THE BANDOPADHYAYA FAMILY OF DEEGHALKANDI
2. The Search Begins
Sri Sri Thakur Nigamananda Saraswati was residing at Kokilamukha during that time. His was well known as a great seer and worshipped as Sadguru. The two boys had heard stories about this great saint and decided to go to him. Sudheer asked his brother and noted down the details of the route they had to take to reach his Ashram in Kokilamukh. But they were so reticent that not a single soul got to know about their intention.
Two seventeen-year-old boys started from Hema Nagar in quest of Guru. The impressions of their previous birth drew them into this path. Who knows for how many births our lives and works have been intertwined? When the time comes, the heart pines for a touch of the philosopher’s stone, the elixir of life. Attracted by the call of the unknown, both the boys left home in the middle of the dark night. The attraction for spiritual life might also have been intensified by the object gifted by the Sadhu that led them in the path of renunciation.
The next day, when they were not seen, everyone started searching for them. After the search, when there was no news of them, they understood that both of them must have left in search of truth. Both of them were from well to do families and were dressed in silk kurtas with pleated dhotis touching the ground. One of them was even addicted to pan and cigarette. As they continued in the path, riding and hitch hiking, they spent whatever money they had brought along with them. In order to continue in their journey, they needed more money. So, they had to let go of their attachments, one by one. They sold their silk kurtas and shoes for a meagre amount and kept advancing on the path. When they were bereft of everything, they knew they had to walk towards Kokilamukh Math, their destination.
After walking for long hours, tired and exhausted, they arrived at the Math. They were welcomed by the cool breeze blowing through the fruit laden green trees in the gardens of the peaceful and serene surrounding. Their hearts were bursting with joy and excitement looking at the bees buzzing from flower to flower in the bowers that looked unearthly. They heaved a sigh of relief on arrival. All their hard work was not wasted after all. The sanyasis and brahmacharis of the ashram were busy in their work. When the news of their arrival reached, one of the residents offered them some prasad and asked them to wait.
As they were resting in the verandah of Gouranga chamber, engrossed watching the sun go down spreading a red hue in the western sky, they heard the creaking sound of shoes. They looked ahead and saw a tall, divine, bright and radiant figure advancing towards them. He needed no introduction. Both the boys bowed their heads low and fell down in front of those lotus feet.
They were relieved that they got shelter. A few days hence Sri Sri Thakur wrote a letter to Sudheer Chandra’s father, “Sudheer has come to me in search of truth. You may call him back if you wish.” After a few days, came the reply of Sudheer’s father, “I have five more sons and they are managing the family quite well. Please see to it that after renouncing his home, he shouldn’t come back. This is my only prayer at your lotus feet. Please educate him, guide him to rise higher in his life.” Both the boys were given new names. Sudheer Chandra became Bhuvanananda and Jagdish was renamed Haridas.
Image Courtesy: Sibasis Samal