1966 – Quest for Funds

Posted By Author on September 10, 2009

1966:  A Year of Goodbye to Shaulmari Ashram

Address on the front page of Diary: Bhat Surendranath son of Dhirendranath, Pandya of Badrikashram, P.O. Badrinath, district Chamoli (Garhwal)

Krishnakant Pandey came by plane from Calcutta to Nagpur and further by bus to my home at Amravati.  In the evening we called on Anantlal Dammani who expressed his inability to raise funds for Ashram.  He invited us for lunch tomorrow.  I made frantic efforts and procured rupees four thousand at 2 A.M. in the night.  My friend Chandrashekhar Dandge managed funds labouriously.

As per Baba’s message handed over four thousand rupees to Krishnakantji.  Both had lunch at Dammani.

Dispatched Rs. four thousand by telegraphic money order to Shaulmari Ashram.  The post did not accept more than six hundred rupees and it was funny to send seven T.M.O.s. All day, I was busy in arranging more amounts.

Gave additional five thousand in cash to Krishnakantji.  Including T.M.O.s amount I raised thirteen thousand in three days. Awesome pressure. My salary was hardly four hundred rupees per month.  Krishnakant Pandey left for Zalawar in Rajastan for Ashram’s court case.


Bombay. Dadasaheb Rege was a member of my committee appointed by the State Government.  I went to his famous school, Balmohan at Dadar.  He was founder and Principal of the school, a veteran and highly revered personality of Bombay. On my request Dadasaheb gave ring to P.K. Atre and fixed appointment at 8 P.M.  By taxi both of us reached the newly constructed building of daily newspaper ‘Maratha’. Acharya P.K. Atre was a versatile figure of Maharashtra.  He was a teacher, a critic, novelist, play-writer, columnist, editor, movie magnet, humorist, vociferous speaker, a legislator, politician and what not. He was waiting alone in his office.  Dada Rege introduced me as grandson of Babasaheb Khaparde of Amravati.  He sprang up from the chair and embraced me.  He was elated to tell me that my great grandfather Dadasaheb Khaparde was his guru of humor, which made him famous.  He said he had only four assets in life and showed bust of Shivaji, mother’s photograph, Baal Gandharva’s organ, and his pen lying on incomplete script of ‘Karheche Pani ‘.

I opened the topic and queried about his visit to Shaulmari Ashram.  He told that he loved Subhash.  He was cared very well in the Ashram but denied visit to His Holiness.  He was disillusioned and anguished and he had no faith in the Ashram.  However, he often referred that head of the Ashram knew him very well.  When I sought monetary help for the Ashram, he expressed his inability as he was under the burden of debt. He advised me to give up pursuit of the Ashram and told his own experience as to how he spent time and money on planchetee. He further advised to work hard as professor and expressed that he knew that the young blood would not listen.  However, he gave me good luck and good wishes twice.  When I again queried as to how Saradanandaji knew him well, he exclaimed that it was an enigma inexplicable. Then he showed his press, new machines, and introduced his worker one Mr. Hamid Dalwai, who spoke fluent in Marathi.  At about 11 P.M. we were to depart.  He called us from the door and told that under Russian pressure Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri signed no war pact with Pakistan at Tashkand and also signed withdrawal of Indian forces from captured territory including that of Pakistan occupied Kashmir.  He cursed Gandhi and Nehru for the school of appeasement and was disgusted.  Thus after three hours’ of dialogue, we bade goodbye.

Bombay. My bearer shot disheartening news that Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri died of heart attack at 1.30 A.M. IST in Tashkand.  Before death he rang his son-in-law inquiring about the reaction of the press and the Indian people on the truce he signed.  I feel he died because of intense mental pressure.

Reached Amravati at 4 A.M. Received T.M.O. receipts, Radhakant Pandey’s telegram, and letter from Krishnakant Pandey.

At dinner mother and brother derided my activities of Ashram.  Father told as to how Yogiraj, a saint near Bhedaghat on the bank of the river Narmada saved his life when infant.  He narrated as to how his maternal grandfather lived in a forest as a Yogi.  While meditating a tigress used to come and sit beside him. He told story of his father’s “snake Siddhi “.  Mother told me that when I was to be born my paternal grandmother dreamt her husband telling her, ”Why are you worrying?  I am coming.”  All feel that my infatuation of Ashram was due to rebirth.  None knew my real aim was to find the truth about the mystery of Netaji.

Krishnakantji conveyed Dammani’s attitude to Baba.  He was annoyed. He instructed me to repay him immediately with two years’ interest.  With the mediation of Chandrashekhar Dandge, I borrowed Rs.3000/- from his cousin Vasantrao Gawande. I paid principal amount of Rs. 1200/- and interest Rs.300/- to Anantlal Dammani.  The rest Rs 1500/- were sent to Ashram by TMO.


My friend, Prabhakar Wadodkar, Ph.D. Chemistry, came.  Together we planned Shaulmari Project.  I told him that I was at my wits end financially.  We jotted down points of similarities between Babaji and Netaji.  The conclusion was that I was to continue research at any cost.
The points of similarity between founder of Shaulmari Ashram His Holiness Saradanandaji and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose observed during my first two visits to Ashram jotted by both of us were as below:


  1. The baldness was similar to S.C. Bose.
  2. The flushed cheeks and lofty forehead resembled Bose.
  3. Eyebrows were similar with vertical scar on the left eyebrow. The scar was identical. It was shockingly incredible. It was rather an acid test that Baba was Subhash.
  4. Eyes below eyebrows and above eyelids appeared as if swollen. It was exactly similar to Bose.
  5. A slight squint in eye was an acid test that Baba was Netaji.
  6. When he swept the beard to one side, the apparent longish countenance looked oval like Subhash Chandra.
  7. When beard was pressed aside, color of skin of neck below beard was fair in complexion.
  8. The rest of the body looked tan and sunburned. Some books refer complexion of Subhash as fair and others describe dull complexioned. In fact, he had reddish copper complexion and hence he was nicknamed ‘Rangakakababu’ in his house.
  9. The height of Baba was about five feet ten inches. It was measured when he rushed through the door to see the bombers. The height exactly tallied with that of Subhash Bose.
  10. From white hair and beard age tallied around seventy.
  11. The lower lip of Baba was very similar to Netaji’s.
  12. A pleader of Jalpaiguri told me that Baba’s nose and S.C.Bose’s nose were exactly similar
  13. Neck was slightly protruded from shoulders just like Subhash.
  14. Subhash Chandra had glasses.  Baba used spectacles only to read, which I saw in his pocket.  He told me that he splashed cold water on forehead many times a day. This process according to him improved his eyesight.


  1. Both had Bengali mother tongue.
  2. Chain smoking of Capstan cigarettes. The habit and even brand of cigarette was common to both.
  3. Gets awfully angry in top voice like S.C.Bose.
  4. Occasionally non-vegetarian like Subhash.
  5. Never touched wine when in the Himalayas.
  6. Knowledge of Sanskrit, German, French, Hindi, Bengali, and command over English common to both.
  7. Baba said he visited many countries and he was student at Oxford and Cambridge.  Subhash Chandra Bose travelled to many countries. He was student of Cambridge.
  8. Baba told emphatically that Subhash never died in air crash.  Fujiwara might have shot Subhash as he had differences on censorship of his speeches that were to be broadcast from Japan and Singapore for Indians. He also told that at that time Fujiwara could not do anything for Tojo loved Subhash. He liked and backed Subhash. Baba positively rejected the death of Subhash. How a remote Sanyasi could know all details unless he himself was Subhash.
  9. Why should Baba defend and say, “Anita is certainly the daughter of Subhash Chandra Bose.” How did Baba know that?  Sarat Chandra Bose accepted daughter and marriage of Subhash.
  10. Baba said Subhash’s motive was good but means were wrong for if the axis power would have won the World War II, it would have been a great blow to humanity. Only Subhash Chandra Bose was capable of such a confession.
  11. Baba said, ”Jawaharlal definitely wanted to hide something from the people of India. He could have started on the spot enquiry of Subhash’s death. At least he could have instituted judicial enquiry.” This he said very angrily.  He remarked that the Bengal Government was good and inquisitive but the Central Government was coming in the way.  Except Subhash who else could say this?  The statement was corroborated by the fact that the files of the British Home Ministry of India on Subhash Bose were released after Nehru’s death.  Some Subhashwadi Janata people published Nehru’s letter addressed to Prime Minister Attlee. The letter requested Attlee to arrest Subhash Bose according to International Law, as prisoner of war. Authenticity?
  12. About Baba’s ‘Purbashram’ he exploded, “Even ten Governments like the present one come, they cannot have my ’Purbashram’ “. Subhash Bose dodged the Indian, American, the British and the Russian Governments. He could alone have had such confidence. He was a perfect and shrewd bluff-master for dodging.
  13. The photographs adorned in the Ashram of Goddess Kali, Vivekananda, Ramkrishna, Buddha, Christ, Rana Pratap, and Shivaji were ideals of Subhash Bose as well. They were in Netaji’s room at Calcutta and in his father’s drawing hall in Cuttack.
  14. Baba’s love for badminton was identical with that of Subhash.
  15. Niharendu Dutt Mazumdar was very intimate with Subhash and he was so with Baba.
  16. Baba’s whereabouts before 1948 were blank and they broadly tallied with disappearance of Netaji.
  17. Netaji’s last words with colleagues in INA were that he would go in search of the ‘Unknown’.  The Sanskrit couplet quoted by Baba on Buddha’s renunciation to find ultimate Truth tallied. Netaji on P.129 of his autobiography writes, “ Without realization and Divine revelation life is in vain.”
  18. Baba’s idea of opening five Universities tallied with Subhash’s group during college.
  19. Subjects of interest tallied.

I went with mother by car to Aurangabad, to fetch my ailing eldest sister. Purchased pocket book ‘Springing Tiger’ on Subhash Chandra Bose for Rs.25 and ‘Cross Roads’ by Netaji Research Bureau for Rs.15


Today is Netaji’s sixty-ninth birthday. He was elder to my father by three years. I had a very queer dream. With Baba I too became a ‘Sadhu’ and walked over snow in the Himalayas. (In due course it turned out to be true. ESP?)

…to be continued

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One Response to “1966 – Quest for Funds”


    i had oppurtunity to meet some eye witnesses of saradanandaji.they told me that BABA never made any comments on anita that she was the doughter of subhas chandra.not only that he also rediculed the approches of sarat bose and some members of bose famly in this matter.