More bad news

Posted By Author on November 21, 2010


I was chitchatting with Radhakantji in the morning.  Salil arrived from Calcutta. He told work did not materialize.  Niharendu Dutt Mazumdar told him that he was not prepared to prosecute the magistrate who issued arrest warrant against Baba.  He expressed fear that if the case was lost he would be defamed and his reputation would be at stake.  To give brief to Setalwad about forty thousand rupees would be required, etc.

Baba came out in front of Ramanidada’s hut.  He was eager to see Salil who had gone for bath.  I related the report in brief.  Baba said to Ramanidada, “Look Ramani, you insisted to send Salil to Calcutta.  I knew the result beforehand.”  Ramanidada became emotional and began to weep.  Baba lamented, “I never expected Niharendu would behave like this for money.”

Baba laughed and said, “Look Suresh, everybody is there to share the loafs of success but a few are there to share difficulties of success. This Niharendu was driven out thrice.  He wrote a letter to Ramani and Ramani advocated his side.  I therefore apologized him.  I never told this to anybody but I am telling you it to you now.  I am constrained to say in most sarcastic words that if I throw fifty thousand rupees, Niharendu would run like a dog and reach here.  However, he has a brighter side also.  Till today, if real fees were paid to him, it would have been more than a lakh rupees.  We have paid so far only twenty four thousand rupees.  Of all the persons I found only one lawyer for Ashram who did not charge a farthing and spent all money from his own pocket.  He is Anil Ganguly of Alipurduar.”

Even in this situation and mood Baba was manifesting a mixed reaction of indignation, pessimism and defiance.  He remarked, “Niharendu need not have told that there would be a case of contempt of court.  Do I not know and understand that much?”

Suresh, always remember all that glitters is not gold. You live in the society, work for them but keep yourself detached without reliance upon the society, then frustration will not be your lot.”

Later on Radhakant and Rajat, then Shibnath and Salil joined us.  Our past mistakes and old omissions were repeated.  He vented out his anger and at 10 A.M. went in for lunch.

Dandge and I took bath in ice-cold water.  Body became senseless for a few minutes.  We took our breakfast.  A dancer landed in my hut.  He said he was invited by Baba second time.  He told he performed Divine Dance which no one taught him.  It was innate and by giving programmes he wanted to raise money for educational purpose.  Then a drummer of Kedarnath Shrine arrived. He was given five rupees and lunch.  Very funny and weird specimen land here now and then.

At 11.30 A.M. Baba came out.  Shyamlal and Ramsingh were allowed to join after change of clothes.  Baba again began to admonish Radhakant and Rajat for past blunders.  This was going on for an hour.  I was fed up.  His throat would dry due to shrill voice.  I felt it was waste of energy.  All of us adhered to silence.  He left.

We finished lunch and I completed diary.  In the noon Dandge and I took lot of photographs of Chinu.  One I snapped when she was in Baba’s lap.  He himself was very clear in view. My conscious did bite as he promised me to take his first photo at proper time.  He became conscious and alert as I did not snap and he bent backward. His thumb clearly came holding Chinu. Sometimes I feel I committed a mistake.  Had I quickly snapped Baba clearly, the photograph would have been worth millions of rupees and an acid test of his identity as Subhash Bose.

(Later I submitted this photograph of his thumb and similar one of Subhash Bose to JMCI. They bear identical shape, length and shape of nail.)

As per instructions I wrote a letter in Hindi to Sub Inspector Baljor Singh of Okhimath and sent it to him with Gobind Shah: The English translation is as below.

“ Shrimat Baljorsinghji, Sub-Inspector, Okhimath, Dist. Chamoli.

As per your instructions when I met Shriman Babaji, I delivered your message. Shri Baba told me to inform you that he will be closed till 21-1-67. After that he may allow you to see in person.

You may do whatever you want to do.


Sd/- Sureshchandra Padhye
Member, Shaulmari ashram

By 5.30 P.M. bus Mr. Madanlal, a businessman dealing in cotton twine, and Mr. Garg, an Assistant Engineer of P.W.D., of Meerut arrived.

In the evening Baba called me, Rajat and Radhakant and we sat in his courtyard.  Ramanidada was there and Gita was busy in cooking.  Baba as usually raised his voice and began admonishing Rajat and Radhakant for past mistakes. When he was shouting I felt very sorry for him.  I felt seriousness was lost because of his recurrent admonishment, reprimand and reminders of the past mistakes.  All of us were shivering in cold weather.

Baba imparted sermon, “You people do not accept seriously the sincerity of purpose.  Your cheap sentimentality is of no use to start work.  Herd instinct and collective urge are poles apart.  Former is mechanical and latter is having discernment.  You should take the second but in last eight years I did not get it amongst you people.  To teach this I destroyed vegetables worth rupees one lakh in the Ashram but failed to educate.  You did not learn.”  When Rajat contradicted, Baba roared like a tiger and silenced him and said to me in dramatic mild voice, “Suresh, do you know what is bagging the question?  It means you ask a question and other person sticks to his old argument.”  This was meant for Rajat.  Radhakant prayed to Baba to start work and promised that they would not commit mistakes in future. He replied that it was too late and hopeless then.  He said, “My physical body is exhausted.  Now nothing can be done.  After a week you will have no problem.  I shall leave this body because after my arrest I will not be able to accept contaminated water or food and because of touch of other people my body will become moribund.  You people start thinking and planning your future.  Suresh, you go to Amravati and at proper time I might call you.  If I leave this body someone else will come to take my work.“ Again in a bout of anger he said to me, “Suppose Radhakant commits a mistake and you knowingly hide it from me then it is a crime.”  He explained the same in Hindi on which Radhakant said, “Yes.  You said alright Baba.”  I could not control my laugh and Baba too laughed loudly and resented. “You Radhakant, you are an idiot.  You fool, I am admonishing you and you say you are right Baba.  Is this the way to talk with Guru?  Such is said to our juniors.” I could not suppress my laugh at the dialogue between most intelligent Guru and clod headed innocent disciple of twenty years’ standing.  I covered my face with handkerchief to hide my laughter and witnessing it Baba asked me whether there was anything wrong with my nose.  I controlled myself and made a sign in the negative.  Today’s admonishment was very interesting and enchanting.  I doubted whether Baba could imprint an iota of learning and change in Radhakant’s behaviour.  I sometimes felt admonishment was Baba’s hobby or way to let out his worries. For one hour continuously he was giving lessons in high pitch till his throat dried and I doubted whether it carried an iota of impact on the listeners.  Message came that his food was ready and we were relieved with zero impact on our input or output. We dispersed.

At night Baba came out and gave audience to Madanlal and Garg.  Then they left and he took us inside his hut.  I read out letter sent to Baljor Singh and he opined that the last sentence should have been omitted and that it was improper to unnecessarily give in writing evidence.  Dandge was also with me.  Again he began to vent out anger and told to sell all goods purchased yesterday and from the money received to clear the debt of the teachers from Vidyapith.  At least five hundred rupees were essential.  Budhiballabh promised that he would try at Shrinagar.  I knew he wanted Dandge to voluntarily offer the amount but both of us kept mum. I already had cautioned Dandge. Baba then reiterated that he wanted exact assurance and that before 26th Jan. the debt ought to be cleared in any case.  Suspense prevailed and I requested him to give three days time instead of next day.  He agreed.  It was anger, whole anger and nothing but anger.  Then all of us were served one piece of sweet and allowed to leave.  I thanked God.

Again Radhakant alone was called by him and told to go home to Banaras.  At proper time he would call him back.  He came back and told me that only alternative left for him was either to consume poison or become Sadhu and live in the forest.  How could he show face at home?  I augured and assured him that nothing would happen.

At 11.30 A.M., I was alone with Baba and he dictated the following note.

“I am now really moving in a vicious circle.  For breaking this vicious circle what is indispensable will not be available in time and this thing indispensable is the regaining of my physical condition.”

If warrant of arrest came he told to write down;  “This is my strict direction that none of you should offer even slightest verbal resistance.”  In short he used to get jerks of pessimistic mood or at least making its show.  He often threatens not to start work so that we might improve.  He was fit as a fiddle and there was nothing wrong with his health.  Mistakes of eight years did not impair his health and fresh mistakes too were not going to deteriorate it.  All causes and reasons were dummy.  I point blankly told him on the face that he was not going to die in a week.

Baba gave a simile.  “An embankment is to be built.  Everything was nicely constructed but a gap of hundred feet was left in the middle. What is the use of all the labour invested?  You people work like that.”  I countered, “We are wiling to construct the dam.  We will put hard labour sincerely but after all we are labourers.”  He laughed and did not allow me to speak further. “I got it what you want to say.  It is the job of the supervisor not to leave the gap but I was under wrong notion that I made you supervisor.” I shot back that direct promotion to supervisor’s post without experience was bound to end in a disaster. He laughed.  At night when all of us were with him he again reminded, “What you say Suresh is true.  It was my mistake to presume that all of you were supervisors.”  All were perplexed, as none knew the context of our earlier talk.

I treated his anger nothing but threats for our improvement or venting out mental pressure. Completed diary and slept very late at night.  Before I fell asleep I was contemplating about this great man’s eerie and enigmatic personality, his eccentricities and whimsicality, his errands and tantrums, his shrewd dodging and bluffing, often changing his name, religion, and caste, his sudden switch over of mood, his super English and supreme intelligence, his prodigal memory, titanic knowledge and vast reading, his astounding recitation of poetry, his rich thoughts and meticulous analysis, his extemporaneous dictations, his modus operandi of extracting money and lavish spending, his lofty hospitality and charity even in penury, his myriad litigations, his immeasurable plans, his intriguing foreign resources, his rigorous walk throughout India and intense ‘Sadhana” in the Himalayas, and his immense worries, torturous suffering, and prolong fasts. To me he appeared unfathomable queer combination of extreme optimism and confidence as well as immense pessimism and diffidence. Everything appeared amazing and mind-boggling. (Girija Mukherjee who worked with Subhash Bose in Berlin aptly comments,  “Although Subhash was a fearless man, I believe, he was terribly afraid of failure.”)

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