THE BANDOPADHYAYA FAMILY OF DEEGHALKANDI
1. The Germination
That family was exemplary. They bloomed under the grace of Sri Sri Thakur. A simple and beautiful family who had Sri Sri Thakur as their guardian and blossomed in his love and care. Sri Sri Thakur was not only enthroned as their Guru but also carried out the roles of their kin, friend and companion. He was the custodian of their home. They handed over all their responsibilities to Sri Sri Thakur and lived in a state of perpetual joy, far away from any worry, anxiety or fear. They remained untouched while going through intolerable agony, even through death-like experiences. Sri Sri Thakur touched them with his magical wand of love and benevolence, and all their agony, sorrow and all hazards used to disappear as their lives cruised through the waves of the ocean of love. Their stories are filled with fondness and warmth, their whining and grumble, their demand for Sri Sri Thakur’s attention, their exchanges full of jest and humour. The emotional intimacy shared with this family is rarely seen anywhere else.
This was the Bandopadhyaya family of Deeghalkandi. Everyone in the family was devoted to Thakur Sri Sri Nigamananda Saraswati. They were a very well known and respectable family of the village with an illustrious lineage. The head of the family, Sri Yaminikanta Bandopadhyaya, was blessed with six sons and two daughters. The eldest son was Sri Surendranath Bandopadhyaya, followed by Binaya Kumar, Charuchandra, Sudheerchandra, Dhirendranath, Adheerchandra and the daughters were named Aparajita Devi and Jogamaya Devi.
Sri Sudheerchandra was the chord binding Sri Sri Thakur with the family. Later on, he became a personal attendant of Sri Sri Thakur and was highly adored and respected in the spiritual world as Sri Bhubanananda Brahmachari. Both his elder brothers, Surendranath and Charuchandra were employed under the zamindar of Hema Nagar in Mayamansingh district, who happened to be one of their relatives. Sudheerchandra stayed with them for his education and grew up under his care. At that time, Sri Jagdish was his close friend and confidant. Both of them had a spiritual inclination. They often used to discuss about religious texts and the paths of spiritualism. The zamindar’s name was Hemachandra and after him, the village was named ‘Hema Nagar’. He was a philanthropist, very helpful and spiritual. He used to serve his guests as God. His guest house was always buzzing with saints and seers.
The sadhus who visited the place used to stay in the guest house for a couple of days. It was the daily job of Sudheer and Jagdish to visit the guest house during their leisure hours and discuss matters of religious and spiritual significance. Whenever they found some time, they used to be present near the sadhus. Once some sadhus from western India were residing in the guest house. Noticing the interest and spiritual inclination of the two boys, one of the sadhus gave them an object and gave instructions to tie it around their arm like an amulet. They gladly accepted the gift and stored it safely in a trinket box and forgot about that incident. There were two rupees in that box from before. After some days they suddenly remembered about it and opened the box to take a look at it. To their astonishment, they found that the money inside had doubled to four rupees. Sudheer was amazed and informed his brother Charuchandra. Contemplating that the object might lose its power if kept like that, Charuchandra made a golden amulet and made Sudheer wear it.
As time passed, both the boys became more and more detached. They decided to leave home. But where could they go? Who could show them the right path and lead them to realise God?
… to be continued
Inspired by Krushnapriya Mohanty’s essay, “Deeghalkandi Parivar’.