10-30-2005 - America Saraswata Sangha

Nilachala Saraswata Sangha
Branch: America Saraswata Sangha
Program for Sastrapatha
Date: September 25, 2005
Time: 10am-11am (Eastern)/09am-10am (Central)/07am-08am (Pacific)/3pm-4pm(GMT)
Phone Number - 1-702-851-4040
Access Code - 52924878
Connect everyone through Phone
Pranam and opening of the curtain
Shri Guru Pranam - Short Stotra Bandana
Sansara Pathe
3rd Part
Bhaba Binimaya
Invitation for the next session – 11-13-05
Truti Bichyuti
Nara rupa dharam
Aswini Bhai
Bijoy Bhai
Gyan Bhai
Lipsita Maa
Padma Maa
Lipsita Maa
9:58 – 10:02
10:02 – 10:03
10:03 – 10:04
10:04 – 10:45
10:45 – 10:55
10:55 – 11:00
11:00 – 11:01
11:02 – 11:03
11:03 – 11:04
Nilachala Saraswata Sangha
Branch: America Saraswata Sangha
Program for Kids’ Session
Date: September 25, 2005
Time: 11:15am-11:40am (Eastern)/10:15am-10:40am (Central)/08:15am-08:40am (Pacific)/
4:15pm - 4:40pm(GMT)
Phone Number - 1-702-851-4040
Access Code - 52924878
Pranam and opening of the curtain (Bhaba
Shri Guru Pranam - Short Stotra Bandana
Reading – Kids Nigamananda
Discussion – Q/A
Bhaba Binimaya
Invitation for the next session – 11-27-05
Truti Bichyuti (Forgiveness for any mistakes)
Pranam and closing of Curtain (Nara rupa
11:15 – 11:16
Bijoy Bhai
Brij Gopal
11:16 – 10:18
11:18 – 11:20
11:20 – 11:30
11:30 – 11:35
11:35 – 11:37
11:37 – 11:38
11:38 – 11:39
11:39 – 11:40
Beginning Prarthana:
Bhaba Bandhana Mochana Pujyabaram
Gunahinamasesha Gunadhipatim
Bhaba-bhirujane Satatam Baradam
Pranamami Gurum Siva Kalpatarum
Shri Guru Pranam:
Brahmanandam parama sukhadam kevalam jnanamurtim
Dvandatitam gagana sadrisam tattvamasyadi laksyam
Ekam nityam vimalamachalam sarvadhi saksibhutam
Bhavatitam trigunarahitam sadgurum tam namami.
Ending Prarthana:
Nara-rupa Dharam Parama Purusam
Prabhaya Hrida Tamasha Nashakaram
Muni-manasa Sebita Shri-charanam
Pranamami Gurum Siva Kalpatarum
Jayaguru. I invite Shri Shri Thakura, all the kids and their parents to our next
session to be held on Sunday, November 27, 2005 at 11:15 eastern time.
Truti Bichyuti:
Jayaguru. On behalf of all the kids of America Saraswata Sangha, I beg for
forgiveness from Shri Shri Thakur for any mistakes that we might have made.
Kids Nigamananda (Chapter – 2)
Nalinikanta’s thread ceremony was performed when he was eleven years old. During
the ceremony, as per prevailing custom, the young brahmachari takes three steps after
receiving alms before his mother takes him back home. However, Nalini didn’t listen to
other’s request for stopping after he received his alms. He went four or five steps,
turned back and started laughing. He was instructed repeatedly to walk three steps and
stop. He didn’t obey that instruction. That made his mother, aunt and other female
members of his family with similar stature, very unhappy. They thought that this child
would leave the house one day and become a Sanyasi, after renouncing the world.
After Nalinikanta saw goddess Durga, Bhubanamohan took his son to Ramakrishna
Paramahansa and Bhaskarananda Swami. There was a saying in Bhattacharya family
that mother goddess would take one of their son. Would she take Nalini? Was that the
reason she made Nalini see her? Loving parents equated the saying of taking one son
to that son’s death. However, the Sadhus, whose advice they sought, told them clearly
that this child was going to live long. Then, he might become a Sanyasi. The alms
incident during the thread ceremony made his mother believe strongly that son Nalini
was not going to stay in their house for very long. The saying in the society those days
was, after receiving alms, the brahmachary would become a Sanyasi if he crosses the
three step boundary.
After the thread ceremony, Nalinikanta appeared to be a changed person. He
concentrated on practicing evening rituals and prayers. He started to have a lot of
questions about the Hindu religion and its various prayers and rituals. He particularly
liked the Gayatri chanting. From his childhood he was proud to be a Hindu and born to
a Brahmin family. After his thread ceremony, as he became more religious, he was
extremely eager to know more about the essence of Hindu religion. Even though he
read all the scriptures like Mahabharat and Ramayana in his native language, he still
longed for more reading on religious text. He was very anxious to know more and more
about the religion.
Unlike an ordinary child, he never thought his work was over as soon as he finished
reading a text book. Whatever he read, he thought about that subject. In the English
medium school, he started to read all the modern books about scientific matters very
gladly. Then when he read the Hindu scriptures, he became conflicted. Which text is
right? Explanation for Lunar Eclipse, Earth Quake etc. in the science books were very
different from the religious text. Information from both these sources didn’t match.
Hindus believe that the scriptures were spoken and written by great Rishis and are the
ultimate truth. Are Hindu scriptures all full of lies? Are the scientists wrong? Nalinikanta
could not decide by himself what to believe in and continued asking a lot of questions to
his teachers at the school and Hindu scholars.
Mother Yogendramohini was especially fond of her eldest son Nalini among her five
sons. The eldest son had been the fruit of her long penance since she had him after a
lot of praying. Since she thought that Nalini might become a Sanyasi, she could not be
happy. She was worried when Nalini started to take a lot of interest in reading religious
books. Would her son leave the house at a young age? From a very young age he had
become truthful, bright and feeling sad for other’s sorrow! Whatever he thinks right, it is
difficult to change his mind.
In their neighborhood, a daughter-in-law was misbehaving her mother-in-law.
Adolescent Nalinikanta got mad at the daughter-in-law for the injustice and started
hitting her with his shoe. This kind of behavior coupled with his interest in religion and
love for religious scripture was troubling to his mother. She kept thinking that her son
would become Sanyasi one day.
His wife’s worrisome thoughts made Bhubanmohan to get another opinion from an
astrologer about Nalinikanta’s horoscope. He learned that his son has a chance to get
married at an early age. Bhattacharya couple decided that they will arrange marriage
for Nalini as soon as he finishes his school. They decided that the bride ought to be
extremely beautiful and need to poses good qualities. With that kind of wife, Nalini
would not be able to leave the house and become a Sanyasi. The couple made up their
mind about this and secretly started looking for a qualified bride.
Nalinikanta had no knowledge of this. He came to know about literary king
Bankinmchandra Chattopadhyaya while questioning several people about his doubts on
religious texts. At that time, Bankim Babu had created uproar about Hindu religion in
the educated community with the publication of a series of essays about the essence of
religion. As Nalinikanta heard about those essays, he collected some of the writings
and read them. As he started to discuss about these essays, he found from his relatives
that Bankimchandra was his distantly related grand father. Inquisitive Nalinikanta
became known to Bankim Babu. Old literary figure was very happy with the adolescent
Nalini’s interest for truth. Nalinikanta was attracted to Bankim Babu’s wisdom filled
sweet conversations and asked all the questions he had about religion. Within a short
time, they became good friends.
With Bankim Babu’s company, Nalinikanta’s thoughts started changing slowly. As he
discovered Bankim Babu’s opinion through questioning, he also thought that Hindu
rituals are mere superstitions. He thought that the true religion is becoming an ideal
human being. Ideal human being is to serve the society and country after becoming
truthful and pure.
In our land, being religious meant praying and worshiping the lord, serving the saints
and hermits, and similar religious rituals. Nalinikanta’s opinion was that these acts are
inferior form of religion. The true religion was to serve the human kind as an ideal house
hold with good moral characters and strict moral principles. He was determined to build
his character with these ideals and slowly gave up the evening rituals and worshiping
lord as he though that these are phony rituals.
Around that time, Yogendramohini suddenly died one night after falling sick with
cholera. As he did not get the news in time, Nalinikanta could not see his mother for the
last time. At that time, he was studying at his maternal uncle’s place in Radhakantapur.
He was extremely hurt at the sudden loss of his mother. After reaching his house, he
heard that his mother’s last words were in form of a blessing to him. The words were,
“Tell Nalini, I am leaving him with the care of the mother of the Universe. She is going to
protect him through out his life.”
Mother’s blessing brought a lot of thoughts in Nalinikanta’s mind. He thought – “Who is
Universal Mother? Is there a mother of this universe? Does she take care of everyone
like a mother would for her son when he is in distress? Does this Universal mother truly
love us like our own mother? Does she look at us with loving eyes?”
As a Hindu Brahmin boy, Nalinikanta was naturally very pious since childhood. As he
suddenly lost his mother, he had a desire to see the universal mother as his own
mother. He had accepted his mother’s last words with very simple belief - “Universal
mother is everyone’s mother; she is closer to us than our own mother.” He thought,” I
have lost my mother. Would she not come and see me, if I call her with desperate
plea?” With these thoughts, however desperate he was, he could not see Universal
mother even in his dreams. Lord does not fulfill someone’s wish until it is the right time.
That was to be for Nalinikanta also. His life after renouncement of the world was not
about to start then. Hence the Universal mother did not fulfill his prayer even with his
desperate attempts.
Having known Bankim Babu, he already had doubt about the rituals of Hindu religion.
He thought humans have no real connection with the lord. The first and foremost duty of
humankind is to lead an ideal life and always be truthful. The lord gives the fruits of
one’s karma. He rewards the saints and punishes the sinners. There is no other
relationship of humans with the lord. Rather than worshipping the lord, the aim of
humans should be to lead an ideal life and serve the society.
After his mother’s death, Nalinikanta lost his childish behaviors. He did not like to bother
the elders with anything. He concentrated on his studies and spent time thinking on how
to reduce his father’s sorrows. Since his mother passed away, his father was no less
sad than him and his brothers. There was no one at the house to take care of him and
even cook for him. Nalinikanta thought that he could finish his studies and get a job to
take care of his father. His father can take rest then. With these thoughts he decided to
build himself as an ideal person. Among the poems he studied in the text book, he liked
the following poem.
Beauty, I don’t desire Money, I don’t aspire
Let me not be busy with earthly enjoyment
O lord, this be your gift
may I be healthy and fit
My time spent on act, virtuous and compassionate
Nalinikanta’s intellect and thought process were advanced for his age. He thought
“There is no better wealth than one’s health and devotion towards religious activities.
One, who has these two, can live a peaceful life in this world.” What is religion?
Nalinikanta knew, religion means doing good to others, appetite for truth and good moral
character. Leading a busy life with hard work has no shame. It is shameful to be
dishonest, weak and with bad health.
When Nalinikanta was fourteen, his friend and mentor Bankimchandra died. Bankim
Babu’s death after his mother’s death hurt Nalinikanta a lot. However, he was not
discouraged. Death of near and dear made him more determined in his thinking and
action. Thus Nalinikanta grew from being an adolescent to becoming a teenager.
Slowly but surely he became a favorite of the villagers through his strong character.
Unlike common Hindu kids, Nalinikanta didn’t have devotion toward the gods and
Brahmins. He was doubtful about getting one’s desired things if one worships the gods
and goddesses. His strong belief was that one can get his desirable things through hard
work and dedication rather than worshiping god. He refused to accept that if someone
had a thread on his shoulder he could not be called a Brahmin and demand respect. In
his opinion, great souls like Iswar Chandra Bidyasagar in fact were true Brahmins. The
sight of Saints and Sanyasi made him annoyed. His belief was that people who were
lazy, afraid of work become Saints and hermits and make a living by cheating common
man in the society.
His father Bhubanamohan was a favored disciple of the famous yogi Bhaskarananda.
He led a household life; hence he made it his duty to take care of saints and hermits.
However, Nalinikanta never liked his father’s devotion toward the hermits. He thought
taking care of hermits was like allowing and accepting their deceptive behavior. Once, a
matted haired hermit came to their house. His father was very happy to see the hermit
and made all arrangement for him to stay at their house. Nalinikanta decided that the
hermit must have been a cheat. However, he could not say anything out of fear of his
father. While the hermit was asleep, he cut hermit’s hair with a scissor. The hermit got
up from slumber to find his matted hair cut. He was very angry and left the place after
scolding whoever did that in loud voice. His father could never find out that it was his
son’s deed. Nalini was happy that the hermit left their house because of his work. He
could only laugh inside. He thought how the hermit can be a true saint if he had not
conquered his anger, didn’t know how to control his speech. How was the society
benefit from the hermit?
Though he didn’t have devotion towards Gods and Bhramins, and even being very antisaints and anti-hermits, he was sympathetic to human sorrow and generally was very
serving in nature. Once he saw two boys drowning in the river. Without worrying about
his own life, he jumped into the river and saved the lives of the two boys. In the village,
if a lower caste person died, other upper caste members were reluctant to touch the
body in the fear of societal norms. However, his serving nature usually overtook the
societal norms. Once, an unknown beggar died in their village. No one came forward to
give last rite to the dead body that was rotting. Nalinikanta led a group of friends to give
the last rites to the dead and cremated him. Once he taught a widow with low moral
character about good behavior through trickery and changed her. He was a leader in
his village.
Nalinikanta was first to protest any injustice met out by the leaders of the society. He
favored truth and justice with a very liberal mind. He never missed a chance to oppose
any unreasonable behaviors. At the same time, he was very supportive of the behaviors
that suited his ideals. Everyone in the village started to respect him as he showed his
ideals with good moral character and dedication. His father was very proud of him as he
heard his son’s good deeds.
As idealistic and strict follower of truth and justice as he was, Nalinikanta was neither
introverted nor caustic tongued. His appearance was very pleasant and he was very
humorous. He liked learning music. He was known for his singing as he had a very
sweet voice. Hence, he was very much liked by his friend when they were involved in
drama or singing devotional songs. Even though he had no devotion towards the gods
and goddesses outwardly, he liked devotional songs. He especially liked the songs that
were indifferent towards the worldly affairs. He memorized a lot of austerity filled songs.
One of the songs was:
When will I fulfill my desires?
Lord’s name will fill my heart; eyes will be in tears (0)
Brindaban, I won’t go
My mind is Brindaban, you know
Enjoying eternal love, your gift, front and center (1)
My eyes are delusional
Your knowledge is essential
In removing Illusion, seeing your image, if ever (2)
Body made off iron, rusty and old
Will it ever change and become gold?
By your magnetic touch, blessings more and more (3)
Your name fills this world, that’s a certainty
Noticing, I will loose my identity
I will float in the sea of devotion, for ever and ever (4)
Nalinikanta was a good player of string instruments. He was good at amusing his
friends with playing the instrument and singing devotional songs. The youth from the
village were not happy if Nalinikanta was not present in any activities that they were
Nalinikanta entered a survey school in Dhaka after graduating from eighth grade at
Meherpur English medium school. He was born in a middle class family. He badly
needed a degree in a trade school to find a job and earn money. After graduating from
the survey school, he had a good chance of getting a well paying job. With the hope
that he can take care of his old father after he gets a job, he gave up the aspiration of
higher studies and went far away from his village when he was only fifteen.