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28. His Daily Schedule
LALITA Prasad Thakura, in his notes on his father's life, describes the Thakura's daily schedule while he was staying in Jagannatha Puri. He was never idle, being always engaged in the service of the Lord. Between 7:30 and 8:00 P.M. he would go to bed. He would then rise just before 10:00 P.M., light his oil lamp and write books until 4:00 A.M. Then he would again rest for a maximum of half an hour. At 4:30 A.M. he would wash his hands and face, sit down and chant on his beads. He never showed his beads to anyone but would chant on them constantly as time permitted. At 7:00 A.M. he answered all correspondence, at 7:30 A.M. read various religious and philosophical works, and at 8:30 A.M. he received visitors, if any, or else continued to read until 9:30. At that time he would walk back and forth on the veranda of his house, contemplating different religious questions and solving them in his mind. Sometimes he would solve them aloud as if preaching to some unseen guest. He would rest briefly from 9:30 A.M. to 9:45 A.M., then take bath and breakfast, which usually consisted of a half-quart of milk, two chapatis and some fruit.
At 9:55 A.M. the Thakura would don his uniform and leave for court in his carriage. As a Magistrate he wore a coat and pants. On his neck were six strands of large Tulasi beads. He was resolute in his court decisions and would decide a case immediately, not tolerating any humbug. He did his business and left. He shaved his head monthly and never cared what anyone thought of it.
The lawyers and Englishmen were astounded by the Thakura's capacity for work. At 10:00 A.M. court began. He would hear between thirty and fifty cases per day, yet he finished by 1:00 P.M. What took other Magistrates one-half hour, he finished in five minutes. He took another two minutes to write the judgment in detail. Some of his British superiors became envious and tried to discourage him, but he was not affected. At 1:00 P.M. he went home, refreshed himself and then returned to work from 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Every evening after his court duties, Bhaktivinoda Thakura would translate some Sanskrit religious work into Bengali by dictating it to a secretary. Then there was an evening bath and meal, consisting of a little rice, two chapatis and another half-quart of milk.
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura worked with a pocket watch, so that everything he did was on schedule. Despite his heavy domestic and official responsibilities, Bhaktivinoda Thakura's every moment was embellished with an intense desire to render service to the Lord.