Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Other Scriptures by Acharyas > Biographies of Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > A Mighty Pen

20. A Mighty Pen

DURING the time of his two-year preaching furlough, the Thakura produced another literary outpouring. In 1892, he published short excerpts in pamphlet form of an earlier published work called Vaishnava-siddhanta-mala. The pamphlets were based mainly on the portion of the book which deals with the glories of the holy name and they were given titles like Shri Hari-nama, Shri Nama, Shri Nama-mahima, Shri Nama-pracara and Shri Nama-tattva. These were distributed to the people as part of the Thakura's Nama-hatta program and were very well received. Also in 1892 the Thakura published a book called Shriman Mahaprabhur Siksha, a book of eleven chapters, summarizing Lord Chaitanya's philosophy in ten major categories. The first chapter presented the ten categories and the succeeding ten discussed each category individually. There are profuse Sanskrit quotations to substantiate each point, as well as Bengali prose translations and explanations.

But in 1893 the real deluge occurred. He wrote Tattva-viveka or Sac-cid-anandanubhuti, which was a presentation of the teachings of the greatest Vaishnava acaryas in relation to the ideas of famous Western and Oriental philosophers. The book comprised forty-eight Sanskrit verses with detailed Bengali commentary on each verse. Then came Saranagati, Gita-mala and Gitavali-three small songbooks which perfectly expressed in simple Bengali the philosophy of Krishna consciousness and the lofty realizations and sentiments of a self-realized soul. He wrote a Sanskrit poem about Lord Chaitanya called Shri Godruma-candra-bhajanopadesa, two more songbooks, entitled Baula-sangita and Dalaler-gita, and a booklet in English entitled Nama-bhajana, about the holy name of Krishna. He also wrote a monumental novel called Jaiva Dharma which covered the entire spectrum of Gaudiya Vaishnava thought and answered almost every conceivable question that an inquisitive and intelligent soul could ever think to ask. He also wrote Tattva-sutram, a book of Sanskrit aphorisms with Sanskrit explanations and Bengali commentary. He thus produced ten significant works-one of them of major proportions-all in one year! And meanwhile he was lecturing, chanting and preaching to whomever he met. We can begin to understand from all this holy activity what gaura-sakti-svarupa really means. He truly was the embodiment of the transcendental energy of Lord Chaitanya, for these are not the activities of anyone but an empowered associate of the Lord. Similarly, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada presented seventeen volumes of Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita, with full commentary, in English, in eighteen months, while spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world, personally describing such work as "materially impossible". His immense outpouring can be compared favorably to Shrila Sac-cid-ananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura's. One empowered soul can only be compared favorably with another. By objective examination a reasonable person can understand that such activities are superhuman and miraculous. Only when one is purely instrumental in Krishna's hands, can such perfect literature be composed in an unbroken flow of pure realization.

To get some idea of the flavor of his writings during this period we turn to the song Dalaler-gita ('The Song of the Broker') and the English essay, Nama-bhajana, in which he glorifies the Holy Name-as was his constant practice in preaching to the masses. He was always either chanting the Holy Name or speaking on the chanting of the Holy Name, and we get some clear idea of the level of inspiration and spiritual enthusiasm he was experiencing during this period from the moving poetic excerpts which follow:

Dalaler-gita ('The Song of the Broker')

Dalaler-gita ('The Song of the Broker')

[1] I am singing the news of the greatest happy tidings! At the place known as Surabhi-kunja in Shri Navadvipa, a marketplace of the Holy Name has now been opened-and Lord Nityananda Himself is the Proprietor-in-Chief.

[2] Such wonderful things are going on in that blissful marketplace! Shri Nityananda Prabhu is selling the pure, unadulterated Holy Name wholesale, merely for the price of one's faith.

[3] Seeing the assembly of devotees eagerly waiting to purchase the Name, Lord Nityananda examines them all, one by one, to test the degree of their receptivity-and then He sells them the Name individually by bargaining for His price accordingly.

[4] Oh brother, my dear friend! If you really want to purchase this pure Holy Name, then come! Just come with me, for I am now going to meet with that very same Nityananda Mahajana.

[5] Thus, you will finally be able to purchase the pure Holy Name. I will also take my due commission, and in this way all three of us will fulfill our desires.

[6] Shri Nityananda Prabhu is so incredibly merciful-taking only one's faith in the Holy Name, He bestows the topmost divine bliss in exchange.

[7] The very second that Nitai sees a tear welling in someone's eye upon chanting the name of 'Gaura', He instantly gives His support to that person; indeed, He bestows all divine opulences upon him.

[8] He gives that person genuine realization of the pure teachings of Shri Krishna as found in the Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad-Bhagavatam. While giving all this inconceivable mercy, He never cares in the least for one's position in relation to caste, material wealth, mundane knowledge or physical ability.

[9] Now, dear brothers, just reject the illusory network of Maya's entangling snares. If you are a householder, then just remain at your home, if you are renounced, then just live peacefully in the forest-either way, you will experience no more misery.

[10] Now there is no more fear of the terrible Age of Quarrel, for the most merciful Lord Nityananda gives the Holy Name to anyone and everyone-even the lowest among men.

[11] Bhaktivinoda loudly calls out and advises all, "Except for the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, there is no other shelter!"

From Nama-bhajana:

From Nama-bhajana:

"...If by discarding the company of Asat or dishonest fellows (Asat literally means 'non-existence'; hence those who are unusually attached to the fair-sex and those who are non-devotees of Krishna both are called Asat, for things other than Krishna are transitory), one embraces the company of the good or Sat (opposite of Asat), he ere long gains a firm reliance and then through the stages of Nistha, etc. reaches the ladder of Bhava. Those whose hearts are crooked will, beyond any doubt, run downstairs to Hell.

"The fortunate ones who earnestly long to ascend the terrace of Prem, do sincerely and incessantly chant the Name of Krishna in the company of Sadhus. They do not have any appetite for any other feature of devotion. When in a short time by the grace of NAMA the heart becomes closely attentive, the fruits of religious forbearance, control over sensual appetites, religious observances, withholding the breath by way of religious austerity, abstract religious contemplation, steady abstraction of the mind and indifference to external impressions are very easily gained without paying the least heed to all these. NAMA alone is a complete suspension of the fleeting mental operations. The more the heart is pellucid, the more diverse pastimes of the Spiritual Kingdom play in it. The flow of the milk of this felicity is so very fast running that no other means can give even the smallest drop of it. Jivas have no other wished-for wealth than the grace of Krishna.

"NAMA is Spiritual, Wisdom, vows, meditation, abnegation, mental quietness, virtue, contrivance-none of these can ever equal Nama. Know it for certain that NAMA is the highest salvation, Nama is the highest end, Nama is the noblest final beatitude, Nama is eternally existing, Nama alone is the supremest devotion, NAMA is the highest intellect, Nama is the best Priti [affection] and Nama alone is the brightest remembrance. NAMA is the seed and NAMA is the fruit to Jivas-NAMA is their Lord and NAMA alone is the supremest object of their worship. Nama is their best Preceptor.

"The Vedas have described the spirituality of the Name of Krishna to be the highest truth. 'O Lord! reasonably we have judged Thy Name to be higher than the highest and so do we chant Thy Nama. NAMA-BHAJAN is not bound by any rule-NAMA is beyond all virtuous acts-He is Spiritual-He is virility and lustre in a person. All the Vedas have been manifested from this NAMA. NAMA is bliss, NAMA is Ananda. We can excellently be devoted to Him. NAMA is worship and NAMA is to be worshipped; Thy feet are to be held in veneration. Repeatedly we fall prostrate at those Thy lotus-feet and anoint the body with the pollen thereof. In order to lead the soul to its highest stage, devotees mutually discuss on NAMA and sing His glories. They believe Thy Name to be Chaitanya in person, and always sing and hear Kirtan which is identical with Thy NAMA (name)-they are purified by it. NAMA alone is sat or ever-existing. The essence of the Vedas is NAMA, the Absolute Truth, Whose Form is Sat-Chidananda (Sat-ever-existing, Chit-all-knowing, and Ananda-all-bliss). O Vishnu! it is only by the grace of Thy Name that we are capable of offering hymns to Thee. So we should adore and pray to Thy NAMA alone.'"

In 1893, in the midst of his expansive preaching activity, the Thakura also had the good fortune of getting the association of Shrila Jagannatha dasa Babaji, who, accompanied by many Vaishnavas, came to Shri Mayapura on pilgrimage and visited the Thakura at Godruma.