Sri Prahlad Chandra
Brahmachari was born in the remote village of
Purushottampur in Orrisa province
of India. The family was very poor and had to endure much hardship. In his boyhood he had
to go out and beg, not just for himself but for the whole family.
In his teens the young
Prahlad was sent by his father to work at the house of a wealthy man as
a servant. It was some distance from home. At that place one day he
was walking along the river with the children of the house. Some
sweets were with them. Prahlad gave sweets to the children and ate
The woman of the house saw this incident and reported it
to her husband, who then gave Prahlad a severe beating. In despair he ran away from
that place, traveling (without ticket)
to the station at Waltair where the
ticket taker found him and threw him off the train.
After a while
of begging for food in that town a kindly person told him he would do
much better if he went
up the nearby mountain where he would find lots of fruit
since it was a place of many sadhus, or holy men, he could
collect wood for them for their sacred fire ceremonies and they would share
their food with him.
It was a holy place near a temple of Nri Singha,
the god who was half man, half lion.
Baba said: "You have to climb up the stones one by
one. It was very treacherous. If you fell down from there it was certain death. With great
struggle I went up and I saw a flat land. There were many fruit trees and an image of
Nrisingha. I had darshan."
Baba stayed in the forest near the temple of Nri Singha.
was at this place in olden times where a boy saint, also named "Prahlad," had done
austerities for the realization of God.
One night there in the deep
jungle he had an
encounter with a mysterious personage whom he ever after
referred to simply as "my
He had awakened in the night with a terrible nightmare that his parents had
died and he had not been able to be there. He believed the dream to be
the reality and was crying and sobbing in sorrow and despair. Then the man appeared out of the jungle.
He described the man as being
huge, a giant of a man, incredibly tall and wearing nothing but a loincloth and a bag
over his shoulder in the manner of a sadhu. The man asked Prahlad
"Why are you crying?"
Prahlad replied "Because
my mother and father have died and I could not be with them before
The great man comforted the
boy and assured him that this had been only a dream, and that he
should go back to his parents and he would find that they were
alright. Baba relates what happened next in his own
"There was an ordinary bag on his shoulder. From that
bag he gave me 25 rupees. To me it seemed that I gotten a great amount of wealth! I was
very poor. I had never gotten any money. Twenty-five rupees! Hari Baba! Getting that money
I felt like a rich man.
"He said in Oriya: 'Get a ticket at Waltair
station with this money and go to Jajpur.'
"I was so happy. He turned to leave and had gone two or three steps when I said,
'Thakur, Oh Thakur!
Won't my life ever amount to anything?'
"Then suddenly he stopped and turned around... his image... it is beyond
I cannot describe him in words. He came running back and got some leaves from the forest.
And pulling out my tongue, he pressed the leaves and cut my tongue down the middle.
he was pulling out my tongue I felt like my life was going. 'Oh! I am dying! I am dying!'
"Then when he put the juice
into the cut, as soon as he gave the juice it felt as sweet as honey.
If there is such honey in God's world I have never found it. Getting that sweet honey my
hairs stood on end. What peace my body received!
"Then that great man put his hand on my head and said: 'Through you a great work
will be done. Go. Go back to your place. A lot of work will be done through you.'
He did not give me any mantra. No mantras, only that juice on the tongue."
I have never heard of such an incredible
initiation into the mysteries. The sadhu searching the woods for some particular
plant leaves, making a juice, then taking the sharp thorny stem of some leaf, pulling out
the tongue and making a cut about two inches long. The scar would be there for the
rest of his life. I have seen it.
And then into the cut on the tongue,
the juice. Instantly, Baba later would say, everything was transformed
by the juice on the tongue.
He saw Guru and he saw God. He said it was sweeter than the sweetest honey. To this day we
do not know what plant it was. Was it the possibly fabled "soma" medicine the Rishis sang
of in the ancient Vedas? Was it a psychotropic substance, as it would
seem from Baba's description?