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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Other Scriptures by Acharyas > Biographies of Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Deputy Magistrate

8. Deputy Magistrate

KEDARANATHA was next employed as the Head Clerk of the Judge's Court in Chuadanga for a salary of 150 rupees per month for a year and a half. Thereafter, he was replaced and found himself without employment. In 1864 a daughter was born. While living in Chuadanga, Kedaranatha took the law examination in Burdwan. He got a good recommendation from Mr. Linton. Mr Heiley, his enthusiastic supporter from earlier meetings in Burdwan, wanted to secure him a superior position, not simply a clerical post. Thus he appealed to Sir Ashley Eden and advised his friend, Kedaranatha, to wait in Ranaghat for word on his appointment. On the 9th of February, 1866, Kedaranatha received three offers of employment at once. One was from Mr. Linton for a clerical position. One was from Mr. Heiley, who informed him that he had been appointed Deputy Registrar at Chapra, and one was from the government, dated the 5th of February, which was his appointment letter to the post in Chapra. He was appointed Special Deputy Registrar of Assurances with powers of a Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector. He went to meet his benefactor, Mr. Heiley, but he had gone to Orissa, so he set out with some friends and a dog named Tiger and soon arrived in Chapra. His grandfather's prediction was coming true. He was twenty-seven years old.

While in Chapra, he got the chance to visit the Gautamasrama at Godana. It was here that the famous sage Gautama Rishi lived and promulgated the Vedic science of logic called nyaya. Kedaranatha was inspired to organize a large meeting of the townspeople, delivered a speech about Gautama and suggested to them that they organize a school for teaching the nyaya-sastras there. The residents of Chapra became enthused, and although Kedaranatha did not personally become involved in its establishment, a school was founded in Chapra. In 1883 the cornerstone was laid by Sir Rivers Thompson, the then Lt. Governor of Bengal, after whom it was named. In 1866 Kedaranatha also prepared an Urdu translation of the Manual of the Registration Department (Balide Registry), which the government was pleased to obtain and circulated throughout the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.

Relations improved between Kedaranatha and the people of Chapra. While there, however, he developed a bleeding ulcer and suffered greatly from pain, diarrhea and vomiting. None of the medical treatments he attempted were effective. He traveled in a weakened condition to take a government service examination, but the outcome was unsuccessful. Thereafter, he went by train to Western India and for thirteen days toured Vrindavan, Mathura, Agra, Prayag, Mrijpur and Kasi. In his autobiography he very humbly states that at this time his bhakti was still mixed with jnana, and therefore he did not experience the pure happiness of bhakti-rasa in Vrindavan. He was happy, however, to see the temples, but he felt in retrospect that he had not properly honored the devotees there. In this regard, it is worth bearing in mind the example of Arjuna, who stated in the Bhagavad-gita that his "illusion [was] dispelled". That "illusion" was not ordinary, although he appeared to act as an ordinary, confused person. The confusion or illusion he underwent was Krishna-induced and meant for the instruction of the world. Arjuna is an eternal companion to Krishna. Similarly, the Thakura, who is the "transcendental energy of Lord Chaitanya" is never a mixed devotee, tinged with jnana, who does not know how to respect other devotees. Rather, he is an eternal associate of the Lord who was induced to think and feel that way by the Lord's extraordinary arrangement. Lord Chaitanya would reveal the glories of His eternal servant according to His own plan. That revelation was soon to come.

While returning home by train, he met a man who promised to help him by sending him an herbal prescription which would cure his illness. Upon reaching Chapra, he received the prescription but could not find an ingredient called multani-hing, which he needed to complete the formula. His body continued to suffer from colitis and other pains. The Registrar General, Mr. Beverly, visited and encouraged him to study hard for the government examination. He went for the exam in Patna, and upon returning, he found that a daughter named Kadambini had been born to him. In June of 1867 he received the news that he had passed the examination. His ill health continued, and he requested a transfer. Mr. Beverly secured him one, much to the unhappiness of Mr. Holiday, his former supervisor, who liked him very much. He took up his position as Sub Registrar of Assurances of the Districts of Purneah and Kissenganj. The missing herbal ingredient was found for his prescription, and with careful dieting and taking the herbal medication his health improved. He then received an unexpected letter from Registrar General Beverly announcing that a separate Judicial Department was being organized by the Civil Service, and that he hoped Kedaranatha would join that branch. Kedaranatha was dubious, not knowing what demands would be made of him and how many exams he might have to pass, but received reassurances from L. Dampier of the Bengal Secretariat that he would be very valuable to the state as an executive and judicial officer, and that he need fear no exam.