Money Crunch

Posted By Author on February 19, 2010


I got up at 3 A.M. I awoke Ratan, as he was to leave for Dehradun by first gate.  Again I had a nap.  Then took bath and refused breakfast due to upset stomach.  Instead I was about to take lemon juice but Haribandhu came rushing panicky.

He blasted the news that Baba was leaving alone, as there was no money.  I rushed out and was surprised to see Baba crossing the dry bed of the river.  I snatched my stick and began to follow him.  While climbing the hill he was puffing and felt exhausted.  At about a height of sixty feet from river there was a turning on the footpath.  There he kept his “dalda” tin can upside down, put his grass-mat over it and sat on it as if on a stool.  As usual he had a blanket on shoulder, bundle of sleeping reed-mat wrapped in newspaper, umbrella, a cloth bag on shoulder, a metallic glass, lota (small jar) a katori (bowl) in the tin can with a long rope attached to it. He was wearing Gorakhpuri cloth-made shoes with socks, and a cloth wrapped on head.  He called me near him and said, “In seven years I could not improve these fools.  It is all wastage.  I told Ratan to keep Rs.six hundred here to pull on the month.  Why did he take away Rs.four hundred? I told them to keep me off worry for one month.  Let me do my work and you pull on anyhow. He left here only a hundred and seventy two rupees.  How can month be pulled on? He is under the impression that Ramprasad is sending Rs.2000/- and on that basis he indulged in this. Does he know that I may refuse Ramprasad’s money?  Why he violated my order?  It is not the question of money.  They are becoming thick skinned and shameless.  Do you know what obstacle they have brought? In the last seven years whenever I begin to start work, they bring hurdles.  Yesterday at twelve in the night I began work.  I told Gita to finish my lunch before 9 A.M. so that I could start the work at midday.  Everything is upset.  I will have to suffer its retaliation.  Yesterday I did cast a preliminary force in the atmosphere and if I do not utilize it today I will have to suffer.  My body is burning.”  Ramanidada arrived and Baba bombarded him and warned everybody that if any one followed him, he would sacrifice his body in the Ganges.  Then he began to climb the mountain.

Ramanidada and others sat like statues where they were.  I followed him.  At a height of hundred and fifty feet he sat again, exhausted.  Then he called me in a loving tone and told, “Suresh, you go back to Amravati. I shall go to Kedarnath and then onward to snowy region.  I may live there for six months, a year or two and when I shall return, I will call you back from Amravati.”  I persisted that I would accompany him up to Kedarnath otherwise I would leave for Badrinath.  He again vented his anger on the Ashramites calling them as usual fools, animals, etc.  Then he told me to go down and get Gita and Ramani.  I was to tell them to come prepared for the journey.  He said Ramani was not at fault and he never touched money.  He also told me to warn the rest that if they followed they would be killed.  I came down.
Ramanidada and Gita readied themselves. They took very light cloth bags and I was a fool to take a huge bundle of two blankets, bed sheets, clothes etc.  All three of us were climbing towards Baba.  Ramanidada said that there was no need to take such a big bundle.  He assured we would return after some distance.  It seemed all of them were accustomed to his claustrophobic errands and tantrums.  I was a newcomer.  I told them that Baba would march at least up to Kedar.

We came near Baba.  He told me to bring Uma’s old and frail father Harekrishna.  I got down some distance and signed him to come up.  That saved my extra exercise.  Then Baba was off on him and told him to go to the Ashram along with Uma, Jayanti, Kolyani and Dipali.  He told him to collect Rs.172/ from Ramani and Rs.200/ by sale of Suresh’s wristwatch.  The old man stood speechless.  When he did not respond, Baba furiously got up and in his style held Harekrishna’s ear and presented couple of slaps on his cheek.  His hands were spoiled due to human touch.  So he took some green leaves and rubbed them on his palms and added disinfectant by spitting slight saliva and again rubbed hands.  He then told me to go down and prepare four girls and bring them to go to Ashram.  I came down half way and sent Gobind.  Harekrishna also came from above and went down for preparation.  Baba told him that he himself would accompany them to Ashram.  The old man had to agree.


After some time, Baba descended the hill and came to me and told me to accompany him to his hut. He warned that before his departure all his personal belongings, though scanty, would have to be disposed off in the river.  We walked fast and came to his hut.  Haribandhu, Dinbandhu and Gobind Shah hurriedly joined us.  I was summoned inside and ordered to collect everything and throw it in the river.  I was flummoxed and could not start the action. In a fit of rage Baba collected a blanket and a few things, got down the steps and threw the lot in the river. My heart flipped. Helplessly I began to gather things.  I collected two reed mats from sleeping platform, old sheets of newspaper, and a blanket.  By then Baba entered again, collected remaining mats and a blanket and rushed down towards the river.  By that time Haribandhu preceded him and obstructed his path to restrain him.  Baba dodged him and threw another blanket in the river.  Haribandhu pounced on a blanket in Baba’s hand and held his feet.  Baba held Haribandhu’s hand and struggled to free himself.  At that moment I reached there.  Seeing his predicament my eyes were moist.  Haribandhu was sobbing. Gobind approached and he was weeping uncontrollably and loudly.

Baba sat on a big boulder along the bank of the river. He made me sit on the opposite boulder and lit his cigarette.  It was just the two of us.  He poured pangs of his heart. Out of frustration he said, “ Suresh, unless Gita and Ramani die I cannot start the work.” I was speechless. It was probably out of guilt feeling and frustration of not being able to emerge as a Yogi to divinise politics that he spoke inadvertently and consciously revealed his unconscious mind. When he made his first Shakta Sadhana advance, Gita must have complained to her parents. If Ramani Ranjan Das would have left the Ashram with family, the mishap could have been averted and the history of India would have been different. I think indirectly he held Ramani and Gita responsible for failing his all future plans and destroying his work as a Yogi. (Netaji’s life was clean and unblemished. When girls were after him or offered to him he restrained. Only when he was at rest in Austria and Germany his libido surged due to close association of Emilie. Second rest in his life was Shaulmari Ashram. Again libido probably exploded after twenty-four years. Neither he nor I could explain how the mishap took place. However none can deny his greatest greatness in not suppressing things but boldly shouldering the responsibility at the cost of career because he was a very sensitive and emotional personality.)

He then told that things touched by us would have to be destroyed.  Then Haribandhu returned with the contaminated contents and sent them to watery grave. Baba half calmed down with intermittent bouts of resentment.  Then all of us came in the courtyard.  Baba told to take out all edibles from the kitchen and throw them into the river. A basket full of potatoes, two pumpkins, vegetables, rice, spices and one-liter milk and utensils were collected by me and I threw them in the river.  Since morning I had no food but I resisted my temptation while throwing the creamed milk.  I returned. Baba was sitting on the folding chair.  He would remain calm and peaceful for five minutes then turn towards us and release his indignation.  He lamented, “Suresh, they have brought their own ruin.  They do not feel for my suffering, not an iota of feeling they have.”  Gita and Ramanidada arrived.  Baba told me that by selling my watch whatever money would be received in that rest would pull on the month.  Baba, Shomu and myself would eat salt and chapatis (bread) with him.  His wrath seemed unending.  Then he turned to me and said, “ I have decided to change method of work.  First I was thinking of starting work from the lowest class of humanity but now I shall have to do the work for the selected class first.  The saints from the Himalayas will not come down in society and so apparently high class of society will have to be handled.”  I candidly admitted that I did not follow.  He then gave the following dictation:

“Divinity and man with divinising aspiration never apply tests in the sense in which it is commonly understood. They are to help you, not to test you, help you out of the almost insurmountable difficulties let down before you the very powerful forces of the cosmic ignorance but in a different sense they always apply tests designed with clear deliberation to make you cross the hurdles and overcome the defects and drawbacks of your nature inner and outer hurdles, defects and drawbacks that are continuously with brutal firmness strewn before you in your inward and upward journey by the hostile forces and their eyes are always fixed to see to it that if you yourself by your own stupidity deliberately do not adopt a contrary course, you come out victorious of the difficulties placed before you.”

On the passage above we had discussion.  Baba said, “ Eighteen years before, my friends in the Himalayas warned me not to take this path and completion of work was difficult as I was fifty years old.  But like a fool I was bent upon and spent twenty years on this path.  At that time I felt that I shall be able to work for fifty more years but it was a fool’s paradise.  Now I have to push and pull on my body with all ups and downs for thirty years to complete the work.  Today the vexing problem before me is that if I change the adopted method and train and show path to a certain class of the society then to whom should I entrust the most responsible work of showing path to the remaining class of the society.  I have to leave this mortal body tomorrow or a day after.” (Note that Baba inadvertently confessed his age as seventy)

On this passage I commented that gold is gold and silver is silver.  When the intrinsic capacity of Ashramites was not up to his expectation how could they be improved?  He said that all men were initially and potentially gold.  I agreed but remarked that if the gold had silver or iron plating then unless and until it was not removed, the gold would not glitter.  To remove the plating either it would have to be melted or scrapped.  Melting could be done by Cosmic casting and scrapping by hunter.  The society needed scrapping.  The question I pointed out was which one should get priority, Cosmic casting or whipping.  Baba laughed and enjoyed my simile.  He agreed.

It must be borne in mind that I was oblivious about Gita’s pregnancy till I saw two weeks old Chinmayee. Only then I realised his recurring resentment and tantrums and why we left Ashram.


Our talk was disrupted by Shomu’s arrival with dak (postal mail).  A telegram was in my name. In it Balasaheb Wadodkar informed address of Captain Ram Wadodkar, his younger brother in the Army. They are elder and younger brother of Prabhakar. A letter was also in my name sent by Advocate Niharendu Dutt Mazumdar from Calcutta.  I read it out to Baba.  He informed that in place of Radhakant a representative of the Ashram be substituted and money be sent and then alone the cases would be continued.  The Hitavada case was adjourned from 4th to 30th but before stipulated time bar the stamp fees would have to be paid.

Then Baba discussed the situation.  He observed that Radhakant acted foolishly so many times.  He committed blunder in accepting one thousand rupees from Hitendra.  He was ordered not to see Baba’s face. He should not come and if he came he would be beaten by cane.  Baba calculated the expenses to Rs. six thousand.  Then he told Gobind to sell my watch.  Gobind requested to take back watch and promised to send five hundred rupees.  On Baba’s order I took the watch.  I expressed inability to secure money from Capt. Ram as his address was 56 A.P.O.Delhi and the Army would not disclose actual destination. Then again his ire exploded.  He averred, “Suresh, three years ago in three hours I destroyed vegetable plantation worth one lakh. I thought these people would learn a lesson instead it turned me a fool.”  He then told me to take rest and at 5 P.M. he would give hints to make a draft of a letter to be sent to Adv. Mazumdar.

I left but after half an hour I was called.  He gave noting for the draft and told me to make a fair letter to Shri Mazumdar.  The brief contents were that after three months some educated men of caliber would be admitted as fresh members of the Ashram and  some of them would be allowed to plead the cases.  At that time there was no worthy member to represent cases except Dr. Suresh Padhye. Finishing the tips Baba went for bath.  After some time Baba invited Shomu and me for lunch.  We were served three chapatis and salt and dry food was reluctant to slide down my parched throat. Sequel to operation of chewing and munching we retired for rest.  Before I could finish two drafts Baba demanded my presence.  It was decided that we would sell wheat, rice, pulses, ghee and some utensils and collect Rs.500/- plus balance of two hundred and manage about hundred and fifty and send everybody back to Ashram.  Everything was brought out and listed and he told me to go to Guptakashi and enquire about its disposal at Vidyapith or shops.  Moreover, I was told to give cows in charity to the priest Mitranand.
I tethered one cow, another was with Shomu and our Garhwali servant boy carried the calf.  Our procession treaded some distance and we came across Shyamlal Pradhan.  He promised to purchase wheat and ghee.  Luckily Mitranand arrived and I took him to Baba.  Baba told me to gift two white cloth pieces (purchased for Baba) and Rs.ten to Mitranand. In worst financial crunch, his charity made a dent on my memory forever. (Netaji’s brother Saratda would pay his promised charities whenever he went to jail.) Baba told priest Mitranand that cows were ‘Daan’ (gift) to him.  Then he allowed Shyamlal Pradhan for a brief moment and went inside.


The scene was pathetic.  Baba was huddled on the platform in his yard with knees bent to his chest.  He was curled up on one side.  A thin bed sheet covered his body. He was getting convulsions now and then.  His head was being fanned.  It was bright moonlight.  In moaning sound he told Ramanidada to handover fan to me. I was blowing the fan and my mind pierced a thought that what a great man he was and what condition and suffering he was going through! There was no harm in serving him like a son.  I was overwhelmed.  Others were sitting nearby.  Gitadi was called.  She pulled his fingers and rubbed some dry silt to hands.  After an hour and a half in his subdued and exhausted voice he said he was feeling better.  I requested him to take a glass of milk but he refused to take milk of the cows, which were already gifted to the priest. In heavy voice he told us to go.  I came back to hut.  It was a tragic, hectic and exasperating day.


I was awakened and told that Baba wanted me immediately.  He discussed money matter.  I narrated that Ramkrishnaji expressed that if Baba were to really start final work, he would put his might and collect fifty to hundred thousand rupees.  He told me to go to Faizabad and collect five thousand from him.  Gobind would accompany me and if possible he would take some amount for Hitavada case.  He gave a code word for start of final work for Ramkrishnaji and directed me to tap for large amount.  He then dictated a letter to Niharendudada, which suggested that I would represent the Hitavada case.

After dictation I told him that I would purchase rice and pulses and requested him to accept.  He asked as to where was the money.  I said I would manage that paltry sum.
Baba commented on A.D.Mani, “He is trying to show that he is honest but in reality he is not. That is worst.  I read some of his articles during my walk of India.”  Baba began to give a note on honesty and apparent honesty but by then he was invited for breakfast and asked me to take too.  I politely declined.  He said to keep the body working he had to take food.

After my bath and routine I was called back. He was sitting on the folding chair outside the fencing.  He expressed, “I am now not only getting impatient but rash about starting of the work.  I cannot say. I might start Ashram at Amarkantak. Sometimes I even now feel of starting work outside first.  Outside I mean out of India.

The question of money I asked and he gave the note:
“If you kick off money with the motive that as a result more money will come, then it is sheer egoistic foolish move and an outcome of the stark degenerating ignorance.  Objectively when you kick off money with the motive of arousing genuine compunction in the heart of a person concerned, never thinking what the person concerned will do after he has got the compunction then and then alone you have the real objective honesty of the purpose.  A comparatively evolutionary stage is one in which, though a lower one, is kicking off money whenever you feel the money is not rightly offered without caring at all whether this behaviour of yours would bring anything or not.  This is in a stage of subjective evolution the first one is concerned predominantly with the evolution of the person whom you deal with.  In a sense this is concerned with the evolution of the human environment.”

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