Thursday, May 7, 2020

Welcome to the Buddha Purnima issue of e-Sanai

by Sri Sandip Dasgupta

Dear fellow seekers,

Welcome to the Buddha Purnima edition of our e-magazine. We are experiencing an unprecedented crisis all over the world.  It seems that the Coronavirus has completely taken over our lives. It’s just an illustration of what our Master has always said – Brahman is powering the smallest of beings (in this case the virus) as well the most powerful and mighty being.

The daily life of each and every person in this world has been impacted. Everything that we had taken for granted is being questioned at every moment of life (social life, availability of food, travel, social distancing.…the list goes on and on). Nature is showing its pristine form in many areas.  It is being widely stated that this might be the “new normal” in the future. 

So, what can we do at this time? Life has paused in some aspects for several of us.  We have been freed up from some daily chores/activities (e.g. less shopping, no commute times…) – and that has hopefully freed up some time for us.  Can we utilize this time to read and listen to our Master’s teachings and reflect on them?  It will make each and every one of us stronger in life – and prepare us for the new life ahead of us.

Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur!


by Smt. Mandira Lahiri

The first time I saw Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur (hereinafter referred to as Prajnanpurush for brevity) was in October 1994.  Those days He was staying at Charmwood village in Faridabad, Haryana.  We (my husband and I) reached the place at an odd hour but He still welcomed us in, spending nearly two and a half hours with us. It was wonderful to hear Him speak!  We were mesmerized by His talks.  We were oblivious of the late hours. When Babydi (Shibanidi) came and intervened, then we realized it was really late and we got up to leave.  As we took our leave, I blurted out, “We’ll have to go now as my children are alone at home.”

He corrected me immediately and said, “In the real sense nothing is yours in this world except your real Self.  Keep this in mind and you will never face any problem.”  This was the first jolt that I got from Him.  His words shook me up and gave me a sense of balance.  Even today, whenever I go overboard about anything - these words ring a bell in my ears, and I become cautious.

After that day, I would get an opportunity to see Him every now and then.  At that time my children were very young.  Though totally tied up, I would still accompany my husband to visit Him whenever possible.  After every visit, a feeling of well-being would prevail in me for a long time.

Nearly every month, my husband would spend quite a few days with Him.  There were times when I would feel very upset about it.  At that time my father, a very wise man, would say, “Do you think that there is anything else in this world which is better than what he is doing? Try to become his strength, be his true companion and help him to achieve his goal.” My father’s words helped me to straighten myself and fall back on track.

During one of His visits to Charmwood village, Babydi had to go to Mumbai to attend to her sick father.  So, I got an opportunity to cook for Him.  I was very jittery, but surprisingly after having the first meal He told me, “Don’t worry, you have passed with first division marks.” He also added that five hundred years ago you had a wish to feed Mahaprabhu.  Hence, you got a chance in this life to fulfill your desire.

In the year 2005, my father was seriously ill.  He was hospitalized and was in a state of coma.  I was going through a lot of trauma.  Then one day, He spoke to me over the phone. He advised, “Be calm, keep your cool, and do everything to the best of your ability. Always remember that this world is a stage and we all are actors enacting a role in a play.  When our role is over, we will have to go to the green room, remove our make-up, change our clothes and leave….” His words helped me to cope with the unfavorable circumstances of my father’s illness, immensely.

In the year 2007, I got an opportunity to work with Him. It was total Bliss!  One day He told me, “Immerse yourself in this work, and one day you will realize what benefits it has reaped.”  In the September of the same year, we were working at the Society’s office at Kolkata.  It had rained heavily for almost 24 hours.  The roads, lanes and the driveway of the Society got flooded.  Shantida walked in and told us that the situation was grim as the water had reached up to a few steps of the staircase in the house.  I panicked and told my husband to leave immediately as we had to reach our rented accommodation which was just a few houses away in the same row.  I reminded my husband that the pond, situated in front of the Society, had overflown and flooded the area and it was full of snakes and insects of all kinds.  Prajnanpurush on hearing this guffawed out aloud and said, “Mandira, you are more bhitu (scared) than Purna (our daughter)!  Don’t worry, nothing will happen. These snakes are harmless. Even if you come across one, you can catch hold of it and put it in your pocket.” His words had a pacifying and calming effect on me. This enabled me to take the journey comfortably through the waterlogged path leading to our house.

In November 2008, one evening Purna and I went to I-1685 C R Park, New Delhi where Prajnanpurush was residing for the time being.  My husband was busy packing since the next day Prajnanpurush, Sudarshan Chakravorty and my husband were leaving for Siliguri. Prajnanpurush was talking to us and when it was our time to leave, He came close to me and said, “Don’t be upset, I am not running away with your husband. After the Siliguri trip, he will drop me at Mumbai and then come back to you. So, cheer up!” ABRACADABRA MAN!   I would fondly call Him by this name.  How well He knew my mental state! I found solace and comfort in His words and came back home happily with Purna.

In February 2009, Purna and I went to Kolkata to attend the Saraswati Puja function.  On reaching the Society, we found Prajnanpurush sitting in the office room.  Purna entered nonchalantly. After paying her obeisance she sat close to His feet.  I was little hesitant, so I stood outside the room. That very minute He asked Purna, “Maa kothaye? Maa ke bolo ashtey.” (“Where is your mother? Tell her to come in”).  So, I entered.  He looked at me with lots of love and affection in His eyes and said, “Amar lej-o nayi, amar shing-o nayi, amar nokh-o nayi, tahole ayeto bhoy kisher?” (“I don’t have a tail, I don’t have horns, I don’t have long nails, then why should you feel so scared?”).  Every encounter would wash away all the mental and physical fatigue to rejuvenate us completely.

Once in August 2009, I went to I-1685 C R Park in the evening to bring back my husband who used to work with Prajnanpurush throughout the day.  That day when I found Him limping a bit, I asked whether He was in pain?  He answered, “Maa, the garment that I am wearing has become old. It is time for me to leave now.” On hearing this we became very sad.  He admonished us saying, “Don’t get attached to this body.  Then whatever I have told you so far goes down the drain.  Dwell in your Self, that will do all the magic.”

Believe me friends, it is sheer MAGIC!  Every day just devote some time to His words, create a mental space for them and introspect.  You will find that they have really cast a magic spell on you.  You will be astounded by the transformation it brings within you.  I can vouch for it for I’ve experienced first-hand!

Unfortunately, His words have had a greater impact on me after He left His body.   Anyway, it is better late than never.  

Karma and Sadhan Tattva

The following is a transliteration of one of Sri Sri Babathakur’s songs (Song No. 16 appearing within the Karma and Sadhan Tattva section of Swanubhava Sudha Vol. 2) by Sri Ramen Basu.

Without the acceptance of Divine in all,
Sadhana does not become perfect.
The desires of life are the thoughts of the finite. 

The glory of the undivided Absolute
Is in the awareness of even Consciousness.
The pains of the finite do not remain in the Absolute.
The latent tendencies of myness do not make our mind rest on equality,
The search for perfection is there to deceive the mind.

The imagination of enjoyment does not want us to accept (the Absolute);
In the ego-sense the worship of the Absolute is not present.
The pride of the ego does not let go the known and the unknown
So, never forget oh mind, to accept all as Thine.

Submitted at the lotus feet of the Sri Sri Babathakur
-  Ramen Basu  

Are they really disabled?

by Sri Ajit Halder

One midday quite unexpectedly, I had to stop my car behind a broken down van on the bend of the street.  There I had an unforgettable experience of watching little boys and girls in the playground of a school for handicapped children.  I would like to relate those moments to you now.  It was an ordinary event, but it gave me an insight into what human efforts can achieve despite physical handicaps.

The primary school was run for infants who were labeled as disadvantaged to some degree.   This meant that they were different from normally-abled children, and therefore in need of special treatment and facilities.  But the event I witnessed in the school playground made it clear to me that it is the power of the mind and determination which overcomes the so-called disability of the limbs – a fact not sufficiently recognized by the able-bodied people in society. 

I heard chirruping noises coming out from the direction of the school.  It sounded to me like little birds merrily singing, and I saw the whole place was full of children in colorful smocks.  I could not turn my eyes away from that joyful scene.  Society deemed these were handicapped children who could not do or manage things for themselves (and hence, were to be helped in every way) - but what I witnessed that day was a completely different story.  I wanted to share in their happy mood; so I parked my car on the road and walked towards the school gate.  I could see through the gate, children who were rather unsteady on their feet, engaged in running about with small play-carts in groups of two.  The carts were of various shapes, and each had a seat on which either a little boy or girl was seated, being pushed along by his or her friend.  The children who were moving around were aged roughly nine or ten years.  There were other younger ones busy playing in a sandpit in a corner.  All seemed to be happy and enjoying themselves without any assistance from elders.  It was the playful movements of those children, officially described as having restricted mobility, that I beheld in amazement.

They were getting ready for a race, and the carts pushed by tottering children were summoned to the starting line.  Then one child blew a whistle, and they were on their way to the finishing line at the other end.  A group of children standing on the sides were cheering loudly, and the whole competition did not lack any of the enthusiasm and seriousness of a game played by adults.  There were collisions, and carts were getting in one another’s way; but the cheers of the onlookers drowned the angry shouts. I saw two carts toppling over, and a little girl passenger started crying; perhaps she was slightly hurt.  Her companion and some other toddlers rushed to her, consoled her – and soon her pain evaporated, and a smile spread across her face.  Her car then resumed its place in the race.  As it was already difficult for some of the children to propel themselves along, the added effort demanded of those who were pushing the carts (each of which bore a seated child passenger), rendered the general progress somewhat slow.  The race was over, and there was applause all around - indicating all who had taken part, were winners.

On the playing field and during the games, I noticed acts of comradeship, fellow feeling, cooperation, a willingness to help each other, and a mood to share in the corporate joy in an intensely jubilant atmosphere – all of which were created by the children completely unaided by a supervising adult.  These are the children who are described as disadvantaged to a degree, and referred to as ‘special needs’ children - thereby requiring to be looked after by the adults in the community.  My experience from that day indicates that these children should be recognized as the possessors of special characteristics that are often found missing in many of the adults.