Posted By Author on January 18, 2010
Ramanidada woke me up at 5.30 A.M. and told me to get ready in an hour. I never had such a cold-water bath in my life. Baba came. He cancelled purchase of a buffalo seen yesterday as it was giving only one and half liter milk. He told me to purchase another cow but then changed his mind and said Ratan would go as I was getting the construction work done fast. Laborers came and I put them to work. Pratapsingh and his colleagues came from Vidyapith. Baba met them. He told me to take breakfast and be back. Baba told all that it was his last day to see people and then he will not see anyone for two months. More people came. He talked with them too. One of them said to me that he did not know why one got charged and mesmerized after seeing Baba. He was a great man. Baba narrated his experience of seeing one principal Alexander and another European with tonsured head and long ‘chotis’ who became ‘sanyasis’. It was amusing to watch them chanting ‘Hari Radhe’. They were still living as sanyasis. All people left. Baba’s hut and kitchen were completed. I took meals at 1.30 P.M.
In the morning it was the routine programme to milk the cow. A shed was made with stones for the cow. Baba himself would take care of the cow. The milk used to be drawn while offering green leaves. I suggested, we offer flour balls. It was brought into practice and the cow increased her quota of milk. Baba said the milk was sweet.
In the noon Baba himself looked after the construction work and told us to snatch some rest. At 3 P.M. the work resumed. At 4.30 P.M. about fifty students and men came for his ‘darshan’. Being last day S.D.M. Rastogi and the doctor came as well. He sent a word for me and told me to be present there. He shifted from the Sun into shade of a tree and sat on his mat spread over a big boulder.
Mr. Rstogi started with politics and Baba told him to talk about spiritualism. Then from ‘Adya Shankaracharya’ to ‘Patanjali’ shallow talk went on. He explained Yoga consists of ashtanga viz. Yam, Niyam, Assan, Pranayam, Pratyahar, Dhyan, Dhrana, and Samadhi. All are to go simultaneously. The S.D.M. had a masters degree in history and seemed to have a little knowledge about spiritualism. Baba told him that Bhagwadgita was an embodiment of all yogas. On freedom of India he told that if one person alone was to be pointed out for freedom of India it was none else but Gandhiji. None could understand Gandhiji. He was difficult to be understood but it was his spiritual power, which gained freedom. It was not merely an academic education, which gave strength. It came through character.
Baba then enquired with the S.D.M. as to what was the aim of his life. S.D.M. answered to serve the society. Baba told him to improve himself first and then any work could be performed. One poor teacher of English intervened and recited Wordsworth’s line ‘What man has made of Man’. Baba rebuked him to ask relevant questions. In the meantime S.D.M. interrupted and began to speak. Baba growled and rebuffed him that he must learn etiquettes. When he was talking with one let it be finished and that all young men lacked manners. The S.D.M. was crestfallen.
Again topic turned to politics and Baba told them that I.N.A. definitely played a role for the independence. Mahatmaji was right in helping the British instead of the Germans. Otherwise it would have been a loss to humanity. He vehemently described the massacre of Jews as wrong. He repeated Einstein’s sentence that there would be a time when science and humanity would shake hand. The S.D.M. again asked whether Baba moved in foreign countries. Baba said what should he say about childhood adventures. He laughed. When Baba was asked whether the Japanese believed in Buddhism like Indians, Baba told them that they believed in only one religion and that was love for the nation. Then he was asked about western philosophers and spiritualists. Baba told that there were few good thinkers but most of them were speculative. He agreed that India badly needed a proper leader and at proper time India would get him. Someone asked whether that time had come or not and he assured that at least the time was ripe for it. Then at about 5 P.M. he went in. Soon after more crowds came but all were denied ‘darshan’. I told all that no one should come and disturb him for two months.
I went to our hut for rest. It was evening. There was delay for dinner. I was sleepy. Someone invited me for dinner. I did not go because of horrible task of washing plates in the bloody cold icy water. Shomu came and told stories of Baba at Jayanti (Assam?) that tigers, elephants and snakes would roam about but never harmed anyone. Ramanidada told that after the Himalayan stay was over Baba would stay at Amarkantak, source of the river Narmada. (Netaji’s ideal Shankaracharya performed ‘Sadhana’ at Amarkantak.)
Got up early. It was chilly and windy. I came out of the hut after arrival of the labourers. When the Sun was up it was a relief. That day we finished a lot of construction work. Baba’s hut, kitchen, surrounding fencing wall, Ramanidada’s long hut, cattle shed, our hut, ladies’ hut and our kitchen were completed. It was 1.30 P.M. I took bath, meals and nap. Laborers resumed work after lunch break. Ratan returned the second cow and brought a third cow from Kund chatti but that too gave a spoonful of milk and Baba proposed a fourth trial. The evening programme of milking the cows miserably failed. The cow I purchased gave quarter of a litter milk. The third cow named ‘Surma’ was returned.
Baba came out in the afternoon when labourers were gone for meals. Then he took a round along with me and inspected the constructions. He told me to purchase six liters of milk daily and estimate the total monthly expenditure for food etc. It broadly reached a figure of Rs.1200/- per month. He left. The work began again. Lot of people came to see him and they were politely turned down. Ramanidada told that Baba desired me to be his Public Relations Officer (PRO) then onward. In the evening Baba again came out and summoned me. Naresh was given permission to go back to the Shaulmari Ashram. Then all of us went to his fenced courtyard. Fragrant vines of Jasmine variety were brought from Ashram (Jai, Jui, Chameli, Mogra, etc.) and they were planted under his direction. Then looking at the mountain slope he said apples and cherries could be planted on the slopes at that height.
He told that the government had many schemes but most of them were bogus. They remained on paper only. The main difficulty about Planning Commission was that nobody knew public needs. Planning was done from chairs and there was no interaction with the masses. Sitting in chairs one could never do planning. I told him that membership of the Planning Commission and posts of Governors were meant for defeated and unwanted top politicians. “Suresh, you are absolutely true” and gave a hearty laugh. I grudged that I did not agree with him that Gandhiji’s nonviolence achieved freedom. He said he would explain and make me agree some time in future. He then observed that Mountbatten befooled Jawahar. He never dared against Anglo-Americans and history would definitely blame Nehru for that. However, Nehru had good qualities too, he observed. He pointed out that Nehru committed a mistake in not rendering help to Chhedi Jagan of Mauritius.
I posed a very serious question to Baba whether the fast Ghandhiji took for return of rupees fifty-five crore to Pakistan at the time of partition was correct or not. He adroitly avoided the answer and said that future united India would tell about it. I remarked that East Pakistan was favourable to India but our propaganda miserably failed. He pointed out that our embassies were known as cocktail embassies abroad. He told that Gandhiji went to Arvind Ashram to request him to be back in politics but Aurobindo never met him. Later he wrote a letter to Gandhiji that it was the Divine Will that work of independence of India should be completed at his hands and that he would do his work. Baba observed that prefix or suffix Hindu or Muslim should never be there to any public institution. It would have been more appropriate to name the Banaras Hindu University as Madan Mohan Malviya University.
I asked Baba whether snakes were in the habit of coming near fragrant trees. He said occasionally might be but snakes did not have hearing sense. Its eyes were everything. Snakes could do only one work at a time. I Queried whether snakes when disturbed did take vengeance or were vindictive. I quoted a hearsay story of commissioner Wahab of Chanda. Wahab was hockey mate of my father. He killed with gun a male cobra in a mating pair. The female escaped and went to his room in the early morning but his loyal Alsatian dog pinned down the snake by barking. Wahab was shouting with blanket wrapped over whole body. The Hindu constables refused to kill the cobra as they treated it to be God. Then inspector Mr. Korde, brother in law of my childhood friend Arvind Gupte, broke the window and shot because from the door Mr. Wahab too would have been injured.
Baba told his own story. He was twelve or thirteen years old. In his garden he saw a snake. He tried to hit it with a stick but missed and it escaped. At night it was knocking on his door. When he opened the door it would vanish. Then early in the morning it was killed.
The planting was over and he told me to take rest. Naresh, steno to Ramkrishnaji, was called and told to take food and then alone leave in the morning. Then Baba sent a special message for me not to sleep without food. He came to know that I preferred fast to washing my plate in the cold water. All others knew about it. Therefore Ramanidada said the girls would wash my plate. I did not agree, took food, and wrote a letter home and slept.