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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Glimpses of a Mystery - 9- Ajana Pathik ("The Unknown Traveller")

Glimpses of a Mystery - 9- Ajana Pathik ("The Unknown Traveller") 



Baba started the last phase of His earthly sojourn by composing Prabhat Samgiita. His method of conveying these songs was unique. He would first give the tune and only when the secretaries were capable of repeating the melody, would He give the lyrics. In this manner He composed 5018 songs, which included many related to the departure of Ajana Pathik, "the mysterious unknown traveller."



Se amar a'panar janitam na agei janitam na

Du're jobe gele chole amarei akela phele

Amare rakhia diye virohero davanole

Chilo koto bhalobas'a koto rangei ranga hansa

Ekhon bujhe chi agei bujhita'mna



You went away, far,

Leaving me alone,

Despondent,



In the engulfing fire of deepest longing.

How fathomless was Your love.

How colourful Your play of joyous smiles.

Now, I realize Thy silent desire to leave.

Not in those days of drunken love with You amongst us.



From the beginning of 1980 to His great departure at the end of 1990 He exhibited an extraordinary superhuman endurance that goes beyond any superlative description. All those eleven years He worked 22 hours a day to supervise the multiple dimensions of Ananda Marga. Also remarkable during that phase was the energy which He secretly transmitted to His secretaries, who worked with Him incredibly long hours daily with little fatigue.



The reporting sessions during those years demonstrated to us that He was not His physical body but rather the omniscient Baba who knew everything. He proved on hundreds of occasions that His eyes were watching us everywhere.



Work became paramount to Him. In 1983, Baba was at Mehrauli in Delhi. He casually mentioned there that He could introduce a new type of dance; but He said that He would not, because it would cause His devotees to become less active in social service and to give more importance to cultural pursuits.



Baba was established in tatra niratishayam sarvajiná biijam (the seed of omniscience in an unexpressed form). The vast amount of knowledge He expounded in Shabda Cayanika (an encyclopedia of selected Bengali words,usually those words which carried more than ten meanings) alone spread over the span of 8,000 pages. In that, too, He related only up to the letter ga, the third consonant of Bengali alphabet. He proved in this series that His knowledge is truly endless. Know the One, and know all. The encyclopedia conveys the charming feeling of a gardener lovingly describing the flowers and herbs in his garden.



I believe that Baba also thoughtfully planned not to complete Shabda Cayanika. Every Sunday for many months, He gave darshans on different words. He used to ask His devotees, "Shall I continue this letter ga, or shall I go ahead to the next one?" Invariably, they asked Him to continue, because His explanations were so amazing and charming. It seemed that there was no end to His knowledge.



A few weeks before His great departure Baba asked, "Will I ever be able to complete it?" At that time we had no idea that He would physically depart, but, on later reflection, it seemed He was planning to stop.



In almost every general darshan He reminded us that we came to this world for a noble cause and not for wasting time.



Often He said in Hindi:



Karte karte maro, marte marte karo.

"Work, work and die; and die, die while working."



During a few of the last DMC's and darshans, as He was getting up to depart, Baba said something like, "My shirt was given by the children of China, My chain is from Taiwan, My shoes from Australia, My vest from Italy, My pen from Germany, My ring from the Philippines, My watch from the USA, My dhoti from Bengal and the walking stick is a gift from the children of Russia; but `I' belong to all of you."



There was a clear universal and spiritual appeal in His words, and a sad look in His eyes and smile. He seemed reluctant to depart, as His children never wanted Him to leave. Yet He would get up, bid pranam (the salutation between guru and disciple), give blessings and nod gracefully, saying, "Let there be some kin-tam." He would then walk away with majestic steps. Before stepping down the staircase, He would again and again turn and bid pranam as if not wanting to leave.



I now recognize that in the last phase of His life, Baba gave me indirect hints of His passing away, but either I could not believe or was I not ready for the understanding. Immediately after His release from jail He gave a vanii (spiritual message) on August 3, 1978:



Unlike other Gurus, He came with no bows, no arrows, no trishula (trident). His all embracing ideology combined with discipline takes the shape of sudarshana cakra[21]. Moral strength is required to materialize His mission. It is desirable that His sons and daughters should acquire the necessary moral strength by strict adherence to the Sixteen Points.



Then He said, "There are three phases. In the first phase the immoralists tried to destroy Ananda Marga, but it fought against all odds and survived. The second phase has started; in this phase we have to go to the grassroots."



Then one devotee, Shrii R. Prasad, a Collecter of Indian Central Excise and Customs and a close brother of mine, asked, "Baba when did this second phase start?" "On the 2nd of August, 1978," came His reply. Then I asked about the third phase. He replied, "I will not say anything about the third phase, lest it affect the progress of the second phase."



His life was meticulously planned. Even before He started Ananda Marga in 1955, He personally initiated about 40 Avadhutas, teaching them the intricacies of esoteric Tantra. He then assigned them to lead unknown lives in different jungles and remote areas. From those places they did intense sadhaná to create a spiritual wave that would positively influence the collective mind of human society.



In the month of October 1989, while I was in deep meditation, I saw Baba in front of me. He was weak and emaciated. He said, "See, I am very sick and there will be no DMC on the first of January, 1990." I broke into tears. Next day I mentioned this to Ac. Purnajinananda Avt. and Ac. Cidghadananda Avt. I never believed in such visions, thinking them to be the same as dreams, and I dismissed this one also. But in the second week of December 1989



Baba had a massive heart attack, and He did not hold the New Year DMC.



One message that Baba gave at that time also worried me. He announced, "Let this be the happiest New Year for you." Rather than make me happy. this sounded ominous to me. I thought, "Sadvipra Samaj is not yet established; the communists are attacking us constantly all over Bengal; Baba is also very, very sick; then how can this be the best New Year?"



Although by no stretch of the imagination could I imagine what was to come, yet I felt alarmed. I kept. asking my brothers, "Why did Baba give this message?" Only today do I understand that He hid the plan of His passing within it.



I could never imagine that the third phase would start from October 21, 1990. That was the day of the dissolution of the Mahasambhuti,, of the complex structure or shell that contained the omniscient Baba, the unknown traveller, the Ajana Pathik. He carefully avoided arousing the least trace of suspicion about His forthcoming departure.



Baba was unpredictable and sometimes playful. After His heart attack, the doctors ordered complete bed rest. But one night Baba asked his second Personal Assistant, Ac. Aks'ayananda Avt. to wrestle with Him. Dada refused, but Baba kept insisting. Finally Baba placed His right foot on the floor and asked Dada to move it. Now Dada is very strong and well-built, but, though he struggled for several minutes, he could not move Baba's foot an inch!



He never looked for any qualification in a person, insisting that the minimum qualification needed for sádhana is only a human body. Paramahamsa Ramakrishna wanted a guileless, clear heart as the minimum qualification for a sádhaka. Yet Baba said that in near future even some animals will be able to do sádhaná. In His last RU speech. He exhorted us to open training centres for animals and plants which have a developed "I" feeling.



He loved His children so affectionately and gave and gave and took nothing from them. People came to Him en masse. Whatever they wanted He gave them: name, fame, money, anything. He was like a vendor who bargained from morning until evening. To everyone He constantly emphasized that no great work can be accomplished without sound moral character and He bargained for "service to humanity". But when evening came, He distributed everything free and left stealthily.



He wanted people to exploit His benevolence and appeared happy when He was cheated. What a dispassionate and detached entity! Towards those who came for love and real knowledge, He was very tough - He gave them the seed of divine wisdom, nurtured them and made them strong. He made them realize what is poison and what is nectar. And He bound them with such love that they desired only the narrow path of enlightenment and not the broad path of material enjoyment.



Men, women, young, old, poor, rich - all sorts of people were possessed by a fire of love for Him. This is why I believe that He had no courage to foretell His passing away. On two earlier occasions in His life He announced that He was leaving, but both times the earnest imploring of His devotees prevented Him from doing so. So this last time, His Maháprastana (Great Departure), He decided to leave stealthily. He came without announcement and He left without telling anyone. The songs of departure in His Prabhát Sam'giita describe this agony:



Tumi eshechilo kauke nabole, naboliye gelo chole



You came without notice, and You silently left without telling anyone.



Dekhechi tar ankhijol bujhini tahari bhasha,

Bujhini kichilo asha, nihito bhalobasa.

Neerove gele se chole neerovota kotha boll.



When I saw His tearful eyes,

I could not understand their language:

Neither the expectant hope nor the hidden love.

He left silently and now the silence is eloquent.



Bhavite parini ami, ye bhave ashibe tumi emnijabe

je chole ankhi jole more bheshe.





I could never in my wildest imagination

Presume that you would come in this way,

And depart so casually, flooding me with tears.



Neissesh holo rati phuteche prabhato dyuti argal khule chali tai.



The night has come to an end,

The morning sun is peeping,

Therefore I am unlatching the door,



And quietly leaving.



He did as He foretold to me in 1965: "I will leave as a mystery." As long as the Creation exists, Baba will exist as a mystery.



On October 21, 1990, Baba was ready for work after finishing His morning duties at 4:00 a.m. In the words of the General Secretary, Ac. Sarvatmananda Avt, that day He worked hardest and finished all pending work.



The 25 years I spent with Baba passed like 25 seconds. I sometimes feel He was too good to be true. It was a dream. I felt that time stood still. Like Rip Van Winkle, I got up from the dream to find that I had become old. My reconciliation with the agony of His departure is feigned. My heart cannot accept it.



Vakt sari zindagi mein,

Doe hi guzari hei kathin

Ek terei áneise pehlei

Ek tere janei ke bad..[Urdu]



Time dragged painfully only twice in my life:

Once was before I met you; And again after You left.



Personal Epilogue



The last words of this book express my inability to reconcile the physical departure of He whom I loved so much more than my life. For three years I had almost continuous dreams of Baba.



Actually dreams of Him are visions. Baba once explained, "When you dream of Me, it is not a dream." When such vision occurs, one's body consciousness disappears. For hours afterwards a blissful intoxication fills the aspirant. A cool, soothing feeling vibrates between the anahata and the ajiná cakras, and the mind goes into a state of ecstasy.



In these dreams we quarreled. I would say, "This is a dream," and He would reply, "No." On three occasions, which I will narrate in the future, the experience was so profound that I had to accept the truth of His presence within me. It was like an altered state of consciousness that felt more real than this world around us.



On one occasion He said in a vision, "I leave a scent of sandalwood on your body as a proof that I came." Then when I slipped out of dhyana, I found not only my body but the whole room was full of the scent of sandalwood. It was past 1:00 a.m. I went downstairs and found Ac. Purnajinananda Avt. was still awake. Before I could say a word he asked, "Why do you smell like sandalwood?" After a few days, I again slipped back into my old despondency over His departure. This continued until the night of August 13, 1994. At Anandanagar[22] after midnight I was meditating and I lost my body consciousness. Suddenly I saw Baba standing in front of me. He seemed angry and said, "I won't talk to you."



I asked, "Why not, Baba?" "You are not ready to reconcile yourself with My physical departure."



Then I howled in agony, "I will never, never accept Your decision to part!" He walked over to the bed and lay down. His face was melancholy. He looked weak and sad. A long time passed. Ultimately, when I realized that He was adamant, I surrendered. I said, "Baba, You win. I am defeated. I accept Your departure. Please talk, because I cannot bear Your silence." He got up and His face was beaming with joy. He said, "Promise me to work." I said, "Yes, Baba." "But your speed is not sufficient." I said, "I can't do the work in which I don't recognize You. That is why my speed is less."



He replied, "Yes, I agree. The work in which you don't find Me is no work. Your speed will slowly increase."



He started walking out of the room. During the last years of His life, we always used to sing a Prabhát Sam'giita song when He left. I asked, "Baba, what song should I sing - Tumi esechile?" (the song we sang at the time of His cremation).



He said, "No, sing Ashru muche an'abo hansi ("I will wipe my tears and force a smile"). Before you start every work, you should sing this song. When you finish your work, you should sing Amra gado nibo gurukul ("I will establish Gurukula University[23]"). If there is any project which encompasses all My programmes, it is Gurukula." (This is the last song He gave before His departure.) Then He started to leave. As He often used to do in His charming way, He stopped again outside and called me. "If you change the heart of people through love, that is a spiritual transformation."



I said, "Baba, it is very difficult to change the hearts of people."That is true, but nevertheless, you should try to change the hearts of people within and without the organization." He again turned to go. Again He stopped and called me. He said, "Have I left you? No, I have not left you. Don't we keep meeting now and then?" I was amazed. He placed His hands on my head. I felt a mist in my mind disappear and an effulgent light begin to shine. I felt profoundly happy.



When this dhyána broke, I found my hands were full of my tears. A mixed feeling of happiness and pain flooded me. From that day onwards, I never again doubted His presence with us. Almost every night since then I wait for Him.



Somewhere in the astral world, He is in His causal body. He comes unexpectedly, according to His whims and fancies. Our sádhaná. our labour, our sweat, though important, do not seem to work here. Only His grace, ahaetuki krpa, brings Him.



His mystery continues.



Footnotes:

[21] Sudarshan cakra was a hand thrown disk that Krs'n'a used during battle. It had a saw-tooth circumference with magnets attached. I once asked Baba about it. He said that the magnetic power was used to retrieve the disk after throwing.



[22] Anandanagar is a huge rural development project of Ananda Marga in Purulia District, West Bengal, India. It is also a tremendously vibrated spiritual centre, where many great tantrics practiced sadhana and achieved liberation as far back as 15,000 years ago. The author lives there now.



[23] The first name given to the Gurukula University was Bhagavat Dharma University. For more information on Bhagavat Dharma, see next appendix, Baba’s Namah Shivaya Shantaya: Shivokti 11.

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