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But let’s go back to 1965, Rajani who had also lost a child, was trying to cope in his own way. He was invited by a colleague to visit a small village called Palashpur where a saint was coming. Rajani did not believe in such holy sadhus; to him, they were just a greedy, money-grabbing bunch, charlatans! No, no, said Akhileshwar Dutta, his friend. Do not speak like that. He is Shrimat Bhupendranath Sanyal of Nadia, initiated by none other than the avatar Lahiri Mahasaya.
Arre baba, haven’t you read Paramhamsa Yogananda’s famous book?
Yes he had and he knew these names, but he was actually “hearing” them for the first time, which was to become a permanent part of his psyche and which already always existed in him.
Climbing up a rickety set of stairs, Rajani was bathed in sweat, or so he thought, his heart was beating funnily as he followed Akhileshwar closely, to the room where Sanyal Mahasaya was meeting with devotees. He slipped into the room quietly as the master was busy talking to some troubled soul; they’re always the troubled ones who hog the seat before a sadhubaba, always asking for something or the other.
Rajani just stood there and watched the holy man and nothing that words can describe was raging through his heart. It was as if his whole being had waited to see this very face, for eternity. He kept looking at the master, his heart singing with rapturous love. Sanyal Mahasaya was talking about Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore, his very close friend, with whom he had worked tirelessly in creating Shantiniketan; the seven years he had spent there.
Abruptly shaken out of his reverie by a confused Akhileshwar, Rajani realized that the whole room was staring at him, waiting for him to respond to the Master’s question. Sanyal Mahasaya had singled out Rajani in the crowd and had asked him his name. “Arre, tomar namta bolo, your name…” an irate voice told him. It was Akhileshwar who was a bit miffed at not being singled out like that.
“Angey, Rajonikanto,” replied his anxious voice which sounded fake and hollow to his own ears, in a second his life flashed before his eyes. Was that really his name??? Who am I?? He seriously began to ponder delving deep into the fabric of his subconscious which began to dance around like tiny strings of a harp playing an intricate symphony.
The holy man was smiling and beckoning to him to come forward. “esho, esho…” the crowd parted like the seas had for Moses as he took the chosen people to safety and Rajani, with an eager Akhileshwar following close behind walked in absolute silent reverence. That day seemed like yesterday. It was the happiest day of his life and it was also the saddest (more on this later). Ah! The bitter-sweetness of life!!
Rajani was initiated after two days into the age-old system of Kriya yoga brought to mankind by Mahavatar Babaji. Babaji is a superman to people like you, he can bend me, twist me, even eradicate me! Mahavatar Babaji!
Life continued as a bitter sweet symphony! It was his kriya that enabled him to continue swimming in the treacherous seas of samsara keeping him afloat, like a flimsy tiny paper boat that children make on the pond in a rainy day.
Finally things got so bad that Sita just couldn’t handle it anymore. Their finances were drained, Rajani had made some bad financial decisions which sieved away a lot of money, their daughter was suffering from cancer in front of their eyes and was getting steadily worse, which caused irreversible damage in Sita’s psyche and finally one night came the phone call, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Mita and her husband were dead during the chardham yatra and by some divine blessing their twin girls were not with them.
Mita and her husband’s bodies were never identified, so they waited with bated breath for some time, eventually days turned to weeks, weeks to months and months to years. Rajani realized that they were not coming back, but Sita refused to accept it.
Sita hardly ate slept or spoke after that, not even to her bereft granddaughters. Stone faced, gave up everything- eating, drinking and dosed up on her meds; not even the hint of a smile escaped from her lips. Nor did the sunrise interest her, nor was her heart healed by mellow full moon.
Rajani knew that one day life would come to a screeching halt, the way things were going, but what could he do? Nothing was ever in his hands.
He tried to speak to his wife, whom he had married when she was barely fifteen, but she was damaged beyond repair and did not desire to be healed; her eyes were glazed and she remained mute. He had promised to protect and cherish her, but look what he’d done.
Rajani had gone to Khulna, for a gathering in one of his guru bhai’s house, Sanyal Mahasaya was reading from the Bhagavadgita and explaining its meaning.
“Na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah sasvato ’yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarire”
“Sri Krishna said: The soul is never born nor dies at any time. Soul has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. Soul is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. Soul is not slain when the body is slain.”
Sanyal Mahasaya looked straight at Rajani; he knew what was troubling him. He got a reassuring look from the master and knew in his heart that all is well, no matter what happens.
After the discussion, his Guru asked him about Sita; Rajani could not speak, but the silence communicated more than a thousand words; he looked down as tears came to his eyes and fervently hoped that the end would be gentle on her. He silently prayed that she receives Sanyal Mahasaya’s lotus feet after death; she had suffered too much for one lifetime.
Sanyal Mahasaya embraced him, and that embrace took all the pain away, it cleared all the doubts and he saw his wife smile!
Rajani went home to find Sita hanging from the ceiling with a rope round her neck. He did not cry, knowing that this was obviously inevitable; he stoically brought her down from that height, cleaned her up, dressed her like a bride and took her to the crematorium. In his mind’s eye, he saw a picture of her smiling, he smiled back. It was her time and she was gone, he knew Sanyal Mahasaya would guide her to the next destination. What is life but a series of stops and journeys, there is no permanent destination, just levels to clear. Like a computer game?
Rajani did not judge her, she had taken her life and to some that was abhorrent, but to him it was just the way it was- karmic; it had happened with Sanyal Mahasaya’s blessing and he knew Sita would be guided to continue her karma.
The granddaughters Nina and Zeenia were told that their beloved Didu had died in her sleep due to a massive heart attack. All except Nina, elder by five seconds, knew the truth; she had seen her grandmother’s hanging dead-body.