March 29, 2008


Of the many places visited by Babaji Mahasaya during His lifetime. Bankura enjoys an exalted position. Not only Babaji Mahasaya stayed here in long stretches but also quite frequently. He had a huge number of followers and admirers here . They included the common people, the devoted, the intellectuals as well as people from every sphere of life. In the beginning though, Babaji Mahasaya had His share of non-believers, skeptics and antagonists too. Later on these were won over by Babaji Mahasaya's charm. It is not surprising that Bankura was witness to Babaji Mahasaya's unique feats which at times verged on the supernatural.
Bishnupur, a town in Bankura. The venue- Sarvamangala temple on the banks of Lalbandh. (Bandh means an embankment or dam). Here the Holy name " Hare Krishna. Hare Krishna Hare, Hare" was chanted every year for three days continuously as Naam Yagna was performed. Lot of people gathered here for this joyous occasion which was started by the Late Ramrup Bhattacharya. One of the organizers of this occasion was Kaviraj Rishikesh Dasgupta. Babaji Mahasaya was invited to be present on this occasion by His disciple Lalit Bhattacharya. Babaji Mahasaya obliged, by coming to Bishnupur with His entourage. He reached Bishnupur by train at around 3'O'clock in the afternoon.
Babaji Mahasaya along with His group was put at the local girl's school. The school ,was closed for summer vacation. Within half an hour of Babaji Mahasaya reaching Bishnupur a rumor spread that there could be trouble if the Kirtaan procession proceeded to Lalbandh. All the seniors were very much worried. At night Adwaita Das appraised Babaji Mahasaya of the tense situation and advised Him not to visit Lalbandh with the Kirtaan procession.
Babaji Mahasaya was a bit annoyed and irritated. He replied that Kirtaan was neither His nor Adwaita Das's. It belonged to none other than Radharaman ( Bodo baba ). Hence it was their duty to pray to Radharam and to Nitaichand – the founder of Kirtaan , to overcome all hurdles. Nothing more was spoken that night.
Next morning everybody was surprised to see that the school building was surrounded by a huge posse of armed policemen. Babaji Mahasaya woke up as usual, performed His daily duties and ordered the Kirtaan to start. On the right and left of Babaji Mahasaya were the two Srikhol players Madan Das and Janaki. Behind Him were Adawita Das, Gopal Das, Bhagaban Das, Priyalal Das and others. The residents of Bishnupur followed. The whole procession was led from front by the two bearers of Sri Khunti. After falling prostrate on the ground and paying due respect to everybody Babaji Mahasaya started chanting the Sri Naam. The solemnity and fervour of the ambience cannot be described in a few words. It suffice to say that the residents of Bishnupur had not seen anything of this stature before. They joined the procession in numbers. They fell on the ground in frenzy as tolled down their cheeks. While a few gathered to see the confrontation as procession reached Lalbandh and some for the fun of it. The advancing procession was surrounded by the police contingent. Actually the police protection it ranged by Chandra Bhusan Dutta, a highly placed official of Bankura Judge's court.
As the procession reached a short distance from Lalbandh, there was trouble. Hundreds of people armed with sticks, spears and axe started shouting obscenities. They dared the procession to come forward. The situation was extremely tense but the Kirtaan continued even though everybody apprehended trouble. Suddenly at the blowing of a whistle, the policemen rushed forward, ahead of the procession. The trouble makers were warned and the policemen knelt down, Inking guard and aiming their guns towards them.
In flash Babaji Mahasaya broke the police cordon lay prostrate on the ground and then proceeded chanting the name of the Lord. The others stayed back. As Babaji Mahasaya went ahead towards Sarvamangala temple he was garlanded by Rishikesh Kaviraj. Suddenly there was a dramatic change. All those who stood there to pounce on Babaji Mahasaya joined Him in Sankitaan. Babaji Mahasaya could not be recognized when He returned back to the school. His entire body was covered with sandalwood paste and many garlands decked His neck.

Bishnupur became a witness to a historic occasion which can only be compared to Nityananda Prabhu's unarmed struggle and victory over the tyrannical Kazi of Nabadwip hundreds of years ago.

( From Dhimahi 2006 - Annual Vaishanava Magazine publication from Nityananda Janmasthan Eachakra - Birbhum West Bengal by Srimat Jivasaran Das Babaji )

No comments: