Year 1967

Posted By Author on September 25, 2010


Got up at 5 A.M. It is New Year’s Day. Woke up others.  We all attended a prayer.  Shomu recited a line and we repeated it in Bengali.  After the prayer we completed ablutions and I went on sentry duty.  Ramanidada came.  We had a chat. The Sun rose.  Ramanidada left to take the Sunrays as taught by Baba.  I too made a show but dared not burn the retina.  I then went for bath on the river.

Baba came out after his lunch.  He started giving me dictation.  It was a letter to Shri Shantiswarup Saxena who was the editor of daily Hindi Times of Delhi. The Ashram once prosecuted him and after receiving his apology, the case was withdrawn.  Radhakant Pandey was with him since last fifty days.  They together met number of M.P.s to convince the Ashram’s cause and held press conferences too.  However, summons to Akshaya Kumar Jain about Navabharat Times case created fear complex in him.  Shantiswarup wrote a long three-paged letter to Ramani Ranjan Das, secretary, Shaulmari Ashram stating how they convinced M.P.s and how panicky was A.K.Jain, as he was President of All India Newspapers’ conference. He advocated publication of a twenty-paged weekly magazine in which two pages would be devoted to the Ashram.  He estimated an expenditure of Rs. one thousand for two thousand copies and predicted a weekly deficit of about hundred rupees, etc.  Baba dictated to me the following letter to him signed in the name of Ramanidada.  He added the draft after his noon siesta and I was told to reread the draft at least a dozen times.  Baba again made certain  corrections at night. It was his habit to revise dictation upto his satisfaction. Shantiswarup’s letter was dated 4th Dec.1966.  The reply was as below:

Dt/- 2/1/1967

“My Dear Shantiswarupji,

Received your letter dated 4th Dec. 1966 sent through hands of Radhakant.  Many thanks for the same. We are grateful to you for all the labor and all the trouble you have undertaken to convince many M.P.s and many press representatives of the lofty cause the Ashram stands for but if these attempts had been done with our knowledge by Radhakant in sincere co-operation with you, we would not have allowed either you or Radhakant to run from one M.P. to another to convince them of whatever the Ashram represents.  We care little for that.  If the whole press of the country goes against us it will not worry us at all.  In fact this running to the M.P. s on behalf of the Ashram has been a most undignified approach.  Truth does not require propaganda and publicity for its own sake.  If people require it let them come forward.  Shaulmari Ashram is the last organization, which will approach press or any other agency to do publicity work for it.

We of course realize and accordingly we have a plan for it that sooner or later the Shaulmari Ashram must publish a journal in different languages to disseminate its lofty ideals and the means to achieving it to the people at large. But as long as the experimental phase about spiritual means for collective integral evolution does not come to a successful end it would be premature to have such a publication.  In the mean time let the whole press throughout the county become scandalously vocal about our Ashram.  They have been barking at it for the last seven years, we believe, to certain extent either out of their own propensity of mischief or out of a sort of criminal callousness and irresponsibility about their work as journalists.  If sheer buying some news from certain press agencies and getting this published, beforehand caring not to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the news bought that affect the honour of other people, is journalism then to hell with such journalism. Let them do more and exhaust themselves of the degenerating wind they have.  When man speaks he speaks himself out and by speaking out he simply shows himself.  The time is coming when the whole press of the country will be held responsible, will be taken to task and perhaps will be brought to book for their heinously mischievous gain against the Shaulmari Ashram.  Time may not be too far when the people in general or the country will get the opportunity of having their own measurement of the modern press notorious for thriller and mischief.  There are exceptions but exceptions prove the existing lot.

Coming to the Navabharat Times case, it is wrong to assume that the case does not stand on its own merit.  It does cent percent. I wonder how you can also share this misconception that this case does not stand on its own merit.  As the case is subjudice we do not like to enter into it in details.  We expect by now you have received the letter of Radhakant and got necessary information about it.

With all appreciation with due gratitude felt at heart by us of your great labour undertaken for convincing the M.P. s, quite assuredly I like to bring it to your notice, if you suppose, it is your attempt that has brought about the failure of prospective privilege motion then you are totally in the wrong.  Your sincere endeavor in this respect has contributed to the furtherance of your own growth. The cause of the Ashram is self-dependable and is self-dependent.  It does not mean external attempt is not a necessity.  What it means is that it is only secondary.  The spiritual forces that have been cast in undefined generality in the cosmos day in and day out are working out what should be done.  How these spiritually evolving forces capable of interfering with human degeneration and of remoulding and remodeling human structure are generated is too deep for you to understand at this juncture, stage and phase of your own evolution.

Trust this letter will find you in the best of your spirit and health.
With affectionate regards “

Sd/- Ramani Ranjan Das

After Baba was finally satisfied with the draft he laughed and said to me, “ Suresh, after reading this letter they would again say that except Subhash Bose who else can say that time is coming when they will be punished as if no other man except Subhash can do it.”

We had a brief discussion.  I told Baba that if I would become complainant in the Hitavada case, I would teach a lesson to A.D. Mani.  In student life he drove us out when we went to invite him as chief guest. He was about to kick our buttock. We quickly escaped. If need be we shall institute three to four more cases against him.  Baba emitted a hearty laughter.  He then said greatness of man lies in humility and gave the following dictation.

“The first symptom of meanness is one’s being too much egoistically conscious about one’s greatness.  Real greatness is a spontaneously disseminating entity.  The more you are egoistically conscious about your greatness, the less great you are. Objective fathoming of one’s greatness, is quite a different thing.  It exists in all great men without any slavery to egoism.  When the great Swami Vivekananda says, ‘ If there were another Vivekananda you would have realized what Vivekananda has done.’ This expression is completely without any moorings to egoism purely and objective one.  It gives out what the great Swami thinks about the work in pure objectivity.  When lord Krishna says ‘Mamewam ye prapadyante mayametam tarantite’. It is definitely not an egoistic expression but an objective declaration.”

After some discussion Baba was to retire inside but since Gobind Shah was sent to Kund to receive Budhiballabhji we were waiting for their arrival.  According to plan Budhiballabh was to reach with insecticides by 5 P.M. today, the Sunday.  However Shomu told that he saw the bus passing.  Gobind came back alone. Budhiballabh did not come as promised and decided earlier.  As usual the result was an explosion of anger.  If a person did not perform a given work at given time it always perturbed Baba visibly.
Baba ordered to call Ramanidada.  He said he would start afoot for Rudraprayag immediately.  He expressed that he could not live in uncertainty. He called Radhakant a big fool.  I interfered and told Baba that Budhiballabh was asking for a grace of one extra day to complete purchases as he was in monetary difficulty.  He said why was he not apprised of it.  All told balance in the camp eroded to rock bottom of Rs. 7/- only.  I added my last pocket money of Rs. 3.50/-.  I suggested that mine and Saxena’s wristwatches be mortgaged or sold at Okhimath and Shomu should do it.  He kept mum and was unwilling.  Baba fired volley of our past mistakes. He left and within minutes Shomu, Gobind, Ramesh, and I were summoned in his hut.  Ramanidada, Dipali and Gita with Chinu joined us.  Fire was lit on the floor for warmth.  Again he began erupting his anger.  I kept calm and cool as I was now accustomed to this.

Baba informed us his resolve to walk afoot to Rudraprayag and by morning he would walk to Shrinagar and purchase disinfectants.  I remarked that the distance was about fifty five miles on which he observed,” It is not possible to walk so much now.  If I walk three miles pain begins to shoot in lungs. When after bath I climb up from river to hut I have to gasp for breathing and take rest.  It is impossible. Instead of that I shall go to higher altitude.” He was always very particular about meticulous planning and any hitch would disturb him awfully.

He changed the plan and told me to write to Chandrashekhar Dandge not to come from Amravati.  He should wait till further message. Inform others too not to come.  He said he would be going to Gangotri about two hundred miles away and that every hour was important to him.  I suggested that even if the work did not start he should refrain from going.  He said he was now unable to defer the start of work.
Next moment he said that he would be back after a couple of years and till then nothing would be done.  He observed that might be he would not return at all. Someone who would come after him would do his work. His mind was wavering.  Immediately he said that there was no problem of Chinu, as worldly physical laws did not apply to her.  He predicted that after his departure Chinu would survive at the most for a couple of years.  After her death she should be washed by holy water of Ganges and then cremated.  Nothing else. It was anger and mounting anger.  He told that Shomu would go to Shrinagar and sell all utensils to Wachaspati, owner of a hotel.  He might not be there and Shomu’s going would be useless he observed.

I was calm and intermittently he would tell me as to how foolish the rest were.  Ultimately I requested him to tell any work which was within our reach.  I suggested that I would construct a high platform where he would not be disturbed by flies in meditation.  He kept mum.  Nothing was in our hands.  After some time we returned.  In this poverty stricken people of mountainous region we incurred a debt of about twenty thousand rupees, which was at saturation point.

In our hut all of us were tension-free.  Everybody was fed up with his angry moods mostly due to paucity of funds.  Jokes and laughing was going on.  However, Baba again summoned us and Shomu and Saxena were dispatched to Okhimath to sell latter’s wristwatch. He had cooled down and told to prepare food.  He then took out the Bengali almanac and quickly changed pages after pages to see the astrological timings.  Baba asked me whether I knew India’s sign of Zodiac.  He told that it was Capricorn.  I said mine too was that and laughingly he told that he too had the same.  Then he studied the auspiciousness of time and observed that whenever and whatever work he would start impediments were certain in the way.  He told me to inform him about arrival of Shomu from Okhimath and left for a wash on the river.

I took chapatis with milk and we sat near fire in front of our hut.  The weather was very cold.  I had double clothing and yet my teeth were chattering due to cold.  Shomu and Saxena arrived late.  As per routine with incense burning on embers I entered Baba’s hut and informed him that all shops were closed and mission to Okhimath was not successful.  Again he flared up and told me that he would leave tonight.  With brief talk I returned and retired for the day.

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