March 18, 2012

A Sampling of BRC's Rare Acquisitions of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura

Highlights of the Sundaranand Vidyabinode Collection related to the great devotional works of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura:

The section is entitled Thoughts on Popular Topics or Occasional Notes by Baboo Kedar Nauth Dutta Dy. Collector and Magistrate (see picture above).

It includes his famous poem about the perils of drink:

Alas for those that spend their days
in festive mirth and joy!
The dazzling, deadly liquid forms
Their hearts for e‘er employ!

Also included are the full ten verses of his poem, Stanzas on the Samaj of Haridas on the Sea Shore at Puri, about Srila Haridasa Thakura which contains the famous verse #9:

He reasons ill who tells that Vaishnavs die
When thou art living still in sound?
The Vaishnavs die to live and living try
To spread a holy life around!

Another book discovery is a full commentary by Bhaktivinoda Thakura on Bhagavad Gita:

Haridas was the son of a Cazee who lived within a few miles from Delhi. While yet a boy, the religious sentiment received a very great development in him and he could understand that pure spiritual love was the only absolute religion of man. He was very much averse to cruelty to animals and turned out a Vaisnava in preference to the faith of his race. The Cazees and others met together and ordered him to be beaten very hard in the bazaars of Delhi. We read it in the “Chaitanya Bhagbat” that when he was being cruelly beaten, he was praying God that his enemies might be pardoned.

It is said that Haridas after leaving Delhi came to Bengal and lived for sometime in Santipur, on the banks of the Ganges. The great “Chaitanya Provoo” of Nuddea was born long after Haridas had come to Santipur. But when “Caitanya Provoo” came to age and began to preach the highest truth of Vaisnavism Haridas very gladly enlisted himself as a follower of the “Provoo.” In a short time Haridas accompanied him to Puri of Jagannath and there lived till the time of his death. His remains were interred by “Caitanya Deba” on the sea shore.

A large portion of the beach at Puri goes by the name of “Chakra-tirtha” in which the Samaj or tomb of Haridas is found. Popularly the place is considered sacred.

Finally, the following page has a few lines of handwriting, which after comparing to a known sample, we believe to be of the great Thakura:

All are welcome to our BRC Library in Kolkata to see these amazing works in person.

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