Jayaguru 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 1 2 3 4 Topic Connect everyone through Phone Pranam and opening of the curtain Shri Guru Pranam - Short Stotra Bandana Sansara Pathe 3rd Part 5 6 7 8 9 Discussion Bhaba Binimaya Invitation for the next session – 11-13-05 Truti Bichyuti Nara rupa dharam Pages Aswini Bhai Bijoy Bhai Gyan Bhai Lipsita Maa Padma Maa Lipsita Maa 136 Time 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 Jayaguru 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 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Topic Pranam and opening of the curtain (Bhaba Bandhana…) Shri Guru Pranam - Short Stotra Bandana Introduction 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 dharam) All Time 11:15 – 11:16 All Bijoy Bhai Brij Gopal All Bhakti Shreya Bhakti All 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 Invitation: 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 involved 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.