Chapter 7 – Early Teaching Years

In 1946 Brajabandhu passed his High School matriculation examination (HSC) from Balikuda High School, Cuttack District, Orissa. After this, he returned to Jagannathpur (his father’s village) and began teaching in Middle School.

From sixteen to nineteen years of age, Brajabandhu was teaching Middle School—secondary primary School, years six and seven. He kept the same routine of rising early, chanting Hare Krsna and studying the scriptures such as Srimad Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. He did this for four years, by which time he was teaching Oriya, mathematics and geography at Middle School.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja: I was a teacher in Middle School, teaching there for four years [16 to 20 years of age]. Then I thought to take a teacher’s training course, otherwise I cannot this profession, unless I am a certified teacher.

Whilst teaching at Middle School, Brajabandhu met Subhash Biswal who became his student, (and who many years later would become his disciple). This was in 1948, when Subhash Biswal was studying in Middle English School—in Middle education standard. At that time Brajabandhu was teaching literature, mathematics, civics (city life, how municipality corporations organize and maintain roads and streets, how city life goes on, how one should act according to the rules and regulations of the municipal corporation) and history. He was also at the same time the physical education teacher. He was conducting drill for the boys at the time when Subhash was twelve years old and Brajabandhu was nineteen. Although mixing with the outside world more and more, Brajabandhu kept up his vow of celibacy and never deviated from the original tenets of Vaisnava-dharma. He maintained what he had been taught as a child throughout his whole life.

Subhash Biswal always remembered that although there was a seat in the classroom for the teacher, Brajabandhu would never sit in the class; he always taught standing up. At that time it could be seen that Brajabandhu was always very clean, and he wore wooden shoes (katthao) continuously. The reason he wore these shoes is that he was always in the religious state of mind and did not like to wear shoes made from leather.

Every day after teaching he would go to a certain Siva temple and read Srimad Bhagavad-gita in the quiet solitute there. Brajabandhu walked to the Siva temple and wearing these wooden shoes. He would generally wear white shirts with long sleeves, buttoned up, and a long collar, no tie, only simple Indian dress. He did not wear trousers, only a white dhoti.

As a teacher Brajabandhu was very strict and he chastised the students, but only to make them very good students. He was very strict with himself and was also very strict with his students. Subhash Biswal felt that Brajabandhu was such a good teacher that, “He explained the quotations, verses, prose, poems and literature subjects so nicely that even to this day [The year of 1991] I remember some of the quotations from the poems he taught us from the Oriya books. He had taught us so well! Brajabandhu was very strict on himself, and very religious.”

Subhash was a student of Brajabandhu for four years, from class four to class seven, primary School and Middle School. After finishing his Middle School course he left that School and went on to high School.

Brajabandhu carried on teaching at the same School. Later on Subhash would meet Brajabandhu again, under different circumstances, and then after some time he would become his spiritual student—his disciple.

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