It was on a lazy summer afternoon, as Abinash and I sat together in the compound of my home, that he put this intriguing question. I shook my head with a smile of anticipation. Years ago, before you were born, i asked my superior officer—your father—to give me a weeks leave from my gorakhpur duties in order to visit my guru in Benares. Your father ridiculed my plan. Are you going to become a religious fanatic? Concentrate on your office work if you want to forge ahead. Sadly walking home along a woodland path that day, i met your father in a palanquin. He dismissed his servants and conveyance, and fell into step beside.
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Much later he was questioned by my youngest brother Bishnu, who noticed the large deposit on a bank statement. Why be elated by material profit? The poetry one who pursues a goal of evenmindedness is neither jubilant with gain nor depressed by loss. He knows that man arrives penniless in this world, and departs without a single rupee. Early in their married life, my parents became disciples of a great master, lahiri mahasaya of Benares. This contact strengthened Fathers naturally ascetical temperament. Mother made a remarkable admission to my eldest sister Roma: your father and myself live together as man and wife only once a year, for the purpose of having children. Father first met Lahiri mahasaya through Abinash Babu, 7 an employee in the gorakhpur office of the bengal-Nagpur railway. Abinash instructed my young ears with engrossing tales of many Indian saints. He invariably concluded with a tribute to the superior glories of his own guru. Did you ever hear of the extraordinary circumstances under which your father became a disciple of Lahiri mahasaya?
Several years after Father had retired on a pension, an English accountant arrived to examine the books of the bengal-Nagpur railway company. The amazed investigator discovered that Father had never applied for overdue book bonuses. He did the work of three men! The accountant told the company. He has rupees 125,000 (about 41,250.) owing to him as back compensation. The officials presented Father with a check for this amount. He thought so little about it that he overlooked any mention to the family.
Father was literature a strict disciplinarian to his children in their early years, but his attitude toward himself was truly Spartan. He pdf never visited the theater, for instance, but sought his recreation in various spiritual practices and in reading the. 6, shunning all luxuries, he would cling to one old pair of shoes until they were useless. His sons bought automobiles after they came into popular use, but Father was always content with the trolley car for his daily ride to the office. The accumulation of money for the sake of power was alien to his nature. Once, after organizing the calcutta Urban Bank, he refused to benefit himself by holding any of its shares. He had simply wished to perform a civic duty in his spare time.
Give it to her with my good will. Father tended to first say no to any new proposal. His attitude toward the strange woman who so readily enlisted Mothers sympathy was an example of his customary caution. Aversion to instant acceptance—typical of the French mind in the west—is really only honoring the principle of due reflection. I always found Father reasonable and evenly balanced in his judgments. If I could bolster up my numerous requests with one or two good arguments, he invariably put the coveted goal within my reach, whether it were a vacation trip or a new motorcycle. My father, bhagabati Charan Ghosh, a disciple of Lahiri mahasaya.
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Please give me ten rupees for a hapless woman who has just arrived at the house. Mothers smile had its own persuasion. Father added a justification: When my father and grandparents died suddenly, i had my first taste of poverty. My only breakfast, before walking miles to my school, was a small banana. Later, at the university, i was in such need that i applied to a wealthy judge for aid of one rupee per review month. He declined, remarking that even a rupee is important.
How bitterly you recall the denial of that rupee! Mothers heart had an instant logic. Do you want this woman also to remember painfully your refusal of ten rupees which she needs urgently? With the immemorial gesture rights of vanquished husbands, he opened his wallet. Here is a ten-rupee note.
A daily gesture of respect to father was given by mothers dressing us carefully in the afternoons to welcome him home from the office. His position was similar to that of a vice-president, in the bengal-Nagpur railway, one of Indias large companies. His work involved traveling, and our family lived in several cities during my childhood. Mother held an open hand toward the needy. Father was also kindly disposed, but his respect for law and order extended to the budget. One fortnight Mother spent, in feeding the poor, more than Fathers monthly income.
All i ask, please, is to keep your charities within a reasonable limit. Even a gentle rebuke from her husband was grievous to mother. She ordered a hackney carriage, not hinting to the children at any disagreement. Good-by; i am going away to my mothers home. We broke into astounded lamentations. Our maternal uncle arrived opportunely; he whispered to father some sage counsel, garnered no doubt from the ages. After Father had made a few conciliatory remarks, mother happily dismissed the cab. Thus ended the only trouble i ever noticed between my parents. But I recall a characteristic discussion.
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Father, Bhagabati Charan Ghosh, was kind, grave, at times stern. Loving him dearly, we children yet observed a certain reverential distance. An outstanding mathematician and logician, he was guided principally by resume his intellect. But Mother was a queen of hearts, and taught us only through love. After her death, father displayed more of his inner tenderness. I noticed then that his gaze often metamorphosed into my mothers. In Mothers presence we tasted our earliest bitter-sweet acquaintance with the scriptures. Mahabharata and, ramayana 5 were resourcefully summoned to meet the exigencies of discipline. Instruction and chastisement went hand in hand.
This was my birthplace in the United Provinces of northeastern India. We were eight children: four boys and biography four girls. I, mukunda lal Ghosh, 3 was the second son and the fourth child. Father and Mother were bengalis, of the. 4, both were blessed with saintly nature. Their mutual love, tranquil and dignified, never expressed itself frivolously. A perfect parental harmony was the calm center for the revolving tumult of eight young lives.
yogis are known to have retained their self-consciousness without interruption by the dramatic transition to and from life and death. If man be solely a body, its loss indeed places the final period to identity. But if prophets down the millenniums spake with truth, man is essentially of incorporeal nature. The persistent core of human egoity is only temporarily allied with sense perception. Although odd, clear memories of infancy are not extremely rare. During travels in numerous lands, i have listened to early recollections from the lips of veracious men and women. I was born in the last decade of the nineteenth century, and passed my first eight years at Gorakhpur.
I was resentfully paper conscious of not being able to walk or express myself freely. Prayerful surges arose within me as I realized my bodily impotence. My strong emotional life took silent form as words in many languages. Among the inward confusion of tongues, my ear gradually accustomed itself to the circumambient Bengali syllables of my people. The beguiling scope of an infants mind! Adultly considered limited to toys and toes. Psychological ferment and my unresponsive body brought me to many obstinate crying-spells. I recall the general family bewilderment at my distress.
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Chapter: 1, my parents and Early life, the writings characteristic features of Indian culture have long been a search for ultimate verities and the concomitant disciple-guru 1 relationship. My own path led me to a christlike sage whose beautiful life was chiseled for the ages. He was one of the great masters who are Indias sole remaining wealth. Emerging in every generation, they have bulwarked their land against the fate of Babylon and Egypt. I find my earliest memories covering the anachronistic features of a previous incarnation. Clear recollections came to me of a distant life, a yogi 2 amidst the himalayan snows. These glimpses of the past, by some dimensionless link, also afforded me a glimpse of the future. The helpless humiliations of infancy are not banished from my mind.