Visited Baba with my wife

Posted By Author on September 15, 2011


Received letters in Bengali from the Shaulmari Ashram’s mates.  So went to Prof Roy.  There Mr. Bhattacharya read them and translated for me.


I withdrew money from bank. Borrowed Rolli Flex camera from Chandrashkhar Dandge purchased film rolls and packed things for journey.

The trouble with most sophisticated camera like Rolli Flex is that if one is not expert, photographs are washed out.  There were no automatic cameras like today.  Since I did lot of photography for my research work I could handle it well in all weather conditions.


My brother dropped us at the bus satation.  We missed Luxury Bus. We caught Taxi and newspaper Tarun Bharat.  Reached Nagpur at Adv. M.P. Deshmukh at Congress Nagar.  All were glad to receive both of us.  Attended engagement ceremony of eldest son Ramesh Deshmukh.  Called on aunt Ambutai Ghatate. She gave presents. Returned to Deshmukhs.


To avoid risk left wife’s jewellry at Deshmukh’s and left for railway station.  Boarded Calcutta mail in second class and started the journey at 12 noon.  Reached Bilaspur at 8.30 P.M. Occupied Indore train which departed at 10 P.M. Got down at Pendra Road at 1.30 A.M. Stayed in the railway waiting room and rested.


After finishing morning duties and bath caught bus and reached Amarkantak at 8 A.M. Met Namamal Sindhi and tried for jeep but in vain.  Purchased vegetables etc.  Then both of us took ‘Darshan’ of Narmadeshwar. Called on Mrs. Dwarka Prasad Mishra.  Her husband was bench mate of my father and a congress leader of all India repute. Brajesh Mishra held dual posts as, National Security Adviser and Principal Secretary of Prime Minister Vajpayee, is her son.  She could not avail car but received well. Enquired about my parents’ health. Offered snacks and milk. After touching her feet left in bullock cart. On way met Pandeji on ‘Naka’. Took bath at the river and reached our destination at 12 noon.

All were surprised to see us.  Since we were ready with bath and washed clothes Shri Baba called us in.  He was very happy and enquired about wellbeing at home.  Then he took us to rear hut.

Gitamasi, her youngest sister Pilu, Chinu and Nitya dada, and of course, Dada too were there. Two servants were engaged. As per custom my wife and I gave return presents of our marriage called ‘Vida’.  We presented a woolen shawl to Shri Baba with coconut, betel leaves and betel nuts, which are supposed to be auspicious articles in ‘pooja’.  A silk shawl to Dada, a Sari to Gitamasi, frocks to Chinu, a shawl to Ramesh Saxena and a woolen sweater to Haribandhu.

After lunch Baba discussed matters.  He himself being avid lover of psychology and my wife being lecturer in the very subject, Baba talked with her a lot on psychology.  Shri Baba then asked me whether I received his letter in the parcel, which was written by him. I denied. He was infuriated and expressed that Ramesh would get a permanent kick for that mistake.  Thank God.  Saxena had already left for Anuppur for purchases.  I soothed Baba, He calmed down.  He said we would leave on 17th but then He granted my earnest request and gave permission to leave on 13th.  We came out.

Baba celebrated my marriage with gusto. He was a connoisseur of cooking and prepared new cuisines and snacks for each and every meal. To begin with Shri Baba arranged feast in honour of our marriage and for that He sent Ramesh Saxena to bring mutton and other things.  My wife is a vegetarian.  We dined. Wrote a letter to mother.  Chated with all near fire lit in the open yard, as evening was chilly and cold.  Shri Baba too joined us. Narrated some stories of ghosts.  Then he called it a day. We retired.


Wednesday.  After ablution and bath I was ready.  Ramani dada came and gave a shocking news that Shri Baba was very off on me for my past mistakes and for that he was getting shut without food for three days.  Soon Shri Baba called me in. He blamed me for razzamatazz. He presumed that I was speaking lie that I did not get his hand written long letters. I persuaded him. At long last he was convinced. Then he gave a dictation as below:

“Defects and drawbacks in the mental and the vital constitution are always expected. For a developing mind what is not expected is the tendency either to overlook them or hide them, to hide not only from one from whom you except guidance but also from your own better self.  Human tragedy does not lie in ignorance itself.  It lies in what is described above.

Exposure of your darker nature of your own free accord and will, to one from whom you expect guidance is the indispensable condition for your own divinising growth.  If you in spite of repeated explanation and warning keep the tendency of evading this condition deliberately or otherwise then be sure sooner or later you will be mercilessly exposed.  In the above sense self-exposure is Divine but if you fight shy of it, imposed exposure which itself is a painful thing will be the only alternative.  In this respect your sincerity of purpose must be cent percent at work.  Of course even with that sincerity some times out of the operation of some impulses you may fail but if the kinetic dominance of the sincerity is there, such occasional unmotivated failure will not matter much.  By stages and phases and by degrees such failures will turn the pillars of success.  Note failures by their very nature are not foundations of success.  It is the perspective through which you look at them makes them pillars of success.”

Shri Baba then dictated questions and I wrote answers on a blank sheet, which was in the diary.  However either it is misplaced or missing. After my repeated request Baba was pacified and agreed to take food.

All of us were busy. Baba was preparing food in his kitchen.  At 2 P.M. we took our lunch outside.  Then non-vegetarian preparation began.  In the evening fire was lit in the courtyard.  Shri Baba came and had a long discussion on different topics with me.  Then he left.  After some time I was called inside along with wife Shefali.  Shri Baba told her to think over deeply and answer ‘What is essence of life?’  She answered.   Then there was discussion on psychology with her.  Other topics discussed.  We came out at 9.30 P.M.  Then all of us had non-vegetarian dinner.  By 11 P.M. we retired for the day.


In the morning I took photographs of Chinu with Dada, Gitamasi, etc.  Ramani dada prepared salad.  Mutton curry was served once more.  Snatched a nap after heavy meals.  Shri Baba prepares all food in butter or ‘ghee’.  He never uses edible oil or vegetable oil.

In the evening we assembled near fire. Shri Baba reminisced experiences of His past life and childhood.  He was in hilarious mood.  He narrated that once he remained on food of mere walnuts for days together. (Must have been in Afghanistan or the Himalayas.)  He narrated that He was expert in climbing on trees right from His childhood.  He said the scar on His left eyebrow was due to fall from a tree on a stone.  (He forgot that earlier He told me that the scar was due to fall when a snake chased him in childhood in their garden.)  He is expert in hoodwinking identities of being Subhash Chandra Bose. I feel he got that scar when he slipped on the steps at his home in Cuttack due to his excitement to go to primary school on fist day in his life. It is clearly visible on Subhash Bose’s photograph on passport when he left for Cambridge at the age of seventeen. He related many other stories.

Evening meal was ready.  Shri Baba watched us taking dinner near fire.  ‘Payash’ (sweet dish of rice and milk) was prepared.  The dinner was so heavy that it amounted to nothing but rape on stomach.  Shri Baba instructed me to drop a letter to Shibdada.  We then retired.


Took a morning walk to ease belly.  Took photographs of wife while washing clothes in the Narmada, and also with Chinu, Gitamasi, etc.  There is note in the margin ‘epic photograph’.  I do not remember what it means in the diary.  We then had breakfast.

We were invited inside by Shri Baba for lunch at 2.30 P.M.  What a connoisseur of cooking!  The olfactory organs were saturated with spicy aroma.  What a gourmet!  We did glutonise ‘pulao ’ (Biryani also Biriani), egg-curry.  Again it was heavy meal.  As usual Baba forced helpings.  At lunch Shri Baba told me to accompany Ramesh to go to Namamalji.  I told Ramesh to proceed on bicycle. My heavy tummy needed exercise. So I walked afoot at 4 P.M. and reached Amarkantak by 6 P.M. via Pandeji.  I relieved myself at Fulchand Gupta, gardener of Gandhibaug.  Reached at Namamal and his brother Nasamal.  I paid my bill.  Rameshji was told by Baba to ask for loan with Namamal after the Sunset.  Accordingly Rameshji asked for Rs.325/- as a loan from Namamal.  It was received.  I could not avoid refection offered by Namamalji.  Then on two bicycles we returned at 8 P.M.

Baba called us inside for dinner. Again we faced his gastronomic astronomical preparations.  ‘Pantua’, ‘Rassogulla’ etc. were made to serve in heavy quantity.  At the same time he became nostalgic and narrated old stories.  Then we came out.

Everybody who came in Shri Baba’s contact reminded me that Shri Baba had a special affection for me and I realized it from his rare handwritten letters, dictations, permitted to take photographs, the presents and reception he gave to wife and me – a newly married couple, and always gave parting feast and came out to see me off. Retired for the day.


Ramesh Saxena left for his home.  I finished bath, had lunch and rest.  At 11.30 leisurely went on bicycle to ‘Naka’.  Met Pandeji.  By 12.30 as already informed a driver of a bus brought bananas through him from Anuppur.  Chatted with Pandeji.  Met Mr. Das whose bicycle was brought.  There was a slight drizzle.  Returned at ease.  Took rest.  Had a cup of coffee. After dinner Shri Baba called us in and gave sweets.

Yesterday night after dinner chat went on for a long time.  It was very cold weather.  I was exhausted and felt like retiring.  I made an excuse and suggested Shri Baba that Rameshji was to leave next day in the morning and hence would be too late to continue talk.  His sharp mind caught me.

Shri Baba asked me as to what hypocrisy I indulged in yesterday night and then He himself gave an answer in the form of the following dictation.

8.30 P.M.  Shri Baba’s dictation at Amarkantak:

“A developing mind should ignore nothing, not even the smallest deviation from the developing principle on his part.  Sporadic outcome of something undesirable from within the depth assuming the garb of a good formality resulting in the violation of divinising principles should never be lost sight of and should never be given an overlooking indulgence.

The second thing that has to be clearly understood is the distinction between morbid showiness and exhibition with the purpose and motive of making somebody realize some high principle of life for the latter’s wellbeing.  The first one is an outcome of the degenerating ego; the second is the offshoot of a really benevolent compassion.  This one becomes a necessity when the related person is in himself incapable of understanding something deeper than what he normally finds around him.  A broad application of this general principle is the legal maxim that it is not sufficient that justice is meted out but justice must be shown as rightly meted out.  Of course, this is rather a gross thing, a gross application of the fine principle described above.  Suppose you have a good heart and with good heart you do something for somebody else but the latter has not the capacity and the ability to understand what pulsates within you.  If you allow him to remain a captive to his own ignorance, subjectively no harm is done to you, of course, in the limited sense and of course inwardly if your peace of mind is not disturbed and you remain subliminally equipoised but your indifference does definite harm to the man concerned. At the same time you have to understand it clearly that with a heart and mind convulsing out of that misunderstanding if you give expression to yourself and try to make the person concerned feel with what feeling you did the thing, then the distorted condition of your heart and the brain will telepathically react adversely upon the man concerned and as a consequence resistance will come from his mental constitution not to accept what you say.  For non-acceptance, of course, this one is not the only reason. There is a full galaxy of causes and effects operating in the field and each particular case will have to be analysed in its proper background and perspective keeping it clearly in mind not to confuse determinism of one domain with that of the other.  Though not very relevant in this context, yet it may be stated here that most of the scientists in the modern mental science have been, without their knowing, hapless victims to this confusion making them indulge in so monstrously undue generalization that it evokes simple laughter and pity for the scientists.  In investigation with matter, a material scientist is less liable to committing these blunders in as much as it is far easier to demarcate and distinguish between variegated hypotheses, laws and principles of matter. In mental and vital sphere the phenomena are so confoundingly overlapping and the compounds are so complicatedly formed that the only highly penetrating mind is capable of distinguishing A from B.”

(This note indeed went overhead. Probably it was meant to impress my wife, a lecturer in psychology)

Shri Baba then dictated a second note as below:

“If you observe that someone of you commits a funny mistake then generally speaking it is better to make him understand his folly directly by your own effort, then by any of your utterances exposing him to Shri Baba.  If you do the latter then by the simple reaction of the human nature you will lose both his confidence and regard.  Of course, in serious matters if your attempt fails then it will be your sacred duty to bring that to Shri Baba’s notice. Otherwise you will not remain true to Shri Baba and the cause He stands for and there is definitely a clear thread of concinnity running through these apparent contradictions.”

Shri Baba’s above note was in context with an incident in which Saxena told Mr. Pande of ‘Pan kiosk’ that he was a Principal. So this was about his false bragging.

One thing must be noted that in all dictations Shri Baba never told to put ‘Shri’ or capital H for ‘him or he.’  It was the rule to be followed as told by Ramanidada just as never to keep feet pointed towards Shri Baba’s hut while sleeping.

It was dark and cloudy when I came out. Weather slightly became less cold. Slept.


Saturday. Got up early in the morning and went to Amarkantak on bicycle to drop letters. I had a brief chat with Pandeji and Mr. Das.  On way back took bath on the stream.

Some unknown old man came.  I received him and as per Shri Baba’s custom offered him lunch.  Then he left.  We had our lunch.  Immediately after lunch Shefali, Gitamasi, Pilu Chinu and I walked down to ‘Kapildhara’ waterfall of the Narmada.  All of us enjoyed the picnic.  I took lot of photographs.  We were back at 5.30 P.M. Again I realized I had loose motion and worm infection.  Took rest in the evening.  Food was being prepared inside.  Took dinner late.  Shri Baba prepared ‘pithapuli ’ a Bengali sweet dish that is never available in shops. Shri Baba’s culinary skills are unforgettable. He was a great foodie.

In Vienna Indian friends would collect at Netaji’s house to enjoy chicken preparations made by him. Ashok Nath Bose, his nephew and Saratda’s eldest son while with uncle Subhash mentions, “He was an excellent cook of Indian dishes, particularly chicken preparations and luchis.” (G-286) In house at Calcutta he would often enjoy cooking in Bivabati’s kitchen. In C.R.Das’s house he would make bhatebhat in Basantidevi’s kitchen, in jails he always used to cook for fellow prisoners. He idealized Vivekananda’s skill of cooking. He jocularly told Mukund Sarkar in Madras jail that at least he can earn as a cook.


Got up late.  Took cold-water bath.  Walked to Kapildhara where a bus driver met.  I told him to keep two seats on 13th.  He promised.   Wife and I prepared Maharashtrian spicy potato-cauliflower rice.  Some Bengalis from Calcutta came.  Their behaviour was suspicious.  I turned them out.  Shri Baba called me in to dictate the following note:

1 P.M.  “By analyzing just find out whether there is any element of vulgarity in today’s response with the expression,”Ata hu Baba”(Coming Baba)

I was bit surprised.  I knew not what was mannerly Hindi expression.  It was just reflex action.  However I received a good dose on it from him. Probably I should use Bengali expression ‘aggey

I came out and had a nap as cooking was going on.  At about 1 P.M. we had a heavy lunch.

At 3.30 P.M. Shri Baba went to take ‘Surja Rashmi’ i.e. the Sun’s rays in eyes.  Till then he was having a chat with me.  Behind Shri Baba’s hut, to the east of the Narmada, a ‘bedi’ i.e., mud platform was constructed at a distance of one furlong where he daily took the Sun’s rays.  When he was engaged in this I went to the roadside for sentry duty to guard any intrusion and disturbance by anyone.  The bedi is below a tree.  Shri Baba returned after a while and Dada, Gitamasi and Chinu were seated near Him.  I too was called.  Chat went on.  It was evening.  Then I came back.  Owing to late heavy lunch there was no cooking.  The night set in.  It was dark. He called us in. He gave two pieces of ‘samosas’ to each one of us. He prepared it.  Then we came out near fire and had a long chat.  We dispersed.

I had spicy rice.  Gitamasi joined.  Wife was lying and Gitamasi was seating on haunches.  We were having a chat.  I made a sign to my wife to sit up.  Retired.


Got up early in the morning. Finished ablutions and took bath with warm water before the Sunrise.  Warmed up near fire.  I had breakfast of ‘Chhana’, ‘Halva’, ‘roti’ and coffee.  I was called in early.  I was alone with him.  He talked with me for an hour and a half. We discussed politics.  Then he related as to how Radhakantji Pandey indulged in promiscuity at village Zundi.  When He demanded oranges to Rajat at the Ashram, for four days they were not furnished.  Dejectedly he said that these people had no feeling.  He remarked that bhakti’ (worship) should not be static. It should always be dynamic. In a morose mood he said he had lost the will to do anything. (Netaji.,“ I shall wait till the forces of evil are played out. I shall devote to plenty of work outside the domain of politics.” He narrated that he made preparation to start work and come out in Diwali but unfortunately Dinu and Nitya dada came and disturbed the whole plan. He discussed his worries about money and said, “ Suresh, coming two months are crucial. Let us see what happens. I wish to perform coup de grace but it seems that humanity will compel me to indulge in coup de etat. Lot more discussion took followed. Then Shri Baba asked me whether it would be possible for me to accompany and leave Pilu at Calcutta.  I explained my difficulty. .

My wife, Pilu and I went out to collect ‘boram’ berries in the adjoining shrub land.  Monkeys were screaming and screeching in panic and jumping frantically from branch to branch.  We collected berries and were back.  We then got the clue to panic of monkeys. A tiger came, drank water and went away from the opposite bank of the Narmada near Shri Baba’s hut.  We watched the tiger till it disappeared. Haribandhu told that when he used to go to Amarkantak to fetch milk, near stream he saw tiger many a times. Once he came across a pair of tigers with two cubs. He froze and nothing happened.

I had a short nap and afterwards all of us took lunch.  Chat. My wife always argued before all.  It was not to my liking. Haribandhu in Bengali told to Gitamasi to incite wife and watch fun. Their plan succeeded and when wife was off on me all were laughing and enjoying the fun.  I too joined them.  Then I explained to my wife everything and that she should learn a lesson.  She was annoyed.  She refused to accept boram berries from me and we decided not to talk with one another for three days.

In the afternoon Shri Baba went to take the Sunrays.  I went on sentry duty.  The Sun was about to set and Shri Baba called Dada and me.  He told that the tiger had come out.  The monkeys were giving the signal.  Then we had a general gossip.

As the night darkened, He called us in and offered ‘Pithapuli’ till we could stand no more.  We then came out near fire.  Shri Baba too joined us.  He was in good mood.  He related lot of stories from the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, Greek mythology, history, about saints, and war.

The weather was biting cold.  I went to bed at 10.30 P.M.


Got up late, ablutions.  Had cold-water bath and then walked up to nursery.  In the camp search was on for me.  I returned. Shri Baba immediately called me and my wife inside and gave the following dictation:

“Let us first have an analytical comprehension of the term ‘reactionary’.”

“ From the import of the root, we get the meaning containing a reaction but since it has got the connotation of containing some bad and unhealthy reaction.  There is nothing on the Earth —- no action without its reaction.  All reactions may be differentiated into three categories:  Dominantly congnitional, Dominantly affectional, and an amalgamation of cognition and affection more or less balancing each other.  In the English vocabulary there is no term suitable to connote the healthy side of reactions. Let us then coin the new termreactional’ to clearly distinguish it’s meaning from the term ‘reactionary’.

Man is essentially of feeling -— whether he knows it or not, he first feels and then argues.  With some limitations, this is a great handicap for objective understanding of things and phenomena but unless and until with deep inner penetration one succeeds in developing in oneself unqualified subjective attitude of objectivity, feeling first and arguing next, will continue to prevail. Now when a man has an action before his mind’s eye after the simple procedure of cognition, external or internal, has taken place, feeling at once starts operating, objectivity is either totally or mostly gone.  The reaction he develops within himself is mostly determined by his own dispositions and as such his reactions may be poles apart from what he actually gets by the way of cognition of the form of things vary to a great extent.  This variation is determined by the intrusion of his disposition into his faculty of cognition. Dalton and Berzelius quarreled about the structure of an atom and a molecule for decades because neither of them first cared to determine whether the objective connotations they gave to the terms were the same in both of their cases.  This simple failure of the right functioning of the brain and heart has been and will be for eternity more or less in intensity, the cause of millions of tragedies in human relations.  We can only try to devise means in minimizing its poignace.

Now right reaction is not necessarily a healthy reaction.  Right reaction is neither healthy nor unhealthy.  It runs parallel to objective cognition.  Suppose somebody reviles you, you at once develop spirit of retaliation as a reaction.  To this type we give the name unhealthy reaction and the personality behind it may be described as ‘reactionary’.  On the other hand if by dwelling upon the Divine essence of human nature in the depth, you look upon the madness with benevolent compassion from physiological maladies, you have a healthy reaction and the personality behind it may be termed as healthy ‘reactional’.  Again if your affectional attitude remains interested with equanimity only on the purely objective nature of action then it may be described as an objective right reaction neither healthy nor unhealthy.

Now the first thing necessary for human development is to make cognition free from the slavery of disposition.  The theory is very simple but the practice is Himalayan and the practical side of the details in penetration is stupendous both in volume and in degree, and intensity but unless this innate slavery to dispositions is done away with, good social relationship will be impossible to have its way.  The germs of trouble are there in the dispositions.  Even good dispositions divorced from objective consideration have their objective disaster in their own way, ultimately telling more or less upon the subjective side of the human constitution.

The first step that has to be taken about undoing the slavery and poignance of disposition is to become increasingly more self-conscious and with that           self-consciousness to analyse objectively the subjective side of your personality.  None need expect an all-covering result overnight.  With patience one has to practice it day in and day out.  After a deficiently considerable length of time, you will get the cumulative result in arousing in yourself ability of self-penetration and self-analysis only by which you can extricate yourself from the bondage of disposition by exposing their true nature to your own higher true self.  Reflexes are also a type of dispositions in motion.  That they are the type of dispositions is yet far beyond the reach of modern psychology.  These dispositions—physiological dispositions we call it are embedded in what we call physical consciousness.  Here again you must note that the consciousness is not the function of the mind. Modern psychologists have not even the barest idea of what mind is.  They have bundled up in a jumbled up manner everything internal in the term mind.  One of the variegated functions of the consciousness is mind.  Absolutely it is material by nature.  Only it contains the finer form of matter.  Behind it exists the consciousness and through the intertwining of consciousness into the mind the latter can operate otherwise it will remain dead as anything. The postulate of the modern psychology is the existence of mind but they have no understanding of what mind really is.  With the starting point so monstrously wrong, it is a pure moonshine to expect the hypotheses and laws they formulate will be correct.”

(It is beyond imagination as to how could he shoot ideas non-stop without any pause The passage was probably to impress my wife.)

Our lunch at noon was of ‘khichari’ served inside.  Then we took rest.  In the evening Shri Baba arranged to serve ”batatawadas’ (fried preparation of potatoes with covering of gram flour also known as alubondas) in His hut.  Again we experienced his gastronomic expertise.  In discussion He confirmed our scheduled departure.  From Shib dada’s letter it was known that due to floods in North Bengal the examinations were postponed.  Therefore Shri Baba called Pilu and asked her whether she would delay her going to home.  She was reluctant.

At night again we had a chat with Shri Baba.  Ramesh Saxena had sent a telegram that he would be unable to reach by Saturday.

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