Published on March 22nd, 2024 | by


Bhaktivinoda Thakura is Cursed by a Mystic Yogi

While Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur was living in Puri, he was given the task of quelling the disturbance caused by a mystic yogi who claimed to be an incarnation of Maha-Vishnu. This yogi was called by the name Bisakisen and he established a temple in the jungle near the village of Shardaipur. He exhibited many mystic powers and numerous people came to serve him.

One of the previous Acharyas in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya by name Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, was the pioneer to start a program to spread Krishna Consciousness all over world. He was a very powerful preacher, a prolific writer of Vaishnava Philosophy and a pure devotee of Lord Krishna.

(For those who have not heard about Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, he is the guru of Srila Gaurakishore Dasa Babaji, who is the guru of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, who is the guru of Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.)

What follows is true story which is taken from the biography of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur.

While Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur was living in Puri, he was given the task of quelling the disturbance caused by a mystic yogi who claimed to be an incarnation of Maha-Vishnu. This yogi was called by the name Bisakisen and he established a temple in the jungle near the village of Shardaipur. He exhibited many mystic powers and numerous people came to serve him.

Bisakisen belonged to a deviant sect of followers of Lord Chaitanya called Atibaris. This group had forged books which predicted the appearance of Chaitanya once again. Some evil-minded people of this group attempt to imitate Lord Krishna or Balaram or Lord Chaitanya or Brahma. In the forged books of the Atibaris group it was predicted that there would be a battle on the 14th of Chaitra (March-April) and that Maha-Vishnu would then reveal His four-armed form. This news was spread in the villages. The yogi Bisakisen sent out a circular announcing that Bhagavan Maha-Vishnu, who had descended as Bisakisen, would deliver India from the hands of the Europeans by killing them all. (India was then ruled by the British.) He also began to exhibit various miracles to impress people. He would sit erect in front of a fire and leap into the flames for some time and then return to an erect position without injury. He could read people’s minds, instantly cure diseased persons adn manifest fire from his head.To those who lacked knowledge of various yogic practises, by which siddhis or mystic powers are obtained, these events seemed extraordinary, even Godly. However, to a serious student of Yoga like Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, such powers were simply an insignificant display of material power acquired by austerity with no real spirituality. Even to this day in India, unscrupulous persons who perform severe penances acquire these magical powers simply to get a large following and exploit their simple-minded followers for material advantages. Their naive followers often become convinced of the divinity of the rascals and worship them as God.

Two of Bisakisen’s associates posed as Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. Living in the jungle, not far from Bhuvaneshvar, Bisakisen established a temple, using funds that certain intimidated kings of Orissa had sent at his request. Some of the kings and villagers even sent women for his pleasure when he announced that he would hold a rasa dance in which he would exhibit his sole supremacy and power over all women. When he actually had sexual relations with the wives of leading citizens of an Orissan town called Bringarpur, it created an outcry among the husbands and other leaders there, and they took their case to the government officials.

Mr. Ravenshaw, the English District Commissioner was at that time in charge of the Orissan division of the National British-Indian Government. After hearing from the leaders of Bringarpur, he decided to entrust the case to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura for a thorough investigation. The case was very sensitive. Bisakisen had gathered a large following of sympathizers, and he was seen as a potential threat to the security of the region, possibly capable of fomenting a local revolution.

The Thakura set out with the District Superintendent, the Chief of Police and a few constables. In the evening, just at sun set, the Thakura entered the jungle where the yogi was staying, near the village of Sharadaipur. He found many people sitting with the yogi. Many sick people had come to get cured by him and were glorifying him as an incarnation of God. Upon the arrival of the Thakura, the yogi rose from his throne and questioned him, “O babu, I know that you are a Bengali and a Magistrate. Why have you come here on this dark night?”

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura replied, “I have come to see you”. Bisakisen the rejoined, “That being the case, please sit down and hear my teachings.

I am Maha-visnu. Arising from the ocean of milk, I have come to this place, and very soon I will destroy all the Europeans, including the King of England. I have proclaimed this everywhere.” After saying this, Bisakisen gave the Thakura a piece of palm leaf that had the very thing he had just said written on it in poetic form. Exhibiting his mystic powers, the yogi began to describe everything about Thakura Bhaktivinoda in detail, mentioning his name, mission, etc. and warned him not to try to interfere with him. He also revealed that he knew fully about the men that the Thakura had brought with him, and were hiding among the trees. The Thakura was not impressed, and he asked the yogi, “if you are Maha-Visnu, then why are you staying in this jungle and not at Puri where Sri Jagannatha Deva resides?”

The yogi replied haughtily, “I am personally the Supreme Lord. There is no God at Puri. That so-called God, Jagannatha, is merely a big slab of wood. Sri Chaitanya was my beloved devotee, and I will again make India the kingdom of the Hindus. For this reason I am living in the jungle. I know that you are an excellent court judge and a good devotee as well. When the Hindu kingdom is again established, I will give you a very good position in the government. I will make you the Governor of the entire state of Orissa.”

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura then gravely replied, “The tiny living entity can never become God. Ravana, Hiranyakasipu, Sisupala, Dantavakra and many others who came under the influence of this arrogant mentality, were all destroyed.”

The yogi, in order to impress the Thakura with his power, then called before him many people with incurable diseases, and in a moment made them well. One person was suffering with a spear wound. The yogi brought him under his control and produced some ashes which he smeared on the wound. Immediately the wounded man was well and free of pain. The Thakura was not moved, correctly seeing the yogi as an offender to the Lord, using God-given powers for his own self-aggrandizement. Leaving some spies to watch the yogi, the Thakura spent the night in a tent at Sharadaipur. The yogi had to be arrested, but first further investigation needed to be made. The next day the Thakura traveled to the villages in the region to gather reports from the people. In some villages he heard praise, but others were angry about the yogi’s affairs with married women and were anxious that this fever of attraction to the yogi might spread to the women of their own villages and result in scandal and humiliation.

Thereafter, the Thakura gave the order to arrest the yogi, and seeing his men fearful, he personally led them, bringing with him two police inspectors, a police superintendent and over one-hundred armed policemen. They arrived in the early morning hours.

A sacrificial fire was burning in front of Bisakisen and well over a thousand followers were present. Many were offering prayers to the yogi. The Thakura and the policemen appeared on the perimeter of the crowd. When the yogi’s followers saw the red-turbaned policemen, armed with rifles and bayonets, many of them began to flee. News was quickly spread to the villages that the Government had sent an army to arrest the avatara of God! Bisakisen sat observing all of this calmly. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura approached him. There was a short silence. “Babu, what is the meaning of all this?” asked the yogi with apparent serenity.

“They have come to take you. It is the Governor’s order that you should be brought to Puri,” replied the Thakura.

The yogi replied harshly, “Who is this Governor? I am king, for I am the Supreme Godhead and master of all the universes. I bow down before no one. Let us see who is able to take me away from this place!”

“If you do not go peacefully, we will be obliged to take you away by force,” replied the Thakura sternly.

Becoming enraged, the yogi cried, “I order you to immediately leave this place! Let us see who has the power to take me!” Saying this, the yogi shook his head violently, whereupon hundreds and hundreds of fiery flames like burning snakes began to fly out of his matted locks. The yogi’s eyes then became red and sparks of fire shot out of them. Seeing this, the police force was terrified and fell back apace.

“Bisakisen!” declared the Thakura, “You may show us as much magic as you like, and we certainly will not forget it. However, you are an offender at the feet of the Supreme Lord. Although you are an insignificant living being, you are proclaiming yourself to be God, but actually you despise God. Furthermore, you are a rebel. You must go to Puri, where you will be judged.”

The yogi shouted, “I will not go! My power remains, therefore — go away!”

Thakura Bhaktivinoda ordered four police constables to bring a bullock cart from the nearby village. As they waited for the cart the Thakura preached to the irate yogi: “You must give up your deluded mentality and admit your imperfection. Your mystic powers are very insignificant in comparison to the opulences of the Supreme Godhead and the greatness of the Lord’s devotees. I request you to correctly understand this just once.”

The yogi reacted like a trampled snake, “You obviously do not know who I am. If I, just once, ignite the fire of my anger, the three worlds will burn into ashes, but because I am very kind to the universe I am not doing it.”

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura began to laugh, “Accha,” he said, “let us go to Puri. When we get there you can display the fire of your anger.” By this time, the bullock cart had arrived.

Seeing no way out of his predicament, the yogi ascended the cart, but before doing so he announced to the Thakura, “It is the word of the devotee that the Supreme Lord protects, therefore I am only going to Puri to protect your word that you would bring me there.”

On the way to Puri, the Thakura began writing up his judgement of the case to date. As the Thakura wrote, the yogi began exhibiting his mystic powers from the back of the cart. The Thakura noted them but remained steadfast. Upon arriving in Puri the yogi was placed in solitary confinement until the trial. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura put three-dozen Moslem constables and seventy-two Cuttack policemen in charge of guarding his cell day and night. He then departed to arrest the false Brahma and Shiva, who later pleaded that they had been coerced into their respective roles by Bisakisen. They were prosecuted by Mr. Taylor, who was the Sub-division Officer at Koda.

Bisakisen fasted from both food and water and did not sleep at all. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura repeatedly requested him to eat and gave him many valuable spiritual instructions, but Bisakisen would not hear him. During the pre-trial period many Orissan people took up a collection and hired a lawyer to defend Bisakisen in court.

The trial lasted eighteen days. It was held in the district court at Puri. Almost one-thousand of the yogi’s followers and sympathizers gathered outside the courthouse during the trial, shouting their demands for the yogi’s release. On the fifth day of the trial, court was adjourned for the day. At the completion of the sixth day’s hearings, Bisakisen ominously threatened the Thakura, “Babu, you must immediately desist from prosecuting me or everything you have will be destroyed. Go to your home now and see what disaster is taking place there.”

When he arrived at his home, he found his second daughter, seven year old Kadambini, afflicted with some deadly disease and high fever, repeatedly losing consciousness. Loud sounds of lamentation filled the house, but the Thakura did not fail in his determination, for he knew that the Lord would protect him from the insignificant powers of the yogi. Many doctors came to attend his daughter, and by eight o’clock in the morning she was well, and playing in the courtyard. The Thakura’s wife, Srimati Bhagavati Devi, became very anxious for the safety of their children, and she pleaded with her husband to let Bisakisen go before he destroyed their whole family. “Yes, let us all die,” the Thakura replied, “but this rascal must be punished!”

The Thakura recalls the period in his autobiography: “All over Puri there were disturbances. At that time the Puri School had a fire, and all of the people suspected him. Also at this time Kadambini came down with fever. Bisakisen, by his practice of yoga, had by some means attained yogic powers, and I obtained a lot of evidences against him. For twenty-one days he did not eat or drink even a drop of water, but he did not show any weakness and gave unfailing cures to many people.”

On the seventeenth day of the trial, when the court rose for recess, Bisakisen stood up and screamed violently at the Thakura, “Did you see what great calamity occurred at your house the other day? Still you are not coming to your senses! When will you be able to recognize me as the Supreme Lord? The final day of my judgement will be your death! What is the punishment for one who disrespects an avatara? How Death sits on the seat of judgment and gives out his commands, I will see!”

When Thakura Bhaktivinoda returned home in the late afternoon of that day, he took off his court clothes, and all of a sudden he felt a sharp pain on the right side of his chest. As the night went on, the pain increased. The Thakura was unshaken in his determination, but it was unclear how he would be able to enter the court in such a condition to give his final judgment. In the morning the severe pain persisted. Finally by about 10 A.M. he felt a slight subsiding of the pain, and he was ready to write the judgement. He was unable to walk and had to be carried to his palanquin. On that final day a thousand of the yogi’s followers again gathered in front of the courthouse and created a terrific din. Inside, the trial ensued. The Thakura’s decision was announced: ‘Bisakisen is found guilty of political conspiracy against National British-Indian Government, as well as the State Government of Orissa, and therefore is sentenced to eighteen months of strict imprisonment and hard labor.’ When the huge crowd outside received the news of Bisakisen’s sentence, they made a tremendous uproar and began to cry in unison, “Injustice! Injustice!”

Bisakisen was being led away from the court, when suddenly the District Medical Officer, Doctor Walters, jumped on the rascal from behind and cut off his long hair with a large pair of scissors. The English officer had come to know from his studies of yoga that yogis often conserve their powers in their hair. As soon as the matted locks of Bisakisen were cut, he fell to the floor devoid of all power and unable to walk. The pain in the body of the Thakura vanished, and the yogi was removed from the courtroom on a stretcher. When his followers saw that ‘God’ had been overcome by having his hair removed, most of them deserted him. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura recalls in his biography: “When his hair was cut, his followers said that he was a cheater and left him.”

The Thakura walked home peacefully. Bisakisen was held in Puri jail for three months and then transferred to the central jail in Medinipur. In 1873, while still in prison, he took poison and died. After the rise of Bisakisen, there were other so-called incarnations. In Yajpur a ‘Brahma’ took over Bisakisen’s former group and was similarly punished, and in Khandagiri, a ‘Balarama’ made his attempt but was also swiftly thwarted. Just as Durvasa Muni had attempted to punish the pure devotee Ambarisha Maharaja but was himself punished, a similar attempt was made on Thakura Bhaktivinoda, but by the grace of the Lord he was fully protected and victorious.

End of Story.

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2 Responses to Bhaktivinoda Thakura is Cursed by a Mystic Yogi

  1. Raghab kipamoy das says:


  2. tejal says:

    awesome pastime.Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur ki JAI!!

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