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THE BANDOPADHYAYA FAMILY OF DEEGHALKANDI

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

22. Guru – Their Solution to Every Problem

 

During that visit, some members of almost every residence of the village had become Sri Sri Thakur’s disciple. So, the entire village was bonded as one heart and one soul by the love and devotion for Sri Sri Thakur. It was as if the entire village had become Sri Sri Thakur’s family. So, every house had a desire to invite Sri Sri Thakur to set foot in their homes. They all prayed but Sri Sri Thakur wanted everyone to get together in one place and spend time together. But everyone’s heart desired to welcome Sri Sri Thakur into their household so that their homes would be purified with the dust of the feet of their Gurudev. As they prayed so earnestly, Thakur couldn’t break their heart. So, a day was chosen when Thakur would visit every home. The devotees assembled at a place playing their drums and singing kirtan, following Sri Sri Thakur as he blessed every home, accepted their offerings and distributed prasad.


One of the sons of the Bandopadhyaya family, Surendranath, was suffering from a urinary tract infection. The pain had become severe and he would often cry out in pain. When Sri Sri Thakur heard him screech, he called Bhuvan Brahmachari and enquired about the reason. Bhuvan Brahmachari explained how his elder brother was suffering for a long time. The very next moment Thakur called for Surendranath and asked, “Why haven’t you told me about your suffering?” Surendranath replied, “Thakur! What to tell? I am reaping the fruits of my Karma. I have to bear it. If I pray to you and get rid of this disease then soon, I will have to suffer from something else. I cannot keep disturbing you time and again with my stories. Its better to suffer so that my Karma is dwindled.” Sri Sri Thakur was happy with his answer. The all-merciful Thakur blessed Surendranath and after that incident he never suffered from that pain again.


One day Sri Sri Thakur was resting on an armchair in the verandah, watching the kids playing around. Their mothers were sitting beside Thakur enjoying their childrens’ games. Thakur was observing everyone. He turned to the youngest daughter-in-law of the family and asked, “Why do you look so pale today?” The other ladies answered, “Her husband is going through a tough time. The planets are unfavourable to him. So, she fasts on Saturdays.” Thakur replied, “How can Saturn pull him down when I am here to safeguard your interests? You don’t have to observe any fast anymore.” From that day onwards, the ritual of fasting on particular days to please the planets came to a stop.


In the homes of all the other devotees, Sri Sri Thakur adhered to all the codes laid out for a sanyasi to follow but when it came to this particular family, he always made exceptions. The same kitchen in which the ladies of the family cooked fish and meat was also used to cook bhoga for Sri Sri Thakur. The eldest daughter-in-law, wife of Surendranath, used to cook separately in another kitchen for the widows and the disciples and devotees of Thakur who strictly followed the codes regarding food.


One day everyone was busy preparing food in the kitchen. Around half past ten, Thakur got up from his easy chair in the verandah, put on his wooden slippers and started walking towards the kitchen, making sound with each step he took, alerting everyone. As he arrived near the kitchen door, he stood leaning, holding on to the door frame with both his hands, placing his right foot on top of the left, wearing his dhoti wrapped in a typical cowherd style. Thakur had a very easygoing relationship with the wife of Dheerendranath. The nature of that relationship was more like a father-daughter rather than Guru-Sishya. She used to talk the most with Thakur. She was the one in charge of cooking non-vegetarian dishes in the family. She was busy cooking that day and the rest of the ladies were helping her out. The kitchen was in a dilapidated condition. The roof was built with tin sheets which had many holes. When it rained, the kitchen became wet. Since there were no ventilators, the heat of the wooden stoves made holes in the roof. The tin sheets were replaced only every three or four years. Sri Sri Thakur looked around the kitchen and exclaimed, “Oh! Water would be rushing in during rain. It must be very difficult for you all to cook in this condition.” As soon as the ladies heard these words of compassion from Thakur, they took his hand, pulled him inside and made him sit beside them in the kitchen. Once Thakur took his seat, everyone started putting down all their complaints. They told him how the men in the family ignored them and never took their complaints seriously. They were managing the family with so much difficulty. They took out all their grievances in front of their most loved person. Sri Sri Thakur patiently listened to everyone and said, “Alright! I will find a solution to your problems.


…to be continued

Inspired by Krushnapriya Mohanty’s essay, “Deeghalkandi Parivar.”





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