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A Short Introduction to the Man

The Man

When we look at this vast world and at ourselves we find two groups of people on a broad-based classification. While the section of people that forms the majority remains content or busy trying to fend for themselves and engrossed with their little joys and sorrows, comforts and interests, there are others who try to carve out a niche for themselves. They are the people we stand up in long lines to vote for; whose art or music or acting we enjoy and watch; whose speeches or songs we listen to and whose poetry we read. They are the leaders in their respective fields: rich or famous or powerful or all at once.

A successful man in whatever field he may be in—politics, arts, music, acting, scientific researches—is the most admired man today, the only criterion being how much money or popularity he has earned or how much influence he wields over the masses or how much power he enjoys. But there is a handful still, beyond these obvious two classes of the ordinary majority and extraordinary minority, and whose birth in this world is few and far between and often centuries apart from each other. They are characterized by their conspicuous and overwhelming obsession with the welfare and well-being of others, however queer it may sound. They are not without individual aspirations and ambition but even there, they so strikingly differ from the rest, the sole aim and interest of their lives being the interest of others. Through this website it is our humble endeavor to introduce you to one such man whose life and activity have been tuned by a single purpose—to wean man from the clutches of his own passions and lead him into a life of light and bliss. A man who never bothered about personal milestones despite being endowed with uncommon excellence in any and every field that he chose to tread.

Such a person was born in a remote riverine village of North-Eastern Bengal, a province of the undivided British India (now part of independent Bangladesh) on 14th September, in the year 1888 (Bhadra 30, 1295 of Bengali Calendar), in the household of the Chakravarties—a traditional Bengali Brahmin family. The village—Himaitpur—represented the perfect picture of a stagnant, degenerated social life of Bengal or Indian countryside of the period. Taking advantage of its remoteness that made it difficult for the administration to have a strong hold over the law and order, these villages became happy hunting ground for freebooters, goons, thieves, rapists and all sorts of criminals. In the backdrop of such a scenario, took place the birth of the first of the children of Sivachandra and Manomohini Devi. And the baby came out with such a glowing light that the boatmen on nearby Padma thought the house caught fire and they rushed with bucket loads of water to douse the flame only to discover themselves befooled. The boy, christened Anukulchandra, grew up normally in his native environment among his parents, younger siblings, and his childhood and boyhood friends but with uncanny interests and abilities. His interests were myriad; his inquisitiveness, deep.

His Parents

His father Sivachandra was an honest, simple, straightforward and pious man.  He was an extremely kind-hearted man who always tried to reach out to the needy. His mother Manomohini Devi was a woman of great personality. After meeting her, Mahatma Gandhi remarked, ‘I have never seen such a masterful woman in my life.’ She was extremely devout from her childhood. When she was a little girl, she had the vision of a holy name and a saintly man who later, in real life, initiated her to that very holy name. The saintly man was no other than His Holiness Sree Sree Hujur Maharaj of Radhasoami cult of Dayal Bag Satsang based in Agra. Manomohini Devi prayed to her spiritual teacher for a son with Godly qualities. It seems her prayers were truly answered. But how many could guess that this child was one day to hold aloft the light of life to those groping desperately in darkness for a flicker of light and of hope, and slipping downwards towards dark death? That he in words and deeds would become the living shelter of the homeless, to the distressed and those who on the path of life found themselves lost? Or that, through his unending love, unfathomable knowledge, unmatched wisdom and incredible abilities beyond our imagination, he would surpass man’s previous conceptions or ideas of God or Advent — the Prophet, and above all the concept of Dharma.

His Boyhood

From his very childhood this boy showed signs of his mysteriously uncanny abilities and tendencies. One day when he was very young his mother was about to visit a neighbor’s newborn baby. On knowing her intentions child Anukulchandra remarked that it was worthless seeing the baby as it was to die erelong. Though Manomohini Devi was shocked by this ominous utterance, the boy’s words came true as the child did not live more than 18 days. In another incident, an ascetic took shelter in the household of Sivachandra. One day, Manomohini Devi saw him offering Anukulchandra his own meal first and then taking the leftover himself. Shocked and furious at this sight she charged the ascetic of doing such harmful and unholy things to the child and asked him to get out immediately. The ascetic while going out said, “Mother today you are driving me out like this, but how many, I wonder, would you be able to drive away, when thousands will worship your son?”

One day a doctor of Ayurvedic order left some tablets made of the extracts of poisonous herbs to be used for medicinal purposes in the sun to dry. From somewhere the child came running and picked up a handful and chewed before sending them down into his stomach. The physician was horrified and utterly panicked as one single tablet was enough to take away a life. But the boy showed no symptom of any disorder or disturbance, nor did he fall ill even.

There was an elderly man named Hemchandra in this village who had a beautiful garden of which he was very fond. Anukulchandra would often ransack the garden and spoil Hemchandra’s dear flowers for which he would complain to the boy’s mother who will beat Anukulchandra mercilessly but with not much effect. One day Anukulchandra told him that taking such pains for this earthly garden was useless. He should better get ready for the garden in heaven. Not long after this, Hemchandra’s earthly gardening did indeed come to an abrupt end as he began his journey towards the garden beyond.

A Born Scientist

With deep inquisitive mind and a wonderful power of insightful observation that he possessed as inborn faculties, he could grasp things very easily and see the very roots of them. In those days the students of the village school had to carry among other things, pens and inkpots with them to school. While writing the pens had to be dipped again and again into the inkpot and writing continued. A boring and tiresome process no doubt. To get out of it Anukulchandra made a long hollow inside the country pen which he filled with ink that was to flow through the nib while writing. But no ink came out. After thinking a while he made a little hole and ink started flowing immediately and to control it's flow he put a pin near its mouth. Thus this little boy invented a fountain pen, sitting in a remote corner of a backward village and with no apparent training in science. He was gifted with a natural inquisitive and scientific bent of mind that would enquire deep into the cause of things. What he had, of course, was a deep insight into the matter of things and a profound common sense born of an indomitable urge to plunge into the cause of things, even at that tender age.

Once while travelling in a steamer boat with his father he observed keenly the working of the engine of the boat. Coming back he made a small engine with tin that even started working though without being able to withstand the pressure the container gave way. He often thought why the trees and plants are different from each other. One day, he evulsed many a plant and examined the roots and came to the conclusion that the plants are different because of their seeds. Thus he reached the truth in different matters with his own intense observations and cogitations and developed an amazing common-sense.

Born to Lead

Also gifted with an innate leadership quality even in his childhood he enjoyed an enviable command over the boys of his age, such was the strength and sweetness of his personality even at that age. Without being bullish he earned the loyalty and trust of his friends with love, sympathetic fellow-feeling, courage, sharp intelligence and superior mental faculties. He was one born to lead. Some of his friends would call him ‘Rajabhai’ (king brother) and one even used to address him as ‘Prabhu’ (lord).

His love for His Mother

One of the most strikingly wonderful things about Anukulchandra was his profound love for his mother from his early childhood. There was nothing that he couldn’t do to obey or keep his mother’s wishes. Once displeased with him his mother started chasing him, but could not catch hold of her son who was running way ahead of her. But looking back he suddenly saw his mother panting and sweating as she ran, her face flushed with exhaustion and exasperation. He stopped running instantly and received merciless caning from his mother standing still, trying to relieve her by wiping the sweat from her forehead and fanning her as she went on beating him. Later when his younger brother asked why he had remained standing there foolishly when he could comfortably run away, he replied that it was much easier for him to withstand a little caning than watch his mother suffering.

He was then a student of eighth standard in Pabna Institution. On the day of his mathematics examination, he was a little late and his mother scolded him for this, saying he would not be able to write anything. He hurried towards the school and reached in time. In the examination hall the invigilator found him crying. On being asked Anukulchandra said that he could answer all the questions but if he did, his mother’s words would prove false and he could hardly let that happen. The teacher stood stunned, utterly dumbstruck. The boy returned the answer-sheet blank nonchalantly. However incredible this may sound to others he had such strong sentiments towards his mother that he could accomplish all this with simple-hearted innocence. Even when he grew up, this sentiment towards his mother remained strongly pulsating in him. If anything could budge him a little from his own stand and decisions that were his mother’s words. After his mother’s death he had a mausoleum built in her memory. The loss of his mother dealt a severe psycho-physical blow to him. Even long after she was gone his eyes moistened while he reminisced about her. He would often say that whatever he did, he did from the sheer urge of making her happy.

His Love: mighty, yet motherly

From his very childhood he had a deep ingenuous sympathy for everyone he came across, especially those who were afflicted and suffering. But his sympathizing did not find satisfaction in sitting quietly and shedding idle tears. He would actively try to mitigate their suffering and would not sit quiet until he was able to provide some relief to the sufferer. Once he wore to his village school a costly winter garment given to him by a well-to-do relative. And in the school he tore it into a long piece of cloth so that a number of boys could sit with comfort on it to stave off the biting cold of the mud floor.

He would often give away his clothes and other belongings to the needy. More than once he returned from school without any clothes on his person and to the shocked query of his mother and grandmother he disclosed that he had given them away to someone in much need of them all. His life is full of such incidents where he has not thought even once of himself while helping others in distress. He never did these as a conscious effort at social work but from an innate urge, often as impromptu decisions that occurred naturally to him. He would feel restless at the misery of others. Even while passing his late teens in Kolkata studying medicine amid great hardship—he had to live in a coal-godown with coolies—this glowing nature of extending himself in selfless service to others never for a moment deserted him. A youth from a respectable family, instead of holding the coolies to contempt, he would wash their clothes and treat them with medicine and slowly ushered into their base life-style filled to the brim with filth the stench of which would even reek through their words, concepts like hygiene and cleanliness hitherto unknown to them. Thus winning their hearts with his service he tried to wean them away from the dirty habits they were used to with easy yet alert love with such effect that they became extremely fond of him and could not imagine life without him. When he would return home they would take him to the steamer jetty and on the day of his return would wait for him collectively. Such was the impact of his mighty love and service.

One day he had very little money left with him with which he planned to have a little cheap food. Suddenly a friend of his came and asked for some help and Anukulchandra gave away all that he had. The next two days he remained on water alone and walked miles to attend the theory class, the dissection class and to return home. On the third day he became extremely ill from unbearable pain in the stomach. Taking pity at his condition a senior student of the same college administered a little sodium-bi-carbonate to him. Fortunately that worked very well on him.

The Magical Physician

After his return home closing the Kolkata chapter of his life he began practicing among the village folk. Within a few months this young physician’s astounding diagnostic ability coupled with almost miraculous curing skills and sincere loving dealing with his patients made him extremely popular among the masses. Medicine worked wonders at his hands. His insightful treatment in consort with inquisitive and loving service worked like magic. He could not breathe a sigh of relief until his patients felt better. He earned a lot of money in those days much of which was spent in buying medicines and as monetary help to his poor patients. His name and fame spread like wild-fire far and near. He became such an embodiment of relief that patients often felt better at the very sight of him. As he habitually searched deeper into the cause of the diseases, he discovered that at the bottom of man’s physical diseases lay a diseased mind, his passion-tainted habits and way of life. Without treating the roots, it was futile striving to cure the mere physical ailments.

The Beginning of a New Era

And with this realization began another era. Already a number of young men accumulated round him attracted by a heavenly aura in his personality. With the passing of years his personality unfurled into a vivid variety of colors and scents drawing thousands in its irrevocable appeal. He motivated youths into forming troupes and with drums, cymbals and other instruments they started singing ecstatic devotional songs known as kirtan. He himself composed songs for the kirtans, set tunes and took part in the singing. The singers danced and jumped in ecstasy and exuberance as the songs picked up from slow tempo to high buoyant peaks and again slowed down. Anukulchandra himself danced and sang and would become the central figure around whom all sang and danced as if enchanted. His movements and rhythms were ineffably beautiful and captivating. Unable to repel the enchanting effects of such exalting music that reached unprecedented heights and continued for hours, many plunged into it like insects into fire. Absorbed wholly into the kirtan Anukulchandra would fall down losing all consciousness of the world around and in that state his body would sometimes spring to some distance or in quick succession amazingly accomplish most complex yogic movements as if his body was nothing more than a ball of flesh with hardly any bone in it. Then began in that transcendental state or Samadhi a thing hardly ever witnessed by human eyes. He would speak out in a variety of languages—of them a few unknown—on a variety of topics including who he really was and revealing things of the highest philosophical importance to the utter amazement of the onlookers and would come back to normalcy after some time. Sometimes his sayings would be directly addressed to someone in the crowd or would be an indirect answer to some question lurking in the minds of those standing agape at the happenings. Though this era of kirtan and Samadhi did not last more than a few years, Anukulchandra, by then addressed as Sree Sree Thakur (to be addressed so here also henceforth) by his followers with reverence, was able to lift the general mental plane of Himaitpur and adjoining areas where women feared going out to the river or pond alone even in daylight and skirmishes, rape, robbery and theft were the order of the day, to one of elevating interest and engagement. Enchanting Kirtan easily lifts the mind to a higher plane and it becomes easier to mold it.

The Man-Making Mission

The process of man-making started. Sree Sree Thakur ran from one village to another, from one house to another and wherever he went people poured in his presence round the clock seeking solutions to a wide variety of problems. A maddening thirst, that later turned into addiction, for knowing more and more, got hold of the people. And Sree Sree Thakur with his boundless love and energy satisfied their numerous and varied queries while enkindling their interest to delve deeper—goading them on to a life different and divine. As hundreds of men from all walks of life came to meet him and some even started living in his presence, a small neighborhood was slowly coming up around his abode.

The Birth of Satsang

As the number of men determined to follow him with head and heart till the end of their lives increased rapidly around him, an organization came into being spontaneously. He did not formally establish or lay the foundation of Satsang ceremoniously. Satsang evolved normally, naturally, spontaneously round the loving personality of Sree Sree Thakur. The philanthropic activities of Satsang multiplied and spread far within a few years. Sree Sree Thakur’s infinite interest in science seeped into those with a scientific bent of mind and pat came Vishya Bigyan Kendra (World Science Centre) where with a few simple apparatus but great enthusiasm began researches in various fields. Then came up Satsang Chemical Works where manufacturing of medicines based on Sree Sree Thakur’s formulae began. Then Satsang Press, Satsang Publishing House and other establishments found the light of the day as the necessity arose. The construction work for these establishments and other rooms for the purpose of habitation were carried out by the ashramites themselves including the women, starting from digging soil to making bricks and doing masonry. And it was the women who ran the works of Satsang Press.

The Role of Mother Manomohini

In the early days of Satsang, Manomohini Devi played a very crucial role. Apart from being an inhabitant of the spiritual world with realizations and feelings typical of one advanced far in the path of God, she possessed a very strong yet motherly personality. She would beg from door to door and with whatever she managed to collect she would prepare meals for the disciples of Sree Sree Thakur. With her affectionate nature she would take care of them and look into their problems and soothed the extreme earthly difficulties and discomfort in which they passed those years.

His Tapovan School

In Tapovan school began at the initiative of a handful of teachers the endeavor to achieve Sree Sree Thakur’s singularly fundamental concept of education. With very little infrastructure but buoyant zeal of both teachers and pupils, the wheel of education rolled on. And though many learned pundits could not quite digest Sree Sree Thakur’s views on education, students of Tapovan and Matrividyalay who included even adult illiterate women, mostly housewives and mothers, passed secondary entrance examination in just three years. Sree Sree Thakur's own sons were the first students of the school.

Sree Sree Thakur, at the Centre of All These

And at the center of all these activities was none other than Sree Sree Thakur with his love, unfathomable and oceanic, amazing ability to maneuver man, matters and situation and astounding versatility in all subjects, inspiring the workers to a glowing endeavor for laying down the foundation of an effulgent and evolving society that is truly human—not selfish, not mechanical and not inhuman.

With the passing of years he was, like the blooming petals of a flower, unfurling into an ineffably beautiful personality the colors and scents of which were so many—beyond words can truly express or narrate. But the charm and attraction of his personality were undeniable.

The Way, According to Him

He spoke untiringly on how man can walk on the path of being and becoming, not alone but along with the environment, overcoming the obstacles and beckoning of complexes enjoying life in all its fine charms and flavors but never slipping into the dirty drain of passion’s sewage that runs along the wayside. But for this, he averred, that a Living Ideal—a competent and realized man in flesh and blood—in whom all the human qualities are arranged and adjusted at their best in a normal effortless way, is needed as his guide. Such a person works as a living mirror and cleaner of human nature. With only loving adherence to him can man shape his character and live on the path of existential uplift and enjoyment along with the environment. He spoke on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to being and becoming with particular connotations to everyday life, science, genetics, eugenics, literature, marriage, politics and many other topics till the very end of his earthly sojourn.

One Sri Krishnaprasanna Bhattacharya—a budding scientist with blue-eyed aspirations and a Calcutta University gold medal in Physics under his belt, assisting Nobel Laureate Dr. C. V. Raman in the latter’s researches in light—on his holiday visits to Himaitpur used to be a curious onlooker when Sree Sree Thakur talked with people, albeit with little interest or faith in anything remotely such as spiritualism. On one such visit he was determined to put Sree Sree Thakur to a grueling test with his knowledge of science and shatter the ‘myth’ built around the latter. After starting the discussion with the preliminaries of light, his field of work, he went deeper and deeper. Thakur avoiding carefully the jargon of technical terminology in his own inimitable way, started illustrating on the floor the lines of light with a piece of charcoal. And before long, reins of the discussion slipped uncontrollably out of the young scientist’s grasp as he could do no more than listen to what Sree Sree Thakur had to say. And Sree Sree Thakur said much more than researches on light had progressed till then, throwing light on the possibilities that lay ahead in the field and scope of future research in the subject. Spelt dumb and amazed, as if befooled in trying to befool, Sri Bhattacharya made up his mind and in a single hand-written correspondence to Dr. Raman, released himself from the latter’s research engagement and bound himself with Sree Sree Thakur’s life and carried out alone and in the company of Sri Shyamacharan Mukherjee under the goading guidance of Sree Sree Thakur various research works that did not remain confined to light or physics only. Sree Sree Thakur was not just a visionary but one who could clearly visualize and see the seeds of future. The problems he warned against again and again and cautioned would plague the society are really eating fast into the very roots of civilization. But above all his unfathomable knowledge and inexplicable abilities was his ingenuous and profound love for everyone. After meeting him, communist leader and a close confidant of Late Mujaffar Ahmed, founder of Communist Party of India, Sri Bankim Mukhopadhyay remarked that he had never met a man with such motherly affection. When the then revenue minister of Bihar Sri Krishnaballav Sahay after seeing the activities of Satsang asked Thakur in utter astonishment, “Why don’t you advertise all that you do for others in newspapers?”

Sree Sree Thakur calmly said, “You have your wife, children and others in your family, haven’t you? Why don’t you advertise what you do for them?”

Puzzled, Sri Sahay retorted, “Why should I? Can anyone advertise what he does for his near ones?”

Sree Sree Thakur replied, “That is exactly what my problem is. I can’t advertise what I do for others, because I can’t think anyone as separate from my own existence. I think whatever I’m doing, I’m doing for myself.” Sri Sahay was speechless in amazement and shocked beyond uttering anything. And however unbelievable may this sound, every bit of what Sree Sree Thakur said about himself was truth, unadulterated.

That is why perhaps, to a query from one of the devotees, Sree Sree Borda, Sree Sree Thakur’s eldest son and the then Pradhan Acharya of Satsang, remarked that there may be saints and ascetics with great powers but there can never be one so full of love as He.

Adieu, Motherland

If one major watermark in his vastly eventful life was the passing away of his mother who had been his one singular point of deepest sentiment and whose one word was enough for him to forego his own wish; to secure whose happiness and obtain whose praise was his sole objective even when he was no more than a little boy; deep steady attachment towards whom was ingrained normally in his nature from his childhood, then the other was leaving the land of his birth and first 58 years of his life—with which so much of his existence, memories, activities was so closely linked—for Deoghar located in the Santhal Parganas in the then Bihar, now part of Jharkhand, owing to unsound health. For such a keenly sensitive nature so much in love with his own land and its people, to mitigate whose suffering he toiled and suffered so much, the jolt of the uprooting was emotional and severe and had he not been a man of great strength and control over himself, it could have been traumatic. But being a man with no attachment towards earthly objects he could leave the sprawling ashram worth crores in those days, forever. Only a very few things, mainly of domestic importance, could be taken along. But a huge train of followers, leaving virtually everything behind, preferred to follow him towards an uncertain future and an entirely new habitat. There Sree Sree Thakur began again from the scratch and laid foundations of the huge institution that one can see there today. Those who left their hearth and home and embarked upon a voyage of uncertainty were confident that they would not at least die in following their lord, come whatever else may. For him they could leave everything else, but for nothing could they forsake him! And indeed, whoever losing and leaving everything took recourse to him as a destitute, during the partition of India, was not turned away by Sree Sree Thakur. Rather he stood as a colossal sheet anchor, safe and secure shelter for them. For the thousands of refugees who came to him losing everything in East Pakistan after India’s independence, he took not a single penny as aid or assistance from the government but became their shelter and stood those hapless in their own steed.

Though Sree Sree Thakur’s desire to return one day to that riverine village where he was born and grew up never turned into reality, he always nurtured in his heart of hearts the craving to go back to that lush green beautiful Bengal village. Fond memories of Himaitpur, Pabna and its associations returned time and again to Sree Sree Thakur, in his remembrances and reminiscences.

The Partition

Sree Sree Thakur desperately wanted to stave off the partition of India as he foresaw the evils it would spawn. But the stalwarts of Indian politics with whom he talked again and again and even offered strategies to sort out the problems of communalism were not convinced. Petty politics and shortsighted decisions prevailed. The result is that, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are faced with problems that can be ascribed to the partition only.

Sree Sree Baroma

In those days his wife, reverentially referred to as Baroma, stood up as the very embodiment of support by her husband, presenting and establishing herself as the living ideal of every woman and girl.

As a Family Man

Another very interesting aspect of his life was that despite leading a very open and overwhelmingly public life he was not negligent in discharging his personal responsibilities as a householder and family-man quite unlike the celebrities and statesmen who lose the smell of normal life as a fall-out of leading an overtly public life. His dealings with his wife were extremely sweet, compassionate and affectionate but never lacking in grandeur. He would often go into the inner part of the house to inquire about what was on the menu or Sree Sree Baroma’s health or just to talk with her for a while. In his dealings with his relations he was equally responsible and sincere. Even his distant relations, some of them on the side of his wife, were directly benefited by him. He kept them in the ashram and as part of his own household. The glare of publicity and attention had nothing to do with his very much normal way of life.

Personalities Who Visited Him

Many eminent personalities, dignitaries, litterateurs and statesmen visited him. Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, founder of Jansangh, Maulvi A. K. Fazlul Haque, the then Prime Minister of undivided Bengal, Sri Anantashayanam Ayenger, former Speaker, lower house of the parliament, Sri Gopinath Bardoloi, Prime Minister, Assam, Sri R. N. Rath, former Development Minister, Orissa, Sri Tarun Kanti Ghosh, former minister, West Bengal, Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri, former prime minister of India, are only a few among the many whose names could not be mentioned here owing to limitations of space.

Mr. Eugene Exman, the President of Spiritual Literature section of Harper and Brothers, a renowned publishing house, on reading ‘Ocean in A Tea Cup,’ a book written by Mr. Ray Archer Hauserman, a disciple of Sree Sree Thakur, flew all the way from America to just see for himself if what he had read was at all true. After a few days’ stay at Deoghar and meeting Sree Sree Thakur and talking with him a number of times on a wide variety of subjects he left for his country, an initiated disciple of Sree Sree Thakur and convinced that there was much, much more to Sree Sree Thakur than what the pages of the book had given him an inkling of.

Eminent freedom fighter Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, whose services towards the people of the country earned him the fond and revered title ‘Friend of the Nation’, became a disciple of Sree Sree Thakur. Sree Sree Thakur’s mother herself initiated him to the holy name.

His Messages

Apart from conversing and talking with people for hours, Sree Sree Thakur came out with messages, pertaining to being and becoming, both in verse and prose forms. These inspired sayings, covering a wide variety of topics viz. varnashram, eugenics, marriage, genetics, complex, Ideal, Dharma, politics, education, industry health and hygiene and much more, gushed forth at unexpected hours from him like the sacred waters of the Ganga from the cavernous bosom of the Himalayas. These holy dictations with hints at attaining life blissful and life divine in this very life flowed from him as spontaneous outpourings both in Bengali and English and were instantly copied by some disciples who took dictation-writing to the height of immaculate art with their dedication and perfection. These ambrosial sayings of the Master run into thousands and the grandeur and depth of the language cannot but surprise one.

Till the very end of his life on 27 January, 1969, this endeavor to extend to every human being the holy tricks of life, of existence, of being and becoming, continued and is still continuing through the tradition of Acharyas who bear the sacred blood and legacy of Him. In accordance with his wishes, after his demise, his eldest son Sree Amarendranath Chakravarty (Sree Sree Borda) was chosen as the head of the organization, the Pradhan Acharya of Satsang, the normal successor of his father—whose words and wishes he absorbed into his own life through unflagging service, love and adherence—and to lead in the physical absence of Sree Sree Thakur the vast multitude who suddenly felt themselves emotionally destitute at the departure of their Lord and throw light to them. Sree Sree Borda, as he was addressed by others, standing tall in the face of high wind raised by the separatist forces in the organization, took up the reins, withstood the storm of opposition and slandering, dispelled all fears and doubts from the minds of the disciples, and with firm steps walked ahead with the holy responsibility of the Lord Sree Sree Thakur on his sturdy shoulders. He with his words and deeds became the very embodiment of trust, inspiration and conviction. After his mortal departure his eldest son Sree Ashok Chakravarty (Sree Sree Dada) in accordance with his expressed wish has become the chief helmsman of Satsang whose wonderful foresight and inspirational ability have helped spread the Holy Name of Sree Sree Thakur, his messages of life, being and becoming, to even the remotest part of India. He, at the age of 77, is tirelessly travelling hundreds of miles with his sons, talking for hours, motivating people to enjoy the life divine in this very life, translating the messages of Sree Sree Thakur and writing inspired songs to fulfil his responsibility towards his Beloved Lord with single-minded devotion.

Satsang

Satsang is a philanthropic organization that emerged out of Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra. Whenever Sree Sree Thakur plunged into any activity, he did it as a spontaneous response to the demand of the situation or a necessity that popped up before him. The organization Satsang too was born of such a natural process rather than any deliberate pre-planned effort to establish an organization. When people multiplied around Sree Sree Thakur, drawn by the irresistible magnetic pull of his personality, the assembly and the neighbourhood that was fast coming up around Sree Sree Thakur’s home and was throbbing with life and multifarious activity like school, research and so on, it normally took the shape of a well-knit organization bubbling with vitality. So, in the case of Satsang, an organization was not floated. Rather a congregation of people fast cumulating around a great man grew into an organization: an organization of people drawn and dedicated to existence—their own and that of the environment.

Satsang, therefore, is not merely a religious institution or just a social organization but one dedicated to the service and existence of humanity as a whole—the being and becoming of all, using whatever existential means that may be felt necessary evoked by the urge of the situation with Sree Sree Thakur as the Living Ideal and Pivot.

Satsang was registered after independence and partition of India under the Societies Registration Act of 1860, the administration of which is vested in an executive committee comprising not more than 30 members including the President elected for a period of three years by the members of the institution. Its registered office is situated at 68, Surya Sen Street, Kolkata. But the advice and wishes of the Pradhan Acharya is considered paramount in all matters and affairs related to the management, protection and preservation of the properties of Satsang and in all activities relating to the furtherance of the objectives of the society.

Various Institutions of Satsang

Sree Sree Thakur’s innovative and independent thinking on the why’s and how’s of various natural phenomena and his inborn inquisitiveness found a thoroughfare for expression when men of science like K. P. Bhattacharya came to stay permanently in his company. Viswa Vigyan Kendra (World Science Centre) came up where researches began with great enthusiasm. From the urge to air the views of Sree Sree Thakur and his Satsang on different aspects of life, problems plaguing man’s personal and public life, his politics and science, his society and industry—the perennial and day-to-day problems— and from the urge to preserve and protect the invaluable, easily understandable, enlightening, clear, unambiguous solutions offered by Sree Sree Thakur to these problems so that the humanity at large and the future generations might be benefited by them, were born Satsang Press and Satsang Publishing House. The works of the press were mainly run by the women of the ashram. The Publishing House has brought out innumerable books on the life and sayings of Sree Sree Thakur maintaining amazing authenticity which includes fresh releases and re-editions of previously published volumes with better, innovative and handy get-up. Satsang brings out five magazines every month, namely ‘Alochana’ in Bengali, ‘Urjana’ in Oriya, ‘Ligate’ in English meant chiefly for the English reading public, ‘Sattwati’ in Hindi and ‘Agamvani’ in Assamese.

People suffering from different kinds of diseases—many of which acute and chronic—would regularly come to Sree Sree Thakur, often as the last ray of hope for relief and cure. And he came out with indigenous medicinal solutions based on herbs, often rare, that worked wonderfully on them. He would sometimes ask one of his devotees adept in the matter to work on the formulae given by him and prepare medicines. Satsang Chemical Works and later, Rashaishana Mandir were the outcomes of the urge born out of the necessity to permanently preserve those formulae and systematically manufacture in larger quantities those extremely efficacious medicines with proven results to cater to people at an easily affordable price.

As in the early days all the works of the Ashram starting from digging soil, burning bricks to making wooden furniture and windows were done by the disciples of Sree Sree Thakur themselves as he wanted them to learn every technique, every sort of work and stand on their own feet, Satsang Carpentry, Satsang Garage and centers like this came up in course of time to cope up with the demand of the situation and time.

Satsang Tapovan Vidyalay started functioning in Himaitpur, Pabna, from the educational need of the sons of the disciples of Sree Sree Thakur who started living with him at the Ashram. For girls and even for adult illiterate women most of whom were mothers and housewives staying in the Ashram and nearby, the operations of Matri Vidyalaya began, with almost no infrastructure in today’s standards. In these institutions teaching and learning started and continued in keeping with Sree Sree Thakur’s views on education. The objective was that the learner would truly become educated and not merely literate holding degrees with hardly any common sense. Education, Sree Sree Thakur felt, should nurture a pupil’s individual specific specification, mold his character and conduct so that after graduating from college he can fend for himself standing on his learning, without having to frantically search or beg for an employment. A teacher, he felt, apart from being a master in his own subject would be an Ideal-centric person, able to inspire and motivate. He laid emphasis on practical hands-on training and technical education. Sree Sree Thakur’s own children were among the earliest students of this school. Later Satsang College was also established, the functioning of which has now been handed over to the government. Today Satsang Tapovan Vidyalay boasts of a huge campus complete with playground, hostel and other facilities. The girls’ school, now named Vinapani Vidyamandir, has its own separate premises and facilities.

At Satsang 'Dutdeepti Charitable Hospital' thousands of people are treated free of cost. Patients with financial distress are given medicines. During acute water crisis in the long summer months in the region the organization tries to mitigate the suffering of the people using its own reserve and facilities.

The Ashram situated at Satsangnagar has large buildings with rooms and dormitories where people from different places of India and abroad can stay during their visits to the Ashram. The Ashram has a free kitchen named 'Anandabazar' introduced by Sree Sree Thakur's Mother decades back in Pabna with the support of his own household for those who visit the Ashram and who stay there permanently. It has been offering very simple lunch and dinner daily to the Ashramites and to lakhs during Utsavs and festivals.

Satsang organizes football tournaments, annual sports, cultural competitions among children, painting exhibitions in consonance with its express support for every normal mode of sports and culture that give healthy enjoyment to body and mind. Often plays are staged in its own auditorium by enthusiastic youths of the Ashram including members of Sree Sree Thakur’s family though theatre groups invited from Kolkata also sometimes perform.

Satsang has a library also, named 'Amardyuti Vidi Mandir', with a good collection of books. The Philanthropy with its large computerized set-up is the main administrative facility. It has various departments to administer the requirements of the vast organization and the devotees of Sree Sree Thakur.  The Ashram has a huge cowshed. One of the most conspicuous features of the Ashram is the indulgence the green enjoys here. The existence of green has never been sacrificed to the process of continuous development, rather nurtured and encouraged with great sympathy. The trees and the innumerable gardens of the Ashram indicate that man and nature have an inseparable inter-dependent cohabitation here. Apart from the lush lawns and captivating flowers that may take one’s breathe away with their splendor, there is a sprawling garden here, albeit a little away from the main compound, where medicinal plants are grown.

Charitable Activities

Satsang extends financial assistance to the Prime Minister’s relief fund and other state governments during flood and other natural disasters. Its Pradhan Acharya personally offers assistance with money and means to those who are in distress.

Satsang now has hundreds of its centres in the form of Mandirs and Vihars spread all over India and Bangladesh. These centres operate almost independently in their day-to-day financial and administrative affairs remaining very much emotionally tied, tuned and connected with the heart at Satsang, Deoghar. The centres have become the centres of life and moral shelter for people of the localities where they are situated.

Plans are afoot to construct a two-hundred bed state-of-the art hospital replete with sophisticated equipments to cater to the needs of patients from adjoining areas who have to travel far to avail of better treatment facilities.

Acharya Succession

One of the most striking features of Satsang is its Acharya Parampara—the tradition of the Acharyas. Acharya is the one who by his conduct and words has in reality realized and imbibed in his person all that is good normally and is actively dedicated to inculcating among the masses the lessons of being and becoming by shaping and retouching their normal life-style and not asking to renounce it. He is the very embodiment of good. Sree Sree Thakur is accepted by millions as the Prophet of the age, by just following whose normal way of life many attained saintly personality and stature in their life time. He is the normal Acharya, the Christ of man. And the one who from among His sons of birth and sons of culture has most successfully (preferably from the former, as he in whose veins His holy blood flows is normally acceptable and His worthiest inheritor) imbibed Him in his life and made His interests his own, is His true successor and most acceptable to His followers. He is the Acharya in the absence of the Prophet. The living representative of the Ideal. Sree Ashok Chakravarty, fondly and reverentially called Sree Sree Dada and the eldest of Sree Sree Thakur’s grandsons, is the present Pradhan Acharyadeva of Satsang after the demise of Sree Sree Borda, his father.  Sree Sree Thakur is alive in him. To follow him is to follow Sree Sree Thakur.  To carry out his wishes and sayings is tantamount to carrying out the wishes of the Ideal.

This Acharya Parampara through which people can still very much feel Sree Sree Thakur, their Supreme Beloved, alive and beautiful and His grace still flowing magnanimously and unhindered, is the very source of the life that one feels pulsating on coming here at Deoghar—among the people, the nature or everything one sees here. It is the presence of the Acharya and the descendants of Sree Sree Thakur dedicated to serving Him and fulfilling His mission and the sentiment of the people towards them that keep Satsang animated, vibrating and very much throbbing with life.

Book Publication Date: 
Monday, February 2, 2015
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