Man in the making:
Gokuldas and Gopal
Das played and grew up together in their childhood days. It was heard that
former was a very restive and a very obstinate child. He importunately pressed
for what he wanted, or he would throw away all his ornaments and would sit with
his feet dangling into the well, till at last his wishes had been carried out.
This display of obstinacy in young Gokuldas was but a sign of a strong and
resolute character, which shone out, in his later life.
received their early education at Gulan Rai's school, Jubbulpore. Their early
friends were Kunj Beharilal, Pt. Gulabchand Dube and Umrao Singh Chowdhari.
There are now very few in Jubbulpore who
remember that school. But those few who knew it can testify to the great good
that the people of Jubbulpore derived from it at one time, though it is true,
that it was conducted on old lines. Gokuldas acquired a little knowledge of
Hindi by which he was enable to carry on correspondence and to write up
accounts. After acquiring
basic knowledge, he left school and learnt the Marwari alphabets and business
At very young age, Raja Gokuldas managed all household affairs.
First he picked up the Cashier’s work. Then gradually began more important
work connected with business. Both the brothers used to tour in the villages
even in their father’s lifetime. During adolescence he temporarily developed
an irascible temper on account of which few dared to talk to him.
Marriage and Children:
greatest gift is a Chaste wife’ and Raja Sahib was lucky enough to
have Rani Sahiba Chunni Bai, daughter of Pratapchand, a well known banker of
Jaipore, Rajputana, as his life long partner. Pratapchand was a scion of the
famous bankers of Jaipore whose firm there was known by the name of
Jaikrishnadas of Jaisalmer. At the time Railway line between Jubbulpore and
Jaipore had not been laid yet so the baraat ( as the marriage party is known)
had to go by road taking several days.
Rani Sahiba was very lucky. It was said that wherever she lived,
she brought prosperity. First for her father and then to her husband as well.
Though she was not educated, affection, kindness, large-heartedness and other
high qualities natural to respectable families were found in her.
Seth Khuchalchand, seeing all the commendable qualities in his
daughter-in-law and the great prosperity that followed her coming into his
family used to say that she had come to his home like an incarnation of Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth. She was really a true wife. And
promptly attended to her husband’s needs. He in turn had great regard for her.
the famous lawgiver says, ‘Where women are respected the Gods abide.’
His brother Gopaldas was married to Yashodabai, the daughter of
Uttamchand Bijani of Kothari in Central India. In 1862, Raja Sahib had a son,
named Vitthal Das. A little before the birth of Vitthal Das, his brother also
had a son in the year 1861. The latter was named as Ballabh Das.
Raja Sahib used to keep his younger brother always with him and did
everything in consultation with him. However, four years after his father’s
death, his younger brother, Gopaldas passed away. Raja Sahib and his wife took
care of Gopaldas’s son and their seven year old nephew Ballabh Das. Their
affection for him was even more intense then their own children.
Hardly had Raja Sahib
got over the grief of loosing his brother, when his only son Vitthaldas was
snatched by the evil hands of death. This overpowering grief stunned him that he
directly returned home from his journey and began to pass a very sorrowful life.
At that time Shyama Beti, the daughter of the most honoured
Girdharji was putting up at Shri Gopal Lal’s temple in Benares. Her fame was
widespread in Benares. When she learnt of the sad news of Raja Sahib’s
bereavement, she left for Jubbulpore at once, and graced his house with her
sacred presence. She pronounced the benediction that they would have a second
son after one year.
Shyama Beti was unique in her devotion to God. So by grace of God and by
her benediction a son was born to Raja in 1871, just one year after Shyama beti
had pronounced her benediction. His son was named ‘Jiwandas’ at the instance
of Shyama beti. Afterward, Raja Sahib had four daughters, who all died young.