A seeker, with his hard Endeavour evolves into higher and still higher
emergent forms. The process goes on till super mind and its higher state of
consciousness integrate and attain oneness with the all pervading Super
Consciousness. A human being, who
achieves this stage, is a saint, being Super Consciousness or Divinity itself.
Swami Ashokanand was a mystic sage of high order and belonged to this category.
He adhered to fabled way of ascetic
life roaming Himalayan forests
particularly Garhwal and other adjacent ones, naked in rain and snow defying
nature. Those who came in contact of him earlie,r
speak high of him and the miracles he could perform. Swami Ji could predict
future of individuals and of nations in whom he felt concerned .He was an
an oceanic divinity with deep
depths. Only some who were blessed got their pitchers filled with happiness and
Swamiji in pursuit of his complete surrender to Nature and its pristine
divinity observed that forces of
superior Nature did care for its species and adhered to ways of preservation in
its entirety. One of his disciples related an incident which would be relevant
to describe. Once while roaming in a forest he felt tired and hungry, and then
came across a hut from which an old effulgent person appeared and got him
inside. The person told Swami Ji that he was hungry and tired, and so, must have
something and should rest. Thereafter some old lady with equally radiant and
divine appearance brought khir liked very much by SwamiJi. He ate khir full to
his belly after which he was asked to rest. He slept and when he got up, sun
shone above and neither the old man nor the old lady was there. The hut also was
nonexistent and he felt he was sleeping on bare ground with sun shining above.
Swamiji felt sorry that his Lord had
to take such great trouble to feed him and arrange for his rest.
After Garhwal, Swamiji was ordained by his Guru, to move to Kashmir and
reckon the place as his karambhumi. He landed at Kathleshwar temple Zaindar
Mohala Srinagar. The temple had a broken dome which was exposed to vagaries of
weather. Swami ji was found there with his head resting on prenali of the
Shivlinga lost in deep meditation. He was naked, and his serene hypnotic silence
and smiling face spoke of a lot of
compassion and soothing love.
The dome was covered with bushels and grass and a temporary arrangement was made
for his stay therein. There was also a small playground adjacent to the temple.
The place was haunted by some spirit and anyone particularly a child visiting
the place during night would get sick and suffer from frightfulness. Such a
person or a child got well after examination and treatment by a sorcerer who
would set him right after adherence to certain rituals. At a later date, we
asked Swami Ji whether or not he faced any difficulty on this account. He
replied in affirmative and said that he had to pray for the spirit and free it
from the curse that it suffered from.
People at Kathleshwar loved and respected SwamJi for his spiritual
prowess and sweet divine nature. He got closer to Tarazudar family and a class
fellow of mine Shri Som Nath Tarazudar once led the writer to Swamiji to be in
his association till Swami Ji lived.
While Swamiji was just to leave Bengal for Kashmir, one of his gurubhais
remarked that while being in Kashmir he would have plenty of juicy fruits to
eat. Swami ji retorted with a pledge that he would not touch any such fruit,
while in Kashmir, and this promise, he kept for the whole of his life. SwamiJi
had only two possessions one being his kashkole which a sanyasi carries. It is
made of outer shell of a gourd and is used for bhiksha and water. The other
thing carried was a small bottle of "naswar” snuff. Once while he was
crossing Habbakadal, on way to some mountainous place he remembered that he had
forgotten his Kashkol needed for his onward journey. He went back to Kathleshwar
temple, to bring the Kashkol only to be thrown into river Jhelum and never to be
used thereafter. He felt bad at being attached to this small item to the extent
that he had to go back to fetch it for his use,
SwamiJis fame as a sage, spread to other adjacent places and he was
invited to be at Sumbal a town around 15 kilometers away from Kathleshwar. He
accepted the invitation and stayed at Nandi Bhairav for some years. He however,
felt unhappy at the place because it lacked the characteristics of a hermitage,
where people could stay and breathe some divine atmosphere. He is said to have
brooded over the subject and then having seen a place he was in search of, in
his vision. He left Sumbal where he was called "Sumbal ka Baba"and for
some time nobody knew where he was. He had landed at Nagdandi, a place around 2
kilometers away from the picturesque Mogul garden of Achabal and situated at a
foothill around a few furlongs away from the road leading to Uma Nagri from
Achabal. Three small mud huts were constructed; one for cooking used as a
kitchen another for SwamiJis bed room, and third one for spiritual discourses.
Often we could not understand subtle and intricate philosophies unfolded by him.
We had our limited comprehensions and would get lost in what he would say. On
occasions when this writer went to press Swamijis legs, late in night, he was
observed by this writer reciting the words "Ma, Ma" with tears in his
In course of time further purchases of land were made and added to 2
kanals of Ashram land already in existence. The Ashram, as such, assumed size of
five acres. Some pucka constructions came up for guests, and otherwise, besides
plantation of fruit trees to form an orchard to yield some income. Wet land,
down in the village, was also purchased to make the Ashram self sufficient in
food and expenses. Swamiji changed his room into a building that came up nearby
the garden and used it as his living room. He now held his discourses there
order to be real hermitage, Nagdandi still lagged many things. One gentleman by
the name Maharajji (Jia Lal) was already serving the Ashram along with Shri
Shamu Nath later named as Shakti Chaitanya. They were joined by two more boys
Sarvshri Samvit (Makhan Lal Chaku/Raina) and Shanti (Kanaiya Lal) both in teens
who had left their homes and education, and joined SwamiJi to have his guidance
and company Everything was thus
shaping to lend the place as a semblance of true hermitage.
While Swamiji was conceptually in communication
with Shri Ramakrishna through meditation or otherwise, he felt the need to have
a temple. The same was built with outer facade and inside both designed by him.
Picture of Shri Ramakrishna was placed inside and formal pujas started.
an auspicious day of deepawali of 1948, the boys were initiated, and besides
DadaJi, Swamij’s Guru, a large gathering converged at the Ashram, including
this writer. Swami Ji went into deep trance and, as such, Dada Ji had to attend
to participants, and, impending functions. An incident that took place stands
imprinted on the firmament of my mind. Samvits parents were also present. His
mother could not see her only son in a sanyasin’s attire and was in tears all
through the function. Some elderly people suggested Samvit to come forward,
prostrate and touch her feet. He desisted the suggestion for being now in some
other sphere. He however, did so later, on getting instructions from DadaJi.
DadaJi told Samvit in presence of all, that, mother’s position was supreme and
her blessings were necessary for fulfillment of divine postures. There were
tears on large number of faces, and some, including this writer, were heavily
surcharged with emotions.. Incidentally, SamvitJi,(Makhan Lal Chaku/ Raina ) has
been a cousin of this writer and perhaps high pitch was obvious
knowing all the circumstances, the boy had posed by his renunciation, and
the effects it had created on his parents and other. SamvitJi is no more now. He
passed away recently with the picture of DadaJi on his mind and latter's
photograph nearby his bed. He was conscious and did not like anybody to disturb
his concentration. During earlier days, SwamiJi once called this writer beside,
and whispered that Samvit had still some karma to fulfill and to lead a life of
riches. He was however, to be assisted at some point of time for a turn in his
life, for which, as he said,
he had chosen this writer. The prediction did come out true both in letter and
Spirit. SamvitJi had his post graduation from Benares University, married and
joined business, where he earned a lot. He has two sons and both have had their
graduation and post graduation n
U.S.A. Both are in business and are doing fine..
Swami Ji had another admirer by the name Shri Manmohan Dhar. Both Mr. Dhār
and his wife Smt. Mohini Dhār were his disciples, and lived their lives,
the way Swami Ji ordained. Shri Dhar (Managing Director of Braithwaite and
representative of renowned world Steel Companies of U.K.,
U.S.A.,Canada,,Russia,Australia,Japan and many more countries. Has been a l
known figure to Nehru and other Indian politicians.) published a book containing
letters written to him by Swami Ji under the name " Swami Ashokananda
Maharaj- His Divine Message."The book was printed at Indigo Press, New
Delhi and released by Dr. Karan Singh at a function in the same city on
27-8-2002. The letters speak of the mission of Swami Ji and the way one should
proceed in Sadhna. The letters emphasize Gurukrippa and Sharnagati which should
be at one's back. The book is quite informative and is recommended for every
Sadak to go through. In regard to Swamiji, It appeared that everything was
proceeding as per Gods will and nobody knew as to how events were proceeding,
and what force was driving the same.
Swami Ji had a picture of Christ hung above, at the place he sat in his
kutia, and we once posed him a question as to how was the picture there, when
his mission was different than that of Christ. Swamiji retorted that Christ was
a great soul in as much as He died for others without any malice or ill will for
those who were responsible for his torture. Swami Ji further predicted that
there would be trouble in India where men would kill each other and suffer and
die in large numbers. He further said that at that time he would offer himself
as a sacrifice in footsteps of Christ, As events have it, Pakistan fell in War
with India in 1971. Swami Ji passed
away, almost the same time, after choosing day and date of his choice. He stayed
at the house of Ogras in Srinagar, and a member in the family, who was his
disciple, was requested by Swamiji to lend him his support. While SwamiJis head
was on the former’s shoulders, the person went into a different state of mind,
and felt Thakur coming to the room and telling Swami Ji "Utho Ashoo mein
tujay leney aya hoon" When Shri Ogra came to his normal state Swami Ji had
passed away after offer of obeisance to Thakur's picture with folded hands.
this writer went from Srinagar to see Swami Ji at Nagdandi for the first time,
he was rather late and in twilight missed the passage meant for the Ashram.
After going farther on the road, this writer realized the mistake, and in
rectification, took different route through barren fields and fringe forests to
reach the Ashram. Soon a feeling crept in that night
was drawing nearer and that he
was exposed to danger of any wild
animal attacking him. After a brief interval of worry, Swami Jis sound was
audible and hope revived. Swami Ji was holding a discourse with some body and
the voice guided this writer to the spot. Swamiji was in his Kutia and on seeing
this writer reach the Ashram retorted saying.”Oh, good you have reached here.
Perhaps you have been under the impression that Swami ji was living in a
Once Shri Manmohan Dhār was at the Ashram he saw a 10 ft long
snake entering the mud plaster above Swami Ji in his hut.. After that day the
snake was never visible anywhere in the Ashram. There are innumerable miracles
and it is difficult to narrate any larger number, within the ambit of this brief
and without consulting others in
this regard. Many have passed away and only a small number of admirers are still
Swami Ji would visit Naran Nag so often, and on way at Wangat would be in
contact with a mystic sufi saint by the name of Sobur Sheikh. The two would
communicate through exchange of naswar. Here Swami Ji picked up some Kashmiri
which he improved further and spoke later with Bengali accent.
April 1971 this writer along with wife on way from Jammu to Srinagar paid a
visit to Nagdandi and prostrated before Swami Ji. He offered fruits and khanna.
We took the fruits and for Khanna excused saying that we stood committed
somewhere in Anantnag. Swami Ji was particular for us to stay for the night.
Never before he had asked us to stay unless we wished to do so and or had come
with intention to do so. We could not understand Swami Jis insistence this time
and our desire to attend commitments at Srinagar decided not to stay..We
realized the secret of Swami Jis insistence only when Swami Ji passed away on
19th of December the same year. Alas we did not know that he was not to be met
in flesh and blood any more.
later years, Smt. Sushila Narendrajit Singh, daughter of reputed Dewan of
Kashmir, Dewan Badri Nath, came in contact with Swami Ji and became his
disciple. At her insistence Swami Ji
allowed Sushila Behan to record, what he spoke, in discourses. These dictated
words recorded verbatim, form now a full-fledged book. The lady married in
Kanpur took the manuscript there for publication. As ill luck would have it,
Sushilaji passed away leaving publication unfinished. The gauntlet was taken up
by one Vishwanth Gaud; head of Hindi Vibag of V.S.S.D College Kanpur functioning
under the control of Sushilaji's family. He got the book published with, words
expressed untouched, under the name, "Tatva Chintan Ke Kuch Khen" The
copies of the book were sent to Rock Memorial Authorities, now managing the
Ramakrishna Mahasamelan at Nagdandi. The book is thoughtful defining processes
of nature, committance
of positive /negative feelings/thoughts and shows the way one can
evolve/emerge free from this tangled web of Maya and enter the domain of true
freedom and divine bliss ultimately,
The copies I hope must have been sold out by Rock Memorial Authorities by now
and that they would republish the book with new shape and
wide publicity for good of people in general.
The present writer has desisted from any duplication or comments on what
has already been stated on web by other writers on Swami Ashokananda. More
information on Swamiji would be welcome to readers all around.
Some photographs are posted for view by readers.