“1980: BABA’S BOTANICAL GARDEN, MUSEUM & ART GALLERY”

BABA’S BOTANICAL GARDEN, MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY
by Acarya Chandranath
26 October, 1980.

We were near the main gate in front of the botanical garden as the time of Ba’ba’ ’s appearance was closed.

There were about twenty men present, all eager to hear from Ba’ba’ about the rare collections.

I was also waiting in company with Naginajii and Ram Bahadurjii from Muzaffarpur. Others in the company were contestants to receive prizes for the welfare works accomplished in their respective areas.

Ba’ba’ is seen coming out of the door after climbing down the stairs from the first floor of His residence.

The compound to his house has been converted into a botanical garden with rare collections from all over the world.

Ba’ba’ approached us walking majestically with a pointer in His hand. HE greeted all of us with sweet words ” Welcome to gentlemen and ladies.”

Ba’ba’ further said, ” I will have a short duty to perform.”

The trouble to be taken by Him in showing and explaining to us about the rare luxurious collections in the garden and also the valuable time, in spite of His being very busy and heavily burdened with very high responsibilities for the welfare of the world, to be spent in obliging us to have probably been termed as a short duty.

Ba’ba’ starts the performance of His “short duty”.

I started taking notes — standing and moving.

Failures on my part may be excused.

Our earth is a very small planet and a very junior one also.

Its present age is hardly four hundred crores of years.

The present living creatures first appeared about two hundred fifty crores of years ago.

The first among the creature to appear was tortoise etc.

Our earth was then in liquid form. This became solid about eightly lakhs years ago.

In that age first came plant life.

In the primordial phase of the plant life appeared moss like things.

In the second phase came big ones like palm trees. Aromatic plants of later age.

Ba’ba’ points out to the Jasmine(Yu’thika’) the sweet scenting flower on the gate and says that it is found in India and Central Pacific area.

Jasmine Indica flowers during raining season.

Jasmine Pacific bears flowers throughout the year.

Its samskrta name is Yu’thika’.

Ba’ba’ pointed a plant next to Jasmine whose name neither could I note nor do I remember.

Its original home is America.

Then we saw Amaranthine from the coastal belt of Netherlands. This comes out in winter. It is a kind of lily.

Then we came to Sandalwood plant.

These are of two different species — Indonesian and Ceylonese.

The one present here is of Ceylonese origin.

Ba’ba’ now fixed His pointer on Champak Indica.

Latin name of Champak is Magnolia.

This one is long Champak – diirgha Champak in samskrta.

Next we saw Mosinda philipica — Ma’ya’ Kusum in Samskrta.

In this garden there are five or six kinds of this including the one of the Indian origin.

Ba’ba’ kept on moving from plant pointing each, telling its name and giving details with place of origin. Whatever I could catch, I noted.

This is Vicitra Parn’a’ Karavi. This one is Phulberia Phulica from Central Pacific.

Its Samskrta name is Gulainas, in Bengali too it has the same name.

In Amgika it is called Gulaciina.

Japanese lily flower. As lotus is the national flora of India so it is for Japan (Nippon).

The Japanese name of Japan in Nippon.

We come to a flower red in color called Rakta Mekhala’ in Samskrta. Its original home is mid Atlantic.

Desert Magnolia – its original home is Central America.

It was brought in India by the Portuguese about four hundred years ago.

Here it is called Katiilii Campa’. The flower is of bigger size.

There are orchids that is parasites.They live on other plants. Under congenial atmosphere orchids will not die even if separated.

Here are given only pebbles, stones etc. There are more than five hundred varities of orchids.

Syrup habiscus (Latin), Madhu Java in Samskrta, is sweet in taste, gives better taste with salt and pepper (nu’n miric diye Kha’ba’ aur bha’lo).

There small groups of Habiscus have their original house in small islands of Pacific ocean.

Bird plants are called Nandan Va’yasa in Samskrta. Nandan is a mythological garden. Va’yasa means white crow.

These are of eight kinds.

Latin name is Phlur.
This night Jasmine is called Rakta Sepha’li in Samskrta, Harsingan in Hindi and Sephali n Bengali.

This is of red color and is a rare variety. Its original home is Tibet. We have got it from the upper region of the Himalayas.
Madhu Mallika’ is of sino-Nippon origin.

It is called Pa’rul in Bengali.

South America ocean (Dakshina meru Maha’sa’gara) has small islands. These islands have hot currents.

ORD is a small river flowing in one of these islands.

On the bank of the ORD river grows this kind of habiscus.

Its Samskrta name has been given by  BA’BA’ – Tata’ Java’.

This habiscus planted here has the biggest flower of Indian origin ( I measured and found the diameter of a flower seven inches from the end of one petal to that of another).

This is Sveta Candana’ of Malaysian origin.  Margo Indica ( Niima in Samskrta) is found all over India.

Latin name is Gangesia from Portuguese Ganges from Gangajii. This Gangasia ( Niima Maha’niima) is of Himalayan origin.
This plant of mango is called Ha’bus and Da’bus in Maharashtra.

Portuguese called it Alfanso. This particular kind of Alfanso is of extremely dwarf nature.

There are varieties of orchids hanging in pots due to paucity of space.
(We see three row of plants of different varieties hanging in pots against the high compound wall on the west).

This sweet scenting magnolia is of Campak group.

(Here Ba’ba’ steps to explain the difference b/w sweet scenting and sweet scented. When an object has its own scent, it is scenting. When scent is added to an object from outside it is caled scented.

So, this magnolia is sweet scenting not sweet scented.

Its Samskrta name is Kenduka Campaka.

Moyara Ca’mpa’ in Bangla’ (Rabindra Nath Tagore has used the word Bangla’for what other s write Bengali).

Then we came across some flowers Ba’ba’ calls them Sa’garakusum, that is sea flower because most of them came from south of India.

The coniferous plant is just like umbrella because it grows in snow fall areas.

Ba’ba’ has given it Samskrta name Chatra Shikhara’. Its original homeland is Coastal area of Norway. This is the best material for best quality of paper.

Greek name is Papirous.

This is havender, most sweet scenting flower. It grows in Temperate area. May be grown in Gangetic area. It has medicinal value.

Bakul (grafted) is of Indian origin. May grow eighty feet high. Its seed may give oil of medicinal value.

Puranika’ (dhenkii sa’ka) is the plant of oldest origin on the earth still surviving.

Then we passed through and saw: Pandana (kyora’) — a variety from Oasis (Marodya’na). Kyora and Marodya’na are samskrta.

Licii named after Li cu’ son of Fi cu’.

In China, somewhere, it is called Li cu’. In Bengal, too, it is called Li cu’.

Smallest variety of bamboo, only about two feet high.

Ba’ba’ stops to remark, “dayaniiya dasha’ dekho”, that means see its pitiable plight.   Best quality of banana from South America Cherry of Chinese origin.

South Indian Mangolia (Dakshini Campaka).Payayas — moer than two hundred varieties– Chinese, Mexico, Ranchi etc.

Betle nut tree — gives fruit allround the year.

Jasmine called Tyageshvara ju’hii by Ba’ba’ in memory of A’carya Tya’geshvarananda Avadhuta who died in Bhagalpur jail. Rare variety of crysanthamum.

Habiscus, commonly known as orhul, samskrta name Java.

American Ash tree may grow 170 feet high, Kanaka Camapka that is golden magnolia.

Jaiphal from Cylone – has medicinal value.  Roses of rare collections in abundance.

Here Ba’ba gave out that some kinds of roses were brought by Ra’n'a’ Prata’pa from Damascus.

One of these has been presented to Ba’ba’.

Ba’ba’ stops to express that Rana Pratapa represents valour, bravery and undaunted courage.

Banana – ma’labhoga variety of Mithila areof two kinds. The one is Gandak valley variety and the other is Kosi valley variety. The former is famous for taste and the letter for flavour.

Ba’ba’ pointed out the Kosi valley variety.
Ba’gamati variety mango commonly called dudhia’.

Sandal Basil (Candana Tulsi) has medicinal value for cough and cold.

Pandana of rare variety called Kyora’ in Samskrta. First of its kind in India.

Very big plants of early days became Subterranean. That is why we get coal.

After showing us the garden, Ba’ba’ takes us to the museum.

On the first floor where Ba’ba’ lives in a room the museum is accommodated.

The museum though small and accommodate in a very small space can be called very rich, full of rare and valuable collections.

Ba’ba’ started talking.

From 60 lakhs of years to 40 lakhs years ago lived mammoth on this earth.

Today they are fossilised, formed into stone (Shilibhuta Raunka’la).

In the womb of earth there are coal, diamond, graphite. These are formed out of pressure of earth.

There are fossils, too, due to pressure and release.

We saw fossils and stones from Anandanagar.

Anandanagar is very ancient. it was then full of forest.

Now fossils and stones are found.

We saw fossilized trunk of mammoth and also stones mixed with metals.

Fossils of lions jaws, too, from there.

About one thousand years ago lions lived in that area.

The whole area in which Anandanagar falls is called Ra’da.

There is a long cave near A’nandanagar.

The neighboring village is Simhaghaghara’.

A’carya Amitananda Avadhuta had gone inside the cave to see.

Then we saw fossilsed jaw of a mammoth. This is called Caravana danta (chewing teeth) in Samskrta.

This is from Coochbihar.

There were, in the early days, big forests without human habitation.

Later came human habitation and then elephants.

There is a piece of iron rock from Aruna’chala (Parasura’ma Kunda). If melted iron can be had.

Rukmini, one of the wives of the Lord Krs’n'a, hailed from there.

Moth of biggest size found in Lower parts of Bhu’ta’na and the Himalayas.

We saw lava from Havai island and from Iceland.

Ba’ba’ had been to Iceland on the invitation of our brothers and sisters of that land.

Dharma maha’cakra was held on the occasion.

On this land there is only lava. Earth is imported from outside to grow plants inside glass house.

Then there are numerous presents from all the corners of the world.

The ideals of the Ma’rga have reached everywhere from Iceland to Argentina through the dedicated missionary workers of the Ma’rga.

Members of A’nanda Ma’rga Praca’raka Samgha have taken up work for the welfare of the suffering humanity everywhere with great zeal.

We saw portrait of Ba’ba’ by a Chinese devotee, garland made of silk from South India, doll from Norway, beautiful shp from the same country, doll from North Pole area — Lapland.

Thai art on glass, peculiar traditional cup and saucer from Guatemala (Central America), and so many other presents pouring in practically every day.

We were shown bhurja patra or ta’la patra (palm tree leaves) from Garhwal valley of flowers ( Nandana Kanana).

Vedas were first written on these leaves in Sha’rda’ script, Sa’rasvata Brahmins of Kashmiira about 1300 years ago.

There are valuable presents also placed in the museum like coins of different countries and a cursed diamond.

This cursed diamond belonged to a queen of Arabia who presented it to her daughter who was married to a Prince of Turkey. The cursed diamond has been presented for the museum by Lalita’ Devii. This is the Samskrta name given to her when she became Ma’rgii.

There is a book written in Sharda script which is not on verge of extinct. This was presented by Bhukti Pradhan of Shrinagar.

Then there are other presents placed in the museum.

A few of these are enumerated below:  Chinese arts from Taiwan.

BA’BA’ stayed in Taiwan as State guest.

Milk white marble statue of Krs’n'a from Bhopal.
Manipuri dace.
Pa’rtha Sa’rathi on Sandal wood from Karnataka.

A few presents from Bangladesh – models of one stringed musical instrument, boat, thatched house, lamp.

Peacock of bamboo from Silchar (Assam) people.

Conch Shell.

Trio (Trimu’rtii)

Monument of Mewar from Jaipur people

Fossilised tree from Italy.

Image of Buddha from China.

There is an art gallery on the ground floor.

The work is progressing and will be completed in near future.

One can see all the important works done by Krs’n'a.

These are presented in twenty five scenes from the jail gate out till death.

Ba’ba’ completed His “short duty” by 6:20 P.M.

HE afforded to us the chance, purely His Grace, of being with Him for two hours ten minutes.

All the time, Ba’ba’ kept moving and talking about the plants, the fossils, the stones of very ancient origin, art, history, geography and many other matters of general knowledge.

The group of men obliged by Ba’ba’ on this occasion was a fairly big one with the contestants and invitees inclusive of respectable gentleman from the general public.

Ba’ba’ summed up with a short but inspiring address to the contestants.

The batch of contestants in this group has not accomplished the welfare works entrusted. As such, they did not deserve to be obliged on this occasion as a matter of right.

Ba’ba’ included them in this group by HIS Grace.

They have been asked to come and claim it as a matter of right and not on grace.

HE expressed His dissatisfaction.

Ba’ba’ directed them to do the job and come as a matter of right.

On my part i sum up with this little note.

This small botanical garden is miraculous.

Plants collected from various countries and varied climate are not only surviving in Calcutta but are flourishing well.

This garden serves as nursery,too, in as much as plants are given as prizes for being planted in different parts of the world.

The species of one place will thus spread to other parts on this earth.

These collections along with the collection in museum and the art gallery lead us to universal brotherhood.

Talk by Ba’ba’ was very informative and educative.

I have little knowledge of botany and geology. Being thus handicapped I could not take proper notes of all, Ba’ba’ gave.

Also, time was short.

Ba’ba’ was kind enough to give more than two hours but the subjects are vast.

What Ba’ba’ can give in the field of knowledge is known to many of us.

Here I would like to mention about a gentleman whom Ba’ba’ gave some details, when he came in contact with Him regarding Tantra.

The gentleman submitted a thesis and got D.Lit.

He is now lecturer.

He may or may not acknowledge the gratitude but we know the fact, so many collections accomodated in such a small place well arranged with aesthetic sense and managed so efficiently is in itself a wonder.

Also, Ba’ba’ is giving impetus to the Margiis to do welfare work with zeal to win the prize.

Ba’ba’ has command in all fields of knowledge and is always giving us many things but it is our shortcoming that we retain so little.

Ba’ba’ teaches us not only the way to salvation but also to lead others to the path of bliss.

Ba’ba’ has come to wipe the tears of suffering humanity.

Ba’ba has come with definite purpose which BA’BA’ will get done.

Those will participate, credit will be theirs.

Ba’ba’ can not be compared with anybody or anything.

Ba’ba’ is BA’BA’ alone.

Let us try to know Him fully with the help of Sadhana’, Service and Sacrifice.