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BANKIM CHANDRA

The Last Three Years

Bankim Chandra first wrote poems. Then he wrote a novel in English. But after this he began to write novels in, Bengali. He wrote while still in service. Because of constant pinpricks he grew weary of service. He felt that government service curbed his freedom and challenged his self-respect. So he asked for permission to retire, though he was only fifty-three years old.

But his superior officers were displeased with him. So they would not even allow him to retire.When a new Lieutenant Governor, Charles Eliot by name, was posted,Bankim
Chandra approached him. He told him that he wished to write books and nee led leisure. I would like to retire. Please allow me to do so," he requested Eliot. He agreed. At last Bankim Chandra was free. He was retired on a pension of four hundred rupees a month.

When Bankim Chandra retired he was eager to write many books. But he was not able to devote many years to writing on a large scale. His health soon declined and he died in 1894 when he was only fifty-six.

Towards his end he grew very philoso- phical. He lost all interest in worldly pleasure. Though he was ailing for quite sometime he refused medicine.

The doctor said to him, "If you don't take medicine you may not live long; you are
inviting death."

"Who says I have refused medicine? I have been using it all along," replied Bankim Chandra.

The doctor was surprised. "But where is the medicine? Let me see," he said.

Bankim Chandra took in his hand the copy of the Bhagavad Geeta that was by his side and said, "Here this is my medicine."

The study of the Bhagavad Geeta gradually changed his very temperament itself. He gave up writing novels. Philosophy and thoughts of God filled his writing. He wrote 'Krishna Charitra', and books on religion. He began the translation of the Geeta and the Vedas. But he died before he could complete the translation of the Vedas.

Bankim Chandra was a very refined person. Rabindranath Tagore, the world famous poet of India, has related an incident about Bankim Chandra.

There was a gathering. People were talking in-groups. One of them was reading Sanskrit verses composed by him. Bankim was standing nearby. The subject of the composition was patriotism. As the poet read, he made a remark making fun of Indians in poverty. When Bankim heard the remark he covered his face and left the place at once.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, one of the great sons of India, and Bankim Chandra were acquaintances. The word 'Bankim' also means'that which is bent'. Sri Ramakrishna once jokingly asked Bankim Chandra, "What is it that has bent you?" "The kick of the Englishman's shoe," Bankim replied. Sri Ramakrishna was acquainted with Bankim Chandra's historical novels, too. When Swami Vivekananda was still known as Narendranath, Sri Ramakrishna had sent him to Bankim Chandra.

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Bankim Chandra said, 'This is my medicine'.
About Bankim Chandra
Introduction
The Prodigy
At College
An Undaunted Officer
Unhappy At Home, Too
Bankim Chandra The Writer
You are Here! The Last Three Years
Bankim Chandra The Novelist
'Anandamatha'
Other Novels
A New Path
The Vision Of Lord Krishna
'Vangadarshan'
A Great Writer And A Great Teacher
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