Ashram life continues

Posted By Author on May 21, 2010

Got up late and finished routine.  Rajat and Sukumar were scratching their heads to translate yesterday’s dictation in Bengali and explain to others.  He remarked he could not understand English dictation itself and it would have been better if he had been to Oxford. I heartily laughed. Their efforts were like solving a difficult unseen passage in examination or word-puzzle.  They were playing gymnastics with dictionary.  I pitied and helped them out.  Vegetable vendor came.  Shomu brought dak from Okhimath.  Baba came out and I read out Gyanbabu’s letter in my name.  He informed that Vishwajit Dutta was gang leader of Subhashwadi Janata and Kalibabu and Ramenbabu of Shaulmari Ashram’s ‘Satyashodhak Sangh’ (truth finders) beat him with shoes at Chaurangi in Calcutta. Kalibabu was a terror in Calcutta.  Vishwajit had filed a report in the police station.  Baba then dictated a telegram to Rajat for Niharendudada that Dr.Suresh Padhye would represent both civil and criminal cases against Veer Arjun and Hitavada newspapers.  Baba instructed me to go to Calcutta on 4th June, attend Veer Arjun case on 7th and proceed to Amravati.  I should attend college and get even leave without pay for three months and reach Gangtoli, i.e., our camp by 25th June. That was categorical order. After lunch I took nap.  Mitranand came. We sat near Baba.  He described number of places, lakes, glaciers and waterfalls of the Himalayas from Assam to Himachal and Tibet.  It seemed he travelled almost nook and corner of the Himalayas.  When he described Jwalamukhi temple of Kangra valley, I asked whether permanent flame was of natural gas.  He said no, it was something different, which I would not understand.  He told an experience of a Sadhu who was swept away in the Ganges.  He explained business of ‘Pandas’ (Brahmins at holy places).  Baba then advised, “Suresh, watch people around you and point out their mistakes.  Watch whether a person stares at you with wide open eyes or remains silent contemplating.  Eyes indicate everything. The first type of people indicates stark ignorance.  Second type is trying to evolve.”  He left.  I completed meditation and at 8 P.M. he called me again.  He dictated a letter to Rajat.  It was regarding change of plan.  It was decided that I would represent in civil case against Veer Arjun and criminal case against the Hitavada.  He gave instruction that I need not attend Calcutta on 7th June and if I did not receive letter regarding leave, I should leave on fifteenth June to attend the opening day on eighteenth.  He then retired and after dinner I called it a day.

Got up at 4 A.M. and finished routine.  Reading Dasbodh. I signed four blank sheets for Veer Arjun and the Hitavada cases and they were sent by post to Advocate Mazumdar at Calcutta.  At 11 A.M. Baba came out and our meeting began. He told that other day he referred William Burke but he was Edmund Burke. (Netaji studied quotations of oratory of Edmund Burk and Mazzini.) He recollected his mistake.  An additional telegram was sent to Mazumdar presuming letter would not reach in time.  The telegraph line was out of order.  He told that he would begin his fast from ’Ekadashi’.

Baba observed that amongst speakers Lala Lajpat Rai was great.  When he spoke against Viceroy in the Central Assembly, it was worth listening.  Madan Mohan Malviya and C.R.Das were also high-class orators.  Motilal Nehru was never an orator.  His legal arguments were fine.  Gandhiji was never a speaker.  About Nehru he opined that his speeches were difficult to translate but he was no doubt a good speaker.  Baba related a story, “Once before war Nehru was coming from England.  He touched an Italian port on way (Naples).  Mussolini sent his secretary to invite him for a meeting with him but Nehru point blankly refused.  The secretary was shocked to see his rudeness on the Italian soil.  So even Nehru had his greatness indeed.  All right Suresh tell me once one gentleman observed if Hitler is the beast of burden then England should not forget about her beastly brutality.  Whom this was referred?” I said, “Of course Churchill.” Baba appreciated, “Right you are. When the Labour Government started giving freedom to countries in the British Empire, Churchill with tears in eyes said that the Labour Government was squandering away the British Empire.”  He expressed that if Ratan did not bring, mosambis would have to be brought.  We then adjourned for lunch.

I had lunch and nap.  In the noon one felt intense summer heat.   Stormy weather set in at 3 P.M. Baba called us in the evening.  We prepared a new platform for his meditation facing the river.  I came out and sat near Baba.  I told him that in the noon a young man of twenty-eight years named Banerjee came. He was lecturer of English at Allahabad University.  He was posing and lying hence I rebuked him and sent back.  Baba ratified the action as proper one.  I told him that in the morning a Brahmin came who lost his house and land in litigation.  He was served lunch.  On it Baba said, “To some people litigation is like intoxication.  It is true many poor suffer.  Our law is too wide. Niharendu Dutt Mazumdar when young was a revolutionary. Armed guards escorted him for trial in the High Court.  He was set free as innocent. After the judgment his friends surrounded him in the lobby. A European Deputy Superintendent of Police immediately arrested them all under Public Safety Act.  Later in private talk Niharendu asked the European High court Judge about the incident and he observed ‘your law is too wide.”

Our talk proceeded on lawyers’ tribe.  He agreed with me that lawyers were redundant for justice sometimes.  Baba said, “ It is a problem to me.  I am thinking deeply on it.  If in trial courts pleaders are abolished or kept as paid officers then what will happen?”  I expressed, “ Paid officers will not do work seriously as there will be no competition,” He suggested,” If judges are increased in number and lawyers reduced then?”  I doubted, “ Every judge will not do law hunting and go through cases thoroughly. Moreover lawyers are sort of check on judge.”  Baba said true it was.  Then added, “ These lawyers are a vicious dilemma.  If they take a real case and help the judge, then they are good but knowing full well that a person is out and out guilty, they tutor him and concoct evidence. This is bad.  Man must initially change.  Gandhiji once made his client to admit his guilt in an income tax case who was convicted for two years.  The European judge could not believe it and asked Gandhi whether he was playing any trick.  But if this is the attitude of lawyers then they will be helpful to justice otherwise they are great hindrance.”

Talk on system of joint family began.  He said, “ It is a very good system. Swami Vivekananda in school read a lesson in which a son was described having helped his parents and the description was of three pages.  It was a great problem to Swamiji because son, he thought, has done his duty but when he went to England he realized the truth. There, son after marriage deserts parents.” I said that young couples probably need freedom. Baba said, “ There is great difference in freedom and over enthusiasm or levity (Utshrunkhalata). It is over enthusiasm, which is misused as freedom even in our country especially by youngsters.  The other day I came to know that young boys opened a ‘Parents’ Correction Association’ in which if one boy is rebuked by father all gang will go and threaten him.”  Then laughingly Baba told his experience during ‘Bhraman’.  “I stayed and took food at a house of a retired engineer.  His elder son was a lecturer in University and younger one of about sixteen years age was learning.  That night younger brother came late at about 8.30 in the night for dinner at house.  The elder brother rebuked him for delay and the younger one challenged his right to do so.  He questioned as to what right he had to rebuke him.  The elder brother got hold of his ear and slapped and asked him whether he understood the right correctly.”

I went for meditation, had a little chat with Ramanidada, dined and slept.

Got up at 3.15 A.M. Waked up Haridas as he was to go to Rudraprayag to send telegram. Finished routine.  Weather was cloudy. While washing clothes it started raining. Returned and had lunch and nap.  Baba told others not to disturb me in sleep. At 4 P.M. we were sitting together.  He said, “ Today it is quite cool. I too had more sleep than usual.” I read out letter written to Budhiballabh Penoli of Rishikesh. He Okayed it. I enquired whether he would take honey and he said, “ Right from my childhood I do not like honey.  I took only Lotus honey, which was sold by ________________ (I forgot) an English firm. They keep bee boxes in tanks.”  After other gossip he went for bath. I meditated. I ate gram during meditation I felt guilty. After dinner we were told to assemble in his yard with change of hand washed clothes and wash.  That night he would be at the height of his work he told.  My clothes were not dry and I had to put on wet ones.  I was shivering and sitting at rear. He made me sit near Ramanidada and later put me near him.  It was beautiful moonlight that flooded the island and he occupied platform below the tree near his hut.  It was 10.15 P.M. He gave dictation:
“ Suppose you come to political power then with the amount of sixteen thousand crores, make out a plan for the development of the country which would make the country self sufficient in food, housing, clothing, education and medical means in five years time.  In case of your coming to power without looking for foreign aid, you have to make arrangement for the aforesaid amount from the population itself. How to do it?
Every person having amassed money of two thousand or more, they have to compulsorily give loan to the National Development Fund fifty percent of their amassed money interest being at the rate of four percent per annum.  The principal and interest will be refunded in ten years.  This may give you about twenty thousand crores, at least sixteen thousand crores definitely.

(i)    Chalk out broad principles of plan to be enumerated.

(ii)    Then on the basis of these principles, prepare a broad outline of the plan.

Note:  Assume the present population of the country as fifty crores; The rate of growth of population as three percent per year; total villages about five lakhs in India; the area of the country about twelve lakhs square miles assuming one-third under forest. In hilly region sixty percent area will be under forest and in plains twenty percent area will be under forest.  The orchards and big trees will be treated as under forest.  Assume that average span of Indian life is fifty years and in each age group take two percent people.

From Kashmir to Assam in the North and the Vindhyas and the Ghat mountains must have their covering dams.  Otherwise agriculture will suffer both from drought and floods.”

After some discussion we were allowed to leave.  His fast will begin at night and end on Full Moon.  Gita too would fast but would take juice. No one else was allowed to fast. I slept late.

Got up and finished routine. It is stormy and rainy weather.  After our lunch Baba called us and told the contents of letter from advocate Mazumdar.  He informed that the High Court denied personal exemption to Amiyo Bose and Anand Bazaar Patrika.  He was very happy about it. An appeal was to be made in a case against superintendent of Police of Jalpaiguri. The time bar was due. Baba got upset on Rajat and Haridas for not reminding him the same. He then dictated two telegrams to Ramenbabu and Gyanbabu. Again changed it and told Haridas to go to Calcutta immediately.  He left at 2.30 P.M. The balance with us plummeted to Rs. 130/- only.  Baba began to fume and fret. I frankly told Baba, extra expenses like thirty rupees on telegrams almost daily, Rs fifty postage, traveling of Ratan, Shubir, Naresh about Rs. three hundred, etc. upset the budget.  He listened but his anger continued. Again at 4 P.M. we sat together.  He told Rajat to go to Ashram and sell his residential house.  Then Haribandhu was sent to Guptakashi to book his ticket.  He was called back and substituted.  Haribandhu expected it.  Then he dictated a telegram and again cancelled it.   He turned to me and proposed that I should go to Rishikesh, contact Budhiballabh and collect money there.  I frankly told him I would prefer twenty days fast to begging twenty rupees.  I had no wish to go but if he commanded I would go.  He said his mind also was not giving response to the same.  I thought he was finding a reason to postpone programme.  In the name of meditation I skillfully sneaked out.
At the time of my dinner everybody was telling past experience and incidents.  They said same thing was going on for last seven years and they were prepared for round the clock physical work but for mental work they had no capacity.  What could they do?  They stressed that every time he hooked a fresh person, squeezed fifty thousand and left in anger two to three hundred times.  They walked with him fourteen miles for five days on salt and water.  In economic crunch he always wanted money immediately and for that he sold five hundred rupees worth buffalos for hundred and fifty each.  A new camera of Rs. twelve hundred was disposed off for four hundred rupees.  They lightly told that it would continue endlessly.  I was surprised and shocked.  Baba seemed to be like Mohammad Bin Taghlaq.  In the afternoon I told Baba frankly that I did not wish to be a burden to Ashram and that I would continue to serve him and do spiritual work at home.  He objected that the work, which I could do with him, could not be possible at home.  He assured me that unless he procured eight crore rupees and helicopters he would not return to Ashram.  My head was spinning in labyrinth of thoughts and I became horizontal for the night.

Got up late and after bath I was called.  We were sitting in shade outside the fence.  He said he wanted to send fifteen thousand rupees to Ashram immediately.  That was a must and that without it he would not take food.  He told them to pull on for one and half month and that time was over.  He said he himself would go for collection.  After some time he came dressed with his mobile kit to move on.  I expressed that work and spiritual work could go hand in hand simultaneously. He said for external work preliminary spiritual work was essential.  I was again thinking as to why he could not complete preliminary work in last eighteen years. Baba said he would go towards the river Saraswati for a week and none was to accompany him.  He said that yesterday in my talk I committed a blunder and that I should find it out.  I knew. I said “ I should not be a burden to Ashram” was itching him.  He then gave the following dictation:
“It lies in the degenerating human nature that when a person is really wholly or partly responsible for a blunder then if somebody else gives out a way of fabricated escape, at once the person responsible for the blunder takes it in and relishes it as a means to evading responsibility.  This is a clear outcome of a perverted mental operation that always is on the march to hide his own blunders not only from the people around but also from one’s own self.  It is one of the most powerful obstructions that the forces of ignorance devise for and place before any advancing man by hoodwinking and suppressing nay even repressing the flow of compunction. If one is to advance in any sense of the term then one must be on one’s own guard about these ever polluting impulses eating to the very nerves of what one really inherently is and what one is to and has to unfold one’s self.”

The above dictation was in reference to Ramanidada’s behavior of taking lightly and laughingly the mistake committed by Haridas of filling his water instead of Dinbandhu.  Then he gave additional dictation:
“ If you yourself are not sufficiently careful to catch hold of the hoodwinking impulses and to eliminate these from your inner and outer nature then sooner or later these dark spots of your nature, the Divine will mercilessly expose.”

“ What is the first bar in spiritual evolution? It is the impulses that deter out to hoodwink your own better self by taking recourse to fifty and one nasty devices.  If you succumb to these luring stupidities, be sure this digressing operation in you will push you back on the path of involution.”
“If you commit a mistake, if you indulge in hoodwinking in one form or other, if you indulge in evading responsibility then if you have the moral courage and strength to analyze yourself and to admit, then and then alone the road for progress will be open to you else continuous rebuke will be your lot unless and until you are made to admit that you have committed a blunder even then if it is a forcibly drawn out and reluctant admission then such an admission is a travesty and will drag no stone, will cut no ice.”
After this Baba began to leave. I followed up to dry bed of the river but Ramanidada signed not to follow. I came back and Ramanidada told that in Ashram it was usual.  At the time of lunch Baba would say he would go for a month and return in two days.  He would leave to go to the Himalaya from Ashram and would not reach even Falakata.  After my meals I bundled up a dress and a blanket and began to tread path towards the river Saraswati.  The Ashramites indicated that Baba had not gone to that side but I decided to go to Madhmaheshwar.  I climbed the mountain and reached a village.  I was told the road to Madhmaheshwar was from the other bank of Saraswati.  I crossed the river on a frail temporary hanging bridge and came across a cave in which I took rest.  Then I thought over that all would be worried by my absence and if Baba returned he would send men in search of me.  So I re-crossed the dangerous bridge, reached the confluence and climbed up. Shyamlal Pradhan met with his cows.  He told that Shomu and Dinbandhu had been there and they were searching me.  It started raining. I dumped my kit and with umbrella began to climb up again.  Accidentally I saw Baba perched on hill midway.  He signaled to leave.  I walked a few steps and waited.  Baba got up and invited me.  It was raining.  He sat on the slope and couple of feet below I spread my towel and sat before him.  He too was under umbrella.  It was 4.30 P.M. He asked me whether I was alone.  I affirmed it.  Then he asked since how long I was moving.  I admitted that for four hours I treaded ten miles and thousand feet.  Baba then said,  “ For recouping health I must go to a cool place for fifteen days.  I will regain health in a day but lose eighteen years work.  I am having lungs trouble.  It has just started.  Without bringing normal health back I cannot start either external or internal work.  If I sit for four hours I start sweating. “  Then he began to sing some melodious Bengali songs and poetry in his sing song voice.  He raised his delicate voice and for the first time I realized he could sing splendidly.  Then he told me to close eyes and recited some Sanskrit verses.  He really had a sweet voice and singing continued up to 6 P.M. It was amazing. Forest, rains, melody all left a permanent niche in my memory. (In student life Netaji’s friends would compel him to sing.)  Then he told me to open eyes.  I told him I would go to Madhmaheshwar.  He refused. Then I said I should be allowed to go for a month to arrange some money.  He told me not to bring money but be back by first July with three months leave and arrange only three hundred rupees for my to and fro journey.

Dinbandhu and Shomu had taken another round to search me.  They passed adjacent to us but were not called.  Then Haribandhu was seen.  He called him and later assembled Ramanidada, Dinudada, Rajat, etc.  We were all on the downward slope and he reiterated, “ You could keep me worriless for twenty days.  I lost seven years.  People will start cases of fraud against Ashram.  Fifty percent loan with interest must be repaid.  I will have to bring thirty five lakhs rupees by July end.”  I told how Bonde and Dammani lost faith in already extended date of return of loan.  Baba then said, “It becomes suffocating to me in Ashram also.  I often got out of Ashram every fifteen days.  Each and every loan creates hell for me.  These people do not realize.  Bonde and Dammani thought bad about Ashram for want of refund but why did they not think that there could be a problem to Ashram.”  After sometime Baba sent us all back.  He said after meditation at night he would go forward. He told me to leave for my place on tenth June.  All of us returned.

A young Sanyasi of Faizabad arrived.  He was M.A. in Hindi and was Sanyasi since ten years.  We offered him meals and overnight rest.  Dinbandhu and Rajat did not dine but took tea and left for night vigilance near Baba. I was sitting in front of my hut.  Haribandhu, Gita, Kolyani, Dipali, Jayanti, Uma, Shantididi and Mashima surrounded me for magic.  I showed them a few tricks. Then Gita asked me whether I knew palm reading and fortune telling.  I assured that I knew western and Indian both methods because I had read Benham, Chiro and Hasta Samudrik. Everybody wanted to know his or her fate and future and extended palms.  First I read Gita’s hand and told her that she had difference with her father, that she did not have interest in philosophy but in art.  Her mind was suppressed, etc.  It appealed to her and all.  She said I should tell it to Baba.  Then I studied everybody’s palm and gave forecast.  Shomu, Sukumar, Dinbandhu, Haribandhu and all jumbled up.  Gita was time and again forcing her palm for more details.  Ramanidada arrived and all of us became silent.  We dispersed.  I dined. It was cold. I retired.

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