1966 – Back to Ashram

Posted By Author on September 20, 2009


An urgent telegram from Ashram came enquiring my welfare. Sent telegraphic reply.

Resigned from all committees of the state Government as it was too taxing and time consuming with a lot of journey every week. It was a substantial loss of additional income.

News. Bengal riots culminating worst. Military called in. Eleven persons shot dead in firing. Mr. Sarkar replaced Gajendragadkar as Chief Justice of India. Is this effect of Baba’s Sadhana? Is Bengal ready to spring?

Prof. Tare brought my reservation from Nagpur to Calcutta for 28th of March.

Went with Prabhakar Wadodkar by bus to Nagpur. He saw me off at the station. I decided not to marry until Baba permits. My life is uncertain.
Met in train Mr.Srikant Rajandekar, M.Sc. in Botany, from Akola. He was going to join Ramkrishna Mission at Belur Math, Calcutta. Wonderful man. I offered him lunch. Surprised to see him accept non-vegetarian food. He told me that there were no restrictions on food at the mission.
Purchased six books on Yoga by Vivekananda. Premyoga, Rajyoga, Bhaktiyoga, Karmayoga, Bhogyoga and Dnyanyoga.

Reached Howrah at 11.30 A.M. It is a funny city. Less taxies more people. So got rickshaw pulled by man and reached Potdar Kothi at Jalaram Street on Chittaranjan Avenue. Radhakantji Pandey was there. Lunch. Discussion. He told that A.D. Mani’s case was not withdrawn. Dtae fixed for court argument was 31st March. Central Home Minister Nanda and Secretary to Bengal Government were cited as defence witnesses. Hiss Holiness did not grant interview to A.D. Mani. In Zalawar case, secretary Ramani Ranjan Das was exempted from appearance. In the evening booked ticket of Air Carrying Corporation. As it would leave in morning I canceled it. I came back to the room. Krishnakant Pandey’s trunk call came to Radhakant from Banaras. His daughter’s marriage was to be on 23rd May. He wants his brother at home but Radhakant could not go due to court work and wants permission of Baba. Both brothers were financially broke and worried about arrangement of the marriage. Radhakant narrated his story as to how he met Baba as below:


Pandey brothers hail from the village Kaithi, District Varanasi. It is situated sixteen miles north of Banaras on the road to Gazipur. It is perched on the confluence of the river Gomati and the Gandak. The village has mythological history. There is a Vishwamitra Ashram which is mentioned in Markandeya Purana and Narada Purana. There is a Shivalinga, which was left here when Shiva descended for Markandeya. The Lingam is two feet below the door and is filled with milk every year. If the Lingam protrudes above milk, it predicts drought in the ensuing year.

Swami Vivekananda and Swami Ramatirtha during their ‘bhraman’ (tour) stayed here. Rasbehari Basu handed reins of INA to Subhash Chandra Bose here. (Prof. Gordon on page 495 of his book mentions Rasbehari Basu as Rash Behari Bose. There is no mention in Index.) He was in hiding for eight months in the adjacent forest. Mr. Dixit from thise village used to provide food and necessities to him. Dixit’s grandson is an advocate in Calcutta. Rasbehari Basu threw a bomb on viceroy Harding at Chandni Chauk of Delhi. Harding fell from the elephant and the Mahout (person driving the elephant) died. Basu after hiding in Kaithi forest escaped to Japan.

Baba was travelling through this village in 1949. One Thakur of the village refused food to Baba. Radhakant was sitting there. He followed Baba but he got away. Radhakant’s elder brother was overseer and he was working on a bridge nearby. He saw Baba and invited him to his tent. He offered food as per his wish. On Krishnakant’s insistence, Baba came to his home. The father of Pandey brothers was a learned man. He was dazed to see the Sanskrit knowledge of Baba. He himself was Upasaka (devotee) of Gayatri Mantra. He bowed to Baba and told his family that a Mahatma had arrived to their home. He told his sons to serve the Mahatma. One of Pandey’s relative was a professor at Banaras. He happened to come and incidentally met Baba. Egoistically he indulged in silly argument. Baba scolded him in fluent English. Everybody including the professor got stunned. All realized that he was a highly learned man. In Baba’s cloth bag there were books on Swami Vivekananda and Swami Ramatirtha in English. He was then a lean and thin person strolling around like a lunatic. On the bank of the holy Ganges he lived in an isolated hut for two years. Pandey brothers served him in every respect. Food particularly was to be served at scheduled timings. Then along with Radhakant Baba went to Kulu and lived away from town for seven years. After that Baba resided at Kailas, the source region of river Sharayu, for three years. When alone on sojourn he would remain in constant touch with Pandey brothers. Baba once thought of establishing his Ashram near Nainital. He spent more than thirty thousand rupees on the project. One day he suddenly changed his mind and leaving everything disappeared alone. He moved throughout India and finally settled in the vital bottleneck of India and established Shaulmari Ashram near Falakata.

Up at Calcutta at 4.30 A.M. and via office of the Air Corporation reached aerodrome. Radhakantji handed over oral and written messages for Baba. Boarded plane at 7.30 A.M. Weather was rough. There were too many air pockets and the airplane jolted heavily all throughout. Reached Cooch Behar at 11 A.M. Baba sent Mohan Roy to receive me. He recognized me. We went to the motor stand in rickshaw. He asked whether he would fix a taxi for twenty-five rupees. I had only that much amount left in my pocket. I avoided. Both had lunch and we caught bus for Falakata. Bus was delayed due to procession of Ramnawmi festival. Purchased apples for Baba and by rickshaw reached Ashram at 2 P.M. Strong dusty wind was blowing. Shubir Das received me at the Guest House. There was no other guest. I took bath and nap.


At 4 P.M. I was called in by Baba. For the first time in life I was clad in dhoti and Bengali shirt (in Bengal they call it Punjabi Shirt). I had only three rupees left in balance. I entered the hall and offered fruits. As usual he enquired about welfare of my parents. He further enquired about prices of food-grains and expressed his anxiety about rising prices. (When Netaji met a person he would always start with asking about his welfare. He would always enquire about the prices of bananas to his servant in Singapore.) He was moaning intermittently. When asked about it he said his body was not ready to live in the plain and hence going to the Himalayas was indispensable. Then for three and half hours we discussed psychology, philosophy, theosophy, politics, war, yoga, rebirth, education, self-purification, etc. He saw a photograph of Gulzarilal Nanda, Home Minister of India, standing in bent position and Ghanashyam Birla seated in a car at London. He derided, “Nanda looks like a valet.” I remember how Netaji was particular about maintaining protocol. He observed that Vijayalaxmi was better than Indira. He commended C.D.Deshmukh and praised his honesty. He observed that if the police were at fault they should be punished heavily. He quoted an example of a Quarter Master in France in Second World War. He committed petty larceny of cigarettes from the store and for that piracy he was incarcerated for forty years’ of rigourous imprisonment. Baba seemed to be against the Hindu Code Bill.

I referred to a news item that central cabinet minister S.K.Patil was caught indulging in prostitution in Ceylon. How V.B.Kolte was defeated in election for the post of Vice-Chancellor and then assembly passed the bill abolishing election and appointed Kolte for the very post. I pointed that honest and pious men like Dr.Kajale suffered for defeating Kolte. Baba remarked that how did I expect scope and justice for honest and reliable persons in the Government of thieves?

He did not like the idea of forcible birth control for psychological repercussions but preferred teaching within through Universal Religion. He ridiculed the plan of introducing T.V. project in schools but instead of it suggested increase in pay of teachers. He had very good opinion about Einstein and correctly referred his sentence, ’Ultimately science and philosophy will shake hands’. He said most of the scientists are one sided and unless they obtain spiritual experience, they had no right to deny it. Why not better admit ignorance whether it exists or not? On Bertrand Russell he remarked that he was dry and rigid. (However Netaji mentions him, “ There are tragedies which men try their utmost to avoid, he certainly voices the sentiment of a perfectly wise man, and I believe it would take either a perfect sage or a hypocrite, who pretends to be virtuous, to contradict this view.”. – E –20) The debate continued and Baba showed renewed enthusiasm. The problem was that no Ashramite could provide intellectual food that was palatable to him. After ups and downs in intonations he would often mildly ask, “Have you understood Suresh?” He switched over to Hathayoga and said Gyanananda near Manas Sarowar in Tibet was fifteen hundred years old. According to him Madan Mohan Malviya’s guru Krishna Swami of Gangotri region was hundred and fifty years old when he laid the foundation stone of Banaras Hindu University. I pointed out that Old Testament of Bible mentions many persons reaching age of eight to nine hundred years of age and begetting sons at the age of hundred and fifty years. I also brought it to his notice that saints in Tibet of fifteen hundred years old are mentioned by theosophists. He remarked that it was true and mentioned Noah. He instructed me to penetrate into consciousness deeply and try to check reflex action of falsehood and exaggeration.

He finally dictated a letter in Hindi for Radhakant at Calcutta. He was told to arrange two cars and money to go to the Himalayas. I was then given break for dinner. At night I was called again. He said he might not see me for two days after which he intended to proceed to the Himalayas. About my accompanying him he expressed that it would depend on economic condition. I was ordered to sleep in the office near the phone to talk to Radhakant at Calcutta. With great difficulty I got the line clear and talked with Radhakantji at 10 P.M. I conveyed him the message that he should arrange two cars and five thousand rupees and confirm it on phone. At 1 A.M. I received his call that everything was arranged. He asked to confirm whether he should come with cars. Kalidas was to leave by morning plane to fetch cars from Calcutta.

In the early morning I related my talk with Radhakantji to Ramanidada, Secretary. He immediately dispatched Kalibabu to Calcutta by plane with a message that Radhakant should come ahead by plane. After breakfast I typed my representation to the State Government Of Maharashtra against malicious extension of probation period by Principal V.B.Kolte. As per instructions from Baba I phoned Radhakant to bring one more car preferably station wagon, extra five thousand rupees, hundred green lemons, guggul, sandalwood, incense to burn. He was requested to handover my letter to Mazumdar which Kali was carrying. Another letter was dictated by Baba in my name informing Radhakant to give ring to his brother Krishnakant. Then I told him to give ring to his brother Krishnakant care of Agrawal and tell him to obtain the car of Ramkrishnaji, Chief Executive Engineer. He was told to inform me the position by 8 P.M.

I was called in. I read out the representation. He told me to bring my character certificate and confidential. After going through it he gave a hearty laugh to see the remark ‘temperamental’. I then told him that I resigned all the official committees because of favoritism and nepotism. He queried whether I wrote that again in the same hot manner. I affirmed. He then said that all the elements of favoritism in the society would have to be removed and replaced by young blood. There must be revolution in the society. I asked whether he meant like the French Revolution. He said for that the atrocities were required to reach a pinnacle. Moreover, bloody revolution was never in the interest of a nation. All the intelligentsia and talents get wiped out and the vacuum continues for hundreds of years. That was what happened to France. He elaborated that what was required was an individual revolution, a revolution of inner self. Not outwardly but from the core of his heart man should be made to expand his narrow selfishness into a wider selfishness. A selfishness expanded to infinity would become wider selflessness. (Netaji wrote how to reduce selfishness. See Brothers against Raj, page 124.) One must see interest of the nation and welfare of the world. This cannot be brought by law but by imbibing ‘Sanskar’ (culture) and education. He was going too deep and it constipated me so I turned the topic towards politics. I pointed out as to how Indira Gandhi faltered in her maiden speech in the Parliament. He laughed very heartily. A person feels it below dignity to read a speech. Nowadays all leaders were in the habit of talking all nonsense without preparation. He then seriously referred an article in the New York Times in which an authority on Gandhian philosophy blamed Nehru alone for annihilation of Gandhism. It was painful to read or hear but it was true. He expressed pain and sorrow over Dr. Halden’s incident. It was a shame for the nation he exclaimed. (Netaji met Dr. Halden in London. While in the jail in Mandalay he wrote to Dilip Roy to send J B S Halden’s book ‘Science and the Future’ F-330). I reminded him of Dr. Josef’s suicide and story of my friend Dr. Biradar who was double Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry and was in my college and left for Karnataka University for want of work. I also explained the other side of research as to how students accept scholarship as a stopgap arrangement till they get a job. He was surprised. I said I was yet to receive my scholarship of 1961 and he laughed. I told him a story of Central Minister S.K. Dey’s recorded speech at a co-operative conference in Buldana. The Publicity Department requested Advocate Madhaorao Deshpande to translate Dey’s speech. There were more than forty grammatical mistakes per page and irrelevant reference to Gandhi and Nehru on each page. The speech ran to fifty pages.   Just then Gyanbabu arrived after completing work at Asonsol. Baba queried with him as to who was this Dey. Gyanbabu explained in Bengali that he was from his Silchar and I could follow Bengali. Gyanbabu informed about Dey’s behaviour during Chinese aggression, police firing, M.L.A. etc. Baba simply roared in Bengali asking was he not ashamed to indulge in anti national activities?

I was shown A.D. Mani’s letter. As referred earlier he was the real cause of my first visit to Ashram. He wrote that Nehru sent him for commonwealth conference to New Zealand and hence could not attend given date in Mathabhanga court. He asked for an interview between 15 to 20 Feb.66 and that he treated Baba as guru but there was no need of sending his photo for spiritualism. Baba asked me my opinion. I said he was pretending to be very busy. Baba shot back, ”There you are Suresh. That is the thing which first irritated me.” Then I was shown Baba’s reply in the name of his Secretary. I surmised A.D. Mani must not have slept for two days. Once as students we had met Mani to invite him for an inauguration of the Union, he literally drove us away. We were happy that he did not kick our buttock.   Baba then had a  discussion on the appointment of experts on public bodies and expressed that they (politicians) can go to any level to win elections of 1967. At 3 P.M. he retired for rest. Before that he promised me that I was going to accompany him to the Himalayas. I was jubilant!

Ramanidada asked me whether I had brought the camera and I told him out of fear I dropped it but can get it by parcel. He was silent. I wrote letters to parents and Prabhakar informing that I was proceeding to the Himalayas.

After snatching a nap I went for a walk in the garden. Ramanidada was meditating on a small cement-platform. Gyanbabu joined me. He showed Camellias and Magnolias. Each plant was purchased for five hundred rupees from Sutton Company of Calcutta and then Baba multiplied them by grafting. He was very fond of Sutton seeds. He had a green thumb. Gynababu showed two feet tall mango plants in flowering. They were also grafted by Baba. Then we saw the vegetable patch, and were on way to the banana grove when Baba’s call came. He told us to complete the draft of the two court cases. Gynababu and I typed it. At 7 P.M. we were in. Baba told me to perform meditation from tomorrow for one hour both in morning and evening. The process was explained to me. First I was to make analysis of good and bad deeds of the day. I was to sit in Padmasan with a straight spine. I was to remember the God I believed in. I was to imagine a flame six inches above my head attached by thin line to the Sun. Then bring the flame to head and then gradually to heart. Keep mind steady and often give vibrations of the flame. Lastly perform rhythm of Pranayama, i.e., deep breathing. He explained how murmur of a stream or drone of a fan helps in steadying the mind. He stressed importance of lemons, fire, burning incense, sandalwood, etc. on purification of the body. I queried importance of fire worship and cited my experience with one Paslegaonkar saint who was well known for his command on snakes and mantras on snakebites. I lived with him in Melghat forest for a week to become his follower. I told how he put live poisonous snakes with teeth around Nehru’s neck and Nehru’s panicky photograph. He explained that it was part of ‘siddhis’. It was about 9 P.M.

Dhirenbabu gave a ring from Calcutta and Ramanidada came in and conveyed the contents. One car was old and the driver of the other car knew not driving in the hills. Baba simply flared up in Bengali. I could imagine how Rishi Jamadagni must have been. I could follow some words like brutes (Janwar), idiots, when are you going to improve, ass (Gadar), etc. He was annoyed with Radhakant for breaking commitment. He cancelled all interviews and went to his hut. Ashramites rushed with a ladder. I could the hear sound of removal of tin sheets from the roof of his hut. Then he came and told me that the tins would be sold and money received will be used for one taxi. That only Ramanidada, his eldest daughter Gita and he himself would leave. None else. Then he took name of a young boy of fourteen Samareshwar nicknamed Shomu who would join. I insisted on my inclusion. He told that there would be lot of suffering, no food, walk afoot, etc. (Garibaldi and Netaji’s speeches to soldiers) I promised him that I was prepared even to walk on fire. Even in that angry mood he laughed and said he would think over. Let it happen as per Mother’s wish. At 10 P.M. I went out for dinner and within an hour I was called back. Men and women of the Ashram were assembled there with heads down. Baba was thundering. Same words pashu (brutes), gadarjan (pack of asses) etc. (During Netaji’s long march from Rangoon to Bangkok in a fit of rage he stirred a hornets nest by calling army officers a pack of fools.) Then turning to me he said he was leaving tomorrow morning at 4 A.M. instead of day after tomorrow. He would leave afoot and alone. I told him of my determination to accompany him. He asked what things would I take and I said two bed sheets, one towel, two dhotis and two shirts bundled up like pilgrims. He then ordered that Ramani, Gita and Shomu should also be ready to go at 3.30 A.M. It was remarkable to note his voice and anger fluctuating from top gear to first gear or even neutral. When in low tide I dared and reminded him of a verse from Bhagwad Gita on anger. Its English rendering is as below:

“ Dhyayto vishyanpusah sangasteshupajayate |
Sangatsanjayate kamaha kamatkrodho s bhijayate ||
Krodhat bhavati samoha samohat smrutivibhrmah |
Smritibhravshat buddhinasho budhinashat pranshyati ||

Meaning of the above translated in English is as below:
“ A person who deeply thinks about any subject develops attachment and adoration for that subject. Out of attachment and adoration intense desire upsurges. When this germinated desire is not fulfilled anger shoots out, which culminates in confusion. Confusion ends in loss of memory, reason and logic that ends into loss of intellect. When intellect is destroyed man degenerates and thereby meets his end.”
Baba smiled and said that sometimes he uses anger to improve and teach people.

I was informed about Radhakant’s telephone call. I rushed to the office and informed Baba’s plan to go afoot. He was choked and dumb. Words refused to come out of him. I came back and told Baba about my talk with Radhakant. Then he told all of us to leave and specially instructed me to snatch three hours sleep. While returning to the Guest House Shubir Das, a young student, told me, “As usual Baba will certainly change his tomorrow’s plan. I am sure you won’t be required to go in the morning. For the last so many years he is telling of starting work but that day has not dawned. I am going to meet Kalimata and ask her what was in her mind and when Baba’s Divine Mother is coming.” Nobody had the capacity to grasp the gravity of the situation. None could understand that he was between the horns of dilemma. Baba’s worries and predicament were immeasurable. I touched bed at 12.30 A.M.

It is April fool’s day. Got up at 3 A.M. It was chilly. I had to take bath and put on hand-washed clothes. My teeth were chattering because I had to take a cold water bath. At 3.20 A.M. call came. Ramanidada, Mohan Roy, Shubir, and others assembled in the hall. Except me none had taken a bath in that spine chilling cold. Baba was already there. Shubir’s prophecy came true. Although I came prepared to walk 1200 miles, he declared postponement of the programme. He was to sell two generators of the Ashram and procure money immediately. Then by 10 A.M. we might start by taxis. If money did not come by that time, he declared he himself would go to Cooch Behar or Jalpaiguri and collect money. Two persons with letters were sent to these places ahead. Without knowing his state of mind and gravity of the situation, I foolishly cut a joke that taking a cold bath so early I enjoyed being a April fool. It was his greatness that he just smiled and told all of us to go. I slept again at 4.30 A.M. After bath, I did meditation, and typing work I was called in at 10 A.M.

A man was standing outside. Indirectly Baba fixed a bargain of sale of two generators of the Ashram for mere Rs.2500/-. They were purchased five and three years back for Rs.12000/-. He remarked, ”Suresh, our difficulty is profit for others. If you want to get rid of a friend ask him for money or give him some money when needed and he will not see you again.” Gyanbabu recited a Bengali proverb on this. “I had money and friends. I gave money to my friends. I asked for my money to friends. I lost both money and friends.” All of us enjoyed it and laughed a lot.

I presented various alternatives to bring money. (i) I shall go by plane to Calcutta, move hell on earth and get Rs.2000/-. (ii) Although our house was mortgaged for loan of six thousand rupees, I would ask for one thousand Rs. to my father telegraphically. (iii) I would sign a pro-note in Falakata and get loan. (iv) Sell my gold ring and Wadodkar’s wristwatch. (v) Wire Prabhakar to send at least Rs.500/-. He outright rejected first and second proposal. On third he said moneylenders in Falakata believe in mortgage alone and not promissory note. On fourth, he rejected sale of watch, as it was a necessity. He examined my ring of nine precious stones and asked how much it should fetch. I said at least five hundred rupees. He laughed and said goldsmiths there knew not value of gems but gold alone and rejected. About sixth he asked whether from heart I felt confident about asking my friend for Rs.1500 and I frankly told my ignorance but at least five hundred should come. He dictated following message to Wadodkar, “Must wire rupees five hundred by fifth April to Shri Shripat Agrawal, corporation building, Lucknow.” He dejectedly gave this message.

“ Suresh, from Falakata alone about three lakhs are taken. One Muslim fellow has given Rs.25,000. From Calcutta Hitendra has sent about ninety thousand. An ordinary businessman of Jalpaiguri sent seven thousand. Salary of Ramkrishna is 2,000 per month and he sent up to fifty thousand total. Now with what face we can ask for money to them. They themselves have become penniless. Let generators go for 2,400. He laughed. After return from Rishikesh we will purchase new. Do not bother. We have to go 1200 miles. We will make one car and rest will follow in bus and even then we have one thousand for food. Shall we be able to pull on a month?” I nodded.

Baba told me to fix the route. I ran and brought School atlas of Survey of India. He examined it and we finalized the route tentatively. Ramani Ranjan Das arrived from Alipurduar. He had been there to see his parents before departure. He participated in the discussion. The final route was Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Islampur, Kishanganj, Purnia, Monghir, Patna, Banaras, Bela, Raebareilly, and reach Lucknow at noon on 6th, Bareillly, Moradabad, Haridwar and towards Gangotri. Baba said if sufficient amount would be collected, two cars would be hired. He would tell me the decision at night. Completed typing work of the Ashram and returned to Guest House at 1 P.M. Shomu came to look after me.
Shomu was a bright student and always first. After 9th class Baba stopped his education. His father was a Sanskrit pundit and for want of salary had to join a job elsewhere. The rest of the family was in Ashram. The elder brother was in medical college and his expenses were borne by the Ashram. He told that very eminent persons came to Ashram and were in service. There were engineers, magistrates, five Ph. D. holders, etc. After about one year they were fed up both for want of salary and work and left. Shomu was an innocent, jovial, no trump boy. He told that Baba’s Gurudada was in the Himalayas. He was going to meet him and ask him as to what was in the mind of Baba. He said he would become Baba. After all what was education? It was the unfolding of immense potential energy within you. He imitated Baba. I enjoyed it. In the morning Baba said to Shomu’s mother in my presence that Shomu was going with him to the Himalayas and would become a Yogi. Then he cut a joke. ‘ When a young tiger arrives in a jungle the old one has to quit.’ Similarly he would be required to quit the Ashram. He loved Shomu and often cut jokes with him.

Mr. Nova came to Guest House and was talking for a long while. He was a Tamil Christian living in sahib style. He came in 1962 on a salary of Rs.2,200 per month as an accounts officer as referred earlier. He told an interesting experience. ‘It was 1962 and raining heavily. It was a decisive night. Satya Gupta created terrible commotion in Bengal by insisting that Baba of Shaulmari was Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Nova was told to give witness in the court denying Satya Gupta’s version. He bluntly denied and told that he never saw Subhash Bose. He told that he was least bothered whether Baba was Netaji or not. He expressed that he was interested in work alone. As long as he did not know the truth he would neither deny nor confess whether Baba was Netaji or not. Baba appreciated his boldness and patted his back in admiration. Nova’s patience was commendable. He was hoping against hope to receive the arrears of his salary to the tune of more than a lakh rupees. He told me that he was broke then. His wife did not send money because she did not like him to stay in the Ashram. She had sought another job for him but he could not move because he had no money even for a ticket. There was no work for him. He knew no one who would lend him bare minimum money to go home. He advised me not to spend on Ashram too much.
When Nova left, Shomu and I laughed so much at the plight of the poor fellow that our stomach turned out and eyes began to drip. Shomu said, “Sureshdada you have seen only one but we have seen so many Novas moulded folded and discarded by Baba. Many sold their property to give money to Ashram and were on street now.” It was a lesson and caution for me indeed. Shubir joined us. He returned from Jalpaiguri and gave good news that a thousand rupees would come.

In the evening I was with Baba in the hall. As per the letter sent with Shubir, Mr. Narendrakumar Das of Jalpaiguri came with his wife and children. He tendered one thousand rupees. Baba gave a dictation:  “Suresh to keep it in mind. We shall go tomorrow by two cars at 9 A.M. We will get down from cars outside Banaras and walk down at 9 P.M. to Vishweshwar temple to avoid crowd.” His planning was perfect. Naresh Roy arrived from Lucknow. He reserved one first class compartment from Lucknow to Haridwar. Baba said some of us would go by train and others by car from Lucknow onward. It was not possible to take continuous twelve hours journey. So I suggested that he should board first class compartment for some distance and rest of us would follow in third class. When he would get down the rest would switch over to first class. He agreed and said that it would be comfortable and save lot of money. Then he told his funny experience. While travelling by train on one station he got down to send a telegram. The station officer presumed him to be an uneducated Sadhu. He told Baba that the “train would stop there for two minutes only but Sadhuji need not worry. On the next station ‘tarbabu’ (telegram clerk) always stands on the platform waiting for people.” The train took a halt of half an hour instead of two minutes on that station. We all enjoyed the narration. He then told the story of how Rabindranath Tagore and Rajasaheb (?) were invited for lunch by a friend and then he locked the house and went away. After seeing the lock both realized that they were victims of April Fools Day. After an hour’s chat Baba came out in the courtyard and sat in a cane chair. All major members of the Ashram were called. It was windy and chilly. He would take every individual’s name and names of his wife and children and ask about their problems and welfare. I wondered at his fantastic memory. He then promised them that after three months he would be back in the Ashram. Late Mr. Mohitbabu’s (died in cyclone) old mother was weeping. We returned to the hall and after sometime I was allowed to retire for dinner. Along with Narendrababu and his family I was there in the Guest House. All of us dined together.

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