How Madhav Dev became the Disciple of Sankardev in Bhakti Movement?

The Story of Shankar Deva-Part-5

Being the direct disciple of Sri Shankar Dev, Gaya Pani, who also happened to be the brother-in-law of Sri Madhav Dev, opposed the sacrifice of an innocent infant, which Madhav Dev had taken up on himself, to execute, to satisfy the Divine Mother, in return for the speedy recovery of his ailing mother. Sri Gaya Pani reprimanded Sri Madhav Dev for having taken up a heinous undertaking. He said “I do not understand brother, how the Divine mother, on whose shoulder lies the welfare of all the living entities, expect an infant’s blood to be offered to her, in return for the health of another living entity. All these acts, belie all intelligence.”

To this Sri Madhav Dev replied “Your intelligence has been corroded by the stupid Shankar Dev who does not understand the greatness of Shakta Dharma (शाक्त धर्म, the Dharma of the Divine Mother), a person who does not understand the greatness of Tantra Shastra (तंत्र शास्त्र). Our Devi is enlivened by our faith and sacrifice. The Tantric processes give 100 times faster results than any other processes within the gamut of Sanatana practices. Tantra is an esoteric science. It is nothing like, how you demented Vaishnavas sing and dance, and for no reason assume callously that all is well and all is taken care of, by the Lord. You do not understand how God is to be made happy. Is God made happy, simply by singing and dancing or by an infant’s blood, you are not in a position to understand. You are a literate idiot. This I can say. Our science of Tantra, I am afraid, you shall not understand.” To this Sri Gaya Pani coolly replied, “Brother, Just come with me to Sri Shankar Dev and settle the issue.” Seeing the calmness on the face of Sri Gaya Pani, Sri Madhav Das said “Alright, let me see what your Guru has to say.”

Both made their way to the abode of Sri Shankar Dev. Sri Madhav Dev, on seeing Sri Shankar Dev, immediately started ushering questions to Sri Shankar Dev. He said “Acharya, what is this new religion that you are propounding? You seem to be forgetting the Varna system and have been in distribution of the “so-called” Holy Name to people, without prior consideration of their position in society. I have not read anywhere in the Vedic system, about these practices, that you have been propounding to the innocent common folks. Please stop these false practices and stop intimidating the learned ones in the villages. I am ready to enter a debate with you on spiritual topics. You seem to lack knowledge on these subjects, based on what I hear about you from the common folks. Mind you, if you are defeated in the debate, you shall have to stop all your activities and quit this place for good.” Sri Shankar Dev just returned the verbal attack with a benign and humble smile.

The next day, was the day of debate. Sri Madhav Dev along with a few associates with knowledge on Tantra Shastras,  put many arguments supporting the cult of Shakta Dharma (The Divine Tantra) and tried to put the Vaishnava Dharma (Lord Vishnu’s devotion) in bad light projecting it as a weak system that is incapable of bringing about spiritual reformation in the practitioner of Vaishnava Dharma. Sri Shankar Dev, had spent his early years in deep study of all the branches within Sanatana Dharma, whereby he had also taken up an in-depth study of the Tantric system. It did not take him very long to cut the arguments of Sri Madhav Dev to pieces. He had a great grip on Tantra Shastra and hence he was able to put to rest all arguments put before him by his opponents on Tantric Dharma. However the opponents on the side of Sri Madhav Dev did not know much about the Vaishnava Dharma Shastras and hence they were defeated easily by Shankar Dev, when it was time for Sri Shankar Dev to pose questions before the supporters of Sri Madhava Dev. Madhav Dev had to accept defeat at the hands of Sri Shankar Dev. This event was viewed as a great victory for Vaishnava Dharma and also led to the acceptance of Vaishnava Dharma to a very large scale within the province of Assam. Sri Madhav Dev also became one of the followers of the cult of Vaishnavism, following that day, and accepted Sri Shankar Dev as his spiritual mentor.

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