22) THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS OF THE MASTER’S LIFE FROM AFTER THE WORSHIP OF THE SHODASI TO THE COMING OF HIS ‘MARKED’ DEVOTEES
1. The death of Rameswar
We have told the reader that the Holy Mother came Backto Kamarpukur in the month of October, 1873, after the worship of Shodasi. Shortly after her arrival there, Rameswar, the second elder brother of the Master, died of typhoid. Spirituality in some form or other was manifest in the life of each man and woman belonging to the Master’s paternal lineage. We have heard many things illustrative of this in regard to Rameswar.
2. Rameswar’s charitable nature
Rameswar was a man of a very liberal nature. He would give unhesitatingly to Sannyasins and Fakirs, coming to his door, whatever they asked for, provided it was there in the house. We were told by his relatives that Fakirs used to come and want many things – one, a cooking pot, another a water-pot, a third a blanket and so on, – and Rameswar brought them all out from the house and gave them away to them. If any member of the house raised an objection, he calmly said, “Let them take them; do not say anything; many such articles we shall have again; why do you bother?” Rameswar had some knowledge of astrology too.
3. The Master’s prescience of Rameswar’s death and his warning to him
When Rameswar was going home from Dakshineswar for the last time, the Master knew that he would not have to return from there, and in an ecstasy, said to him, “You are going home, I see; go, but do not share the bed with your wife; if you do, it is doubtful whether you will survive.” One of us1 heard this from the Master himself later.
4. Thinking that the life of his mother would be in danger at the news of Rameswar’s death, the Master pray to the divine Mother. The result of the prayer
Shortly after Rameswar reached home, word came that he was ill. When the Master heard it, he said to Hriday, “He did not obey the prohibition; it is doubtful whether his life will be saved.” After five or six days the news came that Rameswar had passed away. The Master was much afraid that the news of the death of her son would be a great shock to his aged mother. He went to the temple and prayed plaintively to the Universal Mother to save her from grief. Then the Master went with tears in his eyes, we were told by himself, from the temple to the Nahavat to break the news and to console his mother. The Master said, “I was afraid that mother would completely lose her consciousness on hearing it and was doubtful whether her life would be saved. But, in fact, the contrary happened. Mother heard the news, expressed a little grief and started consoling me saying, “The world is transitory; die every one must some day; it is, therefore, useless to grieve,” and so on. It seemed to me that the divine Mother had tuned her mind to a high pitch like a Tanpura keyed up to a very high note and that was why worldly grief and sorrow could not touch her. When I noticed this I saluted the divine Mother again and again and became free from anxiety.”
5. The behaviour of Rameswar when he knew that death was near at hand
Rameswar knew the time of his death five or six days before the event took place. He told his relatives of it and made all preparations for his obsequies and the Sraddha ceremony. Seeing a mango tree in front of the house being cut down for some reason, he said, “It is good; the wood will be of use in my funeral rites.” He uttered the holy name of Sri Ramachandra till his last moments. He lay unconscious only for a short while before he passed away. Before his death Rameswar requested his relatives not to cremate his body in the burning ground but to bury it on the road by it. Asked the reason for it, he said, “I shall attain a high heaven by virtue of the touch of the dust of the many Sadhus’ feet treading the road.” Rameswar died at dead of night.
6. After his death Rameswar talked with his friend Gopal
Rameswar and a man of the village, named Gopal, had been friends for a long time. Gopal said that after Rameswar’s death at that time on that day, he heard a tap at the door of his home and, on enquiry, got the reply, “I am Rameswar, going to take a dip in the Ganga. There is Raghuvir there, in the house; please see that His worship does not suffer in any way”. When Gopal was about to open the door at the call of his friend, he was told again, “I have no body; so, you will not be able to see me even if you open the door.” Gopal opened the door in spite of that but found no one there. He then went to Rameswar’s house to know if what he had heard was true and found that Rameswar had actually passed away.
7. Ramlal, the Master’s nephew, came to Dakshineswar and was appointed priest. The temple of Annapurna at Chanak
Ramlal Chattopadhyaya says that his father, Rameswar, died in 1873 at the age of about forty-eight. He collected the ashes of his deceased father and came to Vaidyavati near Calcutta and immersed them in the Ganga. He then crossed the river there by boat for the Purpose of coming to the Master at Dakshineswar. Looking at Barrackpur while crossing the river, he saw that the temple to the Devi Annapurna which was being constructed on behalf of Jagadamba Dasi, the wife of Mathur Babu, was then half-built. The installation of the Devi took place afterwards in 1875. At Rameswar’s death, his son Ramlal was appointed priest to perform worship at Dakshineswar.
8. The story of Sambhu Mallick, second supplier of the Master’s necessaries
When Mathur died, Sambhuchandra Mallick of Sinduriapati, Calcutta, came to be acquainted with the Master and developed great love and reverence for him1. Sambhu had at this time a great love for the religion practised by the Brahmo Samaj. He became known to the people of Calcutta on account of his great munificence. His love and devotion to the Master became deeper day by day and he had the privilege of serving him like Mathur. Sambhu was glad to supply his wants, whenever he came to know of any. He continued to serve him to the last of his days and felt highly gratified. Sambhu addressed the Master as “Guruji”, honoured preceptor. Annoyed at it, the Master said, “Who is the Guru and who is the disciple? You are my Guru.” But, instead of desisting, Sambhu called him so all his life. His addressing the Master that way is a clear proof of the fact that Sambhu had received much light on his spiritual path because of the Master’s divine company, under the influence of which his religious life was crowned with complete success. His wife also offered her heart-felt worship to the Master as God Himself, and when the Holy Mother stayed at Dakshineswar, brought her to her house every Tuesday2and worshipped her holy feet with the sixteen articles.
9. Sambhu Babu built a room for the Holy Mother. Captain helped. The Master passed one night in that room
The Holy Mother came to Dakshineswar for the second time probably in the middle of 1874. She lived now as before with the Master’s mother at the Nahavat. Knowing this and inferring that she was feeling it uncomfortable to live in that small room, Sambhu purchased for two hundred and fifty rupees a plot of land near the Dakshineswar temple, on which he wanted to build a spacious thatched room for her. Captain Viswanath Upadhyaya, an officer of the Nepal Government, was then paying visits to the Master and had become greatly devoted to him Knowing the resolve of Sambhu to have the room built, Captain Viswanath readily came forward with the offer of supplying all the timber necessary for building it. For, the Sal wood business of the Government of Nepal was then in his hands and, therefore, it was not very expensive for him to supply it. When the work of building the room began, Viswanath sent three big pieces of Sal wood from his stock at the village of Belur across the Ganga. But, as there was a strong flood tide in the river at night, one piece was carried away. Hriday became annoyed at it and went the length of calling the Holy Mother “unfortunate”. Hearing, however, that one piece was carried away, the Captain sent another and the building was completed. The Holy Mother lived in that room for about a year. A woman was then appointed to be with the Holy Mother and to help her in the household work. The Holy Mother cooked food there, brought it daily to the Master at the Dakshineswar temple and came Backafter the Master had taken it. The Master also used to come to that room to meet her, some time during the day, be with her for a short period and returned to the temple. There was an exception to this routine only on one occasion. As soon as the Master came one afternoon there, it went on pouring so heavily and continuously till it was very late at night so that it was impossible for him to come Backto the temple that night. He was, therefore, compelled to pass the night there. The Holy Mother cooked for him soup and rice; the Master partook of them and passed the night there.
10. The Holy Mother fell seriously ill while she was living in that room, and went to Jayramvati
The Holy Mother had a severe attack of dysentery when she had lived in that room for a year. Sambhu Babu took much care to get her cured. He called Dr. Prasad and she was placed under his treatment. During her convalescence, she was sent to her native village Jayramvati probably in 1876. Hardly had she reached the village when there was a relapse of the disease and she was again bedridden. It increased so much gradually that everyone doubted whether she would recover. Ramchandra, the revered father of the Holy Mother, had passed away by then. So, her mother and brothers served her as much as they could. Hearing of her severe illness the Master, we were told, said to Hriday, “So, Hriday, her coming into .the world and leaving it will be in vain, and nothing of the purpose for which the human body is assumed viz., the attainment of God, will have been achieved!”
11. The Holy Mother undertook Prayopavesana in Simhavahini’s temple and got the medicine
Seeing that the disease was not alleviated by any means, the Holy Mother had the idea of undertaking Prayopavesana (fasting unto death), before the Devi. Thinking that her mother and brothers might stand in her way if they knew it she went without their knowledge to Simhavahini’s temple in the village and undertook Prayopavesana there. Scarcely had she been there in that condition for a few hours, when the Devi was pleased and prescribed the medicine for her recovery.
No sooner had she taken the medicine according to the bidding of the Devi than she came round and became strong as before. Since the Holy Mother undertook Prayopavesana and got the medicine, the Devi has become well known in the surrounding villages, as one especially “awakened.”1
12. The fearless behaviour of Sambhu Babu at the time of his death
Sambhu served the Master and the Holy Mother for about four years, when he was laid up in his sick-bed. One day the Master went to see Sambhu during his illness and said when he returned, “There is no oil in Sambhu’s lamp.” The words of the Master came true and Sambhu died soon after, of diabetes with complications. Sambhu Babu was very liberal and he was an intrepid devotee of God. The cheerfulness of his mind was not impaired even for a single day during his illness. With a cheerful heart did he say to Hriday a few days before he passed away, “I have no anxiety about death; I have packed up all my bag and baggage and am quite ready to depart.” Long before he was acquainted with Sambhu Babu, the Master, while in ecstasy, saw that the Mother of the universe had appointed Sambhu his second supplier of necessaries, and he recognized him at the first sight as such.
13. The last days of Chandramani, the Master’s mother, and her death
There happened an important event in the Master’s life after the Holy Mother had gone to her father’s house during her illness. The Master’s mother Chandramani Devi passed away in her eighty-fifth year on his birthday in 1876. On account of dotage the powers of her mind and sense were impaired to a great extent for a few years before her death. We record here the description of her death as it was given to us by Hriday.
Hriday was about to go home on leave, four days before she died. His mind became restless on account of an unknown fear before he started, and he could by no means bring himself to leave the Master alone and go. Hriday apprised the Master of his apprehension, when the latter said, “Then you need not go.” Three days passed safely.
The Master used to go to his mother everyday for some time and serve her with his own hands.
Hriday also used to serve her, and Kali’s mother, a woman servant, remained for almost the whole of the day-time with the old lady. She was not now well disposed towards Hriday, For, in her dotage she had a notion from the time of Akshay’s death that it was Hriday who had killed him and that he was trying to kill the Master and his wife. This was why she sometimes warned the Master and said, “Never comply with what Hriday says.” Signs of her loss of understanding through age and infirmity were found in various other respects too. Take for example the following fact. The Alambazar jute mill was situated near the Dakshineswar garden. The workers of the mill were given leave for some time during midday. They were again called to work half an hour later by the sounding of a whistle. The old lady came to the conclusion that the sound of the whistle of the mill was that of the blowing of conchs in Vaikuntha. Therefore she would not sit to take her food till that whistle was sounded. Requested to take food, she would say, “How can I eat just now? Food has not yet been offered to LakshmiNarayana. The conch in Vaikuntha has not yet been blown. Should one take one’s food before that?” It was difficult to make her sit to take her food on mill holidays on which the whistle was not sounded. Hriday and the Master had to invent various means to make her take her food.
The fourth day came; she showed no signs of illness. The Master went to her after dark and filled her mind with joy by leading the conversation on to his early life and telling her accounts about it. She was sent to bed at midnight, when the Master returned to his room.
It was morning the next day. The clock struck eight. But the old lady did not open the door and come out. Kali’s mother went up to the door of the room on the first floor of the Nahavat and called her repeatedly, but got no reply. She put her ears to the door and heard an unnatural sound coming out of the old lady’s throat. She became alarmed and informed the Master and Hriday about it. Hriday went, opened skilfully the bar of the door from outside and found that she was lying unconscious. He then brought Ayurvedic medicine and placed it on her tongue. He also began to make her drink milk and Ganga-water drop by drop at short intervals. She continued in that condition for three days. Then came the last moments. She was taken to the sacred Ganga. The Master offered at her lotus feet flowers, sandal-paste and leaves of the holy basil. As it was forbidden for the Master, a Sannyasin, to per form the obsequies of his mother, his brother’s son Ramlal was deputed by him to perform her funeral rites. When the period of defilement was over, Ramlal, at the request of the Master, set free a bull and performed the Sraddha ceremony according to the prescription of the scriptures.
14. The Master went to perform Tarpana at his mother’s death, but could not do it. He was in a state in which actions drop off naturally
Paying regard to the prestige and honour of Sannyasa and to the scriptural injunctions connected with it, the Master did not observe Asaucha or perform any other rites at the death of his mother. Feeling that he had not performed any action proper for a son, one day he was about to offer Tarpana. But no sooner did he take up an Anjali of water than a state of spiritual inspiration came on him; his fingers became insensible and separated from one another and all the water fell between the fingers, in spite of his repeated efforts to perform the rite. Then with a heart laden with sorrow he sorely pleaded to his deceased mother his utter incapacity to do it. He was told afterwards by a Pandit that this state comes to a man who has reached the state when actions drop off. With his progress in spirituality he reaches a state when performance of all Vedic actions is naturally rendered impossible and he incurs no sin on that account.
15. The Master went to see Kesav Babu
An important event took place in the Master’s life by the will of the divine Mother a year before ‘his mother passed away. In 1875 there arose a desire in the Master’s mind to meet Kesavchandra Sen, the leader of the Brahmo Samaj of India. While the Master was in ecstasy, he received the direction of the Universal Mother in this matter, and knowing that Kesav with his disciples was then engaged in spiritual practices at Jaygopal Sen’s garden house in Belgharia, a few miles to the north of Calcutta, he went there with Hriday (from whom we have this information) in Captain Viswanath’s carriage and reached there at about 1 p.m. The Master wore that day a piece of red-bordered cloth. The lower extremity of its front, tucked in folds, was thrown up over his left shoulder and it was swinging behind his back.
16. Kesav in the garden at Belgharia
Hriday got down from the carriage and saw Kesav and his followers sitting on the Ghat of the garden pond. Coming up to him, he informed Kesav, “My maternal uncle is a great lover of God and likes to hear talks and songs on Hari. Listening to them, he gets inspired and enters into ecstasy. He has heard that you are a great devotee of God and has come here to listen to the talks on divine glory from you. If you kindly agree, I shall bring him here.” Kesav gave his assent. Hriday helped the Master in alighting from the carriage and accompanied him. Kesav and others were till then very anxious to see him, but, when they saw him, their eagerness cooled down and he was taken to be an ordinary man.
17. His first talk with Kesav
The Master came to Kesav and said, “Is it true, gentlemen, that you all have the vision of God? I have a desire to know the nature of that vision. That is why I have come to you.” In that way the topic of God was taken up. We cannot say what Kesav said in answer to the Master’s words. But the Master, we were told by Hriday, sang the famous song of Ramprasad, “Who knows, O mind, how Kali is; She cannot be seen by the study of the six Darsanas” and immediately entered into Samadhi. When they saw that state of ecstasy of the Master, Kesav and others did not regard it as a high spiritual state. They thought that it was mere feigning or was due to a derangement of the brain. With a view to bringing him Backto normal consciousness, Hriday now began uttering the Pranava into his ears. At this his face brightened up with a sweet smile. Thus regaining partial consciousness, the Master now went on explaining profound spiritual matters in so simple a language with the help of common examples that all were charmed and sat looking steadfastly at his face. Nobody noticed that the time for bath and meal was long past and imperceptibly the hour for the next prayer was almost come. Seeing that mood of theirs, the Master said, “If any other animal comes to a herd of cattle, they go forward to gore it; but, if a cow comes they lick its body and it is theirs. Our case is just the same today.” He then addressed Kesav and said, “Your tail has dropped off.” Unable to understand its meaning, the followers of Kesav looked annoyed, when the Master charmed them all by explaining its significance to them. “Look here,” said he, “as long as the tadpole has its tail, it lives only in water and cannot come up on land; but, when the tail drops off, it can live on land as well as in water. Even so, as long as a man has the tail of ignorance, he can live in the water of the world only, but when that tail falls off, he can as freely move about in the world as in Existence-Knowledge-Bliss. Your mind, O Kesav, has now attained that state in which you can live in the world as also in Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.” The Master spent a long time discussing various topics like this and came Backto Dakshineswar that day.
18. The intimate relation between the Master and Kesav
Kesav’s mind was so much attracted towards the Master since he saw him first that, from now on till his passing away, he deemed it an honour and a privilege to meet him and enjoy his divine company very often. He would either come himself to the Dakshineswar temple or take the Master now and then to his “Kamal Kutir” residence at Calcutta. The relation between the Master and Kesav deepened so much that both of them felt a great want if they did not see each other even for a few days. At such times the Master used to go to Kesav in Calcutta or the latter would come to the former at Dakshineswar. Besides, Kesav considered it to be a part of the annual festival of the Brahmo Samaj to come with his companions to the Master or take him to them and spend a day with him in divine conversations. Many were the occasions when he with his followers came to Dakshineswar in a steamer singing the glory of God, had the Master brought up into it and took a trip on the Ganga, all the while listening to his ambrosial teaching.
19. How Kesav behaved at Dakshineswar
Remembering the scriptural injunctions, Kesav never came empty-handed to Dakshineswar. Whenever he came, he brought with him some fruits and placed them before the Master and like a devoted follower sat at his feet and conversed with him At one time the Master said to him by way of a joke, “Kesav, you charm so many people by your lectures; say something to me!” Kesav replied humbly, “Sir, am I to come to a blacksmith’s shop to sell needles? (i.e., am I to carry coal to Newcastle?) Please say something yourself and let me listen. People are charmed as soon as I tell them a few words of yours.”
20. The Master explained to Kesav: “Brahman and Its power are one and the same. The three, divine word, devotee, and divine Lord are One, and the One is the three.”
One day the Master explained to Kesav at Dakshineswar that if one accepted the existence of Brahman, one had similarly to accept the existence of the power of Brahman and that Brahman and Its power were eternally one and the same. Kesav accepted it. The Master then told him that, like Brahman and Its power, the three entities, namely, the divine words (the scriptures), the devotee, and the divine Lord are non-separate; in other words, eternally identical. The three, namely, the scriptures, the devotee and the divine Lord are One, and the One is the three. Kesav understood and accepted this too. The Master went on to say that the three, namely, the Guru, Krishna (the divine Lord), and the devotee are One and One is the three, which he was then going to explain to him. Kesav mused a little – we do not know what thoughts passed through his mind – and said with humility, “Sir, I cannot accept now more than what you have said already. It is, therefore, needless to raise this topic at present.” The Master said, “That’s all right. Let us stop here.” The mind of Kesav which had been inspired with the Western ideas and ideals, had thus received much light from the divine company of the Master and, understanding day after day the mystery of the Vedic religion, plunged in Sadhana. This is evident to us because his religious opinion gradually underwent a change as he came into close contact with the Master.
21. The Coochbehar marriage took place in 1878. Wounded by its repercussion Kesav attained spiritual depth. The Master’s opinion on the marriage
The human mind, unless grievously wounded, does not feel like detaching itself from the world and realizing God as its all. Kesav got a shock when he gave away his daughter in marriage to the prince of Coochbehar about three years after he had become acquainted with the Master. This marriage produced a great commotion in the Brahmo Samaj of India, and split it in two. The party opposed to Kesav separated themselves from the society and formed a new one called the General Brahmo Samaj. The Master at Dakshineswar was much shocked to hear of that quarrel between the two parties over a petty matter. Hearing of the rule of the Brahmo Samaj about the marriageable age of girls, the Master said, “Birth, death and marriage are things entirely under the will of God. They cannot be brought under hard and fast rules. Why did Kesav set about to fix that?” If any one raised the topic of the Coochbehar marriage and condemned Kesav in the presence of the Master, he used to say, “How is Kesav to blame for doing that? He is a man with a family. Why should he not do what is good for his sons and daughters? What is there to be condemned when a man having the responsibility of a family on his shoulders does this without deviating from the path of virtue? Kesav in no way acted contrary to religion or morality. He has, rather, discharged the duty of a father.” Viewing it thus from the standpoint of the duties of a householder the Master always supported Kesav’s action as not in any way blameworthy. However, there is no doubt that this blow dealt by the incident of the Coochbehar marriage turned Kesav’s mind more inward and led it more rapidly along the path of spirituality.
22. Kesav could not fully grasp the ideas and ideals of the Master. He honoured the Master but could not accept the ideal 1. We heard it from Vijaykrishna Goswami.
Although he was dearly loved by the Master and had many opportunities to see and hear him, it is doubtful whether Kesav, inspired with Western ideas and ideals as he was, understood him perfectly. For, on the one hand, he looked upon the Master as a living embodiment of spirituality – he personally took him to his house, showed him round the places where he went to bed, where he ate, where he sat and where he reflected on the good of his Samaj, asked him to bless him so that his mind might not forget God and think of worldly objects in any one of these places and, taking him to the place where he meditated on God, offered flowers at his lotus feet.1When he came to Dakshi-neswar, he was seen by many of us to salute the Master uttering “Victory to the (New) Dispensation.”
23. The New Dispensation and the Master’s opinion
On the other hand, he was unable to accept fully the Master’s saying, “All religions are true – as many faiths, so many paths,” and he tried to found a new faith called “The New Dispensation” by picking out what appeared to him to be the essentials of all religions and rejecting what seemed nonessentials in them. As this faith came into existence shortly after Kesav’s acquaintance with the Master, it is probable that it was a partial acceptance and propagation of the Master’s final conclusion regarding the true nature of all religions.
24. The intricate national problem of India has been solved by the Master alone
When the powerful waves of Western education and civilization came to India and began to bring about a radical change in the attitude towards ancient knowledge of Brahman and the manners and customs of society, every talented man of this country tried to find out a harmony between the culture and civilization of the East and those of the West. Just as in the province of Bengal, Rammohan Roy, Maharshi Devendranath, Brahmananda Kesav and others sacrificed their lives for that purpose, even so, in other parts of the country many great souls are known to have appeared and carried on the same work; but none of them could perfectly tackle it before the advent of the Master. The Master duly performed the disciplines of all the religions of India in his own life and, getting the proper result in each of them, showed that the religion of this country was not the cause of its degradation and that that cause must be sought elsewhere. He showed also that society, manners, customs, in short, the culture and civilization of India had, as their basis, religion, which had brought glory and prosperity to this country in the past, – that the same life-giving religion still exists in full; and that we could again successfully pilot our national ship, if only we could base all our efforts and endeavours on religion and on nothing else. Living the ideal life himself, the Master showed further how religion could broaden the outlook of man. Next he transmitted the liberalizing power of that religion to his disciples – especially to Swami Vivekananda – who were till then inspired by Western ideas and ideals, taught them how to perform all actions in the world as ancillary to religion; and thus gave a wonderful solution for the above-mentioned intricate problem of India. Just as by his gaining of the ultimate results of all the faiths of the world through their respective practices he has pointed out how to remove all differences in the spiritual realm all over the world, even so, by being perfect in all the faiths of India through their orthodox methods, he has silenced all wranglings about the religions of the land and has shown us on what basis our nationality has all along stood and shall stand.
25. The Master’s reaction to Kesav’s death
Even though Kesav failed to understand the full implication of the Master’s ideals, the Master had a wonderful love for him which we could understand from his reaction to Kesav’s death in 1884. The Master said, “I could not leave my bed for three days when I got that news; it seemed as if a limb of mine was paralysed.”
26. The Master sew Gauranga in Sankirtan
We shall bring this appendix to a close by mentioning another event which happened when he met Kesav for the first time. The Master then had a desire to witness the all-bewitching peripatetic Sankirtan of Sri Chaitanya. The divine Mother fulfilled that desire of his by showing it to him in the way described below: Standing outside his room, he saw wonderful waves of Sankirtan coming towards him from the direction of the Panchavati, proceeding towards the main gate of the Dakshineswar garden and disappearing behind the tree. He witnessed that, absorbed in the love of God, Gauranga, the moon of Navadwip, was proceeding with a slow gait in the centre with Nityananda and Advaita on either side, surrounded by a dense multitude. They were all in a state of spiritual inebriation produced by God-love, some expressing the bliss of their hearts by losing control over themselves and others by wild ecstatic dances. The crowd was so great that it looked as if there was no end to the number of people there. A few faces in that wonderful Sankirtan got impressed on the canvas of the Master’s memory in bright colours. When he saw them coming as his devotees shortly after he had had that vision, the Master arrived at the certain conclusion that they had been the companions of Chaitanya in their previous lives.
Shortly after he had had that vision, the Master went to Kamarpukur and to Hriday’s native village, Sihar. Phului-Shyambazar is situated a few miles away from the latter place. Hearing that there were many Vaishnavas there who filled the place with the bliss of Sankirtan everyday, he had a desire to go there and listen to it. The village of Belte stood near Shyambazar. Natavar Goswami of that village had met the Master before, and invited him to sanctify his home with the dust of his feet. Accompanied by Hriday, the Master went to his house, lived there for seven days and enjoyed the bliss of Sankirtan with the Vaishnavas of Shyambazar. Being acquainted with the Master, Isanchandra Mallick of that place invited him with great respect to his house to share the bliss of Sankirtan there. The Vaishnavas were much attracted towards him to see his wonderful moods during Sankirtan. The news of his wonderful moods spread all around – not only in Shyambazar but also to Ramjivanpur, Krishnaganj and other villages far and near. Then came from those villages parties of Sankirtan with a view to enjoying divine bliss with him. That made the village very much crowded and Sankirtan went on night and day. There was then the general talk that there had come a devotee of God who died and revived many times a day. People forgot food and sleep and, anxious to see him, climbed up trees and got on the roofs of houses. Thus, for three days and nights, there flowed a tide of celestial bliss there. People became mad, as it were, to see the Master and to touch his feet. And the Master had no time to take his bath or meal. Hriday afterwards fled secretly with him to Sihar, when that “mart of joy” came to an end. Isan Choudhuri, Natavar Goswami, Isan Mallick, Srinath Mallick and others of the village of Shyambazar and their descendants mention that event even today and cherish great love and respect for him. The Master also became acquainted with Raicharan Das, the famous Khol (drum) player of Krishnaganj. As soon as he played on the Khol, the Master would go into ecstasy. We were told of the above-mentioned event partly by the Master and partly by Hriday. We have been able to ascertain its date in the following way:
A great devotee of the Master, Mahendranath Pal, the physician of Alambazar, met the Master after Kesav Babu had had the privilege of meeting him in 1875. He said to us that the Master had returned only a short time before from Sihar when he went to see him for the first time. That day the Master told him of the aforesaid happening at Phului-Shyambazar.
Swami Yogananda’s house was situated within a short distance of the Dakshineswar temple. So, leaving aside his case, we may note that the chosen devotees of the Master started coming to him from 1879. Swami Vivekananda came to him in 1881 and Jagadamba Dasi also died in 1881. Hriday foolishly worshipped during this time the feet of Mathur Babu’s grand-daughter of very tender age, about six months afterwards. Her father apprehending that evil might befall the child, became much annoyed and dismissed Hriday from the service of the Kali temple. So the event under discussion must have taken place some time in or before 1879.
Here ends the Sadhakabhava.
1. Swami Premananda.
1. Some of the Master’s devotees say that they heard him mention the fact that after the death of Mathur Babu, Manimohan Sen of Panihati took upon himself the loving duty of supplying all the Master’s necessaries. Manimohan then had much respect for the Master and used to visit him very often. Sambhu took on that duty after Manimohan. But, Sambhu, the Master himself pointed out, was the second supplier of his necessaries. So Mani Babu, it seems to us, did not continue to serve him long even though he had started to execute that self-imposed charge.
2. Tuesday is regarded auspicious for the worship of the Devi. – Tr.
1. i.e., living and communing with men and doing good to them. – Tr.
1. We heard it from Vijaykrishna Goswami.