Poetic Heart – Sanyas

Posted By Author on March 12, 2010


It was 11 A.M. I reminded Baba about Mr. Chatterjee an applicant for the post of Law Officer who wrote a letter calling Ratan a donkey and threatened to sue him.  I requested for the reply that he dictated in the name of Ratan. He said, “I can preach how to be naughty better than spiritualism.”  Then he told that the lawyer was Bar-at-Law, London.  He dictated the following reply sent to him.
“Dear Sir,
Please refer to your letter dated so and so.  In my youthful enthusiasm I thought I could be a match for you in competition of vulgarities.  But this letter of yours has thrown me into despair and I now realize only the stupid and the ass incarnate can have the glory of beating you in competition of stupid vulgarities.  With cudgel in hand we are thoroughly ready to nip the rabid howling of the old mad dog clearly visible in your letter.

Well Mister Braggadocio,
A crank you are and a crook you are
Sirrha you are a donkey and a fool
Low, the Bedlam beckoning you
To punch you with its defty tool
Good night good night good Mister Donkey
May you be evolved into a prateful Monkey?


“Suresh, remember this form of poem is known as span.”  Baba contemplated and explained types of poems with example of each. He further elucidated meters and emphasis in Imbus, Ductile, Trochee and Anechdochee.  Then he recited “Bridge of Sigh’ and ‘ Elegy in the country Churchyard.”  It was all beyond my comprehension and I was simply stunned to see his study and memory.

Subhash Bose’s friend remarked, “He was forgetful about many things, but in matters of literature his memory was prodigious.” Poetry was on the tip of tongue of Subhash. When he was expelled from Congress, he met Gandhi requesting him to withdraw disciplinary measures. Gandhiji demanded written apology.  Suddenly and spontaneously Subhash recited stanza of William Tell of Switzerland as his reply:

My knees shall bend, he calmly said,
To God and God alone;
My life is in the Austrians’ hand,
My conscience is my own.
(Compromise was not the word in Subhash Bose’s lexicon.)

Baba further told that two lines of an American poet who wrote after his meeting with Vivekananda always haunted him. These lines are of Walt Whitman. They were dictated as below:
‘There is room in halls of pleasure for a long and lordly train.
But one by one we must all file on through the narrow aisles of pain.’

In the above context Baba narrated an incident of Swami Vivekananda as below:

“Once Swamiji went to the Maharaja of Jaipur. Knowingly or unknowingly, the Maharaja arranged a dance programme. As Swamiji ensconced, a young girl came dancing.  Swamiji immediately walked down to adjoining room. The girl instantly switched over to a devotional song of saint Surdas:

“Prabhu Mere awaguna chit na dharo
Samadarshi hai nam tiharo chahe to par karo.”

(Hindi meaning: God, do not mind my bad deeds.  Your name is all pervading and if you wish give me salvation.) Swamiji came out of the room and apologised.  After that the dancer left her profession.”


Baba observed, “Maxmueller and Royson had done extraordinary work on Sanskrit.  Even to date there was no parallel to Royson on Indian philosophy.  He categorically implemented the rules of celibacy and acquired knowledge in India.  He was a friend of Swamiji.  When once Swamiji went to his home at Berlin Royson himself cooked the food.  In the meantime he gave his unpublished book for reading to Swamiji.  He was so engrossed that thrice Royson went to invite him for dinner and returned without disturbing Swamiji.  At two o’clock in the night Swamiji realized the embarrassment caused by his delay.  He apologized and told him that he forgot food.  Swamiji realized that Royson did not believe his concentration and so he told him to ask anything from his book.  Royson was astounded to see that Swamiji even quoted page number while explaining his queries.  Swami Vivekananda never wrote but gave lectures and seventy percent of his lectures had gone unrecorded.” Baba told more stories of Swamiji, the last being of Swamiji’s one disciple, who on order, went to Haridwar with only one lota.   Later on with his tenacity and perseverance he could establish a dispensary of twenty-five lakh rupees.

Then the question of memorizing Sanskrit was discussed.  He gave the following note:

“Every student will have to take in addition to their mother tongue one Indian and one foreign language as subject of their study.  Both in Arts and Science and technology, Sanskrit will be compulsory up to Bachelor Degree”.  He again reiterated Sanskrit would be the National Language and that there was no other alternative.  I said if English could come in this country people unnecessarily oppose Sanskrit.  Baba noted, ”First they perversely feel that they should not bother about Sanskrit language and then they put all sorts of funny argumentation.”  Then he began dictating, “An egoistic motivation is directly opposed to the genuine sense of self reverence…………..”  This note was left midway.

He went in and I came back to my hut.  I was drafting letters.  Two boys from Okhimath came.  One was peon.  They asked permission in derision. I drove them out mercilessly.  Since morning one old man from Rudraprayag was waiting for ‘darshan’.  He was a non-commissioned officer in INA.  I showed him Baba from long distance and he left happily.  Later Baba asked as to who he was. I told him he was INA Hawaldar. Baba observed “ If I permit them, they go on publicizing me as Netaji, if I do not permit, it is odd.  Both ways it is embarrassing.”

Ramanidada joined us.  I opened the topic of my service. College was to open on 18th June.  I told that unless I get special leave from the Director I must join.  He advised me not to leave the job and think over and see what came from deep within.  At two o’clock in the night I was told to do introspection and retrospection.  I frankly told him that by remaining in the Himalayas I did not want to achieve God but by remaining in society I preferred to serve the people. I said I did not bother about money.  If I left the job I would not blame him in future.  If I was after money I could have started an industry.  He observed that he would show the path but warned not to serve the society for name and fame. It was egoistic attitude and that was destructive.  I retorted that to achieve the Supreme-God-for oneself and not others was also selfish egoistic attitude.  He laughed and said, “Eh Suresh, that is superhuman egoistic attitude for good.”  I said as mentioned in Bhagwad Gita, ‘Karmnye wadike raste ma faleshu kadachan’ one must work hard without waiting for the fruit and if name and fame followed, it was immaterial.  What could one do for that?  He said, “Yes.  Remember Suresh. You must serve the society as a master and not as a meek servant.  When you beg for name and fame it is bad but when you serve as a master name and fame is bound to shower but you should neither feel sorry if it does not come nor you should feel elated if it comes.”  Then he added, “If my outward plan (material) does not start and if you are depending on that you will be frustrated.”  I said, “ I have very recently come to know of your material plan but before that did I not seek your advice whole heartedly?”  Baba laughed again and said, “Yes.  I know it.  But if you are required to go in solitude midway of your material work to gain power and correction then?”  I promised that I would go definitely.  Then I said I was speaking truth about the marriage.  I never wanted to hide anything.  Both for parents and myself I might get married after six months or a year.


If marriage was a handicap in the progress and ‘Sanyas’ was the only way then I would be required to think deeply again.  He laughingly uttered, “No, no, no. Suresh. I am married.  Marriage only lengthens the time and period of progress.  Moreover, much depends on how is your partner.  The partner must be pious.”  I said man could train his partner accordingly.

He said, “Yes, of course.  Women are always adaptive but men always adamant.  However, there must be potential power to do the pious work which can be made kinetic later on.”  I said I decided to approve a girl, which would be selected by parents and after seeing her or her photograph Baba would give consent and that I had already told it at home.  Recently I refused a proposal I pointed.  He said, “In due course I shall permit you definitely when I see the suitable partner.  There is no need of absolute ‘External’ sanyas.”

I was perplexed and queried as to what was this new commodity called external sanyas.  Baba explained, “Sanyas are of three types: One is external sanyas in which person puts on saffron dress and other things but at heart his mind is not sanyasi.  It is always craving and yearning for material gains.  This is worst type and most of the sanyasis we find today are of this type.  Secondly, there are  ‘internal’ sanyasis who by ‘pravrutti’ (mental attitude) are sanyasis and live like a normal man.  Swami Ramkrishna, Aurobindo Ghosh are of this type.  They were all married.  Thirdly, there are ‘external and internal’ sanyasis like Swami Vivekananda.  I myself have not taken external sanyas. I am a married man. Do you know Suresh, Subhash slept only once with Emile?” I was astounded to see as to how he knew such a personal secret of Subhash Chandra Bose. I wanted to confirm it. So I wrote a letter to Netaji Research Bureau, Calcutta to furnish me Emilie Schenkl’s address. I did not get any reply. So I wrote to Austrian Embassy for that. The Embassy informed me its inability to locate the address. Therefore in 1984 I went to Vienna. I located her residence at XVIII/110 Farrago but she had left it. Her neighbour told that she was in Salzburg or Innsbruk. I went there and came to know that she was with her daughter somewhere near Colon in Germany. I was dejected and left the pursuit. However Baba’s information carved a permanent niche in my psyche. Whosoever made enquiry about Bose at the Austrian Embassy was directed to me by the Embassy.

Baba laughed, smiled and then became pensive. He did reminisce, “When in childhood I was going to this branch of renunciation all my brothers and sisters used to trouble me and deride me but my mother strictly warned them not to interfere in my matter.  It is but natural that your parents and friends should discourage you from joining the Ashram”. (Netaji with his school friends clad in saffron would go to river bank and stay there as sanyasis.) I said my father and mother wished to have your ‘darshan’.  Their only condition was that I should get married, leave wife at home while they would permit me to go to the Ashram.  He gave a hearty laughter and promised, “ I shall exert my power to convince them provided you are wanting to come. I hope they will be convinced by my saying and if you speak the truth to me now then your entire future responsibility is mine that is Guru’s and if you are hypocrite then responsibility will be yours in future.”  I said, “Of course.  When I shall try to deceive you I shall be deceiving myself. Thus in future nothing but frustration will remain my lot.  I am fully aware of it.”  Baba laughed and stopped discussion, as he needed rest.

However, I was soon called and instructed to make an application for three months’ leave suffixing summer vacation.  He warned not to apply for false medical leave but state facts that for spiritual work I was to stay at Kedarnath, Badrinath and Gangotri.

As I reached my hut, the priest and two teachers of Vidyapith were already there. They were regular visitors.  After talking with them I finished the letters.  At 8 P.M.  Baba came out.  I read out letter written to Niharendudada and with minor correction it was approved.  Then he discussed, date, time, money etc. about my visit to Faizabad. During that period either he would be at the top of his work or bedridden if he was unable to control reaction.  Then he changed his mind and cancelled my going to Faizabad.  I suggested Gyanbabu from Ashram might be sent to Calcutta to represent cases.  He at once agreed and dictated a letter to Shubir in Bengali for Gyandada.  Baba said Gita was to start fast from Monday and if I did not reach with fruits by Wednesday it would be a problem else he proposed to postpone Gita’s fast.  I suggested that Shubir would meet Ashramites at Laxman Zula, handover letter and bring fruits from Haridwar.  He agreed and accordingly dictated instructions to Haribandhu in Bengali.  Ramanidada was not in good health and Baba left to see him.  I had milk and chat with Gita and others in lighter vein.  I finished letters and retired.  The plan was changed and I was to start tomorrow for Lucknow and Gobind for Calcutta.

About the author



Comments are closed.