is said that in his early youth, Chandidas worshipped an image of Sakti, which was called
Bishalakshmi, and the poet often
addresses the goddess in his works. As may well be imagined, the conversion of Chandidas
to Vaishnavism has given rise to many tales. It is said that, on a certain day, he saw a
beautiful flower floating on the river, where he had gone to bathe. He took it up and went
to worship Bisha- lakshmi.
The goddess appeared in person, and asked for
the flower that she might place it on her head. The worshipper was awe- struck, and
enquired what strange virtue the flower could possess, so as to induce the goddess to
appear in person, and to wish to keep it on her head, instead of allowing the poet to
place it at her feet. The goddess replied: "Foolish child, my master has been
worshipped with the flower; it is not fit for my feet; let me hold it on my head."
"And who may thy Master be?" enquired the poet. "Krishna," was the
reply;and from that day the poetexchanged the worship of the goddess for that of Krishna.
It is scarcely necessary to and that later
Vaishnava writers have taken advantage of Chandidas's conversion to prove the superiority
of their 'deity, and haveinvented this fable. One thing, however, is plain, namely, that
the rivalry between the two creeds has prevailed in Bengal, as else where in India, from