International Journal of Tantric Studies

Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj, My Teacher: As I Saw Him

by Debabrata Sensharma

One of the great Indian savants that India, my country has produced in this century, MahAmahopAdhyAya Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj was a unique personality. He was deeply revered by all coming in contact with him for his profound scholarship combined with his penetrating insight into the spirit of the ancient Indian philosophy. He did not specialise in one particular branch of learning as he was equally at home in all the branches of the Indian philosophical thought: epigraphy, ancient Indian history, Indian and European literature, Buddhism, Jainism, and so on. He was a veritable living encyclopedia who had the knowledge of all the sAstras on his fingertips. He possessed a rich library of his own containing about 1,500 books dealing mainly with philosophy and religion. He always sat on a bamboo mat on the floor sorrounded by all his books and papers. However, he was not interested in mere accumulating knowledge for academic purpose because he was a "born- seeker of Truth". He himself disclosed to one of his admirers that he was "merely an explorer of the realms of consciousness", and, therefore, he had studied all religions of the world leaning on the side of mysticism in search of spiritual Truth. He never had any pretension for scholarship, nor for teaching and guiding research. He studied texts because he believed that the Supreme Truth is even hidden behind the veils of words. Only if the word chooses to reveal the Truth in its pure and pristine form, which is called pazyantI, the "seeing or revealing word", the Reality can be truly seen and intellectually apprehended. At the same time, he also believed that mere acquiring intellectual knowledge of Reality was not enough; it should be supplemented by its realization. Therefore, he pursued his search for Truth or Reality simultaneously on the intellectual and the spiritual planes of realization. He possessed illumined mind, which saw this Truth in flashes of intuition that came to him unaskedand without premeditation. He narrated many of such instances to me: when the Truth revealed itself, when he had spiritual realisation. He took notes of all this immediately afterwards, before they vanished from his memory. He was indeed such a rare and unique person who combined in himslef a wonderful scholarship with a deep spiritual realisation, and, for this reason, he was regarded people as a "living VizvanAtha" in the holy town of VArA-NAsI, the abode of the Lord VizvanAtha.

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