MAHASAMBHUTI WITHDREW HIS PHYSICAL FRAME
Baba’s Physical departure events of that day are passing before my mind; just as if they are happening now – Ac Keshavananda Avt, Personal Assistant of Beloved Baba.
Who would have ever thought that day, of October 21, 1990 was going to make its footing in the history of Ananda Marga? Even on that day, as usual 6 am Baba called me to His room and asked me, “Keshavananda, is everything all right? Are you also fine?” and Baba started His work from that very hour.
Baba had His breakfast at 8 a.m., and was busy in organizational work up to 12:30 p.m, Then followed personal contact to a whole-timer and 5 local full-timers. As usual newspapers were read out and Baba talked with Vijayanandaji on shabda-cayanika.
About 1:30 p. m. after finishing all His work, Baba asked: “Is there anything left unfinished now?” I said, ‘ No, Baba, so far all work is completed as per sche¬dule,” Baba said in a very sweet voice, “Tell me, how are things?
Is everything all right? Well, yesterday I gave you the list of six work¬ers. I asked you to select one out of them, whom have you selected?” I told Baba, the name of one of them, and again Baba asked, “Why only him?” I put forth my reasons. Then being satisfied, Baba said, “Yes, your logic is correct. Alright, then, send him first of all, but not now, At the moment I am thinking something.
When, I tell you, you will send him” Then I began to massage Baba’s head. When Baba said, “I am thinking now.”
I removed my hand from His head and sat down by His cot, I observed Baba closing His eyes for a couple of minutes and thinking something, and then Baba opened His eyes and looked all about and said ‘Well, now you can send him.”
When Baba closed His eyes I sensed a peculiar kind of vibration in the room-peaceful, completely peaceful, all-blissful. Then I came out and sent in that worker to do massage. For about an hour Baba talked to him about the field of his work and his sadhana, and after he came out Baba lay in that condition. I felt that since everything was happening; right before my eyes something strange was transpiring. I felt in that moment when Baba said, “I am thinking something now,” that perhaps Baba was taking some samkalpa. I often thought, would we have allowed Baba to leave us if Baba had previo¬usly disclosed His departure to us?
Baba would not have left us seeing us crying all around Him. I am reminded of one incident of a few months before. When Baba was going from Tiljala to Lake Gardens, there was an E T. C, going on. A’c. Cidarupananda, the E. T. C. In-charge and other concerned workers caught Baba’s feet and started weeping. Baba said, “Keshavananda, just tell me what I should do. I am now feeling not to leave. Take out my belongings from the car. Then Baba stayed at Tiljala. Baba could not resist the pleas of His beloved children, Hence the question of leaving us by revealing everything before hand, does not arise. It was a great risk for Baba to even hint. Hence Baba adopted the method of leaving us without telling us.
In February, 1990 Baba’s elder sister, Shriimati Hiraprabha Basu breathed her last. She was the eldest member of Baba’s family. Once Baba told Shrii Hima’shu Rainjan Sarkar, His younger brother and Tanuka, wife of Baba’s son, Kimshuka that the death of the eldest member of any family is known as Maha Guru Nipate and one should be careful for one year afterwards. Baba referred to the household and social obligations— such as taking long journeys and decorating the house with lights are prohibited. Any kind of work should be done with much more thought for one year.
In the meantime, on 6th August, the day of Shravanii Purniina, Shrii Hara Prasad Haldar, the father of Kinsuka’s wife, Tanuka, died, Baba used to strengthen the mind of Tanuka by narrating various kinds of stories to her.
During lunch and dinner time, Tanuka used to remain in Baba’s room. Generally Baba used to talk to His family members during his meals. Otherwise it was not possible for Baba to spare time for them.
B’ab’a had been making the mind of Tanuka strong for quite some time before the day of the death of her father by narrating stories of death to her.
Baba’ started preparing for His great depa¬rture long in advance, the first time Ba’ba’ fell ill on 19th December 1989. Baba was admitted to Woodland Nursing Home, and the D, M. C. at Ananda Nagar was replaced by D.M.S. Acarya Vijayananda Avt was sent as Baba’s representative.
Hearing of the great success in DMS, Baba was extremely happy and said, “Now you are trained and you can do everything.” It meant that Baba allowed a DMS to happen right in His presence to see how we could manage.
After returning from the nursing home, Baba started putting stress on the Master Unit program, Seva Dal was also emphasized, I remember that Baba was doing every kind of work in such a short time.
Laughingly Ba’ba’ someti¬mes said, “Keshava’nanda, the day consists of only 24 hours and a lot of work has to be done, time is very short. If the day could have been increased at least two hours, I would have been much facilitated, and I could have done more work.”
On the occasion of Sardotsava (on the 27th and 29th of September, 1990) Baba spoke about life and death in His discourse, Baba said, “You have to live like human beings and not like animals. It is a wrong idea that the lives of people in olden times were longer than those of present day humans, the fact is that because of development in modern times, people live longer now, a hundred years was conside¬red much more then; and therefore they said, “Live for a hundred years”. Baba further said “You people should live for many, many years, and live like human beings, not like animals.”
On 18th October, 1990 on the occasion of Diipavalii, Baba said, ”Devotees were crying at the departing time of Bhagavan Mahaviira, and then Mahaviira said, ‘None should weep after I leave my body, rather you should make festivities, You should decorate your houses with lights,’ Diipavali ‘Festival is celebrated in His memory. On this occasion also, Baba hinted at death.
On 23rd September, 1990 morning at 4 a.m Baba’s bell rang. I was astounded, and ran and opened the door. I saw Baba lying in a cheerful mood. Baba said, “Just look Keshavananda, I have been awake right from 2 a.m. want to give something new regarding Hindi grammar.
I did not like to trouble you by waking you at 2 a,m. Call Shraddhanandaji and Candranathji immediately.
Besides them, any others who take interest in Hindi can come. Personally I did not like to see Baba being troubled that early, but His keen desire made me helpless. I ran and called everyone. Baba suggested guidelines for radical changes in Hindi grammar. By this scientific method of grammar, a great service can be rendered to Hindi, and instead of degenerating; Hindi can be advanced. Every¬body especially liked the changed rule of gender in Hindi. If Baba would have wanted, Baba could have called them all after His breakfast on during the daytime, but, no, Baba was in a hurry.
Again on 26th September, 1990 Baba pressed the switch of His bell at 3 a,m, Again I was surprised and ran to Him and saw Baba laying on His bed cheerfully, Baba was thinking somet¬hing in His special posture, and then Baba said, ”Look, Keshavananda, I have been awake this night from 1 a.m, and I want to give some plans and programs regarding industry, commerce and farming at Anandanagar.” In a low voice I said, “Baba, it is 3 a.m ” Baba got a little angry and said, “I know, it is 3 a.m. and you are worried about my health, but I have not come only to sleep, I have to do a lot and I have to do it very soon. So call the concerned workers together with GS. There was no way out, I had to call all those workers, though reluctantly. Baba continued talking till 6-30 am. and then Baba went for morning duties and sat for His usual meditation. First work, then everything else.
Once again, when Baba fell sick on the night of August 10, 1990. Baba was admitted in the same nursing home at 3 a.m. Baba stayed there for 24 days, we also wanted Baba to stay for a longer period for rest and complete cure, but Baba was in His mood. He was saying repeatedly, “The doctors again are suggesting that I remain here to lie in “Ks’iir Sagar” (the sea of milk) in the Vis’hn’u Mudra.
But I have to do a lot of work,” Once He called a very senior physician in His room and asked us to go out for a minute. He said to the physician ‘Look doctor, these people want to take me somewhere outside of India but you should not agree. I do not want to go out. Besides this I know that though you are a very senior physician you cannot cure me, As long as I want I shall live. Do you understand?” With folded hands the physician agreed.
Many incidents are coming to my mind which indicates the preparation Baba made for His departure. It was the rule earlier that at least one trainee would come here from traini¬ng centre on every Wednesday, but all at once it was changed to five and all were surprised, especially the workers of the training dept. The workers there had to work hard day and night to send workers accordingly, and by the end of October, all the deserving candidates arrived. Now we realize that Baba wanted to give personal contact to a maximum number of workers. The minimum number of LFT s was 14, twice a week. In this way Baba gave person¬al contact to 84 wholetimers and 485 LFT’S in a short period of 4 months. Even on the day of His departure, Baba had given P.C. to one W.T. and 5 LFT’s just one and half hours before His Departure.
I am reminded of a very touching incident in 1968. It was 4 P m. in Ranchi in His quar¬ters, I was massaging Baba. He was enquiring about my field-’*Where did you visit? At how many places have schools been established ?” and so on and so forth, All of a sudden He turned to me and said you see ”Keshavananda, today I am in my physical body and if I do not remain physically -What will be the difference?” I was stunned, and wondering “what He is saying?” Putting my right palm over the mouth of Baba I said. ‘Don’t say so, Baba! How can you leave us? No, it can never happen so.” Lovingly Baba removed my palm and said. “No, am I going tomorrow itself? But, you know, I shall have to leave this physical body some day. It is a reality, Hence tell me as per your understanding the difference between that day and today. Do not get disturbed; Tell me as much as you can understand. Try to speak.” I started thinking, “What do I say, Then I did Dhyana and said, ”To my understanding the difference will be this much—that today if any problem arises, a margii or a worker comes to you direct and gets the solution immediately, and at that time it will be solved in a different way”. Turning on His side to me He said, “You are answering correctly. Only this much difference will be there. Then I shall radiate strong spiritual vibration, but sadhakas will have to do more Sádhana,” I was not knowing at all that Baba would put me in both these conditions, and that I would witness them. Even today whenever I remember this inci¬dent, my hairs stand on end, and I feel a peculiar kind of vibration inside.
The second time when Baba was admi¬tted to the nursing home, the number of Prabhat-Samgiit was only 4,942. Baba wanted to complete 5 000.
On 14th, August, in the intensive care unit in the evening Baba said to meet 4 p.m., “Keshavananda, as you sing, you have the knowledge of ‘dhun’ (melody) but not tal (rhythm). One song has come in my mind, what to do ” I was startled—a song in this physical state! It might give pressure to His heart, so I was quiet.
Baba said stressingly,
“I shall speak softly, and you note down.” I had to note down, there was no alternative. Again Baba made me sing the song. Baba was singing twice and thrice, encouraging me, Baba said, “Bravo, you are doing well,” and then followed a series of songs from that day on wards, on some days. Baba gave even a dozen songs a day.
All total in the nursing home 62 songs were given. Baba composed 5 songs more than 5,000 in the nursing home itself.
Baba was in great haste while giving Prabhat-Samgiit. The themes of the songs in the nursing home were different: Giving up of attachments, the separa-tion from Parama Purusa, the deserting of Vrindavan by Krs’n'a, etc. I wondered why themes like this! How could I understand that it was another rung on the ladder for His preparation!
In the first week of June, Baba returned to Calcutta after completing D.M C. at Anandanagar, on the holy occasion of A’nada Purnima, No one knew that it was His last D.M.C. Many margiis from different corners of the world came to attend D.M.C. Baba was also in a cheerful mood, DM C. was extremely blissful, In the second week of July one day Baba said, “Look, possibly towards the end of July or the first week of August, I can give Avadhuta Diiksa. You should read out to me the list of suitable candidates as soon as possible.” I thought, ‘Baba initiated avadhutas just in last May, and again Baba wants to give initiation to a new batch!” I was surprised and talked to G.S. One more surprising thing; Baba Himself fixed the number 50 for this batch. Since I was the secretary of the Avadhuta Board, I alone was given the responsibility for this. First we did not like to trouble Baba; as Tantrikii Diksa took at least two hours. Apart from this, it was summer. Baba started listening to a list of names every morning. What to do! I started preparing the list, consulting all the central workers. Before, when the list was of 20 persons, Baba reduced it to 7 or 8 but this time. Baba cancelled only 1 or 2 names. Furthermore, Baba was daily encouraging me to increase the number.
And so by 25th July the number was 34, and on 2nd August in Madhu Koraka in Tiljala, Baba initiated all of them. Just one week after Baba returned from the nursing home to His residence, on 4th September, Baba told me one morning at 5 a.m, “I am thinking to give Avadhuta Diiks’a in the 1st or 2nd week of October, 1990. Talk to all workers and prepare the list, and remember this time I shall initiate not fewer than 50 persons.” I was very surprised. We all became worried. But no way. Again when Baba asked me for the list the next day, I said very softly and politely, “Baba, would it be proper to take so much of trouble in your such weak state of health? You have recently come from the nursing home.
It is better if You let some months pass by.” Baba became a little displeased and said, “‘No, I have had sufficient rest in the nursing home. I am feeling very healthy now. There is no problem. Do not worry about my heal¬th. Let me work. Do not try to disturb me. I have come to do my work and not to rest.
Prepare a list of 50 workers from Delhi Sector after consulting everybody. The list of the Didis and Dadas of other sectors will be different—that you people will decide.”
Against my wishes, I again started preparing the list. Baba heard the names every morning. Then by the 1st week of October, a list of 45 persons was ready. Baba fixed the date of 13th October.
Baba took the last samiksa’ on the night of 12th October. On the morning of 13th October Baba called me from His room and said, “Are all your candidates ready? I am also ready. I got up at 3 a.m. and completed my Sádhana, I am ready. I shall start initiating them right from 5 a.m.”
We thought Baba would initiate from 8 a.m. after breakfast. But, Baba was already ready and the work would start now. Well, all the candidates reached after bath, when I checked the list in the morning, I discovered one worker had not turned up. I got very upset since Baba was adamant about the number of 50 and again and again Baba would say that, Baba would not initiate them if the number was less than 50 from Delhi sector.
Then I found one worker, only 18 years old who had come just 6/7 months before and had come to Calcutta just to purchase some textbooks. Well he was from a Margii family, hence his base of sadhana was strong, and he was working very sincerely. I had no alternative. His name was put at the list of the 50, When I was reading out the final list, I was worried as there were no other candidates at all to give if Baba rejected anyone. I read out one name after the other and thus reached 49.
The moment I read out the 50th, Baba said, “Well, he is a very small boy. Though small, he is sincere. You can put his name if he wants?
Besides this, Baba approved 20 for Didis names from Delhi sector and 8 names from other sectors.
There was one worker aged 62 from Delhi sector, but he had fulfilled all the conditions. Softly I requested for his name. Baba said, ”Look, he is so aged but is working with much sincerity. Ok, put his name also.” We were surprised. All the names had been approved. Baba sat for initiating at 5: 15 morning.
Before starting Baba said, “You people should remain outside my door. If I ring 1 bell Vijayananda will come, if 2 bells you should come; and if 3 bells, G.S. should come. We sat at the door throughout the period of initiation but no bell rang. After initiating Baba said, “Well it was good. All were very good. All were understanding quite well.
I did not have any trouble to make them understand, Thus Baba gave Tantrikii diiksa to a total number of 79 persons at a time. It was the biggest number ever. No one knew that Baba was wanting to give diiks’a, as for as many people as possible. Baba set up the supreme example of this dutifulness.
On 14th Oct., 1990, at 8|30 p.m. Baba expressed His desire to sit with some LFTs, if there were any, after His walk. It was immediately arranged. At 9 p.m. Baba gave His contact to 30 LFT s. Baba stressed the value and utility of Master Units, Gurukul and Seva Dal and at the end Baba said, “I know you are ready,” “and asked, “Can I depend upon you”. All replied with one voice, “Yes, Baba, you can depend upon us.” Baba was extremely cheerful. Baba then took oath from them, and touching their a’jina cakra, Baba blessed them.
On 19th October 90, Baba called all the WT’s o f Seva Dal and blessed them one by one touching their A’jina cakras. Nobody was knowing that it was the last step of His great departure.
While walking, Baba expressed His desire to give darshan to the Margiis on the 20th October at 8.30 p. m. everything was arra¬nged in the hall upstairs. While speaking to them all of a sudden Baba recited one poem by Rabindranath Tagore. The poem means that the serpents are exhaling venom in all directions, and it is futile to preach sweet gospels of peace. “At the time of departure, I call on all those who are getting ready in every home for waging the fight against the demons,” Was He not hinting at His great departure.
Today Baba has hidden Himself physically from His devotees, but has Baba gone away from His devotees! Baba is our goal. Where will Baba go! The unit mind becomes vibra¬ted with bliss by even a glimpse of Baba for a moment in Dhyana.
It is not only my faith but it is the faith of all in the field of Sádhana that the same vibration of Baba is experienced even now. Sometimes it is expe¬rienced much more and I am reminded of His saying, “I shall radiate stronger vibration then.”
Baba has prepared WT’s and sadhakas by giving His personal tie and energy. I know that the personal care which Baba took for His WT’s and sadhakas can rarely by found in the case of other gurus. Baba did not even pay attention to His own food and rest. Through P.C, Dharma Samiks’a, group contact, field contact, reporting, the discourses during D.M.C. and general darshan once a week, Baba gave contacts to all and charged us all spiritually.
Baba’s every gospel, His every word, and His philosophy will guide us. Baba has given so much, that has made us to do so much and taught us so much.
Today we must translate all that we have learned from Baba in the practical field of action. Let us benefit the people by liberating them with this philosophy, with detachment in action, with the sense of harmony in knowledge, with our supreme devotion, dutifulness towards our responsibilities and sacrifice in Sádhana.
Let us unite and swear that we must complete the task which Baba has left to us.
As would Baba often tell us, we must die while working or work even while dying.