Buddha Poornima

Posted By Author on April 10, 2011

23/5/1967:

Today is ‘Buddha Poornima’. This Full Moon day is named after lord Buddha.  Got up at 4 A.M.  Finished routine and had a nap again.  Stomach was clean.  At 8.30 A.M. the sunlight set in. Some chapatis were prepared with mixture of salt.  I ate three.  I took bath and put on suit and tie.  With Lala went to Guptakashi to sell booklets of the Ashram written by Baba as Saradanandaji. Climb was steep and with halts for rest we reached.

We met pilgrims and tried to sell booklets.  The response was poor. A man from U.P. argued in the beginning by paying four anas (quarter of a rupee).  Then a Gujarathi fellow from Ahamadabad gave one rupee for two booklets.  Lastly a businessman from Delhi after much haggling purchased and gave eight annas.  It was a unique and memorable experience. Some people at the name of Ashram would taboo us.  We took rest and purchased betel nut of two annas for us.  Lala wanted to try again after 4 P.M. but I refused it from my earlier experience. It was getting cloudy and for fear of rains I insisted to return.  On way met Mitranand and Maithani, M.L.A.  After reaching camp, exhausted, I took bath.

Baba came out and told me a new plan.  A flash of an idea struck him to formulate a plan to earn quick buck. He said that to repay the loan in the Himalayas whatever notes he had given Gobind would carry to Calcutta and mortgage the manuscript to any publisher.  It would fetch rupees twelve hundred according to his estimate. We were to give the publisher the rights for six months and a guarantee to sell twenty-five thousand copies.  The publisher would have to give twenty percent commission to Ashramites on sale. The rest would be his profit. He told me to estimate it after my meals, as to how many pages would the notes cover.

Lala and I had dinner of chapatis and vegetable of our garden-grown beet.  Today cooking was done inside also and Gita sent dal to us.  We were to take some and keep for the rest but Lala made it bottom up by mistake.  After meals I checked the notes.

Baba called me in and we sat in store-hut. Others were also called to join us.  I expressed my view that publication was not practical as the notes were on philosophy, spiritualism, social order and political acumen.  They would have to be segregated, categorized, and reference to context and questions would be required to add to it.  In some cases points of discussion on it would have to be elaborated.  Baba agreed immediately. Otherwise my hundred rupees coming from home would have been spent on this new adventure.  The plan was cancelled by Baba.  Gobind would have returned from Calcutta unsuccessful and I would have been in quandary.  It then rained cats and dogs and Shomu was dispatched to wind up our beds. A hailstorm followed it and then Baba allowed us to go.

Shomu and Rajat went to Kunda to sell torches at 6.30 P.M. Fortunately they came back at 9 P.M. luckily they pawned torches in a shop and inter alia brought from it flour, rice, tea powder, sugar, etc. worth five and half rupees. Baba was waiting for the report and after hearing he went inside. What an irony of fate.

After many days we had sugar, milk and two chapatis each. Then we had a gossip in our hut. Rajat recited a Bengali poem, which appealed to me very much. It meant that every individual should behave like a flower in a garland to give up individuality and form unity. I lost this poem. What a travesty of fate. On the one hand Baba was striving hard to earn a few pennies to meet bare meals and on the other hand people were rolling in wealth by utilizing his name and stale ideologies, writings and biographies, becoming Members of the Parliament and Legislative Assemblies and even ministers. Baba witnessed his statues worth lakhs of rupees sprawled all over the country leave apart aerodromes, streets, markets, stadiums named after him and unfortunately he had no money for food. How funny and tragic! I was reminded of V.Shantaram’s movie ‘Pinjra’ (cage) with Sriram Lagu’s heart rendering performance. With these ideas haunting me I drifted into sleep.

24/5/1967:

At 4 A.M. Gobind left for Guptakashi to bring old rice preferably Hansraj for Baba. He returned with rice at 6 A.M. The weather was rainy and hence I did not take bath. Baba’s food was cooked before 8.30 A.M. but he denied food. At 10 A.M. we were summoned by Baba and he related and resented old stories of mistakes by Radhakant. I was not attentive and actually slept. Then Baba gave us permission to go and cook our food. I took lunch and nap. Baba’s food was cooked again.

At 4 P.M. Baba gave me the news of war between Israel and U.A.R. He also told about sad demise of poet laureate of England Mr. Mansfield. (I am uncertain about name) Baba’s face was drawn with the news. He probably knew him personally well. (In Tokyo Netaji called upon poet laureate of Japan.) Then with his permission Gobind and I went to Okhimath and Rajat and Lala went to Kunda to receive Nilubabu.

As expected at Okhimath I got T.M.O. of rupees hundred sent by Prabhakar. In addition Nityababu of Assam sent a T.M.O. of rupees hundred. Then we did marketing and after fifteen days purchased edible oil for cooking. Baljorsingh Sub Inspector met. He was boasting about as to how he avoided Baba’s arrest. He was lying too. Met Chandola and he told that a young boy who went to fetch water near our island was swept away in the gushing river in the morning and there was no trace of his body.

We returned to the camp. Dashmana, Mitranand and Shyamlal were sitting near Baba. I gave the news of T.M.O. and Baba immediately told Shyamlal to bring eight liters of milk tomorrow. Our motto was to feast to the last penny and fast till arrival of first penny. Our budget always ran askew and exuberant expenses were unwieldy. He never bothered about lavish and unbridled expenses. The saving, budget, provision for future were taboo to us. Today we spent thirty rupees already. I told Baba that I fixed my departure a day after tomorrow on Friday but he insisted on Sunday. After a little more chat he went inside. At 9 P.M. Nilubabu, Rajat and Lala arrived. Nilubabu brought vegetables, rice, lentils, Baba’s Dhoti and cigarettes, etc. He gave twenty rupees cash too which was repaid to Dashmana.

We cooked gram flour and chapatis. What an enjoyment! A message came that tomorrow’s meals would be inside. What an elation! It was in my honour as I was leaving.

In the late evening Baba himself removed a new budding of rose plant viz. ‘Sandhyarag’ (evening glory) and put it in a basket for me. It rained. The rest he proposed to do next day. We returned to our hut. Gossip. In sleep Gobind shouted loudly probably due to mental pressure of going to Guptakashi next morning or scared due to travail and tribulation of his family. All of us laughed a lot.

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