Sri Ramchandra Majhi
P.O. Kuldanga, Dist.- Howrah
Ramchandra Majhi is an inhabitant of Kuldanga Village. His residence is very near to Kuldanga Ashram, where Gurudev spent some years. He is almost a neighbour of Kuldanga Ashram. In his memoirs, many incidents have been reflected which seem to flowing of breeze on the sail of the boat of his life.
He met Gurudev at his very childhood. He came across with Gurudev in many times and considers 'Him' as a sanyasi or a monk stayed at Ashram. He was attracted with Gurudev's worshipping and the festivals used to held at Ashram. More attraction as he confessed to have 'Prasad' or 'Bhog', the fruits, sweets and Hotchpotch being offered to the Deity. 'Baba' or Gurudev called on him very often to spend some time with Gurudev. Always with his calm and soothing personality Baba or Gurudev asked about Ramchandra's well-being. Gurudev kept his loving hand on his head and nourished him with so keenness that Baba seemed to him very close one.
'His' nourishing was so healing, that it may not be expressed in exact words. It was to feel only. 'His' companion was like a spontaneous stream. He was a symbol of stream of compassion to take bathe.
Thus spoke Ramchandra Majhi took pause for a while and continued:
"In the festivals I was called specially. From the festivals observed by 'Baba', many things were being taught by Him. I have learned many things, many simple things to be cared as important! In the ancient India disciples had to stay at Ashram with Guru and through Gurukul system of education they had to work and learn,-through different practices they were being taught. I have heard about it,- but I have learnt many things by spending time with Him, by accompanying Him. In these days,-such education is not available."
A question was put forth before him: How He used to teach you? What was the method?
Ramchandra Majhi started: "Whatever Baba used to teach us, He first of all practised it by Himself then He asked to follow. Whatever He practised,- he taught. A practical way of learning'.
My exclamation was: "Apni Achari Dharma,- parere shikhao" - Whatever you teach, or preach at first you have to practice by yourself, then you can teach others.
He replied: "Yes, yes, Good. You are quite right to say like this."
He address to explain: "At Kuldanga Ashram Baba started a special Puja, special worshipping followed by a festival at 'Dolpurnima' : 'Swinging' festival of Holi in the Full Moon day to commemorate Radha-krishna's play of Holi. This sort of worshipping was rare to see. I have not seen anywhere."
The interviewer wanted to know about the process or the method of this Puja,- how it was observed etc.
Ramchandra Majhi elaborately presented about this 'Puja':
"This worshipping followed by festival continued for 9 days and night (Nine days and night) 9 (Nine) earthen pots were being set and those earthen pots were filled with the water of Ashram-Pond.
"There was ritual to follow.
"The filling of earthen pots with water was not like other filling of pot with water. There was some exceptional practice of pot-filling.
"Some of us were entrusted to fill one pot each. We so we were 9 in number.
"Among 15 associated, we 9 were selected. Those who wee entrusted for this special type of responsibility, they had to pass their days maintaining austerities. They had to take 'Habishanya' that is boiled rice with clarified butter (Ghee) and boiled potato along with unripe plantation (boiled) during a month before this Puja-festival. They had to lie on rug. Through this fest the warriors for such work was chosen. Baba himself chooses such warriors.
"Some worlds came sharp in the mind of interviewer: 'oh! He who chooses the Divine is chosen by the Divine".
Ramchandra Da narrated about how the earthen pots were filled in :
"Each one of us had to take the earthen pot on our head and swim in the pond. We had to reach by swimming at the midst of the pond and taking one breath by drowning we had to take water in the pot and the to swim to reach at the end of the pond then to carry on the pot keeping on head. No stop gap or no legacy was entertained.
Then those pots were set up on respective places for worshipping. This ritual was made by himself along with us and 'He' guided us how to take water from the midst of the pond and with one breath how to continue the journey towards the end of Pond and to reach at the puja-place. This was not an easy task. Thin he taught us how to worship these nine pots, its method, process and its reason there of."
According to Ramchandra Majhi, there were many many incidents to record; He started that:
"Baba was so simple, that we could not understood his vastness. I was deeply moved with his paternal care. Slowly over the years I came to understand a very little about his extraordinary power, the light of Divinity. When I bowed at his feet, tears rolled down my eyes. I do not know how, but tears came."
He was narrating another incident. In his narration, he put words after words and told that another incident made him understand about 'Baba' as 'Gurudev'.
He was on his flow of telling that incident as a milestone of his companionship with Baba. That incident happened in one Dolpurnima Puja festival. He told:
"During that Puja festival huge quantity of flowers were required, I was asked by Baba to bring the flowers from Jagannath Ghat nearby Howrah Station at the bank of Ganga river. That is the well-known flower-market. I had to carry the huge quantity of flowers on a large wicker-basket.
"It was about midnight when I reached at connecting road towards Kuldanga Ashram. My two hands were kept tight for holding that large wicker basket on my head and I was walking. Suddenly from the road side I heard the barking of dogs,- and found five dogs came in front of me, I tried to continue my speed of walking not by stopping,-but among those four five dogs one did bite me. But I kept my hand tight to hold that large wicker basket on my head and tried to use my legs alternatively to restrain that dog. However with the wounds on my leg and pain I reached at the Ashram and immediately heard the voice of Baba: 'Please come. You have got the trouble on the way! You have been beaten by a dog. You are feeling tremendous pains,…. Still you have kept tight the basket on your head with your two hands…
"I could not say any words. I was just astonished. How Baba came to know about the incident happened on the way!
"I did put the Basket of flowers at the Baba's feet. He immediately asked me to go to the Ashram Pond and to wash the wounds with the water of the Ashram Pond and take a bath.
"He was uttering: 'Dog …Dog…Dog is the symbol Mahakal'…….endless time! I carried out Baba's order.
"After my return at home, on the next day I was advised my family inmates and the neighbours to go to 'Ojha' or 'Gunin' exorcist to get medicine. I had no other alternative than to satisfy my neighbours and family member. I did not inform 'Baba' about my going to 'Ojha'. The Ojha's residence was next to our village. I met ojha and asked to give me medicine for dog-biting. He advised me to bring a stone-made bowl/cup of black colour from any house. But I could not find and get such black coloured stone-made pot in my village and in the nearby villages from any house. Without any medicine from ojha, I came back to my home. Then in the next day, when I entered the Ashram Premises Baba at first told me: 'oh! You have came, Fine. You have not become able to find out Black coloured stone-made pot anywhere?
"How Baba came to know about this? I was thinking in my mind. Because there was none to accompany me to Ojha. I alone went to him (ojha) and came back. No body did not know about that pot/bowl, asked by ojha. I did not tell anything about that to anybody.
"Thus my belief and faith on 'Baba' increased day-by-day experiencing many such incidents.
"There are many more incidents to be recorded: You cannot compile those in a day or two. Regarding Baba and my experiences of spending time with Baba have manifold dimensions” as Ramchandra Da told me (the interviewer) and while looking to him I saw his eyes were glazing. He then told another incident about his son,-who was going to be married-: 'I and my wife asked Baba about one of my son's marriage. The intention was to get his Blessings for my son's marriage ceremony. The marriage was settled, even if the date was also fixed up. Hearing from us Baba kept silent for a moment and closed his eyes. Then after few minutes he opened his eyes and broke the silence and said: 'His marriage will not be held.' We told,: 'Baba his marriage is final and everything is settled'. Baba spoke, ' Yet that will not be going to held”.
"Baba's words proved true. Before three-four days of the marriage ceremony date, the son went out of home keeping no information to anybody. Later we came to know that he became a 'Sanyasi' and is staying at Hrishikesh.
"My son has become a Sanyasi, that is a gift by god - now after a long time we have realised.
"Baba has graced us by giving the opportunity to serve this Kuldanga Ashram. I and my wife both are taking care about the Ashram. Day to Day cleaning, worshipping and Nam Sankirtan etc, are being done by both of us and others accompany and join us as when they can."
Thus we are passing our days with Bliss and extra-ordinary happiness that can only be felt and realised, if he or she tries to live in that state of mind. Baba is still with us. Whenever we call him intensely we feel 'His' presence.
"He is a stream of compassion, flowing, flowing, flowing, and calling us to have bath in the stream. I can hear whenever I earnestly want to listen his call; He calls: 'Aye, Aye, Aye…. Please come, come, come…. Take your bath, drown, drown, go deep, deep into your mind and heart….. and feel my presence. I am with you".
(translated by Maya Karmakar)