Brahmankanda, Faridpur

When Prabhu was a little over 7 years towards the end of Magh, 1285 B.E. (Jan/Feb 1878), Bhairab Chakraborty (Prabhu's father Dinanath Chakraborty Nyayaratna's elder brother) built a house and shifted with Prabhu to Brahmankanda, about three miles away to the south-west of Faridpur town. In the same year Prabhu performed the "sradh" ceremony of his father who passed away on the night of 'Akshaytritia' in the month of Baisakh of the same year at Brahmankanda.

Prabhu studied at a village Pathshala, near at home, for some time. Then he was admitted to the Faridpur Bengali School. This school was gradually raised to a Middle English School and now it is the Faridpur High School. In the mean time about 10 months after coming to the house at Brahmankanda, Bhairab Chakraborty also followed the path of his younger brother Dinnath to Heaven. Gopal and Tarini, the two sons of Bhairab Chakraborty took up the charge of the household. Prabhu was admitted to class V of the Zilla School from the aforesaid Bengali school. Next year he was promoted to class VI. When he had just completed his thirteenth year, his initiation ceremony known as 'upanayan' as required by Brahmin boys was held. After this a change in his mode of life came about. He began to perform 'sandhyas' (prayrers and meditation) thrice daily and observe all other austerities of a disciplined life.

Sometimes he was seen indifferently roaming all around in the roads without a companion. Sometimes he was found in solitary cremation grounds, deeply engrossed in thoughts, with tears rolling down his cheeks ceaselessly. He always liked solitude. Even in school he was equally reserved in speech and had very few classmates as companion.

Prabhu Bandhu used to perform daily worship of the family deities Radha-Govinda most ardently and the deities appeared to be enlivened and joyous.

It was in 1292 B.E. (1885 A.D.), Prabhu sat for his Annual Examination for promotion to class VIII or third class. On the day of History paper, after writing several pages in answering questions, he was moved in a state of trance as the silence of examination hall worked upon his mind. He stared absorbingly at one side vacantly and steadfastly. This sort of losing outward consciousness was being developed in him gradually. The Head Master Bhuban Sen thought that Prabhu was copying from the answer scripts of other students.

The head master got a bit exasperated at the moment and ordered him not to take that day's examination any more. Prabhu without uttering a single word, sliently, came out of the hall. The Head Master reading his answer realized his mistake but he could not find him out though looked for him. Prabhu without going home walked towards Goalanda, halting at night at one Baikuntha Pramanik's house of Sadarkhada village. At his house he took some meal, cooking with his own hand and spending the night in his cow-shed. He took the train at Rajbari and went to Calcutta in the house of Atul Chandra Champati, the son-in-law of Digambari Devi. Champati Thakur heard everything and informed Gopal Chakraborty, Prabhu's cousin brother at Brahmankanda, Faridpur.

Gopal went to Calcutta without delay and returned with Prabhu to Brahmankanda. But Prabhu could not be persuaded to read in that school again. A short time after he was sent to Ranchi where Tarini , the other cousin of Prabhu was working as Sub-Assesor in Income Tax Department. In Magh, 1292 B.E. (January 1886) he was admitted to the Third Class at Ranchi High School. But later Tarini had to send Prabhu back to Brahmankanda once again. He was very much frightened about the life of Prabhu after his cook and servant had mixed arsenic poison with Prabhu's food to do away with him.

After going to school in Pabna and staying there during 1293-1295, Prabhu returned to Brahmankanda via Calcutta in Ashwin 1295.

A few days after Prabhu left for Calcutta and met with school classmate and devotee Bakulal Biswas of village Badarpur in Faridpur. He, as predicted by Prabhu, later on became a Sub-Judge. He submitted himself to the care of Prabhu and lived a disciplined life as taught by him. He was a college student in Calcutta.

It is at this time that Prabhu with Bakulal took a snapshot at 'The Bengal Photographers' of Bowbazar Street. Prabhu was seated in Padmasana posture with legs crossed, hands entwined in front just above the waist and head a little bent towards the left. His attractive appearance, excelling that of Cupid even can be guessed to some extent from the Photo. He was then 17 years and 7 months old. In that photo, Baku Biswas was standing behind Prabhu on his left side. A block photo of Prabhu alone was made from it.

Prabhu then returned to Pabna. There two attempts to end his life by some villainy boys took place. He was first attempted to be killed by being drowned and suffocated under water while he was bathing in the river and in the second he was deadly beaten at night while roaming all alone habitually on the bank of the river near a field. After these attempts on his life, he was sent to Ranchi. It was the month of Kartick, 1295 B.E. (1888 A.D.). He was a student of First Class. Though there was great gap in his study he began to prepare for the coming Test Examination. His relatives were extremely delighted at this. He appeared at the test before the final Entrance Examination, as it was then called. The result was exceedingly well. But Prabhu went away to Calcutta about a month before the Final Examination and this meant an end of his study. From Calcutta Prabhu went on seclusion for about a year and a half. No search could disclose his wherabouts. He, of course, said to Digambari Devi alone a little before this that he wished to roam about holy places for sometime and so need not feel worried over that.

During this period, he roamed throughout India and also abroad. One day he was seen in the streets of Paris. From the description given in the French papers of the time, Champati Thakur and other devotees could easily guess that it was none but Prabhu.

At Vrindaban (A few months in 1297 B.E. - 1890 A.D.)

After living incognito for about a year and a half Prabhu was seen at the Maharaja's Palace of Joypur. He stayed there for two-three months, worshipping occasionally the original 'Radha-Govinda Bigraha' of Vrindaban, which was removed to Joypur during Muslim invasions.

At Vrindaban, Prabhu stayed occasionally at Jnangudhuri, Ayodhya Kunja, Hyderabad Kunja, Keshighat, etc. While Prabhu would get to Radha Kunda or Shyam Kunda, he used to stay at the Jagnnath Temple there.

In Ashwin 1297 - 1890 A.D. Prabhu returned to Brahmankanda. Digambari Devi and all others were extremely glad to see him back.

One day an unusual scene was witnessed there. Prabhu was going to to the temple of the Deity. He tried to avoid the shade of the 'Tulsi' plant being trampled as it stood on the way. He was going by the other side. Strangely enough the shade like a living being extended itself and went round to touch the feet of Prabhu. Digambari Devi saw this and got wonder struck.

At Brahmankanda in one corner of the homestead, he planted the plants of five trees, such as Aswatha, Bat, Bilva, Dhatri and Asoke in a group (called 'Panchabati'). On the mound, erected round the trees Prabhu used to sit and discourse with his followers. This 'Panchabati' still exists. The tank in which Prabhu used float about in the Padmasana posture is still there. The cocoanut trees which Prabhu used to lean against are also there.

The Chakraborty House of Brahmankanda became the Jagnnath Kshetra of the Kayasthas, Sudras, Bagdi's and Bunas, as if, Jagnnath unto whom Sri Chaitanya merged, appeared in the new form in Jagadbandhu. Gour Kishore Saha, Ramsundar Mudi, Kedar Sil (Kaha) of Goalchamat, Gopal Mitra, Nechu Saha, Kodai Saha and Kshudiram Saha, Mahim Das of Bakchar, Badal Biswas and Kanai Mitra of Badarpur and many others of the neighboring villages clustered around him at Brahmankanda. Here Prabhu resurrected Haridas Bagdi (a schedule caste, one of the untouchables) into Haridas Mohanta who was granted the privilege of serving Prabhu. All the Mohantas from the untouchables received Prabhu's blessings. In no time the Mohantas earned reputation as chanter of Harinam and beater of drum ('Khol').