FIRST & SECOND INITIATION IN ÁNANDA MÁRGA
It was during the college years in Calcutta, that Shrii Prabhat Ranjan’s astounding spiritual powers were first manifested. In 1939 Shrii Prabhat Ranjan was a first-year student. His regular evening strolls were already a habit from His days in Jamalpur. In Calcutta His evening walks took Him along Kashimitra Ghat in the direction of Howrah Bridge. Ramesh Shethy, thought to be a classmate, often accompanied Him.
About fifty or fifty-five years ago those banks along the Ganges abounded in thick woods that grew in the fertile alluvial soil. That secluded area was a haven for dangerous robbers. On the evening of Shrávańii PÚRŃIMÁ(full moon day of August) young Shrii Prabhat Ranjan, took His habitual walk along the banks, then sat on the Kashi Mitra Ghat for a little rest. The moon had just risen and the Ganges River shimmered in the moonlight. The river was surging from the monsoon rains. In that enchanting atmosphere, Shrii Prabhat Ranjan sat alone in an absorbed mood.
Suddenly, a huge, fierce-looking figure approached the young man intending to rob Him, “Young man, give me whatever you have,” he growled.
The youth looked at Him unperturbed and said, “calling his nick name, what is mother used to call him when he was boy, I know you. Now, give me everything you have.” Not understanding the full implication of what was said, Kalicharan was struck dumb by the young man’s courage and his nickname. He continued, “Tell me whether you are interested in changing your life?”
After some more conversation of this nature, Kalicharan, as if mesmerized, bathed in the Ganges and knelt down before the young man to receive initiation onto the spiritual path. After initiation he changed completely and became a great Sádhaka (spiritual aspirant) and he was given a new name, Kalikananda. This was the first initiation as a spiritual master Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar gave. His role as a spiritual guide for millions, as SHRII SHRII ÁNANDAMÚRTI, began here at Kashimitra Ghat on that evening of Shrávańii PÚRŃIMÁ . After ÁNANDA MÁRGA PRACÁRAKA SAḾGHA was founded, Shrávańii PÚRŃIMÁ has been celebrated annually. In a general audience on one Shrávańii Pu’rn’ima’, Preceptor SHRII SHRII ÁNANDAMÚRTI said:
Many of you know why we celebrate our Shrávańii PÚRŃIMÁ. I was young then, and reading in the Vidyasagar College at Kolkata, WB, INDIA. That evening an event occurred. A man – an evil-minded person – came before me.
I used the word “evil-minded” for the reason that the person who is evil-minded today can become a saint tomorrow. One who is an idiot today can be learned afterwards. In this world everything is relative and has no eternal form. No one can be called evil- minded permanently.
So I was saying that an evil-minded person came to me. I was an ordinary small boy. I inquired according to the normal psychology of human mind – “What do you want?” “Why have you chosen this path?” and so on. Afterwards, for a little while, he conversed with me and then he understood what should be done by him. Then he took initiation. That was the first initiation. Today the anniversary of thai day has again returned. Many years have since passed. Perhaps it was in 1939, an event of forty-one years ago.
KAMALAKANTA, THE SECOND INITIATION
In 1940, Shrii Prabhat Ranjan was still a student of Vidyasagar College. A friend was getting married somewhere in Bankura District, perhaps at the village of Betur. Shrii Prabhat Ranjan and his friends set off from Calcutta by train and at Bankura proceeded to the wedding by bullock cart. Everyone was tired from the long journey and slept early.
There was a large cremation ground a short distance from that village. Shrii Prabhat Ranjan had always enjoyed roaming mountains, forests and lonely places like cremation grounds; so instead of sleeping, he started for the cremation ground. Dusk had fallen by the time he reached there. He listened as he heard a voice singing in the darkness: Your coming to this world is imaginary, Your cries and laughter are complete.
“Who is there?,” he called out.
At first the singer did not respond.
When asked a second time he said, “I am a Baul (mystic), son.” Shrii Prabhat Ranjan beckoned him to come close. Coming near, the wanderer introduced himself as Kamalakanta Mahapatra of Betur. He lived with his maternal uncle there, though he was born at Chandil in Ranchi District. Then he sang several Baul songs for Shrii Prabhat Ranjan.
Shrii Prabhat Ranjan inquired, “Why are you wandering in the cremation ground in the darkness?”
“My master,” Kamalakanta replied, “has promised to teach me Tantra Sádhaná‘ and for that I am waiting here. I am expecting my master to come at any time and am anxiously awaiting his Darshan (sight of an elevated person) with intense desire.” He continued, “Look at my misfortune. My Gurudeva says that the proper time has still not come for my initiation and that’s why he has delayed in teaching me. Now tell me, what am I to do so that my time may quickly come?”
Shrii Prabhat Ranjan made some inquiries. “Will you be able to do whatever your master asks of you?”
Kamalakanta responded, “Yes, of course. If he asks me to die, I’m even ready for that.” Hearing his reply, Shrii Prabhat Ranjan thought to himself, “His time has come so why is his master not teaching him?” In the meantime Kamalakanta jumped up and caught hold of Shrii Prabhat Ranjan’s feet in supplication. He repeatedly begged him for initiation.
Shrii Prabhat Ranjan said, “I am just a boy, what can I teach you?” “No,” Kamalakanta implored,” you must teach me. You know everything.”
Then Shrii Prabhat Ranjan gave him his long-sought Tantric initiation. Afterwards he said, “You will meditate after midnight. It is time for me to go now.”
Kamalakanta respectfully folded his hands and said,”I have a request to make. After this, I will never make to you any other request.”
Shrii Prabhat Ranjan nodded his assent and Kamalakanta said, “Tonight you stay here with me.”
“How can I do that? At the house, the marriage party will be looking for me,”
Kamalakanta persisted, “It is my first and last request.” Seeing his fervent prayer Shrii Prabhat Ranjan agreed to stay there. Kamalakanta said, “You look tired, please take rest,”
Shrii Prabhat Ranjan laid his head in Kamalakanta’s lap and went to sleep. After a short time Kamalakanta rested Shrii Prabhat Ranjan’s head on three human skulls. He started to serve him by massaging his legs and soon was lost in Samádhi (transcendental trance). In the morning when Shrii Prabhat Ranjan awoke, he felt intense pain in his legs. The blood circulation had stopped. He called to Kamalakanta, but there was no response. As he tried to touch him, Kamalakanta fell over. He managed to free his legs from the grip of Kamalakanta’s frozen hands. Kamalakanta’s body had become very stiff.
Shrii Prabhat Ranjan made his way back to the marriage party; they were just about to go out in search of him. He then related everything that happened the night before and in the morning. Upon hearing such a fantastic tale, his friends rushed to the cremation ground where they only found the three human skulls but no Kamalakanta. This mystery was a spectral incident to all who were there.
Of those supernatural stories in Shrii Prabhat Ranjan’s book Strange Experiences only this incident has no explanation following it. When asked about it, Guru SHRII SHRII ÁNANDAMÚRTI replied, “This matter concerns spiritual practices, what explanation will I give?” Kamalakanta was one of those unforgettable Sádhakas who accomplished the Goal of Sádhaná‘ in just one night.
In the Jataka Tales, a collection of Buddhist stories, it is said that Sudatta, the last disciple of Buddha, also attained realization with only a few hours of Sádhaná‘ after initiation.