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PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF PANDIT
ISWAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR.
ONE of the first remarkable personalities I came in contact with was Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar. It happened in this way.
I was brought to Calcutta in June 1850, by my father, who was then a teacher. in the Government Bengali School in Calcutta.
I was a boy of nine years then and came to reside in the Calcutta residence of my maternal uncle, the late Pandit Dwaraka Nath Vidyabhusan, subsequently the far-famed editor of the Somaprakash.
It was something like a large lodging house where the only meu of different ages, some students and others otherwise employed, lived and messed together.
I longed to see a female face and see the maternal smile, but alas! that pleasure was denied me, and I was left entirely in the company of men who by turns cooked their own meals and washed their own plates.
I was the youngest amongst them and was loved and petted by all. But their company for a young child like myself was highly injurious.
Their talk was coarse and vulgar, and the way in which some of them lived was immoral. Some of them actually tried to teach me bad things.
But fortunately, I was soon admitted into the Calentta Sanskrit. College where Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar was, the Principal. to whom boys along with others began to look up as a hero and a great man.
In the College, on our admission, we came under the new Vidyasagar regime.
A few years back Pandit Vidyasagar had introduced some great changes in the College regulations.
First, he had thrown open the doors of the College to others than the here born castes-Brahmins and Vaidyas; secondly, he had altered the old model of teaching, namely commencing with Mugdhabodha.
The well-known Sanskrit grammar, and had introduced in its place the practice of commencing the education of beginners with his own Bengali Primers called Bodhodaya.
On another occasion one of the visitors asJred — jna)i Or knowledge of Eod, and hlialii or ardent love of (lod, which is hotter?”
Ptamkrishna took advantage of the gender of the words according to Sanskrit gi’ammar, calling jnan to be a male nnd hhakii a female.
But in this, through his ignorance of Sanskrit grammar he committed a mistake, for jvan in Sanskrit is ill the neuter gendci-. IToivever, his application of the Sanskrit grammar in this instance was very striking and peculiar.
After describing one to be masculine and the other feminine, and then referring to the Indian custom of shutting up women in the inner apartments, he said — “Jnan or laiowledge being a male is obliged to stand and Avait at the outer court of the DiAune Mother’s house, Avhereas hhahti being female goes clii-ect to the inner apartments., to the very presence of the jUother.”
On another occasion one of the visiloi-asked, “Living in the -worlcl as v’e do.
snrrouncled hy our daily cares and daily duties, what are wo to do, to concentrate onr attention on Divine thing.=; ?” To which the saint replied — “Have yon ever •scon women making chccrah ? (a kind ol boiled and threshed paddy).
There is the threshingmachine called Dhenhi. with its big pestle going up atid coming down, in measured movement.
A woman generally takes her seat near the small pit made in the grointd, where the grain to be threshed is put.
and where the pestle rises and falls and, as the pestle rises and falls, she gatluwt up the threshcl corn and removes it to’ be spread in the sxin.
She has to be A’cry carefitl about he^ hand gathering the threshed corn from the pit, for the least carelessness on her part, -would make that pestle come down upon her hand and crush her fingers.
|Author||Pundit Sivanath Sastri|
|PDF Size||5.0 MB|
Men I Have Seen PDF Free Download