Trip to Madhmaheshwar

Posted By Author on May 5, 2010

23/5/1966:
I got up at 3.30 A.M. All were asleep. I refueled fire and sat near it for meditation. I went for bath at 5.30 A.M. Needless to say water was icy. After bath I collected berries and offered to Baba. He refused. I said I would procure anything from the village but he should break his fast. On this Baba said, “The breaking of fast must be done every carefully otherwise it will tell upon severely on body. Today we shall live here only under those shelters. Tomorrow we shall go to Madhmaheshwar, the temple situated at the source of the river Saraswati. Acharya Deo Shankaracharya made Madhmaheshwar ‘Siddh”. Many people do not know that it is one of the most holy places in India.” I told Baba that I confirmed the river along which we were stationed was the river Sarswati. He observed the direction and then admitted, ” Oh! Yes. Yes. You are right.  Directions confused me. I saw Saraswati during ‘Bhraman’ many years ago.”

I divulged to Baba that Dinu, Haridas, Haribandhu, Rajat were following us since yesterday and they were without food in the forest above. He queried how I knew. I confessed that I met them yesterday only. He ordered me to call them. I climbed up but they were not there. Green leaves were spread as bed. I searched them towards the confluence but did not find. I climbed up again and began to walk towards Chunni. Shomu came from behind on seeing me. They were camped above the road at night. I asked them where were they at night when I brought food. They said they had been to Chunni for water, as they could not go to river lest Baba might detect. I brought them down to Baba.

All of us were sitting near Baba with heads bent down in shame and fear. Baba smilingly broke silence by asking Shomu as to which was the river Sarswati. He showed. Without much debate or hesitation Baba agreed to return and told to leave borrowed utensil with woodcutters.  By then Shyamlalji arrived. He was called near. I saw and showed a small bird like a sparrow but with two feet long tail.  We all watched it.

Baba said, “There are variety of beautiful birds here. Unfortunately there is not a single good Zoo, Cagery (Aviary) or Aquarium in India.” He shook his head remorsefully. After winding up our return journey began. Everybody was happy and in good mood. Shyamlalji began to take my luggage and I resisted. Baba said let him do so but I said he was elder to me. With a stick on shoulder my bundle was attached to it. Baba gazed at me–beard, dhoti and bundle and commented, “You look like a real ‘jatrik’ (pilgrim) now.”

After climbing some distance Shyamlalji showed a cinnamon tree. He cut a strip of bark for us. It was fragrant spice used always in cooking. Yesterday’s three laborers met. Baba told me to invite all of them for lunch at our camp. We came on road and Mitranand met who was searching us. I invited Shyamlalji and Mitranand too. Shyamlalji went to his village for cows and came to camp at 11 A.M. On way we had to rest many times for Baba. At that time he told interesting stories of wildlife.” A growing young bull elephant tries to match his foot with footprint of leader of the herd. The day he realizes that his foot has become equal to spoor of the leader, he challenges him. Whosoever wins the skirmish becomes leader of the herd. The other one wanders alone as a rogue. These roughs are very dangerous. At night three or four elephants keep vigilance as sentries. They change their duties methodically. Rest sleep. When she elephant gives a litter, the leader holds up the offspring in his trunk and lifts up. The rest raise their trunks in salute and shriek. When lions or tigers fight for lioness or tigress, the mistress watches the fight and escorts the winner. Suresh, see if we can get a pair of tiger cubs for us up to Rs. 200 from any village. We shall keep it.” He narrated a story of a sect amongst Nagas. “A son kills father and then gives feast to the village. That liberates the soul. In African tribe father puts proposal for a bride to the father of a girl. Girl’s father asks first question as to how many human skulls are with the boy. Minimum seven skulls of enemy are required. A boy of sixteen years old shot and killed seventeen lions out of eighteen and this is the world record.”

Then he observed, “Suresh, remember in our plan we shall have to do something for these hill people. You make a tentative plan by observing these villages and keep in mind.” On way he showed a plant of ‘Kayphal ‘ fruits and told about various flower plants. We reached the camp at 11 A.M. After sometime he came and sat on his chair and told to get lemon juice with black pepper powder for me. I took snack and a nap. Mitranand had his lunch and left whereas Shyamlalji was enjoying post meal siesta.

At 1 P.M. Baba came out after his lunch He underwent ordeal of four days fast and both physical and mental strain. We had a brief meeting. We discussed introduction of power turbines, aforestation, orchards, etc. in villages of ‘Uttarakhand’ (Northern Himalayan region of Kumaon and Garhwal). He called Shyamlal and approved his proposal to purchase a litter of Bhotia dog. I told him to bring it after full Moon, as I knew we had not that much money.  Baba then retired for rest.

From 4 to 5 P.M. we had another session of talk. As I approached, Baba questioned, “ Suresh. What is the sure and first sign of greatness?” I said self-analysis. He said, “No. To feel oneself small and to always think that whatever is being done is not completely good.” I raised doubt by pointing out, “But aspiration should always be high and Swamiji says ‘you young men, you are all born to do great things.’ ” Baba explained, “This feelings of smallness is a complex phenomenon. Great man must live like a great man and not a big man. Do you understand difference in great man and big man? The big man is hypocrite. He simply poses but at heart he is humbug. ‘Achha’ (O.K.) tell me what is the difference between self- righteousness and self-conviction?  Self-righteousness is initiated and thrives on ego and hence what you do may be right or wrong. Self conviction is always guided by self-analysis and hence it is always better.” (Netaji once asked his friends, “What is the difference between master and stationmaster? He explained ‘master trains the mind and stationmaster minds the train.”)

I asked Baba, “You told me that great men do not wait for a problem to come to them but they jump upon the problem. Then why should we not jump and start the work?” He said, “Some preliminary preparation is very necessary before jumping at external work.  Otherwise setback and frustration is the lot. In fact, I am most impatient than you all to start the work. But I am waiting for the opportune moment. (In Germany Netaji remained underground for one year. When queried as to when would he come out, he remarked that he was waiting for the opportune time.) He remained silent, contemplated and thought over what he said and tried to twist his statement. “I mean opportune moment means the change in cosmic conscience. I must say sometimes my anger is the result of this suppression.  I must start the work.” There was not an iota of doubt that this admission could belong to a great man alone. He added, “At least some section of humanity must show sign of having accepted cosmic casting.”  I said,” Is not your eighteen years’ sadhana enough as preliminary preparation to start work? He laughed and said, “Suresh, always remember other’s offence of a size of a mountain should be viewed as a mole and our offence of a mole size should be treated equal to mountain.  Greatness lies in this.”

After some time Baba questioned me, “ Who has the right to be a legislator in the country even in the world?  A criminal has no right to punish a criminal. These, our present legislators themselves are corrupt and it is impossible for a corrupt to talk of removing corruption.  Look here this Atulya Ghosh has become rich by giving permits, etc., to people.  Once he gave Rs. Six lakhs to Kamraj and Kamraj insisted to disclose names of donors.  These people get money from businessmen and the rich but they earn double with the help of these corrupt leaders. This lame Atulya Ghosh was a newspaper hawker.”
Shyamaprasad Mukherjee once in Bengal Assembly called the M.L.A.s of Congress ‘goondas’ by pointing hand, and on this Suhrawardy, then Chief Minister, said to Shyamaprasad that if they were ‘goondas’ the speaker was also ‘goonda’ and Shyamaprasad retorted ‘if I am ‘goonda’ then Mr. Suhrawardy is the best available ‘goonda’ of Bengal”.

I made a poignant question,” Baba, will these scoundrels rule again in 1967?”  He said, “Yes most probably.  I am seriously thinking over this matter.  By 1972 people will definitely throw them out. I am thinking of all party Government. There will be a shadow cabinet to train youngsters and out of three or four in respective department of shadow cabinet the best would be promoted. There will be no propaganda in elections for any party.  Those who desire to contest will be given means to do social work in their respective constituency and people will judge the best social worker desiring election. I do not see any other alternative but to do parallel work to the Government.”

Baba left for bath.  I finished my bath and diary.  All of us were invited in Baba’s courtyard.  Baba was sitting on the chair in front of us. We were served Khichari.  It was delicious and made in home made ghee. Baba took care of each and every individual.  I was specially served roties and vegetables on his say. He told to serve rotis to Dinbandhu, as he was sturdy with good appetite. When everybody signaled ‘belly full’, we were allowed to leave and rest for the night.

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