially he thought of Saraswati Praka- 
sananda, that well-known saint of Benares of all-India 
repute, and also of the men of his way of thinking. He 
felt pity for that saint and his disciples ; and so firm 
was his conviction that he would be able to convert the 
saint to this cult of bhakti and prem and give him 
the true bliss of life, that he went on foot to Benares 
hundreds of miles away from Puri. But alas ! he had 
to come back unsuccessful. That pedant of Benares 
could not be brought round by any earthly power. 

On the thirteenth day of the waxing moon in the 
Bengali month of Magh Sree Gauranga left Navadwip, 
and having delivered Sarbabhaum at Puri in the month 
of Chaitra, He left for the Deccan by the first week 
of Baisakh. And having travelled over the whole of 
Southern India He made millions of converts there. 
They all worshipped The Lord as the latest Incarnation 
of God, and the whole Deccan danced in divine delight 

( 8 ) 

with The Lord in loud Kirtan or singing the names 
of Hari. Even the very native home of our saint 
Prakasananda was not excepted. This the saint could 
hardly bear. He never believed in Avatar. And a 
Bengali Sannyasi should pass for an Avatar ! This was 
more than he could bear. And again, the idea of 
singing aloud the names of God and dancing in 
divine joy specially on the part of a Sannyasi was 
quite repugnant to his ideas. This could never be reli- 
gion, he thought. The Saraswati took such Kirtan 
and dance for some form of hypnotism practised upon 
the people by Sree Gauranga, by which He overpowered 
them ; he could never imagine that the ecstatic divine 
delight that made the people dance with The Lord could 
be so easy of access, for, he for his whole life could 
not attain the least of such joy in his trance by all his 
strictest penance. So, he took Sree Gauranga at best 
for a sentimental hypnot. All the more was his wrath 
when he heard that Gopal Bhatta, his own nephew, 
whom he loved much and whom he had educated in his 
own ideals, also embraced this faith and took to the 
lotus feet of Sree Gauranga. 

The Lord came back to Puri after He had blessed 
the whole of Southern India with His Supreme Love. As 
we see now, in those days too, numerous pilgrims would 
flock to this sacred place to be sanctified with the sight 
of Jagannath. And when the happy message spread 
from mouth to mouth that Sree Gauranga The Great 

( 9 ) 

Nadia Avatar was living at Puri and doing His blissful 
Lee I a of love to the superior delight of all hearts, the 
number of pilgrims increased more and more. Saraswati 
Prakasananda of course came to know of all this. He 
knew as well that the mighty scholar Basudev Sarba- 
bhaum and also the king of Orissa looked upon Sree 
Gauranga as Jagannath Himself or The Lord of all the 
worlds. The more he learnt all this, the more was he 
burning within himself with the fury of ire and the less 
could he control his passion. At last ht gave vent to 
his feelings of wrath and malice in a letter to The Lord 
sent through one of the pilgrims. The letter was 
simply a slokaor verse written by the saint in Sanskrit. 
It ran thus — 

''Benares Is a very sacred place. The 

holy Ganges is flowing by. Those who 

desire salvation must reside here. He who 

lives elsewhere is foolishly duped like a beast 

that runs after a mirage." 

Or, in other words, Saraswati Prakasananda likened 

The Lord to a beast'as He was living at Puri and not at 

Benare; where Saraswati himself was residing. The 

fact is, that Saraswati Prakasananda had no faith in the 

sanctity of Benares or in that of the waters of the Ganges. 

He never believed that salvation could be attained merely 

by living in that place. His ideal of salvation consisted 

in the oneness of the human sou! with the Divine or the 

absolute disappearance of the former in the latter, and 

( 10 ) 

this, he beleived, could only be attained by the culture of 

Nirbhed Bra hm a j nan which amounts almost to 
Buddhistic Nirvana. The object of his writing that letter 
to The Lord was not to give Benares a much more 
exalted position than Puri, but simply to belittle the 
position of Sree Gauranga and trumpet his own vaunted 
superiorioty. But The Lord only smiled with mercy to 
go through the letter. He sent a reply. It ran thus — 

"My friend, Love is the highest end 
of human life. God is All-Love, All- 
Beauty and All-Bliss. Be pleased to 
culture that love. We need not enter 
into any controversy over the superiority 
or inferioriiy of any place, or any human 
being or any scripture." 
What a wide difference between these two letters ! 
Prakasananda's letter breathed contempt, while that of 
The Lord was teeming with Love. Prakasananda likened 
The Lord to a beast, while The Lord called him a friend. 
Prakasananda expected a reply in filthier terms, for, 
his was a fighting spirit, — his argumentative mind 
wanted a shastric fight. But the reply was far above 
him, and so he was frustrated. For the second time he 
made a meaner attempt to incite The Lord by crying Him 
down ; for, about this time next year he sent another 
letter through a pilgrim which was more vilifying than 
before. But The Lord did not think it worth His while 
to send a reply this time. 

( fl ) 

In the sixth year of His Sannyasa life Sree Gaur- 
anga went to Benares on His way to Holy Brindavan. 
The Lord at that time had only three disciples there, and 
they were Tapan Misra a Brahman, Chandra Sekhar a 
Kayestha, and Purushottam a Vaidya. Tapan Misra's 
native home was in East Bengal. He was an old man 
and had studied many shastras, but could not deter- 
mine the true end of life and the means to that end. In 
spite all his erudition he sincerely felt his ignorance of 
the true attributes of God, the final goal of human life 
and how to attain it and all that. When Sree Gauranga in 
His household life as Pundit Nimai had gone to East 
Bengal, Tapan Misra saw a vision at night that dictated 
to him thus — "O Tapan ! Go to Nimai Pundit and 
fall at His feet, for, He is The Holy Incarnation of this 
age. He will enlighten you on all that you want to 
know." And verily Tapan Misra went to The Lord 
Nimai and fell at His holy feet and prayed to Him 
that He might reveal all truths to Him. Sree Gauranga 
said — 

The Highest End of human life, 
the means to attain that end, all truths 
about God, and whatever thou mayest 
desire to know, will all be revealed 
to thee through San kirtan or singing 
the names of Hari." 
So saying, The Lord gave him the following ma ha- 
mantra or the Hymn of all hymns : — 

( 12 ) 

H&ra Krishna Hara Krishna Krishna Krishna Hara Hara 
Hara Rama Hard Rama Rama Rama Hard Hard. 
The Lord told him further to go to Benares and live there 
with his family, for, he said, in that very place he would 
see Him again some years after. So, at His bidding 
Tapan came to Benares and was so long waiting all 
expectant for the day when he would see his sweet Lord. 
And the day came at last, for The Lord came and lived 
with him for some days. 

It was spread all over Benares that a Superman of 
Divine Beauty had appeared in the sacred city and who- 
ever saw Him was attracted to His feet. Prakasananda, 
from all reports that reached his ears, understood that 
He was no other than Sree Gauranga Himself Who had 
maddened the whole Deccan. Saraswati Prakasananda 
was the undisputed leader of the place, nay, people 
adored him next to Bisweswar or Lord Siva. Natur- 
ally therefore he expected that Sree Gauranga would 
go to his place to have an interview with him. But no. 
He mixed with none. He would everyday go to the 
holy Ganges for a bath and return to Tapan Misra's 
house. During a few days' stay there, the divine halo 
round His Holy Figure and His sweet Kirtan won num- 
erous hearts. And very soon He left Benares for 

In the absence of The Lord that pedant saint began 
to speak vehemently against Him before all his disciples 
a. id all the people that came to him. For he said, "That 

( 13 ) 

Bengalee Sannyasi, whom they call Avatar, knows 
nothing of the Vedanta, nothing of the Shastras. He 
had not the heart to mix with the learned sannyasis of 
this great city. The anniversary day of the meeting of 
the sannyasis is drawing near and he left the place even 
before that date, lest he should have to be present at the 
meeting and be exposed. Absolutely vain is his attempt 
in this great place of learning" 

Now that Sree Gauranga was gone, Prakasananda 
breathed a sigh of relief to think that no more was there 
any chance of his superior unrivalled position being 
shaken by that mighty sannyasi of Bengal. But this could 
never be. The object of Sree Gauranga was to bless 
all the sannyasis and for that all the people with His 
Divine Love. And with this object in view He was out 
on His religious tour. It was He who knew full well 
how and when to do it. The whole of Bengal was 
already flooded with His love. And so was the Deccan. 
The western India now remained ; and Benares was the 
main centre. Should He and could He leave this place 
without illumining it with the divine lustre of His love ! 
No. That could not be. Let us see how He did it, 

From the Holy Brindavan Sree Gauranga came 

again to Benares on His way back to Puri 5 and stayed 

here for more than two months. Full two months The 

Lord took to make Sanatan fully conversant with the true 

imports of all the Hindu philosophies and all the 

( 14 ) 

scriptures and above all with the highest philosophy of 
Supreme Love. 

Sanatan was the prime minister of Hossain Shah the then 
Nawabof Bengal. He had a unique position there, for he 
was the right hand of the Nawab. Hussain Shah had dele- 
gated most of his power to this able minister and in many 
affairs Sanatan acted as Nawab. But all his rank and 
tittle, pelf and power gave him no rest. When he heard 
of The Great Nadia Avatar, he thought of renouncing the 
world and taking to His lotus feet for eternal peace. 
Now, when he learnt that the Lord left Puri for Brinda- 
van, Sanatan made no delay. He ran to his Loved Lord 
and met Him at Benares when He came back from 
Brindavan. Here Sanatan got his full inspiration from 
the Lord for his future sacred mission at Srec Brindavan. 
Prakasananda was much amazed to learn that The 
Lord was again at Benares. AN the more was he taken 
aback to learn that the prime minister of Bengal cut off 
worldly ties out of deep love for Sree Gauranga. And 
again, the masterly exposition that The Lord made of all 
the scriptures to Sanatan must have also been reported 
to him. Further, the number of followers of Sree Gauranga 
gradually increased day by day. All these seemed to shake 
the high pillar of vanity on which the savant sat. But 
what could Prakasananda do now ? The only way left 
to him was to speak evil of the Lord with much more 
vehemence in season and out of season ; his Sannyasi 
disciples too followed the instance oi their preceptor. 

( 15 ) 

A Mahratta Brahman by this time like many others 
became a staunch follower of The Lord. He was for- 
merly a disciple of Prakasananda. One day he went to 
him and with much humility requested him to see Sree Gau- 
ranga once, for, he believed, that to see Him was to love 
Him. The Brahman fully believed that all the spite,all the 
ill-feeling that the great savant cherished against The Lord 
would vanish in a moment as soon as he would see Him, 
for, the very sight of The Lord would convince that great 
saint that He was God Incarnate. But Prakasananda 
laughed him down and said, "You too have gone mad ! 
I know him. He is Chaitanya. But he is a great cheat ! 
Benares, you know, is the greatest centre of learning in 
all India. No sentimental foolishness will have a place 
here. Tell him he will have to go away baffled from 
here. As for yourself, I ask you not to mix with him 
and be befooled. Study Vedanta." 

The Mahratta Brahman was all the more wounded, 
but his firm faith in The Lord was not in the least shaken. 
He arranged for a meeting of the sannyasis with The 
Lord. His house was sufficiently fpacicus to accommo- 
date numerous people. The sannyasis were invited even 
without the permission of the Lord, for he believed, that 
The Lord was too kind to refuse his humble prayer which 
was not for his own selfish end but tor permanent $ood 
of the sannyasis and ot all the people ot Benares. And 
actually when the Brahman with humble entreaties made 
this proposal to The Lord that He should grace the 

( 16 ) 

meeting by His presence, The Lord agreed with a smile. 

The spacious hall that was temporarily raised for the 
purpose by that blessed Brahman was filled to its utmost 
capacity. Thousands of sannyasis met. Other people 
too gathered by thousands out of great curiosity to see 
the shastric-fight The prominent disciples of Praka- 
sananJa were all prepared for the fight ; they thought 
that they would be able to calm Sree Gauranga at 
a word, their preceptor would not have to speak at 
all ; they expected thereby to show the mighty power 
of the savant, for, they were under the impression 
that people would hardly be able to gauge the infinite 
depth of learning of their preceptor by seeing such in 
his disciples. The people that were by this time 
attracted to the feet of The Lord were also present 
"there. They had a firm faith in Him no doubt, but, 
so frail is human mind, and sometimes it is so much 
beset with doubts and suspicions and peepings of 
disbelief, that they too sometimes felt waverings in their 
hearts. Some went there to make their "assurance 
doubly sure," — to have their faith in The Lord firmer 
still. Some had firm conviction that The Lord would 
win over the sannyasis to His side by His very presence 
and by embalming their hearts with love by His very 
look ever beaming with lustre of love. But every one 
was confident that this day would decide the fate of 
Kasi (Benares). 

However, all the people that assembled vfere 

( 17 ) 

eagerly waiting for that happy moment of the arrival 
of The Lord, and when their expectation reached its 
highest pitch, The Lord came — A Bright Holy Figure, 
Humility Personified, Beauty Embodied and Love 
Incarnate. Four disciples were with Him, and these 
were Tapan Misra, Sanatan, Chandra Sekhar, and 
Purushottam. The prediction of the Mahratta Brahman 
came to be true — the very sight of The Lord exercised 
a charm over the whole assembly, all were electrified, 
and, spell-bound, as it were, all the people, even that 
king of sannyasis with all his followers stood up in a 
body to greet The Lord. Saraswati Prakasananda him- 
self stepped forward to lead Him to the centre of the 
meeting. Ail took their seats. Perfect silence reigned 
over the assemblage for some time. Prakasananda 
was so much overpowered by a thrill of delight not 
felt before, that he could not for a while open his lips. 
A struggle was now raging in his mind — struggle between 
his natural and spontaneous submission to The Lord 
and his former vanity. Sometimes the one, sometimes 
the other predominated. Sometimes he felt he was in a 
bright region far above this mortal world, sometimes 
his haughtiness, his superior position, his vast erudition 
tried to bring him down. In a word, waves of feelings 
tossed his mind — two divergent thoughts troubled his 
spirit. Once from above he could see the unsoundness 
of his position below, and again from below he could 
see the brightness far above. And in this struggle his 

( 18 ) 

master mind could judge what a vast difference is there 
between undisturbed calmness of spirit and the agitat- 
ing uneasiness of vaunted glory. At last collecting 
himself, the learned sage spoke out in a tone of humility, 
in a spirit of submission. Two things were uppermost 
in his mind. He lived and moved and had his being 
in Vedanta. So he wanted to know from The Lord 
what was His idea about it. And again, he could not 
for the world imagine what ecstatic joy there might be 
that could make a man dance and sing and shed tears 
as The Lord and His followers did. So this was 
also what he wanted to know from The Lord. 

So sweetly and feelingly and at the same time 
in such a masterly way did The Lord reply, that every 
word of His acted as a miracle — it sent a thrill of ioy 
to every heart. His learned and lucid exposition of 
the Vedanta philosophy and in that connexion the holy 
Vedas and His final deduction of the Truth — that God 
is AH Love and He is to be attained and worshipped 
with love which is the summum bonum of human life, 
and that, as God is All-Bliss, the world too is all 
blissful — simply charmed them all and made chem feel 
that Sree Gauranga is God Incarnate and that He 
came down to the earth not only as the Saviour of 

mankind but also to transform this world into Golok 
or the Highest Heaven of love. And last of all He said 
that taking the Names of Hari* is the simplest, easiest 

♦The word Hari is derived from the root Hri which 

( 19 ) 

and surest way of attaining prem (love) and getting 
the true revelation of God 5 no rigidity, no penance, no 
ritual, no sacrificial ceremony is possible in this Age of 
Sin. Not to speak of attaining prem which is the 
highest end of human life, even salvation is not possible by 
following any path other than the simple way of taking His 
Names. Sankirtan*, He said, cleanses the mirror of the mind 
where God is rightly reflected, it extinguishes the fire of 
all troubles, it sheds the cool beam of the true end of life, 
it gives life to all learning, it swells the ocean of bliss, 
it enables one to taste more and more of the purest 
nectar of love, it purifies all hearts and it is ever supreme. 

The whole assembly felt they were in a bright land 
of love with Sree Gauranga as their Lord. AH were 
quite changed. And the meeting dispersed after the Lord 
was treated with some sweets, and the Lord partook of 
them with Prakasananda at the same plate. 

Every word of the Lord was now ringing in the 
ears of the great Saraswati; His Sweet Figure was deeply 
impressed upon his mind. In his solitude now Prakasa- 
nanda saw before his mind's eye nothing but the sweet 
Figure of the Lord and he heard nothing but His sweet 

means to steal, to remove ; The Lord says, the Name Hari 
has various meanings, two of which are most important — (1) He 
removes all evils and (2) Steals (wins) all hearts with love. 

•Sankirtan implies loud singing as well as counting Names 
in beads. 

( 20 ) 

words. But he had not yet seen the sweet dance of the 

Prakasananda passed the whole night without a 
wink of sleep. Next day in the morning too he was in 
that blissful mood of mind when a disciple of his ran to 
him to report that Sree Gauranga was dancing a divine 
dance in the street with innumerable people around Him. 
This He did on His way back from a bath in the Ganges. 
Immediately got up the saint, he forgot his position, left 
off his Danda and Kamandalu ( saint's staff and beggar's 
bowl ) and ran to the spot like a simple child that runs 
to see a curious thing. And what he saw was simply 
captivating. He saw that a bright sweet youthful 
Figure of about 16 was shedding forth a lustre of 
love and bliss over the whole multitude by His hea- 
venly dance ; His eyes were beaming with love ; His 
sweet smile was winning all hearts ; a wave of beauty 
played on every part of His limbs. For some time he 
stood still drinking of the sweet nectar of that divine 
Beauty. He lost all control over himself. In the overflow 
of his divine delight all his limbs began to wave and at 
last he joined in the dance with others. 

The Lord was in the centre. The sannyasis were 
around Him, and all other people formed the outer circle. 
They were all dancing with uplifted arms. Their eyes 
beaming with divine joy were all turned to the sweetest 
and most delightful Figure of their most beloved Lord. 
Some eyes were shedding blissful tears. They were all 

( 21 ) 

singing aloud with The Lord the sweet Name of Hari. 
The strokes of their feet shook the earth, the loud sound 
of Haribol uttered all at once from thousands of throats 
rent the sky and resounded all quarters. A wave of delight 
passed over the whole of Benares. They had heard the 
name of Hari many a time and on many an occasion be- 
fore. They themselves too took the name of Hari now 
and then. But they never felt such superior power, 
such supreme delight, such mighty attraction, such hea- 
venly bliss, such sacred thrill of charm. Crowds gathered 
more and more and all electrified they joined in the 
dance. They all felt that they were being translated to 
some brighter world. Such divine dance was a sight for 
the gods to see. Having thus infused a new spirit into 
the hearts of all, Sree Gauranga stopped kirtan and 
went to the house of that blessed bhakta Tapan 

The Lord was to leave for Puri the next day. 
Alone at night the savant went to The Lord and 
most earnestly entreated Him to permit him to go 
with Him that the Saraswati might pass the rest of his 
life at His lotus feet; for he said, "Oh my gracious Lord! 
Thou art The Bliss of my life. I wouid rather die this 
moment than bear Thy separation." The Lord consoled 
him and said, "\ desire that thou livest at the Holy 
Brindavan, and that is the fit place for thee. Rest assu- 
red, I shall ever be with thee there." 

The words of The Lord consoled him and cheered 

( 22 ) 

him up and from this day forward he went by the name 
of Prabodhananda. 

The Lord went to Puri and the savant to Brindavan 
where he passed his days in happy communion with The 

Benares now became a second Nadia and every 
house was resounded with the holy kirtan. 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

kn k m.iiiW 1 


1. I with all my disciples bow down to Sree 
Gauranga. He is All Spirit. He came down to Navadvip 
the Highest Heaven on earth. He is the greatest of all 
Incarnations. He is most wonderfully generons to em- 
brace all. He transcends all bounds in His grace. The 
object of His Incarnation is to b'.ess all His beings with 
the pure & sweet nectar bliss of His love and show the 
way of worship with love by Himself worshipping God 
Krishna with love as an Ideal Bhakta. 

2. I bow down to The Lord Who is of unspeaka- 
ble glory. Being graced by His divine nectar of love a 
man feels such an ecstacy of delight that he dances, sings 
aloud, and sometims rolls ow the ground, although such a 
man was never before in touch with religion, nay, was ever 
given to irreiigion, and although he formerly never came in 
contact with any holy man. 

3. I bow down to Sree Gauranga. It is He 
Who by His coming down to the earth has revealed the 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

-«. I » . .. - \S ^^v> . 

mystery of Divine Love by the very utterance of His 
Name. This love was unattained by those that were given 
to Karma or Yoga, and it was beyond the reach of pen- 
ance, meditation, renunciation of or indifference to the 
world, mere knowledge of the attributes of God, nay, 
it was not attained by any amount of adoration of God 
or even by the worship of Krishna. 

4. I bow down to The Gracious Lord Sree 
Chaitanya. !t is He alone Who is able to endow with the 
truest Love, all that see him, or touch him, or sing His 
Name, or think of Him or bow down to Him or revere 
Him from a distance. 

5. 1 with all my disciples bow down to Gouranga 
and Gouranga alone. Whoever is enriched with His look 
of Grace, shuns Kaibalya ( i. e. merging of the human 
soul in the Divine in salvation ) as hell, avoids heaven as 
an imaginary thing, looks upon senses as venomous 
snakes with their fangs of venom drawn out, considers 
the rank of king of gods as insignificant as that of a 
worm and finds the universe full of bliss. 

6. I with all my disciples bow down to Gaur 
Chandra. By drinking of the bright, wonderful and 
blissful nectar of love trickling out of His lotus feet all the 
bhaktas ( i. e. devotees ), who are revered even by the 
gods, feel such an ecstacy of maddening delight, that they 
smile at Brahma, Vishnu & Siva (the Creative, Protective 
and Destructive powers of God ), do not hold the great 
Vaishnavas in very high esteem, and pity the sages 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

J \/ -^ \S MV/V' 1 -. 

absorbed in Yoga ( for none of these taste of the nectar 
of Love as they do not worship Sree Gauranga ). 

7. I with all my disciples bow down to the Holy 
Figure of Chaitanya in Whom has God Incarnated. He 
is the greatest of all incarnations, as He has revealed the 
brightest path of bhakti and prem, and, in compari- 
son with this work of His, all the works of other incarn- 
ations, such as, the slaughter of demons, the revelation 
of the path of Yoga, the creation of the world, the 
raising of the earth from beneath the flood of water and 
so on, are all cast into shade. 


8. I bow to Chaitanya Chandra. The glow of 
His face surpasses that of crores of moons taken to- 
gether. He is the eternal source of all bliss of love. His 
Smile surpasses the beauty of the beam of the most 
beautiful moon. 

9. I bow again and again to Chaitanya Chandra 
Who is the source of all the good of the world. Devo- 
tion to His lotus feet blesses a man with prem ( love ) 
which is the highest end of human life. 

10. I adore Chaitanya Chandra. He is the Super- 
human Bliss Personified, and is the Greatest of all In- 
carnations that came down to the world for the good of 
mankind. His eyes are as wide as the petals of lotus. 
He dispels all the evils of the universe by the loud, madden- 
ing and blissful sound of 'Hari' 'Hari' in His Kirtan with 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

*"w • / \ - 

His uplifted arms of gloden hue and by the charming 
movements of His feet in His divine dance when His 
body becomes beautifully restless. 

11. I bow again and again to Chaitanya Chandra. 
He is the giver of the sweetest nectar of love. He is 
attractive to all by the golden glow of His divine beauty. 
He has taken the human form to 60 His blissful Leela. 

12. ! with the utmost wonder adore Gaur Hari. 
He appears in the disguise of a Sanyasi indeed, but, in 
fact, the glow of his body gives forth numerous 
oceans, as it were, of nectar of sweet beauty. The tor- 
rents of His tears show that His eyes are, as it were, nu- 
merous new clouds. The wealth of His love throws 
numerous heavens in the background. 


13. Sree Radha and Krishna are united in the person 
of Sree Gauranga. The glowing hue of His body is far 
more beautiful than the pollens of the blossomed golden 
lotus. His shoulders are like those of a lion. His body 
shows wonderful expressions of intense delight that He 
inwardly enjoys out of prem, the mystery or which 
even the sages cannot explore. His lips shine with the 
sweetest of the sweet smile. May this Holy Figure of 
The Lord save you all from all evils of the baneful world. 
14. The Lord at the sight of the newly formed 
clonus gets mad alter Krishna. Seeing the feather of a 
pea-cock He shakes. At the sight of the Gunja seeds 

Sree Chaitanyaghandramrita. 

■ - . . 

He loses all consciousness, ( for, the colour of Krishna is 
like that of new clouds ; Krishna put on pea-cock's 
feather on his coronet and the garland of Gunja seeds 
round His neck ; and all this reminded Him of Krishna ). 
He startles to see the youthful figure of Krishna when His 
body puts on a very wonderfully beautiful appearance. 
May this Golden Figure of Gauranga impart a new life 
and spirit to you all. 

15. Sree Gauranga, the Son of Sachee,is the ocean 
of kindness. He puts on a cloth, the colour of which is 
light red like that of the evening sun. The great bright 
halo round His body emits nectar of love. He is God 
Himself. He is the most perfect Incarnation and all 
incarnations came from Him. He is ever associated with 
His bliss-giving power incarnated in Vishnupriya. May 
this Lord with all His glory shine in the firmament of 
your heart like the full moonvand dispel the darkness of 
ignorance by shedding the lustre of love. 

16. To ascertain the number in counting the names 
'Hare' 'Krishna' which He has revealed for the good 
of mankind, The Lord ties knots in the cloth in his loins, 
while His hands shake out of extreme prem and His 
face is bathed in tears. As such, He goes to the temple 
to see Jagannath Who is His own Image. Thus He 
spreads delight to all that have true eyes to see with. 
May this Golden Figure of The Lord save you all by 
attracting you to His lotus feet. 

17. The bright lustre of Chaitanya Chandra all at 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

. . ../"v' ■ J ■ • ' 

once removes altogether all the inward darkness of the 
whole world. It ever swells by force the ocean of love 
and bliss. It cools the world that ever suffers much from 
various kinds of afflictions. May this lustre of The Lord 
always shine in the hearts of you all. 

The Euiogium of the devotees of 


18. The devotees of Gauranga happily play about 
in the bright path of bhakti and prem which was 
unknown to the sages and other godly persons before 
the advent of The Lord to the world, to which none had 
any access in spite of their acute intellect, which even the 
Sage Suka ( the expounder of the Bhagavat ) did not 
know and which was not kindly revealed even by Krishna 

19. So long as people are not favoured with the 
kind look of those that are devoted to the lotus feet of 
Sree Chaitanya, they speak of Brahma, The Great 
Being ; the way that speaks of the merging of the human 
soul with the divine does not appear to be unwelcome to 
them ; the Vedic rites do not appear to be means of 
bondage to the world, and so long the people are en- 
grossed in useless controversy over the outside and imma- 
terial things of various shastras. 

20. In whom else such firm devotion to God, such 
abhorrence of mundane things like hell, such waves of 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

»^V/W\ <-V>"* W> 

superior humility, such superhuman spirit, and such firm 
attachment to the path of bhakti & prem, can be 
seen as is seen in the adherents of Gauranga ? 

21. He, who has once seen the most beautiful face 
of Sree Gauranga beaming with supreme love and shining 
with tearful eyes like glowing blossomed lotus, is ever so 
entranced in ecstatic joy of love that every moment gives 
fresh and fresh bliss, that he never desires to give up the 
feet of Gauranga which are the source of vast oceans, as 
it were, swollen with supernatural beauty. 

22. Unless a man takes to the feet of a devotee of 
Gauranga, he cannot have an idea even of Brindavan, 
the highest region of love, which is unexplored by 
the Vedas, though he may strictly follow the four stages 
of life, or worship Vishnu, or travel over holy places, or 
he may minutely study the Vedas. 

23. Even the best thing, that may be attained by 
churning, to the utmost power, the boundless ocean of 
nectar, will be most unwelcome like poison to those that 
receive light from the lustre of the feet of Gauranga who 
is Love Incarnate. 

24. These are the great virtues of the devotees of 
Gauranga — they possess much more humility than a 
straw, they have a naturally beautiful and attractive 
feature, their words are sweet as nectar, they despise 
sordid things of the world, and they are absorbed in the 
love of God. 

25. However much one may take to the feet of 

8 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

■~» ."\_.-V>-\^v .ry^ wr% /VA/-./VV > " 

thousands of well-known preceptors, however much one 
may study the Vedas and other shastras, the mystery of 
love is easily attainable to those only who are blessed 
with the gracious look of Sree Chaitanya. 

26. However much one may practise the strictest 
penance, or have a control over the senses or one may 
pass a rigid life like a puritan, however much one may 
be engrossed in the meditation of the unity of the human 
soul with the divine, or one may be firmly devoted to 
Vishnu, none will possess the infinitesimal part of the 
natural virtues possessed by those who are illumined with 
the bright bliss of love of the persons who worship 
Gauranga and His Divine Consort Vishnupriya Who is 
the bliss-giving power of The Lord. 

27. The followers of Sree Gauranga are so much 
overpowered with a superior feeling of delight that they 
have all joined in His divine dance. The bhaktas like 
Murari Gupta and others in their highest delight dance to 
think that they can leap across the vast ocean and jump 
over the high mountains of great obstacles in the way of 
attainment of God Who is Beauty, Bliss and Love. The 
bhaktas like Sribas and others while dancing in the 
greatest glee pity the lots of gods and all beings that 
take pride in their display of power, for, they think, that 
they are deprived of the fortune of dancing with The 
Lord. And the bhaktas like Adwaita in the exube- 
rance of their delight dance to think that such delight 
pervades the whole universe. 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

28. When Sree Gauranga plays about in His 
divine dance displaying His greatest treasure of bhakti 
& prem out of His own grace, the people being free 
from malice have come to know of the sweetnes: of the 
close relationship of love between God and man which 
none in the world had or has or will have any chance of 
knowing without the grace of The Lord. 

29. Oh ! who is so highly fortunate as to bring before 
my eyes Sree Gauranga the Son of Sachee, Whose true 
attributes even the essence of all the Vedas cannot 
fuily ascertain and Who humbles down the pride of the 
gods and sages that being unaware of His lotus feet 
consider themselves very great. 

30. Sree Gauranga is God Himself. Most 
wonderfully does He show His God-Power, so 
that, whoever resigns himself to Him has all his desires 
fulfilled, nay, he attains prem, the highest end of human 
life, without doing any penance or going through any 

The misfortune of those that are averse 

to Sree Gauranga. 

31. One may have performed innumerable religious 
rites or one may be whole heartedly devoted to Hari, but 
if he does not worship Sree Gauranga, he cannot be 
considered to be blessed, for he dees not enjoy the bliss 
of prem the greatest treasure that man should have 
in life. 

10 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

32. Unfortunate are they who feel self compla- 
cence to think and utter that they are Brahma. Unfortu- 
nate are they who are given to rituals and are thus turned 
to matter. Unfortunate are they who practise strict but 
queer penance, such as, exposure to the heat ofthesunand 
fire in summer, to excessive cold even by remaining im- 
merged in water in winter, to constant torrents of rain in 
the rains, abstinence from food, holding of stools & urine 
without passing them as nature requires and so on. Un- 
fortunate are thev who hold a check over the senses and 
have thereby to think of the bitterness of the world and 
of the baneful effect of the gratifkaticn of the senses, 
that is, who thereby have to look upon the dark side of the 
world. I pity the lots of these beasts of men, for gross 
matter always arises in their minds ; and such men do net 
enjoy the least of beauty and bliss attained from a firm 
devotion to Sree Gauranga. 

33. Oh ye learned men ! As it is impossible for a 
seed to sprout on a stone though it be drenched all over 
with nectar ; as the tail of a dog never gets straight 
however much it may be spread ; as the moon cannot be 
reached by stretching out the hands ; so no one can 
have the taste of the fountain of bliss of prem without 
the grace of Gauranga, though he may perform all the 
rites and ceremonies or follow any kind of rigid path 
that the shastras may prescribe. 

34. How poor is he and pitiable is his lot who 
remains poor without enriching himself with the gems 

Sree Chaitanyaghandramrita. 1 1 

J V, X.' \/i/ 

revealed to all with the swelling of the ocean of prem 
at the Descent of Sree Gauranga. 

35. How sadly plunged are they in the ocean of 
miseries who do not dive into the ocean of prem widely 
spread at the Descent of Sree Gauranga. 

36. How wretched is he who is so unfortunate as 
not to taste of the nectar bliss out of the ocean of nectar 
bliss of the highest love spread far and wide at the revela- 
tion of Sree Gauranga. 

37. How sadly do they wander about in vain in 
the world who do not look upon Sree Gauranga as God 
Himself, for, however learned and versed in all the shastras 
they may be, they only look upon the material side of the 

38. How impossible it is for him to attain true 
bhakti who has not seen or realised Sree Gauranga 
even for once Who most wonderfully loses all control 
over His limbs out of maddening delight while enjoying 
the, sweetness of His own names 'Hare' "Krishna" etc. 
and Who again and again exhorts all the people to sing 
the glory of Krishna. 

Note: — The gems are the different forms of worshipping 
God with love — such as — Dasya, Sakhya, Batsalya and Madhur 
i. e., loving God as the servant loves his master, or as the friend 
loves his friend, or as the parent loves the son, or as the wife 
loves her husband. These four forms are attainable by 
taking the names Hare, Krishna~etc. and by staunch devotion to 
the Lord Sree Gauranga. 

12 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

39. Why should not sprout come out without a 
seed ? Why a man born blind should not see ? And 
why should not a man devoid of legs ascend the summit 
of a high mountain, if it be possible for a men, turned 
from Sree Gauranga Who is the store- house, as it were, 
of the wonderful treasure of the nectar of love, to get the 
least of the highest bliss of love ? 

40. Stupid, nay, the beast of a man must he be 
whose mind is not turned to Gauranga The Great God 
Himself Who all on a sudden endows with the most won- 
derful bliss of love the fortunate followers and wor- 
shippers of Radha Govinda by the uncommon spread of 
the extreme delight arising out of love with which the 
Lord does His Lee I a. 

41. O God ! How much given to gross matter 
are they who do not look upon Sree Gauranga as Gcd, 
although they have seen times without number how num- 
erous bhaktas have experienced the great superior 
power of their Lord, and although they have found that 
such great mysterious power is possible in none else 
except in God and such power cannot be found in any 
of the numerous Avatars ( Incarnatoins ) of God as 
described in the various shastras. 

42. Oh God ! The world is surely covered with 
a shade of illusion and it must have come down to a 
state of atheism if Sree Gauranga be not looked upon 
as God ; for, though He is not revealed by the Vedas He 
has come down of Himself out of His grace and it is He 


by Whose kind look al! His beings get such supreme bliss 
of love that they set at naught all kinds of salvation which 
may be the outcome of a desire to escape from misery. 

43. Useless is the high pedigree, useless is the 
power of eloquence, useless is the renown, vain is the study, 
vain is the beautiful appearance or young age, vain is the 
wealth that one may have, useless is the descent in a 
Erahman race and useless is the ascetic stage ot life, if 
the man possessing any or all of these does not worship 
Sree Gauranga, The Lord of the Go pees, The Avatar 
of the Kali age. 

44. How can he, who is a stranger to piety, love 
Sree Gauranga Whose followers like Bakreswar and 
others are so much overpowered with an exuberance of 
feeling of bliss of love that even those that live in the 
higher plane of heaven feel a thrill of joy to see them ? 

45. Oh ! Alas ! Demons of men muest they be 
who out of hard heart on account of their vain argumen- 
tative disposition do not greatly revere The Lord Sree 
Gauranga Who is Perfect Bliss personified and from 
Whom all the Avatars come and Who, by His unspeak- 
able grace and by speaking with His lips beaming with 
smile and also by a kind look from a distance with His 
eyes beaming with affection, gives the fountain of bliss of 

Speaking of the sad misfortune of those that are 
averse to Sree Gauranga, Sarswati Prabodhananda ieels 
such an intense humiiitv that he thinks himself devoid of 

a Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

all bliss of worshipping The Lord. And so he speaks 
out his mind. 

46. How pitiably am f deprived ! Oh ! very 
surely am I deprived. The whole world is immersed in 
the prem of Gauranga 5 but a single drop of that 
nectar of prem has not been to my lot. 

47. Who in this world has not attained the 
summum bonum of life and that too most easily when 
the earth has been touched by the dust of the lotus feet 
of Gauranga ? But, alas ! useless has been my life, all 
my learning has been in vain, and my Sannyas or renun- , 
elation of the world has been for nothing, for, owing to 
my continued misfortune I have not got the least of that 
prem which is the only cr\6 of human life. 

48. What a wonder ! the vast ocean of the 
Grace of Gaur Chandra is swollen and has flooded the 
earth ; but, unfortunate as ! am, the least drop of it has 
not touched me. 

49. The age of Kali is like Death, for it brings 
irreligion and horror ; the senses are like powerful enemies, 
the path of bhakti 6° prem is obstructed in this age 
with numerous thistles of Karma ( rituals ), jnana ( the 
vain deceptive consciousness of the union of c^o 
with Brahma ) vain reasoning 5° so on. Oh my Lord 
Sree Gauranga Chandra ! I am undone ! What shail I 
do ? Where shall I go if Thou dost not show fhy 
mercy to me now. 

50. I need not worry over the time that is uselessly 

Skee Chaitanyachandkamrita. 15 

spent, for I have not seen the Lord of t|iat mysterious 
power, nor have I tasted of the nectar of bliss by wor- 
shipping the lotus feet of The Lord. This is my prayer 
now that I may be blessed with the company of those 
bhaktas who are wholeheartedly devoted to Sree 
Gauranga and who are the crnamznts as it were of the 

51. In this age of Kali who except Gauranga 
will be my Friend to raise me from my fall, for I am given 
to numerous Karmas or rites, tightly bound up with the 
chain of most dreadful desires, my mind is ever distressed, 
and i am influenced in my suroundings by evil minde J 

52. Oh ! Alas ! what have I done so long 1 all the 
numerous attempts and practices I made to reach God 
have been futile like seeds in a barren land, so, now, with 
all my heart & soul I take to the feet of Sree Gaurchandra 
which have a wonderful virtue of giving rise to bhakti 
even in a barren mind. 

53. Oh ! Aias ! How will the Kalpa creeper o\ 
pure bhakti sprout forth in my barren mind ! But 
there is one thing most hopeful in my mind that he who 
takes the name of Gaurancja has no cause of grief or 

54. Oh ! my Lord, Sree Gauranga Chandra I 

Give me shelter at Thy feet ? I am helpless, for, I am 
falien in the ocean of miseries of the world, ! am about 

16 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita, 

to be devoured by the snakes and crocodiles of passions, 
and again I am tied with a chain of desires. 

55. Oh Chaitanya Chandra ! Thou art The Lord 
of the wealth of love which is beyond the reach of know- 
ledge. If Thou dost cast gracious glance at me, the 
charming path of bhakti will not be far from us though 
it was not so easily accessible to Siva, Suka, Llddhav, 
Narada 6° others. 

56. Oh Lord ! In what other Avatar can such 
unrestricted mercy, such wonderful display of prem, 
and such parental affection can be seen as in Thee- The 
great Avatar of Gauranga. 

Unflinching devotion to the Adored. 

57. Oh my stupid mind ! Accept Sree Gauranga 
as God Incarnate and worship Him. It is He Who by 
His own splendour of love has attracted the world to the 
blissful lotus feet of Krishna and He it is whose myste- 
ries none of the Srutis can unravel. 

58. Let him, who likes, worship Krishna and follow 
the different ways of bhakti, such as, hearing and 
singing Kirtan, thinking of his beauty, resignation to Him 
and so on, for the attainment of the end of life, but the 
only object of my worship is Sree Gauranga Who is the 
Infinite ocean of the nectar of love ( prem ) and Who 
has revealed the great mystery of prem ( love ) that 
remained un revealed so long. 

59. Let those, that expect worldly wealth, fulfil- 

Sree Chaitanyaghandramrita. 17 


ment of wordly desires or even emancipation, worship The 
Great God with all His resplendent power. Let people by 
giving up all other forms of worship do Dasya- bhakti 
to Kaishna ( i. e. serve Krishna as a devoted servant does 
his master ). But my mind is tempted to attain that 
unspeakable mystery of love which none of the above 
can get. So do I take to the feet of Chaitanya Chandra. 

60. Ah ! How blessed I am that the most power- 
ful Thief Sree Gauranga has stolen away all my firm 
adherence to social and vedic rites, all the shame I felt at 
loud laughter, singing aloud, and happy dance consequent 
on Kirtan and also all I did from a natural disposition for 
the sustenance of body and life. 

61. This Lord Sree Gauranga, the glow of Whose 
beauty is like that of the inmost part of a golden plantain 
tree, has all on a sudden firmly fixed my mind to His feet 
by pouring forth from His eyes beaming with mercy 
and affection a number of oceans of nectar love that 
ever gives fresh, bright, sweet 6° most intense bliss. 

62. How sweetly doth my mind yearn after Nava- 
dwip where out of His infinite grace came down Sree 
Gauranga The Lord Himself Who is the highest Love 
and Bliss and Beauty Incarnate and Whose charming hue 
is like that of pure gold, where there is a fountain of 
bliss of bhakti in every house, and which place (Nava- 
dwip) is far more sweet 6° beautiful than even Baikuntha 

63. Let the Shastras say whatever they like ; let 

18 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

the logicians or sophists argue in whatever way they 
please ; the nectar of the lotus feet of Sree Gauranga 
sustains my life. 

64. Even if all the eight supernatural powers that 
are acquirable by practising severe austerites (9 that are 
difficult of attainment, come within my reach very easily ; 
even if the gods themselves come down to serve me : 
nay, even if this body of mine be transformed into a four 
armed deity ; my mind does not in the least waner from 
the feet of Gaur Chandra. 

65. I rather welcome to live in the midst of fear- 
ful flames all around me than live anywhere in the com- 
pany of those that turn away from the lotus feet of 
Gauranga. If my mind be illumined with the least of the 
lusture of the feet of Gauranga, it does not hanker after 
Baikuntha, even though it may come of itself. 

66. Niether world-wide fame, nor any of the eight 
supernatural powers that may be attractive to others, nor 
a four-armed body coveted by many by the worship 
of Vishnu is acceptable to me save and except firm de- 
votion to Gauranga & His Divine Consort Vishnupriya. 

67. Most humbly do I pray that this my life may 
pass away while uttering the names such as, Oh Chaitanya ! 
Oh Thou Gracious Lord ! Oh Thou most Beautiful ! 
Oh Thou Love Incarnate ! Oh Thou The Life (? Soul of 
all the beings ! Oh Thou Beauty Incarnate ! Oh 
Gouranga ! Oh Thou Ocean of all virtues and of all 
good ! Oh Thou Bliss Incarnate ! Oh Thou Lever of 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 19 

Thy own names ! Oh the Saviour of the fallen ! and 
so on. 

68. Oh Lord ! when shall I be most sincere by 
nature in my devotion to Thee Who art the giver of the 
highest bliss of love and Who art the life of the 
bhaktas that worship with love ! And when shall my 
mind be all on a sudden illumined with the lustre of the 
gem of love of Sree Radha by virtue of the superior 
power of that sincere devotion to Thee ! 

69. The only object of my meditation is Sree 
Gauranga the Perfect Embodiment of all efFulgence and 
the Great Repository of mercy, Who is most perfectly 
self-contained in the enjoyment of His Own bliss and 
thus distributes bliss to all, Who constantly utters the 
names Hare-Krishna etc. His own names, Whose golden 
hue is brighter than the purest gold and on Whose breast 
shines the garland of blossomed damanaka flowers. 

70. May I ever keep in my mind Sree Gauranga Who 
is the highest Ideal of Bairagya ( aloofness from the 
world of matter ), Whose eyes are riveted to .the bright 
face of Jagannath in the temple at Nilachal (Puri) just as 
bees are firmly attached to the lotus, Whose love (prem) 
gives rise to high waves of maddening bliss to flood all 
around Him and Whose supreme beauty attracts all 

71. May I be absorbed in the meditation of Gaur 
Hari with His purple dress on, with His sacred body 
beautified with hairs standing on end out of great 

20 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

emotion of love and ornamented with drops of tears, more 
beautiful than the beautiful pearls, falling from His eyes 
that surpass the lotus in beauty. 

72. I am eagerly waiting for the day when, in 
consequence of my meditation, shall appear in my mind 
the feet of Gaur-Hari Whose beauty stupefies Cupid even, 
Whose sanctity far surpasses the sacredness of the waters 
of the Ganges, Whose soothing coolness is far superior 
to that of the moon, Whose charming sweetness throws 
in the background the finest nectar, Whose superior 
bounty belittles the bounty of Kalpa tree and Whose 
all-embracing affection is more blissful than the affection 
of a mother. 

73. Most Gracious is Sree Gauranga ! He de- 
lights the world by giving again and again the nectar of 
His sweetest of the sweet prem (love). How beauti- 
ful He looks with purple cloth in his loins. The glow of 
His beauty surpasses that of thousands of lightning all 
taken together. May This Lord be the only object of 
my love. 

74. When, out of good fortune dawning upon me 
as a result of thousands of births, should be placed in 
my heart the feet of Sree Gauranga, Whose beauty far 
excels the beauty of thousands of Cupids, Whose sweet 
beauty of the face casts thousands of autumnal full 
moons into shade and Whose superior bounty makes 
the bounty of thousands of Kalpa tree quite insignifi- 
cant ? 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 21 

75. The moon-beam removes the outer darkness 
of the world for the time being, but the lustre of Sree 
Gauranga all on a sudden drives off for ever all the dark- 
ness of the mind of the whole world, the former swells the 
ordinary ocean for a while, while the latter always swells 
up by force the ocean of the bliss of love ; the former 
cools at night the outside world heated by the rays of 
the sun, while the latter cools day and night the inner as 
well as the outer world that groans painfully under various 
troubles. May such lustre of Sree Gauranga illumine all 
our hearts. 

76. The Body of Sree Gauranga sometimes be- 
comes lean and sometimes plump, Oh ! now tears of 
bliss are seen in His eyes, and now His face beams with 
smile. Once the Body becomes cool and the next 
moment hot like fire. Sometimes He runs and again 
stops and remains motionless. Ah ! Sometimes He 
speaks much and the next moment He remains speechless. 
May such Sree Gauranga shine in my heart ! 

77. Sree Gauranga is The Lord of lords. He is 
all Supreme. So He makes no distinction between the 
deserving and the undeserving. He does not care to 
determine who is the worthy object of mercy and who 
not. Nor does He wait for the time. But He favours 
all with the bliss of bhakti and prem that is hard to 
be attained by falling prostrate before the image of a 
god or evei by any form of meditation. Such Gauranga 
WhD is God Hiimelf is the highest object of my worship. 

22 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

78. I take to the feet o\ Sree Gauranga Who has 
graciously delivered the most sinful, the low-born, the 
ill-natured, the most wicked, the vilest chandalas, those 
that are always addicted to filthy desires, those that are 
born in an atmosphere of irreligion and the people that 
have lost their sense by evil company. 

79. Sree Gauranga is the only Object of my worship. 
He, having left the beautiful Brindavan on the banks of 
the Holy Jamuna, does His Sweet Lee! a in the flower 
garden on the sea-shore at Puri. He has given up His 
saffron cloth and has put on purple cloth instead. 
Having concealed the sapphire hue of His body He has 
now revealed Himself in golden hue. 



Exhortation to the people 

Worshipping Sree Gauranga. 

SO. Oh ye ignorant people ! Seek out the path 
of bhakti and prem. It was not revealed through 
the Vedas. Sages never found out this path and it 
was beyond their reach before. If you are diffident of 
the attainment of this path as it is so difficult to be attain- 
ed,^! would appeal to you to give up all other paths and 
take to the feet of Sree Gauranga. 

81. Oh ye people ! Fall prostrate at the feet of 
Gauranga. He is the G/eat God. His golden beauty 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 23 

\.vs»^s. •v^-w 

tsv/\ *> ^ /"* >"* > 

attracts all hearts. He looks beautiful with His cloth on 
the colour of which is like that of the pollens of a 
newly blossomed lotus. He holds up His folded hands 
above His head and His tender cheecks are bathed in 
tears rolling down from His eyes, when He is in an 
ecstacy of bhakti and prem. 

82. Oh ye brethren ! Sing ye aloud, if you like, 
the very powerful names of Krishna, The Lord of Gokul ; 
or, you may, if you please, think of His sweet Divine 
beauty that does good to the world ; but there is not the 
least chance of your being drenched in the nectar bliss of 
prem, unless you are enlightened with the kind look of 
Sree Gauranga, The Lord of lords. 

83. Oh ye people ! The bhaktas of Sree 
Gauranga are so much overwhelmed with the ecstatic de- 
light of divine love, that, they smile to see all your atte- 
mpts in other paths in order to attain that delight ; so, 
please do not all of a sudden follow any other path. I 
tell you the great secret — Sree Gauranga is The Great 
Lord of that bliss of love which is so highly spoken of in 
the Vedas. 

84. Oh ye insensate people ! Have you not 
heard of Gaur Hari ? Why then should you moan that 
you have not come across the true spiritual guide from 
whom you may know of the blissful path of worshipping 
Sree Krishna, which brings aversion to the path of 
J nana ( i. e. the consciousness of the absolute dis- 
appearance of the human soul in the divine ). And how 

24 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

is it that you cannot determine Whom you should betake 
yourselves to ? 

85. Oh ye people ! Give up all your vain attach- 
ment to Karma ( rites and ceremonies ) ; don't allow at 
any moment the least of the controversy over the distinc- 
tion between spirit and matter to reach even the precincts 
of your ears ; don't have any attachment to your mortal 
frame or anything connected with it. By the Grace of 
Gauranga you will come by the sweetest and most won- 
derful prem, the end of all endj of human life. 

86. Look upon the females with awe, and avoid 
them as you do a tig:e;s ; lock upon the short-lived 
heaven with contempt, vain is the practice of Yoga as 
dictated in the shastras Ah ! Thrice useless is wander- 
ing about in the holy places as a pilgrim. Acquire the 
treasure of love by worshipping Sree Gauranga Who in 
the guise of a San nays in dances on the sea-shore at 
Puri out of the intense delight of His Own. 

87. Oh ye brethren I You desire to plunder the 
treasure of prem by devotion to the lotus feet of Sree 
Krishna ! Why should you then for nothing seek out the 
path of Yoga, access to which is very difficult. If you 
cherish the hope of attaining the fountain head of prem 
which is unknown even to Siva and Brahma, be 
then firmly attached to the Great Lord Sree Gauranga 
Whose boundless glory none can gauge. 

88. The more a man of piety is devoted to Sree 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 25 

Gauranga, the more is he blessed with the prem of 
Sree Radha. 

89. Oh ye people ! If you fully appreciate the 
real truth of all the Shastras, do ye all, in this age of 
Kali, take to the lotus feet of Sree Gauranga, meditate 
Him and sing His glory with all your heart, out of love 
and highest delight, for, He is adored by Siva and 
Brahma, and, He is the Source of the boundless 
ocean of the most blissful mystery of the purest love. 

90. Oh ye pious men ! with straws in my teeth,* 
by falling at your feet, and with all the humble entreaties 
that I can command, I request you all that you be de- 
voutly attached to the feet of Gauranga Chandra after 
giving away all other forms of worship. 

91. Neither salvation nor bhakti in various 
other forms is to be coveted, and these are not very rare 
things. But the rarest and the most coveted thing is the 
Grace of Sree Gauranga. 

92. May ye a!! take to the lotus feet of 
Sree Gauranga 1 you will then attain perfection by 
getting the highest bliss of bhakti and prem, and you 
will be able to delight the three worlds by your sweet 
disposition, blessed fortune, kindness, forbearance and 
many other virtues of the kind. 

93. If' you have a mind to cross the ocean of life, 
if you desire to be drenched in the nectar bliss of 

This is a sign of great humility. 

26 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

/\ J A^\A/V>\ • 

Sankirtan, if you want that all the faculties of your 
mind swim delightfully in the ocean of love, be devoted 
to the feet of Gauranga. 

94 True knowledge, absolute freedom from sen- 
sual pleasures, blissful bhakti can never be attained in 
any way other than staunch devotion to the lotus feet of 
Sree Gauranga 

95 If the people do not worship Sree Gauranga ! 
Who is God Himself and Who is worshipped even by 
the greatest of gods, the world becomes void of all sense 
and death pervades everywhere. 

96. Not to speak of the worm of an ordinary 
mortal king, even Indra himself the king of the gods 
appears like a humble servant to him who cherishes a 
hope for the attainment of the feet of Sree Gauranga, 
The Lord of lords, 

97. What is the necessity for a man to beg at the 
door of a king, if he hopes to get at Sree Gauranga. 
What fool is there to care for silver if he gets the 
philosophers' stone ! 

98. Many are the people who pass years in a 
sitting posture in the caves of mountains in the meditation 
of the halo of God 5 others there are whoare absorbed in 
the practice of Yoga * there are many who have attained 
the eight supernatural powers ; and many are there, who, 
out of vain pedantry, boastfully hold controversy over 
the different interpretations of the shastras. But who 
is there in the world that dances in the highest glee of 

Sree Chaitanyaghandramrita. 27 

love save and except those that are favoured with the 
Grace of Gauranga ! 

99. If Sree Gauranga The Great be propitious to 
me, I don't care for the piety attained by living at Kasi 
( Benares ), nor do I care to go to Gaya, the very sal- 
vation even appears to me to be quite an insignificant 
thing to be avoided like a cockle. Why then should I 
talk of any other topic ! I have not the least fear from 
the great Rauraba hell, not to speak of any apprehen- 
sion from wife and children. 

The Super-Excellence 

Sree Gauranga. 

100. Glory to Sree Gauranga ! How tender- 
hearted is He though He possesses the prowess of a young 
lion ! How sweet is the glow of his beauty like that of 
a golden sprout ! And how vastly doth the ocean of 
His love flood all the worlds ! 

101. Glory to the Lord Sree Gauranga ! He ex- 
cels numberless Cupids in beauty, surpasses innumerable 
moons in delighting all hearts, supercedes all mothers in 
maternal affection, defeats numerous oceans in serenity, 
transcends the sweetest of nectar in sweetness, belittles 
millions of Kalpa trees ( wish-yielding trees ) in bounti- 
fulness, and He reveals wonder of all wonders in respect 
of His Lov2 

28 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

102. All glory to The Lord Sree Gauranga ! He 
reveals His most admirable greatness to His bhaktas 
They, being overwhelmed with a single wave of love 
arising out of the worship of His lotus feet and being 
possessed with the highest love, dance in maddening de- 
light which strikes even Siva, Brahma and others 
with great wonder. 

T03. Greatest glory be to Gauranga, the Son of 
Shachee and the Consort of Vishnupriya I His shout is 
like the loud roar of millions of mad lions. His brilliance 
is like that of millions of suns, but at the same time much 
cooler than millions of rnoons. His gait surpasses that of 
millions of mad elephants. His very Name dispels milli- 
ons of sins. He is the Lord of millions of Brahma 
and other gods. He is the Spirit of all spirit revealed 
in Human Shape. 

104. May the Great Beautiful Illuminating Light 
of Navadwip be ever glorious ! This Light ever shines 
by the constant supply of oil of affection. This Light 
dispels the inner darkness of caves of hearts, reveals 
wonderful power, and all on a sudden illumines the 
way to God, which was formerly long and distant, soli- 
tary, full of thorns and brambles and hence inaccessible, 
which made people wander about for nothing, but has 
now become short, charming, full of associates and help- 
mates, pleasant and most blissful. 

105. This wonderful Light, the source of all the 
luminaries of heaven, ever shines in this world out of 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 29 

graciousness, and with the wick of supreme affection 
sheds forth, all around, divine golden lustre which is most 
beautifully sweet, dispels both the outer and the inner 
darkness, and burns the insects of sophists even from a 
distance, but which is more pleasant and soothing than 
the beams of millions of moons. 

106 How beautifully shines Gaur Hari, when He, 
being intoxicated with the highest love of His Own, 
sometimes moves on gently, sometimes echoes all quar- 
ters with loud shout, sometimes light; up the sky with 
flashes of light as He laughs aloud again and again, and 
sometimes quakes with al! His limbs like leaves gently 
moving with the wind. 

107. How gloriously doth shine Sree Gauranga 
the son of Shachee, the most fortunate of womankind ! 
He is all pure. How beautifully doth He dance,atthe sight 
of which all impurity and ail insincerity flee away ! He 
showers the nectar of the highest love that removes all 
the troubles that flesh is heir to. It is Bhaktas alone 
that taste of the sweetness of devotion to His feet. 

108. How wonderfully beautiful doth Gauranga 
look when He, being deep immersed in the thought of 
separation from Krishna like Sree Radha, drenches His 
pale cheeks with tears streaming from His eys, heaves 
deep sighs moment after moment, and sometimes wails 
aloud, and most piteously gives out the sounds like 'Ah' ! 
'Alas !' and so on. 

109. How divinely sweet doth Sree Gauranga 

30 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

look with the glow of His beauty like that of the purest 
gold, when He does His Leela as Child Krishna, and 
when again and again He appears as Radha and Krishna 
— two in the same Person ! 

The Greatness of the Avatar 

Sree Gauranga. 

110. Sree Gauranga is my only Resort. At His 
descent to the earth, the Sweet Names of God have 
all on a sudden been revealed to the corporeal beings who 
were immersed in the deepest abyss of sin, and, the heart, 
that was as hard as thunder, has become soft and 

111. Sree Gauranga is Kindness incarnate. At 
His descent people have given up all forms of Yoga, 
meditation, penance, attempts at renunciation of wordly 
things and at control of the senses ; they have given up 
all the Vedic rites ; and why to speak of their aversion 
to forbidden acts, they are enjoying the highest bliss of 
love, the Supreme end oi human life. 

112. How wonderful is the power of Sree Gau- 
ranga that at His descent to the earth, those, that were 
restless by falling into the whirlpool of Karma ( i. e. 
rites and ceremonies and outer formalities of religion ), 
have got perfect rest, those that were harder than the 
hardest of stone have become tender, and those that 

Sree Chaitanyaghandramrita. 31 

were absorbed in yoga, have given it up, and by the 
grace of the Lord they all dance in divine delight. 

113. At the revelation of the path of bhakti with 
the descent of The Lord Gauranga, nothing eise than the 
bliss of bhakti was pleasant to anybody, the people given 
to the sordid worid have given up ail talk about their wives 

and children, the learned have given cff all vain discu- 
ssion about shastras, the yogis have been relieved of all 
troubles that they voluntarily undertook by exposure of 
their body to the inclements of weather, the ascetics 
have given up penance, and the sages have forsaken 
the path of j nan ( that is, the path that dictates the 
practice of acquiring consciousness of oneness of the hu- 
man soul with the divine ). 

114. At the Descent of The Lord Sree Gauranga 
every house has been resounded with loud shouts of 
Sankirtan, every person looks beautiful with the ex- 
pression of signs of prem on his body, such as, hairs 
standing on end, blissful tears and so on ; and the sweet- 
est of the sweet path of prem, that was unknown to 
the vedas even, has been made known to all. 

115. At the Descent of Krishna in the person of 
Sree Gauranga all the quarters of the world have been 
all on a sudden inundated with the flood of bliss 
arising out of the ocean of love, and the whole world has 
been astonished to see the expression of prem unseen 
and unheard of before. 

116. Some there were, who were under the sway 

32 Sree Chaitanyachandramkita. 

of unconquerable pride in their ability in the exposition of 
all the shastras ; some considered themselves fortunate in 
being able to perform all the rituals and thus thought that 
they were placed in a very high stage of religion ; some 
took the Names of Krishna twice or thrice ; still the minds 
of all these were not divested of crookedness. But now 
at the appearance of Gaurchandra the bliss of prem 
has been to the lot of one and ail. 

117. At the coming down of Sree Gauranga, 
Whose lotus feet even the gods desire to worship, and 
Whose sweet Lee I a delights all hearts by delivering all 
the humankind from the bondage of the world, the ocean 
of sweet bliss and love has inundated the earth ; and, 
who is there young or old, male or female, learned or 
illiterate, that has not tasted of this bliss of worshipping 
God with love ! 

118. When Sree Gauranga the most perfect Em- 
bodiment of love and bliss came down to the earth, 
Siva, Narad a and all the heavenly beings, 
Lakshmi the goddess of fortune, Balaram the 
brother of Krishna, all the Erishnies ( the people of 
Brishni race where Krishna was born ), all the inhabitants 
of the Holy Brlndavan — the Gopas and the Gopees, all 
came to the earth with Him. 

119. When Sree Gauranga of beautiful golden hue 
came down to the earth to make a free gift of His prem 
to all without discriminating who deserved and who did 
not, all His former bhaktas in His previous incarnations 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 33 

came down to the earth to His lotus feet and enjoyed 
much more bliss of prem than before. 

120. Oh ! How strange ! At the descent of Sree 
Gauranga to the earth with the most wonderful mystery 
of His power, even the females in the zenana laugh aloud 
out of ecstatic divine joy ; people, whose hearts were as 
hard as stone owing to worldly attachment, have been 
softened ; and even those that were dull of intellect have 
been illumined with divine light to understand the true 
essence of all the shastras. 

121. However much the people were versed in all 
the different shastras, they were ignorant of their true spirit; 
they were not far-sighted and their intellect was not keen 
eno.igh to turn their mind to prem or the truest end of 
all ends of human life. But when Sree Gauranga 
most graciousiy came down to the earth, al! the people 
got an opportunity to enter into the blissiul path of 
bhakti and prem which is so glaringly and most 
bountifully disclosed by Him. 

122. God Himself has Incarnated in Sree Gauranga 
to spread the highest love, wherein centres all the Lee I a 
of Radha and Krishna, and to expound and practically 
demonstrate to the full realisation of the people the true 
essence of the Bhagavat which has only been touched in 
its outline and not in detail by Suka, the son of Vyasa, in 
the chapters on the Leela of Rash in that great holy 

123. By the Grace of Sree Gauranga The Great 

34 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

Lord some have obtained dasya prem like Uddhaba, 
some sakhya prem like Sree Dam and others, 
some batsalya prem like mother yasoda, some 
madhur prem like the Gopees of the Holy 
Brindavan, and thus all obtained the highest treasure of 

124. Before Sree Gauranga came, all the great 
sages promulgated and interpreted the shastras in their 
own way with reasonings in their favour, and they 
were not at one with one another in their views, and still 
none of them had firm faith in the views they held. But 
with the appearance of Sree Gauranga, Whose power 
and greatness is beyond all comparison, the path of 
bhakti and prem is determined by one and all to be 
the only way to God, and this they have ascertained to 
be the true intents of the Srutis and all the Shastras. 

125. The nails of the feet of Sree Gauranga are so 
many moonstones, as it were. Their lustre is most 
wonderful, it swells the ocean of the purest nectar bliss 
of love and this ocean immerses the whole world. This 
lustre arises in my mind. 

126. The sages of old might have favoured some 
with deliverance by virtue of their great piety 5 and they 
might have taken them to Baikuntha or heaven ; but none 
has flooded the earth with the ocean of love as Sree 
Gauranga has done. 

127. Nobody can comprehend the playful Lee I a 
of Sree Gauranga What a wonder ! Even the low- 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 35 

/ -. / \ , ._i\_,\ 

minded man baser than a cow-slaughterer has his heart 
softened by the grace of The Lord and sheds blissful tears 
of love and he softens others' hearts as well ; while, the 
heart of the man thoroughly given to piety or that of 
the man firmly devoted to Vishnu remains as hard as 
stone without His grace. 

128. How infinitely deep is the heart of Sree 
Gauranga ! It is simply surprising to the world. Being 
possessed with Krishna, sometimes He walks on all fours 
as a child, sometimes He acts as a cowboy, sometimes 
He dances with various beautiful figures of His body, 
and again, being possessed with Radha He piteously 
wails by repeatedly uttering the Name 'Hari/ 

129. Not to speak of the great attractiveness of 
His acting in the same Person the Lee I a of Sree 
Krishna with Radha and all the Go pees out of ever- 
fresh, ever-sweet, and ever-increasing love, His playful 
Lee I a even as Child Krishna on the sea-shore at Puri 
attracts all hearts. Such sweet and world-charming 
Golden Figure of The Lord enchants my heart. 

130. Prem, the highest end of human life, which 
did not even reach the ears of anybody, the superior power 
of the Name of Krishna, that was unknown to all, the 
greatest beauty of Sree Brindavan where none had any 
access, Sree Radha the highest Perfection of Beauty and 
Bliss whom none ever kne"w — all these have been 
revealed to the world v/ith the descent of Sree Gauranga. 

— o- 

36 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

Charming Beauty of the Youthful Figure 


His ecstatic dance. 

131. Sree Gauranga is The Great God Himself 
He dances on the sea-shore at Puri. And what a 
wonder ! He displays then His world-charming Figure 
Whose conception could not be found in all the Srutis, 
and such beauty is adored by Siva, Bramha, Vyasa, 
and all the gods and sages. The lustre of tie wave of 
the most perfect beauty, bliss and love playing en eveiy 
limb of The Holy Figure charms and ilk mires all the 

#132. What a transcenc'ant beauty ccth He 
display when Sree Gauranga The Ideal youth in the 
middle of His teens plays in His dance singing His own 
Names with silk cloth on, with a necklace shining on His 
breast, ear-rings round His ears, tinkling ornaments 
round His anklets^ and with His fine black glossy hair 

*When Saraswati Prakasanada was blessed with the 
grace of The Lord, He was to all outward appearance a 
Sannyasi with His head shaved and with the purple loin cloth 
on, and with no ornaments on ; but the Saraswati describes 
Him as the most Beautiful Youth in the middle of His teens 
with His long black glossy hair bound up in a knot entwined 
with wreaths of flowers and with His limbs decorated with 
ornaments. And how ? Sree Gauranga is All-Spirit, ar.d He 
revealed Himself to Prakasananda as The Most Beautiful 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 37 

i ■^ -w- >*> **r \s \S\S V/"W^. 

bound in a knot above the head, which knot again is 
encircled with a wreath of blossomed mallika flowers. 

133. When Sree Gauranga being intoxicated with 
His own prem makes tandava dance, all the sages 
out of love appear near and sing hymns, the Siddhas 
( aerial beings or angels ) cover the earth with constant 
showers of flowers, the Gandharvas (music-loving 
angels) sing and the gods play on Dundubhis 
( kinds of musical instruments ). 

134. Sree Gauranga, in Whom God hath now 
Incarnated, being drenched in the nectar of His own 
highest love, plays about in various ways — sometimes 
He laughs, sometimes cries, sometimes falls into a swoon, 
sometimes rolls on i\\z ground and again runs on, some- 
times dances, sometimes heaves deep sighs and sometimes 
waiis aloud uttering the sounds like Ah ! Alas ! and 
so on. 

135. God Himself having Incarnated in Sree 
Gauranga is creating in all minds an attraction to the lotus 
feet of Sree Radha by Himself playing on the Sea-shore 
the part of Sree Radha in her extreme pangs of separation 
from Sree Krishna ; And, as such, Sree Gauranga, with 
purple cloth on His loins and with His pale cheek white 
as the half-ripe jujube fruit placed upon the palm of 
His left hand, is making the ground before Him clayey 
by torrents of tears. 

136. Lord Gauranga dances delightfully in the 
flower garden on the sea-shore when the halo round 

38 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

His body illumines all around like the moon-beam, 
and His loins look most beautiful with the purple cloth 
He puts on ; He brightens the sky with the lustre of 
His teeth when He laughs loud, makes the ground 
muddy by constant drops of tears, and resounds all 
quarters by the loud strokes of His feet against the 


137. When will Sree Gauranga with His Divine 
Consort Vishnupriya be the object of my whole-hearted 
adoration and meditation, Who has all on a sudden 
intoxicated this world with the finest liquor of the 
highest love, Whose highly beautiful instructions were 
beyond the conception of Lakshmi, Brahma, Vishnu 
and Siva, and Whose attributes could not be deter- 
mined by the Upanishads that contain the elaborate 
exposition of the essence of the Vedas ? 

138. O my Lord Sree Gauranga ! Where art 
Thou gone ! The bright path of sincere devotion to 
God, that I hou hast shown, is nowhere to be found 
now. Some sects are found to be cold & callous owing 
to their attachment to Karma, some sects are con- 
fined to mere recital of mantras, certain people are 
found to be following only superficial ceremonials, 
some make sham attempts at the control of the senses, 

Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 39 

• /~v>-v>'-^>^«-'-v 

amongst some people there is seen vitiation in the wor- 
ship of Krishna, some make a vain show of their jnan, 
and amongst many devotion to God exists in mere 
words and outer formalities. 

139. Oh ! Will that sweet and pleasant time 
come back when Sree Gaur Hari came down to the 
world and by His unspeakable glory plunged the earth 
in the Ocean of bliss and love and when loud shouts 
of Sankirtan delighted all hearts ? 

140. Oh Thou All Gracious Lord Sree Gaur- 
anga ! That very Gauda still remains, the sea-shore at 
Puri is still the same ; there is the Image of Jagannath 
in the temple of Puri as before, the names of Krishna 
are still uttered by men ; but, alas ! Oh Lord ! nowhere 
is seen such fountain of love as was witnessed at 
the time when Thou didst Thy Lee I a. Shall I, 
Oh Lord ! see the same fountain bliss of love 
again ? 

141. Sree Gauranga cannot be said to be a 
part incarnation, for, no part incarnation has ever revealed 
or can ever reveal such superior power of love and 
graciousness 5 — the most wonderful revelations that 
Gauranga has made are beyond all comparison and far 
above all conception. — Sree Gauranga is surely the 
most Perfect Incarnation — He is God Himself. 

142. A mere child am I, my words can hardly 
express the infinitesimal part of the glory of Lord Gaur- 
raaga. Still, may what I speak in these few verses be 

40 Sree Chaitanyachandramrita. 

acceptable to Him, for. He is Lord of all lords, His 
love knows no bounds, and His high glory is ever 
adored by all the sages. 

143. I have come in touch with the people who 
worship Sree Krishna Chaitanya, which worship does 
away with the bondage of worldly attachment, I have 
come across the disciples of Sree Gauranga who are 
the fore-runners in the path of bhakti, I have, with 
as much keen judgment as I can command, consulted 
the ever-cheerful sages whose nature is to give true 
delight to all by the true decision of all the shastras, 
and my object is to speak out the true intents of what 
1 have studied, learnt, observed and experienced 5 so, | 
pray that The Lord Gauranga may be pleased with me 
at what I have said in these few verses. 



Meanings of Sanskrit words used 
in the translation. 

[ Sree Gauranga is known by many other names, 
such as, Gaur Hari, Gaur Chandra, Gauranga Chandra, 
Nimai, Chaitanya, Sree Chaitanya, Sree Chaitanya 
Chandra, Sree Krishna Chaitanya ]. 

[ Vishnupria is the Divine consort of Sree Gau- 
ranga. She is the perfect Embodiment of the bliss- 
giving power of the Lord Sree Gauranga. 
Bairagya — Freedom from attachment to worldly things. 
B?.tsaiya prem-- Parental love. Sakhyaprem- -Friendly love. 
Dasya prem — Love of the servant for the master, 
rvladhur prem — Love of the wife for the husband. 
These are the four grades of love. When turned 
towards matter, it brings the downfall of man. 
Sree Gauranga, the centre and source of all love 
came to earth to attract all hearts and enable all 
His people to love Him as the Master, or the 
Friend or the son or the Husband according as 
the kind of love stood upper-most in their minds. 
Bhagavat — The sacred scripture dealing specially with the 

Lee!a of Sree Krishna. 
Bhakta — A devotee. 
Bhakti — Devotion . 

( 2 ) 

Brahma — The Great Being. 

Brahma — The creative power of God. 

Brindavan — The holy place in the district of Mathura in 
U. P. where Sree Krishna did His Leela in 
Dwapara Age. 

Brishni — The race where Krishna was born. 

Gokul — That part of Brindavan where Sree Krishna was 
brought up in His infant stage. 

Gopa — Miik-man. 

Gopee — Milk-maid, young Gopas were Krishna's male 
friends, and young Gopees His female friends. 

Indra — The king of gods. 

Jagannath — Lit. The Lord of the world. The [ma<gc of 
Jagannath at Pari is referred to. 

JavoJa — The Ho!y Mother of Krishna. 

Jnan — Knowledge. It is used in the specia 1 sense of con- 
sciousness of the oneness of the human soul with 
the divine, which, according to Sankaracharja, is 
the highest salvation and the highest end of hu- 
man ire. Bhaktas do not aspire to this kind of 
salvation. Instead of absolute merginj or dis- 
appearance of the human soul in the di/ine, as the 
followers of some school of Hindu Philosophy 
hold to be the summum bon mi of human life, 
Bhaktas want to enjoy eternal bliss of Bhakti for 
which the worshipper exis 5 eternally by the wor- 
shipped — he will lot disappear altogether in the 
v.' rshipped. 

( 3 ) 

Kali — Also called Kali yoga or Kali Age. Hindu scrip- 
tures speak of four ages — Satya, Treta, Dwapar 
and Kali. According to the needs of the time 
and capacities of the people to comprehend 
God, one Avatar came in one age, and another 
Avatar in another age. Sree Krishna came in 
the Dwapara Age and Sree Gauranga in the 
Kali Age. So, Sree Gauranga is the latest Incar- 
nation of God. 

K\rma — Lit. Actions or doings $ rituals ; rites and 
ceremonies. Those, who have faith in Karma, 
believe that men take births and rebirths and are 
punished or rewarded in the next life according 
to their doings in this life. 

Leela — The playful life of an Avatar. 

Mantra — Hymn. 

Narada — The well-known divine sage. 

Navadwip — The place in the district of Nadia in Bengal 
where Sree Gauranga was born. 

Nirbhed Brahma Jnan— The same as Jnan. 

Radha — The bliss-giving power of Sree Krishna. 

Rash — The sweet beautiful dance that Sree Krishna had 
with the Gopees. It is perfectly pure and 

Raurava — The name of the vilest hell. 

Sachee — The Holy Mother of Sree Gauranga. 

Sannyasi or Sannyasin — A saint. 

Siva — The destructive power of God. 

( 4 ) 

Sree Dam — The name of a Gopa friend of Sree 

Sruti — The Vedas, so called, as they were the divine 
words heard and recorded by the sages of old 
( Derived from Sanskrit root sru to hear ). 

Suka — The son of Vyasa. Vyasa wrote the Bhagavat 
as revealed to him ; and Suka reproduced it to 
Raja Pa reeks hit. 

Tandava dance — Dance in divine ecstatic joy. 

Uddhab — A friend of Sree Krishna. 

Upanishads — The commentaries of the Vedas. 

Vishnu — The protective power of God. 

yoga — Trance by a systematic control of reipiratiDn 
which requires a regular training. 

Yogi or yogin — He who practises the above. 

A Few Precious Books' 

by Bidhu Bhushan Sarkar B. A. 

Sree Chaitanya Chandramrita. 

Translated into English. It contains the life of 

Saraswati Prabodhananda as well 0-8-0 

rhe Amrita Bazar Patrika dated 4-8-35 says :— 

It need hardly be said that Sree Chaitanya Chandra- 
mrita is an invaluable book in Vaishnava literature. 
It was written by the greatest savant and most erudite 
scholar of the sixteenth century. The book contains the 
truth that the learned saint of Benares realised about Sree 
Gauranga out of his deep concentration, vast erudition 
and above all firm devotion. The master mind o\ his 
was not to be led away by emotion. Saraswati 
Prabodhananda never accepted any truth without close 
study and minute observation. So, his conception o\ 
Gauranga is without any bias, without any misgiving and 
without the least tinge of doubt. Whatever he says about 
Sree Gauranga, he says from the very depth of his heart. 
Bidhu Babu has done a great service to the people, 
specially to those of places other than Bengal by bringing 
out the English translation of this precious book. Babr 
Sisir Kumar Ghosh must have given inspiration to 
Bidhu Babu, otherwise the language would not have been 
so chaste and beautiful, so lucid ad appealing. We reco- 
mmend this book to the reading public that they may be 
enlightened on the truth of Sree Gauranga, the Great 
Nadia Avatar. The Book is priced eight annas only. 

Sree Chaitanya Chandramrita 

Translated into Bengali Verses 0-4=0 

The Amrita Bazar Patrika dated 3-3-35 says — 

Prabodhananda Saraswati, the great savant of Benares, 
was an intellectual giant. He wrote the above book in 
Sanskrit verses on the true attributes of Lord Gauranga 
as he appreciated Him. Prabodhananda was a 'Sannyasf 
and had some ten thousand disciples. When he came 
in contact with Sree Gauranga, he took to His lotus feet, 
of course after great deliberation. So, what he says in the 

book, can be relied on without the least hesitation or 

The present treatise under review is a versical trans- 
lation of the precious book by Sj. Bidhu Bhushan Sarker 
B. A., Bidyabinode, Sahityabhushan, a disciple of Maha- 
tma Sisir Kumar, in a very simple, sweet and elegant style. 

We recommend the book to the Bengali-reading public 
and especially those who desire to know of Sree Gau- 
ranga. It has been priced very cheap so that it may be 
within the easy reach of every one. The book can be 
had of Basanda Sree Gauranga Sava, Basanda P. O. 

Sree Gauranga The Great Nadia Avatar (9 

Sree Sree Gaur Geeta 0-3-0 

^^tfwfSzftl ^ ^5 • • • 1-4-0 

^sj-l-^cT ... ... .. ... 0-4-0 

C*\1\\ r <?\: % \-x\ ... ... 0-S-O 

\\ all these books be taken by the same person, they 
may be had at Rs. 2-4-0. Postage extra. 

Secretary, Sree Gauranga Sabha. 

Po. Basanda, Barisal, Bengal. 

To be had of : — 

1. Satis Chandra Chakravarty 

P. O. Nutanbazar, Comilla, Bengal, 

2. Secretary, Sree Gauranga Sabha, 

P. O. Basanda, Barisal, Bengal 


Satis Chandra Chakravarty, 

Sree Sree Matri O Bhratri Sangha 

Trish, P. O. Companyganj, 

Tipfera, Bengal. 

Third Class in 

Indian Rail 



I have now been in India for over two years and 
a half after my return from South Africa. Over 
one quarter of that time I have passed on the Indian 
trains travelling third class by choice. I have 
travelled up north as far as Lahore, down south up 
to Tranquebar, and from Karachi to Calcutta. 
Having resorted to third class travelling, among 
other reasons, for the purpose of studying the 
conditions under which this class of passengers 
travel, I have naturally made as critical observa- 
tions as I could. I have fairly covered the majority of 
railway systems during this period. Now and then 
I have entered into correspondence with the manage- 
ment of the different railways about the defects 
that have come under my notice. But I think that 
the time has come when I should invite the press 
and the public to join in a crusade against a griev- 
ance which has too long remained unredressed, 
though much of it is capable of redress without 
great difficulty. 

On the 12th instant I booked at Bombay for 
Madras by the mail train and paid Rs. 13-9. It was 
labelled to carry 22 passengers. These could only 
have seating accommodation. There were no bunks 
in this carriage whereon passengers could lie with any 
degree of safety or comfort. There were two nights 
to be passed in this train before reaching Madras. 
If not more than 22 passengers found their way into 
my carriage before we reached Poona, it was because 
the bolder ones kept the others at bay. With the 
exception of two or three insistent passengers, all 
had to find their sleep being seated all the time. 
After reaching Raichur the pressure became un- 

*Ranchi, September 25, 1917. 

bearable, The rush of passengers could not be 
stayed. The fighters among us found the task almost 
beyond them. The guards or other railway servants 
came in only to push in more passengers. 

A defiant Memon merchant protested against 
this packing of passengers like sardines. In vain did 
he say that this was his fifth night on the train. 
The guard insulted him and referred him to the 
management at the terminus. There were during 
this night as many as 35 passengers in the carriage 
during the greater part of it. Some lay on the floor 
in the midst of dirt and some had to keep standing. 
A free fight was, at one time, avoided only by the 
intervention of some of the older passengers who did 
not want to add to the discomfort by an exhibition 
of temper. 

On the way passengers got for tea tannin water 
with filthy sugar and a whitish looking liquid mis- 
called milk which gave this water a muddy appear- 
ance. I can vouch for the appearance, but I cite the 
testimony of the passengers as to the taste. 

Not during the whole of the journey was the 
compartment once swept or cleaned. The result 
was that every time you walked on the floor or 
rather cut your way through the passengers seated 
on the floor, you waded through dirt. 

The closet was also not cleaned during the 
journey and there was no water in the water tank. 

Refreshments sold to the passengers were dirty- 
looking, handed by dirtier hands, coming out of 
filthy receptacles and weighed in equally unattract- 
ive scales. These were previously sampled by 
millions of flies. I asked some of the passengers 
who went in for these dainties to give their opinion. 
Many of them used choice expressions as to the 
quality but were satisfied to state that they were 
helpless in the matter ; they had to take things 
as they came. 

On reaching the station I found that the ghari- 
wala would not take me unless I paid the fare he 
wanted. I mildly protested and told him I would 

pay him the authorised fare. I had to turn passive 
resister before I could be taken. I simply told him 
he would have to pull me out of the ghari or call the 

The return journey was performed in no better 
manner. The carriage was packed already and but 
for a friend's intervention I could not have been 
able to secure even a seat. My admission was 
certainly beyond the authorised number. This com- 
partment was constructed to carry 9 passengers but 
it had constantly 12 in it. At one place an important 
railway servant swore at a protestant, threatened 
to strike him and locked the door over the passengers 
whom he had with difficulty squeezed in. To this 
compartment there was a closet falsely so called. It 
was designed as a European closet but could hardly 
be used as such. There was a pipe in it but no 
water, and I say without fear of challenge that it 
was pestilentially dirty. 

The compartrrient itself was evil looking. Dirt 
was lying thick upon the wood work and I do not 
know that it had ever seen soap or water.' 

The compartment had an exceptional assort- 
ment of passengers. There were three stalwart 
Punjabi Mahomedans, two refined Tamilians and 
two Mahomedan merchants who joined us later. 
The merchants related the bribes they had to give to 
procure comfort. One of the Punjabis had already 
travelled three nights and was weary and fatigued. 
But he could not stretch himself. He said he had 
sat the whole day at the Central Station watching 
passengers giving bribe to procure their tickets. 
Another said he had himself to pay Rs. 5 before he 
could get his ticket and his seat. These three men 
were bound for Ludhiana and had still more nights 
of travel in store for them. 

What I have described is not exceptional but 
normal. I have got down at Raichur, Dhond, Sone- 
pur, Chakradharpur, Purulia, Asansol and other 
junction stations and been at the ' Mosafirkhanas * 
attached to these stations. They are discreditable- 

looking places where there is no order, no cleanli- 
ness but utter confusion and horrible din and noise. 
Passengers have no benches or not enough to sit 
on. They squat on dirty floors and eat dirty food. 
They are permitted to throw the leavings of their 
food and spit where they like, sit how they like 
and smoke everywhere. The closets attached to 
these places defy description. I have not the power 
adequately to describe them without committing a 
breach of the laws of decent speech. Disinfecting 
powder, ashes, or disinfecting fluids are unknown. 
The army of flies buzzing about them warns you 
against their use. But a third-class traveller is dumb 
and helpless. He does not want to complain even 
though to go to these places may be to court death. 
I know passengers who fast while they are travelling 
just in order to lessen the misery of their life in 
the trains. At Sonepur flies having failed, wasps 
have come forth to warn the public and the authori- 
ties, but yet to no purpose. At the Imperial Capital 
a certain third class booking-office is a Black-Hole 
fit only to be destroyed. 

Is it any wonder that plague has become endemic 
in India ? Any other result is impossible where 
passengers always leave some dirt where they go and 
take more on leaving. 

On Indian trains alone passengers smoke with 
impunity in all carriages irrespective of the presence 
of the fair sex and irrespective of the protest of 
non-smokers. And this, notwithstanding a bye-law 
which prevents a passenger from smoking without 
the permission of his fellows in the compartment 
which is not allotted to smokers. 

The existence of the awful war cannot be 
allowed to stand in the way of the removal ot this 
gigantic evil. War can be no warrant for tolerating 
dirt and overcrowding. One could understand an 
entire stoppage of passenger traffic in a crisis like 
this, but never a continuation or accentuation of 
insanitation and conditions that mast undermine 
health and morality. 

Compare the lot of the first class passengers 
with that of the third class. In the Madras case the 
first class fare is over five times as much as the 
third class fare. Does the third class passenger get 
one-fifth, even one-tenth, of the comforts of his first 
class fellow ? It is but simple justice to claim that 
some relative proportion be observed between the 
cost and comfort. 

It is a known fact that the third class traffic 
pays for the ever-increasing luxuries of first and 
second class travelling. Surely a third class passen- 
ger is entitled at least to the bare necessities of life. 

In neglecting the third class passengers, oppor- 
tunity of giving a splendid education to millions 
in orderliness, sanitation, decent composite life and 
cultivation of simple and clean tastes is being lost. 
Instead of receiving an object lesson in these matters 
third class passengers have their sense of decency 
and cleanliness blunted during their travelling ex- 

Among the many suggestions that can be made for 
dealing with the evil here described, I would respect- 
fully include this : let the people in high places, the 
Viceroy, the Commander-in-Chief, the Rajas, Maha- 
rajas, the Imperial Councillors and others, who 
generally travel in superior classes, without previous 
warning, go through the experiences now and then 
of third class travelling. We would then soon 
see a remarkable change in the conditions of third 
class travelling and the uncomplaining millions will 
get some return for the fares they pay under the ex- 
pectation of being carried from place to place with 
ordinary creature comforts. 


It is to be hoped that Dr. Mehta's labour of 
love will receive the serious attention of English- 
educated India. The following pages were written 
by him for the Vedanta Kesari of Madras and are now 
printed in their present form for circulation through- 
out India. The question of vernaculars as media of 
instruction is of national importance ; neglect of 
the vernaculars means national suicide. One hears 
many protagonists of the English language being 
continued as the medium of instruction pointing 
to the fact that English-educated Indians are the sole 
custodians of public and patriotic work. It would 
be monstrous if it were not so. For the only education 
given in this country is through the English language. 
The fact, however, is that the results are not all 
proportionate to the time we give to our education. 
We have not reacted on the masses. But I must 
not anticipate Dr. Mehta. He is in earnest. He 
writes feelingly. He has examined the pros and 
cons and collected a mass of evidence in support 
of his arguments. The latest pronouncement on the 
subject is that of the Viceroy. Whilst His Excellency 
is unable to offer a solution, he is keenly alive to the 
necessity of imparting instruction in our schools 
through the vernaculars. The Jews of Middle and 
Eastern Europe, who are scattered in all parts of 
the world, finding it necessary to have a common 
tongue for mutual intercourse, have raised Yiddish 
to the status of a language, and have succeeded 
in translating into Yiddish the best books to be 
found in the world's literature. Even they could 
not satisfy the soul's yearning through the many 
foreign tongues of which they are masters ; nor did 

■ ■ ■ - -. - ... # — . . .,! .. i — — i — — — — — ■ - ■ ■ ' * 

introduction to Dr. Mehta's " Self-Government Series". 


the learned few among them wish to tax the masses 
of the Jewish population with having to learn a 
foreign language before they could realise their 
dignity. So they have enriched what was at 
one time looked upon as a mere jargon — but what 
the Jewish children learnt from their mothers — by 
taking special pains to translate into it the best 
thought of the world. This is a truly marvellous 
work. It has been done during the present genera- 
tion, and Webster's Dictionary defines it as a 
polyglot jargon used for inter-communication by 
Jews from different nations. 

But a Jew of Middle and Eastern Europe would 
feel insulted if his mother tongue were now so des- 
cribed. If these Jewish scholars have succeeded, 
within a generation, in giving their masses a langu- 
age of which they may feel proud, surely it should 
be an easy task for us to supply the needs of our 
own vernaculars which are cultured languages. 
South Africa teaches us the same lesson. There 
was a duel there between the Taal, a corrupt form 
of Dutch, and English. The Boer mothers and the 
Boer fathers were determined that they would not let 
their children, with whom they in their infancy 
talked in the Taal, be weighed down with having to 
receive instruction through English. The case for 
English here was a strong one. It had able pleaders 
for it. But English had to yield before Boer patriot- 
ism. It may be observed that they rejected even the 
High Dutch. The school masters, therefore, who 
are accustomed to speak the published Dutch of 
Europe, are compelled to teach the easier Taal. And 
literature of an excellent character is at the present 
moment growing up in South Africa in the Taal, 
which was only a few years ago, the common 
medium of speech between simple but brave rustics. 
If we have lost faith in our vernaculars, it is a 
sign of want of faith in ourselves ; it is the surest 
sign of decay. And no scheme of self-government, 
however benevolently or generously it may be 
bestowed upon us, will ever make us a self-govern- 

ing nation, if we have no respect for the languages 
our mothers speak. 



It was not without great diffidence that I under- 
took to speak to you at all. And I was hard put to 
it in the selection of my subject. I have chosen 
a very delicate an<£ difficult subject. It is delicate 
because of the peculiar views I hold upon Swadeshi, 
and it is difficult because I have not that command 
of language which is necessary for giving adequate 
expression to my thoughts. I know that I may rely 
upon your indulgence for the many shortcomings you 
will no doubt find in my address, the more so when 
I tell you that there is nothing in what I am about to 
say that I am not either already practising or am 
not preparing to practise to the best of my ability. 
It encourages me to observe that last month you 
devoted a week to prayer in the place of an address. 
I have earnestly prayed that what I am about to say 
may bear fruit and I know that you will bless my 
word with a similar prayer. 

After much thinking I have arrived at a defini- 
tion of Swadeshi that, perhaps, best illustrates my 
meaning. Swadeshi is that spirit in us which restricts 
us to the use and service of our immediate surround- 
ings to the exclusion of the more remote. Thus, 
as for religion, in order to satisfy the requirements 
of the definition, I must restrict myself to my an- 
cestral religion. That is the use of my immediate 
religious surrounding. If I find it defective, I should 
serve it by purging it of its defects. In the domain 
of politics I should make use of the indigenous 
institutions and serve them by curing them of their 
proved defects. In that of economics I should use 
only things that are produced by my immediate 

*Address delivered before the Missionary Conference on 
February 14, 1916. 


neighbours and serve those industries by making 
them efficient and complete where they might be 
found wanting. It is suggested that such Swadeshi, 
if reduced to practice, will lead to the millennium. 
And, as we do not abandon our pursuit after the 
millennium, because we do not expect quite to 
reach it within our times, so may we not abandon 
Swadeshi even though it may not be fully attained 
for generations to come. 

Let us briefly examine the three branches of 
Swadeshi as sketched above. Hinduism has become 
a conservative religion and, therefore, a mighty 
force because of the Swadeshi spirit underlying it. 
It is the most tolerant because it is non-proselytising, 
and it is as capable of expansion today as it has 
been found to be in the past. It has succeeded not 
in driving out, as I think it has been erroneously 
held, but in absorbing Buddhism. By reason of the 
Swadeshi spirit, a Hindu refuses to change his reli- 
gion, not necessarily because he considers it 
to be the best, but because he knows that he 
can complement it by introducing reforms. And 
what I have said about Hinduism is, I suppose, true 
of the other great faiths of the world, only it is 
held that it is specially so in the case of Hinduism. 
But here comes the point I am labouring to reach. 
If there is any substance in what I have said, will 
not the great missionary bodies of India, to whom 
she owes a deep debt of gratitude for what they 
have done and are doing, do still better and serve 
the spirit of Christianity better by dropping the goal 
of proselytising while continuing their philanthropic 
work ? I hope you will not consider this to be an 
impertinence on my part. I make the suggestion in 
all sincerity and with due humility. Moreover I 
have some claim upon your attention. I have en- 
deavoured to study the Bible. I consider it as part 
of my scriptures. The spirit of the Sermon on the 
Mount competes almost on equal terms with the 
Bhagavad Gita for the domination of my heart. 
I yield to no Christian in the strength of devotion 


with which I sing 4C Lead kindly light ' and several 
other inspired hymns of a similar nature. I have 
come under the influence of noted Christian mis- 
sionaries belonging to different denominations. And 
enjoy to this day the privilege of friendship with 
some of them. You will perhaps, therefore, allow 
that I have offered the above suggestion not as a 
biased Hindu, but as a humble and impartial student 
of religion with great leanings towards Christianity.' 
May it not be that " Go ye unto all the world M 
message has been somewhat narrowly interpreted 
and the spirit of it missed ? It will not be denied, I 
speak from experience, that many of the conversions 
are only so-called. In some cases the appeal has 
gone not to the heart but to the stomach. And 
in every case a conversion leaves a sore behind 
it which, I venture to think, is avoidable. Quoting 
again from experience, a new birth, a change of 
heart, is perfectly possible in every one of the 
great faiths. I know I am now treading upon thin 
ice. But I do not apologise in closing this part 
of my subject, for saying that the frightful outrage 
that is just going on in Europe, perhaps shows that 
the message of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Peace, 
had been little understood in Europe, and that light 
upon it may have to be thrown from the East. 

I have sought your help in religious matters, 
which it is yours to give in a special sense. But 
I make bold to seek it even in political matters. 
I do not believe that religion has nothing to do 
with politics. The latter divorced from religion 
is like a corpse only fit to be buried. As a matter of 
fact, in your own silent manner, you influence 
politics not a little. And I feel that, if the attempt 
to separate politics from religion had not been 
made as it is even now made, they would not have 
degenerated as they often appear to have done. 
No one considers that the political life of the 
country is in a happy state. Following out the 
Swadeshi spirit, I observe the indigenous institutions 
and the village panchayats hold me, India is really 


a republican country, and it is because it is that, 
that it has survived every shock hitherto delivered. 
Princes and potentates, whether they were Indian 
born or foreigners, have hardly touched the vast 
masses except for collecting revenue. The latter 
in their turn seem to have rendered unto Caesar 
what was Caesar's and for the rest have done much 
as they have liked. The vast organisation of caste 
answered not only the religious wants of the com- 
munity, but it answered to its political needs. The 
villagers managed their internal affairs through the 
caste system, and through it they dealt with any 
oppression from the ruling power or powers. It 
is not possible to deny of a nation that was capable 
of producing the caste system its wonderful power 
of organisation. One had but to attend the great 
Kumbha Mela at Hardwar last year to know 
how skilful that organisation must have been, which 
without any seeming effort was able effectively 
to cater for more than a million pilgrims. Yet it 
is the fashion to say that we lack organising ability. 
This is true, I fear, to a certain extent, of those who 
have been nurtured in the new traditions. We have 
laboured under a terrible handicap owing to an 
almost fatal departure from the Swadeshi spirit. 
We, the educated classes, have received our educa- 
tion through a foreign tongue. We have therefore 
not reacted upon the masses. We want to represent 
the masses, but we fail. They recognise us not 
much more than they recognise the English officers. 
Their hearts are an open book to neither. Their 
aspirations are not ours. Hence their is a break. 
And you witness not in reality failure to organise 
but want of correspondence between the representa- 
tives and the represented. If during the last fifty 
years we had been educated through the vernaculars, 
our elders and our servants and our neighbours 
would have partaken of our knowledge; the discover- 
ies of a Bose or a Ray would have been household 
treasures as are the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. 
As it is, so far as the masses are concerned, those 


great discoveries might as well have been made 
by foreigners. Had instruction in all the branches 
of learning been given through the vernaculars, I 
make bold to say that they would have been enriched 
wonderfully. The question of village sanitation, etc., 
would have been solved long ago. The village 
panchayats would be now a living force in" a special 
way, and India would almost be enjoying self- 
government suited to its requirements and would 
have been spared the humiliating spectacle of orga- 
nised assassination on its sacred soil. It is not 
too late to mend. And you can help if you will, 
as no other body or bodies can. 

And now for the last division of Swadeshi, 
much of the deep poverty of the masses is due 
to the ruinous departure from Swadeshi 'in the 
economic and industrial life. If not an article of 
commerce had been brought from outside India, she 
would be today a land flowing with milk and 
honey. But that was not to be. We were greedy 
and so was England. The connection between 
England and India was based clearly upon an error. 
But she does not remain in India in error. It is 
her declared policy that India is to be held in trust 
for her people. If this be true, Lancashire must 
stand aside. And if the Swadeshi doctrine is a 
sound doctrine, Lancashire can stand aside without 
hurt, though it may sustain a shock for the time 
being. I think of Swadeshi not as a boycott move- 
ment undertaken by way of revenge. I concieve it as 
religious principle to be followed by all. I am no 
economist, but I have read some treatises which 
show that England could easily become a self- 
sustained country, growing all the produce she needs. 
This may be an utterly ridiculous proposition, and 
perhaps the best proof that it cannot be true, is 
that England is one of the largest importers in 
the world. But India cannot live for Lancashire 
or any other country before she is able to live 
for herself. And she can live for herself only if 
she produces and is helped to produce everything 


for her requirements within her own borders. She 
need not be, she ought not to be, drawn into 
the vertex of mad and ruinous competition which 
breeds fratricide, jealousy and many other evils. 
But who is to stop her great millionaires from 
entering into the world competition ? Certainly not 
legislation. Force of public opinion, proper educa- 
tion, however, can do a great deal in the desired 
direction. The hand-loom industry is in a dying 
condition. I took special care during my wanderings 
last year to see as many weavers as possible, and 
my heart ached to find how they had lost, how 
families had retired from this once flourishing and 
honourable occupation. If we follow the Swadeshi 
doctrine, it would be your duty and mine to find out 
neighbours who can supply our wants and to teach 
them to supply them where they do not know how 
to proceed, assuming that there are neighbours who 
are in want of healthy occupation. Then every 
village of India will almost be a self-supporting 
and self-contained unit, exchanging only such 
necessary commodities with other villages where 
they are not locally producible. This may all sound 
nonsensical. Well, India is a country of nonsense. 
It is nonsensical to parch one's throat with thirst 
when a kindly Mahomedan is ready to offer pure 
water to drink. And yet thousands of Hindus would 
rather die of thirst than drink water from a 
Mahomedan household. These nonsensical men 
can also, once they are convinced that their religion 
demands that they should wear garments manufac- 
tured in India only and eat food only grcwn in 
India, decline to wear any other clothing or eat any 
other food. Lord Curzon set the fashion for tea- 
drinking. And that pernicious drug now bids fair 
to overwhelm the nation. It has already undermined 
the digestive apparatus of hundrends of thousands 
of men and women and constitutes an additional tax 
upon their slender purses. Lord Hardinge can set 
the fashion for Swadeshi, and almost the whole of 
India forswear foreign goods. There is a verse 


in the Bhagavad Gita, which, freely rendered, means, 
masses follow the classes. It is easy to undo the 
evil if the thinking portion of the community were 
to take the Swadeshi vow even though it may, for a 
time, cause considerable inconvenience. I hate 
legislative inteference, in any department of life. 
At best it is the lesser evil. But I would tolerate, 
welcome, indeed, plead for a stiff protective duty 
upon foreign goods. Natal, a British colony, pro- 
tected its sugar by taxing the sugar that came from 
another British colony, Mauritius. England has 
sinned against India by forcing free trade upon her. 
It may have been food for her, but it has been 
poison for this country. 

It has often been urged that India cannot adopt 
Swadeshi in the economic life at any rate. Those 
who advance this objection do not look upon 
Swadeshi as a rule of life. With them it is a mere 
patriotic effort not to be made if it involved any 
self-denial. Swadeshi, as defined here, is a religious 
discipline to be undergone in utter disregard of 
the physical discomfort it may cause to individuals. 
Under its spell the deprivation of a pin or a needle, 
because these are not manufactured in India, need 
cause no terror. A Swadeshist will learn to do with- 
out hundreds of things which today he considers 
necessary. Moreover, those who dismiss Swadeshi 
from their minds by arguing the impossible, forget 
that Swadeshi, after all, is a goal to be reached 
by steady effort. And we would be making for the 
goal even if we confined Swadeshi to a given set 
of articles allowing ourselves as a temporary measure 
to use such things as might not be procurable in 
the country. 

There now remains for me to consider one more 
objection that has been raised against Swadeshi. 
The objectors consider it to be a most selfish doctrine 
without any warrant in the civilised code of mora- 
lity. With them to practise Swadeshi is to revert 
to barbarism. I cannot enter into a detailed analy- 
sis of the position. But I would urge that Swadeshi 


is the only doctrine consistent with the law of humi- 
lity and love. It is arrogance to think of launching 
out to serve the whole of India when I am hardly 
able to serve even my own family. It were better 
to concentrate my effort upon the family and con- 
sider that through them I was serving the whole 
nation and, if you will, the whole of humanity. 
This is humility and it is love. The motive will 
determine the quality of the act. I may serve my 
family regardless of the sufferings I may cause to 
others. As for instance, I may accept an employ- 
ment which enables me to extort money from people, 
I enrich myself thereby and then satisfy many 
unlawful demands of the family. Here I am neither 
serving the family nor the State. Or I may recog- 
nise that God has given me hands and feet only to 
work with for my sustenance and for that of those 
who may be dependent upon me. I would then at 
once simplify my life and that of those whom I can 
directly reach. In this instance I would have served 
the family without causing injury to anyone else. 
Supposing that everyone followed this mode of life, 
we should have at once an ideal state. All will not 
reach that state at the same time. But those of 
us who, realising its truth, enforce it in practice will 
clearly anticipate and accelerate the coming of that 
happy day. Under this plan of life, in seeming to 
serve India to the exclusion of every other county, 
I do not harm any other country. My patriotism is 
both exclusive and inclusive. It is exclusive in the 
sense that in all humility I confine my attention to 
the land of my birth, but it is inclusive in the sense 
that my service is not of a competitive or antagonis- 
tic nature. Sic utere tuo ut alienum non la is not 
merely a legal maxim, but it is a grand doctrine of 
life. It is the key to a proper practice of Ahimsa or 
love. It is for you, the custodians of a great faith, 
to set the fashion and show, by your preaching, 
sanctified by practice, that patriotism based on 
hatred " killeth " and that patriotism based on love 
41 giveth life." 




There seems to be no historical warrant for the 
belief that an exaggerated practice of Ahimsa syn- 
chronise with our becoming bereft of manly virtues. 
During the past 1,500 years we have, as a nation, 
given ample proof of physical courage, but we have 
been torn by internal dissensions and have been 
dominated by love of self instead of love of country. 
We have, that is to say. been swayed by the spirit of 
irreligion rather than of religion. 

I do not know how far the charge of unmanli- 
ness can be made good against the Jains. I hold no 
brief for them. By birth I am a Vaishnavite, and 
was taught Ahimsa in my cjiildhood. I have derived 
much religious benefit from Jain religious works as I 
have from scriptures of the other great faiths of the 
world. I owe much to the living company of the 
deceased philosopher, Rajachand Kavi, who was a 
Jain by birth. Thus, though my views on Ahimsa 
are a result of my study ot most of the faiths of the 
world, they are now no longer dependent upon the 
authority of these works. They are a part of my life, 
and, if I suddenly discovered that the religious books 
lead by me bore a different interpretation from the 
one I had learnt to give them, I should still hold 
to the view of Ahimsa as I am about to set forth 

Our Shastras seem to teach that a man who 
really practises Ahimsa in its fulness has the world 
at his feet ; he so affects his surroundings that even 
the snakes and other venomous reptiles do him no 
harm. This is said to have been the experience of 
St. Francis of Assisi. 

In its negative form it means not injuring any 

*The Modem Review, October, 1916. 


living being whether by body or mind. It may not, 
therefore, hurt the person of any wrong-doer, or bear 
any ill-will to him and so cause him mental suffering. 
This statement does not cover suffering caused to 
the wrong-doer by natural acts of mine which do not 
proceed from ill-will. It, therefore, does not prevent 
me from withdrawing from his presence a child 
whom he, we shall imagine, is about to strike. 
Indeed, the proper practice of Ahimsa requires me 
to withdraw the intended victim from the wrong- 
doer, if I am, in any way whatsoever, the guardian 
of such a child. It was, therefore, most proper for 
the passive resisters of South Africa to have resisted 
the evil that the Union Government sought to do 
to them. They bore no ill-will to it. They showed 
this by helping the Government whenever it needed 
their help. Their resistance consisted of disobedience 
of the orders of the Government, even to the extent 
of suffering, death at their hands. Ahimsa requires 
deliberate self-suffering, not a deliberate injuring 
of the supposed wrong-doer. 

In its positive form, Ahimsa means the largest 
love, the greatest charity. If I am a follower of 
Ahimsa, I must love my enemy. I must apply the 
same rules to the wrong -doer who is my enemy or a 
stranger to me, as I would to my wrong-doing father 
or son. This active Ahimsa necessarily includes 
truth and fearlessness. As man cannot deceive the 
loved one, he does not fear or frighten him or her. 
Gift of life is the greatest' of all gifts ; a man who 
gives it in reality, disarms all hostility. He has 
paved the way for an honourable understanding. 
And none who is himself subject to fear can bestow 
that gift. He must, therefore, be himself fearless. 
A man cannot then practice Ahimsa and be a coward 
at the same time. The practice of Ahimsa calls forth 
the greatest courage. It is the most soldierly of a 
soldier's virtues. General Gordon has been repre- 
sented in a famous statue as bearing only a stick. 
This takes us far on the road to Ahimsa. But a 
soldier, who needs the protection of even a stick, is 


to that extent so much the less a soldier. He is 
the true soldier who knows how to die and stand his 
ground in the midst of a hail of bullets. ..Such a one 
was Ambarisha, who stood his ground without lifting 
a finger though Durvasa did his worst. The Moors 
who were being pounded by the French gunners and 
who rushed to the guns' mouths with ' Allah ' on 
their lips, showed much the same type of courage. 
Only theirs was the courage of desperation. Amba- 
risha's was due to love. Yet the Moorish valour, 
readiness to die, conquered the gunners. They 
frantically waved their hats, ceased firing, and 
greeted their erstwhile enemies as comrades. And 
so the South African passive resisters in their thou- 
sands were ready to die rather than sell their 
honour for a little personal ease. This was Ahimsa 
in its active form. It never barters away honour. A 
helpless girl in the hands of a follower of Ahimsa 
finds better and surer protection than in the hands 
of one who is prepared to defend her only to the 
point to which his weapons would carry him. The 
tyrant, in the first instance, will have to walk to his 
victim over the dead body of her defender ; in the 
second, he has but to overpower the defender ; for it 
is assumed that the cannon of propriety in the 
second instance will be satisfied when the defender 
has fought to the extent of his physical valour. In 
the first instance, as the defender has matched his 
very soul against the mere body of the tyrant, the 
odds are that the soul in the latter will be awaken- 
ed, and the girl would stand and infinitely greater 
chance of her honour being protected than in any 
other conceivable circumstance, barring of course, 
that of her own personal courage. 

If we are unmanly today, we are so, not because 
we do not know how to strike, but because we fear 
to die. He is no follower of Mahavira, the apostle 
of Jainism, or of Buddha or of the Vedas, who being 
afraid to die, takes flight before any danger, real 
or imaginary, all the while wishing that somebody 
else would remove the danger by destroying the 


person causing it. He is no follower of Ahimsa who 
does not care a straw if he kills a man by inches by 
deceiving him in trade, or who would protect by 
force of arms a few cows and make away with the 
butcher or who, in order to do a supposed good to 
his country, does not mind killing off a few officials. 
All these are actuated by hatred, cowardice and fear 
Here the love of the cow or the country is a vague 
thing intended to satisfy one's vanity, or soothe a 
stinging conscience. 

Ahimsa truly understood is in my humble 
opinion a panacea for all evils mundane and extra- 
mundane. We can never overdo it. Just at present 
we are not doing it at all. Ahimsa does not displace 
the practice of other virtues, but renders their prac- 
tice imperatively necessary before it can be practised 
even in its rudiments. Mahavira and Buddha were 
soldiers, and so was Tolstoy. Only they saw deeper 
and truer into their profession, and found the secret 
of a true, happy, honourable and godly life. Let us 
be joint sharers with these teachers, and this land of 
ours will once more be the abode of gods. 



The only claim I have on your indulgence is 
that some months ago I attended with Mr. Ewbank 
a meeting of mill-hands to whom he wanted to 
explain the principles of co-operation. The chawl 
in which they were living was as filthy as it well 
could be. Recent rains had made matters worse. 
And I must frankly confess that, had it not been for 
Mr. Ewbank's great zeal for the cause he has made 
his own, I should have shirked the task. But there 
we were, seated on a fairly worn-out charpai, 
surrounded by men, women and children. Mr. 
Ewbank opened fire on a man who had put himself 
forward and who wore not a particularly innocent 
countenance. After he had engaged him and the 
other people about him in Gujrati conversation, 
he wanted me to speak to the people. Owing to the 
suspicious looks of the man who was first spoken to, 
I naturally pressed home the moralities of co-opera- 
tion. I fancy that Mr. Ewbank rather liked the 
manner in which I handled the subject. Hence, I 
believe, his kind invitation to me to tax your patience 
for a few moments upon a consideration of co-opera- 
tion from a moral standpoint. 

My knowledge of the technicality of co-opera- 
tion is next to nothing. My brother, Devadhar, has 
made the subject his own. Whatever he does, 
naturally attracts me and predisposes me to think 
that there must be something good in it and the 
handling of it must be fairly difficult. Mr. Ewbank 
very kindly placed at my disposal some literature 
too on the subject. And I have had a unique 
opportunity of watching the effect of some co-opera- 

*Paper contributed to the Bombay Provincial Co-operative 
Conference, September 17, 1917. 


tive effort in Champaran. I have gone through 
Mr. Ewbank's ten main points which are like t-he 
Commandments, and I have gone through the twelve 
points of Mr. Collins of Behar, which remind me 
of the law of the Twelve Tables. There are so-called 
agricultural banks in Champaran. They were to me 
disappointing efforts, if they were meant to be 
demonstrations of the success of co-operation. On 
the other hand, there is quiet work in the same 
direction being done by Mr. Hodge, a missionary 
whose efforts are leaving their impress on those 
who come in contact with him. Mr. Hodge is a 
co-operative enthusiast and probably considers that 
the result which he sees flowing from his efforts are 
due to the working of co-operation. I, who was 
able to watch the efforts, had no hesitation in infer- 
ring that the personal equation counted for success 
in the one and failure in the other instance. 

I am an enthusiast myself, but twenty-five years 
of experimenting and experience have made me a 
cautious and discriminating enthusiast. Workers 
in a cause necessarily, though quite unconsciously, 
exaggerate its merits and often succeed in turning 
its very defects into advantages. In spite of my 
caution I consider the little institution I am con- 
ducting in Ahmedabad as the finest thing in the 
world. It alone gives me sufficient inspiration. 
Critics tell me that it represents a soulless soul-force 
and that its severe discipline has made it merely 
mechanical. I suppose both — the critics and I — are 
wrong. It is, at best, a humble attempt to place 
at the disposal of the nation a home where men and 
women may have scope for free and unfettered 
development of character, in keeping with the 
national genius, and, if its controllers do not take 
care, the discipline that is the foundation of charac- 
ter may frustrate the very end in view. I would 
venture, therefore, to warn enthusiasts in co-opera- 
tion against entertaining false hopes. 

With Sir Daniel Hamilton it has become a 
religion. On the 13th January last, he addressed the 


students of the Scottish Churches College and, in 
order to point a moral, he instanced Scotland's 
poverty of two hundred years ago and showed how 
that great country was raised from a condition of 
poverty to plenty. " There were two powers, which 
raised her — the Scottish Church and the Scottish 
banks. The Church manufactured the men and the 
banks manufactured the money to give the men a 
start in life. . . . The Church disciplined the 
nation in the fear of God which is the beginning of 
wisdom and in the parish schools of the Church the 
children learned that the chief end of man's life was 
to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever. Men 
were trained to believe in God and in themselves, 
and on the trustworthy character so created the 
Scottish banking system was built." Sir Daniel then 
shows that it was possible to build up the marvellous 
Scottish banking system only on the character so 
built. So far there can only be perfect agreement 
with Sir Daniel, for that 4 without character there 
is no co-operation ' is a sound maxim. But he would 
have us go much further. He thus waxes eloquent 
on co-operation : " Whatever may be your day- 
dreams of India's future, never forget this that it is 
to weld India into one, and so enable her to take her 
rightful place in the world, that the British Govern- 
ment is here; and the welding hammer in the hand 
of the Government is the co-operative movement." 
In his opinion it is the panacea of all the evils 
that afflict India at the present moment. In its 
extended sense it can justify the claim on one condi- 
tion which need not be mentioned here ; in the 
limited sense in which Sir Daniel has used it, I 
venture to think, it is an enthusiast's exaggeration. 
Mark his peroration : " Credit, which is only Trust 
and Faith, is becoming more and more the money 
power of the world, and in the parchment bullet 
into which is impressed the faith which removes 
mountains, India will find victory and peace." Here 
there is evident confusion of thought. The credit 
which is becoming the money power of the world 


has little moral basis and is not a synonym for Trust 
or Faith, which are purely moral qualities. After 
twenty years' experience of hundreds of men, who 
had dealings with banks in South Africa, the opinion 
I had so often heard expressed has become firmly 
rooted in me, that the greater the rascal the greater 
the credit he enjoys with his banks. The banks 
do not pry into his moral character : they are 
satisfied that he meets his overdrafts and promissory 
notes punctually. The credit system has encircled 
this beautiful globe of ours like a serpent's coil, and 
if we do not mind, it bids fair to crush us out 
of breath. I have witnessed the ruin of many a 
home through the system, and it has made no differ- 
ence whether the credit was labelled co-operative 
or otherwise. The deadly coil has made passible the 
devastating spectacle in Europe, which we are help- 
lessly looking on. It was perhaps never so true 
as it is today that, as in law so in war, the longest 
purse finally wins. I have ventured to give promi- 
nence to the current belief about credit system 
in order to emphasise the point that the co- 
operative movement will be a blessing to India only 
to the extent that it is a moral movement strictly 
directed by men fired with religious fervour. It 
follows, therefore, that co-operation should be con- 
fined to men wishing to be morally right, but failing 
to do so, because of grinding poverty or of the 
grip of the Mahajan. Facility for obtaining loans at 
fair rates will not make immoral men moral. But 
the wisdom of the Estate or philanthropists demands 
that they should help on the onward path, men 
struggling to be good. 

Too often do we believe that material prosperity 
means moral growth. It is necessary that a move- 
ment which is fraught with so much good to India 
should not degenerate into one for merely advancing 
cheap loans. I was therefore delighted to read 
the recommendation in the Report of the Committee 
on Co-operation in India, that " they wish clearly 
to express their opinion that it is to true co-opera- 


tion alone, that is, to a co-operation which recog- 
nises the moral aspect of the question that Govern- 
ment must look for the amelioration of the masses 
and not to a pseudo-co-operative edifice, however 
imposing, which is built in ignorance of co-operative 
principles." With this standard before us, we will 
not measure the success of the movement by the 
number of co-operative societies formed, but by the 
moral condition of the co-operators. The registrars 
will, in that event, ensure the moral growth of 
existing societies before multiplying them. And the 
Government will make their promotion conditional, 
not upon the number of societies they have regis- 
tered, but the moral success of the existing institu- 
tions. This will mean tracing the course of every 
pie lent to the members. Those responsible for 
the proper conduct of co-operative societies will 
see to it that the money advanced does not 
find its way into the toddy-seller's bill or into the 
pockets of the keepers of gambling dens. I would 
excuse the rapacity of the Mahajan if it has suc- 
ceeded in keeping the gambling die or toddy from 
the ryot's home. 

A word perhaps about the Mahajan will not 
be out of place. Co-operation is not a new device. 
The ryots co-operate to drum out monkeys or birds 
that destroy their crops. They co-operate to use a 
common thrashing floor. I have found them co- 
operate to protect their cattle to the extent of their 
devoting the best land for the grazing of their 
cattle. And they have been found co-operating 
against a particular rapacious Mahajan. Doubts 
have been expressed as to the success of co-opera- 
tion because of the tightness of the Mahajan's hold 
on the ryots. I do not share the fears. The 
mightiest Mahajan must, if he represent an evil 
force, bend before co-operation, conceived as an 
essentially moral movement. But my limited experi- 
ence of the Mahajan of Champaran has made me 
revise the accepted opinion about his ' blighting 
influence.' I have found him to be not always 


relentless, not always exacting of the last pie. He 
sometimes serves his clients in many ways and even 
comes to their rescue in the hour of their distress. 
My observation is so limited that I dare not draw 
any conclusions from it, but I respectfully enquire 
whether it is not possible to make a serious effort to 
draw out the good in the Mahajan and help him or 
induce him to throw out the evil in him. May he 
not be induced to join the army of co-operation, 
or has experience proved that he is past praying 

I note that the movement takes note of all indi- 
genous industries. 1 beg publicly to express my 
gratitude to Government for helping me in my 
humble effort to improve the lot of the weaver. 
The experiment I am conducting shows that there is 
a vast field for work in this direction. No well- 
wisher of India, no patriot dare look upon the 
impending destruction of the hand-loom weaver with 
equanimity. As Dr. Mann has stated, this industry 
used to supply the peasant with an additional source 
of livelihood and an insurance against famine. 
Every registrar who will nurse back to life this 
important and graceful industry will earn the grati- 
tude of India. My humble effort consists firstly in 
making researches as to the possibilities of simple 
reforms in the orthodox hand-looms, secondly, in 
weaning the educated youth from the craving for 
Government or other services and the feeling that 
education renders him unfit for independent occupa- 
tion and inducing him to take to weaving as a calling 
as honourable as that of a barrister or a doctor, 
and thirdly by helping those weavers who have 
abandoned their occupation to revert to it. I will 
not weary the audience with any statement on the 
first two parts of the experiment. The third may be 
allowed a few sentences as it has a direct bearing 
upon the subject before us. I was able to enter 
upon it only six months ago. Five families that had 
left off the calling have reverted to it and they 
are doing a prosperous business. The Ashram supplies 


them at their door with the yarn they need ; its 
volunteers take delivery of the cloth woven, paying 
them cash at the market rate. The Ashram merely 
loses interest on the loan advanced for the yarn. It 
has as yet suffered no loss and is able to restrict its 
loss to a minimum by limiting the loan to a particu- 
lar figure. All future transactions are strictly cash. 
We are able to command a ready sale for the cloth 
received. The loss of interest, therefore, on the 
transaction is negligible. I would like the audience 
to note its purely moral character from start to 
finish. The Ashram depends for its existence on 
such help as friends render it. We, therefore, can 
have no warrant for charging interest. The weavers 
could not be saddled with it. Whole families that 
were breaking to pieces are put together again. The 
use of the loan is pre-determined. And we, the 
middlemen, being volunteers, obtain the privilege of 
entering into the lives of these families, I hope, for 
their and our betterment. We cannot lift them 
without being lifted ourselves. This last relation- 
ship has not yet been developed, but we hope, at an 
early date, to take in hand the education too of 
these families and not rest satisfied till we have 
touched them at every point. This is not too 
ambitious a dream. God willing, it will be a reality 
some day. I have ventured to dilate upon the small 
experiment to illustrate what I mean by co-opera- 
tion to present it to others for imitation. Let us be 
sure of our ideal. We shall ever fail to realise 
it, but we should never cease to strive for it. Then 
there need be no fear of " co-operation of 
scoundrels " that Ruskin so rightly dreaded. 



I have hitherto successfully resisted to tempta- 
tion of either answering your or Mr. Irwin's critic- 
ism of the humble work I am doing in Champaran. 
Nor am I going to succumb now except with regard 
to a matter which Mr. Irwin has thought fit to dwell 
upon and about which he has not even taken the 
trouble of being correctly informed. I refer to his 
remarks on my mariner of dressing. 

My " familiarity with the minor amenities of 
Western civilisation " has taught me to respect my 
national costume, and it may interest Mr. Irwin to 
know that the dress I wear in Champaran is the 
dress I have always worn in India except that for a 
very short period in India I fell an easy prey in 
common with the rest of my countrymen to the 
wearing of semi-European dress in the courts and 
elsewhere outside Kathiawar. I appeared before the 
Kathiawar courts now 21 years ago in precisely the 
dress I wear in Champaran. 

One change I have made and it is that, having 
taken to the occupation of weaving and agriculture 
and having taken the vow of Swadeshi, my clothing 
is now entirely hand-woven and hand-sewn and 
made by me or my fellow workers. Mr. Irwin's 
letter suggests that I appear before the ryots in a 
dress I have temporarily and specially adopted in 
Champaran to produce an effect. The fact is that I 
wear the national dress because it is the most 
natural and the most becoming for an Indian. I 
believe that our copying of the European dress is a 
sign of our degradation, humiliation and our weak- 
ness, and that we are committing a national sin in 
discarding a dress which is best suited to the Indian 

*Reply to Mr. Irwin's criticism of his dress in the Pioneer, 


climate and which, for its simplicity, art and cheap- 
ness, is not to be beaten on the face of the earth and 
which answers hygienic requirements. Had it not 
been for a false pride and equally false notions of 
prestige, Englishmen here would long ago have 
adopted the Indian costume. I may mention inci- 
dentally that I do not go about Champaran bare 
headed. I do avoid shoes for sacred reasons. But I 
find too that it is more natural and healthier to 
avoid them whenever possible. 

I am sorry to inform Mr. Irwin and your readers 
that my esteemed friend Babu Brijakishore Prasad, 
the " ex-Hon. Member of Council," still remains 
unregenerate and retains the provincial cap and 
never walks barefoot and " kicks up * a terrible 
noise even in the house we are living in by wearing 
wooden sandals. He has st 11 not the courage, in spite 
of most admirable contact with me, to discard his 
semi-anglicised dress and whenever he goes to see 
officials he puts his legs into the bifurcated garment 
and on his own admission tortures himself by cramp- 
ing his feet in inelastic shoes. I cannot induce him 
to believe that his clients won't desert him and the 
courts won't punish him if he wore his more becom- 
ing and less expensive dhoti. I invite you and Mr. 
Irwin not to believe the * 4 stories " that the latter 
hears about me and my friends, but to join me in the 
crusade, against educated Indians abandoning their 
manners, habits and customs which are not proved to 
be bad or harmful. Finally I venture to warn you 
and Mr. Irwin that you and he will ill-serve the cause 
both of you consider is in danger by reason of my 
presence in Champaran if you continue, as you have 
done, to base your strictures on unproved facts. I 
ask you to accept my assurance that I should deem 
myself unworthy of the friendship and confidence of 
hundreds of my English friends and associates— not 
all of them fellow cranks — if in similar circumstances 
I acted towards them differently from my own 


Printed by K. R. Sondhi at the Allied Press, Lahore, and published 
by R, P. Soni for Gandhi Publications League, Lahore, 

Qandhi Series ~ m &co - 


ymmm •- ]0mm „ 






Price Six Annas Each 







In Round Table 

' i * 

At Hindu University 

I wish to tender my humble apology for the long 
delay that took place before I am able to reach this 
place. And you will readily accept the apology when I 
tell you that I am not responsible for the delay, nor is 
any human agency responsible for it. (Laughter). The 
fact is that I am like an animal on show and my keepers 
in their over-kindness always manage to neglect a neces- 
sary chapter in this life and that is pure accident. In 
this case, they did not provide for the series of accidents 
that happened to us — to me, keepers, and my carriers. 
Hence this delay. 

Friends, under the influence of the matchless elo- 
quence of the lady (Mrs. Besant) who has just sat down, 
pray, do not believe that our University has become a 
finished product and that all the young men who are to 
come to the University that has yet to rise and come into 
existence, have also come and returned from it finished 
citizens of a great Empire. Do not go away with any 
such impression, and, if you, the student world, to which 
my remarks are supposed to be addressed this evening, 

* Speech delivered on the occasion of the opening of the Benares 
Hindu University. 

( 4) 

consider for one moment that the spiritual life, for which 
this countrv is noted and for which this country has no 
rival, can be transmitted through the lip, pray, believe 
me you are wrong. You will never be able merely 
through the lip to give the message that India, I hope, 
will one day deliver to the world. I myself have, been 
'* fed up " with speeches and lectures. I except the 
lectures that have been delivered here during the last 
two days from this category, because they were necessary. 
But I do venture to suggest to you that we have now 
reached almost the end of our resources in speech-making, 
and it is not enough that our ears are feasted, that our 
eyes are feasted, but it is necessary that our hearts have 
got to be touched and that our hands and feet have got 
to be moved. We have been told during the last two 
days how necessary it is, if we are to retain our hold upon 
the simplicity of Indian character, that our hands 
and feet should move in unison with our hearts. But 
this is only by way of preface. 

I wanted to say it is a matter of deep humiliation 
and shame for us that I am compelled this evening, 
under the shadow of this great college in this sacred city, 
to address my countrymen in a language that is foreign 
to me. I know that if I was appointed an examiner to 
examine all those who have been attending during these 
two days this series of lectures, most of those who might 
be examined upon these lectures would fail. And why ? 
Because they have not been touched. I was present at 
the sessions of the great Congress in the month of Decern- 
ber. There was a much vaster audience, and will you 
believe me when I tell you that the only speeches that 
touched that huge audience in Bombay were the speeches 

( 53) 

that were delivered in Hindustani? In Bombay, 
mind you, not in Benares where everybody speaks Hindi. 
But between the vernaculars of the Bombay Presidency 
on the one nand, and Hindi on the other, no such great 
dividing line exists as there does between English and 
the sister languages of India ; and the Congress audience 
was better able to follow the speakers in Hindi. I au> . 
hoping that this University will see to it that the youths . 
who come to it will receive their instruction through the 
medium of their vernaculars. Our language is the re- 
flection of ourselves, and if you tell me that our langu- 
ages are too poor to express the best thought, then I say 
that the sooner we are wiped out of existence the better 
for us. Is there a man who dreams that English can 
ever become the national language of India ? »( Cries of 
* Never'). Why this handicap on the nation? Just 
consider for one moment what an unequal race our ladiv 
liave to run with every English lad. I had the pri- 
vilege of a close conversation with some Poona pro- . 
lessors. They assured me that every Indian youth, 
because he reached his knowledge through the English • 
language, lost at least six precious years of life. Multiply 
that bv the number cf students turned out bv our 
schools and colleges and find out for yourselves how- 
many thousand years have been lost to the nation. 
The charge against us is that we have no initiative. - 
How can we have any if we are to devote the pre- 
cious years of our life to the mastery of a foreign . 
tongue? We fail in this attempt also. Was it possible 
for any speaker yesterday and today to impress his . 
audience as was possible for Mr. Higginbotham ? It 
was not the fault of the previous speakers that they 

( 6) 

could not engage the audience. They had more than 
substance enough for us in their addresses. But their 
addresses could not go home to us. I have heard it 
said that after all it is English-educated India which 
is leading and which is doing all the thing for the 
nation. It would be monstrous if it were otherwise. 
The only education we receive is English education. 
Surely, we must show something for it. But suppose 
that we had been receiving, during the past fifty years, 
education through our vernaculars, what should we 
have today ? We should have today a free India, 
we should have our educated men, not as if they 
were foreigners in their own land but speaking to 
the heart of the nation ; they would be working among 
the poorest of the poor, and whatever they would 
have gained during the past fifty years wculd be a 
heritage for the nation. {Applause). Today even our 
wives are not the sharers in our best thought. Look 
at Professor Bose and Professor Ray and their brilliant 
researches. Is it not a shame that their researches 
are not the common property of the masses ? 

Let us now turn to another subject. 

The Congress has passed a resolution about self- 
government, and I have no doubt that the All-India 
Congress Committee and the Moslem League will do 
their duty and come forward with some tangible sug- 
gestions. But I, for one, must frankly confess that I 
am not so much interested in what they will be able 
to produce, as I am interested in anything that the 
student world is going to produce or the masses are 
going to produce. No paper contribution will ever 
give us self-government. No amount of speeches will 

( 7 ) 

ever make us fit for self-government. It is only our 
conduct that will fit us for it. (Applause). And how 
are we trying to govern ourselves ? I want to think 
audibly this evening. I do not want to make a speech, 
and if you find me this evening speaking without 
reserve, pray, consider that you are only sharing the 
thoughts of a man who allows himself to think audibly, 
and if you think that I seem to transgress the limits 
that courtesy imposes upon me, pardon me for the 
liberty I may be taking. I visited the Viswanath 
Temple last evening, and as I was walking through 
those lanes, these were the thoughts that touched me. 
If a stranger dropped from above on to this great 
Temple and he had to consider what we as Hindus 
were, would he not be justified in condemning us ? 
Is not this great Temple a reflection of our own 
character ? I speak feelingly as a Hindu. Is it right 
that the lanes of our sacred Temple should be as 
dirty as they are ? The houses round about are built 
anyhow. The lanes are tortuous and narrow. If even 
our temples are not models of roominess and cleanli- 
ness what can our self-government be ? Shall our 
temples be abodes of holiness, cleanliness and peace 
as soon as the English have retired from India, either 
of their own pleasure or by compulsion, bag and 

baggage ? 

I entirely agree with the President of the Con- 
gress that before we think of self-government, we shall 
have to do the necessary plodding. In every city 
there are two divisions, the cantonment and the city 
proper. The city mostly is a stinking den. But we 
are a people unused to city life. But if we want 

( 8 ) 

city life, we cannot, reproduce the easy going hamlet 
life. It is not comforting to think that people walk 
about the streets of Indian Bombay under the per- 
petual fear of dwellers in the storeyed buildings spitting 
upon them. I do a great, deal of railway travelling. 
I observe the difficulty of third class passengers. But the 
Railway Administration is by no means to blame for all 
their hard. lot. We do not know the elementary laws 
of cleanliness. We spit everywhere on the carriage 
floor, irrespective of the thought that it is often used 
as sleeping space. We do not trouble ourselves as to 
how we use it ; the result is indescribable filth in the 
compartment. The so-called better class passengers 
over-awe their less fortunate brethren. Among them I 
have seen the student world also. Sometimes they be- 
have no better. They can speak English and they have 


worn Not folk jackets and, therefore, claim the right to 
force their way in and command seating accommodation. 
I have turned the search-light all over, and as you have 
given me the privilege of speaking to you, I am la\ing 
my heart bare. Surely, we must set these things right in 
our progress towards self-government. I now introduce 
you to another scene, His Highness the Maharajah, 
who presided yesterday over our deliberations, spoke 
pibout the poverty v of India. Other speakers laid great 
stress upon it. But what did we witness in the great 
panda! in which the foundation ceremony was performed 
bv the Viceroy. Certainly a most gorgeous show, an 
exhibition of jewellery which made a splendid feast for 
the eyes of the greatest jeweller who chose to come 
from Paris. I compare with the richly bedecked 
noblemen the millions of the poor. And, I feel like 

(9 ) 

saying to these noblemen : ' There is no salvation for 
India unless you strip yourselves of this jewellery and 
hold it in trust for your countrymen in India ' (Hear, 
hear and applause). I am sure it is not the desire of the 
King-Emperor or Lord Hardinge that, in order to show 
the truest loyalty to our King-Emperor, it is necessary 
for us to ransack our jewellery-boxes and to appear 
bedecked from top to toe. I would undertake, at the 
peril of my life, to bring to you a message from King 
George himself that he expects nothing of the kind. Sir, 
whenever I hear of a great palace rising in any great 
city of India, be it in British India or be it in India 
which is ruled by our great Chiefs, I become jealous 
at once and I say : ' Oh, it is the money that has 
come from the agriculturists.' Over 75 per cent of the 
population are agriculturists, and Mr. Higginbotham 
told us last night in his own felicitous language that 
they are the men who grow two blades of grass in the 
place of one. But there cannot be much spirit of 
self-government about us if we take away or allow 
others to take away from them almost the whole of 
the results of their labour. Our salvation can cnly 
come through the farmer. Neither the lawyers, nor the 
doctors, nor the rich landlords are going to secure it. 

Now, last but not the least, it is my bounden 
duty to refer to what agitated our minds during these two 
or three days. All of us have had many anxious moments 
while the Viceroy was going through the streets of 
Benares. There were detectives stationed in many places. 
We were horrified. We asked ourselves : * Why this 
distrust ? Is it not better that even Lord Haidinge 
should die than live a living death ? ' But a represen- 

( 10 ) 

tative of a mighty Sovereign may not. He might find 
it necessary even to live a living death. But why was 
it necessary to impose these detectives on us ? We 
may foam, we may fret, we may resent, but let us 
not forget that India of today in her impatience has 
produced an army of anarchists. I myself an anarchist, 
but of another type. But there is a class of anarchists 
amongst us, and if I were able to reach this class, I 
would say to them that their anarchism has no room 
in India, if India is to conquer the conqueror. It is 
a sign of fear. If we trust and fear God, we shall 
have to fear no one, not Maharajahs, not Viceroys, 
not the detectives, not even King George. I honour 
the anarchist for his love of the country. I honour 
him for his braverv in being willing to die for his 
country ; but I ask him : ? Is killing honourable ? Is 
the dagger of an assassin a fit precursor of an honour- 
able death ? ' I deny it. There is no warrant for such 
methods in any scriptures. If I found it necessary for 
the salvation of India that the English should retire, 
that they should be driven out, I would not hesitate 
to declare that thev would have to go, and I hope 
I would be prepared to die in defence of that belief. 
That would, in my opinion, be an honourable death. 
The bomb-thrower creates secret plots, is afraid to 
come out into the open, and when caught pays the 
penalty of misdirected zeal. I have been told : 'Had 
we not done this, had some people not thrown bombs, 
we should never have gained what we have got with 
reference to the Partition Movement. 5 (Mrs. Besant : Please 
stop it). This was what I said in Bengal when Mr Lyon 
presided at the meeting. I think what Tam saying is 

( 11 ) 

necessary. If I am told to stop I shall obey. (Turning 
to the Chairman) I await your orders. If you consider 
that by my speaking as I am, I am not serving the 
country and the Empire, I shall certainly stop. (Cries 
of' Go on '). (The Chairman : Please explain your object). I 
am explaining my object. I am simply (Another interrup- 
tion). My friends, please do not resent this interruption. 
If Mrs. Besant this evening suggests that I should stop, 
she does so because she loves India so well, and she 
considers that I am erring in thinking audibly before 
you, young men. But even so, I simply say this that 
I want to purge India of the atmosphere of suspicion 
on either side ; if we are to reach our goal, we should 
have an empire which is to be based upon mutual 
love and mutual trust. Is it not better that we talk 
under the shadow of this college than that we should 
be talking irresponsibly in our homes ? I consider that 
it is much better that we talk these things openly. I 
have done so with excellent results before now. I 
know that there is nothing that the students are not 
discussing. There is nothing that the students do not 
know. I am, therefore, turning the search-light towards 
ourselves. I hold the name of my country so dear to 
me that I exchange these thoughts with you, and 
submit to you that there is no reason for anarchism 
in India. Let us frankly and openly say whatever we 
want to say to our rulers and face the consequences, 
if what we have to say does not please them. But 
let us not abuse. I was talking the other day to a 
member of the much-abused Civil Service. I have not 
very much in common with the members of that Ser- 
vice, but I could not help admiring the manner in 

( 12 ) 

which he was speaking to me. He said : c Mr. Gandhi 
do you for one moment suppose that all we, Civil 
Servants,- are a bad lot, that we want to oppress the 
people whom we have come to govern ? ' ' No ' I said. 
c Then, if you get an opportunity put in a word for the 
much-abused Civil Service ? : And, I am here to put 
in that word. Yes ; manv members of the Indian Civil 
Service are most decidedly over-bearing ; they aie 
tyrannical, at times thoughtless. Many other adjectives 
may be used I grant all these things and I grant also 
that, after having lived in India for a certain number 
of years, some of them become somewhat degraded. But 
what does that signify ? They were gentlemen before 
they came here, and if they have lost some of the 
moral fibre, it is a reflection upon ourselves. (Cries of 
1 No ')• Just think out for yourselves, if a man who 
was good yesterday has become bad after having come 
in contact with me, is he responsible that he has deterior- 
ated or am I ? The atmosphere of sycophancy and 
falsity that surrounds them on their coming to India 
demoralises them, as it would many of us. It is well 
to take the blame sometimes. If we are to receive self- 
government we shall have to take it. We shall never be 
granted self-government. Look at the history of the 
British Empire and the British nation ; freedom-loving as 
it is, it will not be party to give freedom to a people 
who will not take it themselves. Learn your lessons, if 
you wish to, from the Boer War. Those who were 
enemies of that empire only a few years ago, have now 
become friends. 

At Gurukiila 

I propose to produce as much only of it as in my 
opinion is worth placing on record with additions where 
they may be found necessary. The speech, it may be 
observed, wa< delivered in Hindi. After thanking 
Mahatmaji Munshi Ram for his great kindness to my boys 
to whom he gave shelter on two occasions and acted as 
father to them and after stating that the time for action 
had arrived rather than for speeches, I proceeded : I 
owe a debt of gratitude to Arya Samaj. I have often 
derived inspiration from its activity. I have noticed 
among the members of the Samaj much self-sacrifice. 
During my travels in India I came across many Arya 
Samajists who were doing excellent work for the 
country. I am, therefore, grateful to Mahatmaji that 
I am enabled to be in your midst. At the same time 
it is but fair to state that I am frankly a Sanatan- 
ist. For me Hinduism is all-sufficing. Every variety 
of belief finds protection under its ample fold. And 
though the Arya Samajists and the Sikhs and the Brahmo 
Samajists may choose to be classed differently from the 

* Report by Gandhiji of his own speech delivered at the 
anniversary of the Gurukula. 

( 14 ) 

Hindus, I have no doubt that at no distant future they 
will be all merged in Hinduism and find in it their 
fulness. Hinduism like every other human institution 
has its drawbacks and its defects. Here is ample scope 
for any worker to strive for reform, but there is little 
cause for secession. 

Throughout my travels I have been asked about the 
immediate need for India. And perhaps I would not do 
better than repeating this afternoon the answer I have 
given elsewhere. In general terms a proper religious 
spirit is the greatest and most immediate need. But I 
know that this is too general an answer to satisfy any- 
body. And, it is an answer true for all time. What, 
therefore, I desire to say is that owing to the religious 
spirit being dormant in us, we are living in a state of 
perpetual fear. We fear the temporal as well as the 
spiritual authority. We dare not speak out our minds 
before our priests and our Pandits. We stand in awe of 
the temporal power. I am sure that in so doing we do 
a disservice to them and us. Neither the spiritual 
teachers nor our political governors could possibly desire 
that we should hide the truth from them. Lord 
Willingdon, speaking to a Bombay audience, has been 
saying recently that he had observed that we hesitated 
to say * no ' when we really meant it and advised his 
audience to cultivate a fearless spirit. Of course, fear- 
lessness should never mean want of due respect or 
regard for the feelings of others. In my humble opinion 
fearlessness is the first thing indispensable before we 
could achieve anything permanent and real. This quality 
is unattainable without religious consciousness. Let us 
fear God and we shall cease to fear man. If we giasp' 

( 15 ) 

the fact that there is a divinity within us which witnesses 
everything we think or do, and which protects us and 
guides us along the true path, it is clear that we shall 
cease to have any other fear on the face of the earth 
save the fear of God. Loyalty to the Governor of gover- 
nors supersedes all other loyalty and gives an intelligent 
basis to the latter. 

And, when we have sufficiently cultivated this spirit 
of fearlessness, we shall see that there is no salvation for 
us without true Swadeshi, not the Swadeshi which can 
be conveniently put off. Swadeshi for me has a deeper 
meaning. I would like us to apply it in our religious, poli- 
tical and economic life. It is not, therefore, merely con- 
fined to wearing on occasions a Swadeshi cloth. That 
we have to do for all time, not out of a spirit of jealousy 
or revenge, but because it is a duty we owe to our 
dear country. We commit a breach of trie Swadeshi 
spirit certainly if we wear foreign-made cloth, but we 
do so also if we adopt the foreign cut. Surely the 
style of our dress has some correspondence with our 
environment. In elegance and tastefulness it is im- 
measurably superior to the trousers and the jacket. An 
Indian, wearing a shirt flowing over his pyjamas with - 
a waistcoat on it without a necktie and its flaps 
hanging loose behind, is not a very graceful spectacle. 
Swadeshi in religion teaches one to measure che 
glorious past and re-enact it in the present generation. - 
T*ie pandemonium that is going on in Europe shows 
that modern civilisation represents forces of evil and 
darkness whereas the ancient, i.e., Indian civilisation, 
represents in its essence the divine force. Modern 
civilisation is chiefly materialistic as ours is- chiefly 

( 16 ) 

Spiritual. Modern civilisation occupies itself in the 
investigation of the laws of matter, and employs the 
human ingenuity in inventing or discovering means of 
production and weapons of destruction, ours is chiefly 
occupied in exploring spiritual laws. Our Shastras lay 
down unequivocally that a proper observance of truth, 
chastity, scrupulous regard for all life, abstention from 
coveting other's possessions and refusal to hoard any- 
thing but what is necessary for our daily wants is 
indispensable for a right life ; that without it a know- 
ledge of the divine element is an impossibility. Our 
civilisation tells us with daring certainty that a proper 
and perfect cultivation of the quality of ahimsa which 
in its active form means purest love and pity, brings the 
whole world to our feet. The author of this discovery 
gives a wealth of illustrations, which carries conviction 
with it. 

Examine its result in the political life. There is 
no gift so valued by our Shastras as the gift of life. Con- 
sider what our relations would be with our rulers if 
we gave absolute security of life to them. II they 
could but feel that, no matter what we might feel 
about their acts, we would hold their bodies as sacred as 
our own, there would immediately spring up an atmo- 
sphere of mutual trust, and there would be such frank- 
ness on either side as to pave the way for an honourable 
and just solution of many problems that worry us 
today. It should be remembered that in practising 
ahimsa there need be any reciprocation though, as a matter 
of fact, in its final stages it commands reciprocation. Many 
of us believe, and I am one of them, that through 
our civilisation we have a message to deliver to the 

( I? ) 

world. I tender my loyalty to the British Government 
quite selfishly. I would like to use the British race for 
transmitting this mighty message of ahimsa to the whole 
world. But that can only be done when we have con- 
quered our so-called conquerors, and you, my Arya Samaj 
friends, are perhaps specially elected for this mission. 
You claim to examine our scriptures critically. You 
take nothing for granted and you claim not to fear to 
reduce your belief to practice. I do not think that 
there is any room for trifling with or limiting the doctrine 
of ahimsa. You dare, then, to reduce it to practice regard- 
less of immediate consequences which would certainly 
test the strength of your convictions. You would not 
only have procured salvation for India, but you would 
have rendered the noblest service that a man can render 
to humanity — a service, moreover, which you would 
rightly assert, the great Swami Dayanand was born for. This 
Swadeshi is to be considered as a very active force to be 
ceaselessly employed with an ever-increasing vigilance, 
searching self-examination. It is not meant for the 
lazy, but it is essentially meant for them who would 
gladly lay down their lives tor the sake of truth. It is 
possible to dilate upon several other phases of Swadeshi, 
but I think I have said enough to enable you to under- 
stand what I mean. I only hope that you, who represent 
a school of reformers in India, will not reject what I have 
said, without a thorough examination. And, if my word 
has commended itself to you, your past record entities me 
to expect you to enforce in your own lives the things of 
eternity about which I have ventured to speak to you 
this afternoon and cover the whole of India with your 

( 18 ) 

In concluding my report of the above speech, I 
would like to state what I did not in speaking to that 
great audience and it is this. I have now twice visited the 
Gurukula. In spite of some vital differences with my 
brethren of the Arya Samaj, I have a sneaking regard 
for them and it, and perhaps the best result of the 
activity of the Arya Samaj is to be seen in the establish- 
ment and the conduct of the Gurukula. Though it 
depends for its vitality entirely upon the inspiring pre- 
sence of Mahatmaji Alunshi Ram, it is truly a national 
and self-governing and self-governed institution. It is 
totally independent of Government aid or patronage. 
Its war chest is filled not out of moneys received from 
the privileged few, but from the poor many who make it 
a point of honour from year to year to make a pilgrimage 
to Kangri and willingly give their mite for maintaining 
this National College. Here at every anniversary a 
huge crowd gathers and the manner in which it is 
handled, housed and fed evinces no mean power of 
organisation, but the most wonderful thing about it all 
is that the crowd consisting of about ten thousand men, 
women and children is managed without the assistance 
of a single policeman and without any fuss or semblance 
of force, the only force that subsists between the 
crowd and the managers of the institution is that of 
love and mutual esteem. Fourteen years are nothing in 
the life of a big institution like this. What the collegiates 
who riave been just turned out during the last two or 
three years would be able to show, remains to be seen. 
The public will 'not and cannot judge then or institutions 
except through the results that they show. It makes no 
allowance for failures. It is a most exacting judge. The 

( 19 ) 

final appeal of the Gurukula as of all popular institutions 
must be to this judge. Great responsibility therefore 
rests upon the shoulders of the students who have been 
discharged from the college and who have entered upon 
the thorny path of life. Let them beware. Meanwhile 
those who are well-wishers of this great experiment may 
derive satisfaction from the fact that we have it as an 
indisputable rule of life, that as the tree is so will the 
fruit be. The tree looks lovely enough. He who waters 
it is a noble soul. Why worry about what the fruit is 
likely to be ? 

As a lover of the Gurukula, I may be permitted to 
offer one or two suggestions to the committee and the 
parents. The Gurukula boys need a thorough industrial 
training if they are to become self-reliant and self-sup- 
porting. It seems to me that in our country in which 
85% of the population is agricultural and perhaps 10% 
occupied in supplying the wants of the peasantry, it 
must be part of the training of every youth that he 
has a fair practical knowledge of agriculture and hand- 
weaving. He will lose nothing if he knows a proper use 
of tools, can saw a piece of board straight and build 
a wall that will not come down through a faulty handling 
of the plumber's line. A boy who is thus equipped, 
will never feel helpless in battling with the world and 
never be in want of employment. A knowledge of the 
laws of hygiene and sanitation as well as the art of rearing 
children should also form a necessary part of the 
Gurukula lads. The sanitary arrangements at the fair 
left much to be desired. The plague of flies told its own 
tale. These irrepressible sanitary inspectors incessantly 
warned us that in point of sanitation all was not well 

( 20 ) 

with us. They plainly suggested that the remains of our 
food and excreta need to be properly buried. It seemed 
to me to be such a pity that a golden opportunity was 
being missed of giving to the annual visitors practical 
lessons on sanitation. But the work must begin with the 
boys. Then the management would have at the annual 
gathering three hundred practical sanitary teachers. Last 
but not least let the parents and the committee not spoil 
their lads by making them ape European dress or 
modern luxuries. These will hinder them in their after 
life and are antagonistic to brahmacharya. They have 
enough to fight against in the evil inclinations common 
to us all. Let us not make their fight more difficult by 
adding to their temptations. 

In Round Table Conference 

I must confess at the outset that I am not a little 
embarrassed in having to state before you the position 
of the Indian National Congress. I would like to say 
that I have come to London to attend this sub- 
committee, as also the Round Table Conference, when 
the proper time comes, absolutely in the spirit of 
co-operation and to strive to my utmost to find points 
of agreement. I would like also to give this assurance 
to His Majesty's Government, that at no stage is it, or 
will it be, my desire to embarrass authority ; and I 
would like to give the same assurance to my colleagues 
here, that however much we may differ about our 
viewpoints, I shall not obstruct them in any shape or 
form. Therefore, my position here depends entirely 
upon your goodwill, as also the goodwill of His Majesty's 
Government. If at any time, I found that I could not 
be of any useful service to the Conference, I would not 
hesitate to withdraw myself from it. I can also say to 
those who are responsible for the management of this 
Committee and the Conference that they have only to 
give a sign and I should have no hesitation in withdrawing. 
I ara obliged to make these remarks because I know 

( 22 ) 

that there are fundamental differences of opinion 
between the Government and the Congress, and it is 
possible that there are vital differences between my 
colleagues and myself. There is also a limitation under 
which I shall be working. I am but a poor humble 
agent acting on behalf of the Indian National Congress ; 
and it might be as well to remind ourselves of what the 
Congress stands for and what it is. You will then 
extend your sympathy to me, because I know that the 
burden that rests upon my shoulders is really very great. 

The Congress is, if I am not mistaken, the oldest 
political organisation we have in India. It has had 
nearlv fifty vears of life, during which period it has, 
without any interruption, held its annual session. It is 
what it means — national. It represents no particular 
community, no particular class, no particular interest. 
It claims to represent all Indian interests and all 
classes. It is a matter of the greatest pleasure to me to 
state that it was first conceived in an English brain. 
Allan Octavian Hume we knew as the father of the 
Congress. It was nursed by two great Parsees, Sir 
Pherozeshah Mehta and Dadabhoy Naoroji, whom all 
India delighted to recognise as its Grand Old Man. 
From the very commencement the Congress had 
Mussulmans, Christians, Anglo-Indians, I might say all 
religions, sects, and communities represented upon it 
more or less fully. The late Badruddin Tyebji 
identified himself with the Congress. We have had 
Mussulmans and Parsees as Presidents of the Congress. 
I can recall at least one Indian Christian president at 
the present moment, W. C. Bonnerji. Kalicharan 
Bannerji, than whom I have not had the privilege of 

(23 ) 

.knowing a purer Indian, was also thoroughly identified 
with the Congress. I miss, as I have no doubt all of 
you miss, the presence in our midst of Mr. K. T. Paul. 
Although he never officially belonged to the Congress, 
he was a nationalist to the full and a sympathiser of 
the Congress. 

As you know, the late Maulana Mohammad Ali, 
whose presence also we miss today, was a president of 
the Congress, and, at present, we have four Mussulmans 
as members of the Working Committee, which consists 
of fifteen members. We have had women as our pre- 
sidents, Dr. Annie Besant was the first, and Mrs. 
Sarojini Naidu followed. We have her as a member 
of the Working Committee also ; and so, if we have 
no distinctions of class or creed, we have no distinction 
of sex either. 

The Congress has, from its very commencement, 
taken up the cause of the so-called ' untouchables '. 
There was a time when the Congress had at every 
annual session as its adjunct the Social Conference, to 
which the late Mr. Ranade had dedicated his energies, 
among his many activities. Headed by him, you will 
find in the programme of the Social Conference, reform 
in connexion with the untouchables taking a prominent 
place. But in 1920, the Congress took a large step and 
brought the question of removal of untouchability 
as a plank on the political platform, made it an 
important item of the political programme. Just as 
the Congress considered Hindu-Moslem unity, thereby 
meaning unity amongst the people following all the 
great religions, to be indispensable for the attainment 
of Swaraj, so also did the Congress consider the removal 

( 24 ) 

of untouchability as an indispensable condition for the 
attainment of full freedom. 

The position the Congress took up in 1920 remains 
intact today and so you will see that the Congress has 
attempted from its very beginning to be what it has 
described itself to be, namely ' national ' in every sense 
of the term. 

If Your Highnesses will permit me to say it, in the 
very early stage, the Congress took up your cause also. 
Let me remind this committee that it was the Grand 
Old Man of India who sponsored the cause of Kashmir 
and Mysore, and these two great Houses, I venture, in 
all humility, to submit, owe not a little to the efforts of 
Dadabhoy Naoroji and the Congress. Even now the 
Congress has endeavoured to serve the princes of India 
by refraining from any interference in their domestic 
and internal affairs. 

I hope that this brief introduction that I thought fit 
to give will serve to enable the sub-committee and those 
who are interested in the claims of the Congress, to 
understand that it has endeavoured to deserve the 
claim that it has made. It has failed, I know, often 
to live up to the claim, but I venture to submit, that if 
you were to examine the history of the Congress, you 
would find that it has more often succeeded, and 
progressively succeeded, than failed. Above all, the 
Congress represents, in its essence, the dumb, semi- 
starved millions scattered over the length and breadth 
of the land in its seven hundred thousand villages, no 
matter whether they come from what is called British 
India, or what is called Indian India. Every interest 
which, in the opinion of the Congress, is worthy of 

( # :» 

protection, has to subserve the interests of these dumb 
millions. You do find now and again an apparent 
clash between several interests. If there is a genuine 
and real clash, I have no hesitation in saying on behalf 
of the Congress that the Congress will sacrifice every 
interest for the sake of the interests of these dumb 
millions. It is, therefore, essentially a peasant organisa- 
tion, or, it is becoming so progressively. Yon, and 
even the Indian members of the sub committee, will, 
perhaps, be astonished to find that today the Congress, 
through its organisation, the All-India Spinners 
Association, is finding work for nearly 50,000 women 
in nearly 2,000 villages, and these women are possibly 
fifty per cent Mussulman women. Thousands of them 
belong to the so-called untouchable classes. We have 
thus, in this constructive manner, penetrated these 
villages, and the effort is being made to cover every one 
of the 7,00,000 villages. It is a superhuman task, but 
if human effort can do so, you will presently find the 
Congress covering all of these villages and bringing to 
them ihe message of the spinning wheel. 

This being the representative character of the 
Congress, you will not be astonished when I read to you 
ihe Congress mandate. I hope that it may not jar 
upon vou. You may consider that the Congress is 
making a claim which is wholly untenable. Such as it 
is, 1 am here to put forth that claim on behalf of the 
Congress in the gentlest manner possible, but also in 
che firmest manner possible. I have come here to 
prosecute that claim with all the faith and energy that 
1 can command. If you can convince me to the 
contrary and show that the claim is inimical to the. 

( 26 ) 

interests of these dumb millions, I shall revise my 
opinion. I am open to conviction, but even so, I should 
have to ask my principals to consent to that revision 
before I could usefully act as the agent of the Congress. 
At this stage I propose to read to you this mandate so 
that you can understand clearly the limitations imposed 
upon me. 

This was a resolution passed at the Karachi session 
of the Indian National Congress : 

' This Congress, having considered the provisional 
settlement between the Working Committee and the 
Government of India, endorses it, and desires to make 
it clear that the Congiess goal of Purna Swaraj, meaning 
complete independence, remains intact. In the event 
of a way remaining otherwise open to the Congress to 
be represented at any conference with the representa^ 
tives of the British Government, the Congress delegation 
will work for this goal, and in particular so as to 
give the nation control over the army, external affairs, 
finance, fiscal and economic policy, and to have a 
scrutiny by an impartial tribunal of the financial 
transactions of the British Government in India to 
examine and assess the obligations to be undertaken by 
India or England and the right for either party to end 
the partnership at will : provided, however, that the 
Congress delegation will be free to accept such adjust- 
ments as may be demonstrably necessary in the interests 
of India.' 

Then follows the appointment. I have in the light 
of this mandate endeavoured to study as carefully as 
I was capable of studying the provisional conclusions 
arrived at by the several sub-committees appointed 

(27 ) 

by the Round Table Conference. I have also care- 
fully studied the Prime Minister's statement giving the 
considered policy of His Majesty's Government. I 
speak subject to correction, but so far as I have been 
able to understand, this document falls short of what is 
aimed at and claimed by the Oongress. True, I have 
the liberty to accept such adjustments as may be 
demonstrably in the interests of India, but they have 
all to be consistent with the fundamentals stated in 
this mandate. 

I remind myself at this stage of the terms of what is 
to me a sacred settlement, the settlement arrived at 
Delhi between the Government of India and the 
Congress. In that settlement, the Congress has 
accepted the principle of federation ; the principle that 
there should be responsibility at the centre, and has 
accepted also the principle that there should be safe- 
guards in so far as they may be necessary in the interests 
of India. 

There was one phrase used yesterday, I forgot by 
which delegate, but it struck me very forcibly. He 
said, ' We do not want a merely political constitution.' 
I do not know that he gave that expression the same 
meaning that it immediately bore to me : but I 
immediately said to myself, this phrase has given me a 
good expression. It is true that Congress will not be, 
and personally speaking, I myself would never be, 
satisfied with a mere political constitution which to read 
would seem to give India all she can possibly politically 
desire, but in reality would give her nothing. If we 
are intent upon complete independence it is not from 
any sense of arrogance ; it is not because we want to 


parade before the universe that we have now severed 
all connexion with the British people. Nothing of the 
kind. On the contrary, you find in this mandate itself 
that the Congress contemplates a partnership ; the 
Congress contemplates a connexion with the British 
people, but that connexion should be such as can exist 
between two absolute equals. Time was when I 
prided myself on being, and being called, a British 
subject. I have ceased for many years to call myself. 
a British subject. I would far rather be called a rebel 
than a subject ; but I have now aspired, I still aspire, 
to be a citizen not in the Empire, but in a Common- 
wealth, in a partnership if possible ; if God wills it, an 
indissoluble partnership, but not a partnership super- 
imposed upon one nation by another. Hence, you 
find here that the Congress claims that either party 
should have the right to sever this connexion, to 
dissolve the partnership. May I say— it may be. 
irrelevant to the consideration, but not irrelevant to, 
me— that as I have said elsewhere, I can quite under- 
stand responsible British statesmen' today being wholly 
engrossed in domestic affairs, in trying to make both 
ends meet. We could not expect them to do anything 
less, and J felt, even as I was sailing towards London, 
whether we, in the sub-committee at the present 
moment, would not be a drag upon the British ministers, 
whether we would not be interlopers. And yet, I said 
to myself, it is possible that the British ministers 
themselves might consider the proceedings of the Round 
Table Conference to be of primary importance even in 
terms of their domestic affairs. Yes, India can be held 
by the sword. But what will conduce to the prosperity 

{ M ) 

of* Great Britain, and the economic freedom 'of ' Great' 
Britain : ah enslaved but a rebellious India, or an 
India, an esteemed partner with Britain to share her 
sorrows, to take part side by side with Britain in her 
misfortunes ? 

Yes, if need be, but at her own will, to fight side by 
side with Britain, not for the exploitation of a single 
face or a single human being on earth, but it may be 
conceivably for the good of the whole world. If I 
want freedom for my country, believe me, if I can 
possibly help it, I do not want that freedom in order 
that I, belonging to a nation which counts one-fifth 
of the human race, may exploit any other race upon 
earth, or any single individual, If I want that freedom 
for my country, I would not be deserving of that free- 
dom if I did not cherish and treasure the equal right 
of every other race, weak or strong, to the same 
freedom. And so I said to myself, whilst I was nearing 
the shores of your beautiful island that, perchance it 
might be possible for me to convince the British 
ministers that India as a valuable partner, not held 
by force but by the silken cord of love, an India of that 
character might be conceivably of real assistance to you 
in balancing your budget, not for one year but for many 
years. What cannot the two nations do— one a 
handful but brave, with a record for bravery perhaps 
unsurpassed, a nation noted for having fought slavery, 
a nation that has at least claimed times without number 
to protect the weak — and the other a very ancient 
nation, counted in millions, with a glorious and ancient 
past, representing at the present moment two great 
cultures, the Islam and Hindu cultures, and if you wi-1}, 

( 30 ) 

also containing not a small but a very large Christian 
population, and certainly absorbing the whole of the 
splendid Zoroastrian stock, in numbers almost beneath 
contempt, but in philanthropy and enterprise almost 
unequalled, certainly unsurpassed. We have got all 
these cultures concentrated in India, and supposing that 
God fires both Hindus and Mussulmans represented 
here with a proper spirit so that they close ranks and 
come to an honourable understanding, take that nation 
and this nation together, I again ask myself and ask you 
whether with an India free, completely independent as 
Great Britain is, an honourable partnership between 
these two nations cannot be mutually beneficial ; even 
in terms of the domestic affair of this great nation. And 
so, in that dreamy hope I have approached the British 
Isles, and I shall still cherish that dream. 

And when I have said this perhaps I have said all, 
and you will be able to dot the i's and cross the t's, 
not expecting me to fill in all the details, and tell you 
what I mean by control over the army, what I mean by 
control over external affairs, finances, fiscal and 
economic policy, or even the financial transactions 
which a friend yesterday considered to be sacrosanct. 
I do not take that view. If there is a stock-taking 
between incoming and outgoing partners, their trans- 
actions are subject to audit and adjustment, and the 
Congress will not be guilty of any dishonourable 
conduct or crime in saying that the nation should 
understand what it is taking over and what it should 
not take over. This audit, this scrutiny, is asked for 
not merely in the interests of India ; it is asked for 
in the interests of both. I am positive that the British 

( 31 ) 

people do not want to saddle upon India a single 
burden which she should not legitimately bear, and I 
am here to declare on behalf of the Congress that the 
Congress will never think of repudiating a single claim 
or a burden that it should justly discharge. If we are 
to live as an honourable nation worthy of commanding 
credit from the whole world, we will pay every farthing 
of legitimate debt with our blood. 

I do not think I should take you any farther through 
the clauses of this mandate and analyse for you the 
meaning of these clauses as Congressmen give them. 
If it is God's will that I should continue to take part in 
these deliberations, as the deliberations proceed I shall 
be able to explain the implications of these clauses. 
As the deliberations proceed I would have my say in 
connexion with the safeguards also. But, I think, 
I have said quite enough in having, with some elabora- 
tion and with your generous indulgence, Lord 
Chancellor, taken the time of this meeting. I had not 
intended really to take that time, but I felt that I could 
not possibly do justice to the cause I have come to 
expound to you, the sub-committee, and to the British 
nation of which we the Indian delegation are at present 
the guests, if I did not give you, out of the whole of my 
heart my cherished wish even at this time. I would 
love to go away from the shores of the British Isles with 
the conviction that there was to be an honourable and 
equal partnership between Great Britain and India. 

I cannot do anything more than say that it will be 
my fervent prayer during all the days that I live in 
your midst that this consummation may be reached. 
I thank you, Lord Chancellor, for the courtesy that 

( 32 ) 

vou have" extended to me in not stopping me, although" 
I have taken close upon forty-five minutes. I was not 
entitled to all that indulgence, and I thank you once 

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